The Sandbox Show #WhatsupWednesday #NanoPoblano2019

Last October was my first YouTube anniversary. Actually, technically, it wasn’t. I’ve had the account for years. But last year, I decided it was time to do what I really wanted with it: I started vlogging.

One of my dreams was to create my own videos someday. But when I was younger, we didn’t have a camera. We probably could not afford one. Even if we could, it would be against my conscience to ask one from my parents who worked hard to raise us. If we had cellphones, they would not have had clear cameras anyway, if they came with cameras at all. Good thing that I had my chance in college where we created various video productions. And then, my first job was perfect — I wrote and produced institutional videos for a tertiary school.

But those were school- and job-related works. I wanted to create stuff for myself. I had always wanted to own a channel once I learned about people broadcasting on their own cable channels. I wanted to be the one to produce and decide what to do on my own show. But I didn’t have my own equipment and the family did not have cable…

Fast-forward to now and voila! Hello, YouTube!  It helps, too, that new technologies have made it easier for us. Now anyone can own a channel. Even a quirky wannabe like me.

Starting Out

My not-so-high-tech equipment does the trick. Of course, there’s still a lot to be desired. My detachable webcam takes vivid shots except if you move a lot, it creates a sort of visual echo. It can be quite tricky considering that I am a very animated person. I use Windows Photo Editor, which is helpful but is not as nice as other editors. In some of my posted videos, it is obvious whenever I jump from one part to another. They were the first ones I recorded.

I used the “Trim” feature to edit at the start. Luckily, I noticed sometime these last months that they have added a “Split” feature. Tried that and it proved to be sooo much better. It makes the work easier and the results less ‘jumpy’. Most times, the transitions are not even obvious. I could get a better (free) editor, but I am not sure if my laptop’s memory can handle it. Will get to that one day.

The jumps in my vids are more obvious when real-time, actual background music is recorded along with my talking. That is because in the first videos I made, I knowingly recorded while playing songs in the background. That was me being stupid, not realizing the consequences of my actions.

I sometimes get copyright claims when I post them (so I do add credits in the Description section). No strikes, though, especially since I am not earning anything from vlogging. YouTube influencer, I have no illusions of becoming. I have explained in one of my posts (“6 Reasons A Vlogger is Not Popular“). Unless the universe tells me otherwise. Until then…Anyway, I decided to ditch the real-time background music once I realized my problem. If you do encounter a newly posted vid that still noticeably jumps because of the music, that means the raw copy just recently got edited.

Honestly, in a span of one year, I have only posted eight videos on my channel. Life happens, in a good way or a bad way. Serious editing eats time. But since I am in no hurry to get famous, I figured I’d do things on my own time. If you’ve been watching vloggers long enough, you’ll know a lot of them get burnout trying to keep up with the demands of vlogging. So, no. I have enough pressures already at work and in my personal life, I’m not about to add more.

Yes, there are only eight posted videos. Still, there’s enough where they came from. I have lots of recorded copies to last me till next year, plus there’ll be new ones I have yet to make.  My upcoming New Year’s Resolution, however, does include being a more active YouTuber. Also, I’m putting (1) “Don’t buckle”, (2) “Pronounce words correctly”, (3) “Avoid grammatical errors”, and (3) “Don’t be conscious of the camera” on the list.

The Sandbox Show

The Sandbox Show is produced by The Sandbox Prodxns, a “self-owned one-woman company” that I created myself years ago (when I didn’t exactly know what to do with it). My account name has “akasands” in it, which actually means A.K.A Sands. Why it is there and what that means, I will reserve for another time. Unless you want to watch my long, boring, and awkward intro video. It’s explained there somewhere. At least, I added bloopers after, ha!

What can I say? I’m getting better at it. And I do like to play around with the editing to get my best results. I’m a visual person. I try to make my videos as entertaining as I can. Maybe I have only eight posts yet you can betcha I worked hard on every one of them. Practice makes almost-perfect.

Anyway, I have shared some videos in the past on this blog. Below are the two most recent ones I posted on YT, if you can call them recent:

Yakult vs Delight vs Go Long Probiotic Drinks It’s one of those reviews that I call “comparative mukbang”.

