Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ASMR Community Update: August 2013

Welcome to the August edition of the ASMR Community Update. It was quiet for the first half of the month, but in this last week or two, there has been a sudden surge of articles appearing.

Lauren Fenton, a well known ASMArtist has been working on a huge resource of information titled “The Genesis of a Subculture of ASMR”, mainly dedicated to covering the ASMR Youtube/ ASMR Whisper community. If you have any suggestions for pioneers in said community, she welcomes you to inform her and she’ll add your suggestions.

An article popped up on rue89.com. It’s written in French so Google Translate will likely be needed for those of you who don’t speak it as a first language.

Another article was featured over on Canada.com.

Wyso.org also had a post up about finding the ASMR community.

GayStarNews interviewed Toni Bomboni, an ASMArtist, on his thoughts regarding YouTube trolls, and how he copes with them. My personal thoughts risk getting involved here, but seeing as this is very common among YouTube video makers, I feel I should say something. The most important thing I think one can do is to not let their voices be heard. People who run YouTube channels can always disable comments (people who really care and want to provide feedback can send a private message, email, or contact them on Facebook or Twitter), and report trolls for their behaviour. And on the topic of death threats – report this to the authorities who specialise in cybercrime, because that is no doubt very serious and the same goes for hacking of accounts. That goes beyond trolling and in to the realm of criminality. Don’t engage trolls, because that’s what they want. They win if you do. And they also win if nobody does anything. I also understand that trigger videos end up getting flagged as inappropriate or get a number of dislikes – these are anonymous unfortunately, and I think in the interests of transparency, YouTube should actually change this, because it is very obviously open to abuse.

Electric Feast conducted a live interview with Heather Feather, a well known ASMArtist. A video clip of this is available on YouTube. Heather also wrote about the experience on her blog.

There was an ASMR survey that was launched on Survey Monkey and linked to on Reddit this month.

Just thought I would pop this in, while we’re on the subject: Reddit has without a doubt one of the most active ASMR communities around, and recently they celebrated exceeding 50 000 subscribers! They came up with a mascot for the occasion – and if you thought that it was inspired by one favourite fuzzy-haired artist, well, then you are in fact correct!

Edentech Solutions announced on Twitter that the latest version of the popular RelaxTube app for iOS, v 2.0.8 is now available.

There haven’t been any updates as far as I’m aware about the results of the ASMR study conducted at Dartmouth earlier this year, but I did come across an interesting story elsewhere. It seems that another unrelated study that has the aim of investigating Goosebumps is under way. Now in the past Goosebumps has caused a bit of controversy, because many people assume that ASMR is simply Goosebumps. But a lot of people who experience ASMR will tell you that although Goosebumps may accompany ASMR events, they aren’t technically the same thing. It’s only one of the possible physical reactions (and perhaps some don’t experience it at all). Generally Goosebumps is linked to cold or negative emotions which result as a reaction to scary or thrilling situations, such as fear, which doesn’t really describe ASMR at all. Still, it would be interesting to know more about it, seeing as nobody has really gone in-depth when it comes to Goosebumps before. Sound familiar? Here’s the official website for more info.

Lastly, I’d like to make all ASMArtists aware of the strong possibility that your videos have been downloaded and uploaded elsewhere, most likely to other YouTube channels. Now sometimes this is done by someone in all innocence who isn’t aware of the fact that it is copyright infringement and against YouTube TOS. Other times it most definitely is done in the hopes of attracting subscribers and possibly monetizing these videos. Now even though others might spot your videos on these channels, it is your responsibility in the end to file DMCA take down notices. Flagging the video most likely won’t be enough, while reporting people for displaying ads on copyrighted content might well do the trick. This rampant theft has grown exponentially over time to the point where I am seeing stolen content almost every day while searching for ASMR videos – and not just on YouTube. People often discuss this in a number of ASMR groups, most prominently in a group called ASMR Technical Exchange – which would be the right place to talk about it if you need help with how to approach this situation if it has indeed happened to you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ASMR Community Update: July 2013

Welcome to the July edition of the ASMR Community Update. This month may or may not have been a little more sparse than we’ve been used to for most of this year so far, but at least one or two big things happened. So let’s get to it!

