New Video! (Finally!) A Quick Update and I Have A Small Obsession…

Hey there Internet! Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about this blog or my YouTube channel. Things have just been really busy lately and if you watch this video you’ll find out why!

Meerkat vs. Periscope: The Faceoff Continues

As we take a look at these two new apps and wonder about the effects they are going to have on our growing digital world, it’s natural to think that these two simply sprang up overnight. One morning they were just there when yesterday they were not.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.45.06 AM

So where did it all start?

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According to The Telegraph, an online news media resource, “Meerkat, formerly known as AIR and Yevvo, was founded by Ben Rubin in 2012…It debuted at SXSW festival [South by Southwest for those of us non-tech-festival-goers] at the end of February. Periscope was co-founded by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein, launched little over a year ago, and was purchased by Twitter in January for a reported $100m.” This was as of March 30th of this year. Since then, Twitter has fully launched Periscope and cut all ties with Meerkat, a fact which didn’t seem to bother the Meerkat CEO when he said in an interview, referring to Periscope:

“We don’t look at it as a rival,” he said. “That was a decision made within Twitter with their own agenda. We have our own agenda. We are lucky to be independent and outside.”

And so the stage is set. Meerkat is currently running a little less that 23,000 tweets per day, collecting just over 200,000 tweets in all. Periscope, likewise, has collected 110,000 tweets over just the past month, with 51,000 on the day it launched alone. The graph below comes from an article by The Daily Post on the subject.

 

Now, as the article mentions, these numbers are not insignificant. However, when compared to the “…6 million tweets strong hashtag #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik, powered to the top of the trending category by teen angst caused by a member of One Direction leaving the band, and the streaming apps might as well not exist:” (The Daily Post, How Many People Are Really Using Meerkat and Periscope?) 

So although it seems the services are starting to gain footing, there’s still a long way to go before either one becomes a well-known media service.

But which one is better?

In terms of actually debating the quality of either service, a lot of it comes down to subjectivity.

Meerkat markets their product by highlighting the simplicity of its design and user-friendly nature. As soon as a broadcast is started, a tweet is automatically sent out with the link to the livestream, and you’re good to go. As soon as the stream ends and you press stop, the livestream is gone and can no longer be accessed.

Constrastingly, Periscope seems to feature a few additional items. The most significant two are 1) Each livestream is saved for 24 hours. Anyone with the link can continue to watch a replay of the livestream during that time. And 2) With Periscope, you can create Private Broadcasts, limiting the availability to only a few members,

Both apps allow interaction during the livestream via twitter and posting comments on the live feed. Though both services offer these features, recent updates have the two in a neck-and-neck race for which one is easier to use. It comes down to the same subjective debate as Androids vs. iPhones. So much of either service’s user friendliness depends on your own personal preferences.

In the realm of video control and interface, Meerkat is a clear winner. The below is a screenshot of a Meerkat livestream setup, used in the article Live Streaming App Face-Off: Meerkat vs. Periscope on tomsguide.com.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.39.44 AMAs the writer of this article mentions, the screen does look a little cluttered. However, as of this point, only Meerkat allows users to film in a landscape format. Periscope is currently limited to a portrait view, even when the camera is held horizontally. And we all know how annoying those portrait-filmed videos on youtube are. Beware the black side bars of death!

So who’s the winner?

Once again, this argument is very subjective. While Periscope’s 24 hour replays make it much more available and eliminates the fear of “missing out,” Meerkat’s screen display and filming options (landscape vs. portrait) must also come into play when talking about product quality.

As a definitive answer cannot best be reached simply by talking about the subjects, I have plans to, in the next couple of weeks, host 2 livestreams- one via Meerkat, the other via Periscope. I will release a date and time for the event when I know for sure when it will happen, so please keep your eyes open for that.

With that, I leave you to draw your own conclusions. Experiment with both of these apps and let me know, in the comments, which one you liked best. Thank you for sticking around and I’ll see you again soon!

 

Tuesday Video! Tattoos, Roadtrips, and Adventures!

Hey there everyone! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

I finally have a new video for you! Make sure you catch up on all of the fun stuff going on in this one. I’ll see you again soon!

New Videos!

Happy Tuesday everyone! College life has been absolutely crazy and it’s only going to get crazier as we draw closer to the end of the school year. And though I know you guys are probably getting tired of these, I do have a few more videos uploaded from the Judson University Spring Choir Tour. Please go check them out, and don’t forget to subscribe! We’re almost at 30 subscribers!

