Thursday, December 30, 2010

Primary Run of First ASMR Video Trial Coming to an End

ASMR Research & Support has been running the first video experiment for nearly the past two months or so, and we received plenty of volunteers who watched the video and answered the questions that followed. Thanks for pitching in by the way, those that did!

Now the first video trial will be closing, sort of, today (December 30th), with the results of it being compiled. After this the primary run of the second trial will commence sometime next month, probably.

You can still sign up for the research effort over at the Research & Support website and take part in the first video trial – which I’ve learned that even though the primary run has closed, will remain open for those who haven’t yet participated. So it’s not closing permanently, but the results of the trial so far will be compiled and the second trial will take place soon after. Hope you understand all that. Those who have all ready done the first trial will just head on to the next one.

Speaking of which, I’m probably not at liberty to talk about this at length, but for a spell, I might be adding more duties to my my list when it comes to work for the research team. One of those duties is now a position in the Experimental Research & Oversight Division, which Jenn has pretty much taken care of by herself up until now. Jenn will be busy for the next while and so I’ll be temporarily taking over the processing of applications for the video trials. My colleague, Domagoj, might also lend a hand.

Also remember the ASMR forums are there with volunteer forums opened for those registered on the website. Here you can read about the latest news that’s going on concerning the trials, as well as communicate with other volunteers and forum members too.

Once again, thank you for you participation in these video experiments. The more people that do them the better, as we can really assemble some proper data and have one more credible research item for the team’s portfolio which we can eventually one day use to approach a scientific or social studies body for a possible research grant.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Official ASMR Twitter Account is Now Open

UNFearth7For nearly the past year I’ve relied on my existing Twitter account to communicate with my followers and such – and these are mainly people from HubPages, where I have a couple of profiles where I publish articles and such. But I recently thought about the fact that we still didn’t have an official, dedicated Twitter account, even though the ASMR Facebook Group has been around since January or February 2010, and the YouTube Channel has existed for six months now.

So recently I went about setting an official account up. So I’m running two Twitter accounts: one is my personal account and the other is dedicated to ASMR. I’m surprised I didn’t do this sooner, but I was busy with a lot of other stuff throughout the year. I think over the Christmas weekend I was able to focus a bit more on things, that’s all.

I know that some of the community is on twitter, because I’ve followed some of the #ASMR tags that I myself put on some of my tweets on my other account in the past. So make sure to follow us on the account, and you can send direct messages, as well as read some of my own tweets which I’ll leave from time to time. These will include updates on the community, my personal trigger events, as well as other topics revolving around ASMR. Sounds like fun, right?

I’ll also from now on be including this account as an official ASMR network site, along with the Facebook Group, this website, UNF, and the ASMR forums, among others.

So once again, make sure to head on over there and follow me, and I’ll return the favour. Then we can chat about things and the like just like on other network sites. See you there!

By the way, I’ve put links to the Twitter page on the site, on the sidebar, the hotspots page, and also the twitter icon under the “follow us” heading in the sidebar now links to this new account rather than my other one.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ASMR Community on YouTube is Growing

I’ve noticed lately that there’s quite a community dedicated to the phenomenon we know as ASMR on YouTube. I thought it was just my channel on there that had a playlist and such of collected trigger videos, often recommended by the Facebook Group members. But I’ve learned that there are other channels on YouTube that serve the same purpose, and some have been around for a while longer than the UNF YouTube Channel.

And the two or three I’ve come across also have favourited videos from other channels on their playlist. But I’m still looking for one that has user uploaded videos that are actually intended to trigger ASMR, and not just ones that happen to do it by incident. But this could be difficult seeing as what works for one asmer might not work for another.

An example of this is a channel called The Brain Tickle. On here there are videos that are grouped into this intended trigger collection, and consist of  the unboxing of products and so on. And people often cite that one of their many triggers is the unwrapping of things; the crinkling of paper, etc.

There's also a channel that was recently started that so far has one video that delves in to ASMR in a long, more opinionated point of view that even mentions a couple of the network sites. This is over at asmrgirl’s channel.

However, one of the most common triggers out there, and which is also very prominent on YouTube, is whispering. There are many channels with numerous playlists and videos within them dedicated to this – what I consider one of most pleasant things in the world: whispering. More people need to do this once in a while.

I was recently informed that there’s even a community that’s been set up which revolved around this subject matter. It’s a forum called YouWhisper and is made up of members who have accounts dedicated to whispering on YouTube, or enjoy watching videos of it.

By the way, I thought I would mention that the UNF YouTube Channel has hit a milestone, in being six months old this week. The date it was started was the 23rd of June, 2010. Currently the channel has over 150 videos that have been bookmarked, and it’s approaching 50 subscribers too.

Also, in case I don’t say it later on, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, everybody! I’ll likely take a well-earned rest over the Christmas weekend and New Years as well, but over this period I’ll still schedule or publish some posts that I’ve written over the past while.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tingle Triggers: Acoustic Guitars

Yes, I know the screenshot is actually from S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky The other night I downloaded a collection of acoustic covers of songs that featured in a game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. They weren’t just ripped from the game itself, but were made by a fan of the game. I first heard word of this a long time ago, but only just recently did I get around to downloading it.

While I was listening to the rather beautiful music, I noticed that I did get a bit of an uncharacteristic tingle or two. In some of the tracks, if you focus on the sounds, you can pick up (no pun intended) on the subtle string noises on the acoustic guitar. I think this helped in starting off the sensations.

This was more evident on the later tracks (try Track 10). And it seemed to be intensified in the OGG versions of the tracks. OGG is a more compressed and slightly higher quality file type than MP3. The MP3 versions were also present in the zip file. The OGG ones had more bass to them and sounded a little less harsh than the other variety.

In any case, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this as a way to trigger off my ASMR: listening to acoustic guitar music. You think I would have after years of having to live next to some little brat who still can’t play for toffee!

If you want to listen to these, you can download them here. There are eleven tracks all in all, in two different file formats. MP3 is obviously more compatible with most media players, but you should be able to get the OGGs working with a little effort.

If nothing else, this makes for some great music, even if you don’t experience anything else* from them. I can’t guarantee that all “asmers” will get it from listening to the tracks. Some might and others might not.

* You know what I mean by now.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Read This Chilling Research Article

I’ll bet that caught your attention, didn’t it? It’s actually less scary than it sounds. It’s good news, and is related to our research on what we know as ASMR. They tend to call it “chills” in this report.

The other day a member of the community posted something very interesting on the Facebook Group wall. It was a link to a research article about chills experienced while listening to music. It turns out that from their studies they’ve been able to conclude that not everybody experiences this (all ready sounding familiar), and others get it a lot.

Just reading the blurb or intro on the site made me see similarities to what we’ve been talking about and researching ourselves.

You can either read the report online, or like me, you can download the PDF file, which I find more convenient for offline reading. That’s just my preference though. In it, for the first page or so you’ll notice a lot of similarities to what we know as ASMR, like I said, although after this there’s a lot of verbosity and intense reading, as well as tables and such. Quite scientific.

I’d like to quote a few passages here. This is really just the opening paragraph but sums it up nicely:

“Most people report that listening to music sometimes creates chills—feeling goose bumps and shivers on the neck, scalp, and spine—but some people seem to never experience them. The present research examined who tends to experience music-induced chills and why. A sample of young adults completed measures of chills, the Big Five domains, and their music preferences, habits, and experiences. Latent variable models found that openness to experience was the strongest predictor of the typical experience of chills during music. Several mediation models considered likely mediators of this effect. Openness to experience predicted music preferences, particularly for reflective and complex genres, but genre preferences did not in turn predict chills. In contrast, several markers of people’s experience and engagement with music in everyday life, such as listening to music more often and valuing music, did mediate openness’s effects. Some implications for bridging state and trait approaches to the chills experience are considered.”

This research report was published in October and the studies were carried out by Emily C. Nusbaum and Paul J. Silvia, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This was also unpaid research work.

You can read the whole thing in its entirety here.

