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How to Film & Edit Video for IGTV

How to Film & Edit Video for IGTV

IGTV is the latest long-form video platform to come out. IGTV or Instagram TV allows users to upload 15 seconds to 10 minute long videos, in Portrait Crop. That means that video is vertical rather than landscape which has been the standard for video. Instagrammers are complaining about having to film extra video just to make content for IGTV but I am here to say that it’s not really that hard.

I have a simple way to edit your videos for IGTV that DOES NOT require you to shoot two versions of your footage. Check out my tutorial on how to film and edit video for IGTV using Adobe Premiere Pro CC and make sure to head over to Instagram and follow me to see more IGTV content.

Gear I Used to Make This Video:
My Vlog Camera – http://amzn.to/2FEchU5
Main Camera – http://amzn.to/2GELnNb
Main Cam Lens – http://amzn.to/2EucObH
Vlog Cam Lens – http://amzn.to/2E8fAFW
4K Digital Recorder – http://amzn.to/2DX5gNS
Mic – http://amzn.to/2GBAgoa
Camera Backpack – http://amzn.to/2EAoUQQ
Action Camera – http://amzn.to/2EyWA18

Video Transcription:

Hey, what’s up? It’s Jerad, and I wanted to talk today about how to shoot and edit video for IGTV. That’s Instagram’s new, longer form video platform that allows most of us to upload between 15 second and 10 or 15-minute videos, depending on who you ask, and whose account you’re looking at. And then for those with more popular accounts, they can get up to 60 minute long videos.

So a lot of people have been talking about how to shoot for that, or whatnot. But for me, I do a lot of stuff on YouTube, and I wanna do a lot of stuff on Instagram TV, and sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to go and shoot two whole versions of a video. I’ve definitely tried that, and it makes for a lot longer editing process. Sometimes videos need to be longer than 10 minutes or 15 minutes. If I had one of those accounts that was accepting up to 60-minute videos, that might be cool, because then I wouldn’t have to worry about shooting different versions. But I think what’s important is that on IGTV, we’re used to … Well, on Instagram in general, we’re used to moving a little bit faster through content, and so maybe shorter form content that is 10 to 15 minutes or less is good, because of the attention span, and how fast we wanna move through Instagram. Do you really picture yourself watching an hour long video on Instagram? I think it would have to be from somebody who was a more popular influencer or at least, maybe a celebrity or something like that to make you wanna watch through that long a video.

So I wanted to talk, anyways, about how to shoot and edit video for that platform. Now, I’ve been kinda playin’ around with different camera setups. This is a Sony a7 III here, and I have it kind of set up for vertical shooting. This isn’t the best handle for it. I just kinda did this temporarily. I’ve messed around with the a6500. I’m kinda showing you a couple of photos here of some vertical video formats that I’ve kinda been messing with. But I’ve decided I don’t necessarily think it’s the best option to shoot vertically like this, to shoot everything vertical. IGTV, the quality of the video that they’re wanting you to upload is not 4K, it’s actually pretty close to HD. And so, considering the actual size of the image that they’re wanting you to upload, you might as well shoot 4K and then just crop in and get tighter in on your shot.

That’s essentially what I’ve been doing so far. I’m filming this in the standard format, 4K. Camera isn’t flipped or anything like that. So I’ve got all this extra room out here on the sides and so the only thing I have to focus on is just making sure that either the main action stays centered, or that I’m find with doing a little bit of post-production editing. So now, when I’m deciding whether or not I wanna shoot something and then put it up on YouTube, and then maybe put some of it over on IGTV or maybe a version of both, I’m essentially going to shoot like I’m gonna be shooting for YouTube. I’m just going to try to keep the action centered in the frame so that way, I can crop.

So to get the action in the center of the screen, you can also do some key framing and kinda move the video around within the constraints of the portrait view. And I did that in the first video that I uploaded to my personal IGTV. I did kind of this Father’s Day weekend recap, because we did a bunch of stuff on Father’s Day, and I had a couple of proud dad moments that weekend.