Among the articles I came upon, was one over on a blog at the Houston Press. This tended to focus more on music-induced ASMR.

Lifehack had a piece which delved in to using ASMR to reduce stress.

The ASMR Film Project, now titled Tingly Sensation: The ASMR Story, landed on Kickstarter this month, and in just a few weeks it has reached its target amount of  $9800! So it looks like it’s going to be that much closer to being finished and released now that it has the funding. A bigger teaser trailer was released this month to coincide with the Kickstarter launch.

Whispering Weaver and TheWaterwhispers Ilse are in the UK as part of the ASMR World Tour, and would love to invite all those interested to participate in two documentaries, which will be preceded by a meet and greet. A public event page was launched on Facebook, stating that the meetup will take place on Monday, August 5, and the film shoot at the YouTube Studios in London on Tuesday, August 6. A mini-documentary about the ASMR community from the perspective of ASMRtists will be filmed, as well as a shoot for the Braingasm documentary, directed by Lindsey Ragone. This may be followed by a video collaboration if time allows.

Be sure to visit the event page linked to above or contact Whispering Weaver on Facebook if you’d like more information on the event and if you’d like to attend. It’s RSVP only, so not just anyone can attend. You have to book a place (it’s free to do so) and only then will you be given exact details as far as location, times, and itinerary go.

A national publicly-funded TV station in Sydney, Australia (SBS TV) wants to get in contact with anyone in said city who would be interested in participating in an interview to be used in an ASMR documentary. I’m not quite certain what the progress is on the documentary, but if you’re in Sydney, and willing to talk about ASMR, then contact andy.park@sbs.com.au for more information.

A survey was created that delves in to not only ASMR, but Frisson and Synaesthesia. It has been translated in to several languages, and last I checked it had a few hundred respondents. When the survey reaches its goal of 1000 respondents, then the results of the survey will be released. Remember that all answers are anonymous, so if you can spare a bit of time, try it out.

A new version of the ASMR iOS app was released, by Sassou Studios. Version 3 (now updated to version 3.1) features a new look, and has 25 HD sounds for you to listen to, as well as the ability to record your own. It also allows you to download any video you watch so you can view it in offline, and videos can even be converted to audio files so you can just listen to your favourite trigger videos if you like. The app is about 52 MB and costs $3.99.

And lastly, Heather Feather, an ASMRtist, underwent surgery this month, so if we could all just wish her well, perhaps by way of sending her an email or a private message, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

On that note, I’d like to wish you all well for the coming month, and see you back here at the end of it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

ASMR Community Update: June 2013

Welcome to the June edition of the community update, where I include all the news that I either covered or didn’t get around to doing during the month. I usually post links to interesting stories over at the ASMR Research & Support Facebook page and Twitter.

To kick things off, at the beginning of the month an article appeared on 3dfocus.co.uk, where the story was focused (no pun intended) on a young man who has upwards of 40 million views. It was reported that in addition to other channels he has, he also has an ASMR-dedicated channel.

Another UK-based website, the online edition of The Daily Mail, featured a story on ASMR, too.

Another article appeared on metro.co.uk, and this was accompanied by a Q&A with Nicole, otherwise known as Pigsbum53 on YouTube. There is also some evidence that an article appeared in the print version of The Metro.

An article appeared on the German media website, sueddeutsche.de. And another  piece written in German appeared here.

Over in the USA, an article was published on The Verge.

Getting on to video clips that surfaced during the month, a somewhat controversial episode of Russell Howard’s Good News aired, and ASMR was talked about here. The episode can be viewed on the BBC’s website, but for those of you unable to view that page, you can still catch it on YouTube.

A teaser trailer for the upcoming ASMR documentary, Braingasm: The ASMR Documentary, was uploaded to YouTube by the director, Lindsey Ragone. An article that spoke about this teaser and the documentary appeared on Twitch.com.

Plans for a live ASMR event for May 2014 are in motion. If all goes according to plan, it should take place in Florida. The organiser is looking to get more ASMRtists on board for the event, and tickets will likely be sold to those wish to attend to cover the cost of renting out the premises and the use of equipment. A Facebook group was started just for this very event.

