Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New ASMR Group Started, Update on Facebook Page

I was on the Facebook group wall today, and after scrolling down a bit, saw a post that caught my eye. One of our community, Ryan (not former team member, Ryan Perez) has started a new ASMR group on Facebook, called “ASMR Off-Topic”. Why? He gives his reasons as follows:

“Hey Guys, I noticed that on certain occasions we refrained from getting into more in-depth conversations about politics, music, videos, etc. So I made another closed ASMR group (Yes I asked for and received Envelope’s permission) that’s sole purpose is for discussing those things without clogging up this group’s page. I am only letting members of this group join, so I assure you there will be no "outsiders" in it. Here is the link if you wish to join.”

Ryan is one of two admins on the new Facebook group – the other being Adam. You all know him by now! Ryan promises that anyone from the all ready existing group can join.

On a related note, you might have seen that Envelope started up a Facebook page back at the beginning of June. The Facebook page is a more formal, official location for ASMR. There is a wall, but only admins (of which I am one) can post on it. It’s no-reply by the look of it, and it is visible to everyone on the world wide web – unlike the groups, which are closed to the public and require a request to join. So we will start posting relevant, important messages on this page for the community and even those outside it, and the Facebook groups are there for the community to interact with one another on a more personal level. Ryan’s new Facebook group, quoting Ryan, will discuss more off-topic subjects that aren’t necessarily related to ASMR, and contain subject material that you would more likely post on your own Facebook wall.

I’ve started updating the Facebook Page more often now, too. It’s been idle for some time.

Does this all make sense? If not, send me an email or leave a comment and we’ll talk about it. :) Facebook itself has a more in-depth explanation on what the differences between pages and groups are.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The ASMR Vessel Directory

This is a directory of sorts that will list all the names of various people who are known to trigger ASMR events – from actors to artists, to hypnotists and medical professionals. I’ve decided to call these individuals “vessels”. Vessels possess the quality of being able to trigger ASMR in experiencers; they may or may not be experiencers themselves. Other names for vessels within the community include "inducers", “blissers” or “pushers”.

If these individuals have triggered any degree of ASMR for you at some point, then they should appear on this list. I’ve got a few names to start with, some my own and others who are commonly mentioned within the community and on the fringe too, so we’ll see how it works out. It’s a work in progress like the glossary, so it will be updated from time to time. You can leave any other recommendations in the comments below, and I may well add them in at some point in the future.

Criteria for consideration: the person must be at least reasonably well-known (particularly within the community); must be able to consistently trigger ASMR events in experiencers. You should also include names where possible; professions, nationalities; perhaps examples of where you’ve seen or heard them. As much info as you can find out.

Vessel Directory:

