Airbnbers Don't Know How Good They've Got It. by John J K Morris

DISCLAIMER - I write this not as a slight against the service which at the moment seems very fashionable.

I also write this having already given up on the frustrating experience I encountered while on couchsurfing.com. It didn't matter how many I hosted, my profile never seemed good enough to just be able to find myself a host for myself when I needed the service.

The system after all was based on goodwill, I thought I had plenty of it in the bank.

The odd thing is, because rejection is so high, travellers would send multiple emails to would be hosts to maximise their chances of being accepted. On the flip-side, hosts would get upset on one level or another at not enjoying a personalised handcrafted digital mail. Hosts would deliberately leave breadcrumbs in their profiles to make sure travellers read their profiles and if you made a single mistake you can be rejected again.

I know, I also did this, people just do not read profiles, and they head for the most obvious button to click that grants them access to your house with minimum of pain.

I grew sick of the rejections from hosts when I wanted to travel and ran out of patience with the constant ignorant requests from travellers. I quit this year after being on the site since 2007. By the way, I can't 'delete' my account, I can only 'deactivate' it.

Along comes Airbnb and I thought, 'Ah, money is involved, things will be different". I signed up in July 2016, I'm quitting the service as a host in August 1016.

After the third request from Airbnbers to provide a discount I thought, 'fuck this'.

Things on Airbnb.com were certainly different compared to Couchsurfing.com

I just don't understand where Airbnbers come from because: 

  • Hotels are always more expensive, so you're saving money compared to using them, even though the quality of service is so much more (article regarding Airbnb in HK - Hong Kong hoteliers may become vocal opponents of Airbnb).
  • There are smaller (safer and with established services) hotels that are equal to some random Airbnb host.
  • There are also other Airbnbs that are cheaper than mine, but aren't private (in many cases).
  • I offered a discount at the weekly (10%) and monthly (15%) levels (this was after the first request for a discount) thinking I had done something wrong and now I entered this game/lie of raising the price in order to provide a discount therefore a perception that people were getting a good deal now if they booked with me).

These things apparently aren't enough, the price needed to be even lower and whatever attributes that attracted people to my apartment were, aren't really a selling point, it's actually a starting point to enquire and claim a discount for it. Cheapskates will be cheapskates.

The thing is, I didn't do Airbnb for a profit, I did it to make the rent and because I'm open minded, I am not one of the professional renters in Hong Kong that are creating a business on top of the Airbnb platform. I was just someone open minded enough to share my modest and well located apartment in order for people to help me make rent.

I'm British, I don't haggle, it's not in my DNA, I just move on and find something else if all I'm going to do is work on price.

In Hong Kong, you build up a relationship with those you perform transactions with before even considering the discount, this notion will not work on Airbnb. It's also alien to me to ask if nothing has been established, you know something like trust, or a long term relationship.

Just asking for a discount upfront means nothing. Whats the point of setting a price in the first place only for it to be ignored? The worst part would be then allowing the cheapskates into my house that they don't value for whatever their stay would be. 

I remember, my dad dealing with suppliers to his hotel, his hotel always paid cash on the day, with that itself there's nothing special, but compared to other hotels in the same town who would pay with credit or at the end of the month. Since they paid on delivery, they gave his hotel a discount. I could understand giving a discount for repeat travellers, but the chances of that are slim, especially when everybody is operating on price alone.

So for me, instead of the overhead of dealing with multiple requests and discussing prices while travellers were completely ignoring the prices I had already set, I've decided on getting a stable long term room mate again for simplicities sake. Forgive for taking all this personally, but I thought that was part of the appeal. Forget being a host on Airbnb, it literally isn't worth it.

 

June Updates by John J K Morris

Two blog posts in as many days, I know, such a treat.

Let's get into it, what did I do. Aside from the podcasts, which have been held back by scheduling arrangements, I did pump out a few down below for both podcasts.

Second, I've started doing little things on my YouTube channel (link in the top corner). I'm trying to make shorter videos for a secondary audience. Shorter means edited of course and I hope it pans out. It does slow my periscoping down somewhat because of the need to record almost all the scopes I make.

JPG Podcast (Subscribe here).

These are all Game of Throne related I'm afraid. There are three episodes, 49-51.

Hello From Hong Kong (Subscribe here).

The two highlighted here were made back at the end of April, episode #8 is with Nate Wong, a local jazz artist living and working in Hong Kong, the podcast features live music as well. The video of the same podcast episode is here and as a bonus, a video of the private scope chat is here.

#9 of HFHK is part of a larger project looking at the homeless situation in Hong Kong. I chat with Jodie in what was a private scope and then made into this podcast episode. The video of this interview is here.

YouTube Videos

From a bunch of videos I've made an ever expanding set of playlists for easy grouping.

A collection of interviews from this year alone on Periscope. This includes Sam's Tailors, Jeremy Monteiro and with Eugene Po and also Mikee discussing Transgenderism.

