July 10, 2015

Nonprofit Case Study: Periscope for Nonprofits

Case study series - gift of lfe

Caroline Avakian Headshot finalAs a follow-up to my Periscope for Nonprofits Quick Guide, I wanted to focus on real Nonprofit Periscopers, and how they’re using this new tool for social good.

Today, I’m featuring Jennifer Tislerics, the Special Events & Partnerships Coordinator for Gift of Life Michigan. Gift of Life Michigan coordinates organ and tissue donations from deceased donors for the state. Jennifer also handles social media, youth outreach, faith-based programs, workplace outreach, and more.

As a refresher, Periscope is a three month-old, free mobile app that allows any user to live stream from wherever they are. Jennifer bravely responded to our call out for ‘Nonprofit Periscopers’ and she had a lot of great advice to offer in our Q & A.

1) What made you want to try out Periscope? Was it a strategic move as part of a larger social strategy, or did you want to experiment with the app first to see if it would work for your nonprofit?

jennifer TislericsI saw the Michigan Secretary of State staff using Periscope at a press conference during National Donate Life Month in April. (In Michigan our Secretary of State oversees the DMV, and helps coordinate the state’s organ donor registry.) It seemed like an easy way to engage a broader audience in an event. I watched a few other broadcasts on the iPad and was intrigued by the possibilities to engage distant supporters in real-time. I decided to experiment with it a bit, to see how it might benefit our organization and cause.

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June 14, 2012

PlayTell: Video chat and storytelling that connects loved ones

Target audience: Educators, entrepreneurs, app developers, family members, iPad owners.

JD LasicaAt the first Launch Education and Kids held this week at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley outpost in Mountain View, VC/entrepreneur Jason Calacanis launched a new conference series that showcased 30 inventive startups — some of which will likely change the face of education or learning games for kids. Or both.

The most interesting person I met was Semira Rahemtulla, CEO and co-founder of a cool new tablet app called PlayTell. The San Francisco-based startup on Tuesday launched the private beta of its new app, currently available for the iPad, which lets loved ones share a reading experience over the Internet. Grandmas and grandkids, aunts and nephews, soldiers and young children, you now have a way to experience reading a book together online, even if you’re thousands of miles apart.

PlayTell (tagline: “Play together, even when you’re apart”) lets you read a book with your loved ones while you’re in a video chat. While we grown-ups use GoToWebinar or WebEx for collaborating online over business, until now there wasn’t a way for families to share reading materials at the same time, and then to capture their shared experience through photos or video (a feature coming in a few weeks). The reading catalog is understandably small at this early date, but it will grow over time as libraries and book publishers come on board.

Check out my 5-minute interview with Semira (conducted, by the way, in a very noisy hallway without a tripod). She had some wonderful insights about how children as young as 2 interact with the iPad and how children as young as 3 and 4 come to expect to reach out to their parents or loved ones at any time through our always-on connections.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo

Congratulations to Jason and his team for another successful Launch conference — it’s become perhaps the best venue to see top-flight emerging startups that have the potential to be game-changers.