You know what to do by now. Come back at the end of this month for another community update! Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 31, 2013

ASMR Community Update: May 2013

ASMR continued form in May, as it was yet another busy month for ASMR. In fact, probably the busiest month so far in its history.

To kick things off, Cristina Mendoza tweeted of an upcoming ASMR segment on News10 on the ABC television network, which screened on Monday the 6th of May, 2013 at 11 PM. A trailer of this was put up on YouTube, and during the show, Cristina even took a stab at making her own whisper video, as she did a tour of the studio, whilst whispering. News10.net also published three articles on their website, which can be found here, here, and here. The general consensus was that this was one of the more unbiased attempts to cover ASMR by any media outlet.

Not long after this, ABC15 News ran a segment on ASMR on a show called Taking Action on Thursday the 16th of May, 2013 at 10 PM. There was a small trailer that was uploaded to Stephanie Hockridge’s (the show’s host) YouTube channel. Jennifer AppreciateAsmr appeared on the show in the form of a recorded interview that was done the day before. Those in Phoenix, Arizona got to watch the show live, whereas others can watch it online on YouTube.

Australian media outright mocked ASMR, with a thus far unsourced clip appearing on YouTube. This is a disturbing trend. It seems that if the media isn’t labelling it a fetish, then they’re classifying it as “boredom addiction”. I don’t usually let personal opinions get in the way here, but I dislike it when bias creeps in to the media, and this is another typical example of the media completely missing the entire point.

A German Radio show broadcasted a show with a segment on ASMR, which was caught by Donna ASMR and translated in to English in the form of subtitles with the help of GrowlingWhispers. This may or may not be linked to this German website that has a write-up about ASMR; the “radio” part in the URL gives me that impression. Just while we’re on the subject, a new German ASMR website was launched recently too. It seems as though the ASMR craze that swept through The Netherlands last year has progressed to other parts of Western Europe now. There’s also a new Russian based ASMR website that forms part of the growing Russian ASMR community which boasts names like Maria Gentlewhispering, so maybe a sweep of ASMR fever for Eastern Europe isn’t too far off now.

Heading even further west, ASMR also appeared on The Preston And Steve Show in Philadelphia, USA and a podcast was later made available. You can also catch the ASMR segment on YouTube.

An article was published on bbc.com, with the title of “Does Boredom Give You Pleasure?”, and this was followed up with a blog post on Mindhacks.com. Both were written by Tom Stafford, a professor of psychology.

Michelle Joni, who wanted to get in contact with any ASMRtists in New York last month, published her piece on ASMR over at Spaweekly.

Other articles appeared over at Rhizome.org, the Daily Californian, The Hairpin, Isis Magazine, Ugen.tv, Citybeat.com, gizmag.com and ASMR even got a mention on this New York Times blog.

ASMRLab tweeted about a free eBook that they’re offering to anyone who registers for free on their website. It’s 16 pages dedicated to teaching you how to get the best out of your ASMR experience.

A Ph.D student by the name of Regis James has expressed interest in starting up research at the scientific institution he attends. He states that he has spoken with an “internationally-known neuroscientist” to discuss the possibility of conducting a study on ASMR. The thus far anonymous neuroscientist says that he wants some good samples, or trigger videos first to determine whether the study would be worthwhile. Regis is open for suggestions, so if you know of a video that is particularly good one for triggering ASMR, be sure to contact Regis over at Facebook, or YouTube.

asmrstudyAs for the other study that was to be undertaken at Dartmouth College, there’s a small update I can provide, through the story of someone who posted their account on YouTube. According to this individual who participated in the study, she was sent profile questions via email which she had to answer. She was also asked to provide links to five reliable trigger videos. When she travelled to the college, she had to lie in an MRI machine and was instructed to press three buttons – one which had to be held down while videos played, another which had to be held down when a relaxed, hypnotic stated was achieved, and a third one for when any tingling sensations started. This all went on for about 45 minutes. There were 20 people who participated in the study overall and the study took place over a period of three days, with most people getting about an hour each. Check the image above for her full story.