Tours of Hong Kong. There is only one, but soon an expanded list of edited Periscopes that streamline what was a live video.

A new fun playlist 'Trolls & Roasts' where I hit back at the trolls who live under our scopes ready to pounce, This playlist works in conjunction with 'Periscope Highlights' where I edited only the funniest and incidental of events from my live streaming. I can't expect you all to watch ALL my scopes from end to end now can I?

Going back further in Time to May, did you forget John Ho and myself went to Taiwan 2016? There is a whole album of videos that not only discuss the planning of this trip, but also all the great scopes from my half of the trip.

Finally we end with a reminder of what I've done to bring awareness to the Homeless in Hong Kong. More coming soon on this topic!

Questioning the Live Streaming by John J K Morris

Another kind of break from blogging, sorry, I assure you though I love my website, in many ways it's very satisfying to write, edit, delete and write and hopefully construct something that is half intelligent. I'm comparing my blogging to live-streaming on Periscope and Facebook of course. My fingers have been getting itchy and it's just welcoming to type something out. 

Recently the viewing numbers on Periscope are getting lower and lower, either through a combination of people's apathy or boredom,  muting their phone due for reasons x, y and z*, and because Periscope can't promote good scopes, and creating some sort of useful categorisation feature to allow it's users to see the best stuff. Best is subjective I know, but YouTube doesn't have this problem and are great at recommending more content for me to watch. After a year of the app existing we still only have two generalised (and passive) ways of finding scopes. I find the editor picks are too American focused or concentrate on the same familiar scopers. 

Word of mouth is still king in my opinion, also if you haven't done so, follow stream curators like @geoffgolberg who make an effort to be a third option to finding something interesting to watch. 

I also don't necessarily believe notifications now are the best method to deliver multiple streams of video, and for iOS users especially, there needs to be a way to create rules for receiving different types of notifications. Can you imagine a notification for every tweet from those you follow, sometimes the demand for attention can feel like that.

As scopers, we had it good last year, everybody's attention was up for grabs and we milked it for what it's worth, now not so, and what I think is happening is people are muting their phones faster than new people signing up. Numbers are down, live and on replay as well as exponentially there are more scopers to watch (again not necessarily quality scopes). 

I aware 'brand influencers' and 'Apostles' have a negative impact on Periscope as people chase the money, luckily I don't watch or focus on them personally and can't comment that much on them, I do know they upset some scopers and seem to have worked beautifully to somehow stay or repeat their presence on the main feature list therefore distorting Periscope's value. That's the shop window for example; there should be a better selection on offer for users. 

Interesting to note on a personal level, even though I have 12,000 subscribers, the live views and replay views are getting so low I might as well private scope (all together I might get 250-350 views once I delete the scope, that's around 2.5% of my overall audience), that way I can stay on point without being trolled and my patreons are better serviced. When questioning the value of audiences, it's the number of random (and the chance of being featured) vs a dedicated audience who are literally investing money in watching streamed content. Oddly, my patreon sign ups are increasing as live viewers are going down. It's worth thinking about as the medium evolves and streaming isn't necessarily valuable either live (though that's the main draw people say) or people realise it's quicker and better to just read a blog post about information that's represented in a stream. 

 

Live Streaming Workflows by John J K Morris

I wasn't surprised when I saw that the newly released top end 9.7" iPad Pro is the same price as the top end iPhone 6s+. I'm just noodling here as I put more into live-streaming and create a device workflow around live-streaming to mitigate connectivity or image quality issues I might have. By considering either one of these screens as a secondary iOS device I want to:

  • shoot 4K footage and take decent pictures (alongside the live-streaming)
  • replace my home WiFi (old Chinese apartments are limited to 2mbps)
  • have a back up Internet device (a mobile hotspot device)

As mobile devices (can someone come up with a better name yet*) technology advances, my retro digital camera is proving itself to be a bit of a stuck in the mud. (Of course it is, it's retro!) Any new purchase would also need to replace my digital camera. 

The general utility of an iOS device isn't interested in being anchored down by cables and with work flows crossing over to a desktop computer before final upload. I'm adapting my work flow to not concern itself over Raw handling and image quality. I think the tradeoffs are there where I can say it's good enough now on a mobile device. 

Just for the record, the price of a replacement camera for my Fuji x100s is also roughly the same price as either of the two iOS devices. Amazing hey? Now which iOS device to buy?

The basic internal specs of both devices are the same with a few features leapfrogging the iPhone for the moment. A data plan is basically the same with both devices so we can ignore that. So it comes down to these basic things:

  • Battery life 
  • Portability 
  • Screen size (workflow dependent)

Battery Life

Hands down, the iPad wins and as a base station outside the house it's much better than the puny battery in the iPhone 6s+ to provide internet connectivity to say a laptop. I still hope Apple bring out a battery pack for this larger model. Periscoping hammers the battery and I've never benefitted from going from an iPhone5 to the iPhone6s+ when it comes to battery life. WINNER - iPad. 

