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Tag Archives: YouTube

Who Cares if You’re Popular on Instagram?

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Influencers are everywhere online and you can find people who will talk, blog, and record videos about any topic or promote various products and services. With the rise of sites like Influenster and Pinch Me, everyone can feel like one for a moment. (If chosen for those sites, as they have criteria that reviewers/testers must match to qualify.) However there has been the trend of people who fake their follower counts by buying users to bulk up their numbers or those who loop in people to sign up for updates and newsletters through giveaways and contests. This leads to the question of who is truly an influencer and who is in it for the freebies?

Perhaps the concept did start with good intentions though. Regular individuals like you and me have shown that they would rather trust the opinions of a regular, working individual versus a celebrity endorser these days. Especially if the regular person reviewing the item or promoting a business doesn’t look like your stereotypical air-brushed glamazon with a perfect life, home, job, etc. We feel we can relate more to the every day individuals, which may be why we spend time subscribing and following normal, every day people who claim they buy or try things on their own dime and give candid reviews for everyone to see.

Nowadays, anyone can open a YouTube or Instagram account and post content to grab attention. Once someone sees your work or your style, usually it gets passed along by others, increasing the potential for foot traffic. Yet for every successful person with a strong following, there’s several struggling to make a name for themselves. It’s almost a get rich quick scheme when looking at it from the darker side – some of the celebrities and influencers make a good deal of money from their endorsements or for making posts about various products. No office required, no staff, just one person (supposedly) making the content on one platform and showing the world who they are.

While some brands have embraced the trend of reaching out to influencers to help promote their brand or product, others have stayed away, having seen the uglier side of it. Many “influencers” try to reach out to brands, boldly asking for free product or trips so they can create more videos and image content for their accounts, claiming this will drive the brand’s business up. But companies such as this ice cream truck have struck back, pointing out that they have their own publicity and name for their brand out there – no “influencer” assistance needed.

The question I now ask is, who truly is in the influencer job/business for the right reasons any more?

Sipping Stars and Finding Soul

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Happy 2017 to my readers!

How many of you have heard music playing in coffee shops, pulled out your fancy smartphones, and used an app to determine the song playing? I’ve done it many times so I can hunt down the full song on YouTube or another platform for listening to the whole tune.

A quick stop into Starbucks this afternoon led me to hear the chorus for this gem, which resulted in a look up via SoundCloud to find the title for later.

A short snippet of piano hooks you in, later used as a foundation melody repeated in the background as more instruments build on it into the chorus. Instantly this small hook transported my mind to a smoky, seedy bar with neon lights flickering in the window with a handful of patrons – mostly locals. (Fitting as the first verse muses if the singer’s ex lover is out drinking and possibly free to hear her out one more time.)

The haunting vocals crooning this song of failed relationships and reminiscing about the good times belongs to fresh-faced LÉON, who hails from Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to this single, she has an EP titled Treasure out now and a full album on the way.

The combination of her delivery and instrumental music is refreshing for me in an era of electronica, fast-paced music, and heavy synthesizers. Something tells me that her star is going to grow brighter in the near future…

From Eating Utensils to the Building Blocks for Art

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Are you a master at using chopsticks? Sadly I would consider myself a beginner – I have the basic technique for holding them down but its putting it in motion to pick up food that is the challenge. (Especially without trying to cross the chopsticks while picking something up!)

While taking something small to make something bigger isn’t a new concept, Malaysian artist Hong Yi has transformed the traditional eating utensil into a hanging portrait of Jackie Chan. 64,000 chopsticks were used to create the piece. In addition to Jackie Chan, the artist has replicated several likenesses of other famous Western and Eastern celebrities in chopsticks.

Gift Wrapping – Expert or the Worst of the Worst?

The holidays are almost here (or if you celebrate Hanukkah, they’re here) and everyone talks about gift wrapping options. It’s funny to hear people talking about what they’re going to do for wrapping, whether its buying coordinating paper and ribbon to complement each other or just saying “Screw it, I’m hitting up the mall and having someone else do it for me!”

I chalk my wrapping skills up to my mom, who is very detail oriented – trying to fold the corners crisp and neat, small pieces of clear tape, and cutting long edges to make folding easier. My weakness is curling the ends of curling ribbon – I’m able to get one side curled and the other will come out kind of mangled.

