Friday, November 27, 2015

Best Youtube Channels Under 1 Million Subscribers 2015

This year for the best Youtube channels of the year, we are featuring channels which have under 1 million subscribers. There are a few reasons for this. One, it can be repetitive to have the same popular channels featured each year. Two, if a channel has more than 1 million subscribers already, chances are you have already heard about it, and three, this gives a chance for some of the best lesser known channels to get a little exposure so people can find out about them. Here are our top picks for the best Youtube channels under 1,000,000 subscribers for 2015:

1. Kyde and Eric (Travel / Vlog)
Kyde and Eric are an American couple living in Japan and this is their channel where they vlog about all the interesting things they find living in a new place. They travel to different locations and try new foods and attend fun events. They both have great personalities which make the videos very enjoyable and puts them at the number 1 recommended Youtube channel this year! In this video, they attend a baseball game in Tokyo.

2. Melissa Villasenor (Funny / Sketches)
Melissa Villasenor is a comedian and impressionist who makes a variety of videos from characters, to original sketches, to stand up comedy. Here is a clip from one of her sets where she channels Wanda Sykes and Gwen Stefani to help her get through tough situations.

3. Blake Grigsby - (Funny / Hidden Camera)
Blake Grigsby makes good spirited hidden camera style videos that make people smile. In this video, he sets up a mysterious door with a surprise behind it in a public venue to see what would happen.

4. Joe Goes (Interviews / Travel / Funny)
Joe from the Joe Goes channel is a funny guy who goes around to different conventions, events, and countries to interview people. His interviews always have humorous or awkward questions which make for great videos. In this one he goes to Blizzcon video game convention to interview the guests and fans.

5. Robbie Sherrard (Off Beat / Comedy)
Robbie Sherrard makes comedic style videos where he talks about his life and things that happen to him or whatever is on his mind that he wants to share with the viewers. In this video he discusses the difference between the words men and women use.

6. Brad Hall ( Parody / Shoe Reviews)
Brad Hall has taken is love for shoes and made a channel where he reviews new sneakers in a parody style. In this video he reviews a new pair of shoes while wearing a "cool pair of shades and a sweet leather jacket" and of course his signature khakis.

7. Jono and Ben (Funny / Variety) 
Jono and Ben have a comedy show from New Zealand where they perform pranks, sketches, interviews and more. This channel features videos from their show. In this clip, they play a joke on their boss making him think his office has to be fumigated for pests.

8. Flula (Funny / Variety / Music)
Flula is a creative and funny guy from Germany who makes all kinds of funny videos from commentary on language, to popular song covers, and even an original talk show like this clip here. 

If you liked these videos, be sure to check out the Best Youtube Channels of 2014.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sweet Earth Foods Review

I recently tried out a new brand of frozen food items from the company Sweet Earth Natural Foods. They are available at Target as well as many other national supermarkets. Sweet Earth is a healthy brand that uses natural plant based ingredients. So far I have tried 3 different items: the Peruvian Burrito as well as the Protein Lovers and Get Focused Breakfast Burritos.

The Peruvian Burrito features black beans, red quinoa, sweet potato, goat cheese, roasted corn, and seitan. Preparation was very easy, just a couple minutes in the microwave an it is good to go. Overall it was very good tasting and I would buy it again! I also plan on trying some of the other burritos from this line. I was able to get it on sale for $2.50, but regular price is a bit higher.

Next I got the multi packs of the Protein Lovers and Get Focused breakfast burritos. These were also good tasting and just as easy to heat up. I did like the Protein one better so I would probably buy that one again. I was able to get 2 of the multi packs together on sale for $10.

Sweet Earth has many other different products such as seitan, veggie burgers, and sesame squares which I have not seen yet, but I will keep an eye out for them as I would be interested in trying these as well. If you like healthy foods that taste good and can be made quickly by microwave, I highly recommend checking out the Sweet Earth collection at your local store.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gigwalk vs Field Agent vs EasyShift - First Impressions

Since upgrading to the iPhone recently, I decided to try out a few different money earning apps. After doing some research, I narrowed it down to 3 apps (Gigwalk, Field Agent, and EasyShift) which pay you to go to stores and take pictures of products. Each app is available for iPhone and Android devices.

I was hoping these apps would have some opportunities at some of the local stores I visit frequently which would be a nice way to earn a few extra bucks each week. Here is an overview of my first impressions of these 3 apps:

Gigwalk - The first one I downloaded was Gigwalk. I had heard of this one long ago but this was the first opportunity I had to try it out. The registration was pretty easy and I was able to view gigs right away on the map and in list form. The layout is pretty easy to use, but the downside so far has been that there are not too many gigs close by. Most have been at least 10 miles away which is too far to go for gigs listed at $6-7. So far I have not found any close enough to try yet.

Field Agent - Next I tried Field Agent. They seemed to ask more questions during the set up. They also have ongoing qualifying surveys to become eligible for additional jobs. Like Gigwalk you can view the available jobs on a map and in list form. I found there to be many more opportunities available on Field Agent compared to Gigwalk, many as close as a few miles. They have product auditing jobs, surveys, and scavenger hunts which entail finding certain items in a store and getting pictures of them. Most jobs pay about $3-7. I have not completed any of the jobs yet, but so far this one looks promising.

EasyShift - Lastly, I downloaded EasyShift. This one seems to be the most simplified of the 3. One feature I liked is for the terms of service, they have each part explained in plain English. They had a fair amount of shifts available within a reasonable distance, but for some reason, most of them are for liquor stores. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is something to keep in mind. Average shifts pay about $5-7.

