June Updates

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

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

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. 


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.