Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ASMR Community Update: August 2013

Welcome to the August edition of the ASMR Community Update. It was quiet for the first half of the month, but in this last week or two, there has been a sudden surge of articles appearing.

Lauren Fenton, a well known ASMArtist has been working on a huge resource of information titled “The Genesis of a Subculture of ASMR”, mainly dedicated to covering the ASMR Youtube/ ASMR Whisper community. If you have any suggestions for pioneers in said community, she welcomes you to inform her and she’ll add your suggestions.

An article popped up on rue89.com. It’s written in French so Google Translate will likely be needed for those of you who don’t speak it as a first language.

Another article was featured over on Canada.com.

Wyso.org also had a post up about finding the ASMR community.

GayStarNews interviewed Toni Bomboni, an ASMArtist, on his thoughts regarding YouTube trolls, and how he copes with them. My personal thoughts risk getting involved here, but seeing as this is very common among YouTube video makers, I feel I should say something. The most important thing I think one can do is to not let their voices be heard. People who run YouTube channels can always disable comments (people who really care and want to provide feedback can send a private message, email, or contact them on Facebook or Twitter), and report trolls for their behaviour. And on the topic of death threats – report this to the authorities who specialise in cybercrime, because that is no doubt very serious and the same goes for hacking of accounts. That goes beyond trolling and in to the realm of criminality. Don’t engage trolls, because that’s what they want. They win if you do. And they also win if nobody does anything. I also understand that trigger videos end up getting flagged as inappropriate or get a number of dislikes – these are anonymous unfortunately, and I think in the interests of transparency, YouTube should actually change this, because it is very obviously open to abuse.

Electric Feast conducted a live interview with Heather Feather, a well known ASMArtist. A video clip of this is available on YouTube. Heather also wrote about the experience on her blog.

There was an ASMR survey that was launched on Survey Monkey and linked to on Reddit this month.

Just thought I would pop this in, while we’re on the subject: Reddit has without a doubt one of the most active ASMR communities around, and recently they celebrated exceeding 50 000 subscribers! They came up with a mascot for the occasion – and if you thought that it was inspired by one favourite fuzzy-haired artist, well, then you are in fact correct!

Edentech Solutions announced on Twitter that the latest version of the popular RelaxTube app for iOS, v 2.0.8 is now available.

There haven’t been any updates as far as I’m aware about the results of the ASMR study conducted at Dartmouth earlier this year, but I did come across an interesting story elsewhere. It seems that another unrelated study that has the aim of investigating Goosebumps is under way. Now in the past Goosebumps has caused a bit of controversy, because many people assume that ASMR is simply Goosebumps. But a lot of people who experience ASMR will tell you that although Goosebumps may accompany ASMR events, they aren’t technically the same thing. It’s only one of the possible physical reactions (and perhaps some don’t experience it at all). Generally Goosebumps is linked to cold or negative emotions which result as a reaction to scary or thrilling situations, such as fear, which doesn’t really describe ASMR at all. Still, it would be interesting to know more about it, seeing as nobody has really gone in-depth when it comes to Goosebumps before. Sound familiar? Here’s the official website for more info.

Lastly, I’d like to make all ASMArtists aware of the strong possibility that your videos have been downloaded and uploaded elsewhere, most likely to other YouTube channels. Now sometimes this is done by someone in all innocence who isn’t aware of the fact that it is copyright infringement and against YouTube TOS. Other times it most definitely is done in the hopes of attracting subscribers and possibly monetizing these videos. Now even though others might spot your videos on these channels, it is your responsibility in the end to file DMCA take down notices. Flagging the video most likely won’t be enough, while reporting people for displaying ads on copyrighted content might well do the trick. This rampant theft has grown exponentially over time to the point where I am seeing stolen content almost every day while searching for ASMR videos – and not just on YouTube. People often discuss this in a number of ASMR groups, most prominently in a group called ASMR Technical Exchange – which would be the right place to talk about it if you need help with how to approach this situation if it has indeed happened to you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ASMR Community Update: July 2013

Welcome to the July edition of the ASMR Community Update. This month may or may not have been a little more sparse than we’ve been used to for most of this year so far, but at least one or two big things happened. So let’s get to it!

Among the articles I came upon, was one over on a blog at the Houston Press. This tended to focus more on music-induced ASMR.

Lifehack had a piece which delved in to using ASMR to reduce stress.

