Thankfulness Equals Happiness

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought to happiness lately, which is admittedly a bit strange for me as I am not by nature an introspective person (something that I am actively working to change). I understand that awareness of one’s emotions is important to growth as an individual, however, and as someone who has struggled with depression most of my adult life, it is no easy task to adjust your thinking over night.

When I started my current job, I went through a serious bout of unhappiness, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I was surrounded by creative people, in a supportive atmosphere, working in an industry I love. However, for the life of me I couldn’t get myself out of the weird, unhappy rut I found myself in. It wasn’t until a co-worker made a comment one day about it that it even occurred to me that I was bringing everyone else around me down, it was that moment that I realized I needed to re-focus my energy and start being thankful instead of miserable. Since that day I have begun making conscious decisions on what makes me happy and what I need to avoid to slip back into ennui, and while it’s not easy, sometimes just taking stock of the good things in my life is enough to brighten my day.

While browsing articles on LinkedIn this morning, I came across this little gem from the SCP of People Operations at Google who gave a simple piece of advice on taking two minutes a day to reflect on what makes you happy, and actually writing them down. So in an effort to practice what I preach and in honor of the upcoming holiday here is my list of 5 (not just 3) things that I am thankful for:

5 things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  1. My friends – I have an incredible network of friends around the globe that I can turn to for advice, a chat or inspiration at any given moment, it is because of them that I am who I have become, and they are my greatest source of true happiness.
  2. My family – My family is very small, in fact most of the the time it’s just my mom and I, we’ve weathered a lot together, but it has made our bond that much stronger. Sure, we bicker and argue as mothers and daughters do, but we also know that we are there for each other no matter what.
  3. My job – It took me a very long time to find a career that I felt comfortable in, and when I say comfort, I mean one that challenges me on an almost daily basis. My job has provided me financial stability after a year of trying to eek out an existence as a freelancer, but it has also rewarded me with deeper personal insight, creativity and professional drive.
  4. My cats – They are my source of job and stability, home is wherever my cats (and the cat fur) is. At 11 years old, they are creeping past middle age, but they still make me laugh, keep the bed warm and cuddle without asking anything in return (except for the odd ear scratch now and again). If you’ve ever co-existed with a pet, you get why they always make me smile, no matter what.
  5. My home – I have a great apartment, it’s quaint, quiet and in a lovely town on the river. I know that I am lucky to have found it, and in the (nearly) 7 years that I have lived there it has not only provided me shelter, but also a sense of home I have rarely felt in other places.

I know that just thinking and being thankful does not change my constant battle with sadness, I understand that every day is a battle I am fighting to prevent myself from slipping back into darkness. I am also fully aware that for some people this battle is much more than happy thoughts and thankfulness, and to them I hope that even on the dark days you can find one thing, anything to be thankful for and that it makes you happy.

Virtual reality movies are coming—and they’re going to be crazy

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jlbhart:

While VR content will allow audiences to explore more fully the world of the film they are watching, there are questions arising as to how narrative structure will have adapt to the these new technologies. The questions then become, will we change the way we tell visual stories and what will this new way of storytelling look like?

Originally posted on Quartz:

LOS ANGELES—Virtual reality is going through a renaissance, and Hollywood is taking notice. In Los Angeles, the entertainment industry is starting to try out the technology—led by Facebook’s Oculus VR, Sony, Google, and Samsung—and is beginning to create VR content.

One such company, New Deal Studios, has spent the past few months making several 360-degree short-length films that can be viewed through virtual reality headsets like Samsung’s upcoming Gear VR. The studio—known for doing visual effects on hit films like “The Dark Knight,” “The Avengers” and “The Wolf Of Wall Street”—believes virtual reality is the next step for entertainment, and wants to become an early leader in that field.

To make these films, New Deal Studios has partnered with Jaunt VR, a Silicon Valley startup that created a camera capable of capturing 360-degree live-action audio and video. Jaunt then uses its own software to stitch the footage together, making it fit for virtual…

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3 Social Media Campaigns Totally Nailing It Today

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I love a good, smart social media campaign as much as the next marketer, and today’s mentions did not disappoint. From kittens to tacos to capitalizing on Halloween shenanigans, here are my list of today’s top social media marketing campaigns.

#UberKittens:

Did you know today was national cat day? You didn’t? Well then just head on over to twitter right now and check out #NationalCatDay, don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back…

kittens!

