Friday, 11 September 2015

Up periscope: live broadcasts from Galway storytelling sessions

Audience at Crane Bar storytelling sesssion

At my storytelling sessions I’ve long grown accustomed to people taking pictures, tweeting and Facebooking and recording what I do. But then one of the friends of the Celtic Tales show, Máire Ní Mhaoláin, asked if she could do a Telescope TV broadcast of one of the evenings. 

I asked what she meant. She explained it very clearly and very precisely. I did not understand a word, so she explained it again. As she spoke my mind drifted off to a happy place filled with dragons and witches and all manner of exciting adventures. When Máire finished her simple introduction to live streaming I nodded and said ‘Yes’. (I say Yes to lots of things, I even wear a big red badge with the word Yes on it).

As a result of Máire enthusiasm, this week the show went live on air. As well as the packed out audience in the Crane Bar, people tuned in on their smart phones from all manner of places; from South Africa, Canada, and the USA. People even tuned in from Japan, where it was still only 4 in the morning.

Periscope logo
So now Máire is going to do a Telescope TV broadcast of all the shows. Which means that every Thursday, no matter what part of the planet you reside in, you can watch the show on your phone. Now, whilst I find this utterly stunning and mind blowing, it is apparently a very easy thing to do. Here is the explanation that Máire emailed me:

1.   If people cannot get along to the Crane Bar they can watch the show on Periscope.
2.   If they have a smartphone or iPhone, they can download the Periscope app  from the Google Store or Apple Store for free.
3.   Then, add Máire’s twitter account which is @kittee83
4.   After 8pm Irish Time on Thursday nights, Máire will broadcast Periscope live feeds from @kittee83 .
5.   As it can't be one long live video, the show will be broadcast in sections.  (There might be slight internet connection difficulties. Do not worry, that happens.)
6.   Viewers will get a notification every time saying that she is broadcasting.
7.   Viewers can text Máire by tapping on the screen to open the text dialogue, and they can also tap the screen to give "hearts" to show the love.
8 If you miss the show, do not worry, the broadcast will be available for 24 hours.

So there you go. If you feel the need for a blast of amazing storytelling, tune in Thursday evenings from 8pm. Oh, and to work out what time that is in your part of the world, check out this Time Zone Convertor 

See you all Thursday!

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For more about Rab's work as a storyteller, blogger, author, tutor and performer see rabfultonstories
Keep up to date with Rab's weekly CELTIC TALES show on facebook
Follow Rab on twitter @haveringrab


Playtime in an interconnected world

When I was a young boy, my teacher in St. Columbkille’s primary school came up with a clever plan to help introduce the concept of numbers to the infants in her charge. The idea was to talk about how numbers related to the latest in cutting edge technology. To this end she cheerfully pulled a large chunky phone out of a box and asked if any of the children knew their own phone number. Met with blank stares she then asked ‘How many of you have phones in your house.’ Silence. Still smiling she tried again: ‘Put your hands up if you have a phone in your house.’ 
This had a better response and a small scattering of children raised their arms. Amongst these was myself who had not yet learned to tell the difference between fantasy and reality. In all fairness a phone had briefly resided in our home. My father had brought it home from the pub he worked nights in (during the day he worked as a post man) and it sat in the hall for a couple of days, unused and unusable (there was nothing to plug it in to) before it vanished again.  

The teacher asked me, ‘Do you know your telephone’s number?’ and when I eagerly replied yes, I was invited up to dial it on the big chunky phone. I had great fun turning the disc with the holes in it with nary a thought about numbers or telecommunications. If I remember right, a fun morning was had by all as the teacher let everybody play with the phone regardless of whether their parents owned one or not.

Now of course, many years later, I stubbornly remain unable to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and I am still all eagerness and wonder when it comes to technology – even when (or perhaps especially when) I have not the slightest inkling of what, why or how some aspect of the Digital Age works. I just like the whole connectivity aspect of it, and leave the complicated stuff to those of a technical disposition.

I’m not unaware of the problems arising from new technology as I wrote in my poem With fifteen minutesand nothing much to do  and my article The Weight of Words: Handwriting in the Information Age. But just like the child and the phone dial, I still love the playfulness and fun of communicating and connecting. The latest piece of online fun I’ve been introduced to is Periscope as I explain in the following blog Up Periscope:Live broadcasts from Galway storytelling sessions  Have a read and see what yi think.

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For more about Rab's work as a storyteller, blogger, author, tutor and performer see rabfultonstories
Keep up to date with Rab's weekly CELTIC TALES show on facebook
Follow Rab on twitter @haveringrab

Revolution in Galway

On Thursday 17 September Galway City Museum will host an open evening entitled ‘Revolution in Galway’, at which members of the public who have stories, memorabilia or objects relating to Galway in the revolutionary period (1913-23) are encouraged to share them with the museum. All original material will be scanned and copied, and will be returned to its owners. The open evening will take place at Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade, Galway, from 5pm-8pm. Refreshments will be provided. All welcome.

From History Ireland: read a review of Tomás Kenny’s Galway: politics and society, 1910-1923.