Using Meerkat and Periscope for politics

You know how it seems that there is a new social network that comes out every few months that you have to pay attention to?  Yeah, about that, I have another one for you!  Meerkat.

The first question: What the heck is a Meerkat?  Simply put, it let’s you stream from your phone, live.  A notification then goes out over Twitter that you are starting a new Meerkat session.  You can do one spur of the moment, or you can schedule it in advance.

It’s very simple but brilliant and has seen massive growth since it’s recent introduction: it took SWSX by storm in a manner similar to previous apps, like Twitter and Foursquare and it has since confirmed $14 million in start-up funding.  Twitter, meanwhile, has launched it’s own competing live-streaming app, called Periscope.

But, the important question is this: How can you use it??  Here are some thoughts:

  • Events & press conferences: When you are doing a live event, put your iPhone in a position so that it can record you, or ask a staffer to hold it.  It’s a great way of bringing people directly to you.
  • Committee votes and floor action: Show how you are voting or what your view from the floor looks like.  Use this carefully; in some places, including Washington, D.C. and Harrisburg, this violates legislative rules.
  • Press interviews: You need to ask for permission from a reporter first, but if they are okay with it, Meerkat an interview and give someone a behind the scenes look at what dealing with the press is like.
  • Do your own interviews: Talk with constituents, your staff, anyone!  Let people know more about your job by interviewing those who are involved in it.
  • Randomly!: Walking through your state capitol?  On a bus with nothing to do?  Break out Meerkat.  It gives people an incredible chance to see your life as it is.

Any other suggestions to add?  Let us know in the comments!

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