Have you’re eyes rolled back into your skull yet from cuteness overload? Yeah I thought so. Anyway, where were we, oh yes, so, in honor of National Cat Day, Uber (the shady car service guys), decided that they needed a little extra PR help and figured, what better way to boost audience trust than through KITTENS!

Yes, I kid you not, fluffy balls of adorableness, delivered directly to your door for 15 minutes of snuggles. Some kittens even came with cupcakes, don’t try to overthink this one, just let it sink in.

What I find most disturbing/interesting/unique about this campaign is that this is the SECOND YEAR they have done this. How the hell did I not hear about #UberKittens before? I have so much kitten related material I could have used if someone had clued me in. Alas the only thing I can hope for is that they celebrate again next year and I order little ball of fur and claws of my very own to snuggle. My luck though this would happen to me:

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On the plus side, I tweeted an image of my own furry apartment mates and got a nice tweet back from the ASPCA.

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Taco Bell: 

Though I am not a fan of their food (insert bathroom joke here), they did cause some buzz today when they went all radio silence across their social media channels. This cryptic message is now the only thing visible on their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds:

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It would appear that Toxic Hell  Taco Bell has created a brand new ordering app. My only question to their PR team would be, “who do you think will be using said app to order Taco Bell, in a drive through, after an all-night bender?”

You know, I’m really not sure their marketing department thought this one through the whole way, because seriously, app ordering, not exactly the Taco Belll demographic.

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Oreo:

When is comes to witty social media campaigns, you know you can count on Oreo not to disappoint. In the spirit of Halloween and in partnership with 360i, they created the #OreoLab NomSters campaign.

Leading up to Halloween, Oreo will be bringing a new “nomster” to life each day this week and unleashing it on the world via social channels. Fans can follow Oreo on Facebook, Twitter andInstagram to view exclusive stop-motion videos of the experiments from the Laboratorium. Additionally, Oreo is asking fans to help “Name the Nomster” on Facebook and Twitter. The best name will be made into custom digital content and recognized by Oreo later that day.

The #OreoLab, which is inspired by an 1800’s mad scientist laboratory, features an innovative set design and is housed on Instagram (with its own account: @OreoLab). The panoramic Laboratorium is fully explorable on mobile, whereby turning their phones horizontal, fans can discover hints of experiments yet to come.

Yeah, the interactive geek in me is so going to be playing with this later because, cookies.

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Dark Detour:

Yeah I know I said three, but Dark Detour gets an honorable mention here, not because of they virility of the campaign but because of the amount of hard work, dedication and creepy attention to details going into this multi-platform horror story from some of the greatest minds in the ARG, film and transmedia worlds. When you find a moment, grab a glass of wine and sit down with the Dark Detour story feed and immerse yourself into Talbot Griffin’s nightmare, you won’t be disappointed.

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Telling Your Brand’s Story

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This presentation was from a panel I sat on called Supercharging Your Business Growth Through Storytelling for the NY Technology Council. The focus of the panel was to explain why storytelling has become such an integral part of marketing campaigns and to provide tips to brands and marketers on how to develop better storytelling techniques.

Unlocking the Mystery of Cloud Chamber – An Interview With Christian Fonnesbech

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See on Scoop.itTransmedia is the Name of the Game

Cloud Chamber, an online, interactive mystery, will open this year’s New York Film Festival Convergence program. In this interview I speak with creator, Christian Fonnesbech who explains the process of getting a large scale project off the grou…

Jen Begeal‘s insight:

My latest article for the Transmedia Coalition is an interview with Cloud Chamber creator, Christian Fonnesbech.

See on transmediacoalition.com

“Something Terrible Has Happened Here”: The Crazy Story Of How “Clue” Went From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph

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See on Scoop.itTransmedia is the Name of the Game

That a high-concept, fast-talking farce based on a board game was a box office bomb in 1985 is no huge mystery. But figuring out how it became an enduring favorite is a Hollywood whodunit for the a…

Jen Begeal‘s insight:

I have always had a secret love afair with Clue, and admittedly to this day if it comes on TV while I’m home, I will stop channel surfing to watch it from wherever I am in the story. Coming from a place now with a better understanding of film distribution, financing, production and telling stories across-platforms I wonder what Clue would be like if made today. Would audiences be asked or allowed to interact through second screen devices, or pick and choose the ending of their choice? The possibilities today would be endless with a story that had such great acting talent, writing and directing. Maybe we need to look back on these "cult classics" and learn from the concepts developed by these directors and incorporate some of their visions into our own projects.

See on www.buzzfeed.com