The ASMR Film Project, now titled Tingly Sensation: The ASMR Story, landed on Kickstarter this month, and in just a few weeks it has reached its target amount of  $9800! So it looks like it’s going to be that much closer to being finished and released now that it has the funding. A bigger teaser trailer was released this month to coincide with the Kickstarter launch.

Whispering Weaver and TheWaterwhispers Ilse are in the UK as part of the ASMR World Tour, and would love to invite all those interested to participate in two documentaries, which will be preceded by a meet and greet. A public event page was launched on Facebook, stating that the meetup will take place on Monday, August 5, and the film shoot at the YouTube Studios in London on Tuesday, August 6. A mini-documentary about the ASMR community from the perspective of ASMRtists will be filmed, as well as a shoot for the Braingasm documentary, directed by Lindsey Ragone. This may be followed by a video collaboration if time allows.

Be sure to visit the event page linked to above or contact Whispering Weaver on Facebook if you’d like more information on the event and if you’d like to attend. It’s RSVP only, so not just anyone can attend. You have to book a place (it’s free to do so) and only then will you be given exact details as far as location, times, and itinerary go.

A national publicly-funded TV station in Sydney, Australia (SBS TV) wants to get in contact with anyone in said city who would be interested in participating in an interview to be used in an ASMR documentary. I’m not quite certain what the progress is on the documentary, but if you’re in Sydney, and willing to talk about ASMR, then contact andy.park@sbs.com.au for more information.

A survey was created that delves in to not only ASMR, but Frisson and Synaesthesia. It has been translated in to several languages, and last I checked it had a few hundred respondents. When the survey reaches its goal of 1000 respondents, then the results of the survey will be released. Remember that all answers are anonymous, so if you can spare a bit of time, try it out.

A new version of the ASMR iOS app was released, by Sassou Studios. Version 3 (now updated to version 3.1) features a new look, and has 25 HD sounds for you to listen to, as well as the ability to record your own. It also allows you to download any video you watch so you can view it in offline, and videos can even be converted to audio files so you can just listen to your favourite trigger videos if you like. The app is about 52 MB and costs $3.99.

And lastly, Heather Feather, an ASMRtist, underwent surgery this month, so if we could all just wish her well, perhaps by way of sending her an email or a private message, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

On that note, I’d like to wish you all well for the coming month, and see you back here at the end of it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

ASMR Community Update: June 2013

Welcome to the June edition of the community update, where I include all the news that I either covered or didn’t get around to doing during the month. I usually post links to interesting stories over at the ASMR Research & Support Facebook page and Twitter.

To kick things off, at the beginning of the month an article appeared on 3dfocus.co.uk, where the story was focused (no pun intended) on a young man who has upwards of 40 million views. It was reported that in addition to other channels he has, he also has an ASMR-dedicated channel.

Another UK-based website, the online edition of The Daily Mail, featured a story on ASMR, too.

Another article appeared on metro.co.uk, and this was accompanied by a Q&A with Nicole, otherwise known as Pigsbum53 on YouTube. There is also some evidence that an article appeared in the print version of The Metro.

An article appeared on the German media website, sueddeutsche.de. And another  piece written in German appeared here.

Over in the USA, an article was published on The Verge.

Getting on to video clips that surfaced during the month, a somewhat controversial episode of Russell Howard’s Good News aired, and ASMR was talked about here. The episode can be viewed on the BBC’s website, but for those of you unable to view that page, you can still catch it on YouTube.

A teaser trailer for the upcoming ASMR documentary, Braingasm: The ASMR Documentary, was uploaded to YouTube by the director, Lindsey Ragone. An article that spoke about this teaser and the documentary appeared on Twitch.com.

Plans for a live ASMR event for May 2014 are in motion. If all goes according to plan, it should take place in Florida. The organiser is looking to get more ASMRtists on board for the event, and tickets will likely be sold to those wish to attend to cover the cost of renting out the premises and the use of equipment. A Facebook group was started just for this very event.

You know what to do by now. Come back at the end of this month for another community update! Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 31, 2013

ASMR Community Update: May 2013

ASMR continued form in May, as it was yet another busy month for ASMR. In fact, probably the busiest month so far in its history.