Also, I will be returning this coming Tuesday to our regularly scheduled programing (Aka Tuesday vlogs/videos) and I want to know what you all would like to see! A youtube tag? Topic? Music? Comment and let me know! Your input is much appreciated!

Hope you’re all having a lovely, albeit somewhat dreary, Tuesday and I’ll see you again as soon as I possibly can!

Meerkats vs. Periscopes: A discussion on two of the newest social media platforms

Hello there Internet! As you may have noticed, this is not a normal post for this blog, but I have decided I want to use this blog as a platform for a project I’m going to be doing for my Digital Publishing class.

For this project, I’m going to be doing some research on two recently developed livestreaming services that have entered the online world- Periscope, and Meerkat. These two are competing programs, and both still in the development and trial-and-error stages, so this is an exciting time to be able to take a look and how they are growing and forming and have a chance to compare the two.

This post is the first of a series of discussions on this subject. As this is meant to be just that, a discussion, I strongly encourage you to leave your thoughts and comments in the section below. Let me know which service, if either, you are familiar with, and what you think about Periscope being bought by Twitter. Thank you in advance for your participation in this exploration and I hope you stick around! Hopefully, this will cumulate in an actual livestreaming event using one of these two mediums, which I hope you will participate in with me.

Once again, thank you and I will see you again soon!

Roundabout: Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like a Writer

It’s true. Sometimes I don’t feel like a writer. Sometimes I will go days without writing anything beyond what I can manage for my classes. Some days even that falls behind. And then something will happen and I’ll look up from my work and realize I haven’t touched that project in a week and oh my gosh what happened and where did the time go? And it’s in those moments when I get really down on myself and think, am I really truly a writer if I go days or weeks without really working on my project? Am I doing something wrong?

No. Of course, the answer is no. Just because I can’t work on my project as much as I would like to does not mean that what I do is in some way invalidated. I am a writer if and when I work through this entire thing one single page at a time. I am a writer if and when I am up until 3am writing pages on pages of my very best stuff. I am a writer if and when I don’t touch it again for a week if I feel like I have nothing to say yet.

Now, this isn’t me trying to justify obvious procrastination. I’m well aware that the nice schedule I had for writing and homework and social time last semester has pretty much fallen to the wayside, and that it’s my job to get myself back on track. Procrastination is a slippery slippery slope and don’t I know it. But that’s not what I’m writing about here. What I’m talking about is self-doubt. It’s me questioning my own abilities and value as a writer simply for the fact that I’m a busy person and sometimes writing just can’t be on the top of my list of priorities.

There are so many projects and pieces that I want to be working on, first and foremost my novel and the AuthorLaunch program, which I’ve been keeping up with (Don’t worry Mom and Dad!) but not spending nearly as much time on it as I would like to. I’ve also neglected this blog lately. How long has it been since I’ve done a post here? Definitely too long. All that aside though, I’m back now and hopefully this second half of the semester will be much more organized and not just me trying to keep my head above water. Hopefully this will be the semester I actually learn to swim.

I hope you’re all having a great weekend. Have a fantastic rest of your Sunday and I will see you again soon!

Long Time No See! (Video Updates)

Oh hello there blog! Did you think I had forgotten about you? Never!

Hey there guys! I know I’ve been extremely absent lately, but I do have a good reason. This past week at Judson University was our (very early) Spring Break, and I had the extreme privilege of spending it on tour with the Judson University Choir. What an amazing experience! We traveled by bus from here in Elgin to Michigan, to West Virginia, to New York, to Washington DC, and finally to Ohio before returning home. The tour was 10 days long, and emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhasuting. But at the end, I found I have never been more content, or closer with the people around me. There’s simply too much to describe in one post, so instead, I’ll give you some videos! Over the week I had to start improvising a bit when we were not in locations where I was able to sit down and edit and upload videos throughout the week. Now it’s Tuesday afternoon and I have 8 days left of footage to edit through and remember and be creative with. All this to say, here are the first two videos and I hope you enjoy them! More to come!

Tuesday Video: This Year’s Oscars Are Like Nothing We’ve Seen Before

….And that might be a good thing! Today’s video talking about the political and social parts of the Oscars 2015, as well as the events surrounding.

Friday/Saturday Video- Cassidy’s Frozen Birthday and Family Weekend!

In case anyone was wondering, these are the types of videos I absolutely love putting together, because they are so candid and fun, and a good way to capture life in all its perfect little moments. Enjoy.

Thursday- Links of the Day!

I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time! But seeing as how I missed Tuesday’s video because of college craziness, I figured I’d put something else out there for you guys instead. Deal?

Today’s LOTD comes to you in several moving parts. The Internet has been a busy place over the past month, complete with viral videos, sweeping news stories, and just general activity you should definitely be aware of. Here are just a handful.