The first video that I uploaded, there has some shots from an obstacle course run that my kids did, and I had to kinda key frame a little bit and move that video around. You almost can’t even tell that I did it, because there was so much camera movement to begin with. So that’s essentially what I did there to get the action centered into that smaller, just that portrait. Because essentially, if any action was happening on the outer sides of the screen, you wouldn’t be able to see it. So just like I’m doing here, I’m filming, I’m in the center of the screen. I’m looking directly into the camera, which is what I would be doing if I was wanting to do a IGTV video. I typically would be talking to the person that is holding their phone. And so in that instance, it’s gonna be easy for me to edit that down.

So when I’m shooting B roll, any shots that I’m gonna shoot to kind of add to this video to make it more interesting that I’m gonna edit into the shot, I might consider keeping that action in one side of the camera frame. So whether I center that, which means I’m not gonna have to do anything other than just drop the video in, or if I keep it over maybe on the right third or the left third, then all I have to do is slide the video over, and I’m gonna show you exactly how I do that in post production. And you can film in 4K. This camera, most of the cameras, actually all the cameras that I use film in 4K and I’ll make sure to list those down in the description below on YouTube and if you’re watching this on IGTV, there’s a short link down below that you can go to to see my list of stuff. This is the equipment that I use, and I haven’t had to change a thing. I’ve just had to change my mindset in how I actually film, keeping in mind that now I’m not just trying to make it look good in a standard kind of landscape wider view, I also have to think about how that’s gonna look in portrait view, when somebody’s watching it on IGTV.

So let’s jump over to Premiere Pro. I’m gonna show you how my I have my video set up. We’re actually gonna be editing this video that we’re talking about. So the first half of the video you’re gonna get to see how I edited that and Premiere Pro so that I can have my YouTube version and my IGTV version, and that means doing all the edits only once. I’m not creating two separate timelines. Essentially, I am, but I’m not editing everything into two separate timelines. I’m only having to do any titles or any text onto screen once. I just have it all set up so that we only have to do the work once, yet we’re getting a landscape version of the video and a portrait version of the video. So let’s head over to Premiere Pro and take a look at how that’s done.

All right, so we have our project here, and I’ve basically gotten as much done as I can editing for YouTube. So you can see here, we’ve got our video. I’ve got some images that I’ve kinda put in here. I’ve got a couple of titles that I’ve put in. And so the video’s pretty much done. This section here in the middle is where we’re gonna put what you’re watching right now. And it’s gonna require a little bit of trickery to get all of the footage that you’re looking at now to actually look good on IGTV, but the main thing here is to show you how this footage that you’re looking at now can be cropped in easily.

So we have our sequence that you’re looking at right now. We’re gonna go head and create a second sequence by just going to sequence, and you can see I already have a preset here, called Portrait 4K UHD, but I can go into settings and show you exactly what I’m going to need to create. We’re gonna wanna choose custom. We’re going to want our vertical to be 2160. So this is if you’re shooting 4K, of course. If you’re not shooting 4K, you’re gonna need to figure out how to get to whatever your resolution is, just crop down. So I’m gonna type in 1215, and you can see that instead of having 16 by 9, I now have 9 by 16 footage. So essentially, this is the same. It’s gonna be the same height as the 4K footage originally was, it’s just gonna be a lot narrower, of course. We wanna make sure we choose square pixels. If you don’t have square pixels chosen, your ratio here isn’t gonna look right. And then everything else, you can just kinda leave default. And like I said at the beginning, saving it as a preset’s gonna save you a little bit of time. So I’ll go ahead and title this How to Film Edit for IGTV Portrait. Hit OK, and you can see here, now we have this portrait mode, black sequence ready to go.

Now the beautiful thing about this editor, is I can simply drag the sequence … This is the other sequence that we’ve already edited. I’ll just drag it and drop it right here onto the timeline. I’m gonna go ahead and keep existing settings. I don’t wanna change them. And so now I have basically a whole video ready to go. The only thing is you can see a few things are a little wider than they need to be, as far as the text goes. That’s something that I can adjust later. And then, let’s scroll to … Oh, here’s where we have the images. Those images, because of how I dropped them in, those images look perfect. Remember here, I basically cropped them center and then put a blurry version, so the images stacked. So let me show you exactly what this looks like. I’ll turn this off. So you can see, this is just a blurry version of the image maxed out at 250% exactly. And then on top of that, I put another version of the image. And you could even get creative here and actually edit this in Photoshop and drag it in if you wanted to. There’s a lot of cool ways that you can make that look even better. I just did it pretty quick, just so that we can see those images in there quickly. Obviously this is something I’m gonna have to resize, but …