To kick things off, Cristina Mendoza tweeted of an upcoming ASMR segment on News10 on the ABC television network, which screened on Monday the 6th of May, 2013 at 11 PM. A trailer of this was put up on YouTube, and during the show, Cristina even took a stab at making her own whisper video, as she did a tour of the studio, whilst whispering. News10.net also published three articles on their website, which can be found here, here, and here. The general consensus was that this was one of the more unbiased attempts to cover ASMR by any media outlet.

Not long after this, ABC15 News ran a segment on ASMR on a show called Taking Action on Thursday the 16th of May, 2013 at 10 PM. There was a small trailer that was uploaded to Stephanie Hockridge’s (the show’s host) YouTube channel. Jennifer AppreciateAsmr appeared on the show in the form of a recorded interview that was done the day before. Those in Phoenix, Arizona got to watch the show live, whereas others can watch it online on YouTube.

Australian media outright mocked ASMR, with a thus far unsourced clip appearing on YouTube. This is a disturbing trend. It seems that if the media isn’t labelling it a fetish, then they’re classifying it as “boredom addiction”. I don’t usually let personal opinions get in the way here, but I dislike it when bias creeps in to the media, and this is another typical example of the media completely missing the entire point.

A German Radio show broadcasted a show with a segment on ASMR, which was caught by Donna ASMR and translated in to English in the form of subtitles with the help of GrowlingWhispers. This may or may not be linked to this German website that has a write-up about ASMR; the “radio” part in the URL gives me that impression. Just while we’re on the subject, a new German ASMR website was launched recently too. It seems as though the ASMR craze that swept through The Netherlands last year has progressed to other parts of Western Europe now. There’s also a new Russian based ASMR website that forms part of the growing Russian ASMR community which boasts names like Maria Gentlewhispering, so maybe a sweep of ASMR fever for Eastern Europe isn’t too far off now.

Heading even further west, ASMR also appeared on The Preston And Steve Show in Philadelphia, USA and a podcast was later made available. You can also catch the ASMR segment on YouTube.

An article was published on bbc.com, with the title of “Does Boredom Give You Pleasure?”, and this was followed up with a blog post on Mindhacks.com. Both were written by Tom Stafford, a professor of psychology.

Michelle Joni, who wanted to get in contact with any ASMRtists in New York last month, published her piece on ASMR over at Spaweekly.

Other articles appeared over at Rhizome.org, the Daily Californian, The Hairpin, Isis Magazine, Ugen.tv, Citybeat.com, gizmag.com and ASMR even got a mention on this New York Times blog.

ASMRLab tweeted about a free eBook that they’re offering to anyone who registers for free on their website. It’s 16 pages dedicated to teaching you how to get the best out of your ASMR experience.

A Ph.D student by the name of Regis James has expressed interest in starting up research at the scientific institution he attends. He states that he has spoken with an “internationally-known neuroscientist” to discuss the possibility of conducting a study on ASMR. The thus far anonymous neuroscientist says that he wants some good samples, or trigger videos first to determine whether the study would be worthwhile. Regis is open for suggestions, so if you know of a video that is particularly good one for triggering ASMR, be sure to contact Regis over at Facebook, or YouTube.

asmrstudyAs for the other study that was to be undertaken at Dartmouth College, there’s a small update I can provide, through the story of someone who posted their account on YouTube. According to this individual who participated in the study, she was sent profile questions via email which she had to answer. She was also asked to provide links to five reliable trigger videos. When she travelled to the college, she had to lie in an MRI machine and was instructed to press three buttons – one which had to be held down while videos played, another which had to be held down when a relaxed, hypnotic stated was achieved, and a third one for when any tingling sensations started. This all went on for about 45 minutes. There were 20 people who participated in the study overall and the study took place over a period of three days, with most people getting about an hour each. Check the image above for her full story.

The results of the study haven’t been released yet, but hopefully this coming month they will be.

A new, version 2.0 of the ASMR app for iOS by Sasssou Studio was released. It’s now $2.99 instead of $0.99, and comes with several major updates. In fact by the time I publish this, the app should be up to v 2.0.1. The developer very graciously gave me 3 promo codes that I could give away. I decided to give one key to the first person who replied to the relevant tweet on Twitter; another one to the person who won a small competition on our Facebook group (which is still on-going), and the third and final one to the person who posted the most in the allotted time period on our forum (also on-going).

