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Thursday, 29 July 2010

From Despair To Where?

A bit of a rant about the state of the music industry, the media generally & the direction that it' seems to be taking.
And i know who is to blame!

An Iron Age hill fort vlog.
Recorded near the top of Mt Caburn, near Lewes, Sussex.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Beach Ramblings.

Just talking.

A beach vlog.

Recorded on my iPhone.
Sorry for any wind noise.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

YouTube Is a Social Network.

Social networking has been in the news once again this week, with the news that Facebook has passed the 500 million users mark. As i mentioned in a blog post the other day, the reporting of this story is not unusual these days.

One thought i did have about this story was, that  i wondered what some people will make of the fact that a jeans and t.shirt wearing 26 year old, runs a website, that if it were a country, would be the worlds third largest? I'm sure that's pretty scary stuff in some quarters.

In the light of the Facebook story, the BBC reported on a recent survey, which compared all of the main social networking sites. It was called "The ups and downs of social networks". All of the usual suspects and major players were there. Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin, Twitter, Bebo, etc etc. Some faring well and others not so.
But, in my opinion at least, there was one major website missing from that survey. YouTube.

For most people, YouTube is perceived as a video sharing website and this it undoubtably is. It has become the number one site for online video viewing. The place where the vast majority of Internet users will go to first if they want to find a silly viral video,  a clip from their favourite tv show, or the latest music video by their favourite artist.
But, for many other people, YouTube is also a social networking site. So, why isn't it ever viewed as such?
Maybe, it is because of YouTube's perceived association with the sillier and less serious side of the Internet?

Whatever the reason, for me at least, YouTube was my first foray into what i would now call social networking.
It was on YouTube that i first started to interact with fellow Internet users, from across the world, in a meaningful way.
It was on YouTube that i first "met" other like minded Internet users, of all ages & backgrounds.
It was because of YouTube that i first met, in real life, fellow Internet users and felt confident in doing so.
It was because of YouTube that i have travelled to the USA on two occasions, exclusively to meet and travel with fellow video makers and have a great holiday into the bargain.
It was on YouTube that i first discovered a shared sense of there being an online Community.
Now, that's what i call social networking.

Maybe, i feel this way because YouTube was the first site of this kind that i stumbled onto?
Although i knew of and visited sites like MySpace when i first started to explore the social side of the Internet. It was YouTube that drew me in and made me dig beneath the surface and explore that little bit more than before.
For me, it was the way that i could see, through their videos, the people that i was interacting with. I could see their faces and look into their eyes. Something that you just don't get on many other, so called, social networking sites. Surely, it is far safer if you can actually see who you are intereacting with? Yes, i'm sure that this can be falsified. But, not nearly as easily as on a mainly text based site.

Since i created my YouTube channel in August 2006 and started making videos there, i have made some great friends. Some i have met in real life and this have often led to real and genuine friendships. Some i have yet to meet. Some, i may well never meet. But, i would still consider them to be friends.

I do wonder that if i was now a newcomer to the world of social networking, whether i might feel differently? After all, sites such as Facebook and Twitter, both of which i now use, were not really on the Internet radar back in 2006.
That question, of course, can never be answered.
All i do know, is that i am more than happy that my first experiences in the world of social networking were through YouTube.
I consider YouTube to be as real a social networking site as any of the others mentioned in this blog post.
I just wish that the rest of the world would view it in the same way. Maybe some day they will?

Life In A Day - Annus Horrilbilis.

This is my sumbimisson to the YouTube - Life In A Day film project.

Will i be a movie star? Somehow, i doubt it.

A beach vlog.

PS: My Mother arrived home safely, unscathed, after having had an enjoyable holiday.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Vloggers Caravan 2010 - Alcatraz

A visit to 'The Rock".

With appearances by:
Jason -
Gary -

"Deliberate Thought" by Kevin MacLeod
and - "Without You" by Gary - anakin1814

I think we're nearly at the end of the Road Trip videos. Phew!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Now, this really does make me feel old.

Today, is the 41st anniversary of man first walking on the surface of the moon.
Yes, i realise that if you live in different parts of the world, this may well have happened for you on July 20th.  This does raise the question as to what time it was on the moon at the time? Do they have time zones up there?

