The YouTube Tag

After ignoring my channel for a little bit I finally got around to doing the YouTube tag video. So if you’ve ever wondered about why I do YouTube or how I make my videos, I answer some of that here! Also I treated myself to a face mask because why not? Something to put on the next Sunday Self-Love post! My face felt really smooth and soft after I took that mask off. 10/10 very enjoyable!

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Creator Day: Impressions & Constructive Feedback

Buffer Fest has been on my radar since it started three years ago. This year is my first year attending it was also the first year they did Creator Day: a full day of workshops and talks designed specifically to help small-time creators build their channel and brand. I love the idea of this and the fact that I was accepted at all made me glow with creator glee. It also made the festival more accessible to people who want to create better and make friends, not just those who are interested in viewing screenings.

I will say that from a social standpoint, I was making friends as soon as I got in the building. People seemed to be okay to just come up and say hello, talk about what we like to make and exchange channel info. I had a group to spend the whole day with!

I could tell from the get-go that Buffer Festival and the people who run it genuinely care about small creators. They want to know what we want from them and how they can help us best. With this being the first year of Creator Day, there were obviously some hiccups but I found they used their extra time to talk to us. They took our questions, asked us where we are struggling in building our channel/audience/brand, and helped us get a better understanding of what we need to do YouTube full time. They also made sure to make themselves available, offer business cards, and were generally accessible for networking.

In the spirit of building a better Buffer Festival, I have some thoughts and constructive feedback as someone who attended Creator Day.

The breakdown of the day was fairly simple. After being together as a group for the introductions and keynote, we were split into two groups. One group did workshops in the morning with presentations in the afternoon, while the second group did the alternate activities. I did workshops in the morning and presentations in the afternoon.

Shooting with your DSLR was the first workshop I attended. It must have been sponsored by Canon because we got a bit of swag (and promo codes!) and they taught us using Canon models. I liked this panel because while everything was specific to Canon, it was information we could use. This is really important for a sponsored panel and you will understand why after the following workshop.

Next for my group was the Lighting Workshop presented by Ryerson University. I thought this was extremely helpful! The presenter was conscious of the fact that we are all new creators and have very small budgets. She taught us how to trick good lighting with cheap products. I was able to ask specific questions about things that I’ve had trouble with and get great solutions and advice!

Our third workshop was Shooting with your Cellphone presented by LG. This is the workshop that most of my fellow creators didn’t learn very much from. Let me begin by saying that sponsorship of this festival is so appreciated and important because we got an event that helps us grow and learn for freeee. My complaint is not that the workshop was clearly sponsored (because Canon managed to do okay). My complaint is not with the fact that it was a half hour of an LG G4 sales pitch (like I said, sponsors are great and we got a free Creator Day!). My complaint is that it was scheduled as “Shooting with YOUR Cellphone.” We didn’t learn a single thing about how to shoot with the phones we currently have, only that our phones are clearly inferior to the LG G4. There were a few people I spoke to who were very disappointed by not learning how to shoot videos with the phone that they have. No mention of how to mount your phone to a tripod or if there are any creative apps we’d find useful. We just played with a phone that none of us could afford ($700 yikes!). I think that workshop would have sat better with me if it were titled something else, perhaps “Best Phones to Shoot HD Video,” “The Latest in Mobile HD Video,” or even a straight up “Sponsored Panel: LG’s Newest Smart Phone.” All of this aside, though, I do need to say that the LG G4 is a powerful device with DSLR-esque customization in the camera for really amazing shots. Maybe we can afford it after we get famous on YouTube!

The next workshop we went to was How to Get the Best Export Quality. This workshop was a great idea because when I started YouTube I had no idea what I was doing in the export. I just experimented until I got it right. But in this panel they taught us what settings work best with YouTube and how to get the best picture quality based on what we’re shooting with. She actually taught us what a lot of these obscure acronyms mean and so that when we go to the Export Settings page on YouTube it may actually make sense instead of being a long page of jargon.

After lunch my group had our turn in the auditorium for the presentations. We had some cool and interesting presentations about case studies and new things happening in YouTube like 360 video. It was great learning how that works and getting some tips on how we can get our foot in the door while it’s still new. The other talks were about how to make YouTube our full time job, how to go about making money, and Q&As with some of the visiting YouTubers.

The last talk of the evening was called Keeping Yourself Out of Trouble – Legal/Copyright presented by a bona fide copyright lawyer. I feel like this was a very important talk to have but there are ways to make it better. The information was very useful and I understood it because I have previously taken a course on copyright when I studied publishing. I fear it may have been too dry for some of the other attendees and I’m not sure everyone left with as good an understanding of copyright as they could have.

