An open letter to Instagram

Hello Instagram, my best app-friend,

You have changed a lot over the past few months and I want to discuss this. Call it an intervention or a friend who has your well-being at heart but you are changing and I don’t think you know what you are doing.

First of all, stories.

You are trying to roll with the cool kids and be like your younger counterpart Snapchat but what you are doing is compromising yourself. You are great for beautiful, perfectly shot photos. People spend hours on photos for you but now you want to demean yourself with silly filters and shots that disappear.

You are missing the point of yourself Instagram. People go to Snapchat for those features. They come to you when they look their best and want to show off their flawless lives. Don’t degrade yourself for not being on trend. Be individual.

I know I sound like a mother giving a teenager a pep talk in a crappy rom-com about how the girl doesn’t need to act stupid or degrade herself to fit in with the popular crowd or get the boy. But that is what it feels like.

Be you, Instagram, and realize what you are doing. Don’t be Snapchat and fit in with every other social media site.

We come to brag about how awesome our lives are and to have our best days preserved forever and for them not to disappear after a few seconds.

Now, I am directing this letter to you today because you have done something that is unforgivable, you are getting rid of the maps tool. Your excuse to focus on other features.

Once again you prove that you have no idea why people go to you. The location map is my favorite part of the app as it can guide you to all the things that you have done. Even if I am lost, and I need to remind myself where that cafe was with the amazing brownies.

Get back to your roots Instagram and keep your current features and don’t add or take away without realising what people come to you for.

Instead of changing the interface and the overall feel of Instagram how about you do some serious soul searching of why you are so well loved. You are declining as Snapchat is rising but so is Twitter and they aren’t changing too much.

Social media is changing but keep to what you know and what people are familiar with and you will keep your users. Change too much or act differently and people will quit.

I love you the way you are Instagram. Don’t go changing.

Much love,

A faithful, unless you screw up everything, Instagrammer


dear-instagram

Summer in the City // Empowerment and the community

This is kind of an overview of the whole experience of SITC and the different panels that I went to see. More on these topics like authenticity, mental health and being a woman on YouTube will be coming soon!

YouTube production: high-production vs personal style

Clarifying something again. I ma not saying that one style high-production or personal is better or worse for YouTube it is just interesting to see the split in how people are now making content on this platform and how it is changing.

YouTube Beauty Gurus Then VS Now – Shelby Church

Half Year Review on Blogging Goals

I ma half way through the year and I though that it would be a good time to review the blogging goals that I set out for myself and do a little overview of how everything is going.

Resolutions tend to be forgotten by, lets face it, March and I have forgotten about a lot of the different tasks that I set out for myself in January. So a little re-read of my goals that I set out in a blog posts I am looking at how far I have come and what I am going to do in each way to improve on this.

YouTube

Goal: 1,000 // Actual: 11,217

Starting off with the big one. I competed the goal in late January and gave myself the second goal of 5,000. I have doubled that goal to be over eleven thousand!

First off I am so grateful for this but also I feel very proud that a channel I have been working on for four years has really, finally, taken off.

I am starting a three video a week schedule again starting this week so Monday, Wednesday and Friday instead of a two video a week. I have changed it because classes have finished and I am less busy and I want to fall back in love with making videos so I am going to force myself to make more.

Subscribers and views however will no longer be a priority in terms of strategy because my main aim is to make quality content and to not focus on figures for the YouTube.

Instagram

Goal: 200 followers // Actual: 152

So this one still needs a lot of work to it however I have gained a lot more followers since I made my Instagram be more about photography of makeup, food and travel pieces.

I like the way my feed looks now with each photo looking like it belongs next to each other. I have posts about beauty and food pieces as well as daily life instead of what it was like which was a miss match of random things.

I am a lot more thoughtful in what I put on Instagram now and I like it that way because it means that each photo is of good quality and is worth something. Ever since this change I have seen more followers and followers who keep liking my content so I am going to continue with that.

Good photos and being a collection that fits together is my main plan.

Twitter

Goal: 20k impressions a month // Actual: about that

So impressions are hard to quantify because they change quite a bit. I’ve had an average of around 17k impressions a month if you were to look at an average.

What I am going to do is focus on other people’s twitter and find people I want to follow, bloggers, artists, writers, etc that interest me and from that I will follow them and build up the people I follow and see how they are at posting to gain more views and followers.

I mainly need to learn how to use Twitter more, tweeting isn’t everything in Twitter, and following and looking at others will be a way to see what I can be doing better.

To help build up my ‘brand’ more I will use Tweetdeck to posts content out more regally and to make some older posts get attention. Aim to tweet or use twitter once a day and either tweet or retweet others.

This Blog

Goal: 300 // Actual: 206

So I know I have been neglecting this blog for some time, hell look at the way this post is structured this blog is literally at the bottom of my mind, and you know what I hate that I have this attitude about this.

I love writing and blogging like this, probably more so than video making, so I am just going to do it more.

I am going to post twice a week, and the three video posts, so there will be posts five times a week guys!

So again plan of attack is: posting content and followers will happen. But I will make this blog more diverse than that and be more to do with lifestyle than just beauty. I am a little tired of only posting beauty related things and I need to change if only for the sake of my sanity.

There is nothing wrong with beauty blogs or writing about beauty however I feel that I am repeating the same content over and over again and I hate doing that so I will simply reduce the amount beauty pieces and go more lifestyle.

I thought that I had to just write about beauty because the title is ‘Nerd with a manicure’ and because it has a beauty term in it I have a section just to talk about but I am a nerd with a manicure and I love a wide range of things than just beauty. So I will be more a generalists as I am and not just focus on one thing!

