I’m Ec-Stat-ic: A Statistical Review of 2015’s Blogging

As usual, the people at WordPress have made another cool stats update for the end of the year – with some impressive information!

I’m thrilled that I reached over 10,000 views this year. Thank you so much for everyone who stopped by, liked, shared and commented this year.

Thanks must also go to Maeve, Eagle-Eyed Editor, Richard Leonard, Jonelle and Izzy for being my top 5 commenters of 2015! You’re all awesome – do go check out their blogs, everyone!

 

Here’s a snippet (see below for a link to the full report):

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The 2015 Review

Last year, I gave a light-hearted review of 2014’s culture. In particular, I commented on what the song, TV show and film of 2014 was – amongst others. This year, the blogging ‘tradition’ is back and I try to summarise 2015 in one neat little bite-sized review.

Song of 2015:

In the run-up to his debut album in March, French DJ Madeon released a few singles to tease fans. This included tracks such as You’re On (feat. Kyan) and Imperium. However, in February this year, it was his track Pay No Mind (feat. Passion Pit) which caught my attention. The message of the song was uplifting, it’s synth melody was vibrant and I was constantly listening to it on Fader’s website until the album was released. I’ve been listening to the song regularly ever since and have decided that it’s my favourite song of all-time.

Album of 2015:

Following on from my favourite song of the year (and all-time), my album of 2015 has to be Madeon’s Adventure. It came out just days before my birthday, I saw him live on my birthday, and so the album means a lot to me. As well as this, it’s the music videos, the creativity and the style which all made it such a great debut. I can’t wait for Madeon’s second release.

However, that being said, praise must also go to James Bay’s Chaos and the Calm. Since winning this year’s Critics’ Choice Award at the BRITS he’s done brilliantly. The album is great and he is an amazing performer after I saw him at Glastonbury and V Festival this year. Also, Beneath the Skin by Of Monsters and Men was great too – they were great when I saw them in Lincoln last month.

TV show of 2015:

This is a difficult choice. In terms of the TV channel, it has to be Channel 4 this year, which has released some incredible dramas. However, whether the TV show of 2015 is Hunted or Humans I do not know. Whilst Humans was so thought-provoking that I wrote a three-page blog post/essay on the rise of Artificial Intelligence, Hunted was more relevant to today’s politics. It got me thinking and it was something which I could reference in other similar discussions. It had me on the edge of my seat each episode.

Book of 2015:

For this, I may have to take a risk and recommend a book I haven’t quite finished yet. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that one of my favourite series of books is the Millennium series (which contains The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

Sadly, the original author, Stieg Larsson, died shortly after submitting the manuscripts for the first three novels. However, since then another author has continued the series with The Girl in the Spider’s Web – which was written by David Lagercrantz.

I’m near the end and the book is one of the few novels I’ve read where I’m kicking myself for not coming up with the idea Lagercrantz had for a crime novel. I love the series and the book certainly appears to be a great continuation from what I’ve read so far.

Film of 2015:

I suppose a New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to go to the cinema more often, as I’ve kind of been put off by films recently. In turn, I can only comment on one film and that is Insurgent (the follow-up to last year’s Divergent). Personally, I still think the books were brilliantly adapted for the cinema. However, this year I would have also liked to have seen Spectre and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Play of 2015:

Lastly, I have to give a mention to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Ever since I saw it in November, I can’t stop telling everyone about how great it was. The play was not just the best play of 2015 for me, but no-doubt the best play of all-time – it was so good!

That was my review of the year – it’s certainly been a great. Do you agree with my opinions? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: Jack Garratt

It seems to me that BRITS Critics’ Choice Award winner Jack Garratt combines two styles which are incredibly popular in the music industry today: the mellow vocal style of Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard, and this new form of electronica which has developed recently.

Whilst critics approve of his music and are predicting him to be a huge success in 2016, I have to admit it’s not really my style of music. That is not to say I think he isn’t a great singer/musician, though. In particular, I think that Weathered will go on to be a great track next year…

For some weird reason, the vibe of the song reminds me of Chris Malinchak’s So Good to Me. It starts with a relaxing guitar melody, a simplistic drum beat and smooth vocals from Jack. However, as the track develops, electronic distortions come into play, which makes Weathered cover two styles of music. Fans of James Bay and George Ezra amongst others will be drawn to Jack Garratt’s vocals, whilst those who enjoy the current electronic craze will love the electronic instrumentals in his songs.

