Snapchat: Love It? Loathe It? Who To Follow?

Around about 18 months ago I downloaded the Snapchat app, created an account, stared at it feeling dazed and confused for about an hour, gave up and forgot about it! Until recently that was my Snapchat story and I thought that myself and the snappy little app were done. Short, sweet and over before I could even figure out how to use it.

Account Pictured: Dasha Battelle dbatsnap.com

Account Pictured: Dasha Battelle dbatsnap.com

It's kind of quite well known that Snapchat is one of the least intuitive apps to use. In fact it sort of prides itself on that fact, almost like a secret club that you can't quite work out how to get into.

Although first released way back in 2011, it's over the past year or two that the app has started to gather a far wider audience. The appeal lies in being able to 1. work out how to use it, and 2. figure out who to follow so that you can see an unfiltered, in the moment, behind the scenes view into the world of your friends, your favourite celeb or some other form of online influencer.

Before I continue, I must emphasise the fact that I'm no techno expert, despite my recent post on Periscope and now this but I do enjoy trying these things out and investigating. So refusing to be deterred by my earlier attempt into the Snapchat world, I've decided to give it another go.

For me the jury is out. I'm still in the early stages of my journey into this snappy world and I haven't quite figured out if I really see the appeal. That said, seeing as it's now the third most popular social network amongst millennials, and definitely here to stay, I guess I'm going to have to keep an open mind and see what happens.

Having tuned in to some of the usual suspects I've found a core few whose snaps and videos are incredibly creative. It always thrills and amazes me how people develop such unusual ways to use these things! So I thought I'd share some of my favourites here today. If you're new to the app too (unless I'm literally the very last one to the party) then you may find these accounts worth a follow for something a little more intriguing than the usual. Oh and don't forget to add me! I'll be sure to follow back, it'll be nice to find some fellow bloggers out there to connect with. Find me on username: whatnowblog

 

THREE SUPER CREATIVE SNAPCHATTERS!

1. Mike Platco @mplatco

Mike Platco is a Boston based Snapchat influencer and professional Snapchat artist who creates personal snappy artwork as well as work for well known brands. When a snap or mini video comes through from Mike I watch immediately because they always make me smile, are creative and quite often involve his dog. So ticks all round from me!

2. Dasha Battelle @Dabttll

Dash Battelle is another Snapchat artist whose creations are really very beautiful. All the more impressive given that they are all created purely with her phone and finger! No stylus used here. New York based, Dasha's creations are intricate and beautiful and it's always fun to see them when they pop up on the app. Oh and she happens to work for Snapchat too so expect fun behind the scenes footage of what she gets up to day to day.

3. Geeohsnap @geeohsnap

This is such a cool account! Geeohsnap is the account of a Norwegian Snapchat artist who snaps people he walks by in the street and uses Snapchat art to create unique creative stories and place them into random and elaborate environments. So someone sitting on a fence minding their own business suddenly looks as if they're rocketing off to the moon! That sort of thing. This aptly titled 'Random People Project' went viral in 2014 and has earned its creator a huge and well deserved following. The last few days have seen some brilliant Halloween creations that have really made me smile! 

 

If you're new to the app, are thinking of downloading it, and you end up, like me, getting stuck at the first hurdle i.e. how to even use it, then this post from Mashable will come in very handy. It helped me and I hope it helps you too! The Beginner's Guide To Snapchat.

What do you think of this app? Do you use it and who do you like to follow? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Louise

 


What Is Periscope And Who's Worth Tuning In To?

These days there seems to be another new addition to the world of social media on an almost daily basis. It can be hard to know whether or not each new platform is worth getting involved in, and investing any of your time into.

Periscope is one such app that has been causing quite a stir since its launch in late March this year. The live video streaming app from Twitter hit 1 million users in its first 10 days, with 10 million people creating an account to date (although not necessarily using it!) and over 2 million active users tuning in and live streaming on a daily basis. So it would seem that we can't quite get enough of this particular newbie and that for now, it's very much here to stay. 

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

Being owned by Twitter means you can sign into Periscope easily via your Twitter account and immediately begin live streaming your own content or tuning into the live feeds of pretty much anyone else online around the world. Users are reportedly watching up to 40 years worth of live video every single day! 

It's kind of like Google Hangouts but ultimately much easier to use. The app enables users to log on quickly and easily on the go and stream anything and everything, from their mundane walk to work to an exciting insight and front row seat at an event that we might all be wishing we are at. People are using Periscope for business, to connect with their followers instantly and answer questions face to face and to stream breaking news on the spot as and when it happens. The scope of this application is huge and likely to continue to grow.