That’s it for May 2013. What a month it was! Be sure to come back at the end of next month where I’ll bring you up to speed once more. Also be sure to follow ASMR Research & Support on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ASMR Community Update: April 2013

Well, it seems that the quietness of March was really just the calm before the storm, because come April it was back to business as usual, and a lot happened.

To kick things off, in late March, NPR advertised a segment produced by Andrea Seigel that would appear on This American Life, one of the broadcaster’s most popular programs. On April 1st, the program aired and the the 2nd part of it featured a talk on ASMR. The podcast was apparently up for download for the first week or so for free. Due to some complications involving finding the actual download or being able to listen to the episode on the website, IlseTheWaterdrops uploaded the part about ASMR to her YouTube channel.

After this show aired on NPR, there was an enormous amount of interest in ASMR, and the ASMR Facebook group very quickly went past the 5000 member mark within a week and a half. This was about the fastest rise in membership I’ve seen in quite some time, considering that before the NPR episode, at the end of March, we were barely over 4500 members. Now at the end of April, we’re over 5250 members!

Several new Facebook groups and pages were started. They are ASMR Pacific; ASMR Rockies; ASMR UK; ASMR southeast; Share & Discover!; Lackawanna ASMR; ASMR New York City, and ASMR Sweden. So if you hail from any of those locations, feel free to join and chat with your fellow countrymen and women.

On April 9th, we all celebrated the 2nd ever International ASMR Day. The International ASMR Day organisers even got a contest up and running with a very appealing goodie bag as a prize for 5 lucky winners.

A few new web presences have sprung up as well elsewhere, such as an Italian ASMR blog and ASMRtistsUK on Twitter. There’s also a website called ASMRLab.com, which just launched recently. This website purports to explain the inner workings of ASMR. You can follow them on Twitter at @ASMRLab.

A French journalist, Lénaïg, got a hold of ASMR Research & Support and wanted help in getting some “ASMR addicts” to get in contact with her. You can do so by reaching her over at Facebook. She was in the USA, in NY, in April, so if you missed the announcement over at our Facebook page, she will be available again in June in California to meet in person.

A spa writer named Michelle would like to get a hold of any ASMRtists in the city of New York, USA. If you reside in this area and are interested, please contact her at @michellejoni if you are on Twitter, or here if you’re on Facebook.

Four new articles on ASMR appeared online. One was over at Northern Life Magazine, and the other at Persephone Magazine. A third one appeared over at the Corsair Online, a college newspaper, and a fourth over at dcfaithinaction.org – which is the magazine for Divine Child High School.

There were three ASMR documentaries that both received some news this month. One is Braingasm, which has gone past the pre-production phase, and has entered production. I’ve received word that the film may also undergo a name change at some point, adding in the subtitle of “The Unnamed Feeling”. For more info, be sure to email info@braingasm-film.com, or visit http://www.braingasm-film.com/. The project also has a Facebook page, and can be found on Twitter at @BraingasmFilm.

The other documentary is being worked on by Kate Mull of Mullberry Films. Kate would like to get in contact with anyone on the east coast of the USA, on or off camera. She’s based in Washington DC. So if you are interested in contributing, and are within commuting distance, don’t hesitate to contact Kate at katemull@mullberryfilms.com. The ASMR Film project, as it’s currently known, has a Facebook page and a YouTube channel, which had this video posted this month (which is also available over at vimeo).

And lastly, a third one, referred to as the ASMR Audio Documentary, has entered pre-production as well. That has a Twitter page.

Two short surveys were hosted at SurveyMonkey, one of which was linked to over at Reddit, and received nearly 1000 responses! The results of the survey were released in text and image form. The other survey is here, and the results here.

A new ASMR app was released – the first for the Windows Phone operating system. It’s called ASMR Videos and requires Windows Phone version 7.5 and 8 to run. You can grab it for $1.99, and it only weighs about 2 MB. Judging by the options available on the page, there may also be a trial version.

That’s it for this month. As always, make sure to check back in a month’s time for the monthly update!

Monday, April 8, 2013

ASMR Community Update: March 2013

Hello and welcome to the March edition of the community update. A bit overdue again, but better late than never, right? This month was nowhere near as packed as last month, but there may well be a few things of interest.

The ASMR Facebook group hit 4500 members this month! I thought we would have gotten there sooner, but there was a drop in membership earlier this year. The good news is that number seems to have recovered. If you haven't joined yet, you’re more than welcome to, whether you experience ASMR or not.

