Monthly Archives: April 2009

YouTube friends

I’ve met some amazing people through YouTube, I’ve had great fun, I’ve learnt lots – especially about myself!!! It has helped me to gain self-confidence; gatherings have got me to travel to places I would never have bothered to go to – and found them nice places. However all is not roses and happiness in the proverbial garden, there is a darker side to it. I’ve seen abuse and harassment. I’ve seen people have to leave suddenly – not out of choice. I’ve seen new people arrive and be accepted by the established crowd, only to be dropped as soon as the next ‘new’ crowd of people arrive. The trouble is that the established crowd often don’t see it. They have their core element of principle friends, and they have this flow of new people coming and going providing a bit of novelty and extra spice to things. Of course, some of the new crowd will become ‘accepted’ into the established group (and will pick up the ways of that group), but so many can get dropped by the way-side.

However these things all just have to be taken on as part of life. You can’t let them get to you otherwise you’re going to have problems. But then so many people use YouTube for socialising because they already do have problems. So don’t rush things, and don’t go ‘chasing’ people. Get up a video or two, don’t try to impress – just be yourself. In time people will come to you and you will develop your own networks of contacts.
Ahhh… but of course, all this is easier said than done – but at least try.

Nerimon & the Internet.

I can quite sympathise with Alex Day over closing off much of his ‘Nerimon’ internet stuff. I like YouTube (& BlogTV), but things like twitter, well, now the novelty has worn off it’s becoming more irritating than anything else. One trouble for me is that it can be very fast-moving, and if you have more of a life than just sitting on the internet and having a twitter browser page open, then it’s very easy to get left behind in some conversation. Don’t look at it for a day and you may have pages of tweets and ‘half complete’ conversations to work your way through. Facebook, I just keep that because many people use it as a way of highlighting YouTube Gathering. Bebo, once very popular with the student crowd around me so having access to it was handy, but it’s fallen out of favour and I never bothered with it other than as a back-up blog channel. I quite like DailyBooth and will probably stick with that for a while.

I like the internet. I want to use it. I enjoy this sort of technology stuff. My first e-mail address, or mailbox as it was called then, I got over 20 years ago. But I want it so *I* use *it*, not to have it control and dominate my life. I guess it does dominate – I’d be totally lost without it – but I still want it such that *I* have control and *I* decide over when and how I use it.

So go for it Alex, and everyone else who wants to. Get rid of the non-essential crap that just distracts you away from life. Keep the core elements, the rest will still be here if you want to return.

Students. Gatherings.

I often have lunch in my local university chaplaincy building. It has a small cafe which does baked potatoes plus filling, toasties, that sort of stuff, but at sensible prices. The entrance to it is through a rather narrow staircase. As I was going in recently a large crowd were just leaving (after a lunchtime service) so I backed out of the way to let then through. Not one of them bothered to say ‘thanks’ or even just give some nod of acknowledgement as they passed. Ummm… Interesting. All, of course, ‘good Christians’.
We had a small Gathering here in Glasgow last Saturday. Depends a bit on how you define ‘small’, something between 20 and 25 local YouTubers just chilling out for the afternoon and evening. First a visit to a Dr Who exhibition, then a do-nothing time in Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and once the evening arrived retire to the Starbucks inside Borders bookshop. For about one third of them, their first Gathering ever, and they all seemed to enjoy themselves.
Busy time in work (university). Student projects all approaching deadlines, so am in demand, to help them on their way. Really does highlight those who make the effort, and those who just expect things to be done for them! One or two really nice projects coming to a ‘working’ condition. A couple of wireless remote-controlled submersibles, a small two cylinder two-stroke engine, designed, engineered and constructed from scratch, a baby hovercraft… it’s nice to see these reach finishing stages.
But for those finishing, in two weeks time they will be gone. This phase of life about to end. They’ve spent the last 5 years together as a group; studying, socialising, eating, drinking, (sleeping?) with each other, having come in as teenagers, leaving as adults. Very shortly they will be together for the very last time – never again to be as a group. Such is life.

Vlogs, Traffic problems, students.

