3 easy, enjoyable experiments CIOs could do with Meerkat or Periscope

Choosing between Meerkat and Periscope is probably not as big a priority for CIOs as, say, assessing the pros and cons of Microsoft Office vs. Google Docs, but the sudden interest in do-it-yourself video streaming may offer an interesting opportunity to get in front of a new trend in business communication.

For those IT leaders who have had their heads down with more pressing concerns, Meerkat emerged, much like Twitter in its early days, as one of the most talked-about apps at the recent South by Southwest festival. It’s an incredibly simple and effective way to offer live streaming of almost anything directly into your Twitter account. It makes those who thought they were cutting edge by using Livestream and similar tools look instantly outdated.

Unfortunately for Meerkat, however, Twitter acquired Periscope, which in turn has already made Meerkat look outdated, and upped the competitive ante by crippling Meerkat’s ability to integrate with its microblogging platform.

According to several reports, Meerkat and Periscope are still in a dead heat in terms of popularity. CIOs may not care about that, but they still might want to think about how their organization might take advantage of the app as part of their own digital strategy. Here are a few starting points based on IT department scenarios that could give IT leaders enough experience to offer an educated take on video streaming:

Lunch n’ learns live: It’s not always easy to get the average employee to come out for a discussion with techies who want to explain how to properly use the software and devices they’ve been given — even if free pizza is involved. Although you’d have to avoid any sensitive information, apps like Meerkat and Periscope can extend an IT lunch n’ learn to staff who can’t be bothered to leave their cubicles, or who might be part of a distributed workforce of telecommuters.

Tech conference coverage: Yes, ITWorldCanada.com brings the highlights of most major IT events to our audience of CIOs and IT managers, but you’re not the only ones who sometimes want to learn about the latest technologies or business strategies. Some CIOs already live-tweet their take on keynotes. Why not go one step further by live-streaming the demos of products that may interest senior management or a talk by someone who may otherwise be inaccessible to the rest of the team?

Streaming job shadowing: It may not be as compelling as one of those “Real Housewives” TV shows, but what if a CIO were to do what the best of them sometimes do, which is spend a day in the field with someone outside of IT, but whom the IT department needs to better support? You might not need to stream the entire day, but even a few snippets would demonstrate internally (and to the outside world) the valuable work that various lines of businesses do — and why it’s critical they have nothing but the best technologies behind them. Even if that technology turns out to be an app like Meerkat or Periscope.

Any other ideas for using Meerkat, Periscope, or whatever will come next in live video streaming? Add to the list in the comments below. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Shane Schick
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