What to keep in mind for your brand’s first Periscope live stream

Periscope is a new way to share what is happening around you. Instead of 140 characters of Twitter or 15 second videos of Instagram, you can have a live video broadcast. Live streaming is a new phenomenon as a popular mobile application but it has been around for a long time. Twitch, a website specialized in live streaming games, was acquired last year by Amazon for almost $1 Billion, so you can be sure there is audience out there willing to watch interesting live video.

This is not an introduction to Periscope as an application but a collection of best practices for getting started. To get you or your brand started on Periscope faster, these are my tips and tricks for beginners.

Prepare before jumping into action

You will not get the full benefits of a new platform on the first go. Host a few practice streams before a big event to teach your friends and fans how to use the new application. Periscope is a new app and many people are not familiar with it yet. Some even get frustrated when they do not understand how to access the stream. Asking people to check out the app ahead of time makes it easier to join your stream when it is live.

First, make sure your phone battery is fully charged. It will drain quickly but you will be fine for more than 30 minutes of streaming even without portable chargers.

Have an introduction before the action starts. Introduce yourselves and what the stream will be about and how to participate in the live action (Periscope comments on mobile for example). It will take a few minutes for the audience to tune in to your stream.

periscope-stream-statistics

Think about your audio source. Generally, you will be fine if you are face to face talking / interviewing and the action is an arm’s length away from the phone. Any further than that and it might be difficult to understand everything, especially since the stream quality might be low at times. This is something you can only find out by testing the setting before the real deal.

Update: As Shimon Das, pointed out on Twitter, it’s also important to take your time on Periscope. When starting and ending the stream or switching between the main camera and the front camera, the app will cut you off for a few seconds. Thanks Shimon for a great pro-tip!

Take your fans behind the scenes with Periscope

The best stream I have done was an interview with two HERE developers regarding a new 3D transit visualization concept during which we did a demo and discussed how the idea helps people and how they came up with the idea.

Periscoping is a 2-person gig. During a live stream, you will get comments in the stream but can also receive related comments on Twitter. Monitoring both can make for a more successful broadcast. Depending on the stream length, it might be a good idea to tweet about the stream again, possibly with a picture. It might also be helpful for the second person to participate in the live stream as a viewer for sound quality control or answer some questions during a presentation when the streamer is unable to talk.

Are you considering to try Periscope personally or professionally? Would you like to read more about Periscope and how to use the app? Leave a comment or a request below.

Best lunch places near the HERE Berlin office

One of the most important daily decisions I make is where to eat lunch. If you’re new to HERE Berlin, you might want to check out these lunch places. They will get you started for your first few weeks. After the second week you’ll drop a few of these and add a few others to your lunch rotation.

Bis Yarok, a Syrian restaurant. Order the “Mix teller” (number 30) or the vegetarian version (number 18). Add Bis Yarok to your Collection.
Syrian-mix-teller

Cô Chu, the Vietnamese restaurant across the street from the office. Go early and don’t have too many friends with you. Add Cô Chu to your Collection.

Next to the “Syrian place” is Toca Rouge, a small Asian fusion place. Funny plate names make for funky food. We used to go there once a week but finally after 1½ we got bored. Add Toca Rouge to your Collection.

Alpenstück Bäckerei has a different menu everyday with classics that are always available. I have heard the restaurant described as “traditional Austrian”. They serve a few pieces of their breads as appetizers so you know what to buy on your way out.

alpenstueck-baceckerei_cafe-plaetze-800x530
Image credit: Alpenstück Bäckerei

Sushi 14 at the corner is not the best sushi you’ll ever taste but a buffet plate of rice, fish, wasabi and ginger for €6 is a fair deal. Add Sushi 14 to your Collection.

Tin Tan Mexican street food if you are into that sort of thing. Odds are in your favor. Vegetables, meat and spicy condiments is all I need for lunch. Add Tin Tan to your Collection.

tintan-here-com

There are many other places a few minutes further such as Tommi’s Burger Joint and Papa Pane di Sorrento. I know I must have missed something so check out the comments below for recommendations from others.

Destination Berkeley

“Your visa has been approved” were the magical words I heard this morning. This is not another vacation plan. In a few days I will receive my visa to the United States. Then, I am moving to Berkeley, California to continue my tweeting for @HERE from nine time zones away.

This is an edited version of a longer self-interview and has been approved by the interviewee as factually correct (he disagreed with some of the stylistic choices).

Where are you moving to?

We are looking for an apartment with easy public transit access to Downtown Berkeley BART station. Preferably 2 bedroom apartment, large kitchen and moderate rent. We’ve given up on looking for a place with “cheap” or “affordable” rent. That just doesn’t exist in the Bay Area.

California-terrain

In California, right?

Correct! Looking at the map, I would estimate about an hour away from Silicon Valley and the NHL team San Jose Sharks home arena. But that is about as much as I know. I’ve never been there but I couldn’t be more excited to go. I researched the area through two of the most reliable sources: Reddit (/r/BayArea) and San Andreas – the earthquake disaster movie starred by Dwayne Johnson.

