Thursday Buzz: Lessons From Periscope’s Big Moment in Congress

Personal live streams from smartphones worked around a rule that allowed shutting off public-access television footage on the House floor—and showed how Periscope and other live streaming platforms can be must-see TV. Plus: A classy take on unemployment.

When the cameras went dark, protesting House Democrats had to pull out a few cameras of their own—and somehow, it worked.

On Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers started a historic sit-in on the House floor, calling for action on gun control. The sit-in only ended on Thursday afternoon—nearly a day after the House was formally adjourned.

Republican leaders called for a recess and ordered the cameras that provide footage for C-SPAN go dark.

Enter Periscope and Facebook Live. Congressmen and others quickly switched to live streams through the apps. It stole the show, with journalists praising what was seen as a savvy move by Democratic lawmakers.

And C-SPAN took the cue, airing live Periscope feeds. This, said many, added a degree of excitement to the proceedings.

“C-SPAN’s mission is to take the normally dull process of governance and make it accessible to all—even when the government has other ideas,” wrote The Verge‘s Tom Connors. “By falling back to Congress members’ broadcasts on Periscope (and later, Facebook Live), C-SPAN stayed true to that ideal. And the fact that it was messy made it all the more exciting.”

And that’s why, no matter your take on the saga, last night’s Periscope political battle was worth taking notes about. Odds are, the decision to shut off those cameras turned what was already a talker into something that might just push live streaming into the mainstream.

You should be ready for your own Periscope-worthy moment.

Tweet of the Day

Executives lose their jobs. It happens. Usually after it happens, they hide away for a while and reassess.

Not Sree Sreenivasan, the social media maven who made waves in 2013 with his hiring as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first chief digital officer. Last week, he lost that job. But instead of hiding away, he’s been incredibly open about it online. Check out Jenni Avins’ piece at Quartz to see what you can learn from making unemployment work for you.

Links For Your Day

Is Dropbox the next big Google Docs and Evernote competitor? Out of its strategic partnership, Microsoft and Dropbox have unleashed notetaking and collaboration tools within Dropbox. Take a look.

Associated Press style is the standard for most current events writers. So it’s time for a refresher: At Ragan’s PR Daily, Beki Winchel offers five handy tips on the AP’s latest style changes.

The next generation of event attendees is all about connecting. They love communities, curation, and communication. At the Event Manager Blog, Tahira Endean takes a deep dive into how to ensure your event meets the needs and expectations of “digitally empowered participants.”

House Democrats, including Rep. John Lewis (center), take part in a sit-in on Wednesday. (Handout photo)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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