23 February 2018

The Anchor.fm 3.0 Update

Yesterday the groundbreaking podcasting app Anchor.fm rolled out its 3.0 update, and what an update. Not only have the Anchor.fm team redesigned the whole app but they have also redesigned their website. Making it even easier to create quality audio content and podcasts and get this. It is still free.
But, I can hear you thinking "What do you hate about it though Jim"?
Yep, it is an internet culture to hate and complain about every update that a website rolls out and I would be lying if I said that there wasn't anything I didn't like about the 3.0 update.
I don't like the new layout for your favourite stations, for me with my fat thumbs it feels too cramped and instead of swiping left to get to the next station I am finding that I am swiping over to the page where I record my segments.

I am also not keen on how the ability to echo (retweet) a segment someone else has published has been removed. The echo feature was a great way to share the content that other stations had made and a fantastic way to discover new stations.

Then there is the long pause as I strain to think of something else that I don't like and the heavy thud as I realise that, that's it. There is nothing more to hate on.

The 3.0 update has opened a Pandora's box of goodies for Anchor.fm users. Everything from no time limit on segments, the ability to reorder the segments you have recorded before you make them into a new podcast episode, that but where your segments were deleted after 24 hours has gone, analytics and so much more, and that is just on the app update.

We can now do everything mentioned above and more one the new designed web site. Before the update we could only upload prerecorded audio and either publish it or schedule it, now we can record directly to the site just as we can with the phone app but, and this is the bit that I absolutely love about the 3.0 update is we cannot see the segments and episodes that we have scheduled and we can edit the date and time we want it to go live. No longer are we having to write down when we scheduled an episode to go live and hope we remember.

The app and the website sync seamlessly so that what ever you do on your phone, you can check and edit on your homepage and visa versa.

Finally you can view and listen to the podcast episodes created by the stations of Anchor on their website as well as via all the usual ways you would listen to your favourite podcasts.
Example, my station can be found at www.Anchor.fm/iJim

Right now I count myself as so lucky to be finding and using Anchor.fm at this point in history.

Edit: About an hour after this post was published and shared on my Twitter account Anchor.fm made this comment. 
Excellent news, which I'm positive many of the stations of Anchor will be happy about.

22 February 2018

Spring Is Coming.

Even with the temperature in the North of England being -2 c at 6 this morning, you could tell spring is on its way, crocus and daffodils are starting to pock their heads up through the cold hard Earth, buds are starting to form on the trees and shrubs, the birds are singing in the morning again and the sun was starting to rise before 8 in the morning.

Even though I admit that I prefer Autumn and Winter, the thought of warmer weather is a welcome relief, I am looking forward to bright, sunny and warm days, the smell of flowers, fresh cut grass and barbecues filling the air. 

With any luck summer won't be limited to a few weeks in August this year and will be spread out over a few months.

We shall see, we shall see..

16 February 2018

The Hunt Is Over

I have been trying to find a way to embed my podcasts to my blog for around three days now and have for the most part been failing on an epic scale.
I don't want to only use Archive.org because there is no fast way I can upload the audio to them from my phone and let's face it, there are going to be times when a person just can't get to a computer fast enough to get that important podcast on air.

Yes, I could live stream that news breaking event to YouTube but that would take up way too much data and lets be honest, YouTube is not a podcasting site, yes I could have a slide show or even a static image with my commentary like the one above, but it still isn't a podcast, it is a video an MP4 in my case and an MP4 is not an MP3 or a M4A it is a video and a totally different listening experience. For one, you can't download and MP4 it and listen to it on your podcast app or RSS feeder, even if  you can, a video is not a podcast.

Anyway, I am ranting and this is not one of those posts. This is a nice post a post about how, after three, well two and a half days of trying to figure out how to embed the podcasts I make on Anchor.fm I succeeded.

Short Story Time;
About four years after I started this blog I had the idea that I wanted the people who read my posts to be able to listen to what I had to say at a time that was convenient for them. Unfortunately, the technology to make this happen was not available, or at least not available to me, eventually I stumbled across YouTube which, did make it so that people could listen and watch what I had to say which in one way was better but in another way worse because I got all tide up in making YouTube videos and being a YouTuber,

I forgot about my blog and making it so my blog readers could listen to my posts instead of having to read them. I forgot that I was a blogger, someone who wrote blog posts about how I saw the world.