Next,…

The Arya Stark Gender Debate It’s the first and, so far, only Game of Thrones-related video I’ve posted. There are more to come. Here, I discuss an issue that people felt compelled to debate on even in this day and age. Disclaimer: I did say “It does not matter” whether Arya Stark was or was not.

This is my channel, by the way: THE SANDBOX SHOW.

6 Reasons a Vlogger is Not Popular #ThursdayTips

So you’ve decided to join the club and vlog. But it’s been months–years even!–and you’re nowhere near the famous vloggers that inspired you. You’ve been posting daily and religiously ’cause that should make people remember you, right? Yet you’re not popular. What gives?

Let’s just take me, for example. Why is it that I might never be a popular vlogger? Well, I’ve watched enough YouTube vlogs to have observed certain truths. If these are your truths, well, sticks and stones, and no offense meant.

Why I’m not Popular

1.  I am not gorgeous.

2.  I’m not famous or going around with the “in” crowd.

3.  I don’t have the right or more proper equipment.

4.  I don’t have enough resources (physical and/or financial).

5.  I am not the gimmicky type of person.

6.  I’m too shy when I need to be bold.

I only emphasized my observations. It doesn’t mean that if one is this or not that, he/she should stay that way. It depends on what he/she wants to be or accomplish, what that person decides to do and thinks he/she can do.

I have suggested alternatives or simple solutions below.

How to Be a Popular Vlogger

  1. Just be presentable.
  2. Actively engage with your audience. Interact with people. Go out sometimes.
  3. Make an effort to acquire better equipment for your purpose.
  4. Be resourceful. Find ways!
  5. Be creative. Make the effort.
  6. Believe in yourself and be confident.

I have actually shared these whys and hows in my most current vlogpost.  There, I further explained a little bit more my bases and insights, own experiences, and conclusions. Excuse some of the mildly rough edited parts.

Perseverance pays off only when you do things right. It doesn’t matter how many times you post. If you ignore the importance of relevant content to people, then people will ignore you back.

February 2018/2019 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

Welcome back, peeps! More importantly, welcome back to me! This is me trying to get back into the blogging jive. So since I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time, this is a good time as any to restart this thing.

I checked my posts history and — gasp! —  the last recap I posted was my March 2017 one! That’s two years ago! I never realized that it would take me that long! Why did I keep putting it off??? But since we’re now here, it’s time to get back into doing it.

RECAP!!!

This is going to be the norm for me every month: Since it’s now March, I am supposed to be posting a recap of February. And since I missed it last year, I’m doing both February 2018 and 2019 recaps. Next month, it’s going to be recaps of March 2018 and 2019. But wait, there’s more! Literally! Next will be the start of the “threesomes” — April 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Don’t worry. Considering how seldom I posted, my posts would probably be not too long (‘cept maybe April 2017 when I last joined the A to Z Challenge).

Here’s a recap of my February 2018:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayToons (see Write! Write!)

#TuesdayTunes (none)

#TVTuesday (none)

#AskWednesday (none)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Busy is the Word)

#ThursdayTips (none)

#FeatureFriday (none)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see Versatile Blogger ) –  Any day could be about anything.

Judging from my results, I was not exactly that active at all. However, I did get to post stuff so it’s not bad either.

(2) My Trending StoriesWhat trending stories??? I must admit, I lost a lot of interest after encountering problems with their site over and over. But it’s never out of my mind. I plan to come back. But I need to be active here first. As far as blogging is concerned, this is my priority.

Here’s a recap of my February 2019:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * t u m b l e w e e d * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yup, that pretty much sums up what I did last month.

Social Media Reach-out:

I will repeat what I said the last time, because it is still true.

“I’m getting followers slowly but steadily, at least. I don’t really expect to get many, I’m just surprised there are those who decide to FOLLOW me on Facebook (even Twitter, which still confuses me at times) when they don’t really know me personally. It’s so nice to get followers who think that what I post are interesting enough.”

A great shout-out to all of you!

