A Thousand Words: Summer in the City 2017

At long last, I’ve finally attended a SitC (or Summer in the City) in full. 2015 saw me volunteer for a charity on the Creator Day, and I was only able to attend the Sunday last year. Now, I’ve been there for all three days and it’s been a blast from start to finish.

The first photo in this series which wasn’t taken by me. Thanks Teddy Ebbesen for the snap!

I should start by saying just how wonderful the YouTube community is when it’s squeezed into the ExCel in London, or indeed, when you spot a fellow viewer on a train. There’s no ice to break at this conference, and I’ve made so many friends because of that. Thank you to you all.

The other great thing is the amount of creators I was able to meet and panels I was able to attend. This was also my first year entering the Meet and Greet ballot, and because of that I was able to meet PetesJams, Emma Blackery and JaackMaate.

I met other creators outside of these M&Gs too, of course, who were just as nice. As for the panels, discussions on issues such  as disability and producing a sketch made me want to pick up the camera and film another video as soon as I got home.

I’m reluctant to talk about the convention too much, purely because I’ll be uploading a detailed, bumper vlog about the weekend to my YouTube channel soon. Look forward to that!

Thoughts on Summer in the City 2016

As a hectic schedule combined with really bad writer’s block, my YouTube channel died a slow death a few months ago. Now, after an amazing day at the London-based YouTube convention, Summer in the City on Sunday, my passion for video making has returned.

I had the day off work, and I remembered just how great the convention was last year, so on Saturday I bought tickets to SitC. Also, since my good friend from university, Brandon, was going too, we decided to meet-up and look around together.

Without wanting to repeat what I’ve said in my YouTube video above, I went to two panels – ‘quirky is the new mainstream’ and ‘comedy online’ before looking around the stalls, watching some main stage shows and performances, and meeting so many YouTubers I admire.

Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell

The atmosphere was electric and it certainly rubbed off on me, as I was buzzing by the end of the day and wanted to make more videos on my channel. I’ve talked in the past about finding a new interest or passion to talk about online, and SitC helped me find it. Thanks to all the creators I met, the organisers and volunteers for all coming together to make a great event.

So what will I be making videos about in the future? That’s to be revealed, but make sure you’re subscribed to my channel so you know when a new video goes up.

Grace and Amelia, also known as ‘The Mandeville Sisters’ on YouTube.

Also, on Wednesdays, I’ve decided that I should include more poetry on my blog. If this little corner on the Internet is meant to be my online portfolio, then it’s about time I returned to writing poems – something I haven’t done in such a long time.


But anyway, when it comes to SitC, it has been phenomenal. From the panels, to the stalls, to the fellow creators, inspiration and kindness was everywhere and it was a great experience.

Have you been to Summer in the City before? Did you go this year? What did you think? Comment below!

Liam

Whatever happened to my YouTube channel?

There was this one time when I had a YouTube channel. It started with a few travel vlogs before my experiences with video journalism during my degree inspired me to do topical videos. However, it’s been around two months since I last uploaded something to my YouTube channel, and I should probably explain why.

I can’t remember who said it, but I heard someone say a while back that YouTube is now split into ‘let’s players’ and vloggers. For the short amount of time that I uploaded videos, I guess I was the latter, and vlogging has a lot of problems if that’s the route you wish to go down.

First of all, you see countless ‘established’ YouTubers telling you the quality of your videos does not matter, and that it’s about the content. However, when I cannot afford the technology, do not own a proper camera and so have to use my phone or laptop, then it can still know my confidence.

Then there’s the fact that vlogging requires interesting content and a regular schedule – two things I was unable to keep up with whilst studying for a journalism degree. I struggled for the first few months, ideas felt forced and eventually the enthusiasm went.

I’ll admit it, and say that my view of YouTube wasn’t healthy whe I first started. I was more keen on monetising my videos rather than doing it for fun and producing the content I wanted – and I hated that.

The content I loved producing was my ‘ThinkerVlogs’, as travelling has always been something which I’ve enjoyed. But, since I don’t have time to travel around much, even that idea doesn’t quite work. I was running out of ideas and practical solutions, and so I gave up.

Maybe one day I’ll travel some more and will be able to return to vlogging. For now, I’ll be ok a break and I felt like it warranted an explanation.

Should I return to vlogging? Do you have any tips? Are you a vlogger yourself? Comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: My First Blogger Meet-Up (ish)

This week has been a great one. For most of this week, I’ve had time to myself to get a few jobs done before I am off to university again on the 18th. So I’ve been working on articles, going to meetings and generally completing tasks I’ve been meaning to do for a while. But what was even more exciting, was that I went to Cambridge on Tuesday to meet Maeve from Thrift O’Clock!
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For a long time, I’ve seen bloggers talk on Twitter about meeting up in real-life. I would often give it a look, but I was always deterred from getting involved. If it wasn’t the money or travelling side of things, then it was the fear of judgement. This blog is all about the written word, content which is edited to present the best version of ourselves (very much like vloggers on YouTube use editing to show themselves in the best light). Therefore, meeting someone in real life who only knows my online self was always a terrifying concept for me – they’ll see the unedited version of me, as it were. Also, since we’re bloggers who share almost all of our lives online, it’s a meeting where you know a lot about the other person. The funny thing is that they may not know that you know that information – if that makes sense?

