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.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Funny Come Back Story

I must have been about 12 at the time and my friends and I were playing basketball as we did every day. This day however would turn out a little different as it provided one of the funniest moments I can remember. We were in the middle of a game when one of the older kids who did not usually hang out with us had a friend over. This friend saw we were playing basketball so they came over to join our game.

Now we were very competitive and followed the rules of the game very closely. This kid who we did not know did not really play as much so his skills were not quite up to par. He would dribble, pick up the ball, and then start dribbling again, which would be traveling, but since it was obvious he did not play much, we let it slide. This kid had a quick wit about him and was continuously saying funny things, mostly commentary type riffs and trash talk style jabs.

Now we had one kid in our group who was a little bit of a jerk at times. We hung out with him, but let's just say he was not the most well liked kid. After about 10 minutes of playing and seeing the new kid repeatedly commit traveling violations, this friend of ours finally calls him out on it by saying, "You travel a lot!"

Then without missing a beat, this kid comes back with, "So did your mom when she had you!" We busted out laughing! It wasn't quite clear why it was so funny, but it just worked, and the more you thought about it, the funnier it became. It was a perfect come back and there was no one who deserved it more than this kid so it made it that much better. We laughed for about 5 minutes straight all while trying to continue playing the game. The kid had some more good lines that day, but this is the one that really stuck.

To this day, I consider it to be one of the best come back lines that can be applied to almost any situation. Even if it seems like it would not make sense, the line is always funny and pretty much always works if you think about it enough. We never saw that kid again, but he certainly made a lasting impression with his jokes and come backs that day.