Quick Clips- Life at Riverwoods!

I’m having an awesome time working at Riverwoods this summer! Hopefully I’ll have time to upload a real video for you guys soon though. This is a short one! :)

Fox Valley Christian Action- Sponsor a Camper Campaign!

Hello all!

I have been so excited to tell you about this project for so long! And now it’s finally here! I just… Whew… deep breath, Micah. Ok. Here we go!

This summer, as you probably already know, I am working at an organization called Fox Valley Christian Action as part of their Riverwoods Family Camp Summer Staff. As an Administrative Assistant and Media Manager, I’ve been keeping plenty busy, and this is one of those days that I’m particularly excited about it!

Riverwoods provides a week of free summer camp to kids and teens from low-income and government funded housing communities in the Fox Valley area. The camp provides a safe place where these kids can come to learn and grow and encounter God in a new way. Being a non-profit, FVCA is funded by faithful donors and fundraisers… which makes what I’m about to announce all the more important and exciting! (Drum roll please)

God is doing amazing things at Riverwoods this summer and I’d like you to be a part of it! Check out the video to hear more about what we’re doing!

FVCA on GoFundMe: http://www.gofundme.com/sponsor-a-camper
or check out the donation page on our website: https://getinvolved.fvchristianaction.org/pages/campers-are-here

New Vlog! Lincoln Park, Chicago, and Zoo Adventures!

Train rides and zoo trips and macarons and trips to the city… These are a few of my favorite things!

It’s been such a long time since I’ve had a weekend off, and this one was pretty perfect! If you live in or around Chicago and have never been to Lincoln Park Zoo, or the surrounding town, go this summer! Adorable rowhouses, parks, mom and pop shops, and of course the FREE Lincoln Park Zoo. The rain even decided to hold off for us :)

I haven’t vlogged in a long time and I think I kind of forgot how much it drains my phone battery, so photo credits to Savannah for the last bunch you’ll see in the video! Check it out and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Roundabout- What in the World is Micah Up to?

Hello there Internet!

Wow, what have I been up to? Now that’s a loaded question, but I’ll try to answer as best as I can without rambling. (No promises though! :) )

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If you watched my last video, you will know that I am currently working at a camp in my area called Riverwoods, which is part of an organization called Fox Valley Christian Action. I’m at the camp now, and it has been so crazy! The Leadership Team is all here now, and we’re enjoying spending time working together to get ready for camp through all of our different roles. Not only are we preparing for camp, though, we’re also going through an intense spiritual “boot-camp” while we’re here. This involves having one day a week that is entirely devoted to prayer, fasting, and worship, as well as having spiritual and other leaders from our communities come in to speak to us on other days. For me personally, this whole experience has been eye-opening as I’m being introduced to some radically different ways that people interact with and experience God.

Of course, I miss my family and my friends (both those at home and those from Judson) like crazy, but it won’t be long until I’ll be able to visit them!

If anything that I’ve mentioned about Riverwoods has caught your attention, please go check out our Facebook page. One of my jobs for the summer is to begin managing Riverwoods’ social and creative media, so I’ll be doing a lot on that page and elsewhere this summer!

Still working on that novel….?

Yes! For those of you who have asked me, yes, I am still working on The Grey Mansion, the novel I drafted way back in November during NaNoWriMo. And although it’s slow going during the editing process, especially with everything else going on, I’m working through a great program called AuthorLaunch, which was founded by author and speaker John Acuff. This includes weekly lessons as well as videos to help writers along in the long process that goes from first draft to publication.

Fun Stuff…

Really this is just a small space for me to talk about my favorite things, so here we go! Please go and check out any of the things I’ve got listed here, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Favorite Recent Movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron (No surprise there)

Current Favorite TV Show: Marvel: Agents of Shield (I haven’t finished Season 2 yet though so no spoilers please!)

Current Favorite Snack: Fairtrade Earl Grey chocolate by jelinachocolatier (found it at meijer and it’s amazing!)

Current Favorite Tea: Her Tea by YourTea (I am really enjoying this tea company! Go check them out! Their teas are really good for you and taste awesome too)

Youtuber(s) I’m Binge-Watching: Carrie Hope Fletcher (Tea, books, tea, Le Mis, London, Music, Disney, did I mention tea?) Rhett and Link (Gooooooodddd Mythical Morning!)

Current Favorite Quote: “Live the full life of the mind, exhilerated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.” -Ernest Hemingway

What I’m Looking Forward to: Camp starting in June!

Thanks for checking out today’s post everyone :) please subscribe to this blog and keep coming back for more! Hopefully I will be writing more and doing more videos as I get into the rhythm of this summer. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

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.

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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!