Viewers tuning into a scope can ask the broadcaster questions instantly, live, and offer up hearts (or bats this month if you use #Halloween in your title!) if they like what they see. The fact that it's connected to Twitter makes it quicker than usual to build your followers and let people know when you're about to scope. Videos remain live on Periscope for 24 hours after their initial broadcast. So if you're unable to tune in live, you can catch your favourite broadcaster later in the day and still tune in to what they had to share or say that day.

It's important to note that live streaming, especially on the go, is not without its downsides. Personal safety and security is the first thing that comes to mind, and live streaming your walk to work might seem like a harmless thing to do, but exercising caution to keep yourself safe should still be very much at the forefront of your mind. Unfortunately as with all these things you will get exposed to the online haters. I've watched some broadcasts where people have tuned in purely to make nasty comments and that's not nice to experience, especially live. Broadcasters can block such users, but this remains an application that should be used wisely and with some aforethought.

Warnings aside I've really been enjoying using this app and although I haven't ventured into streaming live content myself, have found some really useful and interesting people to watch. So I thought today I'd share my top picks for those of you considering tuning into other peoples scopes for some business, blogging and lifestyle ideas and inspiration. 

 

TOP LIVE FIVE WORTH A WATCH ON PERISCOPE!

1. KIM GARST @KimGarst

Kim Garst is a super social media expert! She shares her wealth of expertise and tips in her daily ScopingForBiz broadcasts on Periscope. Many of these are based on using Periscope as a marketing tool but often I will catch other extremely interesting tutorials on how to best utilise other social media platforms too. Her recent scope on how to get the most out of Facebook on zero budget was one of my faves and was incredibly useful.

2. ALEX PETTITT @alexpettitt

Alex Pettitt is ranked as the number one Periscope user in the UK and number three overall in Europe. If you really want to see Periscope used to its full potential and learn more about it, then tuning in to Alex will serve you very well. He shares many 'behind the scenes' mini broadcasts and effectively demonstrates the power of Periscope as a tool for instantly communicating and sharing with your audience.

3. LONDON BEAUTY QUEEN @LBQblog

I've read Hayley's award winning beauty blog for a long time now but I've also really enjoyed watching her broadcasts on Periscope. Whilst she does scope about what's new in beauty, Hayley also regularly broadcasts about blogging topics that people like me really need to learn and know about, plus she's not afraid to speak her mind and be open and candid with her audience.

Some recent useful scopes have included an explanation of the updated ASA disclosure regulations for bloggers which was incredibly helpful as well as tips on how to work with brands and PR's when putting together sponsored content. Plus she's always open to questions and helping out fellow bloggers whenever and wherever she can.

4. GLOBAL PERISCOPE @GlobalPeriscope

A curated live feed of some of the best scopes from around the world. Tune in to feast on anything and everything from beautiful sunsets, street art and other very watchable live escapism from around the world.

5. EVE MAYER @LinkedInQueen

Eve Mayer is the CEO of Social Media Delivered and in her weekly scopes she presents very useful social media tips, tricks and updates that come in handy for anyone looking to grow their business and online presence.

 

Do you use Periscope? What are your thoughts on this platform and who do enjoy watching for tips and tricks to enhance your daily working life?

Louise

 


10 Unusual Things You Don't Know About Me

So I was going to keep you with me overseas in Croatia this week but to be honest I've been a little under the weather and was struggling to finish editing my photos and gather the last few bits and pieces from our travels that I'd still like, at some point, to share with you! We will come back to that another day and instead I've really enjoyed putting this post together to take you into the weekend.

I was tagged by the lovely Laura Vonka to write this and have searched the far edges of my brain for enough unusual facts to share with you. Hoping not to be too bland but equally not too bizarre. Here are 10 rather odd things you might not know about me! Plus why not have a think about your own oddities! It's really quite a fun and relaxing thing to do - a nice way to take a break from the routine of your day.

Unusual Things About Me

 

1. I LOVE old seventies crime, detective shows. Put me in front of an episode of Columbo, Murder She Wrote or Diagnosis Murder and I'll be in my element. Not because I like murder or crime! It's just something about the era, the very questionable scripts and sometimes downright odd performances that I find incredibly comforting! Perhaps I was privy to watching them a lot as a child without realising and something about them makes me feel safe and at home. Strange but true!

