22 February 2018

Spring Is Coming.

Even with the temperature in the North of England being -2 c at 6 this morning, you could tell spring is on its way, crocus and daffodils are starting to pock their heads up through the cold hard Earth, buds are starting to form on the trees and shrubs, the birds are singing in the morning again and the sun was starting to rise before 8 in the morning.

Even though I admit that I prefer Autumn and Winter, the thought of warmer weather is a welcome relief, I am looking forward to bright, sunny and warm days, the smell of flowers, fresh cut grass and barbecues filling the air. 

With any luck summer won't be limited to a few weeks in August this year and will be spread out over a few months.

We shall see, we shall see..

16 February 2018

The Hunt Is Over

I have been trying to find a way to embed my podcasts to my blog for around three days now and have for the most part been failing on an epic scale.
I don't want to only use Archive.org because there is no fast way I can upload the audio to them from my phone and let's face it, there are going to be times when a person just can't get to a computer fast enough to get that important podcast on air.

Yes, I could live stream that news breaking event to YouTube but that would take up way too much data and lets be honest, YouTube is not a podcasting site, yes I could have a slide show or even a static image with my commentary like the one above, but it still isn't a podcast, it is a video an MP4 in my case and an MP4 is not an MP3 or a M4A it is a video and a totally different listening experience. For one, you can't download and MP4 it and listen to it on your podcast app or RSS feeder, even if  you can, a video is not a podcast.

Anyway, I am ranting and this is not one of those posts. This is a nice post a post about how, after three, well two and a half days of trying to figure out how to embed the podcasts I make on Anchor.fm I succeeded.

Short Story Time;
About four years after I started this blog I had the idea that I wanted the people who read my posts to be able to listen to what I had to say at a time that was convenient for them. Unfortunately, the technology to make this happen was not available, or at least not available to me, eventually I stumbled across YouTube which, did make it so that people could listen and watch what I had to say which in one way was better but in another way worse because I got all tide up in making YouTube videos and being a YouTuber,

I forgot about my blog and making it so my blog readers could listen to my posts instead of having to read them. I forgot that I was a blogger, someone who wrote blog posts about how I saw the world.

Three years ago (2015) a small company called Anchor was born in a small apartment in New York, they had the dream of making podcasting available to everyone, and making podcasts as simple as making a phone call.
Last week I found the Anchor app and Anchor.fm, the company that some people have called The Audio Twitter.

I have played with this app and its website for about a week now, spending two and a half days trying to figure out how to embed the podcasts I am making and uploading to Anchor to my blog. This afternoon with the help of Ilean Smith a YouTuber, Podcaster and all round social media guru, I finally managed to make it so that people who read my blog can now listen to what I have to say and not have to move away from iJim.co.uk, you could even watch and listen to what I have to say if you wanted to, but that would be via YouTube.

My podcasts have their own RSS feed now and can be found on iTunes, so that you can listen to them when and where you want to.

I feel like I have come full circle with this as I am now more active on my blog than I have been for a long time and if I am honest, I have to thank Anchor.fm and Ilean for this.

Thank you.
The Hunt is finally over.

25 January 2018

Why did I start hiding my face?

I have finally gone and done it.

I started writing a blog way back in the 1990's. My own little island on the internet. Those of you who have stuck around my blog long enough will know that I don't write that much, I say I will but vary rarely do.
See on the 12th April 2012 YouTube opened up its YouTube Partner Program so that anyone with an uploaded video could join and become a YouTube partner. I had started my channel about three weeks before this happened and, I have to admit after jumping at the chance to become a YouTube partner, making video`s kind of took over, even though in the beginning I wanted to make them for my blog, which, over time became more and more ignored, left to fend for its self.

My first channel is no longer on YouTube, I deleted it after someone told me I should stick to watching vlogs and quit making them, looking back I still say that, that is the worst mistake I have ever made, I am sure that after 6 years if making videos on the same channel I would have easily met the new requirements that YouTube rolled out this month.

Still, maybe it was for the best, see, the one thing which has always held me back on both my blog and my YouTube channel is the fear that something I say or do could have a negative impact on either my family, my job or my chances of getting a job. So I held back on a lot of things that I wanted to talk about.