Adele – British singer-songwriter
Al Hirschfeld – American caricaturist, painter (deceased)
Alan Lee – British illustrator and conceptual designer: Lord Of The Rings
Alan Rickman – British actor: Harry Potter series of films
Alec Baldwin – American actor: 30 Rock Alexander McQueen – British fashion designer and couturier
Alex Turner – Narrator (NMI*)
Amore Bekker – South African radio presenter: RSG
Dr. Anastasia Tsaliki – Greek Paleo Pathologist: Vampire Island
Andres Williams – British actor, narrator: Search For The Giant Octopus
Andrew Bowen – American narrator: Fish Warrior
Andrew Johnson – Scottish hypnotherapist
Annelise Van Rooyen – South African singer, musician: “Rooi Kitaar”
Anthony "Tony" Benn – British Labour Party politician, former MP, Cabinet Minister
Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon – American singer songwriters, musicians
Barry Clayton – British narrator: Iron Maiden’s “The Number Of The Beast”
Bear Grylls – British adventurer, writer and television presenter: Ultimate Survival
Belinda Bauer – Australian actress: Timerider, Robocop 2
Benedict Cumberbatch – British film, TV and theatre actor  
Bob Ross – American painter, art instructor, and television host (deceased)
Björk – Icelandic singer-songwriter
Carl Sagan – American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author (deceased)
Chris Martin – British singer songwriter: Coldplay
Christelle Webb-Joubert – South African radio presenter, newsreader: RSG
Christopher Walken – American actor: Mouse Hunt
Corby Zvikler – British hypnotherapist
Craig Bennet – South African radio presenter: Heart FM
Daniel Thron – American video game and film artist, voice over artist: Thief series
David A. Smith – Sign artist (NMI*)
David Attenborough – British broadcaster and naturalist
David Bateson - South African Canadian actor, voice actor: Hitman series (Agent 47)
David Blaine – American illusionist and endurance artist: Street Magic
David Holt – British, character actor, narrator: Modern Marvels Deon Meyer – South African novelist
David Tennant – Scottish actor: Dr Who 
Dennis Hopper – American actor (deceased)
Eddie Zondi – South Africa radio presenter: Metro FM
Enya – Irish singer, instrumentalist and songwriter
Elie Wiesel – Hungarian-born Jewish-American writer, professor, political activist
Erik Thompson – American narrator: The Universe
Ernst Ingmar Bergman – Swedish director, writer and producer (deceased)
Erri De Luca – Italian novelist, translator and poet
Esther Ekhart – (nationality?) yoga instructor 
Ettienne Ludick – South African radio presenter: RSG
Franco Tenelli – Italian-American actor, singer
Frank Chavez – American actor, voice over artist: Grand Theft Auto III
Garrison Kiellor – American author, storyteller, humourist, and radio personality
Dr Harris Steinman – South African doctor
Heather Wibbles – American massage therapist
Hiaying Yang – Chinese relaxation expert
Hugo Weaving – American actor: The Matrix, V for Vendetta
India Fischer – British actress, narrator: Masterchef 
Dr Irwin David Yalom – Jewish American professor of psychotherapy, lecturer at Stanford university
Isaac Asimov – American author and professor of biochemistry (deceased)
Jacques Pepin – French chef, television personality, and author
James Earl Jones – American actor, narrator
James Harper - American voice actor: Diablo II (Dark Wanderer)
James Norwood Pratt – American author and authority on wine, tea and tea lore
James Wong – British ethnobotanist, garden designer, TV presenter: Grow Your Own Drugs
Jamie Glover – British narrator: Agincourt
Jan Horn – South African TV presenter
Jeannie D – South African radio DJ, TV presenter: Top Billing
Jeff Green – British comedian, writer: Jeff Green Up West
Jeremy John Irons – British actor: The Borgias Jo Brand – British comedienne
Joanna Lumley – British actress, TV presenter: Joanna Lumley’s Nile
Joe Frank – American radio personality 
John de Lancie – American actor
John McCalmont – American broadcaster: Sliced
Johnny Davids – South African radio presenter, RSG
Juliette Stevens – British narrator: Why Intelligence Fails
Keith Floyd – British TV presenter, wine connoisseur, chef: Floyd Uncorked (deceased)
Nigel Slater – British food writer, journalist, broadcaster 
Laura Fox – American blogger, Librivox reader
Leonard Cohen – American singer, musician
Liam Neeson – Irish actor
Lindsay Duncan – Scottish actress, narrator: Come Fly With Me
Lita Stone – American massage therapist, relaxation specialist
Liv Tyler – American actress: Lord Of The Rings
Loreena McKennit – Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist
Lynette Francis – South African radio presenter, RSG
Mary Ann Wilson – Fitness instructor: Sit and be Fit
Matthew Barrett – Concept artist: Guild Wars 2
Michael Palin – British actor, presenter: Monty Python series
Michael Parks – Hispanic American actor: “Esteban Vihaio”, Kill Bill Vol. 2
Michael Sheard – American actor, narrator: The British UFO Files
Mike Rowe – American Media Personality  
Mike Shapiro – American actor, voice over artist: Half-Life 2 (G-man)
Mykel Hawke Pierce – American actor, TV presenter, former soldier: One Man Army
Nataniël – South African actor, comedian
Nigella Lucy Lawson – British TV presenter, food writer, journalist
Nigel Slater – British food writer, journalist, broadcaster 
Paula Deen – American cook, TV presenter, author, restaurateur, actress
Peter De Villiers – South African rugby union coach, former Springbok coach
Phoenicia Taylor – South African educator
Pieter Dirk Uys – South African comedian, AKA Evita Bezuidenhout
Ralph Lauren – American fashion designer and business executive
Randy Pitchford – American video game developer, Gearbox Software: Borderlands
Raymond "Ray" Mears – British woodsman, instructor, author and TV presenter
Renee Zellweger – American actress: The Diary of Bridget Jones
Renette van Rensburg – South African news reader
Renske Jakobs – South African radio presenter: RSG
Richard Hammond – British journalist, presenter: Top Gear
Richard Windley – British TV presenter, model builder: Ancient Discoveries Rini Khanna – Indian narrator: CTV
Rowan Atkinson – British actor: Mr Bean, Blackadder, Love Actually
Sandy September – South African radio presenter: Radio Tygerberg
Sarah Simblet – British artist, author, broadcaster
Saul Goldman – Professor Emeritus (NMI*)
Sherwin Bryce Peace – South African news reporter, SABC 3 news (lisper)
Shinohara Tomoe – Japanese artist
Sinead O'Connor – Irish singer-songwriter
Sian Lloyd – British weather presenter
Steven Alexander Wright – American comedian, actor and writer
Steve Sutton – American “internet legend”, Youtuber
Thinus Botha – South African pastor
Timothy Dalton – Welsh actor: Licence to Kill Timothy "Tiff" Needell – British racing driver, TV presenter: Fifth Gear
Tony Hart – British artist and children's TV presenter (deceased) 
TJ Miller – American actor: Call of Duty: Elite - “Legend of Karl” series
Tony Robinson – British actor, presenter: Blackadder (Baldrick)
Vicki Butler-Henderson – British racing driver and television presenter: Fifth Gear
Vincent Price – British horror actor: Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”
Dr. Zelina Selitsky – (NMI*): Ancient Aliens

Last updated on Monday, the 13th of February, 2012

* Needs more information

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ASMR and Video Games: Half-Life

Throughout this series, I’ve mentioned some titles that I’ve played in the past that created the sensation that ASMR provides.

