Let’s get digital

Let's Get Digital

Photoshop skills to pay the bills

Pitfield Cafe FlowersLike many people of a certain age, my experience with Photoshop began with a little experimentation here and there, correcting the blemishes of ones fifteen year old face, and cropping my parents out of pictures where I looked REALLY GOOD. Since then, I’ve never really bothered with any formal training, despite the fact I use the programme every day at work. This of course has pros, such as helping me develop a mindset of experimentation, and cons, like not knowing many time-saving hot keys.

Enter Adobe Knowhow. They have produced a 100% free Photoshop course designed for the total beginner. It promises that ‘you will learn Adobe Photoshop CC from the ground up, with no prior experience required’.

Over thirteen hours of bite-sized lessons, you’ll learn to create and manage colour in an image, use layers and work with filters. You’ll also get a resoundingly good overview of all the little tools and options available to you in the work space. I really recommend it for anyone who is starting from scratch, or has just been playing around by themselves for years… Within the first few lessons I learned how to make all my windows the same zoom % – which is a total game-changer!

Plus at the end you’ll get a little badge of achievement which you can use on your LinkedIn profile, or simply list the course on your resume. Sounds like an excellent deal to me.

Let’s get digital

Let's Get Digital

  • Photography meets digital strategy – a really lovely piece on why it matters to crop.
  • Google is building YouTube Connect, a livestreaming app to take on Periscope.
  • Facebook’s video metrics have been enhanced to give marketers insights into viewer performance on a day-by-day basis. It now measures: minutes viewed, views,  number of 10-second views.
  • Google is finally redesigning its biggest cash cow: AdWords.
  • Instagram is coaching advertisers to approach it exactly the same way they do Facebook: “Agencies have been getting new insights from Instagram about how best to use the platform in light of two major changes: It is integrated with Facebook’s automated ad technology, and it plans to use an algorithm that curates content for users. The new Instagram strategy should mimic what they do on Facebook. “We’ve seen the Instagram pitch to clients twice now in the last month. It is basically the Facebook pitch: Everything should be promoted, and there’s no point in doing organic,” a source said.” [DigiDay]
  • Nice idea from Sonic in the US – instagram inspired shakes – designed and sold through Instagram at Coachella.Sonic Square Shakes

Let’s get digital

Let's get digital

Vidal Sassoon: the movie

This documentary charts the heady rise of hairdresser Vidal Sassoon from Jewish orphanage to the pinnacle of his craft. With Bauhaus-inspired hairdos he pioneered in the 60s and his wash and wear philosophy he revolutionised hairstyling and changed the world with a pair of scissors.

This is not a documentary about hair. It’s about style, passion, and self belief. I didn’t know the background to Sassoon’s empire prior to watching the documentary, but it is fascinating and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Did you know he took elocution lessons to dampen his East End/cockney accent?

“If you can get to the root of who you are and make something happen from it, my sense is you’re going to surprise yourself.” – Vidal Sassoon

Let’s get digital

Let's get digital

  • Facebook purchases face-swapping software company. Perhaps a bit late? This ship seems to have sailed…
  • Facebook has also launched lead ads. Lead ads simplify the sign up process by pre-populating a form with the contact information of each subscriber, and can directly link with your newsletter database, for example Mailchimp. This is awesome, especially for eCommerce businesses!
  • Why your colleagues still won’t share your blog post. Ugh. This rings so true for many social media managers. Just share it, damn it! This blog post helped me get a quarterly LinkedIn takeover programme off the ground – with key stakeholders in a company sharing their thoughts through regular Pulse articles.
  • Google advises on how to get your mobile search strategy off the ground. In a nutshell: a) context b) solve problems and c) be useful.
  • [UK Filter] The helpful folks at the Advertising Standards Authority give the down-low on how to make sure your Instagram advertising is clear and up to scratch. “For Instagram ads, we would recommend using hashtags such as #ad for avoidance of doubt.
  • Shutterstock now uses machine learning to help you find just the right photo – an evolution of reverse image search. Excellent news!

My resolve

Hope you are all having wonderful evenings. I have prebooked my Thai delivery, have a movie lined up (Wild, the story of Cheryl Strayed) and a hot water bottle. Tomorrow at 6.30am I’ll be helping with breakfast at my homeless shelter I volunteer at, then a yoga workshop! A virtuous start to the year? Perhaps. Or peaking early…

Anyway, I wanted to share my single resolve this year. Nothing about losing weight, being kind or making a truckload of money. That would be nice though. All I’m going to do is pick up one piece of litter a day. Start small, lowball. If things tally up, great.

If everyone in London picked up one crumpled water bottle a day, or an empty crisp packet, imagine how clean it would be… Clean canals, empty green fields, sparkling high streets. Wishful thinking but you’ve got to start somewhere.

One thing a day.
That’s all.
Be the change you want to see.
Make good in 2016.

Ten days of pigeons

Baby pigeons - ten days

Have you ever wondered where all the baby pigeons are? You’re not alone – a quick Google search for this yields approximately 3,090,000 results.

My boss recently found an anonymous fledgling, and after an extended adventure, dropped the poor chick off at a wildlife rescue centre. It turned out it was a (very exotic) baby pigeon, approximately aged 6-7 days old. They promised to rehabilitate it as much as possible… but it might have been too early.

The above is an amazing illustration of just how fast these little dudes grow – from egg to woah in just ten days! Plus, they’re complete homebodies, staying in their nests until they reach maturity. No wonder we never see them – they’ve barely taken their first breath before they’re feathered and ready to go.  Human infants could learn something from them…

[Via Pinterest]

by Amber Parkin