tomfromhr.com a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies

4Sep/122

VEDAwesome

The last few days I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something. It'll get to be around 7 and I'll think "there's something I should be doing." Eventually, I'll remember that I should be recording a vlog. Then I'll remember, wait, no, I'm not supposed to be. VEDA is over.

That feels a little sad to me, still. It didn't really sink in until today. It's a rainy day at work, a bit of a rough one, and I was thinking to myself how nice it would be to hop online and watch some VEDA vids to cheer myself up. I could, of course, go back and watch some old ones, but still.

VEDA was, as always, an insightful and awesome experience. Not only did I meet tons of new people, make some new friends (and new guildies) but I created some things I'm really proud of. I explored my own lengths and strengths, and got a more accurate view of myself and my life. VEDA isn't just about meeting new people; it can be a bit of a reflective time, where you look at yourself. I mean, the whole point of VEDA is to film yourself. 

I still haven't decided what all of it means to me. What all I learned about myself. Right now I'm trying to make small, little changes, to further my goals, and a lot of that was directly inspired by VEDA, by the people I met and the things I explored in myself.

Anyway, little bit of navel-gazing, but it's a rainy Tuesday here, so I think that's allowed.

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4Aug/121

VEDA has taken over my life

Just a quick note to say VEDA has taken over my life. A little bit. Or at least a lot of my online life.

You can see what I'm up to here. Truthfully, posts may be a little sparse in August, since I'll be spending a lot of time on VEDA. But producing things! So go see them.

See my latest video, and feel free to subscribe or check them out.

Love your face!

31Jul/126

#winetoreach and VEDA

This last Friday, Joey tweeted he wanted to #winetoreach. Just like that, suddenly, he had put together one of the most popular, hectic and fun #winetoreaches in a while. That was all it took. 

For those unfamiliar with this, #winetoreach started one fateful night, many moons ago when my BFF Ashley got a bottle of wine and stayed home one night, drunkenly tweeting with the hashtag #winetoreach, parodying her own Twitter handle, @writetoreach.

It started off with folks getting drunk, hanging out on Twitter, and using that hashtag together. It was like we were all going out to the bar together, but were doing so from the comfort of our own homes, in PJs. Obviously better than the actual bar, where you have to dress up and spend more than $8 on a bottle of wine.

Then, one day, I think it was during #VEDA last year, we realized, hey, we have webcams, and there's this thing called Google+ Hangouts that would allow us to all hang out together and see each other and actually talk!

Can I admit that this still freaks me out a little bit? Live, non-text based conversations in general still freak me out a little bit. I always worry I won't know what to say, or there will be some uncomfortable silence, and even though I've had so many awesome and hilarious #winetoreaches, this still freaks me out.

Nevertheless, I did it. I dove in. And suddenly there were all these people I'd come to know, being their awesome, inclusive, hilarious  selves. Anyone who seemed to be at home on Twitter would get a bomb of tweets, asking (or demanding) they come online. Hell, on Friday we were pulling in people who didn't know most of us, just to chat and have a blast.

This is the spirit of #VEDA, I'd say. That inclusiveness. That mutual recognition of the awesomeness in others, even if they don't believe it themselves. That positive attitude, that welcoming, is just so incredibly wonderful and powerful. I've become a braver, better person thanks to #VEDA, thanks to #winetoreach, and probably thanks to most people reading this.

So thank you. Now let's go out there, tomorrow, and create some cool stuff.

And if you're not signed up for #VEDA? That's okay too. I still think you're awesome.

But you totally still could.

Oh, and last night, in the middle of #winetoreach, we made a Happy Birthday video for Linda. What other group of people would do that?

17Jul/120

Why You May Wanna Do VEDA. Maybe.

Lately, Twitter has been all a twitter (see what I did there?) with talk of VEDA, or Vlog Every Day in August, a tradition started by someone a while back to be done in April, but which my BFF Ashley decided to do in August and got all the really cool people to do then with her. If you're reading this blog, there's a half decent chance that's how you know me. Or you're reading back to see how my infamous writing career all began. Hello, reader. Please don't forget to buy one of my many New York Times bestselling books, or check out my new Star Trek series I'm running, starting this fall on HBO.

For those of you calendar-deprived folks, August is soon, yo. And you may be thinking to yourself "Self, should I do VEDA?"

My instinct has been to yell at you "YES, JOIN ME IN AWESOMENESS" but I have to hold back my inner camp counsellor here. Hell, I didn't even know I had one. VEDA is not for everyone, but since folks are asking, I thought I'd lay out my case for it in one easy place. Rather than retyping it via email, text, Facebook chat, and whatnot. What can I say? I'm lazy sometimes.

Why you may want to do VEDA

  • Learn to Vlog. Vlogging, or video blogging, is the act of talking to a camera for 1-3 minutes on a topic (or not on topic). And I found it scary as Hell the first few times. I don't like the way I sound. I don't like the way I look on camera. Why is my chin doing that? AHHHHH! VEDA helped cure me of a lot of that. Well, my chin still does that thing. But I care less about it now. Overcoming my fear of vlogging is a good thing, as I'm generally of the feeling that overcoming fears is a good thing. But vlogging opens up a whole new means of expression, which is definitely good.
  • Learn YouTube/iMovie/Other Video Stuff. Vlogging also made me learn iMovie, relatively quickly. Yes, you can just film yourself for 3 minutes and throw it on YouTube, but you can also make an intro! Edit it down, so folks don't have to listen to you say um for 14 minutes. Not that anyone did that last year. (Ed. note; someone totally did, but it wasn't Tom).  You also learn a bit about the features YouTube offers, among other things. And, again, I think learning things is generally a good thing. Call me crazy.
  • Meet awesome people. The stories you hear, of people who met through VEDA, who got to know each other, who are now friends, perhaps even romantically involved. I'm not sure if that one couple actually met through VEDA, or knew each other beforehand. Probably the latter. But still! The VEDA community is full of awesome people, sharing themselves. I felt inspired from some of the insecurities videos last year, and it was wonderful, in a terrible kind of way, to hear so many people share my insecurities and fears. Then to get drunk with them on webcam later on. Meet up with one of them this year, and meet so many, many more next year. I say this as a surety, even though it's not, but I will MAKE IT HAPPEN.
  • Do something for 31 days straight. How often have you said to yourself you're gonna do something, every day, and then do it for a few days and give up? This is something you can do. Not only will you have a record of what your life was like in August, but you'll have something you can point to, yourself, and say "I did that." I think that's pretty cool.
  • Spur your creativity. Perhaps this may be the most important one, at least for me. Ashley talks a lot about Ze Frank, and some of the awesome, creative things he's done, and how a lot of what he did started through blogging and vlogging. Although it may not be fiction, by making these videos you're creating something, sharing something. You'll be exposed to dozens of people, doing exactly the same thing. For me, that is awesome, and that alone is reason enough to do it.

I could go on and on, and likely will think of more reasons the second I hit publish on this. Not that I couldn't go back and edit more in, but I think I've covered everything I have to. Even if you don't want to participate, I'd encourage you to keep an eye on my YouTube channel, and others, and see what we do in August. I think it's going to be amazing and that you're gonna see some hilarious, heartfelt and inspiring videos from some hilarious, heartfelt and inspiring people.

So, join me. Or, at least, watch me.