Weekly Update: A vInspiring Night and Birthday!

Sorry, but this week is a scheduled post as today is MY BIRTHDAY!

But I shall talk about that later… In the meantime, I thought I would mention that I went to the vInspired National Awards 2013 on Tuesday this week. For those who don’t know:

vInspired is a charity aimed at encouraging youth volunteering, and recognising and rewarding those who volunteer to help the community. It gives those aged 14 – 25 a chance to get recognised for their commitments to volunteering, by giving them awards that can be used on their CV and UCAS applications. (Source: Myself)

Recently, I was nominated and won vInspired’s “Volunteer of the Month” for January this year. So, because of that, the kind people at vInspired invited me to this year’s vInspired National Awards in London!

It was a great night, the music was amazing (it included performances from A*M*E and The Saturdays) and the nominees and winners’ stories were truly inspiring. It was such a joy to see everyone’s volunteering efforts being recognised.

For more information about vInspired, you can visit their website by clicking here!

Birthday!

Today is my birthday, so I will probably be Internet – absent for most of today… But any who, this week has been awesome!

Have a great week!

Liam

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imPRESSive: Webisode Six – Freshly Pressed

At this point, you’re blogging, and you like it – it’s fun. But you secretly want more views, you want a sense of achievement, that somebody, and a lot of people, like what you blog about. The main way that this is achieved is through every blogger’s dream: Freshly Pressed.

Webisode Six: Freshly Pressed

If you are enjoying blogging, then the next step is to getting yourself recognised. I have yet to be Freshly Pressed myself, but wouldn’t mind it, I think that everyone would like to be Freshly Pressed. But there isn’t one definitive reason why, so I’ve asked fellow bloggers for their views. Why do they want to be Freshly Pressed?

“It does attract a lot of views and that brings more appreciation for all the effort you’ve put in. It really is one of the best ways to publicise.”– West African Princess

“It’s hard enough as it is to gain a significant amout of exposure for ones blog, so Freshly Pressed acts as a sort of filter to expose content that is deemed original and might interest a wider audience.”– Eclectic Kneads

” I believe the reason why lots of people wish to become freshly pressed is because you can gain lots of followers and are desperate for readers. Just like me. I actually have no readers that like or comment my posts on a daily basis and getting freshly pressed can changed that.”– Daniel in Wonderland

“I think there’s a prestige that comes with being FP, and bragging rights as well. Freshly Pressed is proven to increase your views, likes, comments, etc. (at least for a little while).”– All Means Something

“Receiving the honour of being Freshly Pressed tells you that you’re doing something right on your blog and that you are relevant. As bloggers, I think all we really want is to be heard, and when we get featured on Freshly Pressed, our voice becomes that much louder. Plus, you have to admit that those little badges for your blog look great.”– Emily @ The Waiting

“Everyone famishes for that exposure and eminence. To have your post meeting the FP qualifications/attentions is a huge step, I mean who wouldn’t want their posts to spark conversations, to possess bragging rights, since it’s a prosperous feeling. Keep blogging!”– Salman

So some could say that it provides a sense of acknowledgement and achievement, but could all that lead to pressure, as people’s expectations rise? This has been shown with regards to YouTube, where famous YouTubers created videos about them being “scared” of people’s expectations and talked about deactivating their accounts because of it. But can this apply to Freshly Pressed? After all, it is the same form of publicity…

“No I haven’t but if I ever am, I would probably take more time editing my posts that I do now.”– Ashley Nicole Books

“Yes and no.”– C Ville Winter

“Never been FP. As for the feeling of pressure, I think it would depend on the person. It would be more of thinking they have to keep posting outstanding stuff, when in reality, outstanding writing is all in the readers perception. One could never get it right all the time.”– To Breathe is To Write

” I think I have once and it was nice as I connected with more people.”– Georgina

“Not yet! [smiles]”– Dressed to Quill

Some bloggers have been Freshly Pressed, but could people say that they are chosen because they can handle pressure, as well as having a good post? I don’t agree with that, but what can be asked is whether or not there is a formula to becoming Freshly Pressed?

“They seem to discuss something that is personal to the blogger but also highly relevant to society at large, raising awareness about an important issue. Two to three well-written and engaging paragraphs of moderate length appear between visually appealing images that are relevant to the topic of the post. They are concise and engaging and leave the reader with something to think about. They are often creative and/or describe a unique experience.”– A Day With Depression

“I’m not sure it’s deliberate but there probably is. I wonder how many people write a post specifically to get it FP versus how many just want to say what they have to say. There was a recent post by WordPress about this very topic. What they look for in a post. Typically it has to be topical and it must resonate with people.”– Richard Leonard

“I rarely visit the ‘Freshly Pressed’ part of the site. I’m more interested in finding people who I can talk to and are interested in the same things as me.”– Kanundra

“Honestly, I haven’t been able to pinpoint a pattern; as soon as I think I’ve found one (for example, in-depth posts about controversial subjects), I come across one that blows that theory out of the water (such as a short, silly post).”– Change it Up Editing

“What I’ve seen is that most Freshly Pressed posts are about the things that are happening now, book reviews, movie reviews, golden globes, oscars etc, it’s refreshing when a witty or dramatic post makes it on freshly. I think it’s a little cop-out to write about pop-culture in order to get freshly pressed [which let’s admit it, most of them do] but I also think it’s wonderful when a post that’s not-pop-culture-y makes it, those are the ones I read.”– Dola Cotidiana

But as well as this, I was fortunate enough to recently interview the Freshly Pressed team on Twitter, where I asked the questions that everybody asks when it comes to such promotion.

Why do so many people wish to become Freshly Pressed?