I mentioned in another recent blog post about how this event was one of those that everybody who was alive at the time remembers. It really was one of those momentous occasions when the whole world was watching and which brought the whole world together.

I was 11 years of age at the time and remember the occasion very well.
I have always had an interest in astronomy & space travel. So, this was a big deal for me. I had followed as many of the Apollo missions as my age enabled me to. I can remember those pictures of the earthrise coming back from the Apollo 8 mission and the effect that that had on everybody. It was, after all, the first time that the earth had been viewed, by us ordinary mortals, from space. Those pictures are still as amazing to me as they have always been.

On the morning of July 21st, 1969 i was woken by my father so that we could sit down and watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin make their first steps on the lunar surface. We had, of course, been watching hours earlier as the lunar module had made it's descent down to the moon.
It was around 4am in the UK at the time. So, this was not a normal wake up call and i can't imagine my father letting me sit up and watch tv, at that time of day, for anything other than an occasion such as this.
Looking back at those old black & white tv clips of the footage, it really does seem a world away from today. But, those tv pictures were true space age technology to us back then and were viewed with a real sense of wonder.
At it happens, i don't really remember that much about actually watching the footage at the time. More about the occasion itself. The details have probably been lost in the mists of time. Well, it was 41 years ago.

Those 41 years have really flown by and i often wonder where they have gone. So, yes, this anniversary really does make me feel old. But, i wouldn't have missed watching it for the world.

My only regret is that, despite my boyhood ambitions, i never got to appear in a photo like this.

Oh well. I guess you can't have everything in life?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Renting A Cherry Tree.

(Can i first just say that this blog post is not an advert and i have not been paid to talk about this. It is just a blog from a satisfied customer)

For those of you who may follow me on some other social networking sites. You may have noticed me mentioning the fact that i've been out picking cherries from my cherry tree.
Now, i do not own this tree, i merely rent it.
Renting a tree?, i hear you ask, how on earth does that work? Well, i'm glad you asked, because i'm going to tell you.

Up until a couple of years ago, i had never heard of anyone renting a fruit tree and apart from the scheme that i'm involved with, i still haven't.
It's all very simple really. I pay a yearly rental fee for a particular cherry tree. For that fee i get to pick and keep, all of the fruit from that tree. It is in effect, my tree. I even have a certificate, with my name on it, telling me exactly which tree is mine. As long as i pay my rental fee every year, the tree remains mine.
And that is it.
The farmer does all the work and looks after the tree for me. He even sends me regular emailed newsletters, telling me about the state of the trees, the likely optimum picking dates and how good the crop is likely to be. All i do is pay my money and then turn up and pick the cherries. I can then do with those cherries what i wish. I could even sell them if i wanted to.

As you can see from this photo, the trees can carry a lot of fruit.

Whilst i don't know if this scheme is unique and i certainly hope it isn't. I think that this is a really good idea.
Here in the UK, we have seen a number of farmers "grubbing out" their fruit trees, because they are not really financially viable any more. This has certainly been the case with apple orchards, where many have disappeared over the past few years. Fruit farming, in the UK, seems to have taken a big hit recently.
So, this renting scheme seems like a really clever and inventive way of preventing this happening. It helps to preserve the fruit trees for future generations and it also helps to keep the farms in business.
I'd love to see it extended to other farms and farmers. But, also to other types of fruit. Apples for example. I would certainly be very interested in renting an eating apple tree as well. So, if anybody, local, knows of one, please let me know.

Another added attractions of the renting scheme, is the family aspect of it all.
As i said before, the tree effectively becomes yours and this has an effect on the way that you and your family start to feel aboutt that tree. For example, when you are picking the fruit, you make sure that you don't harm the tree in the process. After all, this might harm the crop for next year.
When i went to pick my first batch of cherries this year, with my son as it happens. There were family groups there, making a day out of the whole picking process. They had brought along a picnic and were sitting down, next to their tree, eating their lunch. What a nice way for a family to spend a day together.
I went back today, to pick the remaining fruit and this time i went with my father-in-law. As i said, it becomes a family affair.