A few ideas I had on improving this portion include:

  • Invite YouTubers who have had brushes with the law and are willing to speak to us or answer questions
  • Case studies (in the same vein of the above bullet)
  • Outline the main areas where YouTubers get in trouble with copyright and address those directly (for example: music covers or remixes, using short clips/sounds for comedic/dramatic effect)

Overall, Creator Day is a huge step in the right direction! We all felt that half an hour was not enough time to absorb as much information as we wanted or to ask all the questions we had. I understand why it was scheduled the way it was; you can only fit so much in the span of a day. I think Creator Day has the potential to grow into something much bigger and I hope this novella of a blog post can help the even coordinators understand better what we thought and hope for in the future. I think five years down the line Buffer Fest is going to look like TIFF and VidCon had a love child.

Thank you to the sponsors of Buffer Festival! LG, YouTube, CBC, Canon, Reelio, and all the others that made this happen for us — thanks for your support and believing in our value!

Dear Fat People: Thoughts and Feelings

I have been consumed lately by the drama happening on YouTube with regards to Nicole Arbour’s video “Dear Fat People” and the resulting backlash from such a hateful and hurtful video. This is not going to be about why fatshaming is bad; I think there’s enough content out there explaining that and quite honestly it should be obvious. What I wanted to talk about was the reactions within the YouTube community and Arbour’s behaviour.

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I must express my disappointment with some people in the YouTube and online community with how they’re treating Arbour. Threats, harassment, and misogyny are not acceptable ways to communicate, and are not conducive to an open conversation about fatphobia, bullying, and comedy. Yes, this is true even if the person in question is horrible. I don’t know why people think that bullying a bully is going to help a situation? Just don’t do it, you’re better than that.

Now that that’s out of the way, I wanted to talk about “offensive” humour and her claim that political correctness is killing comedy because I know a lot of people share this view, even if they don’t agree with her fatshaming video. A lot of people (professional comedians included) complain that they can’t make certain jokes anymore because it’s “offensive” or not “politically correct.” And to those people I say: grow up.

We are constantly having to adjust our vocabularies and views based on new information we get. The standpoint of “nobody can take a joke anymore” is weak and is used by people who just want to be offensive and ignore the complexity of humans. They blame their audience when their outdated jokes fall flat. But guess what – if you call yourself a comedian, it’s your job to make people laugh. If you’re not making people laugh, you’re bad at your job. You’re a bad comedian. Understand that the punchlines you think are funny are no longer considered funny and that making fun of marginalized people isn’t edgy, it’s lazy.

“But you shouldn’t let what other people think affect you!”

No. People are allowed to be triggered by offensive material, they’re allowed to feel how they feel. If you, personally, can let hurtful comments roll off your shoulder then congratulations that’s really impressive. But not everyone is there in their personal journey to self acceptance and self love, and it’s not realistic to expect everyone to be chill about such a sensitive issue.

Another topic that came up is censorship on YouTube. Shortly after Arbour’s video went up, she got flagged so often that YouTube took down her channel. At least, that’s the story that’s been going around. While I don’t think censorship should be a thing on the YouTube platform, I think some steps should be taken to responsibly have the material available. Should there be ratings? A warning label? Currently there is just an age restriction in the “advanced settings.” I’m not sure what will work best. Arbour’s channel is back up, of course, so YouTube did not “officially” or permanently censor her, even though that’s what she was trying to tell people.

Also…

…this is something that she tweeted, seemingly sincere about not wanting kids to see her video. But she put that up on YouTube which has no way of deterring kids from going on her channel and watching it anyway. As previously mentioned there’s an age restriction option so if she cared that much, she could have made it 18+ (though 18+ people are still getting triggered and harmed by it). Don’t blame other people for sharing your video, these kids could have easily found it on their own except maybe then they wouldn’t have someone else telling them that “Dear Fat People” is a load of shit.

And these are some conversations we could be having with Arbour if she wasn’t so aggressively trying to play the victim/underdog.

These have been some thoughts. I’ve been enjoying the mature discussions around the Internet about this topic and I think there’s a lot to talk about. I hope we can continue to navigate tough and sensitive topics with a sense of empathy and responsibility.

November Favourites

I could only squeeze in a few of my favourites this month into the video, but there’s so much more I wanted to share!! Here’s a more extensive list of my November favourites:

Skinny Knit Pant

As I mentioned in the video, these are the most comfortable things to wear to the office. Dress pants are so constricting and really unforgiving if you fluctuate in weight. Not to mention certain materials give you an awkward panty-line. I’ve got two of these kinds of pants — the grey ones from Dynamite and a grey/charcoal houndstooth pair from Suzy Shier. Neither cost more than $30 CDN. There’s also a great variety available from Maurices in a similar price range!