This time I’ll cover another well-known and loved series in gaming: Half-Life.

Half-Life revolutionized first-person shooters over ten years ago and is regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. The series, particularly the sequel, Half-Life 2, and the episodes that followed, are also known for its great story, characters, dialogue, and sound.

There’s one character in the series however that triggers off ASMR for me – and that would be the G-man. This character was voiced by Mike Shapiro, who also played the part of Barney Calhoun, a former security guard from Black Mesa Laboratory, and now fellow resistance member of Gordon Freeman.

The G-man Even though you see him in almost every location during the game, always clad in his blue suit and tie, with briefcase in hand, he only actually speaks to you at the end of Half-Life 1. You’ll immediately notice that in addition to his odd but not necessarily unattractive looks, his voice is very unusual – with emphasis on words that seems out of place; letters like the “S” often prolonged, as well as some gasping and so on every now and again during speech. It almost sounds like there’s a reptile within this human form, trying to get out.

He communicates more often with the player in the sequel and the episodes in some form, like right at the beginning, and at the end of the game. It’s especially at the ending sequence of Half-Life 2 that I get the tingles the strongest.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1500 Members on the Facebook Group

It’s probably nothing new to some of you who participate on the FB group every day, but I came across a message from Jenn the other day on the wall, basically telling everyone that the community has reached another enormous milestone just this past month: we’ve reached and exceeded a total membership of 1500 people!

“1,500 members have stuck around for the random updates, massive amounts of trigger videos, occasional debates, and speculative polls. I'm so lucky to have found other people who experience the same thing I do. Thanks to everyone who has shared something here, or just been part of the group. Thanks to all the new members, and thanks to Damien McKenna, the first member I clicked 'Add' for (wonder if anybody else would have joined if the member list was 1). Thanks for more things than I'll blabber about here.”

I tweeted about this news earlier on in the week, but pushed the announcement here on the blog back a few days in favour of bringing the other perhaps more crucial matter of subdomains to your attention. Jenn was even kind enough to give me a mention too, in the comments below the post – that I was chuffed to see, especially after all I’ve done for you people! :)

“Oh, also, I'd be a jerk if I didn't mention the research team. Those guys have put a lot of work into everything, including building the community. I'd actually say they've done more work than me in the long run, esp. Andrew, who is always keeping things updated and blogging, writing articles, being on the forum. But I'll bask in my share of appreciation anyway, thanks, hehe.”

You’re welcome!

Sorry that this post mainly consists of quoted text. But I don’t think I could have put it any better anyway. Yeah, that’s it. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Change of Address to HubPages Article

This last month I read of some news that might concern our group a bit. Google introduced some sort of new algorithm for search engines called Panda a while ago (version 2 more recently), which basically put, helps weeds out all the good, original content out there on the web, from the rubbish spam and low quality content. This gives real writers or a webmasters a chance rather than giving everything to people who focus on SEO (search engine optimisation) and “abuse” the system, in a way.

So HubPages, a website that I write on, found a way to overcome this restructuring. They now require all writers to have subdomains – this way everyone on the site will be ranked, or judged, separately by Google. Good writers will see an increase in traffic, while not-so-good writers will see no effect. This is nothing new really, seeing as Blogger/BlogSpot, for instance, has been doing this for years.

So now you might be wondering how this affects the ASMR community. Simply put, I have a hub, or article, on one of my HubPages profiles, and it’s dedicated to ASMR – one of the network sites (even though it’s just one page, really). Still, it’s one of the most popular in said network, and I’m not trying to brag by saying this – I’ve looked at the statistics, as well as the comments. Lots of asmers (and others) visit and comment on that hub.

So this new subdomain rule might change the address of that hub. Currently it’s at http://hubpages.com/hub/ASMR. But by August 10th, 2011, all writers will have subdomains on HP, and so the URL will change to http://anti-valentine.hubpages.com/hub/ASMR (not yet “active” as of publishing this on 08/01/11 – just acts as a redirect).

The first bit is my profile name on there – and yes I do somewhat regret it sometimes. But I can’t choose what my subdomain name will be, unfortunately. I can switch to using a subdomain right now if I wanted, but I thought I would warn all those within (and even outside) the community about the change first, in case you’re not aware of it. We have about a week and a half to go.

The decision to change to subdomains is final, and we have no say in it, really – it’s either accept it, or take your content and go elsewhere. HubPages has gradually been cracking down on low quality content and so on, on its site, and has introduced many new regulations and the like over the past year or so. Some writers may well leave – even the top authors, if they don’t like change too much. In fact, I was looking at the Quantcast statistics just the other day, and HubPages has in fact dropped from being in the top 50 sites in the US to somewhere outside the top 100. That’s Panda in action, probably, and the cause for all the concern.

I’ve all ready changed to a subdomain on my other HP profile to see what effect it would have. It might be a bit too early to compare as far as traffic statistics go, seeing as Google will have to index all of these “new” pages I suppose. It’s complicated perhaps, but I have a basic grasp of what’s going on. 

As always, you can leave your comments regarding the topic of this post at the bottom. If you’d like to share more about Panda or subdomains, that would be okay, too.
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