Meanwhile, I mentioned and even posted about my new “endeavor”, which is vlogging. I am currently trying to get back after more than two months of forced hiatus (laptop problems). The good news is I have acquired a new cellphone that should help me make things easier and be more creative. Hopefully. Don’t worry, though, folks. Blogging is still my main squeeze 🙂

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Nada. Honestly disappointed with myself.

Both of my wedding ninangs (godmothers — there really shouldn’t be any “s” there as the Filipino language does not add it to change a singular word to plural) actually PM’d me a poetry competition. I haven’t checked. I will try to check later.

As for stories, through work, I found Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor last year. I realized I could use them for my works. I am very much partial to the latter, though. Will edit those I’ve done and will use the editors for future pieces.

Literature:

bakokak-gerry-alanguilan

“Bakokak” written by Gerry Alanguilan, illustrated by Kevin Ray Valentino

No book-reading happened whatsoever last month (but not sure about February 2018). Well, okay, I think I did read comic books. That counts.

Personal:

  • I have mellowed down when it comes to Wish 107.5 FM. That’s because they have, too. I mean they have expanded in the US, which is a great idea, but as far as artists that shake me, so to speak, no one’s really gotten my attention. I do plan on giving those “new” artists they feature a chance one of these days.
  • Quora recently suffered hack attacks. My account was one of those that suffered. They did sort of give me back copies of my posts, but my old account is lost. I am getting lazy just thinking about trying to start over. I don’t even really know how to get them all posted again considering that a lot of what I did was to comment on others’ posts. They’re not my posts, know what I mean?
  • Because of the new cellphone, I finally…
    1. got to play Plants vs. Zombies
    2. got to play an updated/leveled-up Temple Run
    3. was able to play Fruit Ninja whenever I wanted to (the first and only time prior that I played it was on a big screen at the arcade)
    4. found Wordscapes that got me hooked for a while (I still play it regularly, just not in that addicted-mode…Happy to say that I’m already doing Level 1132 as of this writing), and
    5. found Empires & Puzzles, which is my main game at the moment.

So officially, I am now a (quite) amateur semi-online gamer. Meanwhile, Soda Crush and other word games have taken a backseat.

 

And that ends this February — er, these Februaries(???) — recap. Watch out for March! I mean, you know, just sayin’ 🙂

New Year’s Greetings, Earthlings!

HELLO, FELLOW HUMANS!!!

 

And since February’s near…

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!

Welcome to 2019! I can’t say much yet about the new year, but I can take it, so far. So how was your 2018?

If I were to sum up my 2018, it was a year of missed opportunities (job offers I turned down), personal losses (my uncle and hubby’s mother passed away), and failed attempts (tried earning new certificates, but something would always come up, I lost interest). It sounds really worse than it was, though. But since overall, it wasn’t enough to really depress me, I think it was just plain okay. As plain as “OK” can be. No great shakes. I was positively shaken several times, but nothing big ever happened.

Writing- or blogging-wise, I had a love-hate relationship with writing/blogging, to be honest. There was a sort of burn out. The fire would start only to dwindle into nothing. But I dare say I did better than in previous years. That’s ’cause my frame of mind was to not force myself because forcing myself would only stress me out until I get disappointed in the end. So I wrote when I could and whenever I was inspired. The funny thing was, even when I didn’t blog, I’d see some spikes in my stats — not that I’m crazy about my stats — and I usually don’t know why. I would look at what brought visitors in, yet there usually was no reason other than they were brought here by their searches. For me, that’s a form of success. After all, the main point of my blogging is to give something that even just a single person can appreciate and leave with.

Two things were new last year:

1. I created my online portfolio, The J. F. E. Portfolio, which you already are aware of, I suppose. It serves a purpose for me. Though I’ve not added anything to it again since October, I’m in no hurry. I have so many to share there if I choose to do so. I won’t run out.

2. I finally decided to go vlogging! Yes, on YouTube, where I am able to show my not-so-serious persona. Time and resources have been delaying my posts. I’m learning to edit the way I want my vids to be edited. I had been used to linear editing, so I’m just learning digital editing using my limited resources. I’ve been using the webcam I acquired last year (I mentioned that). It’s got clear visuals. HOWEVER, trying not to move too much can be a challenge. You’ll see later what I mean. I just recently started using phone camera. It takes great pics, but I think the quality changes once I start recording videos. I might still stick with the webcam for now. For outdoor stuff, though, the phone cam will do.