Source: Shivers and Timbres: Personality and the Experience of Chills From Music

Thursday, December 9, 2010

ASMR and Video Games: Blood

Blood2_cover I am a big fan of the old school 90’s shooters, particularly from the Build engine era. Build was a game engine created by Ken Silverman, who was at one time the chief rival of John Carmack, of id Software fame.

The Build engine powered several games from 1995 until 1999. People often talk about the “big four build games”. These are Duke Nukem 3D, Redneck Rampage, Shadow Warrior, and Blood.

Now Blood is likely my second favourite out of the build games, with Duke 3D being first. I grew up playing that game. But Blood is also a favourite for another reason. It tends to bring on the occasional bit of tingling sometimes.

If you’ve ever played it, you’d find this hard to believe. The game is full of gore, and mostly what you’d expect from a title that bears this name. Caleb, the protagonist, is a psychotic, sadistic, undead gunslinger who is out for revenge against the Cabal, a cult who forsook him long ago, essentially burying him alive.

When Caleb isn’t craving bloody vengeance, he’s usually laughing maniacally while inflicting pain on his foes.

But Caleb does have a certain charm to him. At the beginning of Chapter II and III, “Even Death May Die” and “A Farewell to Arms” respectively, he has a line at the very start.

“You’re going to need a bigger boat” is what he says while approaching the ship trapped in ice, and “I’m gonna paint the town reeeddd!” is what he utters after dropping in to the level. I find that this line is particularly stimulating as far as triggering ASMR goes.

Also, when Caleb is left idle for too long, he often starts singing tunes like “Strangers in the Night”. When he says some of these lines, the way it comes out; so slow and coarse, it does tend to trigger of my sensillations, admittedly.

Monday, December 6, 2010

ASMR is More Intense When You’re Stressed

Stress BallI’ve read on some ASMR network sites that ASMR can be used to combat stress – and I highly believe in this strategy, seeing as I use it myself quite effectively, and often at that.

I’ve noticed that my “brain tickle” is more intense when I’m stressed. Perhaps if ASMR has to do with serotonin, which is quite often brought up in discussion here and there, if means that I’m actually experiencing a higher release of the chemical in the brain, and therefore experiencing this physically – mainly on the scalp. Like it’s been said before: we tinglers out there “feel” the rush.

Whether this is biologically correct or even possible, I’m still not sure. That’s what the ongoing research is in aid of!

I really do feel relaxed too, and sometimes battle to keep my eyes open, when I experience ASMR when stressed. Now I compare this to when I’m all ready in a relaxed state, or when I’m trying to concentrate on something else – having forgotten about what it was was that was stressing me out. I don’t feel it as much. I get a light tingling sensation, but not that intense.

I can practically use this method to ascertain whether I’m too stressed or not – using it as a gauge of sorts - which is interesting.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tingle Triggers: Adam Sandler Skits

Adam Sandler 6821 To most, Adam Sandler is Hollywood’s funny guy. In addition to being a somewhat amusing actor, who sometimes takes more serious roles, he’s also what some would call a great businessman who produces his own films as well as starring in them (it’s either him or his best friend, Rob Schneider).

But Adam is multi-talented: he’s also a musician, and on top of that he’s made some comedy sound samples, some of which are hilarious, and included them on his music CDs.

One memorable one in particular was the skit called “The Hypnotist” off of 1996’s “What The Hell Happened To Me?”, when Adam, starring as Gary Phelps, a man trying to kick a smoking habit he’d had since a child, went to a hypnotherapist (or hypnotist as referred to in the recording), named Dr. Stuart, who had a problem with extreme flatulence. As he was trying to relax Gary and carry on with the session, he would start to let rip – often blaming it on the new leather couch, Gary, or trying in vain to disguise the sounds with coughing or speaking louder.

But besides this, Dr. Stuart has a rather deep, soothing voice – characteristic of a good hypnotherapist. This character was played by Kevin Nealon, a Saturday Night Live mainstay for years during the eighties and nineties. He stars as Doug in Weeds nowadays.

If you can control your laughter, you might be able to feel a tingle stage or two when listening to Nealon speaking. I swear when I listen to this track I can almost smell what’s going on! That might be a bit distracting, but anyway.

Monday, November 29, 2010

ASMR Facebook Group Reaches 500 Members!

The Facebook ASMR Group has now reached 500 members (it’s currently at 502 at the time of writing)! It was only a few months ago that I recall it was 400. And when I last checked earlier in November, it was at just over 450. Couple this with the number of people joining the forums. It’s over 120 now.

The numbers for the network sites certainly have been jumping up over the past while now. And the Facebook group isn’t even a year old yet either! I imagine it’s just going to get better and bigger as time goes, until eventually there are thousands of us. I mean, across the world there must be many more people out there.

Hell, I know for a fact that there are even people in the group who support ASMR, but don’t experience it themselves, so that means that theoretically anyone could join if they wanted to.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tingle Triggers: Andrew Johnson’s Hypnosis MP3s

The other day I received a comment on one of the posts here on the blog, with a link to a website. The person who commented said that whatever it was on the website worked for him or her as an ASMR trigger.

I naturally followed the link, and was directed to a page where there were several free MP3 hypnosis samples for download. Fearing the worst (still a bit sceptical of hypnosis – not that it doesn’t work, but worried about hidden messages and the like!) I downloaded all of them to my HD, and set up a playlist, before listening.

These hypnosis samples were made by Andrew Johnson. Upon looking around the site, I learned that Andrew is a “Relaxation Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EFT therapist and Reiki Teacher”, with more than 15 years experience in one on one and group therapy sessions - much like a counsellor would do, so I was lead to believe after being told this by a psychologist in the past.

There are several free small MP3s as well as one big MP3, which is half the size of a regular one you’d pay for. I’ve listened to these, and I must admit that Andrew has a very soothing voice, with a Scottish accent. One wouldn’t think that this might have any effect – but upon thinking back, I have had ASMR events in the past triggered by Scottish accents. These MP3s deal with “Deep Relaxation” (reportedly the best selling medical app on iTunes in the UK), “Heal Your Body Visualisation”, “Confidence”, “Smoking”, “Success” and “Weight” (you ought to give this last one a listen – it relies a lot on repetition, and made me giggle a bit, admittedly).

Overall, they’re not bad, and worth a download, seeing as they’re mostly under 2 or 3 MB, except for the one big free download, which is closer to 18 MB. The music in the background is wonderful too. “Deep Relaxation” has music as well as sound effects of waves. Just mind the one labelled “Social Phobia” – this one seems to be a broken link at the moment.

If you want more after listening to these great free samples, then you can also purchase the larger, full version ones by visiting Andrew Johnson’s hypnosis MP3 store. Make a positive change in your life.

Andrew’s hypnosis MP3s are also available off of Amazon and iTunes for purchase.

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Hungarian ASMR Blog Up and Running

I had another comment on the blog to moderate the other day. It’s not uncommon for some to include links to resources and sites of interest in their comments, and this time I noticed something quite interesting.

There’s now a new blog dedicated to ASMR, and it was created seemingly especially for Hungarian users. You can visit it here. From what I can see, there’s at least one post or page up so far along with all the other Wordpress elements you’d expect on the sidebar. The post has links to most of the ASMR network sites, including this site and my HubPages article. Others naturally include the Facebook group and the Research & Support website and forums.

It’s like I was saying the other day, it’s great if we can get the message out there in other languages. If I didn’t say that at some point, then I’m saying it here! Most of the other network sites, if not all of them are in English. So if your mother tongue, or home language, isn’t covered here by using the Translation tool (and I don’t think Hungarian is), then you may head over there if you wish. Although you might want to use Google Translate on that site if Hungarian isn’t your first language!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

ASMR Forum Reaches 100 Members!

The ASMR forum was started nearly four months ago, near the end of July 2010. It was slow going at times, and even though most of the community hasn’t yet joined the site and set up an account, I am pleased to see that all ready, there are 100 members as of just recently! This and there are all ready over 300 posts, too.

In fact, I was surprised to see that a third of the total posts on the forum are mine! Granted, there were several threads that I posted that were moved from the ASMR Group Facebook discussion threads in their entirety, as well as from the Yahoo SOS Group. The FB threads are slowly being deleted one by one, and all discussions will take place on the official site from now on.