Bloggers, Don’t quit your day job

I was in WH Smith yesterday and I found a book called ‘Vlog It’ in it was real life stories of vloggers who have got big and tips on how you can do the same.

I was curious because despite the waves of YouTuber and Blogger books coming out; a book about blogging or vlogging I had never seen before.

So I had a quick browse and then promptly put it down and then hid the four copies in the store away from sight.

Why? Because of the page entitled ‘Do give up the day job.’

IMG_1710This is something that I cannot stress enough when talking about being big on YouTube or big on the blogging community; is that numbers doesn’t mean money.

I was on YouTube for example for two years before anything of mine went over the 1,000 views mark. My total views for 2012 and 2013 on YouTube were around 6,000; two years and 6,000 views. Four years after posting my first video I have 1,300 subscribers.

People have this assumption that being famous or making a living on the Internet is easy. It is far from easy.

What I am saying in the most basic terms is don’t quit your day job. Most YouTubers have to support themselves through other means the difference is we don’t see 100% of their lives so we don’t know.

Some write for bigger companies and have freelancing jobs others work as consultants to companies about online media. Others sell merchandise or their own books and most can only do the latter once they have a large community.

Those with thousand of followers can live happily without any other means but for the majority you need that income. If not even for your own piece of mind as you have income coming in constantly.

This ‘Vlog It’ book was clearly marketed to the young teenage audience and this attitude that you can sit in front of a camera or type a few hundred words a day and you have a job is so wrong.

IMG_1709I agree with what it says about using your spare time to do things productively and to create new things. But for creators this is not something we have to force ourselves to do very often we do it because we see making things as our down time.

I am writing this blog post rather than watching TV or playing video games; I build this blog and my YouTube in my spare time.

I love writing and producing content that I wanted to build a career out of it and because of that I am currently studying journalism so I can do this professionally.

The book ‘Vlog it’ is marketed at the young audience who don’t realise the amount of time and effort that goes in to making a community. Saying I want a career in YouTube or blogging is not something that you can do easily. And it is not always fair.

I see average video makers and writers become big. And I also see amazing content with less than 1,000 followers or subscribers who, in terms of content, deserve the views and ‘fame’ more because their content is better.

But this is not a fair industry. Even with doing everything right, promoting on social media, interacting with your audience, making quality content, being constant about content and when it is published, is not enough to be able to have a career as a professional blogger or YouTuber.

Unfortunately it is down to luck but also having the balls to persevere when your stats are small, like mine was until 2014, and focus on making content not becoming a famous blogger.

Blogging, YouTube and the matter of copyright

I was recently informed by a few of my viewers on YouTube that a video of mine had been uploaded on to another person’s site. The video was the one of me donating my hair.

This person had added in a few extra pieces and cut the video slightly however the video was basically mine.

Under UK law, not sure about the rest of the world, that video is copyrighted to me. I was in it, I filmed it and edited it. I own that copyright. Even when I put that video on YouTube I still hold the rights to it.

YouTube has the duty of removing videos that are copies and will remove a video if proved that it infringes on copyright.

I did contact this person who stole my video and he did delete it. He did try to claim that he could use my work, as it was a reaction video, but it does not work like that.

Just so everyone knows a UK resident is covered under the Copyright, Design and Patients Act 1988 Section one (sub-section 1 for written and sub-section 2 for video and audio files.)

If you want to scare people in to removing your content from people’s site then quote this to them and say you will sue. Works like a charm.

I am all for people using my work as long as people don’t upload directly to their own site and claim that it is their work. Using a section or a small clip I am not too bothered about as long as they credit me.

A person embedding my content is a way to gain views and support as long as it is clear that my work.

We treat blogging and online content made by an amateur as different to how you would treat a professional piece of work by a magazine or newspaper site. But the law covers all content creators not just professionals.

You wouldn’t download and then re-upload a piece by the Times without crediting then why should people feel that it is okay to do the same to my work.

The problem with bloggers and YouTubers is that they are not fully aware of the laws that are in place. Professionals have to be trained and will be held accountable for their actions by their employers.

There is terms when uploading but who really reads that. YouTube might turn up on my door one day and demand the deeds to my house as I singed in agreement to their terms and condition. But who has the time to do legal reading?

I don’t know the solution for things like this but the main thing is to make sure that you know your right and keep a check on your content.

I didn’t notice the guy uploading my video until over a month and in that time he gained over a quarter of a million views – views that should have been to my site not his.

Can you tell I am still a bit angry about all this?

Any who just remember that you content is your own and you have a right to it and who publishes it elsewhere.

The arbitrary and sappy 1,000 subscribers post

Let me journey back 21 days ago when I had 680 subscribers and I set a goal of gaining 1000 subscribers within a year. I thought that this goal was achievable yet would mean I would need to put in a lot of work to make it happen.

So lets move back in to the present and tell you my subscriber count now reads: 1,300!

What the FUCK!?

How on Earth or any other planet did that happen!

Well I do know how this happened as the video of me cutting my own hair off has somehow has 250,000 views. How that video suddenly gained so many views confuses me even more.

So I have reached one of my goals for 2016 and it isn’t even February this means that my goal posts need to change and I need to come up with another number to work towards.

5,000 feel a good finish the year with?

That number is insane but making goals would not feel easy that should be a challenge. Any goal in life should. I have often tried to push myself to do the best that I can. I have often just fallen on my arse when doing this but I would m0re rather say that I have tried and failed than never did in the first place.

I have been making videos on YouTube for 4 years and I have learnt more about myself and about the media industry in that time than I ever thought possible. I went from basic editing and harsh jump cuts to a smoother video and a lot more confident attitude when filming.

So that is all, thank you to all who subscribe and I now hope to not let 1,300 people down and produce good content.

-hugs Vicki