There was one girl I could never forget who described herself as being completely hopeless when it came to wrapping things. She gave a mutual friend of ours a gift in a gift bag with twine wrapped around the handles. Our mutual friend ended up ripping open the bottom of the bag after getting fed up with the twine and discovered her gift (a book) was wrapped under varying layers of brown paper and duct tape! We joked that it seemed like this was a test to see how eager you were to see the gift inside.

Recently Jimmy Kimmel did a segment where he had two people who were self proclaimed bad wrappers compete to wrap various odd sized items.

What about you guys? Would you consider yourself the best gift wrapper ever or would you be more likely to give that job to someone else?

The Current Anthem of the Writer’s Life

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I’ve been a fan of this song since its release 7 years ago. I used to view this as a song that spoke about my personality but after listening to it while rushing to meet a friend for dinner, I feel it speaks to the changes in life.

The chorus references change (Cause the world will turn if you’re ready or not) and the bridge states it. (I felt a change a’comin’)

Like many young kids, I used to associate change as the enemy. I hated moving when my dad’s job changed because it meant new schools, new houses, and trying to find new friends. Being a quiet kid that didn’t know how to speak up, change seemed daunting.

When I started working with my current company in 2013, I started as an intern. A year later, I was in a contract position for them. Just a month ago, I became a permanent employee in a part time position. Change is an understatement – I’ve had to adapt and grow during this time. Many of the people I work with keep telling me that my patience paid off. It is exciting to have something permanent but I always know that change is inevitable and in order to improve, I need to anticipate and be prepared to handle it when the time comes.

Do I abhor change like I used to? It depends. These days, I see it as a factor that challenges me.

Is it Good Enough?

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Before the dating sites and multiple methods of communication via technology, people have always been drawn to others, the initial interest stemming from physical appearance. It’s a known fact that most people are visual driven and something that looks pretty/interesting/appealing/etc. tends to catch their eye, making them want to dig deeper to learn more.

A recent article that surfaced on the Internet tested an age old question of whether too much make-up is a turn off to guys or sends the wrong messages. The author concluded that while she didn’t receive a negative response to her more heavily made-up face, she did call out the fact that her potential suitors were more interested in checking her out because of her pretty face. A stark contrast to the ones who responded to her when she sported no make-up and instead wanted to discuss her interests and befriend her, rather than ask for a one time hookup.

Reading the article reminded me of the song Looks are Everything by Rose Falcon. The singer talks about trying various things to become the perfect girl one sees in ads and billboards but fails, eventually concluding how it all seems so backwards.

To me, its interesting to look back at old magazines from my teen years where they talked to real guys and celebrities, asking what turns them off. Makeup came up as a popular one but its interesting to see how some have come to associate it as a girl who is trying to hide something or someone who exudes a confidence and maybe a wild streak that makes them want to pursue her for a night.

Where do I fit in? I’ve been told countless times that I look like I’m in my mid-teens when I don’t sport a bit of makeup. Even when I have worn a natural/light face, many still mistake me for a younger age. I find that I’m neutral about makeup – while I like wearing a bit to look a little more polished, its harder for me to like looking at myself with something heavier like liner and prominent colored shadows without cringing a little and saying it’s too much.

Will this fascination of ‘looks are everything’ go away? Probably not. Is it worth dwelling on? Not necessarily.

Will You Be My Disney Shadow?

One of my favorite videos and stunts Disney has ever put on – surprising regular shoppers at a mall on the East Coast by having their shadows become popular Disney characters.

Music Picks – Song I’m Listening to Now

The unique instrumentation, pacing, and haunting vibe of the song caught my attention when I saw it used for a dance routine on Dancing With the Stars this season.

That One Song That Makes You Want to Dance

While some of my readers might be a fan of this song or can’t stand hearing this one another time, I have to admit that I enjoy listening to it as a pick-me-up whenever I’m either having a tough day or if I feel motivated to get up and dance. I remember reading an old book that suggested finding at least one positive song that you like and having that in your arsenal in times when you needed some encouragement.

What about you readers? What one song makes you feel better or get up and dance?

Go Behind the Mic

Whenever I see an animated film, I like searching video sites for the B-roll, which usually shows how the actors deliver their lines behind the microphone. I think its interesting watching some of them either say their lines with various expressions or there are the ones who really get into it and move around, getting into character.

Below are a few of my favorite ones from a mix of recent animated films. Do you have a favorite?