Portability

Both devices are already super thin and this is truly a first world problem for the minimalist such as myself. But still, which one? I can easily hold two iPhones together, one streaming, one shooting 4K (some velcro will solve that). I wouldn't be drawing attention to myself too much with that set up. Now live stream with an iPad and iPhone combo, it's a bit more awkward. WINNER - iPhone. 

Screen Size

Do I want to edit my work on a 9" screen or a 5" screen? Do I want to multitask with the iPad or solo task on the iPhone? Don't forget this is a secondary device, so each device can operate independently of each other. But what is the benefit of the larger screen? WINNER - Unknown

But the iPhone 7 (Conclusion)

This basically means can I and should I wait with what I have already? What will the next generation phone bring, especially when it comes to image quality? The potential downside to waiting for an iPhone7 means I'm only six months away from another, better iPad! This throws up the issue of whether to buy now or buy for tomorrow. I would like to buy for tomorrow (with portability in mind), while the iPad does have the better battery, I do have power packs at my disposal, ready to fast charge both iPhones if I opt for that and in all honesty am I going to use both devices constantly? The screen size doesn't need to be an issue if I can multitask on two phones and of course, two iPhones are smaller than an iPad!   

* I like the German name for a mobile phone, 'handy', which they most certainly are.

UPDATE: I forgot Apple released this as well. It basically means I can plug in a USB microphone and charge both the iOS device and said microphone, not an issue for a fully charged iPad, but the iPhone itself has become a lot more flexible because of a $300HKD add-on for either my periscopes or podcasts.

UPDATE 2: No optical stabiliser on the iPad, you'd think with that bump that justified the newest protrusion to the iOS family, alas no. It's more likely I'll purchase a second iPhone.

FAQ: About Donating to my Periscope Channel @JonathanJK. by John J K Morris

There has been some criticism towards on desire to ask people to donate to my channel in order toe receive private scopes and be allowed access in Limited Broadcast scopes. I present here an FAQ on the topic so this doesn't become something I have to repeat over and over again. It also sheds light on what I want to do. If you don't want to read, you can also watch a video version here.

If you do want to donate you can donate via Patreon (I work with PayPal btw).

Questions from other members of the Periscope community are included for reference.

How much do I need to pay to get access to private scopes or limited chat broadcasts?

I have now introduced tiers, currently they are at $2 and $5, both offering different things. Newer tiers will be introduced at a later time. I tend to grandfather people in as well so the earlier someone contributes the more value they get for donating.

Since this is about me, what do I get?

Those who contribute at the $6 tier get:

  1. Private Coffee Time (private scopes generally [mostly coffee time scopes] are not saved or put on Youtube, I will say otherwise at the beginning of a private scope)
  2. A Troll/Heckler free zone.
  3. A less busier scope (which is a good thing if you want to engage with others).
  4. Access to chat in limited broadcast scopes, typically #scopechat scopes.
  5. A chance to chat with other big name Periscopers from around the world who decide to frequent the scope.
  6. I'll probably end up watching your scopes if I have the time.
  7. Early access to new guests where you can chat directly via Periscope (Public access requires submitting questions via Twitter).
  8. Heads up on any special scopes I have lined up. You can also contribute to the discussion.
  9. You're party to various other topics I don't share publically.
  10. I sketch in private scopes.

A $2 donation is different, check the Patreon page please.

Err, Jonathan, what about the 100 person chat limit for those paying?

Yes, that is interesting and is another issue. These donations I receive (with the ability to get access to the extras I just mentioned) will be limited. First come first served I guess.

Are these limited chats just for interview scopes? @technicolordreams

Currently this is just for my interview/#scopechat scopes. Interview scopes are usually only twice a month.

Will you lose viewers if you limit the chat? @SummerNorthbay

I probably will, but the quality comments from paid viewers will go up. If people are upset over this, they are basically saying their ability to comment is more important than anything I'm trying to do.

Don't you have a sense of humour?

You wouldn't ask that question if you knew me.

I disagree about limiting chats, you will lose. @SummerNorthbay

You are allowed to disagree. Time will tell. So far so good.

Your interview scopes will be dead. @jtchang

Your opinion versus my statistics tell a different story. Either way I have created a pristine piece of video (that will go on Youtube) and that is more important to my reputation in the long term.

Don't you think it is horrible? (referring to not being able to comment) @jtchang

Not as horrible if there are disgusting/stupid or pointless comments made in my scopes. Scopes which are supposed to represent my abilities to new people. Which is more important, your ability to comment or my ability to bring new people to my channel?

Delete the trolls and the sex bots then?@Classicallymish

Deleting trolls takes time. Deleting sex bots is something Periscope can do to save me time. This is about further managing my time and my Periscope channel looking professional to bring new people to the channel. Do I want to block people for the rest of my life while using Periscope? No.

