14… No, 10.5 Uses for Periscope in YL

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I’m going to answer two questions and tell you a mistake I made recently.

First question, what is Periscope? Basically, Periscope is an app which allows you to live-feed video from your phone to people. Think of it as Twitter with live video. People can watch it live and they can replay it later very easily (the best way is likely with a feature called Katch). If you haven’t heard of it, you will. It launched five months ago on March 26, 2015 and as of August 12 had over 10 million users. Over 40 years of video are being watched per day.

Second question, how could someone use Periscope in YL? Here are four general ways: 1) Ask for input/advice, 2) Promote things in advance, 3) Share events with those who can’t be there live, 4) Replay things that need to be repeated. There are a couple challenges: 1) Anyone can watch, but you can set it up as a private feed, 2) If you make it public you might have haters/weirdos watching and commenting. I’ll say more about that at the end.

Here are 10.5 specific ways you could use Periscope in YL

  1. Club talk: Have a leader video the club talk for people to see who can’t be there.
  2. Club talk: Have a trusted friend/trainer/mentor/AD watch your club talk either live or via replay in order to give you constructive feedback.
  3. Club walk-on: Have a leader video the walk-on for people to see who can’t be there.
  4. Club walk-on: Each week have one or two random appearances of the skit characters, probably best for reoccurring characters/camp-sell. For instance, publish a live feed of them ordering food at a drive-thru. You could replay this in club and on social media later.
  5. Club songs: Ask anyone who will listen what the best current songs are that are clean and would work in club. You could also find out before-hand if a song has some sketchy meaning that you didn’t know about (not that ever has happened to me).
  6. Training: Provide a training or seminar for leaders. I am planning on doing this each week for our Gospel of John club talk sequence this year. I’ll post the details later. I’m doing a seminar as Lost Canyon this weekend on planning campaigners lessons that I might try to broadcast.
  7. Relationships: Interview a leader, have them tell their 3 min life-story, why they are a YL leader and allow people to ask questions at the end.
  8. Relationships: Have a leader give a recap of the club talk or how it impacted them.
  9. Campaigners: In the morning do a 60-second devotional. Some leaders text Bible verses each day to their campaigners, which is awesome. You could read the verse and add an encouragement.
  10. Announcements: Periscope might be the easiest way to get a video online and link to it, so for repeated announcements (camp, fundraisers, directions, etc.) you could put it on Periscope point people to that.

10.5 Ok… Here is the mistake I made and where we need to be smart…

The default use of Periscope is so that anyone can see it. You can do a private Periscope, and that might be good for a training or something similar, but in YL I think most useful applications of it would be open for the world to see. That is where the problem is at.

After some thought, my personal opinion is that we should not put any club kids in our Periscope broadcasts. The more I think about it the more I’m pretty sure this is very important. It didn’t fully dawn on me until I did a “scope”, the verb for Periscope-ing, and gave 14 ways to use Periscope. In the midst of saying all 14 and with my sweet wife listening, I realized 3.5 of my ideas likely could violate the privacy of minors. We can’t do that. I deleted the scopes of me even giving those suggestions. From now on I am also going to turn off the location option since it was very precise.

So, my 0.5 idea is that you might be able to do a brief scope at a huge public event, for example if you go to a football game and do a 60 second broadcast that shows the leaders saying, “Here we are! Go team!, etc.” it might have some students who happen to be in the background. But that is at a public non-YL event. Even that might not be a good idea.

On the other hand, the positive uses for YL are likely endless, just like Insta/Facebook/Twitter/etc. are used almost ubiquitously by leaders in endless ways to communicate. In YL we have a history of leveraging the things of culture for gospel purposes. What are your ideas for Periscope for YL? It is not if people will use it, it is a matter of when they will start using it.

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