First Edition of Periscope Etiquette (How to not get blocked).

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)

The Guardian: Join Instagram, join a collective act of self-delusion (Repost)

Jonathan Jones writing for the Guardian:

    I speak as a recovered digital photography addict. I more or less stopped taking photographs at all once I realised I was subscribing to a cheap self-deception about the originality, beauty and meaning of my tens of thousands of pictures. An enthusiam has frozen into revulsion. I love the convenience of digital cameras and their potential to create beauty – but I hate it, too.

    When did my photophobia begin? When I realised that I was buying into the same delusion of grandeur as everyone else. I have a decent camera and it can take lovely pictures. It has a close-up focus that can capture perfectly crisp images of a flower petal or a bee up close. So I think the moment it all went wrong was on a visit to Kew Gardens. There I was, having fun snapping water lilies, when I realised that about a hundred people were doing the same thing. Grannies, kids, babies, all with cameras and a sense of being artists. I am waiting for dogs and cats to get their own photo-sharing site for their genuinely beautiful snaps.

I think the main problem immediately lies with Jonathan Jones' perspective on photography, not with the behaviour of Instagram, in his decision to take lovely pictures of flowers and bees; the same, accessible, non-taboo, subject material that everybody else points their camera at and has done since the Kodak Box Brownie. Instagram quite rightly lets us share these images, but it certainly isn't digital photography or Instagram that's at fault here. Guns don't kill people, people kill people!

I was in Victoria Park (in Hong Kong) where there were plenty of photographers chasing the butterflies, around the greenery. The most professional, seasoned photographers seemed like they were standing at the back, resting their heavy cameras on monopods, intuitively knowing, instinctively when it was the best time to get the wining shot. In front of them was the closest you could possibly get to a polite scrum, with many younger photographers competing for space amongst themselves and those passing by, who were inspired by the silent commotion to join in for a few shots with their compacts.

Ignore the lack of his originality, something which Jones should be scolded for, but where is the imagination to make images of something more meaningful in that moment of personal crisis? This is instead of assuming 'grannies, kids, babies' are deluded artists or to blame Instagram. If one feels photography is cheap, it's because one is not spending enough time with the photographic medium.

When I saw all these photographers taking pictures of butterflies on my trip to the park, I thought it would be fun and much better to take pictures of the photographers chasing the butterflies instead and make a social commentary, it would also be a slight commentary on the spectacle of it all. 

It's too simple to get disgusted with photography. Even what you don't photograph can and will be a statement on our world.

Has Jonathan Jones stopped to think about why everybody takes pictures of what amounts to being the mundane? Surely he is aware that we the general public are socially discouraged from taking pictures of things that are not mundane, maybe more dramatic because either they are a photojournalist, weird or viewed as a pedophile. Imagine the variety of photography on our news feeds and timelines if we concentrated our gaze and interest on ourselves or on other people outside of what are still 'Kodak moments'. There is a minority of people who do, it's a shame many other people don't do that. You're not weird or a pedophile if you want to explore beyond what Jonathan Jones is arguing against.

I wished the Victorians had Instagram, because not many people know that the Victorians photographed the dead or the dying. Not in a macabre ways (though by today's standards it would be), but in a way where the dead person looked like they were in-between life and death. Victorians even dressed dead people up so as to look their best for the camera. The Victorians did this with the aim of preserving their deceased relatives beyond the physical with a belief they were capturing their soul in an image. Imagine a Victorian gaze uploaded onto the Internet mushed up with today's type of photography on your newsreader or dashboard.

The issue here stems from the larger problem of what we have been conditioned to photograph (just google 'kodak moments') and what we have come to think of are supposedly 'proper pictures' from other people's camera's. Now this isn't a call to action to photograph dead people, more of a polite request to acknowledge there is more for us to photograph out there and to photograph something different within our respective world's.

While I'm on this topics, I don't think it can't be done with single images, those that make a quick comment and are digested within seconds off a newsfeed, they need to be something longer or viewed under a differing context and not necessarily something complicated either. When I say longer I mean through a photo essay, photo series or a visual diary. Something that anybody can sustain if they spend more time with their camera than Jonathan Jones does.

In 2012 I started a visual diary; just something to show friends and family (though it's open to all) who are back in the UK, to show them what I was witnessing here in my new country of residence. I've been brought up academically as a photojournalist, working on long term projects, working with and documenting other people.

How I photographed, has changed when I began photographing in a diary format, I have taken on another awareness of the photographic medium, which makes me think in other creative ways. Again it comes with spending time and developing that awareness on a single or a few topics, I'm at an advantage to the layman, but it's a skill I believe anybody can acquire.

That is how we can solve the problem that Jones incorrectly addresses without blaming fashionably unpopular social network 'x', until we do, don't expect anything to change on your respective timeline. Instagram is here to share our photography, not teach us photography.

NOTE - This is an edited and updated version of a blog post from my old wordpress website.