The results of the study haven’t been released yet, but hopefully this coming month they will be.

A new, version 2.0 of the ASMR app for iOS by Sasssou Studio was released. It’s now $2.99 instead of $0.99, and comes with several major updates. In fact by the time I publish this, the app should be up to v 2.0.1. The developer very graciously gave me 3 promo codes that I could give away. I decided to give one key to the first person who replied to the relevant tweet on Twitter; another one to the person who won a small competition on our Facebook group (which is still on-going), and the third and final one to the person who posted the most in the allotted time period on our forum (also on-going).

That’s it for May 2013. What a month it was! Be sure to come back at the end of next month where I’ll bring you up to speed once more. Also be sure to follow ASMR Research & Support on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ASMR Community Update: April 2013

Well, it seems that the quietness of March was really just the calm before the storm, because come April it was back to business as usual, and a lot happened.

To kick things off, in late March, NPR advertised a segment produced by Andrea Seigel that would appear on This American Life, one of the broadcaster’s most popular programs. On April 1st, the program aired and the the 2nd part of it featured a talk on ASMR. The podcast was apparently up for download for the first week or so for free. Due to some complications involving finding the actual download or being able to listen to the episode on the website, IlseTheWaterdrops uploaded the part about ASMR to her YouTube channel.

After this show aired on NPR, there was an enormous amount of interest in ASMR, and the ASMR Facebook group very quickly went past the 5000 member mark within a week and a half. This was about the fastest rise in membership I’ve seen in quite some time, considering that before the NPR episode, at the end of March, we were barely over 4500 members. Now at the end of April, we’re over 5250 members!

Several new Facebook groups and pages were started. They are ASMR Pacific; ASMR Rockies; ASMR UK; ASMR southeast; Share & Discover!; Lackawanna ASMR; ASMR New York City, and ASMR Sweden. So if you hail from any of those locations, feel free to join and chat with your fellow countrymen and women.

On April 9th, we all celebrated the 2nd ever International ASMR Day. The International ASMR Day organisers even got a contest up and running with a very appealing goodie bag as a prize for 5 lucky winners.

A few new web presences have sprung up as well elsewhere, such as an Italian ASMR blog and ASMRtistsUK on Twitter. There’s also a website called ASMRLab.com, which just launched recently. This website purports to explain the inner workings of ASMR. You can follow them on Twitter at @ASMRLab.

A French journalist, Lénaïg, got a hold of ASMR Research & Support and wanted help in getting some “ASMR addicts” to get in contact with her. You can do so by reaching her over at Facebook. She was in the USA, in NY, in April, so if you missed the announcement over at our Facebook page, she will be available again in June in California to meet in person.

A spa writer named Michelle would like to get a hold of any ASMRtists in the city of New York, USA. If you reside in this area and are interested, please contact her at @michellejoni if you are on Twitter, or here if you’re on Facebook.

Four new articles on ASMR appeared online. One was over at Northern Life Magazine, and the other at Persephone Magazine. A third one appeared over at the Corsair Online, a college newspaper, and a fourth over at dcfaithinaction.org – which is the magazine for Divine Child High School.

There were three ASMR documentaries that both received some news this month. One is Braingasm, which has gone past the pre-production phase, and has entered production. I’ve received word that the film may also undergo a name change at some point, adding in the subtitle of “The Unnamed Feeling”. For more info, be sure to email info@braingasm-film.com, or visit http://www.braingasm-film.com/. The project also has a Facebook page, and can be found on Twitter at @BraingasmFilm.

The other documentary is being worked on by Kate Mull of Mullberry Films. Kate would like to get in contact with anyone on the east coast of the USA, on or off camera. She’s based in Washington DC. So if you are interested in contributing, and are within commuting distance, don’t hesitate to contact Kate at katemull@mullberryfilms.com. The ASMR Film project, as it’s currently known, has a Facebook page and a YouTube channel, which had this video posted this month (which is also available over at vimeo).

And lastly, a third one, referred to as the ASMR Audio Documentary, has entered pre-production as well. That has a Twitter page.