So, all in all, i am one very satisfied customer and i can recommend this scheme and any others like it. It's a great way of keeping the fruit trees in the orchards and the fruit farmers in business. And you can have some family days out, picking your own fruit, in the great British countryside into the bargain.

Now all i need to do is figure out what i'm going to do with all of these cherries?

Monday, 19 July 2010

Strange Days Indeed...

...most peculiar Mama.

Another momentous happening in the life of andymooseman.

A beach vlog.

From Mosh Pit To Play Pen.

I read an article yesterday about a recent music festival which has started to provide creche facilities for children taken to that festival.
Apparently in previous years at this festival, the parents had to stay with the children. But, this year the parents can pay to leave their children at the festivals kids club. Leaving the parents to go off and enjoy the festivities.

Now, to me at least, this just seems plain wrong.

I can't believe that music festivals have changed that much over the years. And, i seem to remember that festivals have always been associated with drinking, recreational drug use & generally having a very good time. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Not the sort of place that i'd want to take any children of mine to.

Maybe things have changed since my day & i know that they certainly have when it comes to the provision of facilities. But, is a music festival really the right place for a child? Even if they are supervised by a qualified adult.
I realise that children have been taken to music festivals over the years & that facilities have often been provided for them. But, up until now at least, those children have always had to be supervised by at least one of the parents. This latest development seems to be a big change to those previous arrangements.

To me, this whole issue raises two main questions:
1 - Should children be allowed to attend festivals in the first place? and,
2 - Are the parents being selfish by taking them there?

1 - I have no real problem with children attending festivals as such & i suppose it's good that parents feel that they can safely take their children to them. That's obviously an indication of the way that festivals have progressed over the years. Many more festivals and events generally, are now considered to be "child friendly". But, does this end up changing the atmosphere of the festival, or the event itself? After all,  allowing children & possibly, actively encouraging them to attend, must change the way that a festival is run? Different facilities & activities have to be provided to cater for those children.
It goes without saying that f you encourage children, you then have to provide for them. That must cost money?
So does this raise the price of the ticket price for everyone else? If so, is that fair?
At the festival in question here, children under 12 get in free. Is that fair?
As with any potential festival goer, i can, of course, decide not to attend in the first place. But, why should i feel the need to do that. I want to attend a music festival, not a kindergarden.
I admit that i've not attended a music festival for a number of years now. So, the children that are there may not be as intrusvie as i fear they might be.
Festivals have always been occasions when consenting adults can let their hair down a bit & not have to worry about "stuff" for a few days. Does the presence of children change all of that?

2 - Personally, i tend to think that they are. Especially, if they then pay to leave those children in the care of others.
If parents choose to take their children to a music festival & then look after them themselves. Then, i don't see that as quite so much of a problem. But, i do then start to wonder, where is the fun in doing that? What is the point of going to a festival when you have to spend most your time worrying about and tending to the needs of your children. It's something i would certainly never contemplate.
Being a parent of two teenage children, i have been on many family holidays. As any parent will tell you. When those children are young, that turns out to be anything but a holiday. You tend to come home more stressed than when you started out.
I suppose that this new option of paying somebody to look after your children for you, whilst you go & enjoy the music, is a nice option for some. The ones who can afford to pay for this service that is.
But, surely this then raises questions about whether this is fair on the children themselves? And also, what happens if the parents "enjoy" themselves a little bit too much, if you get my drift? Where does the responsibility for the children end up laying? It sounds like a legal minefield to me.
To me, this seems to have taken the whole concept of the babysitter a step too far.
Don't' get me wrong. If i was a child i'm sure i'd love the idea of going to a music festival. It certainly sounds exciting. That's if i'm old enough to realise what's going on of course. But, there does surely come a time when a parent has to wonder if all of this is actually worth it.
As i mentioned earlier. As a parent, i would not have even considered taking my children to a music festival like this and for a number of reasons too. There's the hassle, worry, stress, cost, noise, logistics, time etc etc.
There does, in my opinion anyway, come a time when you just have to say, "No".
Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice as a parent & i have done that many times in the past. You can't do everything that you would like to do & you often have to put certain things off for the future, for when those children have grown older. That's all a part of being a parent and something you just have to accept. You can't have it all. But, unfortunately, that's exactly what some people do want. They want it all & they want it now.
Are those people messing it up for everyone else & not just on the topic of music festivals either?
I'll let you decide & debate that question. But, i know what i think.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Social Media & Me.