Measles, Vaccines, and Disney (Oh my!)

I’d be surprised if anyone reading this hasn’t seen any of the news stories flying around about the recent outbreak of Measles here in the U.S. According to ABC News: “The CDC reported today that it had confirmed 141 cases of the measles since Jan. 1 as part of two separate outbreaks plus several additional cases not linked to those two outbreaks. As of Feb. 13, an outbreak linked to a group of unvaccinated people who visited Disneyland in December had 113 cases, another 10 cases were linked to a second outbreak, and 18 more cases weren’t linked to a specific outbreak.”

All of this recent activity has sparked debates and discussions over vaccines, both from those who support vaccinations, and those who have since been termed “ant-vaxers.” Both groups have been extremely vocal on the subject. Here are two links explaining two sides of the conversation. Obviously there are many more opinions out there and it’s nearly impossible to cover all of them, so I would encourage everyone to do their own research on this subject. Get educated and get involved in the discussion.

Vox News: 9 Things Everybody Should Know About Measles

The People’s Chemist: Three Reasons Why I Don’t Vaccinate My Children…

The Grammys: Music’s Biggest Night

I’ll be honest. I have never watched an awards show of any kind all the way through. I caught about 20 minutes of the Academy Awards I think it was last year, but beyond that, I’d much rather just have someone give me the highlights. So, if you’re like me, here are a few links to the Grammys best moments.

La Times: Complete List of Winners and Nominees

Youtube at the Grammys: Tyler Oakley

One more piece about the Grammys and I promise I’m done! Internet-famous youtuber Tyler Oakley was given the opportunity to interview some of the Grammys biggest stars on the red carpet. Needless to say, what a huge opportunity and he did a great job! Check out a playlist of his best (and funniest) interviews.

Featuring President Obama

It seems to be a unanimous agreement that since President Obama’s time in office is drawing to a close, he and the White House are pulling no punches. Some say we are seeing the return of the dynamic and active man whom the country voted into office all the way back in 2008. This is hardly surprising, looking at our presidential history. At this point in his career, a president has nothing to lose, since there is no chance of reelection. Possibly one of the most creative and recognizable results of this state of mind is a Buzzfeed video featuring the President. He even uses a selfie stick.

Buzzfeed: Things Everybody Does But Doesn’t Talk About- Featuring President Obama

Neuroscience and Love

It was valentine’s day recently, in case you didn’t notice the onslaught of chocolate and the overwhelming red and pink just about everywhere. In honor of the occasion, Vox published an article titled This Is Your Brain on Love detailing some of the most interesting affects love and “long-term attachment” have on our brain functions.

ISIS

A sobering topic, yes, but an important one. ISIS is quickly becoming a household name, recognizable to anyone who has been paying any attention over the past several months. If you haven’t, here’s some of the basic information. CNN: ISIS Fast Facts.

Most recently, ISIS released a video that appears to show them beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a beach in Libya. This is following in the wake of several other videos ISIS has released, all featuring murders, executions, and threats. Facing what seems to be an unstoppable enemy, the world is being forced to ask many questions, each possibility more terrifying than the last. Here is a link to a story CNN did on the subject.

CNN: ISIS video appears to show beheadings of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.

Now Here’s the Interesting Part

Amongst a wave of attacks, from ISIS to Charlie Hebdo, to a more recent shooting in Chapel Hill, NC that killed three Muslim students, the Muslim people have found themselves all over the news recently, both in positive and negative light. And what’s most interesting is the way the Muslim members of the online world (which is actually a huge percentage of the internet community) have reacted to these stories. Many are facing hate and discrimination for the faith they have in common with those who are radical and violent. Those in the online world have been active in voicing their opinions on this matter, many insisting that just because they are Muslim, does not mean they are violent.

There are radicals in every social group, race, cause, and religion. And we cannot judge an entire people group based on the actions of a few.

This is not to say that I agree with the Muslim faith. I am a Christian and I have my own beliefs when it comes to other religions, but that is not the point I am trying to make.

The point is this: Whether you agree with them or not, no one who is a part of any peaceful social group, ethnicity, or religious association should have to fear for their lives or the lives of their loved ones in their own homes or in their places of peaceful worship. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or Atheist, etc, we should all be focusing on keeping each other safe, first and foremost. We can debate our differences of faith later.

I hope you found some of today’s links interesting or helpful or both. Please feel free to begin commenting and discussing below. What do you think of the situation with ISIS and their most recent actions? If you were to go to the Grammys who would you most want to meet? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you on Friday.