Since 2015, The National Library of Wales has been using a platform called Periscope for broadcasting live events such as lunchtime lectures, conversations with curators and Library gallery tours.But how many of you know what is Periscope?
Well, quite simply, Periscope is a platform for live video streaming. It’s owned by Twitter which means you can transfer your live recording to your Twitter and Periscope followers through this platform. You will receive a notification every time someone you follow will do a live broadcast.On the Periscope app there is a ‘World Map’ tab which shows you where all the live broadcasts are taking place at that moment around the world.
Along with watching live streams, Periscope also allows you to like what you see on the screen by sending hearts to the broadcaster and it’s also possible to send live comments on any given broadcast.
A tweet is sent automatically on Twitter to announce when someone you follow goes live on Periscope. It’s possible to click on that link in the twitter stream to watch the broadcast. As you already know the Library has 2 Twitter accounts – 1 for the Welsh stream and one for the English stream and the same is true of the Library’s Periscope accounts. The live broadcasts in Welsh will be advertised on our Welsh Twitter feed and the English broadcasts on our English Twitter feed.
Since releasing live broadcasts on Periscope the Library has learned several important lessons. We have discovered that the most popular broadcasts have been short videos containing conversations with staff about a particular item(s) in the collections or gallery tours of different exhibitions held here. Nevertheless we have also filmed several lunchtime lectures in our auditorium, Drwm. With just under 100 seats it means that many more people can have access to our lectures, more often than not, from the luxury of their own living room!
The process of filming however has not been an easy process all of the time. We have experienced several technical problems during filming. On one occasion, without much warning, everything went dark on the screen and we could not rectify the problem. On another occasion the quality of the sound was poor but with every new broadcast we continue to learn and thereby (hopefully!) improve. We have recently purchased new equipment especially for filming live broadcasts and that too will hopefully improve the quality of our recordings.
We are still learning about the art of creating live broadcasts that are interesting and valuable to our audience. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our coverage or if you would like us to film a specific topic or aspect of our work then you can contact us.
Now that you know what Periscope is I hope you will follow us on Twitter/Periscope and look out for those notifications that we are going live!
Follow us on Twitter: @NLWales
Follow us on Periscope: @NLWales
Bethan Rees ~ Digital Access