One of the new things that has happened to many of us, over the past few years, is the rise of social media. Whether we know what that really means, or not. Most of us have been affected by it in some way or other.

If you are reading this blog post, you are involved. If you are on Facebook, post videos on YouTube, photos on Flickr, or tweets on Twitter, you are involved. And that's just naming some of those sites that have become household names. There are plenty more where they came from & more are appearing all the time, as people try & get in on the act & attempt to plug any unfilled gaps in the social media market.

If i had written this blog post even two years ago, there is a very good chance that far fewer people would either, read it, or know what i was talking about. The past couple of years, especially, has seen a huge rise in the take up amongst social media sites. I think that Facebook can take most of the "credit" for that. Although Twitter isn't that far behind.
I read a statistic recently saying that, if Facebook were a country, it would now be the worlds third largest! So, you can't argue that social media isn't getting people involved.

Hardly a week goes by without the old fashioned media of TV & newspapers covering a "news" story about Facebook, or YouTube. Social media has become big news. But, i suspect that many people don't really understand the term "social media", or have no idea what it really means.

I can't pretend to understand it all myself. But, i have had an active YouTube channel for very nearly four years now & have had accounts on many other social networking sites for almost as long.
It is a topic that interests me a great deal & something i have become quite passionate about, over those years. I have  recorded many YouTube videos & written several blog posts about it too. Just search my blog tags for words such as, "youtube", "Facebook" & "Twitter" and you will see what i mean!
Somebody actually commented on a recent YouTube video of mine saying, "Seriously, your children must be well impressed to have a Father who's well known on YouTube and maybe knows more about social networking and the Internet than they do, or most parents"

So, i thought that i might try and start to write a bit more about this subject. Especially as my life circumstances have changed recently and in such a way that may enable me to write a bit more freely about my social media adventures and history.

I must admit, that i have been partly inspired to do this by a felow social media adventurer, Rich.
Rich is a releatively new convert to the world of social nedia & i have mentioned him in YouTube vlogs before. He has started vlogging & blogging about his experiences & this has, in some ways, re-awakened my own enthusiasm. Thanks Rich.
You can find Rich here:
His YouTube channel - World According to Rich
His blog - worldaccordingtorich

I did think about starting up a separate blog for these posts. But, then i thought that as i've written & vlogged so much about this in the past & posted them here. That i might just as well contiue to do so. Apart from that, it does make it easier for me. I have plenty of other sites that i post to, without adding yet another one!

So, there you go. When you see, hopefully, an increased amount of blog posts about the world of social media & social networking, at least you'll now know why.

All i need now are some topics to discuss.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Re: NoCon 16th July - First YouTube Channel

The latest set of NoCon 2010 questions that i'm answering here:
1 - Why did you open your YouTube channel?
2 - Was the feedback what you expected?
3 - If you could change anything about how you did it what would it be?

As i say in this video. I do answer questions here that i may have answered in some previous videos.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Things Aren't Always What They Seem.

A bit of a impromptu ramble.
Taking in Live Aid, the Apollo moon landings, World Wars & appearances being deceptive.
Hopefully, it all makes sense in the end?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I Want More.

I have just finished reading The Last Mad Surge Of Youth by Mark Hodkinson. I seem to be on a bit of a reading spree at the moment. It's a fictional account of a rock band from the north of England & especially about the bands singer & songwriter, John Barrett.
Being a big music fan, i must admit i'm a bit of a sucker for novels like this.
Not too long ago i read another, fairly similar, rock music novel, Powder by Kevin Sampson. This one was about a young band from Liverpool.