And doing it this way, let’s go to this link. That’s a prime example. Let’s go to that link that I wanted to display there. So here’s that link. Obviously, this is too wide. It’s cut off, nobody’s gonna be able to see that link. I can resize this. So let’s just go ahead and let’s take that down to say, 80%, and then we’ll go and view it here. Look, it automatically adjusted it here. So the reason that that happened is because this timeline here, essentially was just put right here. So that’s great. That timeline is right there, and I have the ability to edit it in one place, and have it automatically update in the other location. So when I go and resize the titles at the beginning … So this title obviously is a little too wide for the IGTV version, or the portrait version, as we can see here, it’s a little bit cut off. This one’s gonna be a little wide, as well. I can just resize those and make them fit. Now, that’s gonna make the text a little small, maybe for the YouTube crop, or the landscape crop, but that’s okay. We’re just focusing here on making this as simple as possible.

Another thing that you can do is, we’ll just go ahead and create another version of the sequence that we already had. So I’m gonna go ahead and make that 2160 by 1215. Make sure that’s 9 by 16. Hit OK. So we have that new sequence. I can also just copy and paste everything, so I’m gonna hit command or control A, and then command or control C to copy it to my clipboard. And then I can come over here and paste it all in and everything is right in, and I have a duplicate of my timeline. So the only problem here … And see, it even actually resized it. So maybe this is a better option. The only problem is that this is not dynamically linked, so if I need to go back and make some changes to my original version, I’m now gonna have to go back and make those same changes here.

So this is just another way of doing it. You can either do it the dynamically linked way, and then maybe change your assets, the additional assets that need to be sized appropriately. Or, you can just copy and paste it into a whole nother … And you see the images look good, actually. This source URL is gonna be really tiny, so we’re gonna need to go back to that and increase its size to fit. So definitely, there’s pros and cons to both ways. But I wanted to show you that that’s a pretty simple way to do this. And then when you go to render out …

So this is another thing you gotta pay attention to. When you go to render out your IGTV version, so I’m gonna make sure that my timeline is selected. I’m gonna hit command or control M, depending on whether you’re on Mac or PC. You’re not gonna wanna go and change the render out settings to any of these presets, because it’s gonna override your portrait settings. Notice that if I go and choose YouTube 4K, it’s gonna mess things up. It’s gonna basically put my portrait video in the middle. You wouldn’t be able to upload this to Instagram, their IGTV without having issues. So you’re gonna wanna make sure and just leave it on match source high bit rate. I’ve got a 660 MB file here. I can then export this, and this’ll be ready to go. I can upload it directly to IGTV through the app, or through the web interface.

Alright, so I hope this video helped with figuring out what the best way is for you to create an edit content for both YouTube and Instagram TV, or IGTV. It is cool to build fun setups like this with cameras that are in portrait mode, and displays that are in portrait mode and all that stuff, it’s definitely impressive. But I’ve tried filming this way, and it’s very challenging, especially if you’re gonna be vlogging or something like that, to hold the camera when you don’t have that extra real estate for camera sway to film that way. So I highly recommend taking advantage of the fact that 4K video is more than enough footage, as far as the resolution goes for IGTV. So shoot all of your stuff in landscape, and then just crop for portrait. That’s the best advice I could give you.

So I’d appreciate a follow on IGTV or a subscribe on YouTube. You can check out some of my other content. My goal here is to help us all grow and get better at creating our content, at running our businesses, at optimizing our lives, and that’s kind of the variety of content that I’m putting up here on this channel. So make sure to follow along if you’d like. I look forward to seeing you in the next video, and take care.

Vlog

Parenting In A World Of Technology

Parenting in a World of Technology Fortnite Gaming

I decided to make this video for a couple of reasons. The first of course was prompted by another video that I saw on the subject of flat-out forbidding your kids from experiencing certain things in this world without giving them valid reasoning.

