Periscope Experiment 1: Reaching Out to the Public About GA Was Incredibly Easy

10:27 PM

By Dan Pimentel,
Airplanista Blog Editor

In my introduction post to this experiment of using Periscope - the hot new live streaming video app - to broadcast live and see if we aviators can reel in the public to talk about aviation, I theorized that this new technology might just be the perfect conduit to finally bridge the expanding gap between our aviation community and the general public.

Tonight, I have some very early data to report.

First, let me set the stage:
I have been watching numerous live broadcasts on Periscope over the last few days, and was not amused at what I saw. In almost every case of "Q&A, ask me anything," there was a large majority of basement dwellers, cretins and Youtube commentators that were spoiling nearly every broadcast with their usual vile, sophomoric, mindless idiocy. There were constant chat posts about "FRIDGE FRIDGE FRIDGE", and other ways to keep the useless chatter focused in someone's refrigerator. Yes, that's apparently a thing on Periscope...doing live broadcasts of the inside of the fridge. That was when a male was the broadcaster. When a cute young girl was the broadcaster, at times 50% of the chat posts were about her anatomy, her sexual preferences, or anything else despicable these losers could dig out of their twisted minds. My hopes were fading fast that Periscope could in fact be the conduit for GA to reach the public that I had first thought.
But in the interest of really unorganized science, I decided to push forward and host a live Q&A session myself about flying and airplanes. I assumed I'd just have to ignore the cretins, but I am happy to report they were off harassing other broadcasters, as not one showed up in the chat stream. I see that as a huge win and hope it is not an outlier.

My first #avscope chat came off without any problems, and as far as I can tell, it was a success. At the conclusion, I had 149 viewers, with about 30 participating in the chat. I knew about 10 of the viewers as #avgeeks I see frequently on Twitter and at Oshkosh, but the other 139...I have to assume were just "the public" being curious about flying and airplanes.

The questions asked ran the gamut from "How much does a parachute cost?" to "will you get shot down by another country if you fly across their borders without a Visa?" There were a few "is it safe?" questions, and one asking why I hate helicopters. Really? Not sure what part of left field that one came from, but I assured the viewer I do NOT hate helicopters, in fact I find them fascinating.

There is only good news here. It was a just a start, but a good one. Because tonight, I "owned the room" as good public speakers say, and was able to drag as many as 139 new people into our world, if only for a few minutes. Aside from looking much older and heavier than I am in RL, I loved every second of this, and cannot wait to do the second of what I presume will be many #avscopes about aviation.

Why not grab your copy of Periscope (sorry 'Droid users, iPhone only at this time) and do your own aviation-themed live broadcasts. If you do one, please use #avscope when talking about it on Twitter.

You have nothing to lose, and GA has everything to gain.

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