As time went on I noticed that the vast majority of Youtubers were at the oldest around early to mid 30's. I started thinking, right or wrong that my age was having a negative impact on my channel, even though many people told me that this was not the case, I the thought had took root and this did knock my confidence.

So, to the point of this post, last weekend I deleted all of the video's on my YouTube channel, all but three, I think I have also deleted every picture of me from my Twitter, Facebook page and Instagram, then I took out an old bike bandanna and a hat and made the move to do a total iJim re-branding, instead of recording vlogs about my day I record commentaries about the world as I see it, wart's and all.

Some people have commented that I "look scary" or "that they would not want to meet me in a dark alley".
This was not my intention, I am the same person under the mask as I always have been.

I already feel more confident in front of the camera. I know that as long as I stay within the YouTube Guide Lines I have no reason at all to hold back, and that feels good, if I think that the subject I am talking about might teeter on the edge of those guide lines, I can direct people to my blog, here at iJim.co.uk where I can fill in the gaps and be more direct.

26 December 2017

New Years Resolutions

2017 is coming to an end, traditionally this is the time where we look forward to the new year with our New Years Resolutions, plans for things we wish to achieve or quit in the new year. I personally dont like making resolutions. Historically our new years resolutions dont last to the end of January.

I do however have some goals, things I want to do and achievements I want to make in the new year. 

I mentioned in my New Years resolution video that I want to start over with my channel. I want to spend more time planning my videos.
As well as sticking with what I am doing now, recording videos for Future me, I want to be able to record videos which fall in line with world events and holidays. 

I do plan to restart my "Survivor" series again in the new year, recording the rest of Series 1 as well as planning and working on Series 2.

If it is at all possible I would love to involve more people in the recording of some of the episodes, making it more true to life, especially once the main character starts to meet other people (oops spoiler) 

I am already collecting more sound effects and recording some parts of certain episodes out side, which can be a challenge at times, especially when you can hear traffic or people talking in the background.

Other things I am wanting to do with regards to my YouTube channel is to get outside more to record my videos, sometimes a change of scenery can be a good thing. 

As well as making my vlogs more interesting, getting out and about will do a lot towards my health, like I said in my video 2017 has been a year where my fitness levels have been effected by my health, a lot. Finding out I had Ulcerative Colitis was a real kick in the pants for me, but being almost housebound for nearly three month didnt help a lot. I also found out that I had Plantar fasciitis a condition where a person finds it very painful to walk after periods of sitting down or prolonged activity, something again which was a kick in the pants for me, taking all this into account, I want to get my fitness levels up regardless. I am already working on my diet and my heal so that I can get out more.

As well as the above, another thing I didnt mention in my video was my plans to start blogging again. This, after all was what I started doing way back when the world was dial up only, long story, maybe I will make a video about it one day. 
As with this blog post, I can take the initial video to the next level, delving even deeper into a given subject or, as with this post I can add things which were missing from the initial video. At the time of recording this YouTube is not exactly a free speech friendly place, my blog, on the other hand is, I can say what I want without worrying about having my post hidden because of complaints from the social justice brigade.

Finally, I said that I want to Casey Neistat my life, if you dont know why Casey Neistat is, click the link and watch some of his videos, I guarantee you will know exactly what I mean within an hour. At the moment (and not because of the time of year) everything seems a mess of clutter, I need to declutter my world. The amount of time I spend looking for something is madness, honestly I could spend hours looking for something to help me do a five minute job. You can understand how frustrating this is, especially when there are other things that I "want" to do.
I chose the image to the left because of the title "There is no rules" I want to apply this idea to the way I vlog, if my lighting is not perfect with a light box to my right and my left so be it, if you can hear my kids fighting in the background, well thats OK, I have kids and yes, they do fight from time to time. I dont have the luxury of having a studio or an office where I can record my videos, I live in a noisy and chaotic environment and people need to accept that, I have.

Casey Neistat is not the only YouTuber that is inspiring me to take my videos to the next level Gary Vaynerchuk  has been a huge influence over the last few months, especially with his video "Document, Dont Create" it is this video I am taking with me as I move into 2018 and it is to a greater or lesser extent how I plan to record at least some of my videos in the new year and it is with this video that I want to end this post. 

