1 second everyday: year 3

For the last 3 years I’ve been taking a one second video every day and then using the 1SE (1 second everyday) app to mash it all together at the end of the year. A video of my life. Every. Single. Day. And no, I still haven’t missed a day. Yaaaaas!

Even though I’ve now been doing this for 3 years, I’m still amazed at how cool this idea is and I’m so glad I decided to try it back in 2015. Originally an experiment to capture my move to Singapore and share it with friends and family, 1SE has now become my ‘thing’ and I’m continuing it in 2019 which will be year 4 (so watch out for my annual blog next January 🙂 ).

It’s a great way of recording and then remembering the sights and sounds of everyday life, and the many little, insignificant things I’d have forgotten about if I wasn’t videoing every day. It’s also a brilliant way to look back on bigger events (or sometimes more ridiculous ones, in my case), and having a highlight reel of the way the whole year played out.

This year I moved apartments, starred in two plays – The Vagina Monologues and Mr and Mrs Perfect – tried (and failed) at going to the gym, despite having a free membership for 6 months (a pretty epic fail really), and drank the odd (!) gin and tonic.

Business-wise, I worked with lots of new clients, spoke at several seminars and events, wrote a few articles, was interviewed a couple of times by different publications, and started a keynote speakers training course.

I said goodbye to a colleague who left the business, as well as a couple of friends who left Singapore, but said hello to a friend’s new baby (which I threatened to steal, as evidenced in the video), started a new blog (the irony, given how little I post on this one), did a bit of sewing, and celebrated the life events of my little bro getting married and my Mum’s 60th birthday.

I was lucky to be able to travel to Dubai, Spain (Marbella), Thailand (Krabi which was amazingly beautiful, plus Bangkok a few times, including the most ridiculous weekend of my life with Bax, I’ve never laughed so much), Myanmar (Yangon), Malaysia (KL, as well as Malacca and Langkawi), Indonesia (Bintan), India (an epic trip – one I might even blog about at some point), and of course back to the UK – 3 times! Despite living so far away, it’s fab to be able to spend quality time with family and friends on my trips back, and especially with my nieces, who are all growing up way too quickly!

I tested Singapore’s health service with a minor operation – all good in the hood now, but it did mean I had several weeks of not drinking, which probably was a good thing for my liver, given the aforementioned ‘odd’ G&T – dabbled with veganism (which I’m trying again for 2019), and went to some fine and classy establishments for eating, drinking and cavorting, as well as some, well, not so classy ones (Orchard Towers and Kho San Road, I’m looking at you). I also went from having no ink to having two tattoos, had my eyebrow pierced, and changed my hair a few times.

2018 was a pretty busy year, and it’s amazing to be able to share the highlights, so a massive thank to everyone who was a part of it, and here’s to more adventures in 2019! I highly recommend you think about starting your own 1 second every day to capture your own memories; you can find out more about it here.

Sooooo…here’s my 2018 in just over 6 minutes (the detailed-orientated might note it’s one second too long for 365 days; I cheated, there’s one day with an extra second, because I didn’t want to miss out some of the family on a trip back to the motherland). Enjoy!

Here are 2017 and 2016’s videos if you want more of my life in your life.

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2017 in just over six minutes

In 2016 I started documenting my life by taking one second of video everyday. I mashed it up at the end of the year into an app, so my whole year is condensed into just over six minutes, which is a bit quicker than reliving the whole thing. Think of it as like a highlight reel.

I loved 2016’s video so much, in 2017 I decided to do it again.

Creating something like this really makes you reflect on the big things and little ones over the year. As well as travelling as far as Fiji and the US, I’ve met a lot of awesome people, done some totally random things and had a LOT of fun. As you might be able to tell.

Thanks to all my friends and family for starring in my 2017, for making it such an amazing year, and for putting up with me taking videos all the time. A special shout out to Bax who is in it almost as much as I am.

