Today I don’t want to post any pretty pictures. Today I am not sure how to feel. I am Canadian but the results of last night’s election will affect more than America. It affects the world.
It sends a message to those that aren’t white and male that they are not safe.
It tells the daughters of the future that no matter how qualified you are for a job, a man will always be ahead because he is a man. It tells them that their bodies are never safe. As a feminist I feel the pain of this defeat.
It allows those with hatred in their hearts for those that are different from them to have a louder voice. It will split us apart. I have friends and family in the states and Mexico and I fear for their safety. It feels like my heart has been stabbed.
Today I do not want to hear “nothing will happen it will be ok”. If you find yourself comfortable saying this please check your privelage. There are some that will have to fight for “nothing” to happen to ourselves, our friends, our family.
Please be considerate with the fact that even if you are not in America your friends, colleagues could be emotionally affected.
I have so many feelings at the moment that I don’t know how to describe. I am sad and angry but at the same time I feel nothing. I feel like a zombie just going about the day.
I had to write something about today because I thought it would be wrong to write nothing.
I had a discussion with some friends the other day about Canadian music journalists who fear criticizing artists too much in album reviews because it may lead to loss of connections and other things. At Ride the Tempo, I let my writers say whatever they want. I believe that honesty is how people grow whether they are making music or if you’re critiquing a colleague.
Sometimes it’s scary. You don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or sour a connection with someone but it’s what is needed to make a person or industry strong. Now head over here to read some of our album reviews.
Today is the 216th day in a row that I’ve been blogging. I zoomed passed 200 and didn’t even notice. I also happened to have passed the 200 vlog mark!. Both are amazing feats.
Last year, I never would have dreamed to even go one month blogging everyday. Now I don’t really see an end in site. When I started vlogging (though I’ve slowed down a little now) I was very camera shy and didn’t really like speaking to camera, now it comes a bit easier.
I recently read an article about how someone wrote a haiku every day for 100 days and she learned some very similar lessons as I have. I learned to put myself out there even if some posts are dumb and there are frequently mistakes. No longer do I have a notebook or lists full of ideas that went no where. I made them go somewhere, I hit publish, even if part of me thought some things were unfinished.
I’m really excited to continue doing this every day. I feel like there’s enough in me to find something everyday. You really do have time to do the thing you wish you did “more” of, whether it’s writing, drawing, reading etc. Start by setting a goal. To do it every day.
Last night the annual Earth Hour took place from 8:30-9:30 encouraging people around the world to turn off their lights and devices for an hour. I decided to turn off all the lights and go for a walk.
Originally, I planned to take photos of my journey with my new gear. I packed it with me and decided it would be exempt from the “no devices during earth hour” thing. However, I realized that it wasn’t a good idea to be flashing expensive equipment around on a particularly dark night (since i was walking alone). Instead, I took a mental note of the things I saw and when I got home immediately jotted them down in a notebook.
I had not taken many walks at night in my neighbourhood, but I discovered so many things:
– There’ s a coffee shop that also fixes guitars
– There are many places opened later than I thought, and are very lively
– a giant walnut in front of a nut store
– very creepy mannequins in some store windows
– a space-themed cafe
– many out of place phonebooths
– places that are beautiful to look at but I have no idea what they sell
– antique shops (tons of them)
– the fortune teller is very popular
– many popular places that don’t seem to have names
– people wondering where the ATMS are
It’s amazing how many things can go unnoticed. I definitely have to venture into some of the places sometime!
I turned 27 today. 27 is such a weird age. Nobody writes happy songs about it (I looked). It felt a little weird to be nearing 30. A lot of the people I went to school with are now married and have children. Though I one day want those things, I’m not ready for that yet. I feel like there’s so much of life to explore first. It’s just hard to get caught up in societal expectations at times.
But screw that.
I will make 27 special in my own way. I’ll go on new adventures, try new things, make new memories to make this year as special as the last.
Last week, Instagram went through a giant purge of bots. That meant a great deal of users lost followers in some way. Some lost thousands. I only lost 40, but it still felt like a lot.