What is it about young bands from the north of England that attract novelists anyway? Anyone would think that no bands from south of Watford ever get a look in, when it comes to success.
Personally, i think it's all tied up with the idea of lads from a "real" working class background making good. Once again, it makes you wonder if the perception is that nobody from south of Watford is working class. But, maybe that's a topic for another blog, at a later date?

All i can say is that i can highly recommend both books. Especially if you like your music. Both are well written, are easy to read & pretty authentic. Well, as far as i can tell that is.
And that really brings me to the whole point of this blog.

I've come away from both books & others before them, wanting to hear the music that was talked about in the book. Now, obviously, that is not possible, as they are works of fiction. But, it is a little bit frustrating, nevertheless. Throughout the book, you have been buying into these peoples lives & you can almost hear the music in your head, as you read.
I guess that this must be a very good indication of how well written the story is & how much you've immersed youself into that story too. But, it also made me wonder if i'm alone in this?
I very much doubt it. But, it would be good to know anyway.

Now, without giving the story away of "The last mad surge of youth". The ending left a few unanswered questions. Well, it did for me anyway.
And that made me think about another aspect of all of this.
For as much as i want to hear the music that these, fictional, bands produced. I also want to know what happened after the author put down his pen, or walked away from the keyboard.
Once again, this is highly unlikely to happen & for obvious reasons too.

But, that thought, about wanting to know what happened next, can be transferred to just about any novel you've read. Or, indeed, to just about any movie you've ever watched too. Hence the need for all those sequels that you've seen, or read. Well, some of them anyway.  I'm not counting the sequels that were just pure money making exercises. And let's be honest, we've all seen far too many of them recently, haven't we?

However many pages a novel may have, or no matter how long a movie may be. We, usually, come away wondering what happened next.
There are, of course, exceptions to this. I'm not expecting a sequel to Thelma & Louise, or Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid any time soon. But, i expect you get the general idea?

Maybe it would be better if we just went back to the days of fairy tales, where all the stories seemed to end with the words "And they all lived happily ever after"? That would solve a lot of the problems wouldn't it?

So, am i alone in this?
Have you ever wanted to hear the music of a fictional band, or artist? Or, have you ever wanted to know what happened to that fictional character that you've just invested all that time reading about?
Or, is it just a case of me wanting more for my money than is actually reasonable?

Now, what shall i read next?

(And, yes, i do realise that there were some TV sequels to the Butch Cassidy movie. But, that just seems to prove my point about a money making exercise)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

It Was 25 Years Ago Today.....

....that Bob Geldof got the bands to play.

I know that this has come as a bit of a shock to a lot of people. But, 25 years ago today, the Live Aid concerts took place across the world. But, most famously in London and Philadelphia.
Yes. it really is 25 years ago. Now, that makes me feel very old.
Judging from the comments i received when i posted this "news" on Twitter and Facebook yesterday, it makes a lot of other people old as well. Those 25 years seem to have flown by.

I did wonder if the reason why Live Aid seems far more recent, is because it was one of those major events where we can remember where we were and what we were doing when it happened? I could be wrong? But, i do know that i can still remember that hot sunny Saturday in July, very well indeed.
It could also be because of all of the events that led up to those concerts taking place across the globe.

I vivdly remember seeing those original BBC images of the dreadful famine taking place in Ethiopia, in late 1984. I bought the Band Aid single, on both 7 and 12", that came out at Christmas 1984, as did just about everybody else i knew at the time. I also bought the Feed The World t.shirts and i still have a photo of my (now) wife proudly wearing one at the time (And yes, that is me on the left!)

So, all of that could well have a bearing on my memories and why i took so much notice of Live Aid. But, another huge reason is that, at that time, nothing like this had ever happened before. Yes, there had been big benefit concerts before. But, nothing on this scale & certainly nothing that was broadcast live on worldwide TV. The BBC more, or less, abandoned their normal schedule for the day and broadcast the whole event, including the concert in Philadelphia. That type of scheduling had only ever been given to royal weddings, state funerals and moon landings before. So, this was a big deal.

There was also the small matter of the fact that the gigs featured just about anyone who was anyone in the field of rock and pop music, at the time.
So, when the words "It's twelve noon in London, seven AM in Philadelphia, and around the world it's time for; Live Aid ...." were spoken by Richard Skinner. Myself, my friends & countless millions of people around the world, were primed & ready.