This sounds like censorship. @hanseoulo

This is not censorship, do not conflate what is happening here with true censorship. If people want to comment they can use the share function inside the periscope app. Comments are not being removed they are being moved for those who do not want to contribute. 

I am your fan but why do I feel like I am being punished? @bayshore1whe

I am sorry you feel you are being punished. I can tell you I am not punishing you deliberately, but here we are talking about how you feel and how and you have reacted to my policy to make sure I can make more professional scopes. If people want to comment they can use the share function inside the Periscope app. Comments from people who do not want to pay are not being removed they are being moved for those who do not want to contribute. Contributing is an option.

They should have Auto-block for certain words. @beckseria

They could, but then that is censorship. 

Trolls can sometimes break your concentration while you are scoping. @boston_camera

Yes trolls do break our concentration which is what I do not want to have done to me any longer. Do I want my concentration broken every day for the rest of my Periscope life?

Do we have to pay you to chat in limited chat scopes? @jtchang

If people want to comment they can use the share function inside the Periscope app. Comments are not being removed they are being moved for those who do not want to contribute. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY.

But don't follow me back? @Classicallymish

And?

But Jonathan you don't follow anyone so I have to pay you now? @Jdavidmcconnell

If people want to comment they can use the share function inside the periscope app. Comments are not being removed they are being moved for those who do not want to contribute. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY.

Just ignore the trolls and block them. @boston_camera

I do not want to block people every day inside every periscope for the rest of my periscope career. Their comments are also publicly facing and represent my ability to control my social media environment.  

I don't believe in charging money for people to follow me. @boston_camera

Okay. But that is not what is happening here. I don’t charge for follows, I am asking for DONATIONS from people who want access to private scopes and the ability to chat in limited chat scopes. For me to offer extras, perks or incentives, yes I do need to follow them. It doesn’t mean I am charging for follows.

I will miss your interview/#scopechat scopes because you don't follow me. @Classicallymish

You will not miss any scopes if you are subscribed to my channel. Notifications are still working even for limited broadcast scopes. 

If the goal of your scope is to foster discussion you just have to be vigilant about blocking trolls @camelcameras

I do not want to block people every day inside every periscope for the rest of my periscope career. Their comments are also publicly facing and represent my ability to control my social media environment  

What if the trolls pay money @Jdavidmcconnell

Then that is a stupid idea. I have them blocked and I have their money. 

Just block the trolls @simontuitea

I do not want to block people every day inside every periscope for the rest of my periscope Korea. Their comments are also publicly facing and represent my ability to control his social media environment  

People need to have the thicker skin when it comes to trolls @boston_camera

This is not about needing thicker skin. I do not want to go through the motions of blocking people every day, inside every periscope for the rest of my periscope career.

Let me get this straight, you want a troll free internet experience? @hanseoulo

Let me tell you straight. I cannot have a troll free internet experience. This is not possible (it is if I limited ALL my scopes, but I am not doing that). You are being obtuse if you think otherwise.

It's a part of life. You can't you can't live in a bubble @boston_camera

I am not trying to live in a bubble, you can troll me via Twitter if you want from the share sheet in Periscope.

We can still watch the interviews, just not comment right? Kchoi

At the moment just the interview scopes. Only those who have contributed to the channel can comment during an interview/#scopechat, anybody else needs to send the comments to Twitter. I do read my Twitter while periscoping live. You can also comment on the video on Youtube.

Follow me so I can comment. 

No. Asking for a follow is just rude on various levels.

There was no one watching your restricted #scopechat. @jtchang1201

This is your opinion versus my statistics. You’re also thinking of the now, I’m thinking of the replay viewers who can’t comment anyway (they don’t complain) and the Youtube views.

I don't want to pay to see anyone on a free app. @boston_camera

You do not need to pay to comment. If people want to comment they can use the share function inside the Periscope app. Comments are not being removed they are being moved for those who do not want to contribute. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY.

Let’s change what you said slightly and see if it makes sense - 

I also do not want to pay for photography that I see on a free app like Instagram.

I also do not want to buy services from Amazon that I see from a free web browser.

I do not want to buy music I hear on a free radio service.

Some trolls will pay to troll. @hanseoulo

Then that is a stupid idea. I have them blocked and I have their money. 

Periscope is about interaction. If you charge for interaction, it misses the point in my opinion. @Jdavidmcconnell

It's actually serves the point. The level and quality of the interaction will go up. People can also follow a chat history that isn't as busy, I would argue it's a better experience.

I wish Periscope can give a broadcaster a way to turn on and off the limited chat during a broadcast. @akidesir

This technology would be very helpful. This technology would also upset other people. This technology still only works after an irresponsible comment has been made by the way. It doesn’t solve my problem of ‘scrubbing’ comments off a piece of work (digital video).