The second reason is that this is long overdue. For years I have wanted to film some videos and perhaps even to a podcast on the subject of parenting and Technology. My kids are still relatively young but they are getting to that age where kids at school are introducing them to things. The big eye-opener for me was when my son and I started having a conversation about the game Fortnite. I thought I was being the cool dad by talking to him about this game that I’m sure he had heard of only to find out that he had already played it at a friend’s house. As parents, I think that we all eventually have one of those awakening moments when we realize that we should have talked to our kids about certain things earlier. It’s never going to be easy but if I don’t do the hard work I’ve trying to understand my kids and the things that they are interested in, I am failing them.

In this video, I talk about how I feel about certain Technologies and how I plan to introduce them to my kids. I don’t plan to expose my kids to everything. I want to be remembered by them as a person in their life that took the time to explain things to them whether they were allowed to experience them or not.

If you have the time, watch the video and let me know what you think in the comments section below. I am also interested in knowing about topics that you would like to know more about in regards to technology in parenting. As in life, parenting is a Non-Stop learning experience which at times is like drinking from a firehose.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel, it’s Free!!

Vlog

#1 Way I Demotivate Myself & How I Turn It Back Around

#1 Way I Demotivate Myself & How I Turn It Back Around

Sometimes I allow myself to get frustrated by the achievement of others or at least by what I perceive it as. Social Media makes it easy to fall into this trap and without becoming aware of it, I can easily find myself in a rut. In today’s video, I discuss how I demotivate myself and what I do to correct this behavior.

Blog

How to Backup Your Facebook Photos Easy

A few weeks ago I decided to delete my Facebook profile. You can read about that here. What had kept me from deleting it even earlier was wanting to have a full backup of my photos on Facebook. I do a pretty good job of keeping photos backed up when I take them, but I am sure there are photos I uploaded directly to Facebook that were not backed up. I also would have liked to have a backup of all of the photos I was tagged in by others.

ODrive allows you to connect to Facebook from your computer and backup all of your photos quickly and easily. It’s so easy and fast, that I decided to put together a video showcasing the process for those of you who want to make sure you have a backup of your Facebook photos. Whether you want to move away from Facebook or just want to make sure the photos you have shared are backed up, ODrive makes it easy to do that.

Though ODrive allows you to download all of your photos from Facebook, they are not as high-resolution as they were when you uploaded them. They are however much higher resolution than if you used Facebook’s archive option which allows you to save a copy of your Facebook data. The photos they offer are small and almost unusable.

Download ODrive directly from their website: http://odrive.com

Blog

I’m taking my life back from Facebook

I made a decision that I should have made a few years ago. I deleted my Facebook profile. I have wanted to do this many times before but could never pull the trigger. I logged out of Facebook a couple of times for an extended period, but I always ended up back there. You can read about that here.

Let me start by saying that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with Facebook. The fact that there is a service that lets us share our lives and stay connected easier is a pretty amazing thing. The problem is not with Facebook, it’s with much of the content within Facebook.

I can’t recall how long ago it was, but I realized that Facebook had started to become a place where people go to complain about stuff. Just about every post in my newsfeed was a complaint. I would go on Facebook to see what my friends were up to and I would end up depressed by the end of it. Either Facebook was only deciding to show me negative posts or those are the only posts that stuck out to me. Facebook has allowed people to complain about their lives rather than taking responsibility. It’s easy to post to Facebook in an attempt to get sympathy from our friends. It’s actually kind of sad and it doesn’t help anybody.

There has been a change in society during the past 5-6 years. People used to be able to share their opinion without being ran over for it. We used to be able to accept the fact that people had an opinion other than our own. That has changed. We can still share our opinion, but if it goes against anything the media is focusing on, it is best left unspoken. I realized that the bulk of the people I was connected to on Facebook cared more about trivial things than actual travesties. I tried to filter my Facebook newsfeed, but Facebook makes it a pain in the butt to customize the content that you prefer to see.

About two years ago I stopped accepting every friend request that came in. I realized that my newsfeed was so cluttered that I couldn’t see updates from people I was actually connected to. I tried creating custom newsfeeds, but that was a pain to manage. I was not going to go through 4924 friends at the time and manually clean house. To be honest, I even considered hiring someone to do it for me.