2. Dogs are my absolute and complete world. Anyone that knows me well won't find it a surprise to see this listed here. As I write, my spaniel is sat tucked up beside me and my husband often comments on how we just go everywhere together! I once noted to him that my ideal future would involve owning 40,000 cocker spaniels and I still stand by this comment. 

3. I once played Snow White in pantomime. Yep! After leaving drama school this was my first paid gig - at the Colour House Theatre in Merton at the weekends, and going into primary schools throughout the week. I will forever remember just how much the kids truly believed I really was Snow White. The hugs and tears from the sweetest little girls who had; 'watched me on their DVD' and the little boys that would yell how much I basically got what I deserved if I was stupid enough to eat that apple!! Fun and memorable times!

4. People find it really odd that I don't have a middle name. I just don't and I never really thought much of it, but many people find that very confusing! I'm intrigued to know - do you have a middle name? Am I the only one out there without one?!

5. I really do not take a good photo. Ever wonder why you rarely see a picture of me on this blog?! This isn't so much a vanity thing, it's a genuine reality that the camera really doesn't like me. Whether I've spent hours getting ready or have greasy hair, no makeup and am in my PJ's the outcome is often much the same. When that shutter goes off, my face goes all squidgy, my eyes pretty much ALWAYS close and I pull a sort of odd Joker-esque style smile that freaks me and everyone else out! It really isn't something that the rest of the world needs to see.

6. I love cheese - so much! If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be cheese, ideally with a little fresh, crusty bread and perhaps a little ham - oh and a large glass of wine! 

7. I still cannot get to the end of Bambi, The Ugly Duckling or in fact The Number 10 Duckling without crying. I just get so anxious that she can't get that tenth little duckling out of the swimming pool! You could say that I feel things quite deeply, a fact I'm very proud of!

8. Tea and me are a match made in heaven. In that sense I am so stereo-typically British. I have travelled many places in my time; Russia, Mongolia, China, South-East Asia, the full length of Central America, and everywhere I go I always manage to find tea somewhere, in some just about acceptable form or another! Best cup in the most unusual place that springs to mind? Has to be in a hidden off-beat cafe in San Cristobal De Las Casas in the Chiapas region of Mexico. Now that was a proper cup of tea!

9. I'd love to own a goat - or two, or three. Alongside my love for dogs I've always been a huge fan of goats! I've been warned that they're something of a nightmare to own, eating everything and getting in everywhere and trampling stuff without a second thought, but it doesn't put me off. I once got very annoyed with my husband for deleting a photo of one of the best goats I've ever seen in my life when we were travelling in Thailand. Still haven't forgotten that Dan! Plus I can often be found chuckling at the fabulous-ness that is the fainting goat on YouTube. I just love em!

10. I adore cupcakes. This doesn't really need any further explanation, I just adore all that cupcake-y goodness! Top of the list? The joy that is red velvet from the Hummingbird Bakery. You really cannot beat it.

 

So in the spirit of this tag I'd like to nominate some fellow bloggers that I admire to bring forth their top 10 unusual facts about themselves! Step forward if you dare Carolin from Style Lingua, Uli from Found Some Paper, Bella from The other 'F-word' and Emma from Emma Inks!

Have a great weekend everyone, embrace your inner unusualness and let me know in the comments one truly unusual thing about you that you'd like to share with the rest of the world. I'd love to hear about your own joys, quirks and eccentricities!

Louise

 


Blogger Spotlight: Introducing Sarah From The Diary Of A Teachaholic

Getting to know more about a person and connecting through their blog is, to me, one of the greatest pleasures of the blogging world. There is such a strong community out there and so many wonderful bloggers and blogs to lose yourself in for an hour or two, that the process of acquainting yourself with another like-minded soul in the blogging world is an endless pleasure!

Today I want to introduce to you the lovely Sarah from the blog The Diary Of A Teachaholic and this months spotlight advertiser. Join me to learn more about Sarah, her blog and blogging passions and discover a new and beautiful read to add to your current list.

The Diary Of A Teachaholic

Hi Sarah, firstly could you introduce yourself, your blog and the passion and idea behind it?

Aloha, lovely human beans. My name is Sarah and I am the face behind Diary of a Teachaholic. In real terms, my blog is very new to the blogging world, but I have blogged in the past somewhere else. 

My blog came about when I decided my old one had to be shut down. The strains of my battle with mental health and the toxic relationships I had in my life meant that my old blog had become such a negative aspect, which just isn’t the way it should be! 

So, after a lot of deliberating, I came up with Diary of a Teachaholic - a blog all about my life as a teachaholic! I blog about anything life throws at me; from mental health, to teaching, to general life mishaps - it’s all there. 

