I Joined We Heart It

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After hearing about We Heart It on a couple of tech blogs, I decided to check it out. It has been around for a few years but picked up in the media recently for having over 25 million active users. The network was created as a place to share inspiring images. It differs from Tumblr and Pinterest in that you can’t comment. You simply upload and “heart” stuff. This makes it harder for people to cyberbully or troll. If you don’t like something, you simply don’t heart it.

I had a first hand experience on how many people actually use this network. I signed up, uploaded the snowflake photo in my previous post and within half an hour had 100 hearts. That’s amazing considering I started out with no followers.

The network also has a beautiful iOS/Android app. Now excuse me as I go heart some more stuff. You can follow me here.

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My Thoughts on the Google+ Integration on Youtube

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There has been a lot of chatter about the recent Google + integration with Youtube. Personally, I’ve been using the social network on and off ever since it first went beta. Right now, it is mostly auto-publishing feeds from my personal blog and Youtube channel.

In contrast, I haven’t actually been an active Youtube user until recently. Obviously I have watched countless videos on Youtube but since I wasn’t an active contributor I didn’t find it that necessary to leave comments. I did find however that I started to comment more after the Youtube name-change to connect ourselves with our Google+ identities. Maybe I wanted more followers on a network I had an iffy relationship with.

There’s a lot not to like about the integration though. For one, if you have separate Youtube pages for different things, you have to manage different Google + profiles. In my case, Ride the Tempo has a channel for occasional live videos. However, I find that the general music fan or listener isn’t highly active on Google+ (as I’ve tried managing a page in the past) so I wish that it could also be connected to my personal page, which people seem to follow. I do believe that there are plenty of users on Google+, as I am in more than 300 users’ circles. That’s more than the followers most people have on Twitter.

Another issue is the publishing of comment to the poster’s Google + feed. Although this can be an asset for users (as their content gets shared), it is somewhat of a nuisance when I want to leave a quick comment on something I don’t want to necessarily share (or share again if it’s my second comment on the same video). Since, it is Google+ based there is no longer a character limit on comments. As a new Vlogger, this seems quite intimidating and scary. Troll heaven. Or right now Bob and his stupid tanks world.

Instead of forcing Google+ on us, Google should have done a much better job explaining what it is for in the first place. It has some snazzy features (hangouts, photo editors) but the original marketing as a better Facebook or Twitter when those existed is comparable to Microsoft’s attempt to sell us the Zune.

I Met Chris Pirillo!

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This weekend was Buffer Festival in Toronto, the city’s first ever Youtube film festival. Personally, I haven’t participated in the Youtube scene until recently, but when I found out Chris Pirillo would be in Toronto I jumped on the chance to meet him.

I actually found Chris originally on Twitter in the social network’s early days. He was a recommended follow (and he followed me back!). I checked out his social feeds and was enticed by his wacky personality and had been watching his videos ever since.


His Buffer Festival panel, which took place inside the CN Tower’s Maple Leaf Theatre, was about tech on Youtube. The main point to take away was that tech is an enabler, not a destination. He also did a Youtube livestream review of the new iPad Air right in front of us. It was cool to see how the whole process worked and how reading comments could be rather addictive.

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After the panel, we met in the meetup room at the Metro Convention Centre and he signed my GoPro. I figured that would be the most appropriate since he was the one who had influenced me to vlog in the first place. The real fun started when the planned meetup was over and a few of us gathered together to have lunch with Chris! We all had different stories of how we discovered his videos. It was fascinating to learn how his videos had touched all of our lives in some way. He actually shared this in his vlog (life goal achieved)!

Through Chris I learnt that when creating content (Youtube or elsewhere), to always be myself. He’s made a living through just being himself and I hope that’s something I can achieve too, to just do what I love.

Of course, here’s my vlog of the day:

Why You Should Have An Online Presence

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I was having a chat with someone the other day about social media and I tried explain to an anti-social media person why it was important to have an online footprint professionally. I think nowadays social media is so accessible (with privacy statements continuously changing and all) that there really isn’t a line between what you can consider professional versus personal. The reasons are the same. This makes it even more important to own your online presence.

1.       To control what others find online. At bare minimum, it’s good to have a website that has a good headshot of your face, a mini biography about what you do and perhaps some work samples. A Linkedin or an About.me page is fine. This way you can provide an URL to your employers (or people you meet) for a first impression beyond your resume. Your employers are also probably going to Google your name so having a headshot is important to distinguish yourself from the other Joe Shmoe shotgunning a beer in a Youtube video. If you’re lucky enough to register the web domain with your actual name, go for it.

2.       Open yourself to new opportunities. I never went to school for social media. It was something I learnt by experimenting, while managing multiple websites. I was an early adopter of Twitter. Through it, I’ve met some of the most interesting and like-minded people who are now some great friends offline. I’ve also had the opportunity to do things I never thought I’d do (like meet Phoenix or dance on stage with Girl Talk). I also worked places I never thought I’d end up. I never applied to work at Exclaim. Despite not being a journalism grad, the director of operations actually found me online after meeting me at a show and sent me a Facebook message. There’s a lot of fish in that sea but you have to have some sort of bait to hook them!

3.       To be ready for what the future might hold. Maybe one day in the future, you might want to start your own business, write a book or even just raise money for that marathon you suddenly feel like running. Having a dedicated following on Twitter or Facebook (or whatever social networks you choose to use) takes time to build. However, a strong community can really aid to kick start that new project.

 

Youtube Helped Me Fix It

The dusty insides of the front of my laptop

The dusty insides of the front of my laptop


I have a 4 year old Dell Studio 1555 laptop. It is still running perfectly smoothly. However, whoever designed this thing didn’t think about longevity and stupidly put the power button on the screen’s hinge. The most moved part on the entire computer.

Anyways, a few weeks ago I dropped my laptop and everything seemed fine except for the lost connection in the power button. It would take me 3-4 attempts to turn the computer back on and I avoided turning it off since then. The past few days I was bringing the laptop outside to work and today on my way out bumped the battery and it turned off. It wouldn’t turn back on after about 100 attempts at fidgeting with the hinge. My warranty has been up for almost a year and I knew a repair was going to be costly for something that probably took 10 minutes.

So I Youtubed my problem, took my laptop apart and 10 minutes later I am writing this blog post to you about it. It’s amazing how much of our life problems can be Googled, and how much you can learn from Youtube. No need to “call the guy” when you can “be the guy”.