My frustration came to a boil last week when I realized I had been scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed for 30 minutes and my heart was racing because of the content I had just ingested. I felt like I had just spent the last 30 minutes reading all of the tabloid articles in the grocery store checkout. Just about every post was negative, disgusting, rude or a conflict against something I believe strongly about. During the time I had logged out of Facebook for two months, I was blogging more and able to read more books. I didn’t mindlessly go to Facebook, I intentionally picked up an actual book.

I had entertained the idea of converting my Facebook profile to a Facebook page for a while. A Facebook page is different than a profile. A Facebook page allows you to post updates just as you would a Facebook profile, but you have no newsfeed and people don’t friend your profile. It’s similar to Twitter in the way that people can decide to follow your updates by “liking” your page. Facebook used to allow you to do this conversion while keeping the history you have amassed in your timeline. That is not the case anymore and it was a bitter pill to swallow.

I have always recommended to all of my clients who want to start a Facebook page not to post unique content to Facebook that they hope to never lose. Facebook will most likely not always be the cool place to hang out. All of the content that people poured into Myspace is now worthless or gone in many cases. Depending on how you used Myspace, this may be a good thing. I have been posting to Facebook just shy of 10 years. I joined in 2006 when Facebook began allowing anybody to create an account. That is a low of content to allow to perish. Within the last 10 years, I started dating the woman I would marry. I got married and had children. Much has happened, and the majority of it was shared through Facebook.

Facebook allows you to backup your data. You can download it into this basic looking archive that you can click and scroll through (see mine here). It’s not very searchable but it’s better than nothing. I was able to backup all of my photos in case there were one or two that I had not saved somewhere else. I never take photos inside of the Facebook app so the majority of my photos were saved in Google Photos or iCloud Photos. I realized that I almost never scrolled back into history through my Facebook timeline anyway.

I needed a change. I was wasting a lot of time reading the nonsense that was being posted to Facebook in hopes of coming across something nice someone else had to say. I am afraid that I will miss things. I have been able to pray for people who are going through hard times because I read about it on Facebook. I would have never known about the situation outside of Facebook. My wife and I like to help people when we can and many times we have discovered a need through someone’s Facebook post. I will miss this, but it will make me actually reach out to people to stay connected rather than scroll Facebook in an attempt to get the highlights.

I converted my personal Facebook profile into a Facebook page. I did not want someone else to end up registering http://facebook.com/jeradhill to use it for their own purposes. I will continue to post to Facebook through this page. I converted a personal account that I had for managing Facebook pages before Facebook Business Manager was created so I could remain connected to the Ditch Auto photography group I created. I will not be adding any friends there. I am sure that this will not be a popular choice among many as the Facebook connection just became a one-way road, but I had to make the decision.

To keep connected with people who’s updates I would miss by not having a personal account, I will actually connect with them in person or follow their updates on other social networks such as Twitter or Instagram. I have had this intention many times, and I know it will be hard to do, but I am going to make an effort. Limiting the information intake will help me focus more on my family and my closer friends, who often get overlooked because they don’t post to Facebook that often.

Facebook is still an excellent tool for keeping in contact with people. As a business owner, it’s a fantastic marketing tool as well. This is why I am not leaving Facebook altogether, I am simply limiting the amount of content I consume so I can fill that extra time with what’s closest to me.

Instead, let’s follow each other on Instagram or Twitter.

Blog

Slowly losing my love for Canon

After my lengthy rant about almost switching to Sony, I took my Canon 70D out with my kids to take pictures of them driving their gokarts. My goal was to capture a few photos and short videos that I could share to my phone and post on Instagram and Facebook.

Upon returning home, I connected my phone to my camera through the wifi connection and opened the EOS Utility app. I transferred a couple of photos to my phone, which took forever. Then I tried to transfer video clips to my phone and was told by the app that, video was not supported. This frustrated me. I attempted another route by connecting my camera directly to my Nexus 9 tablet and attempted to use the Nexus Transfer app that allows you to copy files off of a USB connected device to your tablet. None of the video files would play. I copied the files over to the tablet, they still wouldn’t play. I downloaded the latest update of VLC player for Android which plays just about anything, they wouldn’t play.

