Sunday, May 22, 2011

Confessions of an Asmer, Part I: YouTube

This is more of a “behind the scenes” post on this blog, for a change.

The UNF YouTube channel is one of the most popular network sites around, with people recommending videos all the time either on YouTube or Facebook, and searching through the playlists for something that tickles their fancy (or their brains, more appropriately).

But here comes confession time for me: out of all those videos, I’ve watched hardly any of them. Only a few; a handful. These were videos that were recommended to me personally by some, or else, like the first video trial, the team was instructed to take the trial in a closed beta form before opening it to the public.
Reasons why I don’t spend a hell of a lot of time on YouTube watching videos or downloading them is simple: I live in a country where broadband is still catching on, and most of you will be shocked to learn that dial-up is still a big thing over here. Broadband and data solutions need to get cheaper – that’s all I can say. It’s gradually getting there, but it needs to get better. It’s not like America or other first world countries where broadband is available in most households, according to published surveys I’ve read. And YouTube will eat up your bandwidth like almost nothing else.

I’ve also got other things on the go, whether it’s maintaining other network sites or participating within them. I have many duties as a team member and co-founder. I’m a moderator on the ASMR forums; I own and maintain the YouTube channel, this blog, the Twitter page, as well as the article on HubPages. And then there’s the Facebook page as well. Not to mention all the emails and messages I have to go through. But at least I like what I do. I don’t get paid; it’s all volunteer.

I also find that I don’t need to watch these videos, seeing as I have ready access to the radio or television – and not to mention my personal collection of recorded sound clips that I listen to from time to time that do the trick nicely, as far as ASMR is concerned.

Then there’s my other projects, like blogs, and articles that I write on and maintain – outside of the ASMR network.

I’m not complaining, but it’s just that I don’t have a lot of time to watch these videos. It feels better getting it off my chest though. So how about any of you out there in the community? Do you watch every single video added to the several YouTube playlists, or do you pick them very selectively? Maybe like me you don’t watch most of them.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The ASMR Facebook Group has Been Upgraded!

All right, so last week I posted here about the impending upgrade that would take place over the weekend (Sunday to be exact). We were given an option by Facebook: upgrade from the old to the new layout, or the group will be archived, and a lot of information will be lost.

Well, the upgrade took place yesterday. Not much harm was done, it seems. It looks different – and it is. I’ll run through a few of the immediate things you’ll come across:

         New ASMR Group layout

              The new ASMR Group layout, complete with redacted surnames*

  • You’ll see that the sidebars and so on have changed with more distribution of information on the right column now, such as the members list appearing on this side instead of the left, like before.
  • Discussion threads no longer exist. Existing discussion threads now appear on the wall as wall posts. I’m taking this opportunity to say that I will no longer be importing any information over to the ASMR forums. I did a lot of that last year, and continued to update threads and so on this year, too. But seeing as they’re now wall posts like all the rest, I don’t see any point in continuing on with that. I certainly would not go about archiving all the wall posts! Old threads that were deleted after being migrated to the forums were obviously not carried over with the recent upgrade, and therefore do not appear as wall posts.
  • There are no longer any assigned officers within the group. Existing officers before the upgrade included Torsten, Domagoj, Dominika, and myself. This feature seems to have been retired. Jenn retains the administrator position, however. I will of course continue on with my duties on the other network sites, regardless.
  • There are now new post options, with one, the “question” feature, appearing – which I don’t recall being there before.

During the upgrade process, you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t look like any members of the group were lost. If you were dropped during the import, be sure to join again – and we’re sorry for any inconvenience we, or Facebook, might have caused you!

If there are any other mentionable differences from the old layout that you’ve picked up on, then make sure to leave a comment about it. If you just want to sound off about how the process was all so pointless, and how you don’t like the new layout (or do like it) then you can talk about that too!

