If you have been following me on social media, you’ll know my latest hobby is growing my cooking skills with Indian cuisine. I find it exciting since I haven’t been exposed to it much and still in the honeymoon phase. As I work through the different recipes, I’ll share photos on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages, but what I would really like is to educate those who have not experienced the cuisine. Anyone that asks me about Indian food will know that I rattle off like a SME. I am going to start a blog soon to start to share what I have learned. I wanted another way to educate people and I actually found this solution by accident. Enter Periscope.
I first used Periscope at ATD ICE 2015 during Erik Wahl’s performance/keynote and found it great to share what I was experiencing with people all over the world. I thought about how streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat could help leverage learning and extend reach. Soon I realized I would be using it for my own purposes in my Indian cooking when I decided that I would share some recipes I was working on.
Before I share my experience with Periscope, a little about how to use it. Periscope is an app that connects to your Twitter account and allows you to stream live to your folks on both Periscope and Twitter mobile apps. You can also view through web browsers on Twitter. When you load the app the first thing you see is live streams of anyone you are following. You can also explore around the globe what other top streams are. Lastly, you can start your own stream of course!
Before you actually start your broadcast you can give a title to your stream, enable chat for people so they make comments or ask questions, and even tap the screen to give people “hearts” to show you enjoy the broadcast. I think preparing for it somewhat, depending on what you are sharing is key. I had to figure out how I was going to have my phone standing when I would need two hands to cook with. I came up with turning a drinking glass upside down and putting a coffee mug on top and had my phone sitting in there. It was great because you saw the whole landscape of the kitchen and exactly what I was doing. If there was a certain cutting technique I turned the mug upside down and laid the phone flat on top of it so the camera would be down on my hands.Preparation is a good idea before you start streaming so you don’t lose your audience.
During the stream I quickly realized that for cooking at least, you want it to be as streamlined as possible because something that normally takes 30 minutes to do might take 45 because of the attention to the stream. Also, there are times when you are waiting for something to cook that might take 10-20 minutes. How do you fill empty time up? One thing you can try is to end the stream while you are waiting and then start a new broadcast to continue. Another way is to use that time to answer questions or educate the audience. I decided to teach about the different spices that are used in the dishes and the different kinds of chilis. Overall it went pretty well for a first try. One major tip: just because it’s a live broadcast doesn’t mean you should fly by the seat of your pants, you should have an overall idea of how the broadcast will flow so there is some structure. You want it to be casual in conversation too. This is not a recorded training session!
What I think is most important is after the stream you can see the total time the broadcast was, which is easy to forget about and also the retention rate. You can see what the average time someone spent viewing your broadcast too. The retention rate is really helpful because you can benchmark your training to keep people engaged. I plan to improve my retention rate as I plan the broadcast out better.
The next thing I’ll try is giving folks the recipe to be broadcasted a week or two in advance so they have time to get the ingredients and then we can all cook together during the broadcast. Take it from just being a viewer to being involved in the broadcast and actually learning something new. Can’t wait to share!