First few 1 minute videos up. So far so good. It does, however, take me hours rather than minutes to get each one done. What has been interesting is looking around one or two other experienced, regular YouTube / BlogTV uploaders who are doing the VEDA thing, and seeing that this putting something up every day has been giving them problems. Even for experienced vloggers it’s not been as easy as it looks; a bit reassuring for us mere mortals. I’ll just stick with my attempts of twice during the week and once on the week-end.
Doing it just for 1 minute dose add an extra level of complexity to it though. No, ‘oh I’ve finish early so stop now’. No being able to take time to talk about something. Just 60 seconds to work with. Though I will admit my 60 seconds is plus or minus 5 seconds or so. I’ve mentioned in other places, peesemould, who managed to do a YouTube minute a day video for a year!

Easter long week-end over. Managed to get out on my bike (Honda 500) for the first time in ages. Went down to a local seaside town of Largs. Headed down mid morning time (holiday Monday) and the traffic was not too heavy. Left to returned to Glasgow (earlier than anticipated in order to meet a friend) about 2 p.m. and on my way out passed around 4 miles of stationary traffic all trying to get into the town! Then I found myself in a bit of a queue of slow moving vehicles, however being on a bike enabled me get passed everything fairly easily. What was causing the blockage – one of those ‘old grannies’, I’ll guess around 70 or 75, could hardly see over the steering wheel, travelling at a speed that was causing huge problems to other road users. I do appreciate that, especially in more rural areas with limited public transport, the car is important to enable people to travel and get around. However a style of driving that may have been acceptable 40 years ago when there was far less traffic on the roads (and the whole of life went at a slower pace) is now a style that is not suitable in today’s conditions.

It’s a two week Easter break for the students, but most are in busy building projects. It’s really showing now with deadlines approaching; those who have made the effort and those who have not!

Vlogs & VEDA

Very happy with my new camera. Now I just need to make it earn its keep and get using it! I have a Vimeo account which I have never really used, so perhaps I’ll kick that into life for non-YouTube type videos.
VEDA, video each day in April. I’m not particularly good performing in front of a camera. I need that reaction or response that you get from people in a 1 to 1 (or 1 to many) situation. This talking to a camera with no direct feedback is not something I’m happy with. However I’ve been meaning for ages to do more vlog-type videos, and this VEDA may just be that bit of motivation to get me to do it. There is no point in trying to do one *every* day, that just would not work. So target for three times a week, and target each as a 1 minute video. Long enough to be able to say something, but not long enough to become like a load of waffle. See how it goes, no idea how long I’ll keep it going for, that will depend on how I feel about it. Though it will be good experience, and I hope a bit of fun.
They’ll go up on my StressedTechy YouTube channel rather than my main StressedTechnician one, so if it does not go well it won’t interfere with my main channel.
It’s the Easter holiday week-end, so naturally it’s raining! That reminds me, next week there is a YouTube Gathering here in Glasgow which I plan to attend. I hope the weather’s going to be O.K. for it.

Shop Assistants

I always try my best to be friendly to shop assistants, I know their wages are not brilliant and at times they can have a pretty shitty job, but sometimes they can be such arseholes.
Looking for a camcorder type thing, and went into my local Currys. O.K., it was fairly near closing time, but went in and headed off to the camera counter to look and see what was on display. (I knew the features that were important to me, just uncertain on the exact model.) Around the shop were one or two customers, but also various members of staff all busy talking to each other. So after 10 minutes waiting and then seeing that they were starting to close the entrance, gave up hoping to be served.
Next day (having researched the exact model I wanted) went to Jessops where a reasonably O.K. assistant wanted to sell a shop-soiled item at full price, which did not impress me. Down to John Lewis where despite saying I was after High Definition, the assistant really did not know what he was doing and started showing me anything and everything. Off to a different Jessops and a sales assistant girl who I will just describe as ‘rather ignorant’ and that you can interpret that in whatever way you want!
So chilling-out in Starbucks before returning to Jessops and look for a different assistant and hopefully, without too many silly questions, just get the model I’m after.