Also, just like an artist on the brink of debut should be, Garratt varies his unique style on each track he produces. As shown above, Worry has a more electronic focus when compared to Weathered, which means Jack is doing a great job of sticking out in such a competitive music industry. The Critics’ Choice Award helps out with that too, of course.

In the past, critics haven’t gone wrong with the BRIT Award – previous winners include Adele, Sam Smith, Emeli Sande and this year’s winner, James Bay.

But what do you think? Do you think Jack Garratt will be one of the top artists of 2016? Comment below!

Liam

The Online Audience: Individuals or Communities? | The Wednesday Article

Naturally, British culture expands and grows every year. Within that, we create our own subcultures, groups and communities. Whilst we may not like being labelled, we can’t complain when we enjoy the benefits that come with belonging to a specific, restricted subculture. But when an audience is grouped together, do we value group privileges over our own individuality?

In terms of this debate, the answer lies in two of the most popular social media platforms. On YouTube, numerous ‘YouTubers’ or vloggers have often spoken out about the dangers of fandoms on the video-sharing site. In particular, some have talked about the risk of an aggressive fandom if an audience is grouped together. Another example is this video by Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell, entitled No Fandom.

However, micro-blogging site Tumblr presents the other side of the equation. For users of the site, the fandom aspect is one thing which makes Tumblr what it is. It is the site for sharing in-jokes, references and reactions to TV shows, films and books. But when everyone has the same thoughts on the show, is it possible for a member of the community to express an individual opinion and feel involved in the subculture at the same time?

So whilst users in YouTube comments may turn nasty if grouped into a community, fandoms on Tumblr thrive for an individual connection with the show, book etc. they love.

With that in mind, is there any way to satisfy an online audience?

What do you think? If you’re a blogger, do you refer to your audience as an individual, or a collective? Vote in the poll above and comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: My Favourite Christmas Song

For today’s Musical Discovery, I thought I would try something a little different. Since it is not long before Christmas is upon us, I decided I would talk about my favourite festive jingle – which is one not many people have heard of…

For those who don’t know, this is In Dulci Jubilo by Mike Oldfield. As for when I first stumbled across this track, it was probably during a Christmas dinner a few years ago. In amongst the playlist consisting of songs such as Fairytale of New York and All I Want for Christmas is You, there was this song. Despite its surprising lack of vocals, In Dulci Jubilo‘s upbeat, simplistic melody makes it the perfect, memorable Christmas track.

However, whenever I have explained this to friends and family, they aren’t as keen on the song as I am…

What do you think? Comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: Home for Christmas and a Musical Rediscovery

First of all, I should apologise for the lack of posting. If you’ve read my previous Weekly Update, you’ll know that I am in the middle of university assignments.

At the moment, I have one final essay to write – due in on Monday – before I can relax for Christmas. So I’ve been working on that this week, and that’s why I’ve been missing posts – sorry!

However, this week has also seen me finish my first term/semester! It’s been a blast. The course and Lincoln are both fantastic, and my course mates and flatmates are awesome people. I’m looking forward to the next semester!

Lastly, I noticed on my laptop that I was missing an album. A while back, I had bought Torus by Sub Focus. However, after switching from my old, 2012 Acer laptop (which now relies on the charger being plugged in to even switch on) to my MacBook, the Sub Focus album was left behind!

Thankfully I’ve managed to find it and transfer it back onto my Mac. I also gave it a listen and I’d forgotten how great his music is! It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of electronic music and drum and bass!

How was your week? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Maths Appendix’ by Adrian Sutton (from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)

Admittedly, I’ve never used to be a fan of soundtracks. Maybe it’s because I didn’t pay attention to the music whilst I was watching the movie or play. However, over time I’ve started to notice them. First, it was Find You by Zedd feat. Miriam Bryant and Matthew Koma. Now, after seeing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time last month, I was blown away by how imaginative and emotive the music was. So, for today’s Musical Discovery, I review Maths Appendix by Adrian Sutton.

With Maths Appendix combining euphoric violin melodies with fluttering electronic effects, this song from the soundtrack certainly creates intrigue. I shall not spoil the play, but this song is from an upbeat part of the play, and the track definitely proves that. Also, in terms of how it ties in with the story as a whole, the synth melodies can be seen as conveying Christopher’s logical mindset, whilst the strings show the character’s creative side. Even if these assumptions are wrong, it’s such a magical piece of music regardless. Aside from this one song, the entire soundtrack for the play by Adrian Sutton is incredible.

What do you think of the soundtrack? Have you seen the play? Comment below!

Liam