As a last resort, I copied the video files to my laptop and put them in a Dropbox folder. Once they uploaded to Dropbox I tried to access them from my phone, they would play but once I tried to download them, they wouldn’t play. At this point, I thought that maybe it had something to do with Android, so I grabbed my iPad and had the same issue.

The sad thing for me is that when I had the Sony A7S, right out of the box it was doing these things. I was able to transfer photo and video extremely easily to my phone or tablet. It was almost to easy. This is not the case with Canon. This may just be another nail in the coffin.

Blog

How I’m Taking Back My Facebook Experience

How I’m Taking Back My Facebook Experience

As many of you know, I logged out of Facebook two months ago. I did this because my newsfeed had become a mess of negativity. You can read more about my reasons and issues with Facebook here, here, here and here. This story is about how I took back the ability to see what matters to me on Facebook from Facebook.

Over the past two months, I have missed a lot. There are posts, photos and videos that I have not seen that were posted by people who I care about and want to see updates from. My wife usually shows me photos she took throughout the day when we spend time talking about our days before bed, but there are dozens of other family and friends who post things I care about as well. Part of me wanted to return to Facebook so I could be on the same page as everybody else. The other part of me wanted to go at least two months so I could see what it would be like to be disconnected in that way. Now that I have spent a few months away from Facebook, I wanted to return to Facebook in a way where I could see the updates from those I care about without the negative posts, ads or blatant marketing messages.

The idea I spent the most time considering was creating a new Facebook personal profile and converting my current one into a Facebook page. This way, I could post to Facebook and still have the same audience but use the new personal profile just for close friends and family. I have seen people who have grown in fame do this as they realized that their personal Facebook had became more about their professional life. I did not really want to go this route because I have never used my personal Facebook profile for professional gain. My business has grown due to my personal Facebook page but only because it reinforced to people that I am trustworthy. I don’t think that converting my personal Facebook profile to a Facebook page would be the right move. People would no longer be “Facebook Friends”, they would just be someone who had liked my page. It would also break my ability to like their content, post comments, and tag them in posts of my own. Using my wedding photography business as an example: When I go to post a photo from a wedding, I make sure to “friend” the bride and groom first so I can tag them in the post on my Photography Facebook page. If they were not friends on my personal profile, I would not be able to tag them through my Photography Facebook page. I know this sounds kind of confusing, believe me, it’s confusing to type. There are obvious benefits to tagging people in photos and posts when necessary. I don’t want to lose that functionality.

I considered either unfriending or unfollowing the offenders as their posts came into my newsfeed but with over 4500 friends on Facebook, I saw that to be a daunting task. The idea of manually having to do all of that work was overwhelming so I never went that far. I would only unfriend or unfollow people who stuck out as obnoxious or continued to post negative content that I was tired of seeing. I realized that this would not be the best option as there is no simple way to manage your friends list in an editor of sorts.

My original idea, which is what I am going to explain further below, is to create custom lists. Facebook has a feature called “Lists” which allow you to create custom lists of friends or people to follow. On Facebook, you can follow people or friend them. Following them is a one way relationship where you get their updates but they do not get yours. This is similar to Twitter when you follow someone and they do not follow you back. A Facebook friend is a two way relationship where you can see, comment, post and tag. A Facebook List displays similar to a Facebook group. The header image on the page displays random photos from the friends or people you follow in that list. The newsfeed for that list consists only of people who you put in that list. You see all of their posts, photos, videos and other updates. The only one that annoys me in a “list newsfeed” is the fact that it shows a post when someone becomes friends with someone else. However, I prefer that over ads. Facebook List Newsfeeds currently do not display inline ads. There is an ad or two on the sidebar, but not in the newsfeed. That is a win in and of itself. There are two different options for creating lists. You can create a custom newsfeed list that simply displays a newsfeed of people who you have added to the list, or you can create a custom friends list. There are differences between the two. A standard list of people can be created to generate a custom newsfeed for you to follow. This allows you to add current friends, people you follow and pages to the custom newsfeed. This would be the best option for someone who wants a feed of content to view. The other option is to create a custom friends list. This allows you to view a newsfeed for that friends list and post directly to it. A standard list gives you no option for posting because that list can contain people who are not your friend or are pages. Think of this as a Twitter timeline that contains people, companies, brands and organizations you follow. Creating a custom friends list allows me to also post directly to that list. I am not sure I am concerned with that because I will most likely return to posting content that my entire friends list can see. If I want posts that I make to Facebook to only be seen by certain groups of friends, I can create a custom friends list for that and change the privacy of my post to allow only those people to see the post.