Why are you taking responsibility for someone else's actions. @ladderman421

It is my channel and it represents me and my ambitions. Imagine I run a car dealership and anonymous people passing by threw eggs on the cars I'm trying to sell. Do I take responsibity for cleaning those cars if I want to sell them?

It's probably good to give your guests a heads up about the comments. @ames_do

I shouldn’t want to be in a position where I invite people to Periscope and then give them a warning beforehand for the kinds of cruel comments they might encounter.

I would say those who want to make money on Periscope should get a job @boston_camera

These two things are not mutually exclusive I have a job a full-time job and I Periscope. Why am I not allowed to make money on Periscope or any other social media? I'd go further and also ask why can't Periscope be a full time job?

I scope and work full-time @boston_camera

Hello so do I. What is your point?

I do understand the problem I think you could do it for interview scopes, but leave the other scopes open. @jdavidmcconnell

At the moment only the interview scopes will be limited chat.

On limited scopes people can tweet questions so not a total block for people @judithkenosha

Yes in limited scopes people can still tweet questions inside the Periscope app.

This is just for JonathanJK to make a few bucks @jtchang1201

This is what is happening, but this originally wasn’t the purpose. It is about creating value (for you and for me) and removing people who do not recognise value and want to deface a piece of work or upset people live. 

Can somebody scope without comments @djwhite

Yes somebody can scope without comments, but then that is like TV. I acknowledge Periscope is not TV. People however need to acknowledge that they don't always need to comment. If people want to comment they can use the share function inside the Periscope app. 

It sounds like you're saying you just want to be considerate and hospital to your interview guests. @blockofwood

Exactly.

I don't really watch interviews anyway so whatever @jtchang1201

So this will not affect you. 

I follow all of you Hong Kong guys I can't pay for all of you. @jdavidmcconnell

If people want to comment they can use the share function inside the Periscope app. Comments are not being removed they are being moved for those who do not want to contribute. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY. Watching is still free to do except for private scopes.

I grew up in an environment where the ball busting is normal @boston_camera

I would like to add ball busting and trolling/heckling are two different things. Don’t try to equate the two together.

Realise that trolls sometimes are bored teenagers and you shouldn't give it so much weight @mtendstotravel

I do realise that trolls are sometimes bored teenagers, but their effects live beyond their presence in the scope.

I know how much you are earning I can see on Patreon. 

Yeah. I am not hiding this information. I wonder why.

Encourage your viewers to block and not wait for you to block. @mtendstotravel

It doesn't matter if other people block a troll or a heckler, I have to block them myself and the comments still show up on replays. 

Can you not report to the Periscope people? @ithinkimsean

So besides blocking people I now have to go and report them? This takes up EVEN more of my time. People who do not broadcast daily do not realise how repetitive these simple actions become.

So are you going to unfollow those who don't pay? @jtchang1201

No I also follow people who I think contribute to Periscope as well. This is my decision, MY subjective decision. The upside to this is some of the more famous Periscopers will frequent my private scopes. There’s value there for you as well since it’s more likely you can engage with them. Anybody I follow who hasn't paid is being followed because I find them entertaining or they have contributed in another way other than with money.

Yes when you open yourself up to the public you have to deal with criticism. @boston_camera

Criticism is valid as long as it is constructive. Trolling isn't. 

If you ignore them then they go away when they don't get any attention. @boston_camera

While I agree in principle, there would still be many comments imprinted on my videos which can mean that they are illustrating my ability to control my social media. 

Periscope is designed to allow comments on the stream, some businesses should use a different medium then. @jdavidmcconnell

The flaw is not the technology, the flaw is with people’s misuse of said technology.

That's a reflection of your customer service strategy. How are you manage your social media. @serenaLyn

Yes it is. It makes for a better periscope channel. 

Live Streaming Street Music Today - Part One by John J K Morris

I'm not an expert on music itself, my engagement with music consists of buying one album from iTunes a year and avoiding everything else I don't have time for. I mostly listen to podcasts; they take up most of my listening hours. In this piece I'm writing about music's relationship with broadcast apps like Periscope and a potential level of success that can be achieved.

On the inverse as a side note, podcasting isn't suited for broadcasting on something like Periscope, the engagement has to be really well controlled to fit into a live recording that translates into an understandable product. 

Musical performances are however, suited really well and should be taken advantage of. Engagement isn't as necessary and the experience isn't as alien because everybody has music on their phone. I've noticed a behavioural trend, (mostly on Periscope, but it shouldn't be an exclusive experience) where streaming apps are connecting musicians to a more diverse and engaging audience.

As I watch many music related streams, I'm taking note of comments in the chat, the reactions and the willingness of individuals to want to give money, to digitally 'tip' musicians for such live performances.

People can tip via web services such as Patreon, GoFundMe or PayPal. Usually a broadcaster is sharing the musicians payment information in order to help and raise awareness of that's person's talent.