The old poll on this blog closed in February, and I put up a new poll this month which focuses on the subject of insomnia. It will run until sometime in June.

A new app was released for Android, and it’s called Nail Tapping Lite, so anyone who goes weak at the knees (and everywhere else for that matter) for nail tapping should be in seventh heaven in no time. The current version is 1.23, and requires Android version 2.2 or later. It’s just under 1 MB in weight, so it’s very light. And of course, it’s free. The author claims that if there is sufficient interest in this lite version, then a pro version will be made with different surfaces, sounds, and scratching noises.

Two new articles appeared online. One was in the Gay Star News, which featured Maria Gentlewhispering and MaleSoothe. The other was in Impact Magazine.

There’s been a small update on the ASMR eBook that is in the works, written by Whisper Hub, which was posted on the ASMR Facebook group recently:

“First two chapters are done although at the moment are still entwined into one… No release date as of yet but I will keep you updated.”

On a side note, I hope you all had a fantastic Easter! Make sure to come back at the end of April for the next community update!

Friday, March 15, 2013

ASMR Poll: ASMR and Insomnia

Insomnia is another long-standing topic of discussion in the community. It turns out, after looking through posts on Twitter, tumblr, Facebook etc., that quite a number of people use trigger videos on YouTube to help them overcome this disorder or other sleep issues and to get some much needed rest.

There are also apps out there, several of them free, that aim to aid in the quest for sleep by reducing the brightness on one’s monitor while watching videos – seeing as the brightness level of the monitor could be partially responsible for the lack of sleep, (it’s somehow tied in to the production of melatonin) – while others have a timer, so that trigger videos or sounds will stop playing after a while so as to prevent you from being woken up after you’ve just drifted off. Anyone who has ever had a relaxing session interrupted by a loud ad on YouTube should know what I’m on about!

It wasn’t too long ago that I was contacted by a journalist who wanted to do a story on ASMR and its potential use as a treatment for certain ailments including insomnia. I thought it would be interesting to have this as the subject for this new poll. So let’s look at the options that will be available for you to vote for. This poll will be different from past ones, because you can vote for multiple options.

This poll is open to both ASMR experiencers and non-experiencers. Even if you do not get ASMR, you may still be interested in voting on some of the options here.

And the nominees… erm, I mean options are:

  1. I suffer from insomnia, and do not experience ASMR
  2. I experience ASMR, and do not suffer from insomnia
  3. I experience ASMR and suffer from insomnia
  4. I believe ASMR and insomnia are somehow related – perhaps ASMR is a symptom of insomnia; insomniacs are more likely to experience ASMR or vice versa
  5. I don’t believe ASMR and insomnia are connected at all
  6. I actively use ASMR triggers of any sort to help induce sleep
  7. I do not use ASMR triggers of any sort to help induce sleep
  8. ASMR helps me overcome insomnia and sleep
  9. ASMR does not help my insomnia at all

The poll is available on the sidebar to the right, and will be open until the 14th of June, expiring after approximately 3 months, or 90 days. Any comments you wish to leave to support your choice(s) can of course be left on this post.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

ASMR Community Update: February 2013

Welcome to the February edition of the community update. A lot happened this month. I’d say this is without a doubt the busiest month so far since October of last year – actually it’s probably the biggest month so far for ASMR. The longest Monday of the year – January – is over and now the year really gets going.

To start off the month, the most important and biggest thing that happened was the news that ASMR would finally be put under the microscope – or MRI at least – as an attendee of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA, said he was conducting tests on non-ASMR subjects and would like to begin recruiting subjects who experience ASMR. This is what we’ve been hoping for for the last 3 years at least, and so I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the topic on Reddit! Anyone who wants to volunteer should read this post first and then contact Bryson at bryson(dot)c(dot)lochte(at)dartmouth(dot)edu. Make sure to put “ASMR” somewhere in the subject field.

A couple of small surveys were conducted on Survey Monkey. One is at this location, and the other over here.

The poll on this blog that ran from November of last year, which focused on the senses we use most to trigger ASMR ended and the results for that poll were released. The new poll should be up soon.

Speaking of this blog, The Unnamed Feeling celebrated its 3rd anniversary this month! The ASMR Facebook group also turned 3 years old this month.

Two new articles were published this month. One was written by Aida Manduley over at #24MAG, issue 4. You can find that over at issuu.com on page 60 and 61. The other article appeared on Slate.com, written by Mark O'Connell.