I still see people starting new threads on Facebook. I’ll continue to move these to the ASMR forums and put a link to the migrated threads for some time, until the discussion threads on FB are completely shut down. You may obviously continue to post on the Facebook Group wall, but if you can help it, please don’t start any new discussions there. Thank you.

By the way, if a thread is migrated to the ASMR forum and you don’t want your full name on Facebook printed, then just send me a PM on the forums.

So if you haven’t all ready, make sure to go over to the ASMR Research& Support site and sign up. It’s free, and the forums have much more to offer in the way of functionality and so on. For one, you can edit and delete posts, unlike on FB. And the privacy features are more flexible and under your control, without all the T&C’s of Facebook. And you don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want to.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

ASMR and Video Games: Black & White

There was an old video game which was released nearly ten years ago, which was heavily hyped, and promised to be the next big thing: Black & White.

It was developed by Lionhead Studios, headed up by Peter Molyneux. It was classed as a “God Game”, similar in genre to The Sims, but in the most literal way, seeing as you really did play as a God, and the world in front of you was your playground. Your ultimate aim was to progress from land to land and spread your influence – making people believe in you over other Gods.

Now, on to why I’m mentioning this title here. There were two characters that assisted you through the game if you wished them to, and they acted as your conscience. Of of them was good, and one was evil. Yin and Yang. Black and White. They’re often referred to as advisors too.

bwa

                                                  Image courtesy Lionhead Studios

White was an old, bald man who somewhat resembled the traditional image of Father Time or a Greek philosopher, with his white toga and long snowy beard which reached down to his sandals – which you couldn’t see as he was usually sitting on a cloud; quaint.

In contrast, Black looked like the typical image of an imp or Satyr, with sharp claws, pinkish skin, and not to mention an ugly mug which complimented his pot belly. And he looked as though he might have had breasts too.

When he and his evil friend cropped up from time to time during the game to help, sometimes White in particular would trigger off an episode of ASMR for me. They often would help with a hint here and there, but usually came across as irritating and often had a habit of pointing out the obvious.

                                                Watch the advisors in action

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tingle Triggers: MadTV

I’ve been a long time fan of MAD magazine. I don’t care who knows it! Some people are embarrassed to read it in front of others. Now there’s a show that started airing on our local television channel, SABC 2, a while back, called MadTV. I’ve read that apart from licensing the MAD logo, the show doesn't have much to do with the magazine – although it did have pictures of Alfred E. Neumann, the famous mascot on the show at one stage many years ago.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy staying up to watch this in the early hours of the morning, and I’ve found that at times I also enjoy a bit of ASMR to go with it. There’s one comedienne on the show who appeared years ago named Mo Collins, or Maureen "Mo" Ann Collins. I find that she is probably most likely to elicit an event. She’s well known for playing several roles, doing impressions of famous characters such as Jenny Jones. When she did an impression of her, I found myself getting a hit – probably something to do with her mannerisms and rather soft spoken manner.

It also doesn’t hurt that Mo was rather oddly attractive years ago. Should I have said that just now?
I’ve learned that the show may or may not be brought back for another season. It’s interesting watching episodes from the past, and witnessing actors who were small at the time, but which have grown to become more prominent. I even saw the guy who plays Howard Wolowitz, Simon Helberg, in The Big Bang Theory, at one stage on the show.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

YouTube ASMR Channel Playlist Reaches 100 Videos!

UNFearth7 I first set up the UNF YouTube channel back in June, about four months ago if not a little more. In that time I’ve been combing the forums and other websites discussing ASMR to stock up on videos which I’ve added to the ASMR channel. I’ve also favourited a few of my own too.
The channel has had a few hundred hits, and has now reached 100 videos! That’s not too shabby for only a few months since its inception. I also now have a list of subscriptions to accounts which are most commonly referred to that tend to deal with trigger videos. I’ve also got several people subscribing to my channel too.

I’ll obviously keep updating the channel as I go along. If I find any YouTube vids posted on the FB group wall, you can bet that it’ll be added to the playlist soon thereafter.
The team is discussing making our own videos that are actually “meant” to stimulate ASMR sometime in the future. But for now, I’ve mainly just been adding recommended videos that tend to trigger it off, which have been made by people all over the world on YouTube. We’re also using these recommended vids for the video trials too.

If you happen to make your own video, whether it’s about ASMR, or has content that triggers it off, then by all means, leave it on the FB group wall, in the forums, or post it here on the blog, like you’ve been doing all along.

By the way, I’d also be interested in sound clips too, or podcasts. These are among some of the best triggers for me. In fact I’m looking for a site similar to YouTube that deals in sound clips, but I want the same sort of functionality that YouTube offers, without having to download the file, and so on. Tell me if you know of one, by the way.

Anyway, here’s to another 100 videos! I know there are plenty out there - likely thousands.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Announcement Regarding the UNF Channel on YouTube

Okay, so the YouTube UNF Channel with its ASMR playlist has become more and more popular since its launch in June this year. In fact, it’s nearly at 100 favourited videos, and has had hundreds of views. There’s also more than 20 subscribers.

This is what I wanted to post about here. You are more than welcome to subscribe to my channel as well as the channels that I subscribe too. But don’t be too offended if I don’t subscribe to yours. This could be for more than one reason. I only check the email account attached to my YouTube account every other day – not every day. So I usually find subscription notices from YouTube in my inbox all the time that have come in when I wasn’t looking.

I also do sometimes check the person’s channel to see what’s going on. If that person has a channel that has content that is relative to ASMR in some way, then I’ll consider subscribing. Otherwise, what I’ll do from now on when someone subscribes to my channel, is just friend them. I find that this will at least provide a way for me to keep my subscription list related to ASMR without hurting anyone’s feelings. :)

See the happy face? SMILE! Why so serious? Okay, that line is old now…

I just needed to say that here. So if you happen to subscribe to my channel, then I’ll likely just add you as a friend at some point given time, and then you can confirm the friend request. Or you could friend me and I’ll be more than happy to return the favour. You can subscribe and friend me – why not do that?

Okay, so you get the idea, and no hard feelings, okay?

I’ll probably go through my list of existing subscribers at some point and friend them too. By the way, is there way that you can group subscriptions, so that I can keep the ones that are ASMR-related in one group, with the others in other groups?

I should look in to that…

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Possible Similarities Between Face Melting and ASMR

I’ve done one or two posts so far on this blog about ASMR and music. We all have different triggers, particularly those of us who are Type B experiencers.

But interestingly, people who identify themselves as predominantly Type A, who don’t need any external influences to trigger ASMR, tend to get some effect from music at times, which would fall under Type B triggers, seeing as it’s an external influence – meaning “out there”, rather than “in here” – to put it bluntly.
I wasn’t sure if I ever really experienced this, unless it was actually lyrics from a song, where the person was talking or singing, that triggered it for me. For me, speech is a common Type B trigger.

But as of late, I’ve come to think that something that heavy metal and rock fans, and maybe fans of other genres, will know all too well may be an ASMR event. This term is known as “face melting”.

I’ve made it no secret that I enjoy listening to heavy metal music and people usually use the term when they describe a guitar solo; one that is particularly good – although it could be used for other instruments, perhaps.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to my collection a lot lately, and I’ve noticed that one solo that seems to trigger it off for me recently is one in the song “Black Magic” by Slayer. It’s an old classic from back in the 80’s , and when I listen to that solo, it does seem to create that tingling sensation just for a brief while, on top of the head, and the sides. Other times when I hear some great solos, it will send a shiver up or down my spine. That’s how I usually judge whether a guitar solo, or song in general is any good. The last bit of the song by Slayer called “Tormentor” is an example of this. Other times my eyes water!

Anyway, this led me to think that this face-melting thing that people talk about could well be a brief episode of ASMR, or it could be one of the things experienced. I’m not sure, but the feeling for me is similar, for sure. I find when I anticipate the part when a solo or otherwise exceptional part of a song is about to begin, that I start to get it, and it builds up while it’s happening to it’s climax.