There has been many times in a live stream where someone commentating is telling the broadcaster that he/she is obligated to tip. There is sometimes a brief explanation that the broadcaster already has or will and then the chat dies down until someone else arrives late and makes the same request to tip.

The sentiment with tipping is being repeated without conflict in the chat. Oddly one of the few topics on the internet where people agree. It's being recognised that someone watching should. This is a very different attitude in real life, human behaviour is different in person and nobody is pressuring anyone else to throw some coin. 

I regard it as a new phenomenon that should be monetised and looks to be one of the few ways to monetise without any resistance, the positive recognition is there is very little overhead or disadvantages for musicians. 

musicthinktank.com on the 25th of February published an article titled '14 Ways Musicians Can Make Money from Live Shows'. Reading the article, you realise that methods 4, 5, 6, 9, 12 and 13, (if the musician is really adept) can be taken accommodated simply with a smart phone and a URL to a payment site. 

Younger street musicians should adapt and engage with potential new audiences in this manner. The context of a live street performance changes with a live stream being included in a performer's arsenal, capturing commuters and couch viewers with minimal extra effort.

In addition, discovery branches out when another broadcaster finds your live stream on their phone and decides to share the stream or when a musician meets another broadcaster in person and is looking to stream quality content of their own for their viewers. Not only is the output staying at the same amount for musicians, but the reach is multiplied to many more viewers with a willingness to tip. If there is another benefit that can be capitalised on, the second broadcaster standing in the street can also host an impromptu interview further changing the dynamics of a performance or take requests for particular songs.

There is no reason to hold back when approaching street music while keeping live streaming in mind. The resistance of people walking past unwilling to tip is countered by a second world wide audience who are viewing comfortably in their homes or on their own commutes somewhere else. Ironically they can be a larger source of income even though they aren't on the street and can't connect with the musician in person. It's more than likely easier and more profitable to fill the mobile space than the physical space as live streaming moves more into the mainstream. 

The Things You Own, End Up 0wning You. by John J K Morris

I'm writing this on my MacBook while waiting for a 30 minute, 4k video to finish processing on my iPhone 6s+. My hope is I don't get a phone call, I also hope my phone's screen doesn't get accidentally powered off as well. The end result of these two things happening would be the same - a cancelled export process with little old me having to start again, or shock, transfer the video over to the Mac so the process won't be disturbed by someone ringing me or it can chug along easily as a background process. This destroys the idea of doing everything on the iPhone.

Let's comment on the smaller issue of the two first: iOS needs to let iMovie run in the background.

My iPhone can't do anything, not even power its screen off for convenience until the task has been completed. Being able to pause itself at the very least would be more pleasant while I commit to something in another app. I learnt the hard way with previously failed projects; once iMovie has committed to exporting a movie, YOU LET IT EXPORT A MOVIE! The iPhone doesn't multitask with iMovie, shame about iPad Pro users then, just sitting there with the same constraints. Hope you already have music playing in the background while you're twiddling your thumbs, luckily the iPhone isn't my only device.

Now I realise all the power of the A9 might not be capable of what I'm asking yet. But there needs to be a middle space in the app  to recognise what I've described is inconvenient and it needs resolving. Maybe a new update to iMovie will fix this?

The larger issue I have with the iPhone is in two pieces. The phone app, first its ability to kill a process running in another app and second, take that work away from you (of course this can depend on the developer). The behaviour of the phone app is anachronistic and ignorant of other (more) important uses of such an iOS device today. An app like Periscope for me takes precedence over everything else and we both demand each other's attention. I don't want that app or any other app to be disturbed. I actually kill phone calls while periscoping.

As per Apple's plan I am doing exactly what their marketing suggests I do; get some massive utility out of their latest and greatest. I am capable of doing more on my iPhone each year. The abilities do come with personal preferences and workflows, mine don't include the phone, so it's jarring when the phone makes itself feel present. I expect newer behaviours to appear on the iPhone to allow me to enjoy what I think is the priority application of the phone.

I know the reason why the iPhone app is allowed to kill any other processes, but I don't care, let the phone app hold up a red badge like every other app that demands my attention. Is it too much to ask for a kill switch? I don't want to use DND (doesn't work as intended) or toggle my wifi and micromanage certain usage scenarios. I just want to get on with MY work over everybody else's or worse still some robodialer.

In German, a 'mobile telephone' translates as being a 'handy', and the iPhone certainly is that, but it would be handier still if it was compliant with what I want from it and not what history is dictating.

Take the 'phone' out of iPhone.

How to Record your Periscope Comments and Hearts. by John J K Morris

So you want to keep your comments in your Periscope videos? Periscope won't do it for you? There is a basic way to do this.

There is an easy solution, just screen record the playback of your periscope using QuickTime. If you don't need to know any more than that, ignore the rest of this blog post. If you don't know how to do it, look at this link.

The information below is to tell you to take certain things into consideration.