If you want to do your own 1SE (do it, do it), download the app. Here’s mine…cheers! (Edit, this is version 2 of the video, which has an extra second on 30th December so I didn’t leave out Dani 🙂 )

And if you need more one seconds in your life, you can check out 2016’s video here:

 

Kev the parrot returns to YouTube

This week saw the long-awaited (maybe) return of Kev the parrot to YouTube. I managed to get a short video of him the other night; I left the camera running on a tripod while I was out of the way upstairs, which is a good way of getting him chatting as he seems to think no-one can hear him.

He does a mixture of noises and voices, both me and the other half, including:

  • Night Kev
  • What do you want?
  • Love you
  • Give us a kiss
  • Blowing kisses
  • Laughing
  • Curry
  • Disco noises (ooha-ooha – which is the closest I can get to writing it)
  • Do you want a biscuit?
  • There you go mate

If you don’t want to watch the full six minutes, skip to about 4.15 where he’s does most of the stuff above. Even after having him for so long I still find it hilarious (and amazing) hearing him chatting away. It was even funnier when I showed Kev the video of himself and after saying ‘hellooo’ to himself a few times, he started joining in!

3 ways to be more creative

creativity screenshot

I had a play around with PowToon a few days ago to see how easy (or not) it was to create animated PowerPoint-type presentation videos. As I’ll be running a workshop at the BIG Conference in Brighton next week about being more creative, I thought I’d use some of the initial workshop content in it, hence the video being about ways people can be more creative. Only three ways mind you, it was designed to be a short video.

Here it is on YouTube. I actually started a PowToon video on behavioural economics based on the course I’ve just done, but because I decided I needed to think for a while about the content, it didn’t work as a quick experiment, so I switched to the creativity one. Maybe I’ll get back to the BE video another day.

I reckon it took me about three hours in total, having never used it before, and I don’t think the results are too bad. I’ve over-used some of the effects (e.g. text appearing in the same way throughout) but it was pretty intuitive to use, and very similar to PPT, just with timings for all the animations.

There are some limitations to having a free account, mainly the relatively small number of icons available (you’d soon tire of using the same ones over and over) but you can upload your own images, like I did with some of my photos – or you could use icons created in Illustrator etc. and upload those. I actually forgot to look at changing the background music, but I think there are more options with the premium accounts.

You also only get 30 ‘exports’ of whatever videos you create with a free account, which are exports to YouTube but don’t allow you to download the file. Presumably once you hit 30, you have to buy a paid-for account. And obviously the PowToon branding is all over it, which it isn’t with the paid accounts.

PowToon is still in beta but given how straightforward it was to use, I think we’ll see this kind of animation software quickly becoming more and more commonplace as a communication tool, both generally online (we are visual creatures after all) but also in the business world. In my day job as a researcher, we’ll see people increasingly using this kind of software as substitutes or companions to market research outputs; short, snappy and engaging ways of getting across key messages to busy stakeholders. If you can use PowerPoint, as 95% of people in the ‘presenting’ business pretty much do, then you can use something like this, so why wouldn’t you if you want to make an impact? (Unfortunately, many people who think they can use PPT, and I don’t just mean researchers, do a pretty awful job, so maybe there’ll be some pretty awful animations to look forward to over the coming months. Although more than likely these people won’t bother as animations will be too much of an effort and they’ll stick with the bullet-point and bar chart PPT default.)

I’m planning to suss out a few similar programmes over the next few weeks (this is only the first one, so I can’t say it’s the best, but it was certainly easy to use), so if you have any tips on what to look at next, suggestions would be very welcome.

6 second video

Here’s my entry to a 6 second video competition, organised by Research Through Gaming. The competition is inspired by Vine’s 6 second videos, and the idea is to create a 6 second video (ideally in Vine, but if not, upload one via YouTube) about market research. There are a few categories/themes for the videos, like common market research problems or views on the future of research. I’m not really sure my entry actually meets any of the categories as it’s basically my parrot Kev, doing his thing. I just thought it would be funny to give it a market research slant. It’s also not made in Vine – there’s no way he does this stuff on cue so I’ve had to edit it.

Whether it’s eligible or not, it made me chuckle anyway, hope you enjoy it.