13 December 2017

How Vidme Closing Down Is Effecting Me

On the 1st of this month (December 2017) Vid.me dropped the bombshell that it is closing down, in a blog post written by Vid.me Co-founder Warren Shaeffer. you can read the full post here. Shaeffer went on to say that Vidme will be deleting all videos and accounts as of the following 15th, giving fifteen days for creators to download any videos they want to keep. vidme 1

How does this effect me?

At first I admit I was close to devastated at the news, Vidme had become a big part of what I do, with the exception of the occasional video uploaded to YouTube, I had stopped uploading my vlogs to all video sharing platforms, except for Vidme so where was I going to go next?

It took a couple of days for the news to sink in to the point where I could sit down and read the blog post Shaeffer had written properly, taking in their reasons for closing down, I now understand and am OK with the closure, not that I have any choice, its going to happen whether I want it to or not and as I am not in a financial situation to bail them out to the point where they could be a viable alternative to YouTube, I need to just deal with it.

And deal with it I am, the Vidme community have banded together to make sure they don't loose touch with each other, creating discord groups and websites to keep in touch, (it was the Vidme community which in all honesty made Vidme what it was in the first place and the fact that they chose to stay together after the closure of their/our website announced its closure is a testament to that community).

I, on the other hand have chosen to stay on the outskirts of the community, maybe I am still reeling from the news of Vidme`s closure, I don't know. I don't want to have to look round for a new video sharing platform to upload my vlogs to, so have decided to go back to what I know, YouTube.

I have been uploading the videos that I shared exclusively on the Vidme platform over the last few days and will continue to do this until every video I had uploaded to Vidme is available on YouTube.

Don't get me wrong, I am not all about YouTube again, it is a place I can upload my vlogs to and that is it, for the moment. I don't 100% trust YouTube or the direction it is going in, I don't like the new trick YouTube has of deleting accounts without warning or reason either, not that I can see my YouTube channel ever being deleted in this way, I don't upload anything which could be seen as such a heinous breach of YouTubes Terms of service, so I cant see this ever happening, saying that, I am backing all my video's up on a site called BitChute a P2P video sharing site, just in case.

So, how do I feel now, 13 days after the announced closure of Vidme and two days before the Vidme servers are wiped clean, purged of all content?

I don't know, I know I have a lot of work to do to get my YouTube channel back on track after nearly 6 month of inactivity, I know that I will have to work harder than I have in the past if I am going to get anywhere near the amount of subscribers on YouTube as I had on Vidme, but I think I am ready and at least this time I know that the people who choose to subscribe to my channel are real people with a vested interest in the content that I make and are not fake accounts, bots made to follow my channel by way of boosting it to make my site and the platform my channel is hosted on look good.

To end, Vidme, if your reading this, finding out that my channel had been boosted by yourselves with fake accounts and Bots hurt me, a lot. I would rather never have reached 100 followers but know that each of my followers was a real person who was interested in what I was saying, than have the 1800+ followers you handed me, only to find out that 80% of these followers were not real and didn't care about what I uploaded, if I uploaded anything at all.

12 November 2017

I have it so good..

Let me give you a quick update before I start, trying he kitchen? It's still being put together, we just need the kitchen units fastened into place and then we can get the sink plumbed in.

For nearly two weeks now, I have had to go to the bathroom for water and boy have I complained about it. Having to wash the dishes in the bath because my dishwasher wasn't plumbed in, filling the kettle from the bathroom if I wanted a cup of coffee, I was not happy.
This morning but realised how in had been acting like a spoiled little child, full of self importance because I am a white male in the western world.

I stood, while drinking my cup of coffee and thought about how I had to walk up fifteen steps and turn in the tap to fill my kettle while there are people in some countries who have to walk mile's for their water and then walk all the way back, or drink dirty water

Talk about privileged, I'm living in the western world, in a three bedroom semi-detached house. I am lucky and I'm going to walk up stairs to fill the kettle again, without complaining.

5 November 2017

The Kitchen Update

Its the same day as the last blog post I made, just six hours later and I'm starting to worry, just a bit. Not about how the kitchen is being fitted but the time it is taking. Its 4:30 at the time of writing this and I need to start getting tea ready for the kids. I need to get clothes and uniforms washed and ready for the kids starting school tomorrow but the washing machine is in the outhouse, which you can only access through the kitchen