  1. I have to do this everyday btw because I make scopes everyday and because of the 24 limit with videos on periscope, thats fine for me as I can be regimented with this, if you are normally not, beware of the 24 hour time limit please.
  2. You need to have some sort of screen recording software to interface with your iOS device to show on the main computer you're recording to.
  3. Be aware of the time, if you have a 45 minute scope, its gonna take 45 minutes to record, a 60 minute scope will take 60 minutes and so forth. Again this is helping me produce shorter scopes in length.
  4. For this setup on iOS you need a computer to suck the screen contents off, you can't screen record on the device itself. Not on iOS anyway, Apple has made sure of that.
  5. Your phone is out of action while screen recording, make sure you plan the recording accordingly. You are waiting in real time for the recording to do its stuff. You could stop and start the process and create more than one file at a time to edit later, but I don't, I try to record every scope in one go so all I need to do is convert with handbrake and upload. Your workflow will differ.
  6. If you have a second device to work from that helps with point 5, I have a second phone and iPad, I also have Whatsapp on my computer so i can stay in contact with the outside world. For all intents and purposes your phone is out of action.
  7. REMEMBER, it's recording the screen and not the video, there is a difference.
  8. The playback of the video needs to be perfect (the data connection needs to be awesome), otherwise any loading screens will be recorded as well and if you don’t want to edit the video, make sure you are present at the end when the periscope ends otherwise it just keep recording the end of the periscope screen. You got to baby sit the video sometimes.
  9. On a Mac, do not unplug or plug anything into your USB ports, it kills the screen recording, I don't know why, it does and basically leave everything alone.
  10. Turn off ALL notifications unless you want text messages and pop ups in your videos. I've turned off all notifications for things like, Facebook Messenger, Periscope and Whatsapp.
  11. Phone calls kill the process as well and in Hong Kong, random calls for robot diallers is common, fuckers. Sadly on iOS, you cannot kill the phone app. I wish you could, and please don't suggest using DO NOT DISTURB. It doesn't work.
  12. The files generated will be in the Gigabytes, convert using Handbrake to mp4. Of course, have the disk space available. After the video is on Youtube, I delete everything I converted anywhere. I leave everything in the hands of the Youtube gods.

Just FYI, you can record anybodies scopes as well like this btw.

First Edition of Periscope Etiquette (How to not get blocked). by John J K Morris

At the time of this blog post I've blocked over 1300 people from my periscopes. A lot of this is from the same type of accounts. I'm willing to accept there has been some accidental crossfire amongst these blocking of trolls, but that's because certain people fall into a certain type of behaviour, by being aware of this behaviour future citizens of Periscope can avoid these pitfalls and continue to be constructive individuals.

The accessibility of Periscope is wonderful and just because you can influence the broadcaster it doesn't mean you should. Some people have developed already a sense of entitlement and seem to forget that Periscope is free. Don't be that person and try and make the Periscope experience better for all of us.

I present this first edition of a crowd sourced list of don'ts while using Periscope.

When Signing Up For Periscope:

  1. Get a logical username and get a profile picture. This gets it's own section because its one of the most crucial for the Periscoper to be able to refer to you by name and for YOU to have a memorable name incase you want to periscope yourself later. Of course if you don't want to scope and don't want to have a reasonable name then you're going to thought of as a troll. Avoid this hallmark and you're less likely to be blocked! Having an egg for a profile picture indicates you're not invested in Periscope, this means you're more likely going to be blocked. If you already have a profile and have erred, start again and let your friends know if they are considering it.

Before Commenting in a Periscope (this should be obvious but isn't):

  1. Don't be Sexist! Don't type, 'open bobs', '0pen'. Expect to be blocked, it's gone beyond ironic and back to just being plain rude. You're block fodder now son!

  2. Don't be racist! Duh! Block fodder again otherwise.

  3. Don't type to the scoper in a foreign language unless you know they speak it. Ask first just in case they do. Foreign languages that aren't understandable are taking up valuable commenting space. (Personally I give two warnings just incase they understand me and then start blocking).

  4. Understand the tone of the Periscoper. Is he or she being ironic or satirical? Take note otherwise [BLOCK].

  5. Know your geography, learn timezones and local temperature. These questions are repetitive and only you probably care. These questions can serve to distract the scoper, read the title of the scope for a clue, watch the scope and try and guess or locate where the scope is and if you've learnt timezones you can figure it out for yourself.

  6. It's easier to block someone than it is to insult someone. Think about it, two taps vs your pithy sentence. You're not Han Solo, so you need to know your odds for survival.

Before Commenting in a Periscope (the non-obvious stuff):

This section requires some perspective from those in the chat. Imagine a scoper being asked the same questions everyday, imagine the scoper making a point, but your newbie question disrupts the show? A little bit of fact checking or awareness beforehand will help scopers a lot and in return will provide a better experience during the scope.

  1. Read the Bio of a scoper. Maybe you'll know who they are if you click on it? You'll also save the scoper some breath and you'll less likely disrupt them while you take the initiative.