Two short surveys were hosted at SurveyMonkey, one of which was linked to over at Reddit, and received nearly 1000 responses! The results of the survey were released in text and image form. The other survey is here, and the results here.

A new ASMR app was released – the first for the Windows Phone operating system. It’s called ASMR Videos and requires Windows Phone version 7.5 and 8 to run. You can grab it for $1.99, and it only weighs about 2 MB. Judging by the options available on the page, there may also be a trial version.

That’s it for this month. As always, make sure to check back in a month’s time for the monthly update!

Monday, April 8, 2013

ASMR Community Update: March 2013

Hello and welcome to the March edition of the community update. A bit overdue again, but better late than never, right? This month was nowhere near as packed as last month, but there may well be a few things of interest.

The ASMR Facebook group hit 4500 members this month! I thought we would have gotten there sooner, but there was a drop in membership earlier this year. The good news is that number seems to have recovered. If you haven't joined yet, you’re more than welcome to, whether you experience ASMR or not.

The old poll on this blog closed in February, and I put up a new poll this month which focuses on the subject of insomnia. It will run until sometime in June.

A new app was released for Android, and it’s called Nail Tapping Lite, so anyone who goes weak at the knees (and everywhere else for that matter) for nail tapping should be in seventh heaven in no time. The current version is 1.23, and requires Android version 2.2 or later. It’s just under 1 MB in weight, so it’s very light. And of course, it’s free. The author claims that if there is sufficient interest in this lite version, then a pro version will be made with different surfaces, sounds, and scratching noises.

Two new articles appeared online. One was in the Gay Star News, which featured Maria Gentlewhispering and MaleSoothe. The other was in Impact Magazine.

There’s been a small update on the ASMR eBook that is in the works, written by Whisper Hub, which was posted on the ASMR Facebook group recently:

“First two chapters are done although at the moment are still entwined into one… No release date as of yet but I will keep you updated.”

On a side note, I hope you all had a fantastic Easter! Make sure to come back at the end of April for the next community update!

Friday, March 15, 2013

ASMR Poll: ASMR and Insomnia

Insomnia is another long-standing topic of discussion in the community. It turns out, after looking through posts on Twitter, tumblr, Facebook etc., that quite a number of people use trigger videos on YouTube to help them overcome this disorder or other sleep issues and to get some much needed rest.

There are also apps out there, several of them free, that aim to aid in the quest for sleep by reducing the brightness on one’s monitor while watching videos – seeing as the brightness level of the monitor could be partially responsible for the lack of sleep, (it’s somehow tied in to the production of melatonin) – while others have a timer, so that trigger videos or sounds will stop playing after a while so as to prevent you from being woken up after you’ve just drifted off. Anyone who has ever had a relaxing session interrupted by a loud ad on YouTube should know what I’m on about!

It wasn’t too long ago that I was contacted by a journalist who wanted to do a story on ASMR and its potential use as a treatment for certain ailments including insomnia. I thought it would be interesting to have this as the subject for this new poll. So let’s look at the options that will be available for you to vote for. This poll will be different from past ones, because you can vote for multiple options.

This poll is open to both ASMR experiencers and non-experiencers. Even if you do not get ASMR, you may still be interested in voting on some of the options here.

And the nominees… erm, I mean options are:

  1. I suffer from insomnia, and do not experience ASMR
  2. I experience ASMR, and do not suffer from insomnia
  3. I experience ASMR and suffer from insomnia
  4. I believe ASMR and insomnia are somehow related – perhaps ASMR is a symptom of insomnia; insomniacs are more likely to experience ASMR or vice versa
  5. I don’t believe ASMR and insomnia are connected at all
  6. I actively use ASMR triggers of any sort to help induce sleep
  7. I do not use ASMR triggers of any sort to help induce sleep
  8. ASMR helps me overcome insomnia and sleep
  9. ASMR does not help my insomnia at all

The poll is available on the sidebar to the right, and will be open until the 14th of June, expiring after approximately 3 months, or 90 days. Any comments you wish to leave to support your choice(s) can of course be left on this post.

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