I’ve never ever bought followers nor am I a huge user of hashtags, because I know they contribute to a lot of the bot numbers. But I guess they still managed to find me in some way. Instagram’s not like Twitter and there’s not so many tools out there for moderating your contact list (nor do I trust most that exist). I’ve never really used any strange “marketing techniques” to garner any of my current followers (on any social networks). I am a very big advocate on the attitude of “if they want to follow you they will”.
I’m a very big believer of influencer marketing, a topic that is now of heavy debate in Singapore. I think that’s what prompted me to write a post on the matter. This Instagram purge was very necessary for the network to know it’s real users and to reveal who their true influencers are. While Instagram still has yet to be infiltrated with ads, it has a lot of potential to be very valuable to advertisers. Hell, the other day I saw my first “sponsored ad”, one by Ferrero Rocher, my favourite chocolate in the world. How they knew that, I don’t really know. All I know is, Instagram’s ad network will be very targeted.
I’m not freaked out about social media and advertising. I’ve kind of always dove nose-first into it. We make unconscious decisions about everything we purchase and are surrounded by ads and marketing almost everywhere we look. I will just remain being myself everywhere online.
For the past few years, every time I went to a show, I would be “working” in some sense. I’d either be photographing, writing a review, or both. It had been a while since I went to a show for the sake of going to a show.
Last Sunday, I went to Cloud Nothings as an attendee and as a huge fan of the band. I didn’t shoot it and I didn’t review it. I had a blast. I didn’t have to worry about my camera being destroyed by a rowdy crowd, think of the perfect sentences to write or frame the perfect photo. I didn’t have to stand in the front for 3 hours, hoping that nobody would try to steal my spot. Hell, I even joined in the mosh-pit full of bros for like 3/4 of the set. I came out smelling like man-sweat but it was worth it. For the first time in a while, I actually had fun at a show.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the shows I’ve seen in the past while. London Grammar and How to Dress Well were breath-taking in their own regards. I loved shooting them, but at the end of the day it was still work. To be able to fully immerse myself in the experience last Sunday was refreshing. It’s so weird how sometimes when I’m by the front of the stage taking photos, how removed I can be from the actual show. I think this year, I’ll let myself occasionally step back and be a fan, an attendee again. It’s definitely worth the price of the ticket.
A new year called for a new redesign on my music blog Ride the Tempo. For a while, I was obsessed with the purple dark background of the past. I’ve been wanting to change the colours and make it easier to read for long-form posts. Yesterday, in light of my resolution (or lack of) just do it, I did it. I went into the CSS and made all the necessary tweaks. Other changes including making the Disqus comment box larger and switching the plugin I used for related posts. I also redesigned the logo a bit so that it would match the new colours.
While tweaking the site is a continuous endeavour, the new colours make it easier to test new features. I’m very happy with it so far and excited to continue sharing emerging Canadian musicians with all my readers.
In November, I started hearing mentions of something called “Elf on the Shelf”. I had not previously known what this was and thought it was the next growing viral video sensation. Naturally, I eventually decided to Google it.
What I found was the latest in Christmas trends, and it was frightening. How it works is there is an elf. He comes with a book that you read to your children. The story goes that Santa can’t possibly know which little kids are naughty or nice so they sent an elf to come watch them and relay back to Santa. The rules are that the elf cannot be touched or it will lose its magic. Parents are supposed to put the elf in random places around the house while the child is not looking to provide the illusion that the thing is alive and is indeed watching.
All this might seem okay and magical but LOOK AT THE ELF. His little beady eyes are the creepiest thing. It reminds me of Slappy, the dummy from Goosebumps. He is literally looking at you from an eerie angle. On top of this you are told that he exists to watch and listen. If I saw this thing as a child moving around in my house I’d lose my mind. Not in a good way. In a HOLY SHIT HE IS GOING TO KILL ME sort of way. Because I was that sort of child.
I was a smart child. I would have figured that this thing was here to ruin my ability to be naughty. I wouldn’t be able to eat copious amounts of holiday candy or take sneak peeks at my presents. Every time I thought about getting into mischief would be questioned by this lingering elf. Ultimately, I’d get mad and want to defeat it, despite still thinking it was the scariest thing ever. Sooner or later I’d go up to it and touch it and allow it to lose its magic. Then I’d rip his head off so there would be no way it could report back to Santa. Then I’d be the winner of Christmas.
In reality, we all know Santa is not real and that parents will buy their kids presents no matter what.
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.