Of the 3, so far it looks like Field Agent may be my favorite because it has the most opportunities and a variety of different tasks. The interface also seems to be the most engaging. I will update here if I have a follow up on these money making apps.

Have you tried any of these 3 apps before? Do you recommend any similar apps for earning money? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Show Review and Rachel Bloom

It's been a long time since I have watched any shows on the CW. It seems these days the channel is heavily geared towards teens. There is nothing wrong with that, but as someone who is older, I find most of these new shows unappealing. However I happened to catch a new show on the CW that just started called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and surprisingly it is pretty good!

The show is a comedy/musical that was originally marketed to one of the premium cable channels which may be why it stands out from most of the other CW shows. It stars Rachel Bloom as a young woman who moves across the country in hopes if rekindling a relationship she had years ago.

I know, it may sound like just another teen relationship show, but so far this one has been very entertaining! It is very fast paced yet not obnoxious or annoying. I'm not really into musicals either, but this show works in a song or 2 for each episode and they are actually pretty catchy!

I had never heard of Rachel Bloom before this show, but it turns out she has a Youtube channel where she makes funny music videos. She is very funny and talented when it comes to singing and making parody style videos. I'm a big fan of funny Youtube videos and music in general so I was very pleased to find her channel!

If you are looking for a new show to watch this season I recommend checking out Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It airs Monday's at 8/7c on the CW.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Nathan For You - Show Review and Recommendation

I recently found a new show to watch called Nathan For You. It is a reality style show on Comedy Central which features writer/comedian Nathan Fielder. In the show, he goes around to struggling businesses and offers to help them improve their business using creative and interesting ideas. Usually they are funny or way outside the box. His ideas may not be the most practical, but in most cases, they turn out to be effective!

Some examples are: Setting up a system where maids can clean an entire house in 6 minutes, connecting mechanics to a lie detector to prove they are trustworthy, and driving sales for a car wash by creating a situation where there is more bird poop in the area.

The show reminds me a little of one of my other favorite shows, the Ali G show. It is similar in it has real people who are put into a silly situation to see what happens. It can also be compared to improvement shows like Kitchen Nightmares, but with a more comedic twist. The show is fast paced and very fun to watch. Most episodes feature 1-3 separate projects.

I find the best episodes are usually those which focus on 1 project rather than splitting up the time for different projects. If there is one thing that could be improved it would be that the ideas are developed more on each episode. Often there is a great idea that is just getting started, and then they end it and move on to another topic when it seems there is so much more potential.

Overall I highly recommend the show if you like funny reality style shows. You can currently watch full episodes for free now on the Comedy Central website and catch new episodes Thursdays at 10/9c on Comedy Central.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Record Label Experience

In the early 2000's I began to get involved with music production and recording. I started making my own music from home and began to get involved with online music communities where people could share their music and learn tips and tricks for how to get better. After a few years, we started throwing the idea around about starting our own record label to sell the music. With a little planning and organization we decided to give it a try!

So around 2005 we started our own label. I was the main person in charge but we had a group of about 10 artists who all helped out with ideas. We really started from scratch without knowing anything about the business. We picked out a name, got a website, wrote up a contract, and began building it from the ground up.

After a few months we released our first album. Sales were not that great but we did not expect much considering it was a brand new label and no one really knew who we were. We continued to develop the label and released new music over the years.

Overall our artists were pretty talented. Some of them had more success than others. Then a few years in, we decided to try to improve the label more by narrowing down the artist roster. We let go some of the artists who were not quite up to the standard we were aiming for. I was one of the artists at the time and I took myself off the roster and began to put all efforts into managing the label.

Over the years, the label never really earned enough the become a serious business. It was profitable every year taking into account all expenses and earnings, but really it was becoming clear, it was not going to be making a lot of money. After about 5 years, we decided to retire the label.

Around this time, it was becoming easier for artists to release their music on their own by ways such as iTunes so there was not as much need for a record label anymore. The label was good for promotions and helping artists get started by giving advice for how to sell music, but overall after 5 years, it was time to wrap it up.

I learned a lot of skills from the experience including managing people from all over the world, building a website, promotions, graphic design, and finance management. Not to mention it was a fun project to be involved in and I got to hear a lot of great music and help other artists succeed by getting their music out there!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Modern Marvel of Technology - The Apple iPhone

I'll start off by saying I am not really into phones or gadgets nor am I obsessed with apple products, but recently I had the opportunity to upgrade from an older phone to the iPhone 6 and I must say, I am very impressed. It is amazing how much can be done with such a small device these days.

If you would have told someone just 20 years ago, that in 2015, we would have these thin rectangular devices that can make calls, take pictures, stream video, have a touch sensitive screen, and can access a world of information instantly, they would have probably thought you were crazy. But it turns out the new phones theses days can do all of this and so much more.

I have only been using it for a few days and I'm still studying it to learn all the features, but already it is incredible how much technology they have packed into such a thin device. At this point it is not about what it can do, but trying to find something it can't do!

Now as wonderful as it is, it is not perfect. I have already found a few settings and features that I would like to be different. Also from someone who values privacy, it does seem like you are really putting your information out there just by having the phone. Many of the features want to know all your information and have access to things like your location and phone usage habits. This is ok, but you really have to make sure you read the fine print as they say so you know what you are getting into.

One thing that surprises me is how many people, especially kids, have these phones. It seems like every teen out there has a phone like this and they are by no means not cheap. The iPhones retail for hundreds of dollars yet they are something that can be easily lost, stolen, or damaged. I think many of the kid's these days take these phones for granted and don't really understand how amazing it is that we have these devices that can do so much.

I still have a lot to learn about the phone in order to take advantage of its full potential, but overall I am very pleased with it so far and would recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade from an older phone.