  2. Read the title of a scope. This should be the most obvious, but isn't. A title exists for a reason. Read it!

  3. Don't direct the scoper asking them to show their face or the scene. Maybe they just did and you're just late. You're now akin to a heckler disrupting the scope for everyone. While you probably won't get blocked (unless you're rude), just be patient, you're not the only one in the room. Just because you can type this doesn't mean you should.

  4. If you don't understand something ask, instead of troll. Different cultures to yours exist on Periscope in real time (even if they speak english). It's more than likely that whoever is on the other end has another way of thinking and doing. Don't attack and not ask questions later. Welcome to a culture clash on Periscope, sit back and learn. 

  5. Don't joke about something without making sure the scoper knows you. If they don't know you use an emoticon indicating otherwise. (I can say already I've developed less patience with comments I don't understand). Tone is hard to understand from text, help the scoper with some hints.

  6. Don't be vague with your questions, include the context as much a possible. Don't ask 'what', 'why', or 'how come'? Yes it's easy for you, but understand there is a lag between the scoper and scopee and typing with a one word response makes it difficult for the scoper to recall your conversation if the scoper is handling five questions at once in a busy chat room. Again don't be frustrated, be patient.

  7. Don't text on Periscope like you're texting your friend on Whatsapp. Loads of little texts push everybody else's comments up and away into the replay. Keep doing and you'll get blocked for spamming.

  8. Unless you know the broadcaster is going to be receptive to it, don't give the broadcaster any shit. Some of my scopers insult me, but only because I know them, develop the relation and you can join in. There is a layer of camaraderie that exists that you can't jump ahead of if you're trying to do that. You'll probably get blocked.

  9. Don't self advertise in someone's scope. Don't ask for shout outs, pimping or a follow back without justification, at least develop a relationship with the scoper first. Don't jump into a busy scope and shill yourself.

  10. Don't ask the scoper to talk slower. Fact is, in a busy scope, the scoper is going to want to please the chat group, especially if some have paid. Making 80 people happy is a skill, if you can't understand there is always the replay. Only ask if the chat is quiet.

  11. The broadcaster makes the rules, you're the guest. Remember that! Appreciate the scoper as long as they appreciate you.

You can find me on Periscope @jonathanjk.

'Remember, etiquette is not censorship, it is citizen'. - JanisM (from a Periscope comment)

Follow Backs by John J K Morris

If you're already following someone doing this, what's the point? The one's that don't follow can't see you complaining.

If you're already following someone doing this, what's the point? The one's that don't follow can't see you complaining.

A request for a followback happened in a very significant way recently, a journalist (@RedaMor) from NBC contacted me while scoping, commented on how he liked my scopes and said he would follow. The next comment was to ask if I follow back, anybody taking a quick glance at my profile can see 6500 subscriptions vs 48 follows (at the time of writing). @RedaMor didn’t make further comments. Later I checked that he wasn’t following me. He’s just looking for the followback.

I had been meaning to write on this topic and had been sitting on a different draft until @RedaMor contacted me.

Asking for a followback in general is ridiculous, it’s mostly an effort to inflate one’s status with no clear return for the person being asked while taking advantage of their goodwill.

What’s the benefit to you?

You’ve just opened yourself up to new notifications you’ll probably lose interest in and the other person is being disingenuous and will unfollow anyway. The scoper in question by the way has 10,000 follows while he follows 4500. Do YOU @RedaMor?

I’m not sure on his strategy if you can do this. 

But why don’t I follow back? Simply put, I'm slow to follow anyone as I want to create great content. It's my desire to follow constructive scopers I can learn from and importantly I’m wary of notification fatigue (hashtag minimalist). Yes, I am aware we all use social media differently, but let's make a conscious effort towards cultivating the tools were are using if we are note already.

Lewis C.K. got some hassle a while back for not following anybody on Twitter, Twitter users were upset he wasn’t using it ‘properly’ (he wasn't following back). Kinda ridiculous when what’s actually happening are other people are placing expectations on Lewis C.K.. To Lewis, Twitter was a marketing tool, he didn't need to do anything, but push tweets out to his fans.

Lewis C.K. made me think about my approach, I began to refine the use of all my social media networks; they are all set up differently with very little cross over.

So if I’m asked for a followback, I make sure upfront what that person asking does, and I encourage everybody to start doing this in order to relieve oneself from notification overload and to give attention where it's earnt. Most importantly, people asking for follow backs are also asking for your time and mental energy, it isn’t free so don't take it for granted.

It can seem confrontational to ask, but a proper content creator shouldn’t take it personally and should have an enticing response. Someone half committed won’t and is looking for the follow. I’m trying to genuinely ask for quality content and understand their commitment to Periscope, if a person doesn’t scope, why bother following?

Periscope is more significant because of it’s on demand nature, each follow is another TV channel. How many channels do you flick through on your TV currently?