 When are you moving?

I don’t know. I have not booked tickets yet but I expect to be moving quite soon. There’s quite a lot of practicalities to sort through first :)

Is there a party?

Yes! We will be in Helsinki on Sunday 21 June ready to have a few drinks with anyone who is in town during Midsummer. Afterwards, in Berlin, there will definitely be opportunities for something similar.

But what about…?

I will be answering more questions in a live Q&A on Facebook, Twitter and in the comments section below for the next 48 hours straight. EDIT: I meant 4-8 hours but missed the dash. Sorry about that!

 

5 answers to people who are afraid of Twitter

I wake up and go to sleep with Twitter. I probably shouldn’t but there’s so much going on from mildly interesting to mind blowing, all the time.

Don’t know why you should join Twitter or understand how it could be helpful for you? I took a look at five of the reasons why people are not joining Twitter and answered the biggest worries.

It’s not part of my routine / all my friends are on Facebook

Start Twitter by logging in once a day and checking the latest news and interesting blog posts. Make sure you keep track of time thought, if you have something important coming up. And if you really like or disagree with something, let your followers know.

Twitter is not about your friends. It’s about strangers and that’s what is so great about it! These strangers share something you value and it will not take long to realize that it’s more interesting than scrolling through pesky game invites.

I don’t know who to follow and can’t find anything I’m interested in

Luckily, Twitter has been working on improving the initial discovery phase. When you create a new account it will ask about your interests.

join-twitter-interests

Then Twitter suggests people, media outlets and brands for you to follow. Untick the ones that you don’t care about and continue. You can unfollow and follow more accounts any time.

join-twitter-suggestions

When you already have an account, one of the best ways to find new connections is to go profile surfing and follow Twitter suggestions of similar accounts.

It happens so fast and there’s too much noise

One of the most important revelations about Twitter is that you are not supposed to read every tweet from everyone you follow. It’s about what’s happening right now.

If you miss something let it go. If it was interesting enough, it’ll come back to you.

 What should I tweet

Tweet an interesting blog post you read. If you have an extra 10 seconds, I recommend downloading an image that represents the post and adding that to your tweet.

sharing-blog-post

Ask questions and start conversations. At first, you might not get replies because you don’t have many followers online at that moment but that will change as you develop your audience. Use relevant hashtags to reach people who are interested in that topic but not yet following you.

twitter-ask-questions

 

You also need to answer questions posed by other tweeters. Yes, that includes jumping into conversations with people you don’t know. Someone wrote something funny? Retweet or favorite! You can relate to someone? Comment and let them know. Someone shared an interesting blog post but you disagree? Tell them!

And don’t worry, you probably don’t have enough time to tweet too much. Tweets only live for about 18 minutes before they get drowned in the flurry of newer tweets.

What about the character limit

When you really want to post something, you don’t want to be limited to 140 characters but there are ways around that limitation. Knowing what to shorten can help you fit more in 140 characters.

  1. Drop the meta text. No need to start tweets with “I believe” or “However, in my opinion”.
  2. If you are answering to somebody but need two tweets, end the first one with “(1/2)” and continue with another reply to the original tweet with “(2/2)”.
  3. Insert an image with text. Your image should be 2 x 1 pixel ratio with a minimum size of 440 x 220 pixels to look good in the preview.
  4. IMO, acronyms R gr8. LOL JK

Did these tips help you get started? Or did I miss the biggest question stopping you from tweeting? Let me know in the comments below.

Döner – the fast food that defines Berlin

In Berlin, only American tourists go to McDonald’s. That is if they can find one. The fast food scene of Berlin is dominated by one item: Kebab. No other food says “Berlin” like kebab. Yes, there is much more to Berlin food-scene but nothing defines it like the spinning meat. Currywurst might be unique to Berlin but it does not come close to the popularity of the döner.

cutting-kebab

The most famous Döner stand in Berlin is by far Mustafa’s on Mehringdamm, in Kreuzberg. However, I would never trade my delicious neighborhood K’UPS Gemüsekebab on Kastanienallee for a piece of Mustafa’s. And I believe, many Berliners feel the same way about their local places. Mustafa’s is more of a tourist attraction than it is a fresh, tasty döner.

Without Döner there is no Berlin.

My personal favorite is kebab in dürüm, a Turkish wrap. Chicken, spicy and garlic sauces, fried vegetables, all the salads and cheese. The drink? Fritz-kola from Hamburg with extra caffeine.

kebab-inside-kola

Tips for tastier kebab

Make sure that you go for “Gemüsekebab” ensuring you will get a few pieces of fried potatoes and paprika with the fresh vegetables and salad. You will thank me later!

gemuese-kebab-outside

Never go “all sauces”. If your kebab doesn’t taste good enough with one or two sauces, you were in the wrong place to begin with.

kebab-sauce-salad

Is kebab an integral part of your Berlin experience? Leave your tips of best kebab places below for those of us who have not yet tasted the fast food of Berlin.