However, last year was definitely a turning point in my life, where this anxiety faded. One aspect in my life which caused this was my journalism course at the University of Lincoln. Since I started studying there in September last year, the opportunities I have been presented with required me to try new things and go outside of my comfort zone (for example, a common activity was to actually go out on the high street and interview shoppers about local issues). The whole idea of a journalist being able to approach anyone and start a conversation is a key skill – so I shouldn’t really be shying from going to a blogger meet-up, surely?

The other thing in my life which encouraged me to meet new people (which is actually one of my new year’s resolutions) was being more actively involved in the blogging community. I was involved in more and more Twitter chats and interacted with more of my ‘blogger friends’. Over the course of 2015, I met Maeve and when she said that she was coming over from Ireland to Cambridge for a couple of days, and asked if we wanted to meet-up, I of course said yes – it was an amazing opportunity to meet a good friend who I’d been talking to online for almost a year.

We agreed to meet on the Tuesday in a Costa Coffee in town. After I, rather embarrassingly, went to the wrong Costa Coffee in Cambridge (great first impression, Liam), I met Maeve in a Costa and spent a few hours talking about different things: blogging, and our usual go-to topic of cake. Whilst talking, I had moments where I realised that someone who I had only previously interacted with through a screen, was talking to me in real life. It was very much like when I met my university flatmates for the first time, where I thought: ‘No, you belong on Facebook and Twitter. You’re just icons on my phone’s screens. Wait, what?

But nevertheless, it was wonderful to meet Maeve. I was super excited (sorry about that) and I know going to more blogger meet-ups is definitely something I want to continue to do (of course I want to meet more of you guys!). So, after meeting for lunch, we went our separate ways. Since I still had some spare time, I had some time to explore the city. So, if you want to see more of my time at Cambridge, I made a quick vlog with some footage I took on the day. I talk about finding beauty in everything and some new exciting plans for my channel. I also went to the local Waterstones (of course) and bought a few of Oliver Sacks’ books – which I will no doubt review in the near future.

So that was my week! Thanks must go again to Maeve for agreeing to meet-up with me and for a wonderful afternoon chat. Please do check out her blog and YouTube channel as they really are brilliant.

Have you been to a blogger meet-up? Have you been to Cambridge before? Comment below!

Liam

ThinkerVlogs shall return…

In case you didn’t know, I now have a YouTube channel! I’ve already uploaded videos about my time in Lincoln and when I visited Manchester in October this year. However, now I am running out of ideas…

I recently wrote a blog post about Vlogging for the Camera Shy. Whilst I had a lot of ideas at first as to how to film without my face on-screen, I can only do montages when I’m out and about. Sadly, with assignments due soon, that’s something I’m not doing often.

However, with my journalism studies at university teaching me how to present to camera, maybe I’ll no longer be camera shy in the future? We shall see…

In the meantime, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Liam

Liam unveils new plans for YouTube channel | The Friday Article

Lifestyle blogger, occasional photographer and now rookie vlogger Liam O’Dell has revealed new plans for his YouTube channel – in a blog post published at 12pm today.

Liam, who blogs at The Life of a Thinker, said he plans to compile short, five-second clips together into a full video known as a ‘monthly montage’.

“At the moment, I’m struggling to come up with ideas. It doesn’t help that I’m rather camera shy,” said Liam.

He added. “I know with YouTube that having regular uploads is a good thing.

“With university, I’ll probably struggle to upload weekly videos, so a monthly video will be better.

“It enables me to have time to collect footage, but also fill the month with additional videos should I have any more ideas.”

Liam hopes that the monthly video schedule will begin in October.

Those interested in his channel can visit and subscribe here.

Liam

Vlogging for the Camera-Shy

It’s needless to say that before I started my own YouTube channel last week, I used to – and still – watch a lot of YouTube videos. Those who have stopped by my blog regularly will know that I had a great time at the YouTube convention, Summer in the City, last month.

But there came a point where I wanted to start making videos on YouTube myself. The only problem, however, was that I am rather camera shy. Whilst YouTube’s community can be absolutely wonderful, there’s still a few trolls and just all-round mean people that like to judge people. For that reason, the fear of judgement – particularly in terms of how you come across on video – put me off of making videos for a while.

So instead I took to blogging and it went – and I hope it still is – going quite well!  However, no matter how satisfied I was with blogging, I still wanted to make videos. I did some video editing in the past and found that whilst most YouTubers today find the task too strenuous, I considered it to be quite fun anf appealed to my perfectionist attitude. So now, the only problem was dealing with the camera-shy aspect.

I did have a quick search on Google, but found that the main idea came to me almost straight-away. After arriving in Lincoln last week to study at university, I decided I would take my phone and video different views and scenery around Lincoln. It was perfect because I didn’t need to be on camera – the beautiful city of Lincoln was the focus.

This, after a very long but fun editing stage, led to my first ever vlog being uploaded to YouTube! You can watch it here (see above) or you can visit and subscribe to my channel here.

So what is next for the channel? Well, I definitely hope to do more scenic vlogs from different areas of the country. I’ll be going out and about very soon so hopefully I can capture some footage then. Otherwise, it may be little narrated videos. I do have an idea already for one of them, but I just need to write a script and then get the footage!

Already, after uploading the video, I’ve had lots of nice comments from the community. Thanks to Maeve and Bobby for the support, and do check out their YouTube channels!

Finally, if you are the same as me – you’re camera shy but want to make videos – do know that there are options available. You don’t have to be the thing that’s on camera, and there’s other ways to get your thoughts across in a video (such as narration, for example).

Do you have a YouTube channel? If so, link it below! Or perhaps you want to set one up? Either way, get involved in the comments!

Liam