Again, I’m taking it slow. I want it to be fun for me, an outlet, not a chore. I’m not lacking videos to share at all. I’ve recorded several already, more than enough, that I don’t really need to record anything again for a while. It’s the editing that’s taking longer. I’ve recorded product reviews, informative and how-to vids, ideas, some challenges, and reaction videos (well, just one so far). My best plans that I’ve yet to make are to share the Philippine culture, create Filipino tutorials, and present old stuff that the younger generation don’t know about (like a typewriter, cassettes, and a tape player/recorder).

To be honest, I feel shy sharing myself (my face!), but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I claimed it! If something makes you happy, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, claim it! RIGHT???

I’m sharing to you this video, which is my favorite so far, and its “sequel”. Bear with me, please:

Alright, time to cut this for now. Hanggang sa muli! (Till then!)

Hello, Blogging, my old friend

These last weeks, it’s been like the zest for life was zapped out of me…Okay, that maybe exaggerated and over-dramatic, and it’s not like I’m the YOLO type of person either. For some reason, though, I was too uninspired to do things I believed I should have been doing.

It’s not even depression. It’s like…I just allowed myself to wallow in the mundane goings-on of life. Sort of. My brains were always thinking, mind you. But in a figurative sense, I had no energy for anything, except maybe for watching TV series, at least. Doesn’t mean there weren’t notable events in my life. There were a few, some even worth mentioning. I could just save the stories for the rainy days–No, wait. These are the rainy days. Here anyway.

Okay, I have to break this phase, so I’ll share some. Where have I been or what have I been doing these last weeks? What’s new?

Through the Reading Glasses

Alright, here’s something new:

My eyes! My eyes!

Notice anything? If your answer is I’m not perfect anymore, you’re right, HA!!! My eyesight isn’t as normal as it used to be, and as I used to brag about, anymore.

My visual acuity used to be 20/20 for the longest time, now it’s 20/25. Or is it 25/20? Sorry, I have yet to understand this kind of thing, but based on what I’ve read, 20/25 could be the right one.

Anyway, these are actually just reading glasses, no need yet for the more serious glasses, thank goodness. My peripheral awareness or side vision still seems excellent. The kids are surprised that I see what they’re doing even when I’m not exactly looking, he he.

And Binge-watching is My Game-o

After fighting walkers a.k.a. zombies in The Walking Dead, Sonequa Martin-Green now fights Klingons in Star Trek: Discovery

I watch whole TV series and a few movies every now and then. I just actually nerd-ed out earlier on Star Trek: Discovery then continued to After Trek where they discussed episode 3.

I am enjoying myself (will probably post my next set of quick reviews in a day or two). It’s pretty much the only thing that makes me enjoy my weekdays. The funny thing is, if not suspense-thrillers or horror flicks, I actually just watch predictable and silly teen/tween flicks. Yes, guilty as charged–I mean–as confessed. That’s one side of me you didn’t know until this fateful day. Don’t spread it around, alright?

NoTube

My YouTube-viewing has considerably waned. For some reason, just like vloggers noticeably starting to get tired of vlogging, I was noticeably starting to get tired of watching vlogs. So sometimes, I skipped days of viewing, which was good because it somehow “rejuvenated” me into watching again on some other days. I try not to overdo anymore.

Face-to-Tweet

Facebook now often tires me, too. Sometimes, people tire me. I am also prone to be somewhat depressed about certain things I see there, so I have been lying low. Not totally ignoring Facebook, just…not totally giving it much of my time. I have been having this love-hate relationship with it anyway. Surprisingly, I’ve become more into Twitter. Go figure. I think it’s because it’s less personal and there’s less disappointment with people I actually know.

No Relations and Old Relations

In the past weeks, I have had a falling-out with someone, lost a close relation, and found old friends.