* surnames aren’t actually redacted within the group itself. I just did it for the purpose of publishing on this blog. You can rest assured that your participation within the group is closed to the public. People have to join the group to see what’s posted on the wall and so on – so only other members will know what you’re up to.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Situation Revolving Around the ASMR Facebook Group

Recently when I logged in to Facebook and went over to the ASMR Group, I noticed a message posted above the wall. It said something about the group being scheduled to be archived.

scheduled

The ASMR Group comes under the old group format, and upon further reading, I saw that action needs to be taken to successfully port it over to the new format, such as saving existing info. If nothing is done, the group is archived, and there will be substantial losses, such as all members of the group being lost.

No pressure, then.

The new group format might not necessarily suit the needs of the group from what I’ve read. But there are other alternatives.

Pages are the new groups. I’ve seen organisations in the past switch from using groups to pages - this is likely the reason why; because of the new format. Pages, it seems, are best for a large audience – a community - such as ours. Then again, Pages can be equally as restrictive. But we’ll have to settle on something, seeing as we need a Facebook presence – it’s one of our top “capture nets” for new members, and probably one of the most active network sites at that.

In the end, it’s up to Jenn, as the administrator of the Facebook group, to make this call – and she is busy trying to find a solution right as I type this, be assured. There is a planned port attempt for this coming Sunday, and we hope that it will take place without much loss. If anything goes wrong, we are sorry, but some action has to be taken. I’m just writing about this here today, and all community members should receive a message about the situation in their individual email accounts soon, perhaps with a wall post on Facebook for those who don’t check their email. ;)

We either port over to the new group format, or we scrap the group, lose pretty much everything so far, and start a page instead. Or the group gets archived, so you can still see what all the fuss what about, but with some significant changes that might well not be acceptable.

We could let it be archived, and then start the new page in addition to this. I’m just running through the options here. But I think we’ll likely go for a port.

This is all so sudden, and like I said - we’re currently trying to come up a with a solution as to what to do. Just bear with us. ASMR isn’t going away, no matter what. It’ll be kind of sad to see all the work that’s gone in the group go to waste, and all because of some silly, inconvenient, and unnecessary change on Facebook’s part – but we’re going to get through this somehow. Sounds dramatic, I know.

This is also why we encourage more participation on the ASMR forums – because that’s not going to change any time soon.

----

For further reading on the situation:

http://www.facebook.com/groups
http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=18966

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tingle Triggers: Talking Dictionary

This one is going to sound odd – more so than a lot of posts that I have up here.

The other night while I was writing, I did something which I often do: I looked up a word in the dictionary. But this isn’t any old dictionary. It’s not the sort that you haul out of the closet and slam on to the desk; blowing all the dust off it, before handling the fragile, aged pages.

No, this is a talking dictionary. It resides on my desktop, as an icon. I can open it within a couple of seconds, and look something up. But where the beauty of it is, is that you can click a word to see how its pronounced. Remarkably useful for when you don’t want to sound silly when trying to pronounce a word of French origin, for instance.

I’d say it’s one of the best inventions ever, right after the mute button on the television remote. And it’s by Oxford, naturally. Hugely outdated, but it’s by Oxford.    

screenshot393

No, not in there yet…

Anyway, I opened up the program, and started browsing through for a word that I wanted to find out more about. I saw a word that wasn’t the one I was looking for, but clicked on it anyway, intrigued. I forget what it was now, but when the word was sounded aloud so that I could hear the pronunciation, I instantly started getting all tingly. Of course, I kept clicking it over and over again (luckily I had my headset on, otherwise the neighbours would have complained!), and I was getting short little bursts of sensillations.

So I started looking for other words that might do it. But that’s the thing: they are so far and few between, and the male and female voices that power the sounds aren’t always that adept at triggering it. But I’ll tell you now that it’s a great motivation to look things up, seeing as not only do you learn something; improve your vocabulary, but you might get a nice little surprise - a reward of sorts – every now and again.

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