Three years ago (2015) a small company called Anchor was born in a small apartment in New York, they had the dream of making podcasting available to everyone, and making podcasts as simple as making a phone call.
Last week I found the Anchor app and Anchor.fm, the company that some people have called The Audio Twitter.

I have played with this app and its website for about a week now, spending two and a half days trying to figure out how to embed the podcasts I am making and uploading to Anchor to my blog. This afternoon with the help of Ilean Smith a YouTuber, Podcaster and all round social media guru, I finally managed to make it so that people who read my blog can now listen to what I have to say and not have to move away from iJim.co.uk, you could even watch and listen to what I have to say if you wanted to, but that would be via YouTube.

My podcasts have their own RSS feed now and can be found on iTunes, so that you can listen to them when and where you want to.

I feel like I have come full circle with this as I am now more active on my blog than I have been for a long time and if I am honest, I have to thank Anchor.fm and Ilean for this.

Thank you.
The Hunt is finally over.

12 February 2018

A whole new world

It's Monday and my kids are on holiday from school for the week, I can not remember having so many school holidays when I was a kid, but that's another story for another time.

Usually when my kids are not at school I have problems uploading anything to the internet or even getting the time to create anything, blog posts or YouTube video's. At the time of writing this I am sat on a train with my wife and kids.

Yet, I am not having this problem with my podcasts, well not during this half term school holiday anyway as I managed to pre-record enough podcasts to cover the next week.
I am lucky enough to be able to upload and schedule my casts so that they go live every day this week.

The bad news is that since starting to use Anchor.fm as the host for The iJim Report I have learned a lot, from getting a better sound in the casts I upload to being more interactive with the people who listen to my station.

Making podcasts is a world of difference from making videos for YouTube and I have learned a lot already. I don't have to rush to try and get everything I want to say inside of a field or ten minute window for fear of people clicking away because they got bored.
Podcasts are a totally different type of listening, they can be downloaded and listened to as and when, on the way to work, while driving, on a lunch break or even while in the bath. That being said, I need to learn to take my time and just have fun with what it is I plan to talk about.

I already have my podcasts ready and uploaded for this week and I do plan to implement what I have learned so far next week.

11 February 2018

The Logan Paul Tide Pod Tweet.

Before I get into what exactly happened I want to give everyone a quick update on what my plans are for my channel (assuming everything goes according to plan).
If you have been here as long as I have you might remember how I wanted to start recording my blog posts so that people can download and listen to them. Recently I have been thinking about starting the podcast I said I wanted to start months ago.

At the moment I record the audio for my sitting down, talking head toe videos separately. My plan is to upload the full audio to a podcast host so that people can listen to the full length audio which had been edited down for my YouTube vlog.

I have also been toying with the idea of live streaming, unfortunately either my internet or my laptop is not strong enough to do live streams.
However, I can stream from my mobile phone, I don't plan a set time or day to do this, instead what want to do is live stream when something happens that I feel needs to be seen and talked about either as it is happening or shortly after.

Now, onto the audio from today's video.
On Mond hugeay 5th February 2018, the content creator Logan Paul tweeted that he would swallow a tide pod for every retweet he got. This annoyed me no end.
Giving the average age of his fan base I think that this is not the way a person who is looked up to as a roll model should behave, that and what has happened because of his actions over the last month and a half, joke tweet or not, I found this to be in very bad taste.

Anyway, that being said here is the podcast from today's vlog.

25 January 2018

Why did I start hiding my face?

I have finally gone and done it.

I started writing a blog way back in the 1990's. My own little island on the internet. Those of you who have stuck around my blog long enough will know that I don't write that much, I say I will but vary rarely do.
See on the 12th April 2012 YouTube opened up its YouTube Partner Program so that anyone with an uploaded video could join and become a YouTube partner. I had started my channel about three weeks before this happened and, I have to admit after jumping at the chance to become a YouTube partner, making video`s kind of took over, even though in the beginning I wanted to make them for my blog, which, over time became more and more ignored, left to fend for its self.

My first channel is no longer on YouTube, I deleted it after someone told me I should stick to watching vlogs and quit making them, looking back I still say that, that is the worst mistake I have ever made, I am sure that after 6 years if making videos on the same channel I would have easily met the new requirements that YouTube rolled out this month.

Still, maybe it was for the best, see, the one thing which has always held me back on both my blog and my YouTube channel is the fear that something I say or do could have a negative impact on either my family, my job or my chances of getting a job. So I held back on a lot of things that I wanted to talk about.