I watched as much of the concerts as i could. Although i did miss some of the later performances. Well, it was a hot day and the pub was close to home! Having said that, i did have one of those old fashioned video recorders and taped as much as i could.

So, what do i remember about the music?
The performance i was most looking forward to was by U2. Who at that time were not that well known globally. I remember being very disappointed by their performance & thinking that they had blown a really good opportunity to show what they were capable of. Ironically, the rest of the world didn't agree with me & it has become generally accepted, that it was this Live Aid performance that catapulted U2 onto the world stage. What do i know eh?
Apart from that, i vividly remember:
In London:
Status Quo starting it all off with "Rocking all over the world". Very appropriate,
Paul McCartney effectively singing to himself, because his microphone had broken,
George Michaels yellow shirt (I have no idea why, but i bought one afterwards!)
David Bowie giving up one of his songs, so that they could show "That" video ("Drive" by The Cars) & the effect that that had on everybody.
Bob Geldof stopping the Boontown Rats song, "I don't like Mondays", after the words "And the lesson today is how to die..." And the effect that that had on the crowd.
Queen - Their whole set was amazing,
Phil Collins using Concorde to fly betweem London & Philadelphia, so that he could play at both venues.
In Philadelphia:
Madonna, who wasn't very well known then.
"Led Zeppelin", who weren't very good at all. but, at least they were better than,
Bob Dylan (with Ronnie Wood) who was awful & upset many people for suggesting that some of the money raised should go to American farmers instead!

It wasn't the best gig in the world. But, then that wasn't really the point, was it?
Live Aid raised a huge amount of money, for a very good cause & it changed the future of rock gigs forever. Just think of how many more big campaigning gigs have taken place since Saturday, 13th July 1985..

So, yes, i do remember where i was & what i was doing that day & i think i always will.
Do you?

Monday, 12 July 2010

Down To The Sea.

"I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky"

That is the first line from the poem "Sea Fever" by English poet, John Masefield. Now, i'm not in any way a big poetry fan. But, that line just came to me as i sat down to write this blog post.

Why?, you ask.
Well, i've just been down for a walk by "the lonely sea and the sky" & felt compelled to write something about it. Isn't that what blogs are all about, after all?

I'm very lucky in that i can see the sea from my bedroom window. Ok, i have to look out of the window at just the right angle. But, if i was trying to sell the house, the words "sea view" would no doubt appear in the description. As it happens, if i lean out of my rear bedroom window i can see Hastings castle (built in the 1080's, by the Normans) Well, what remains of it. But, that's another story...

I have lived in Hastings & close to the sea, for over 20 years now & in that time the sea has never lost any of it's initial appeal. I think you naturally feel that after you've lived by the sea for a while, you would get used to it & maybe not notice it quite so much. I know that this does happen for many people. But, in the case of my wife & i, that has not happened. If anything, i think i appreciate the sea more & more as time goes on. The fact that the sea front is so close to my home may have a bearing on that. As might the fact that i wasn't born here & moved here purposely to be near the sea, amongst other reasons.
I have got so used to living by the sea now, that i'm not sure that i would ever want to move away from it & i know that my wife feels exactly the same way.

Anyone who has ever walked by the sea, or on the beach, especially in relative solitude, would understand the calming effect that that walk can have & that was primarily the reason for my walk today.

I am currently going through one of those life changing periods that occur in most peoples lives, more of which at a later date & having the sea so close at hand has been of great benefit to my peace of mind.

I was out walking along the beach the other day, with the sand beneath my feet & between my toes & i thought to myself "I really ought to try & get out for a walk by the sea far more often".
It was one of those great summer afternoons. The tide was out, the sand was exposed & i was able to walk along a, relatively, deserted beach in my bare feet, with my feet in the water & all  in the warm sunshine too.
It's at moments like that that you realise how lucky you are & that life could be a whole lot worse.

I have a feeling that there will be many more walks down to the sea to come in the near future.
I can't wait.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

NoCon Day 3 - YouTube, What's Next?