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Blackhead Out from The Face Shop

I’ve fallen in love with Korean beauty products. This is the culture that brought us BB Cream! And after trying some products from other Korean brands I think I definitely trust the cosmetics that come out of that country. The Face Shop is a Korean franchise store so it was really interesting to see all these beauty products that aren’t sold at your regular North American drug store. Oh and also the packaging is kawaii as fuck!!

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Those are some hand creams I saw in-store and regret not buying. Nothing was overly expensive! But I was in the market for a new blackhead solution and the pack of seven strips cost $6 CDN. Plus I’ve been wanting to try charcoal products on my skin!

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It works so well I’m not even going to show you the absolutely gross results after pulling the strip away. If you’d like to look into other Korean beauty products, I’d suggest Atomy.

Sexy Peel soap from LUSH

I’m always trying new soaps from LUSH and I love the ones that give me a little bit of exfoliation too. This one is fabulous for shaving because unlike the Sandstone soap, it doesn’t leave behind anything but lather so it keeps your razor free of debris. I’ve (obviously) been using it for quite a while. I love using it in the mornings, the citrus smell really wakes me up and makes me feel fresh and clean.

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Ro’s Argan body conditioner from LUSH

I bought this to bribe myself into running more often. I told myself I can only use this with my post-run shower and it had been working really well until I stopped running due to it being cold as balls and my knees giving me problems. It’s so moisturizing and when you use it in the shower it feels like pure luxury. The soft smooth feeling you get lasts for a really long time after use. The scent is really light and floral — very inoffensive if you’re sensitive to scents.

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Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain Balm

This is not a new product. This is a case of “you took it away from me and this is all I want.” I’ve tried a variety of lip stains or stain balms and none of them stay as well as the Revlon ones. They always go on like lipstick and wipe off like lipstick. Maybe sometimes it will stain my lips but not very well. So after finding these still available at a local Shopper’s Drug Mart, I bought five more.

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I’d say the only downside of the Revlon Just Bitten lip stain balms is that the cap for the balm isn’t very tight so I’ve had a couple of instances where it came off in my on-the-go makeup bag, broke the balm, and made my whole bag greasy. Yeesh! Beware if you’re gonna keep it in your purse!

Extras: Apps!

Due to some time constraints, I had to cut my non-fashion/beauty items from the video — but I still want to share them with you all! So here are some apps that I’ve found particularly useful:

Evernote

Yeah, it’s not a new thing. But I never knew how handy this little app could be when you’re jumping around different computers — plus you’ve got it on the go! I’ve got endless lists going and I’ve been using it to outline my YouTube videos so I can add or change things whenever it comes to me. I have it on my phone, personal computer, and work computer. I wish I had this when I was in university, I could have kept all my notes in one spot and sharing notes would have been a cinch.

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Pocket

This is the perfect app for the “I’ll read/watch you later” type of internet user. That’s me. I’m stingy with my data. Sometimes I’ll come across and article or video that seems cool but I don’t really want to load it on my phone. I’ll save it to my pocket and I can access it again when I’m connected to WiFi. It’s cross-platform so you can look up what you saved on any device. Pocket integrates itself into lots of aspects of your phone so if I’m on Pinterest or Tumblr, I can easily save something to my pocket.

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CeltX

Maurizio shared this with me early November and I loved it. He asked me about how I write my novels (since November was NaNoWriMo) and I told him I used Microsoft Word. He suggested I try CeltX. It was designed for script writers but they’ve integrated novel-writing needs into the programming as well. You can divide your work into chapters so you can jump around the novel quite easily by clicking around your chapter guide. You can also make notes onto your work, much like the Track Changes in Word. What I like about CeltX is that it’s a desktop program that also has an app so you can work on your writing on the go. Additionally, you can share your work via email to other people and determine their capabilities on the work (ie: if the can edit). That way your work stays in one place.

You can also share your work with the CeltX community to gather opinions and readers from within the site. Likewise, you can access other peoples’ works. There are resources available to you, like guides and tips on different types of writing.

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Speed Reader

I admit it: I am a slow reader. It sucks. Don’t try to convince me otherwise. I’ve dedicated myself to learning to read faster and this app has been helping immensely! It cost somewhere in the ballpark of $2.99 CDN from the Google Play Store. There is a free version with limited exercises but of all the speed reading trainer apps I’ve tried, this one has the most effective exercises and I found myself using it more with the free version so I decided to put the money in for the full version. You can train yourself in the app and it also has books you can practice with. I’ve been reading teen novels to get my practice in before I try to read more sophisticated work. I’ve been really enjoying the games in the app and would definitely recommend it to anyone trying to work on their reading skills!

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And that exhausts my favourites list for November! I hope I’ve given you something helpful. Much love darlings. ♥