It wouldn’t be a surprise, seeing as people have made up other names for ASMR instead of using the same old acronyms (and vowels!) all the time. Some have terms such as “hairgasms” or “braingasms”. Face-melting could just be one of several, or perhaps many that describe this feeling which for some time seems to have no widely known name.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What is an ASMR Outreach Agent?

Okay, so you might know by now that I am a member of the ASMR Research Team. I also have the title of Outreach Agent.

So what is an Outreach Agent and what does he or she do exactly?

Outreach means to reach out; to be involved within the community. There are Outreach Agents on several continents as of right now.  Domagoj is the OA for Europe, Torsten is the OA for Australia/Oceania, and I am the OA for Africa. At one stage we had an OA for the Eastern United States, but unfortunately he left the team.

As time progresses, hopefully other continents will receive their own Outreach Agents, and from there maybe even individual countries will have their own.

But seeing as the community is entirely online right now, one might argue that the locations of where Outreach Agents are situated doesn’t really matter. This might be true, but there are advantages to having people from all over the world representing the community and network. For one, those who are fluent in more than one language can communicate with people who speak the same language.

I for one can speak English (which is my mother tongue or home language), as well as Afrikaans (which is similar to Dutch or German). This means in addition to this I also have limited understanding of these other languages because of the similarities between them.

Dom is fluent in English and German, and I’m assuming Croatian and/or Serbian, seeing as he’s from that part of the world, from what he’s told us.

So anyhow, it hasn’t come to communicating in other languages for now, but it could be a possibility in the future. It might even prompt us to learn other languages. It’s been an interest of mine to learn German or Italian. Something European, maybe even French or Spanish – the “big two”.

Not every one who experiences ASMR speaks English anyway, even though it’s an international language. For this reason, I’ve put a translation tool on the blog which will assist in drawing people from abroad in. A large focus at present is on America, Canada, and England at the moment – and these are largely English speaking territories.

As for our online duties, we basically comb the web for threads on forums and websites, blogs, and so on, looking for interested parties who might join the community. Even though the community is getting larger, it’s still got a long way to go yet.

Once we find a forum, we check to see if they’ve been able find anything on ASMR, and if not, then we will network, by leaving comments with links back to a network site, or sending private messages, etc. We’re encouraged to participate within the community as well as bringing in fresh blood from the outside. Think of it as Public Relations.

Other duties performed by an Outreach Agent could include having a blog like I do. I also have a YouTube channel, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts. Social networking is a must basically.

Outreach Agents, in addition to participating in the forums, also having moderator permissions. For instance, I imported threads from FB and the SOS Yahoo group into the forums. Anybody can do this though. But I also have the ability to delete posts, lock threads, ban repeated offenders who break the forum rules, and so on.

So, this has given you an idea of what an Outreach Agent does within the ASMR network and community. If you’re interested in representing a continent, country, or area of sorts, then contact us, or leave a comment here with your details.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Video Trials now Open to the Public

Well, what do you know: miracles do happen!

Earlier this week I posted news about the ASMR video trials entering closed beta – this was meant for us team members only. I originally thought that next month would see the video trials open to the public, but it seems as though with only one technical issue reported, things seem to be going well enough. The video trials were declared to be open as of yesterday, the 27th of October.
“Good news - the first video trial is ready to launch. If you're a volunteer, you'll be getting an email from me in the next 48 hours with a link and your login. If you haven't signed up, you still can - the form is on the main website, under the research tab. Very excited to begin the online trials! This is our first step towards compiling a portfolio, and ultimately towards our grant proposal.”  - Jenn
So, keep checking your email and wait for that message to drop. You have to use your ASMR website and forums login details to access the volunteer workspace. Here you must fill in your profile details, and then progress onto watching the trial video, and then afterwards fill out the survey.

That’s all there is to it. It’s not too daunting, and should only take 15 to 30 minutes total. So if you signed up as a volunteer, please make sure to do your bit and give this video trial a go. There is no real closing date, but it will keep going on until the 2nd video trial is opened.

Like Jenn says, if you haven’t yet signed up, it’s as simple as going over to the ASMR Research & Support website and registering. This is another plus of doing the trials this way. There’s no fixed end date, and you can still join even next month if you want. It’s rather flexible.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Video Trials to Enter Closed Beta Soon

We’ve had quite a good turnout for the video trials as far as sign-ups go. We must have at least twenty something volunteers if not more. Some signed up of their own free will, and others were recruited, mainly as members of a control group.

The team was due to have a meeting this past weekend, but it was postponed due to work being done on the questionnaire form regarding the first video trial. We are getting closer to the date at which we can commence with these trials. First, it has to enter a closed beta, where team members will view the video and fill out the survey; making any last tweaks to the questions or other additions.

I still remember posting a little while back when I said that the trials would begin this month if all went well. But it’s taking a bit longer to reach the starting date.

Right now, we’re probably looking to get the trials started next month. Although miracles do happen, and it could happen within the next week, right at the end of October – but I doubt it. Most of the team members have other commitments, and as much as you and I would like things to move along a bit quicker, it’s not exactly that simple. It never is.

So you may continue to sign up if you wish, over at the ASMR site, if you haven’t all ready, and to all who have all ready registered - we will let you know when the trials commence, likely along the usual channels, such as email, the Facebook group wall, the forums, and of course, this blog you’re reading right now.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Had a Haircut Yesterday. Any Tingles?

Hair GelNo.

Many of you can identify with getting a haircut acting as a trigger for ASMR. So today, after more than two years of growing it really long, I went in and had a cut.
I sat down at the basin to have my hair washed. Usually the feeling of the warm water, accompanied by the soft, gentle rubbing from the washer (man or woman, usually female though), massaging my scalp, gets me going.

This time it was different. Way different. She was so rough with my hair, and as far as ASMR goes, it was a turn off. No tingles this time. I’m surprised I had any hair left at all afterwards.

I still remember the good old days of being at my old salon or studio, where the girls would be so gentle. I almost fell asleep. I might go back there actually.

Then I had my hair cut, and it was butchered! Way shorter than I’d like, but still not what you’d call a short hair cut. Sort of like a medium. So you can bet that I won’t be going back there for a while… or ever. Probably another two years or so at least.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Type A Experience: ASMR Anticipation

The other day during our bi-monthly research team meeting, Domagoj brought up an interesting matter. It’s not usual for me to disclose the matters discussed during these classified meetings, but this is one of the things I can talk about, seeing as it isn’t sensitive information.

He claims that he doesn’t even have to watch a particular video, or other Type B trigger to even get ASMR. Before he even watches a clip that perhaps he knows will work for him, he starts to get the sensation.

I often get this too, and other team members agree. I came up with the theory that it’s linked to the anticipation of the trigger working. Knowing that you’re going to experience something great. We’ve all experienced this in one form or another. Who hasn’t looked forward to a trip or some event, and you start to feel happy, excited, and “light” long before you’ve even left the driveway?

It’s like I’ve heard before: “Anticipation, after all, is everything”.

This is a characteristic of Type A ASMR, I might add. Not relying on multimedia such as music or videos to trigger it. Just thinking about something, including a past episode of ASMR can trigger it in some. This is a good way of training your Type A ASMR, if you wish to. I find that with me it happens almost all the time now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Evidence of a Type C ASMR?: Digital Media and its Effects

If you’ve visited this blog before, or participated within the community, you’ll have heard of the two types of ASMR. There’s Type A, where a person is not affected by external stimuli; Type B experiencers are affected by sounds, sights, touch, and sometimes even smell, in rare cases. Not sure on taste - there might be some.

Type Bs are likely the most common, from what we’ve gathered so far. People who are a bit of both (A and B) are also somewhat common. People who are exclusively Type A are less common, it seems.

But there’s been debate over the effects of digital media. Most Type Bs to my knowledge enjoy watching videos on YouTube, films, or listening to sounds or music. I like to do all of these things.

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                    YouTube: The ASMR experiencer’s source of instant gratification. 

But there are those who are not really affected that much, if at all, by these forms of digital media, or multimedia. Now one would assume that these people would be Type As – in fact at least one or two people on the ASMR research team (who identify themselves as being predominantly or even totally Type A) report this: not being able to gain any benefit (or sensillations) from watching the YouTube videos often posted on the Facebook Group wall, or in the forums.