As time went on I noticed that the vast majority of Youtubers were at the oldest around early to mid 30's. I started thinking, right or wrong that my age was having a negative impact on my channel, even though many people told me that this was not the case, I the thought had took root and this did knock my confidence.

So, to the point of this post, last weekend I deleted all of the video's on my YouTube channel, all but three, I think I have also deleted every picture of me from my Twitter, Facebook page and Instagram, then I took out an old bike bandanna and a hat and made the move to do a total iJim re-branding, instead of recording vlogs about my day I record commentaries about the world as I see it, wart's and all.

Some people have commented that I "look scary" or "that they would not want to meet me in a dark alley".
This was not my intention, I am the same person under the mask as I always have been.

I already feel more confident in front of the camera. I know that as long as I stay within the YouTube Guide Lines I have no reason at all to hold back, and that feels good, if I think that the subject I am talking about might teeter on the edge of those guide lines, I can direct people to my blog, here at iJim.co.uk where I can fill in the gaps and be more direct.

26 December 2017

New Years Resolutions

2017 is coming to an end, traditionally this is the time where we look forward to the new year with our New Years Resolutions, plans for things we wish to achieve or quit in the new year. I personally dont like making resolutions. Historically our new years resolutions dont last to the end of January.

I do however have some goals, things I want to do and achievements I want to make in the new year. 

I mentioned in my New Years resolution video that I want to start over with my channel. I want to spend more time planning my videos.
As well as sticking with what I am doing now, recording videos for Future me, I want to be able to record videos which fall in line with world events and holidays. 

I do plan to restart my "Survivor" series again in the new year, recording the rest of Series 1 as well as planning and working on Series 2.

If it is at all possible I would love to involve more people in the recording of some of the episodes, making it more true to life, especially once the main character starts to meet other people (oops spoiler) 

I am already collecting more sound effects and recording some parts of certain episodes out side, which can be a challenge at times, especially when you can hear traffic or people talking in the background.

Other things I am wanting to do with regards to my YouTube channel is to get outside more to record my videos, sometimes a change of scenery can be a good thing. 

As well as making my vlogs more interesting, getting out and about will do a lot towards my health, like I said in my video 2017 has been a year where my fitness levels have been effected by my health, a lot. Finding out I had Ulcerative Colitis was a real kick in the pants for me, but being almost housebound for nearly three month didnt help a lot. I also found out that I had Plantar fasciitis a condition where a person finds it very painful to walk after periods of sitting down or prolonged activity, something again which was a kick in the pants for me, taking all this into account, I want to get my fitness levels up regardless. I am already working on my diet and my heal so that I can get out more.

As well as the above, another thing I didnt mention in my video was my plans to start blogging again. This, after all was what I started doing way back when the world was dial up only, long story, maybe I will make a video about it one day. 
As with this blog post, I can take the initial video to the next level, delving even deeper into a given subject or, as with this post I can add things which were missing from the initial video. At the time of recording this YouTube is not exactly a free speech friendly place, my blog, on the other hand is, I can say what I want without worrying about having my post hidden because of complaints from the social justice brigade.

Finally, I said that I want to Casey Neistat my life, if you dont know why Casey Neistat is, click the link and watch some of his videos, I guarantee you will know exactly what I mean within an hour. At the moment (and not because of the time of year) everything seems a mess of clutter, I need to declutter my world. The amount of time I spend looking for something is madness, honestly I could spend hours looking for something to help me do a five minute job. You can understand how frustrating this is, especially when there are other things that I "want" to do.
I chose the image to the left because of the title "There is no rules" I want to apply this idea to the way I vlog, if my lighting is not perfect with a light box to my right and my left so be it, if you can hear my kids fighting in the background, well thats OK, I have kids and yes, they do fight from time to time. I dont have the luxury of having a studio or an office where I can record my videos, I live in a noisy and chaotic environment and people need to accept that, I have.

Casey Neistat is not the only YouTuber that is inspiring me to take my videos to the next level Gary Vaynerchuk  has been a huge influence over the last few months, especially with his video "Document, Dont Create" it is this video I am taking with me as I move into 2018 and it is to a greater or lesser extent how I plan to record at least some of my videos in the new year and it is with this video that I want to end this post. 

The Anchor.fm 3.0 Update

Yesterday the groundbreaking podcasting app  Anchor.fm  rolled out its 3.0 update, and what an update. Not only have the Anchor.fm team rede...