I’d say a combo of validation (my writing/photos/etc are good!) and exposure – it can definitely help build your readership.

Could you say that there is some element of pressure involved when someone is Freshly Pressed?

That’s not our intent, but we’d imagine some Freshly Pressed bloggers feel pressure to keep up quality/quantity, to retain new readers.

Are there any tips you can give to anyone wishing to be Freshly Pressed?

We think this page says it all (and offers good blogging tips in general).

I was then linked to a page which I thoroughly recommend (see the link above and at the end of this post) about how to write a post which could have the potential to be Freshly Pressed. I’ve looked at the article myself, and the points that they highlight include:

– Write unique content that’s free of bad stuff.
– Have a point of view.
– Don’t be afraid of your voice.
– Paint us a picture.
– Make it easy on the eyes.
– Add relevant tags.
– Write a headline we can’t ignore.
– Aim for typo-free content.
– Just keep on blogging, and write what you love.

Source: https://en.support.wordpress.com/freshly-pressed/

And most of them are true. Anyway, back to the interview…

Do you have to go through any checks? – Does the first sentence have to be spot on?

It’s definitely a plus if it immediately grabs us.

Is there a pattern that most of the previous Freshly Pressed posts follow?

We hope not! We want Freshly Pressed to reflect the breadth of what the WordPress.com community is publishing.

So there we have it. If you follow the tips recommended by the “Pressers” themselves, you might increase your chances. Write for fun is the main aim, but another is to make each post as awesome as it can be, that way, even if it isn’t Freshly Pressed, you’ll still get a comment going

FOLLOW THE BLOGGING PROCESS!

I’ve set up another blog, and if you have, you can follow my advice from starting a blog to getting views. Throughout the 6 weeks, I’ll be providing tips on this page!

But also, this marks the last Webisode of the blogumentary, and I cannot thank enough everyone that has got involved. When I first came up with the idea, everyone was really supportive, and this has been a big success! Honestly, thank you so much, I am so grateful. But before imPRESSive signs off (maybe forever), a few last thank you’s and words…

The Contributors:
West African Princess
Eclectic Kneads
A Day With Depression
Daniel in Wonderland
All Means Something
Ashley Nicole Books
Kanundra
Emily @ The Waiting
Change it Up Editing
Dola Cotidiana
C Ville Winter
To Breathe is to Write
Georgina
Dressed to Quill
Salman Alvi

The Article: https://en.support.wordpress.com/freshly-pressed/

Episode One:
Episode Two:
Episode Three:
Episode Four:
Episode Five:

And thanks to you for reading…

Liam

Phones at Gigs – Disrespectful for the Artists? | The Friday Article

Whether it be for a light show, to take a picture of the artist/band, or a cheap way to record one of their songs without paying, phones are becoming more common at gigs and festivals. But why? Can the artists and bands find this disrespectful, that they are paying more attention to their phones than the music?

With technology being used more often as a platform to share life experiences, photos and videos, it was always likely that phones would be used in more environments. But when it comes to gigs, where artists perform their songs for money, can recording videos of the songs performed be a problem? As they are filming songs for free, and not paying for it on iTunes, for example?

But some could say that the cost is covered in the ticket prices, and that it helps to remind them of the experience. Linking with this, some artists use phones themselves in their performances. From those like Example and Coldplay who take pictures of the crowd, to those like The Black Eyed Peas and Robbie Williams who aim to create a light show and capture it on camera. The views are divided.

However, seeing it from an artist’s point of view, currently every singer/band are trying to make their concerts the most memorable. Bands and artists such as Example, Coldplay, Mumford and Sons and Muse are constantly trying to make their concerts the best possible experience for their fans. Could mobile phones help to enhance it?

Personally, I would say that musicians are trying to enhance the technology we’re using to increase the amount of fun and experience we have at a concert or gig and uses technology to make it more memorable.

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

Liam Interviews… Himself?

I know what you’re thinking… How can you interview yourself? How does that work? Well, the answer is very interesting indeed…

I’m feeling very generous, and as well as my Twitter competition, I’m hosting a competition for all you bloggers that are reading and following my blog! Consider it a late celebratory gift for me reaching 7,000 views…

So, what does this competition involve?

Well, what you need to do is contact me via. “Contact”, and interview me for a change. The interview can be posted on your blog, and you need to ask me no more than 10 questions. If I like the questions you ask, and the response from the interview on your blog, then you will win, and the prize will be given.

But what is the prize?

I get to interview you back! Which will be perfect advertising for your business or blog!

Closing date is the end of April. Have fun!

Liam

Musical Discovery: Wanderlust by Jack Neville

So, you may remember me interviewing Jack Neville a while back for his first single, well his second is OUT NOW!

Entitled Wanderlust, it sees a very melodic ukulele intro, and cuts the song short. However, shortly afterwards the song returns with a powerful drum beat and other instruments alongside it.

The verses contain a really nice melody and add to the nice love element and basis of the song (like his previous single, On Top of the World).

The chorus as well is very in-line with the genre Jack Neville aims to work in (singer/songwriter), the chorus adopting an offbeat bass tune too. It’s a perfect addition to the song’s structure.

Finally, I must comment on the greatness of the video. The use of balloons and cardboard cutouts adds to the fantasy element of the song. It is a great video and song overall. Please do check out the music video and buy the song on iTunes!

Liam

Weekly Update: More Opportunities!

This week has been such great fun for more opportunities…

I’m trying to get more things sorted out on the journalism side, and in fact, I’ve got two new blogs up! One is on WordPress, and is about drumming – you can click here for that. The other is a new online magazine I’m starting up called Target Online Magazine. This one on Blogger, and you can click here for that.

It’s been a very exciting, fun, and productive week!

Liam