But it was originally a concern brought up by former ASMR Research team member, and founder of the Yahoo Society of Sensationalists group, Ryan “Mistery” Perez, that there may even be Type Bs, as well as Type As, who experience (or rather don’t) this.

There are those who claim that they have to meet a person face to face, in the flesh, to even hope of getting a “hit” of ASMR. This would occur either by listening to them talk, or watching them do something. I’m not even sure if talking on the phone to somebody would qualify. It has to be in person.

So, it’s almost like a Type B - Type II: one who doesn’t experience ASMR from digital media. And I for one think it’s an unfortunate thing for those who are like this, as it may be harder for them to even experience ASMR. I just think how lucky I am that I can just turn on the radio or watch something on the TV or YouTube to get a hit. Although I’m sure I have also gotten it from people in real-life conversation.

One thing’s for sure: the video trials that will be conducted soon will answer some, if not a lot of these questions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Community Update: 400 Members on Facebook

I was just over on the ASMR Facebook wall, and saw that Envelope, AKA Jenn, had posted some good news. There’s officially more than 400 members on the Facebook group! Only a little while ago it was 300, so it’s been climbing steadily this year.

“400 members! There's officially more than a few of us, now! Welcome to all our newest members, and thanks to all the oldest for being a part of this group.”

The actual tally at the time of writing is 401. ;)

I also see that on the ASMR forums, there’s more than 50 registered members. It was very quiet for a few weeks, but activity has picked up once more with some brand new members. I’d still like to see more people in the group going over to the ASMR forums and registering though. In fact in some threads you don’t even need to register. You can make a guest post, which is good if you have an aversion to creating accounts, like I know some people do.

So go over there if you haven't all ready, and check it out. The reason why I’m urging you to do so, is because there have been plans for some time to lock the FB threads and move discussions over onto just the ASMR forums. I’ve all ready migrated the threads on FB to the site.

So here’s to another 100 members by the end of the year, which will make it 500! You can be proud that you’re all part of this.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Theory: ASMR Could be a form of Slight Hypnosis

Hypnotic-spiral I read an interesting theory while combing the usual areas for things to post about as regards ASMR recently.

ASMR is believed by this person, whoever it was, to be a light form of hypnosis. He or she went on to say that the symptoms we experience while in the throes of an event are similar to that of hypnosis.

Both are triggered by a sound, voice or object, and that it relaxes us and we go into a light form of hypnosis – or the beginning stages of a hypnotic state.
“I have a theory on this "feeling". I believe what we are experience is the same feeling one experiences during hypnosis. The symptoms are pretty much the same and it's usually triggered by an event in which we concentrate heavily upon. It's the same idea in order to hypnotize a person using a voice or object. Some kind of sound or event relaxes our mind and we fall into a pseudo hypnotic state. We don't want to move since the state goes away. We are not in a full hypnotic state, but merely the beginning stages.
I’ve read up a little bit about hypnosis in the past. Basically its a state of consciousness where a person loses the ability to act voluntarily, and becomes susceptible to suggestion, and this state is achieved by fiddling with a person’s brain waves, and slowing them down. At an alert stage, our brains experience beta waves, but there are also alpha, theta, and delta waves.

So we might actually have tapped into an ability to self-hypnotise ourselves. It’s not impossible for it to happen. I’ve heard that the person who allegedly assassinated Robert Kennedy was under the influence of self-hypnosis. In fact, they say that all forms of hypnosis are in fact self-hypnosis. Sometimes it’s just someone guiding you.

Don’t get any ideas now! Although it might be something to test out. Maybe people who experience ASMR are more susceptible to being hypnotised.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tingle Triggers: Mr. Bean

capture_20_28_51_421 Without a doubt, Rowan Atkinson’s crowning achievement to date is Mr.Bean. He may well have done better series before it, like the incomparable Blackadder – but Bean is what most people think of when they think of Rowan. In fact, if people see him, they will most likely say, “Look, it’s Mr.Bean!”, rather than use his real name.

Why this is, is because Rowan perfected the art of starring in a comedy which, unlike Blackadder, had little dialogue. Blackadder relied on sarcasm, wit, and stinging comments to draw laughter. Bean was little more than a mime on screen. He had to rely on other methods to express his emotions – mainly using comical facial expressions and body language.

Long before Bean, he was called a “big-nosed, rubber-faced b@stard” (a scene in Blackadder III), but it was truly in Bean that you saw this in full.

So why am I talking about Mr. Bean here anyway? Well, besides that fact that the original British series celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, it’s because while watching certain episodes, I tend to get a tingle or two. By now, if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know what I’m on about when I say “tingle”.

The thing is, like I said, with the lack of dialogue, Rowan is forced to use other means of keeping your attention. In addition to the previously mentioned rubber-faced expressions, while committing some of his hilarious antics, he’ll often use sounds and careful motions to demonstrate his intent. Like the scene where he’s in the Church sitting next to the rather wary parishioner, and he wants to get a sweet out of his pocket, for example. Or perhaps in some scenes if Bean finds something interesting, he’ll gasp or do some other sort of mouth movement which doesn’t include speech.

People within the ASMR community have often said that watching somebody do something carefully or intricately will sometimes trigger an event for them. I think that Bean is probably one of the few examples I can think of when it comes to TV.

But I’m talking about the British series from the 90’s, mind you – not the Americanised adaptations that came after.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Poll: Which ASMR Theories do you Support?

So, the results for the previous poll were published in a post recently.

There’s all ready another poll up. This time it’s related to theories regarding ASMR, or whatever you like to call it. It’s a topic of debate, and something that’s come up quite often. I all ready know what some of you will vote for. :)

So I’ll go through a few choices that will appear, and then you can get straight to voting.

Spiritual theories – this includes theories that revolve around Kundalini, Chakra, or other things. Spiritual may be a synonym for religious in the dictionary, but I assure you there are differences. Spiritual folk may not have a religion at all. These types might sometimes be described as being “new age folk”.

Religious theories – this is for those who believe it is a divine gift from whichever God you worship, or is in some way related to your beliefs. I’ll not be judgmental in this regard. Whatever faith will do.

Psychic/Paranormal – what this means is that you prefer theories that claim to be linked to the mind and the unexplained. These include theories on a sixth sense, clairvoyance, maybe even the supernatural, like being able to sense the presence of spirits or ghosts.

Scientific/medical theories – this means you support science as regards ASMR rather than the above categories, and believe there must be a scientific or medical reason for why this sensation we experience occurs.

So that’s the run down. I think I’ve about covered the main four groups. There may be others, and for that there will most certainly be an “Other” option in the poll, so that you can vote for that if you don’t support any of the above ones. Perhaps you can leave a comment here or somewhere on the blog, or send me an email explaining your stance, or bring it up in the forums too.

The poll will be somewhere on the sidebar to the right. I like it to be in a permanent place so that people can see it more easily. This poll will run for three months, until the 31st of December.

So get voting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Latest Poll Results: Are you Type A ASMR or Type B?

Okay, well it’s been three or four months, and now is the time to give out the results.Voting on the existing poll is closed.

Over twenty people voted on the poll, which exists on the sidebar. Sorry if you didn’t see it. I’ll give clearer directions, perhaps with a diagram next time. :)

So the options were:

A) Type A – don’t need an external trigger .
B) Type B – Need an external trigger, such as sounds.
C) Both.
D) Neither.

Out of 24 people, 3 (12%) voted Type A; 13 (54%) voted Type B; and the remaining 8 (33%) voted “both”.

Luckily nobody voted for neither, then. It’s okay if someone reading this blog doesn’t experience the sensillations we do though. If you support us, then you’re okay, and most welcome to participate within the community. There are those we’d rather not have trolling on the subject, but fortunately we don’t get that much if at all on any of the network sites – mainly on outside forums on the web.

Anyway, from the poll results I can obviously conclude that most poll voters are Type B ASMR experiencers – needing an external trigger like sounds or videos. Those who experience both come second, and exclusively Type As are less common. But this is out of 24 people, not the entire community, anyway.