EJ Dickson is also writing an article on ASMR, and would like anyone who experiences ASMR and insomnia (preferably those who intentionally trigger ASMR in order to induce sleep) to help out with research. Feel free to contact her at edickson (at)salon(dot)com if you meet the above criteria.

A published fiction and non-fiction writer, known only as PageTurner on the ASMR Research & Support forum is planning on pitching the idea of an ASMR article to some newspapers and journals, and is looking to do a little research, so if anyone would like to lend a hand, make sure to visit the forum and let her know.

Another topic that cropped up on the forum was that of a new ASMR Documentary called Braingasm. This doccie, currently in the development stage, is being made by Lindsay Ragone, a Canadian filmmaker, and she needs participants. Anyone is eligible and can contribute in one of three ways: by donating trigger videos; appearing on camera for an interview; or participating in a phone interview over Skype. Anyone looking to apply can visit http://braingasm-film.com for more details. You can also follow the project on Twitter.

Something which might also be of interest is that ASMR received a mention on The Young Turks, which is a well-known channel over on YouTube.

Another video on YouTube that was uploaded by JustAWhisperingGuy, shows how he participated in a phone interview with a journalist looking to write a story on ASMR. This might prove useful – as in picking up a few pointers – if you intend to help out with the Braingasm documentary I spoke about earlier!

IlseTheWaterdrops, aka TheWaterwhispers Ilse, posted a video on YouTube where she talks about an interview that she participated in for a Danish TV show called Deadline, so you can perhaps expect a clip of that to be around somewhere on the internet at some point. TheOneLilium, also known as Lilium Candidum, also appeared on Danish TV recently.

Roosterteeth mentioned ASMR in one of their live shows just lately and now have the podcast up on their website, episode 207. In the link dump for this episode, they referenced the article that appeared over at vice.com last year, written by Harry Cheadle.

There’s a new ASMR app for iPhone, iPod, and iPad, called RelaxTube. The creator of this app, Matthew Modonk of Edentech Solutions, claims that the app lists the most popular videos on YouTube that aim to relax individuals, with ASMR being a category featured here along with yoga, meditation, and hypnosis, among others. The app is currently at version 2.0.6 and weighs about 6.3 MB. The lite version is free, and there is a pro version that boasts some extra features which costs just 99 cents.

ASMR Sounds, another app for iOS, recently released a free version of their app. The paid version of the app originally retailed for $5.99, but has since been dropped to $2.99. At version 1.02, updated this month as well, it weighs in at over 70 MB. These were two gripes that people cited about the app – the price and the weight of the thing. So ASMR Sounds Free addresses these concerns, as it is – as the name implies – free, and version 1.0 only weighs 15 MB. There will obviously be some differences in the overall product, such as features that are absent and only available in the paid version. Their support page is over here if you need more details or have any questions or suggestions.

Also, I would just like to put in a special mention here for GabrielAngelo ASMR. He was involved in a rather nasty traffic collision this month, and was admitted to hospital in serious but stable condition. GabrielAngelo ASMR started ASMR Index, an ambitious project that operates alongside ASMR Island – the aim of which is to archive every single ASMRtist on the internet, with the focus being on YouTube.

Here’s to hoping you make a full recovery, GabrielAngelo ASMR! I’m sure those who know about the whole affair will spare a thought for you and your loved ones.

So as you can see, February was a packed month! Make sure to make it back here in a month’s time for the next community update!

Monday, February 18, 2013

ASMR Poll Results: Which sense do you rely on most to trigger ASMR events?

Okay, so I ran a poll on the blog for the last 90 days, and you all had a chance to vote. When I say all, I mean 132 people, which is a record. The number of people voting on these polls just goes up and up!

So the question asked was: “Which sense do you rely on most to trigger ASMR events?”

And the results of the poll are as follows:

Almost equally voted for was sight and touch. 11 People (8%) voted for sight, and 14 (10%) for touch. 4 People (3%) said that they are triggered by a sixth sense, and 2 (1%) claim to not rely on any senses, which is in essence stating that one is a Type A and not a Type B experiencer, seeing as Type As don’t rely on external stimuli.

Interestingly, smell and taste both received no votes, making them without a shadow of a doubt the least common senses relied upon to trigger ASMR, although I have read limited accounts of people doing so.

