Holiday Season

The first days of the 2018 Holiday season are over, tomorrow is a normal day and even though most people are still off work, shops will re-open.

There’s still a lot of time until Three Kings (January 6), when most people will return to work and everyday life commences – time for friends and family, time to reflect, to rest and to regroup, and time to check on last year’s resolution (that’ll be a separate blog post / video though).

The coming days for me will be full of work, winding my freelance consulting business down, as I will return to being an employee on January 1st; I’ll stay with the same consultancy though, so it’s more of a legal and status change than an actual change of workplace.

In December there were a huge number of YouTubers who did Vlogmas – to name a few, celebrities like Johnny Orlando or my favorite LGBTQ+ activist, Jackson Bird (if you haven’t watched his TED Talk or any of his videos on what being trans actually means, do that now!) – it was a real joy to watch the stories unfold as December progressed.

Thanks a lot to all the creators that went out of their way to produce daily content for us – deeply appreciated!

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Pre-Holidays Movie Spree

In the week before the holidays I went on a movie spree – the past weeks had been quite intense and I didn’t find any time, so as the year’s winding down, it was time to catch up.

I got to see:

  • Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse,
  • Aquaman,
  • Mary Poppins Returns and
  • Bumblebee.

Mary Poppins Returns is a great remake of the original, musical style, with singing leeries doing parkour; might be boring for kids under the age of 50.

Aquaman is solid action fare, but not something really new.

Bumblebee is a great prequel to the Transformers series, with B-127 as a cute beetle saving the world and setting the stage for the series.

Spiderman though was something entirely different – completely new universes, complete new set of characters, including a spider-pig named Peter Porker; I’m looking forward to more of Miles’ adventures on the big screen!

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2019 Hello – Google Tasks

Now that there’s room on my phone for a new app, time to start using Google Tasks!

It syncs quite nicely to Outlook, courtesy of gSyncit and works very well on the web (I.e. in Gmail) and on my phone. It does help to have a single, comprehensive list of tasks and deadlines, both for your private and professional lives.

I do hope that Tasks will have a longer lifespan than G+ or Inbox though – Inbox I’ll really miss when it goes away in spring

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2018 Goodbye – Snapchat

One application will not make it on my phone into 2019, and that’s Snapchat.

I’ve never gone back to regularly using after the rather awful redesign, and Instagram stories have by now not only caught up, but surpassed Snapchat’s to a great length.

For the last couple of months, I didn’t touch it at all, so now it became time to remove it completely.

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Bloom: 10 Worlds

Generative Music have re-released Brian Eno’s Bloom music creation app, now finally for Android!

In addition to the original, there are 10 new worlds to explore, each with different sounds, shapes and colors.

Highly recommended and fun to use!

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Hatsune Miku

Yesterday we went to a concert by Hatsune Miku, a quite famous Japanese singer; she’s on her first tour in Europe and it was her first concert in Germany. Luckily for us, she chose the LANXESS Arena in Cologne as the venue, which made it quite easy for us.

Hatsune came with a couple of her friends for support, Kaito, Meiko, Megurine Luka and the Kagamine twins.

Almost everybody in the arena had her signature Glowsticks, so the colors from stage spread throughout – very special.

The concert itself was great, wonderful song selection and a stellar stage show – I really hope she’ll come back to Cologne soon!

Needless to say that she made a very nice attempt to welcome us in German . Smile

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Black Friday

The concept of Black Friday does not really work if the Thursday is not a big, or perhaps the biggest, family holiday of the year; same for Cyber Monday. My personal black Friday used to be the Friday after Weiberfastnacht, the official start of street Carnival in Cologne .

But, as Halloween has spread across the world, so do Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

And who doesn’t like a good deal?

This year my spending was quite subdued, but I used the ever-present rebates to get a toner cartridge at 15% off.

And for next year, as we’re in the process of incorporating Halloween into our culture anyway, maybe we could add Dia de Muertos as well? And make All Saints a joyous occasion rather than a solemn one? Me gusta mucho!

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Article 13

There’s a lot of hype and clickbait around the EU’s revised copyright directive – a well balanced summary on the subject can be found here.

Let’s take a step back – the new copyright directive is not aimed against the freedom of speech or small creators; quite the opposite, it’s aim is to protect creators, big and small, from theft. All it does is shifting the burden from the creator to the publishing platforms, in case a piece of art gets misappropriated, and it specifically only targets big publishing platforms (in the latest amendment at the time of writing).

Of course do YouTube and Instagram/Facebook dislike that – even though it’s not a new responsibility, just a new means of enforcement, it might negatively impact their bottom line.

Will Article 13 ban memes in YouTube videos? From my point of view, memes are covered by the “Fair Use” clause, but I’m not a legal expert.

What it will finally ban though, is the use of copyrighted music in YouTube videos, monetized or not.

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Facebook page redesign

As part of the general overhaul of my social media presences, triggered by the untimely demise of Google+, I’ve also redesigned my Facebook page.

Rather than posting a link to the video on YouTube, as I did in the past, I’ve now decided to upload the original video to Facebook too – the page layout thus becomes much cleaner and I can place my videos in a more prominent space.

It’s double the effort, and probably not good for YouTube statistics and analytics, but  maybe it helps finding a broader audience for my creations.

Have a look and let me know what you think – Thank you!

Chris

Google+ to Pluspora

Although it’s still 10 months I’ve decided to move my Google+ activities now to Pluspora, a Diaspora* pod created for former Plussers.

Pluspora was created by Di Cleverly and her partner David, “to have a safe place where the Plus community can be preserved”

I’ve transferred the last weeks of Google+ posts, so that the profile does not look completely empty and will try to (re-)build meaningful interactions and relationships on the new platform.

YouTube and Instagram won’t change, neither will  my Facebook page.

I’ll continue to hang around in Google+, maybe even explore MeWe, as a number of communities are moving there, haven’t decided yet.

To all fellow Plussers: See you at Pluspora!

Chris