Stay tuned for the next poll, which should be up soon, once I figure out what the topic will be!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jenn’s Birthday Today

I know something you might not! A certain member of the ASMR Research team is having a birthday today.
Jenn, otherwise known as Envelope Nomia, the creator of the ASMR Facebook Group and ASMR Research & Support Site, turns 31 today.

I noticed that by looking at her Facebook page, which she’s updated a lot recently, that her date of birth is September 24, 1979. I also got an alert in my email seeing I’m a friend of hers on FB. Sorry J, didn’t mean to stalk! ;)

So anyway, stop by her Facebook page or drop in at the forums and wish her a happy birthday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ASMR and Video Games: Part III

As I’ve mentioned before, I play the odd PC game from time to time. I wouldn’t label myself as a hardcore gamer – I’m not one of those World of WarCraft people, for sure.

Anyway, while playing a game every now and again, I’ll come across a character’s voice or sound that might well trigger off an ASMR hit. I decided that I would post about it seeing as among the groups of people that experience ASMR, gamers are included.

Another example of this is Fallout 3. The series has always been known for its rich characters and story, and this one, although made by a different developer in Bethesda, rather than Black Isle Studios.

There are a couple of characters in the game that set it off for me, and they’re both located in one of the early destinations in the game: Megaton. The town is easily distinguished by its shacks that circle the town centre, mainly built from airplane fuselage, which has a massive atomic bomb planted in a crater, that failed to go off when it fell many years ago.

Bomb

                                                  Image courtesy of Flickr

The first time I got a hit was when I stumbled upon the priest, Confessor Cromwell, who was standing, oddly, in the radioactive water next to the bomb, preaching to anybody who would listen. He belonged to the “Church of the Children of Atom” – and they worshiped this atomic bomb, strangely. You can talk to this priest and he’s very interesting if a bit long winded and odd. He makes a lot of extended metaphors as regards atomic bombs and radiation and so on. Probably from standing in that water…

The second character is up a level and located in the Craterside Supply store. Her name is Moira. Red-headed, possibly of Irish decent, she is one of the main NPCs (non-playable characters) in the game and often sends the player character on dangerous and often nonsensical missions in order to get information to write her book, called The Wasteland Survival Guide.

Listening to her often reminds me of another character – Candy, Alan’s one time girlfriend in Two and a Half Men. She also bears a striking resemblance to this woman, and this lead me to think it was indeed the same actress doing the voice. I have thus far not found out whether this is true or not. But it certainly sounds (and looks) like it. I would purposely make her repeat sentences in game to get my ASMR going.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tingle Triggers: Game Shows

Game Shows and reality TV shows are major mainstay on television programming. It’s been this way for how many decades now.

Now most reality TV shows irritate me, and the same can be said for game shows. But there is at least one program that I occasionally watch over here that has intrigued me for some time.

It’s called Game Time, and it usually comes on in the early hours of the morning. I sometimes watch it while reading through my news feeds, or writing articles for my various blogs and so on.

The show has mainly British hosts, male and female, and there are a variety of different games - most of which revolve around spot the difference in the pictures, or other games about words or names.

capture_01_51_47_640

For some time I couldn’t really figure out why it was that I was so drawn to the TV when I saw this program on, and why I would insist on watching it to its conclusion. But later I realised it was actually because it triggered my Type B ASMR. I wasn’t as clued up about it, or adept at sensing it as I am now, probably.

You see, it’s a combination of the host of the show talking, and then pausing while the camera zooms in on the board where the game is. It’s silence for a while, until the host speaks again, perhaps giving a clue, or saying, “Oh, I don’t know what it could be!”, or something idiotic like that.

The music in the background also, sometimes when it’s slow and atmospheric, lends itself to maintaining the sensation.

But as soon as the show picks up and the host starts talking louder and getting more excited, it kills it for me. When people start phoning in and giving the (usually wrong) answers, it also does nothing but make the tingling go away.

It’s definitely at the times when it’s slow, sedate, and calm, and when the host is just talking softly. I find I used to sit there for hours just watching and listening.

I personally don’t like the ethics of these types of shows seeing as they’re really doing little more than stealing your money, while dragging the show out for as long as possible, baiting viewers to call in or SMS and likely making a lot more money than they’re giving out.

Still…

Monday, September 13, 2010

Video Experiments to Take Place, Volunteers Needed

It’s September, and things are about to get busy. We’ve been talking about it for months, and now the time is here. Envelope has got everything set up on her site and is excited about features that most of us on the team don’t really understand. She’s an IT sort of girl, you see. :)

Anyway, what this means is that the duties of team members like Michela will really come around now, and she can get stuck in. She’s been on hold for some time now.

So what am I on about? We are now ready to begin with our planned video experiments. What this involves basically, is showing a video to bunch of people, and then once they’ve seen it, we’ll ask them to answer questions regarding the video clip. This will no doubt be geared more towards Type B experiencers, but we’ll need more than just one type here.

That’s where you, the community, come in. We need volunteers for this research, and in several different groups too. There will have to be Type A experiencers, Type B experiencers, people who have both types, and non-ASMR experiencers used as a control group.

I can promise that you don’t have to be nervous at all. The team members, including myself, will likely also be participating in these experiments and surveys too. It’ll just be like on the forums or Facebook, where you all post links to YouTube videos and everyone else watches them and comments on them. Practically the same thing except you’ll have surveys, or questionnaires, to fill in afterward.

screenshot1028

screenshot1027

So please, if you have some time to spare and would like to help out, then check out the links to this subject on the ASMR site and forums. There should be a form (shown in diagram above) for you to fill out under the “Research” tab on the main site.

There’s spaces for you to fill out your name, email, and whether you are Type A or Type B, both, or neither. Submit this in the appropriate category. There’s a drop down box which has different options. You’ll be volunteering for the Video Trials. There are options for helping with research too, if you’re interested.

Thanks.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chaz Leaves the Team

Sad news in this quick team update. It was a short while ago that Ryan left the ASMR research team.
Then we gained a new one in Torsten rather quickly, who now acts as the Outreach Agent for Australia. By the way, spare a thought for Torsten, as he lost a close friend recently.

The bad news is that Chaz , the Outreach Agent for the Eastern United States, has left the team this month.
Chaz has other commitments, among those, being a single father, and came to the conclusion with the team’s full understanding that he must attend to this and his other obligations – therefore deciding to leave the team for now. As with Ryan, if ever he has the time in the future, he is welcome  back. He has been demoted from Officer status within the group, but is still welcome to participate as a member.

We are still very interested in looking for new team members, so if you’re interested, then like I say, you can leave a comment here with your details (URL, Facebook page, email, etc.) and visit the community service page for more information.Otherwise, contact me via email or visit the forums. Chances are if you leave a message somewhere saying you’re interested, we’ll be listening in (or reading anyway). We all ready have a few candidates we’re considering.

If you have the time, are reasonably web savvy, and perhaps have medical/and or scientific knowledge, then you could fill in the positions such as an Outreach Agent for a particular region, or an Advisory role.
Soon, we will be launching video experiments, and so in addition to needing some new team members, we also need volunteers for these tests.

More on this in the next post!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ASMR Could Help with Insomnia and Other Sleep Problems

A girl sleep in running bus I’m undergoing self-inflicted tests at the moment, right now.

Let me explain. I’ve often said that ASMR helps relax me. It more often than not takes the edge off; calms me down.
Well, just lately – this past month – I haven’t been sleeping so well. I’ve had trouble going to sleep, and I’ve had trouble sleeping more than a few hours before waking up at dawn or even before that time. Then I usually go back to sleep when the alarm goes off and end up oversleeping.

So I decided that I would start reading before bed. In addition to this I also listened to the radio. Usually at the time I go to bed there isn’t much on, but on occasion there will be a good chat show or something on which allows me to have a mild “hit” before bed.

But by doing these tests, I’ll be trying to isolate things to see what actually is causing me to go to sleep quicker than usual and allowing me to sleep through most of the night.

After all, it could be the reading of the books that’s doing it. I currently like reading this book called “A Treasury of Memorable Quotations”, seeing as I like to use quotes quite often, especially in my articles online. Okay, so it’s not a novel, but before that I was reading Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons”.