But our runaway winner is hearing/sound with 101 votes, taking 76%; just over 3/4 of the vote. I think that result was a tad predictable but it still made for an interesting question. As was pointed out in the comments of this post, a lot of people use more than one sense to reliably trigger ASMR events, like a combination of sight and sound, and so it must have been hard to choose just one.

Thanks to all who voted and stay tuned for the next poll which will be up some time this month. Any suggestions for a topic? Leave a comment or contact me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An fMRI study on ASMR Will Take Place Soon At Dartmouth College, NH

Earlier this month, a Reddit user known as Blochte claimed he was conducting a study to determine the effects of ASMR trigger videos on the brain, primarily in an attempt to learn which parts of the brain were being activated. He has to date looked at the effects of these videos on people who claim to not experience ASMR, and soon wishes to begin scanning people who do experience it. So he has reached out to people on Reddit and our forum over at Research & Support to see if anyone is interested in volunteering. Blochte now has approval to conduct these studies, so people are welcome to apply.

The study should take place within the next month or two, the location being Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. It should, according to Blochte, happen all on one day for about a total of 1.5 to 2 hours. Those who can make the journey – please try, as the community at large would really love nothing more than to get answers, and this may well be the way we’ll get them. The reports of the study will be hopefully be published in May, 2013.

It has been suggested that financial compensation might be possible but only for a limited audience, obviously. People who live near enough, as in the North Eastern United States, might be able to carpool in order to reach the destination. Jenn, the ASMR Research & Support team organiser has offered to do this for anyone who can’t otherwise make the trip. You can email her at temporcanary at gmail dot com with any queries.

You can reach Blochte on Reddit and the forum by sending him a private message, or you may email him at bryson(dot)c(dot)lochte(at)dartmouth(dot)edu. Make sure to include “ASMR” somewhere in the subject field.

There are a few qualifications that you need to meet before applying:

  • Volunteers must be over the age of 18 (it has been suggested the maximum age might be 35 in the case of too many volunteers – Blochte only wants about 12 people in total).
  • You must be able to have an ASMR experience with the help of a trigger video (so presumably Type B experiencers are preferred over Type A), preferably while lying in an fMRI.
  • You must be able to be MRI scanned. So if you have a pacemaker, metal implants, or suffer from a debilitating condition such as claustrophobia, then you unfortunately aren’t suitable.
  • You must be able to arrange your own transport.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

ASMR Community Update: January 2013

Hello again and welcome to the end of the month update. So what happened this month? Quite a bit it turns out. Let’s have a look:

A new version of the ASMR mobile app for iOS was released. It’s now up to version 1.3. I received a newsletter from Sassou Studio, the developer, at the beginning of the month confirming this.

ASMR Sounds, another app for iOS which launched last month, now has its own channel on YouTube, with a demonstration video of the app.

Th3HazySea launched a video response contest on YouTube, which received a few entries. The winner should be announced soon, probably by the time you read this.

Soothetube.com launched a poll, for people to vote for the best ASMR videos of 2012.

A small survey was drafted and put up on Survey Monkey. This survey delves in to ASMR as well as frisson and other possibly related conditions and sensory phenomena.

Whisper Hub started collecting opinions from people after drafting several questions and putting them up online in several places, with the aim of writing an eBook, which aims to answer questions people may have about ASMR, and to raise awareness. The profits will go towards the running costs of whisperhub.co.uk.

A new meetup group was started, this time in Miami Valley, Ohio. Anybody who is interested can sign up over at meetup.com.

Once again, there were no new articles online that I could find, but Nicholas Tufnell, who published an article on ASMR on the Huffington Post’s website last year, recently published a post about ASMR on his own blog which might be worth a read.

I think the lack of any new articles online was surely put aside after we learnt of the long awaited return of ASMR Island!

And finally, ASMR is recognised as a meme by many people, and this helps to promote its popularity. So say hello to the ASMR Unicorn! The unicorn was chosen as a mascot (besides Bob Ross) for ASMR seeing as both have the same sort of mythical status about them – or at least some people claim ASMR to be a myth. Quite apt, I’d say. Wouldn’t you?

And that is all that took place in January 2013. Judging by what went on this month alone, I think 2013 is going to be yet another eventful year!

Monday, January 21, 2013

ASMR eBook in the Works

Recently, on Facebook, Whisper Hub posted an interesting message on several Facebook groups.