I do not regret the falling-out. Maybe it’s good that it’s happened. I have somehow ridden myself of toxic. She’s still there, but I won’t allow myself to be caught again in such a parasitic relationship. I have often needed and received help from kind people, but there has never been any selfish intention of feeding off them just because I can. I know how to show my appreciation.

With the second, there was also a falling-out for more than a year. Honestly, I am not sure if “falling-out” is even the right word. I had never felt trusted, and that’s how far of an explanation I will give. I sincerely wanted us to be closer. Circumstances and differences did not give me enough chance to do this. After the “falling-out”, I stayed away. Even during her illness, which I was initially unaware of. With what was then going on, I felt that a visit from me would be unwelcome and may cause more rifts, so I still stayed away. Until I heard the bad news, that she passed away.

In an ironic twist, people were talking and being chummy again. If you knew the whole background of my story, you’d use the word “ironic”, too. Things have become better. So far. I hope I am mistaken, but this could again be just the calm before the next years of storm.

After years of searching, I finally found two of the three former acquaintances I had been looking for on Facebook. I never expected the change in one, which was actually good, and I have yet to see any changes from the other. I am still looking for the third and I don’t know why no one seems to care to know if she still exists, which is sad. care.

Celebrate Good Times

Happy 7th Anniversary to The End Justifies the Journey! I was expecting a notification in September. I became too uninspired, I forgot to look. So yeah, I missed the notif. But hey, I’m happy to still be here 🙂

Alright, I’ve broken the phase now, I’ll try to keep it broken. Please stick with me, okay? Oh, and so many thanks to everyone who has become my new follower and the visitors who have contributed to my statistics. Frankly, I was surprised that people had been visiting while I was away. In the world of blogging, that’s actually a good thing 🙂

Wil is Sick

To be honest, I hadn’t been watching Wil Dasovich‘s current vlogs lately. Some things got my attention more, plus I was thinking he was just doing clickbait with the “sick” thing (don’t get mad at me as he and friend Daniel Marsh always do that and admit to that). I was planning on checking out missed posts and binging on them one of these days, which is what I usually do on YouTube.

I did keep checking out if Wil had new posts and because they were all about sick, sick, sick, I ignored them at first although I was curious what it was about. The last time I watched him vlog about sickness was when he was abroad. He and his friends wouldn’t mention what he was sick about and were kind of joking about it, saying it was embarrassing, I assumed it was something like diarrhea or UTI.

Okay, so I checked out his channel today and the title of his newest vlog stunned me. I felt that this time, he’s serious. Admittedly, I read the comments first and indeed, wow, it is serious. This time, this is not about creating drama “para sa vlog” (for the vlog). It’s real life. I don’t think he’d be joking about something like this.

It’s cancer. I don’t know what kind. He did not say in the video. But whatever kind, cancer is a serious matter. It is something I would never wish on anybody. It is something that suddenly makes you reflect on your life more–what have you done with your life? have you done any good for anybody? do you not regret, at least, one thing in your life? These are questions we need to think about considering that even someone seemingly as healthy and obviously fit as Wil could get something like cancer.

I am sharing his video here. Don’t worry, it’s a nice and relevant video. There’s a bit of a sad part, but he’s not going to be all weepy about it. In fact, he encourages everyone to LIVE!!! I don’t really know him, of course, but I think Wil is a decent young man who just wants to enjoy his life. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beats this thing.

Okay, he says you can help out by clicking on the thumbs-up sign and subscribing. That’s how he earns from YouTube, guys. I suggest not skipping the ad as it helps vloggers more when we don’t. He also encourages people to share the vid, so I am sharing it through this post, which will be automatically posted on my Facebook page and Twitter feeds. Also, he didn’t mention it, but if you want to help him out more, he sells merchandise at Tsongandtsonggo.com. Maybe you could try and give the site a visit.

 

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UPDATE: His friends recently created #1MforWil to grant his wish and help. “1M” does not refer to an amount of money, but to his dream of reaching 1M channel subscribers. Well, he has not asked for any financial assistance exactly, but the number of subscribers does affect a YouTuber’s earnings from vlogging. So if you can’t help financially, maybe subscribing to his channel won’t hurt you, rather that may help him with whatever assistance he needs.