6th Jan 2016: The day the internet watched a puddle
Newcastle became famous for a day for being the location of a puddle. Streamed live on periscope, it seemed to catch the attention of everyone on what was an otherwise boring January afternoon. I freely admit I joined periscope just for this, as did quite a few others. It kind of ate itself when the newspaper photogs arrived, but for the first while it was like sitting at the window, idly watching the world. The addition of the wet floor sign at an early stage was funny.
Thousands of people watched a live video stream of a puddle in Newcastle on Wednesday. It was blocking a popular pathway in the city centre and a local man became fascinated by the different ways people tried to cross it.
Richard Rippon began streaming it on Periscope from a nearby office window.
“Some people are Jesus-walking across it,” he told Newsbeat.
“Some people are running and jumping.”
The puddle is on the way from Jesmond station to the centre of Newcastle “so quite a few people do pass through”.
He explained: “There’s a kind of British resilience to it. No one has turned back yet.”
Rippon, who works in marketing, says the puddle live stream is not part of a campaign, but because he works on social media he has been using Periscope for a Christmas campaign.
Beth Hazon, managing director of Drummond, said they had been watching people try to cross the puddle for weeks.
“It’s crazy, we watch it every single day,” she said. “There’s been so much rain in the past month that we’ve seen people try and navigate their way across the puddle as its quite a busy stretch.
“So we decided to stream it purely for our own amusement. I’d love to say there’s some clever deep strategy but it is just genuinely hilarious.”