Whisperhub.co.uk is due for its hosting and domain renewal in April this year, and Whisper Hub herself needs funding to keep the website running. So she has decided to write an eBook on ASMR, and wants as many people as possible to contribute, by answering a set of questions that she has drafted. She will then include some of these opinions in the book when published. The book intends to provide answers to readers who might want to know more about the meaning or purpose of ASMR, where the best ASMR resources are online, and to spread the word about ASMR. The profits of said book will go towards the running costs of the website.

These are the questions:

1. ASMR the beginning – were you around at the start of the whisper community (either as a listener or whisperer)? If so what can you tell us about that time?
2. What is ASMR and why do you think we experience it? If you do not experience ASMR what are your theories on it?
3. Why do you think people give up so much of their time to contribute content to the community? If an ASMRtist why do you do it?
4. Have you recently discovered any new ASMR sites that we should include in our website/resources list?
5. What are your top tips to someone who is just about to start making ASMR videos?
6. Any tips on good etiquette amongst the community?
7. What are your views on the current level of exposure of the ASMR community?
8. What do you see in the future of ASMR and the community?
9. What has being a part of the ASMR community meant to you?
10. Anything else you think I might have missed?

You can send your responses to Whisper Hub on Facebook or email her at whisperhub at gmail dot com.

Monday, January 7, 2013

ASMR Community Update: December 2012

I’m posting this in early January. I know, but I wasn’t around for the past week or two  over the holidays, as I took some time off. I hope you all had a happy holiday!

This then, is the December edition of the monthly community update.

In the past I’ve spoken about how great the website Soundcloud is. It’s a bit like YouTube, but obviously on Soundcloud it’s audio only. There’s no video. And people who listen to tracks posted to Soundcloud can even mark moments on a track – which can come in handy for marking times where an ASMR event takes place.

The website has risen in popularity over the past while with several users there submitting ASMR relaxation tracks and the like. I saw this month that an ASMR group has been launched on Soundcloud. This could mark the opportunity for a new ASMR presence online, and might become the home of many great things, like podcasts, whisper tracks and even instrumental music tracks that all intend to talk about or trigger ASMR.

Speaking of which, a podcast hosted on Soundcloud was made by ashellinthepit, a sound designer, where he spoke about the results of some studies he conducted, analysing asmrtists’ speech patterns on YouTube. He even went on to release his findings in the form of a Google Doc spread sheet.

David, a sound recording professional, asked people on Reddit and Facebook what sounds they would like to hear recorded so they could then play them back to their hearts’ content, and got a whole lot of requests. He then went about recording these and uploaded the results to his YouTube channel. You can probably still get a hold of him on either Facebook, Reddit, or YouTube, and put in a request.

Ephemeral Rift started his own project to try and get suggestions for sounds to be used in a 60 minute feature for his YouTube channel.

A new ASMR app was just released this month. It’s called ASMR Sounds and will work with iPods, iPhones and iPads, although naturally it’s optimised for the iPhone 5. You can grab it off of iTunes. There’s also this page on Facebook dedicated to the app. This app joins at least one other app on iTunes and not to mention there’s two or three over at the Android marketplace.

The official ASMR Research & Support forum now has a new subforum, which welcomes those with a scientific or medical background.

Research & Support held two contests that ran right from early November until the end of December. The original submission period for both contests is therefore over, although we are thinking of possibly extending it, to get as many entries as we can. We hope to put the logos and essays to good use in determining which direction to take with research, and to bolster the Kickstarter funding project. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Another project that needs funding is a new indie game, with an ASMR twist, in development called Blind Man’s Buff. It aims to explore binaural audio, and the developer wants to market it to both sighted and blind gamers. The project is hosted on Indiegogo, similar to Kickstarter, and is open to receive funds until February 19, 2013. The total amount needed to fund the project is $75 000. If the total is reached, then Evan Morrison, the developer, will hopefully have it ready for release in December, 2013. It will likely be up for purchase on Steam when finished. There are incentives for those who donate. A $25 donation will net you a copy of the game when released; $75 will get you a copy of the game’s soundtrack, and lastly $1000 will grant you a site licence.

There weren’t any news articles that I could find published this month, but there was a blog post over at soundstudiesblog.com, written by Joshua Hudelson, a Ph.D. student in the music department at NYU.

Not long to go until the January end of month update! Thanks for reading.

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