Earlier this year Alex Khan was in Los Angeles. Alex is one of the top Periscope influencers, currently with 131k followers and over 46MM likes as of this writing and he is running a blog for the best Periscope tips on AlexKhan.tv. We sat down for lunch at Umami burger for a chat about Periscope, influencer marketing and the evolving ways that people communicate. This is the second in a three part interview with a Alex, who recently had the honor of being a Keynote Speaker at the Periscope Summit.
In Part 1 we left of at Umami Burger in Hollywood.
I mention how I tried to stream on Ustream via my phone, and the world wasn’t there yet. People were not aggregated around a destination for content, and the live streaming for Ustream was a little clunky. I ask Alex what brings him to LA.
Our company has three offices. One in Germany, one in Malaysia and one in LA. For the month of May I’m on vacation, but I did visit our production warehouse. We are selling different products like for example BellaCandles.com. It’s a scented-candle that burns and reveals a gift after the candle burns down. We started in Germany and came to the US last year. It quickly became our biggest market. I’m the COO so I manage the operative business, and my co-founder Brian focuses on marketing.
My main background is social media and sales. I had a consulting agency focussing on social media in the past. We were helping companies to communicate with their customers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But this is the first time I’m on my own as a broadcaster.
Before Periscope I was really interested in keeping my private life secret. It changed in a beautiful way. We’ll see how this ends, but so far I love it.
The weirdest part about it is that everyone is sharing the same anxiety and fear about pressing that little red button to start a stream. Should I, or shouldn’t I. I do 2-3 Periscopes streams a day for five weeks now. Not many people are more experienced in it than me, and I still do have fears. When you press that little red button you don’t know what’s going to happen. You give away control, and that’s weird. You want to have control, but your viewers are a big part in it.
(We talk about the big winner of the Mayweather, Pacquio fight: Periscope).
I was tuning in, though I was not that much into it. I’m not a big fan of boxing, but I was wondering if people will stream the fight. So, I was seeing Periscope was full of streams. I don’t think this is a big competition from the content channels. Tech will always develop independently of rules.
You can make rules, but people will broadcast. People don’t care about rules. And, you can’t accuse everyone who is streaming because then you’ll get a bad reputation. It’s better to cooperate with the public, rather than angering the people who actually have a lot of influence. If you cross those people at scale they can have a big impact on your business.
I think issues that Periscope brings up around privacy and content ownership are important. At some point I think the legal framework will find a way to control technologies like Periscope. If you look at the past of YouTube lots of the content on the site was illegally uploaded. Google bought it, and found a way to control which content is displayed in which country.
[x_blockquote cite=”Alex Khan” type=”center”]My decision to use a new medium like Periscope is because the upside is much greater than the possible downside.[/x_blockquote]
Relevant to the topic of rules is a term I heard at the 2014 Ayzenberg AlistSummit called “hypertelling”. I heard it spoken by Eric Solomon, PhD, who works at The Zoo, an internal agency within Google. It’s a way to describe the activity users do after a piece of content gets released into the marketplace. People remix it. They take their own bias, viewpoint and ideas and use existing assets (pictures, music and videos) to modify the original piece. In this way users re-interpret copyrighted content. This is exactly what you see happening on Vine. In the past content that brands or artists created was the final product of hard work. Today, thanks to easily available recording and editing capabilities the final polished content is the start of a long content journey that’s told through the user’s lens.
My decision to use a new medium like Periscope is because the upside is much greater than the possible downside. What I’m investing right now is a little time, but what I receive is a lot. It’s a very good feedback tool. I’m making new connections and I believe that your network is your net worth. You’re the third person in LA that I’ve met through Periscope, and I’ve only been here a week. By comparison, I never met someone from Vine or Instagram, or Snapchat.
Periscope is different, and very personal.
Do you see yourself becoming a personality?
It’s so young. We’re in the first five minutes of Periscoping. This whole field changes every day. What I find most interesting is that I can deal with it. I’m sure some people get uncomfortable if it feels a little weird. Out of 22k followers I have only blocked 22. That’s great ratio. These people spammed my stream or say weird things. I know others who have about 1,200 followers and already are blocking 100+, so I’m feeling pretty good about the behavior of my followers.
I have really nice followers, and this keeps me moving forward. It’s refreshing. You have the feeling they really care. They wish me to have a good flight. They become an extended part of the family.
From an advertising perspective there’s so much out of it. These people who connect with you are important. They know the drinks you like, the food you eat, what you did yesterday. I’m always interested in why this is the case. It’s such an engaging experience. There is no break. No time for edits. It’s all live and real and raw.
Next week we’ll publish part two of our interview with this Periscope influencer, where we’ll talk about Alex Khan’s professional background and how Periscoping changes his views on interpersonal communications. You can find Alex on Twitter, Periscope (search Alex Khan) and on AlexKhan.tv
About the Author
Robert Brill is the Founder and CEO of BrillMedia.co, a programmatic advertising agency and consulting practice.