It's the final day of NoCon.
My thoughts on the following:

DAY 3: Next On YouTube and Questions:
What's next for YouTube?
If you could change anything about YouTube what would it be?
Besides Other Channel and Auto Start, what other Partner feature would you like to have on your channel?
If youtube made you pay for your channel or for extra features, would you do it?
Can you be a meaningful member of YouTube and not make videos?

Thanks to Bill for putting this altogether:

Friday, 9 July 2010

Re: NoCon - Day One: Getting Noticed

This is a response to:

From the NoCon2010 channel:

This was all started by:

These are the questions: DAY 1: Getting Noticed
How do you get noticed?
How do you define success on YouTube?
What part does luck play in YouTube success?
Does Sub for Sub work?
Ever seen people in your subscription box that you don't remember subscribing to?
Why do people unsubscribe?
How often should you make videos for your channel?
What is the minimum expectation for a YouTube video?

Why not get involved yourself?

A beach vlog.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Happy Birthday Ringo.

Today is the 70th birthday of Ringo Starr, one time drummer with, probably, the most famous & influential rock band on the planet, The Beatles.
Now, apart from making me feel old, after all, i grew up listening to The Beatles' music. This also makes me think aboutf Ringo's place in rock & roll history.

As you are probably aware, Ringo has often been a bit of a figure of fun. Who hasn't heard that old chestnut, "Ringo is not the best drummer in the world. In fact he's not even the best drummer in The Beatles"?
And, yes, his drumming may not have been as flamboyant, or as well thought of as many other rock drummers of his time. People like Keith Moon, Ginger Baker & John Bonham spring to mind.

But, The Beatles would not have been The Beatles, that we know & love, without him. If Pete Best had remained as The Beatles' drummer, as good as he might have been. I don't think they would have been the same band & would not have made the same impact.

Because, all bands are a sum of their different parts.
Just because a particular member of the band doesn't write the songs, or doesn't sing on the records, doesn't mean that they are not an integral part of that band.

I can think of many bands where, if you were to take one member out of that band, they just would not be the same. Obviously, the impact that would have would depend on which member was missing. It seems pretty obvious that if you took Jim Morrison out of The Doors, or even John Lennon out of The Beatles, they would be seriously lacking a vital element.

But, a drummer? Surely nobody would notice if they went missing? After all, all they do is sit at the back & make a noise, don't they?
Well, i may be biased having been a drummer years ago. But, i disagree with that.

Some might even say that the drummer is the most important member of a band.
They provide the beat & they provide the rhythm. The rest of the band follow the drummer. You can have the best songs in the world. But, if the beat & the rhythm are wrong, all is lost.
And that is why Ringo was such an important member of one of the most important bands of all time.
He was the man who put the beat in The Beatles

And also, let us not forget that without Ringo, we would not have had such great song titles as, "A Hard Days Night" & "Tomorrow Never Knows"

Happy birthday Ringo. May the beat go on.

Life In A Day

Do you want to be in a movie to be shown at the 2011 Sundance Festival?
If so, read this:
YouTube blog:

The World According To Rich:
http://worldaccordingtorich.blogspot.... &

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Back To the Future?

Many of you might have seen stories floating around on the Internet, over the past couple of days, saying about how today was Future Day.
This all stems from the movie Back To The Future. The story being that today, or yesterday, depending on which story you read, was the date programmed into Marty McFly's De Lorean sports car.

Well, it's not true...
Apparently this all started when a UK based movie magazine reported the story. They then realised their mistake. But, they still produced a photo-shopped picture, supposedly showing the read out in the car, with the date as "Jul 05, 2010". I guess they were just having a bit of fun? But, you know how the Internet is these days. Stories like this spread like wildfire. Sites like Twitter & Facebook just help to fan those flames & spread them ever further. Maybe that's because we all want the stories to be true. It's almost as if we're willing them to be real, in some instances anyway.
I saw the story myself yesterday, via Twitter as it happens. I tried, in vain, to find out if this was true, as it seemed like aa amusing little story. Now i know why i couldn't prove it.

This whole episode made me think of two things.