The Diary Of A Teachaholic Sarah

Why did you start blogging, what is it that you most love about it? 

When I first entered the blogging world, it was teachers that had inspired me to start. I had spent the day having my job slagged off by others through a popular news app and was left feeling quite disheartened about the awful things the general public have to say about teaching. After many hours of Google-ing, I was left inspired by the teacher bloggers out there and wanted to get my two pence in too. 

Naturally, it fell flat on its face. I just didn’t know what to talk about and didn’t have the same ‘niche’ that everyone else seemed to create. However, I adored the blogging community and all the support I could get from it so much, that I kept on going, changing my ‘niche’ from teacher to life. 

Now? Now I couldn’t see my life without a blog or blogging. If it wasn’t for the community that I have met and built, I’m not sure where I would be right about now. After having a year long battle with mental health, the support from the blogging world was completely amazing. It gave me strength to keep going every day and I thought it was completely amazing how people who had never met me wanted to look after me as they did. In a way, I kind of owe the blogging world! 

The Diary Of A Teachaholic

Have you had to face any particular challenges as a blogger and how did you overcome them?

Who hasn’t? I’m lucky that my own blogging challenge that I’ve faced is being able to stay motivated and inspired to write.

Being a teacher, my life is full of crazy children and stressful paperwork. During term time I feel like I barely have time to wee, let alone think of inspiration to blog about. Since I started blogging, there have been long periods where I've disappeared from my blog and left my readers with nothing to look at - which makes me incredibly sad!

To overcome the problem, I keep a handy little blogging note on my phone. Whenever I find something that inspires me or I think ‘ooooo, that would make a good post’, I jot it down and make sure, when I have time to write, I come back to it.

The Diary Of A Teachaholic Dealing With Anxiety

Tell us about a few of your favourite recent posts and why you enjoyed writing them so much?

My favourite type of post to write is where I share stories or lessons from my life. I know that might not seem very interesting to everyone else, but when you struggle to get how you’re feeling out of your head, writing is a great way to release whatever it is going on inside.

If I was to choose, I would definitely say that my favourite posts are those about my struggles with mental health. They make me feel better and, in turn, I hear stories of how posts have helped others. When it comes to anxiety and mental health, I have written about a whole host of topics. From dealing with the dreaded quarter of a life crisis, talking about how I deal with my anxiety ridden brain or sharing my recent mental health inspired tattoo, I have written about it without the rose tinted glasses that we see life. 

To me, it’s so important (especially when it comes to mental health) to tell others exactly how it is. I’m not going to hide away and pretend everything’s okay when it’s not! 

The Diary Of A Teachaholic Tattoo

Work-life balance is an important topic here on The What Now Blog so I’m intrigued to know if you have any tips for keeping balance in your life – especially working full time and writing a blog. How do you fit it all in?

Having a work-life balance when you’re a teacher is really hard in general, without balancing a blog on top of it. However, over the past 4-5 months, I have worked hard to create an editorial calendar and make sure I spend at least one evening a week in front of the computer doing blogging-esque things. 

It has taken me a long time to get blogging organised, but I finally feel like I’m just about there. In brief, I use a month view diary to plan out what I’m going to write and when, and schedule my posts and tweets in advance, whenever I have the time! Teaching can be very unpredictable, so I take the extra few minutes to get ahead whenever I can.

The Diary Of A Teachaholic Truth About Teacher Holidays

Finally, what are your future blogging passions and goals?

I would love to have a large community of readers and blogging friends. I’m on my way to getting there and have a ‘met’ a few blogging girls that I probably talk to more than my real friends, but I feel there’s still a way to come. 

In the future, I’d really like to meet some of the bloggers I’ve got to know so well. I read about all the fun that bloggers are having at blogging meet ups and wish I could be there too, so I have my eye on that at the moment! 

When it comes to blogging, I never expect to make it big (nor do I in any other aspect of my life!). In all honesty, I write for me and to help myself cope with the ups and downs life has to throw at me. If that means no one reads my blog but I carry on living, then that’s okay! 

The Diary Of A Teachaholic

Wow well that to me is an inspiring read - I truly admire Sarah's honesty and openness so very much. It's been a pleasure getting to know more about Sarah and her blog over the month of September. I hope you've enjoyed learning more about the world of a teachaholic as much as I have done!  Make sure you keep up with what's happening in Sarah's world on Twitter @TeachaholicBlog and on Instagram @SareMaj1

Have an inspiring week everyone and farewell for today.

Louise