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Back to School: Why I Decided to go to Graduate School

graduate school - why I am attending

I left the blog for a while there because I was deciding on some big life decisions. Actually, it's not that big, but it does impact my free time. I had always said I would go back to school to get another degree because, in an ideal world, I'd be a professional student. However, I have to pay bills, so I became a working adult.

Fast forward four years and I finally decided that another undergrad degree wasn't something that interested anymore, but rather furthering my current career as a digital marketer. Back in May, I was fiddling with the idea of maybe it's time to go back. I looked at various schools with Digital Marketing degrees. However, the catch was that it would have to be a strictly online degree, from an accredited school of course. After finally pulling the trigger and applied to 3 programs, which all happened to be Master in Science degrees. Yep, that's right, I applied for graduate school.

How To Use IGTV (Instagram TV)

using IGTV content creator

Did you hear the news today? Instagram announced that they launched IGTV to the masses. I’ve been using the app for about an hour and find it… interesting.

First of all, why WOULDN’T I download it? I already have Instagram, Layouts, and Boomerang, what’s one more? When you open the app, it asks you if you want to use your profile to log in – I run 2 personal Instagram accounts and 6 other ones for the company I work for, so make sure what you’re using. When You watch a video/show, and it ends, it just goes on to the next one, very similar to IG Stories and you can also swipe right or left to move between “shows.”

When you swipe up, you can see other videos at a glance. When you tap the screen on the video you are watching, the full portrait video shows and allows you to scrub through the video. i.e., fast forward. 

You can also comment, like, and share. You can search for content creators. In the gear settings, you can add the other accounts you use.

It’s said to be a YouTube killer, but to be honest, I don’t think it will. The UI/UX is not that intuitive, and you would think it’d alert your followers that you’ve posted a longer video or add it to highlights rather than just a Facebook page. I believe there is still a lot of features that could be added to make the app great. Videos do have links that can be shared out, but as of tonight, all links seem to be broken. I guess this might be a bug that Instagram still needs to solve/work on.

Just because you have logged into the app, it doesn’t mean you can post videos just yet! You have to click your profile picture circle on the lower right side. Then, you will be asked if you want to create a “channel.” After you do this, you are well on your way to creating all the content, and upload, all the videos you desire. 

Knowing some content creators on YouTube that receive revenue money based off of AdSense/Google AdWords placements, this might not be the way to go, at least not yet. Certainly, you can create “Trailers” for your YouTube videos and place them into IGTV, but then you create users to check 3 places. 

1)    Sneak peek on IG Stories – swipe up to view on IGTV 
2)    IGTV – continue watching on YouTube (if you care about revenue/ads). 

From playing in the app, I didn’t see a way for someone to link out to a website and perhaps it is to keep viewers within their app. You can still visit people’s IG profiles then they could technically clink and link to an outside website using the link in your bio. This seems like it involves far too many steps.

Note: Video lengths must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Larger accounts and verified accounts can upload videos of up to an hour but must be uploaded on a computer.

It’ll be interesting to see how this takes off and if it’s wildly embraced like IG Stories. I see B2C/B2B companies and artists using this new Instagram venture because they hardly ever enable ad banners on videos on YouTube. 

I do however find it hard for vloggers who do rely on YouTube ad revenue to adopt IGTV. From watching a few videos, I didn’t come across any ads, and if they do, then those ads only benefit advertisers spending marketing dollars trying to capture new consumers.

I might find myself doing vlogs on IGTV. It’s easier as my phone is usually in my hand than carrying around a DSLR or mirrorless camera. 

Will you start creating new portrait (mobile) only content for IGTV? Let me know in the comments!

EDIT: Your IGTV channel is added to your profile!

Sightbox Review: A Millennial Convenience for Contact Lenses

sightbox contact lens subscription

If you were not aware before, I wear glasses the majority of the time. I'm not only nearsighted ( I can't see things from far away) but I also have a little bit of astigmatism. Fortunately, I don't have to use contacts for astigmatism, unfortunately, I've always had different prescriptions powers in each eye. You know what that means, EXPENSIVE VISION!

I had terrible vision insurance before so I was searching for an alternative way to pay for my glasses and contact exam + contacts. After seeing a lot of ads for Sightbox, I figured I'd give it a try.

If you don't know what Sightbox is, they say they are "Your Contact Lens Concierge". Really, they are! All you do is sign-up and pay $39 a month. Think of it as subscription box company like Birchbox, Julep, Fabletics, etc.