Firstly, this re-inforces the fact that you just can't believe all that you read, or see on the Internet. As if you should do so anyway! So many people want to start a hoax, or just don't check their facts in the first place. In these cases & before you know it, that "fact", or deliberate falsehood, has become the "truth".

My second thought was that the future just isn't what it was made out to be. If i'd bought the future in a store, i'd have taken it back by now & asked for my money back.
In Back To The Future, Marty McFly was zooming around on a hoverboard. Well, i haven't seen anyone doing that in my neighbourhood yet & i don't expect to do so for some time to come. Even the De Lorean car seemed too revolutionary & disappeared into the sunset.
I remember watching "2001 A Space Odyssey", all those years ago & thinking, "Wow this is going to be happening in my lifetime. I'll be able to visit the Moon when i'm older" It sure beats some terrestrial resorts i can think of (Insert joke here about visiting the Moon & not liking it, because it had no atmosphere...)
In July 1969, we landed a man on the Moon. Now, we don't seem to be able to get any futher than orbiting the Earth.
I'm sure we can all think of many more examples of those exciting promises of what the future was going to hold for us.

So, what happened? Were we all lied to?
And, maybe most importantly of all. Who stole my future? I want it back.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Ignorance Is Bliss?

Yesterday i attended a quiz afternoon, organised by some good friends of mine & my wifes. It was all in aid of charity & indeed a favourite local charity of mine, St Michael's Hospice.
I've mentioned St Michael's Hospice before & have attended a fund raising quiz in aid of them before. I even wrote a blog post about that occasion. Thankfully, this quiz was nowhere near as dramatic as that night was!

Having said that, my team won & quite convincingly too. Which brings me to the point of this blog.
Without wishing to "big" myself up, i am usually thought of as being pretty good at quizzes. So much so that when my wife & i sat down at our table, our fellow team mates said "Oh, we'll be sure to win now that Andy is on our team" Thankfully, this proved to be the case & i did, indeed, get a lot of the answers correct.
But, why me & why didn't the other team members feel confident in their own general knowledge? And why didn't they know as many answers as myself?

As far as i'm concerned & feel free to correct me if you think i'm wrong, this has nothing to do with intelligence. Believe me, i know plenty of pretty intelligent people who have no real general knowledge at all & not a lot of common sense either, for that matter!
For me, it seems to come down to my general inquisitive nature & my wide range of interests.

But, i can't say that i've always been that way. I certainly don't recall having those interests whilst i was at school. Apart from music that is. In fact, i couldn't wait to get out of school to start work & earning money.
The vast majority of my "education" has come since then & in what i call, the University Of Life. I seemed to suddenly find this wide range of interests after starting work. Maybe it was a case of suddenly having the freedom to learn about & explore the subjects that interested me, rather than those topics which had to be taught before?
It's also possible that i just wasn't interested in learning whilst at school & i'm sure that's the case with many people at that age. And of course, if you leave school with few qualifications, the chance of any further education, especially in those days, was limited. I probably wouldn't have been interested in further education anyway. I never found school particularly inspiring, except for a very few exceptions.

Thankfully, after leaving school i started to read a lot of books, magazines, newspapers etc, especially about those subjects that did interest me & i started to absorb all of that knowledge.
I'm also lucky in that i tend to soak up that information like a sponge. But, i'm convinced that that only happens because i want to digest that information in the first place.
I've also never ever been much of a big watcher of TV. Sure, i watch TV, as most people do. But, i only ever turn the TV on when i want to watch something in particular.. Otherwise, i'd rather the TV was turned off.

So, if i'm inquistive, interested & want to learn & digest all of that knowledge. Why don't other people? Some people even seem to be proud of the fact that they don't know anything. For them, ignorance is bliss. They seem to have no real interest in the world around them. That's a situation that i find very hard to understand.
But, maybe that's just me?

What i do know is that, as part of the winning team, my wife & i came home with a bottle of wine & a box of chocolates. The "losers" went home with nothing.
Who says that knowledge has no benefits?

2010 World Cup - Week 4

The latest of my series of videos about the 2010 World Cup.
We've now reached the semi-final stage.