It could also be the fact that on some nights I had taken a Panado, which is basically what Americans would call a “painkiller”, except this one contains paracetemol. This drug is supposed to relieve pain, but also causes drowsiness, and induces sleep. However they take a while to work, and I reckon that I took one perhaps ten or fifteen minutes before going to sleep, and so I doubt it would work that quickly. I sometimes get headaches, you see.

And last but not least, and the one I’m hoping for here, it could be the ASMR. I’ll have to try either listening to the radio or my own personal collection of tingle triggers for different lengths of time to see whether it has any effect. In the end, I want to try and establish whether ASMR can cause drowsiness and relaxation – something I have always believed in personally – and if it can help those with insomnia get a decent night’s sleep. I won’t delve into what can cause insomnia (you can see my article on that here), but it can just all be in the mind, and perhaps with some relaxation techniques, you can overcome it slowly.

In fact, a member on the team, Domagoj, says he’s an insomniac, and that even trying a session of ASMR doesn’t seem to work for him. On the flipside, there are members of the group at large who have been diagnosed with narcolepsy – a condition which involves people falling asleep at times; not being able to keep themselves awake. This can happen at inopportune times, as you can imagine. Some reckon that the two – ASMR and narcolepsy - are linked in some way; that maybe the tingling sensations are a symptom of the condition.

Perhaps they fall asleep from too much ASMR?  Can that be a bad thing?

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Translation Tool on the Blog [Site Update]

I was just thinking the other day while working on another post that this blog needs a translation tool.

I’ve had plans to do it for some time now, but couldn’t settle on a widget to use.

I now have a widget that’s recommended by others and I’ve put it at the bottom of the blog. It has flags and so on that identify which languages are supported. When you click on one of them, the page is translated into that particular language. I think it will work better than the other translation tools out there which only translate the portions of text you specify, and would mean more work for the reader.

So if you’re a reader from Europe or Asia, then rest assured that your language is likely supported here. There are a few, including the likes of Spanish, French, and German, as well as Chinese, among others. Those are some of the major languages on the planet.

This could serve to draw in more readership, as I all ready see some traffic from said countries, although mainly it’s still from North America and England.

In the future I might consider switching to another widget if more supported languages are needed.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Get the new Unnamed Feeling Widget!

Recently I went about creating widgets for my various projects on the web as I heard it was a good way to get even more exposure.

So using Widgetbox, I made a widget for this blog, UNF. I’ve got it in the sidebar so you can have a look. You can also find it listed at Widgetbox.

I went for a basic look. No images or anything. Just a list of the most recent posts on the blog. You might be able to customise it to best fit your blog or website, if you have one.

There’s a button at the bottom of the widget, or blidget as they call it, which will allow you to get the code to install it in your own blog, or MySpace page and so on. There’s quite a few supported platforms. So if you feel like supporting the blog or the community, then by all means feel free to use it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Member on The Team: Torsten Wiedemann

As I posted about the other day, Ryan Perez - the former Public Relations guy on the team - has left to take care of other obligations.

But with the loss of one team member, we have gained a new one. I was given the all clear to post about this just the other day. It’s been an internal matter for a little while that we wanted to keep within the team.

Torsten Wiedemann is the new Outreach Agent for Australia, who has started threads of much debate on both the Society of Sensationalists and Facebook forums, which were both about serotonin and its possible involvement with the ASMR phenomenon. Both of these threads have been imported to the ASMR forums by the way.

Like I said, Torsten lives in Australia - in Mullumbimby, New South Wales - but has a German name, by the looks of it. As Envelope found out, when searching for him on the net, it turns out that there’s a German rugby player with the same name, apparently.

This isn’t our Torsten though, seeing as he is an ethnobotanical researcher who runs the Wandjina Gardens in Australia. Judging by his FB page, he’s in his forties – making him the oldest team member to date.

Anyway, that’s a bit of background on Torsten. Welcome to the team!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ASMR Facebook Group Turns 1/2 a Year Old This Week

ASMRgraphic It’s quite a milestone, as I read on the group’s wall. Envelope posted that this week the group is sixth months old, and has 300 members to date, across the entire globe.

The Facebook group was started back in February this year, and is one of the most active sites and communities within the ASMR Network. My blog was started at about the same time.

Envelope even sent out invites the other day on Facebook to an event called the Six Month Marker, which will take place tomorrow, on Wednesday. The time was said to be 9 PM to 11 PM, but whether that’s my time or hers, I don’t know. Likely mine, seeing as if she has it at 9 PM over in New York, it’ll be 3 AM over here! It’s hell having to deal with these different time zones.

Anyway, it’s an online thing so there’s no pressure to attend. Just drop by the Facebook group and leave a comment or something. Although I heard that you can have a virtual toast or drink on FB.

Just a reminder that soon the FB threads will be locked or taken down completely. I imported most of the discussion threads from the group to the ASMR forums. The reason being that we want a more centralised community, which will be over on the ASMR Research and Support site from now on.

Here’s to another six months, and then we’ll reach our one year anniversary!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Breaks in Events Could Lead to More Intense ASMR

For the past while, especially this year, I’ve been more proactive in triggering ASMR events. I keep a personal library of sound and video clips that in the past triggered it for me.

Other times I watch the TV or listen to the radio, to particular shows. Sometimes I get lucky and other times it’s just not happening as much. No… I’m talking about something else. Get that image out of your head, please!

But just lately I haven’t really been listening to the radio much, or watching those specific TV segments, like infomercials, as often.

But the other evening I lay down and put on my earphones, and listened to the radio for half an hour. After not having experienced any tingling for days, for nearly the entire time, I had one of the most intense sessions I’ve had in a long while.

This led me to think that maybe, like a lot of things, ASMR in moderation isn’t such a bad idea. Perhaps after a break, when I finally do experience, it’s more intense. I also found that I was less particular or picky about what actually triggered an occurrence for me. Voices on the radio and TV that wouldn’t usually set it off started to do just that.

I should really get back into the habit of triggering it. Since I wrote this it’s been another few days. I just haven’t been sticking to my usual routine. I think it’s because I’ve been sick for a while (again), and tired too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

UNF: The 50th Post

Okay so it’s a bit of a cheat, but I thought that anybody who stumbled across the blog would like to know that it’s reached 50 posts on The Unnamed Feeling!

Plus the blog is also over six months old now, and will likely keep going for some time after this.

As of now I all ready have enough posts in draft and scheduled for the next two or three months at least. It must be over 20 posts by now, and I usually post two or three times a week.

So anyway – it’s a bit of a milestone for me, and reason enough to celebrate… internally, at least.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

News: Facebook Forums Relocating

Until recently, for the past few months, the ASMR Group on Facebook was the main place for everything ASMR-related.

The ASMR Research& Support website was started in June with the forums becoming active in late July.

I’ve gone to great pains this month to move all the active forums on Facebook and SoS, or Society of Sensationalists to the new forums, either merging them with existing threads or starting new ones. This was at the request of Envelope, or Jenn, who needed help with things.

Ryan, the creator of the Yahoo Group, has given us permission to do so. But whether he decides to keep the group going is up to him seeing as he started it back in 2008.

In truth it wasn’t that hard. Just a bit of copy and pasting. But I was glad when it was over!

Soon the current FB discussion forums will be locked down or completely deleted, with a redirecting URL put in place for each thread. This will direct you to the new version of the thread over on the official ASMR site. Why we’re doing this is to get all of the community in one place, and to encourage participation on these forums, which is seeing more registering, but not much active posting apart from a few people. But it’s getting better.

The Facebook page along with the wall will remain, but any future discussions and so on will take place at ASMR R&S.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ASMR Type B Sound and Video Trigger Tips

Okay, so for those of use who experience Type B ASMR chiefly, we often find video and sounds trigger the ASMR sensation that we crave.

But not all sounds and videos work for everyone. We all have our preferences and we have different triggers. I’ve found that clips that work for some people don’t necessarily work for me, and vice versa.

And there was a post over on the ASMR Group on Facebook in the discussion board where none other than Michela, a member of the core ASMR team, realised one of the secrets to triggering ASMR from listening to and watching video clips that one might get off the internet or on TV, the radio, etc.

So I’ve decided to put here my tips from experience on how to get the most out of your Type B triggers, like how to get the sensation started and how to keep it going for as long as possible.

First off, I said that Michela discovered a secret to getting a sensation from a sound or video clip posted online by someone.

- That would be headphones, earphones, or a headset. This will probably help create or intensify the feeling if you’re having trouble setting it off by listening through your speakers. Likewise, if a headset doesn’t help trigger it, or it gets stale, then try switching to the speakers instead.

- Also, triggers such as sounds and videos only seem to last so long before one builds up a tolerance level or becomes bored of the same sample all the time. There are various tricks to get the most out of your existing playlist.

- Try listening to the clip over and over on a loop, if it doesn’t work the first time or several tries. Some music tracks you’ll instantly like, whereas others it takes a while for you to appreciate a track, before it grows on you.

- Close your eyes and just focus on the sound or speech. It’s like the old belief that blind people’s remaining senses work better. Don’t know if that’s true - I doubt it - but try it anyway. Try and eliminate any distractions and noises. Preferably you want it to be quiet, but this depends from person to person.

- Pay attention to certain sounds or the way the person speaks in a sample. Look out for gasps of air (always works for me), licking of the lips, and other speech habits or perhaps impediments like a lisp. If you study a sample you might discover what it is about it that works for you, and maybe others too. And you can apply this in future with what to listen and look for, as your brain associates that particular trigger with ASMR.

- Adversely, don’t focus on the clip too much. Maybe just listen it without focusing on it wondering why it’s not working. It’s like of you try to sleep and you’re too hung up about sleeping and so on, then you’ll lie awake for hours.

- Try and alter the volume of the clip. You might need it louder to really pick up on the details in the sound or video sample. Others say that whispering often triggers the sensation, so you could either just get a sample of someone whispering of talking very softly, or else turn the volume down. Eventually you might find a sweet spot, like tuning a radio. Sometimes just a bit of fiddling will make a not so clear frequency into a better one.

- With speakers, you can try and alter the position of your head and ears while listening. Move your head nearer the speakers, or further away, tilt your head in different directions. Or you can move the speakers instead.

- Stroke your skin or massage your scalp. I’ve talked about this before and I’ve noticed how others have tried the same. If you stroke your arm or something, or run your fingers through your hair, it might act as a boost to an existing sensation.

- Give the sample a break. If it does wear off after a while from watching or listening to it repeatedly, then give it a break. It’s kind of like music. Your favourite track gets listened to over and over again on a loop until you’re just about sick of it. Then when you stop listening to it a for a while and come back to it later on, you find that you want to listen to it again as your appreciation for that track comes back it seems.

- These tips might help you, and they might not. These are just things I’ve experimented with. I don’t always get new clips, whether it’s audio or video, so it pays sometimes to get the most of out the samples I all ready have.

Of course, if you manage to surf the net and find trigger samples all the time, then go ahead.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ryan Leaves the ASMR Team

We got some sorta-bad news over the weekend. Ryan, the Public Relations officer within the ASMR team, has left.

Ryan states he has too many commitments such as a new job where he works full time, as well as taking care of his budding music career. For this reason he’s voluntarily left the team for the time being. He wasn’t fired or anything dramatic like that.
“I feel bad for not being involved with this anymore. It seems I have more on my plate then I can handle. I'm resigning from the group as an officer. I’ve yet to contribute anything to you guys and there is probably someone else who could do more for you all. =/ ASMR is an awesome experience/sensation and ill always love getting it, I’ve just been finding it extremely difficult to involve myself more. You all are great & I have much love for everyone. ~Ryan~”
I first spotted Ryan years ago on the legendary steadyhealth.com forums where he said he was going to start a Yahoo Group which eventually became known as SOS, or Society of Sensationalists – not “soz”, which is one of Adam’s catchphrases. He was later approached by Envelope who founded the ASMR Group on Facebook, and was incorporated into the existing team.

Ryan will no doubt still participate within the community from time to time as I see him on Facebook all the time talking about his job and how many hours he has to work!

Good luck Ryan in your future endeavours, and if you decide at some point to come back and resume your position, well, the team says that the door is always open.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Link Between Empathy and ASMR

I’ve read posts on various forums and so on that talk about how emotional response can cause an ASMR event. They talked about how from personal experience, when they felt empathy for someone or something, or when it was felt by someone else they could sense it, and that started it off.

I didn’t think that this occurred with me… until the other night.

I was watching TV, and saw a retrospective of an athlete’s career. How he rose from being just another name to being a champion. You know those sorts of of montages they show reflecting on someone’s greatest moments and achievements.

It’s something that guys know all too well, and it’s one moment that it’s okay for a man to cry – so they say; when the sport’s on, and something like this occurs. To us it’s a thing of beauty that not many women understand – and yet they’re supposed to be the sensitive, emotional ones. Go figure.

But instead of bringing a tear to my eye, this TV segment started to give me the head tingles as I watched. It was almost as though I was sharing the elation that this man experienced, and revelled in the sensations that were going wild, as I got that familiar tingling on my scalp and down my back.

It was then that I knew what those posters on the forums and so on had been talking about. It is some sort of empathy from watching a person fight and struggle up through the ranks. And it also helps a lot to hear the commentators go wild as they celebrate alongside, just going mad, shouting things like “I don’t believe it! He’s done it! He’s the new champion!” until they go hoarse and red in the face. You get the idea, I think.

And the great thing about this empathy-inspired ASMR, is that I can trigger it just by thinking about it, by thinking back to it and just playing it out in my mind. And this is great for exercising my Type A ASMR which I’ve been developing more and more over time. Type A means you don’t need an external source for it to trigger ASMR, whereas Type B you do - like watching TV or listening to the radio. I’m a bit of both.

So this is actually quite a breakthrough for me as I understand now, and I do experience it. I didn’t think I had any empathy for people, but maybe sometimes I do – perhaps when it’s someone who deserves it when a good thing happens.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tingle Trigger Video: Trine 2 E3 Debut

I recently bought the latest issue of NAG magazine. It’s a local gaming and technology magazine here in South Africa.

It comes with a Cover DVD that has some stuff on it – usually a lot of trailers and videos, of which there were many this month seeing as there was a major event in Los Angeles, California last month referred to as E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Among some of the 140 odd videos was an E3 debut trailer for a game called Trine 2. Listening to the narrator at the beginning triggers off an ASMR episode. It wasn’t that strong to be honest, but it happened nonetheless.

I managed to get a YouTube video of it, which I’ve embedded here and added to the ASMR playlist on the UNF YouTube channel.

By the way, Trine was quite a good little game, and I played the demo a while back. So Trine 2 might be one to look out for. It’s a very cute and colourful title in amongst the usual crop of drab, dimly lit games out today.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tingle Triggers: Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson in Stuttgart 1999 (3rd version) I listen to some good old heavy metal songs from time to time. Among some the bands I listen to that were at their height during the 1980’s are Iron Maiden.

The band is often credited with being one the most influential heavy metal acts of all time, with Bruce Dickinson considered one the greatest vocalists in the musical genre.

One of their songs also happens to act as a trigger for my Type B ASMR. The track is called “Number of the Beast” – which is also incidentally voted one of their best songs. It’s the intro however that does it for me.

You have a deep voice belonging to Barry Clayton (some mistakenly think it's Vince Price) who says the following lines at the beginning:

“Woe to you, oh earth and sea,
For the devil sends the beast with wrath,
Because he knows the time is short.

Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast,
For it is a human number.
Its number is six hundred and sixty six.”


So once again, as with my post about the song by Leonard Cohen, called “The Letters”, its undoubtedly the lyrics that can trigger it off for me, more than the instruments do.

I’ve got a link here that will take you to a free preview of the track so you can listen. It’s just the beginning bit you should hear. I’m not guaranteeing it will work for you seeing as these triggers don’t always work for everyone.

One of the reasons why I’m a little concerned about editing and uploading a sample of he track (which I have)  is because I don’t want to land up in any trouble. The RIAA and other such names jump on music piracy and so on nowadays.
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