With Facebook Lists, I can add current Facebook friends, follow people of interest and add pages to the feed. I am technically creating a custom newsfeed of information I find relevant. This also means that I can like a page or friend a person without worrying about all of their content ending up in my newsfeed. This is really starting to sound like a tongue twisting riddle isn’t it…

Facebook Friends Family List

What you are seeing in the above photo is the beginning of my Facebook Newsfeed List. This list will contain family, friends, people of interest and pages I wish to follow. Overtime, I will be able to curate this list to contain only posts and updates from the sources I wish to see. This will make scrolling Facebook to keep up to date with the lives of my friends and family much easier. At this point, there also are no inline Facebook newsfeed ads displaying. There are a few ads on the sidebar, but not in the newsfeed. I am sure Facebook will change this eventually, but for now I am going to enjoy their absence.

If I want to post to Facebook, I most likely will start posting to my general friends list. There are people who want to know what’s going on with me that I might not want to include in my new custom newsfeed and that is ok. I may even curate a custom friends list so I can post my more opinionated posts only to those who know me well enough to know where I am coming from. Part of leaving Facebook in the first place was to get away from the negativity I received from actually taking a stance on a topic. Perhaps I should save those posts for my blog anyway.

What’s next?

Starting today, I am back on Facebook but I am not going to be bothered with the bulk of the content that I was once subjected to. I look forward to staying up to date with what is going on in the lives of those who are closest to me. It will take me a month or so to get this list where I want it. I still prefer a simpler platform such as Twitter over Facebook but most people are on Facebook and it is where content is being shared by the people closest to me. I still plan to post to my blog and make that my primary location to share my own content. I realize that this will bring back all of the notifications that I have not had to deal with lately, but that is ok as I know that they can be turned off or back on should I desire them. I also do not plan to run the Facebook app on my phone. I will probably post to Facebook through another app such as the Buffer App and will only browse the Facebook updates of others through a browser when I have the time to do so. Keeping up to date with content on Facebook is going to take a fraction of the time because of my curated newsfeed of family, friends and choice others. Perhaps after a few months of doing this I will post an update. I am sure that I will find some limitations with custom newsfeeds. I may even branch out and create custom newsfeeds for different categories of people and content which would make it even easier for me to see the types of content I want to view at that actual moment. I truly believe that this is the best way to use Facebook. Custom lists help you cut through the clutter and nonsense to see what matters most.

tl;dr
I am back on Facebook. Instead of viewing the full newsfeed of all friends, people I follow and pages I liked, I have created a custom list that will display a newsfeed of only those I choose. This is a better solution than trying to unfollow or unfriend everybody. I want to stay up to date with what is going on in the lives of those I care about and be able to post to Facebook to keep those same people updated as well.

Blog

45 Days without Facebook

I'm Logging out of Facebook

A month and a half ago I decided to logout of Facebook. You can read more about my original reasons here. Now that it has been over 45 days since I have scrolled Facebook looking for interesting posts from my friends and acquaintances I realized how little our Facebook posts really matter.

When we post something on Facebook it is usually to either update our friends on something or to seek sympathy. That seems to be about 95% of what I see posted on Facebook. I would say that the majority of the posting to Facebook is done because people want comments on their posts. People desire that affirmation that they don’t get from people these days due to the fact that we have fewer face to face conversations than we used to. Being that we can share something out to our average of 450 online contacts makes it even more desirable. However, I feel that we have actually created apathy in our abilities to hold conversations with people.

When I would scroll Facebook, and I know others are just like me because I watch them while in public. We scroll down the Facebook newsfeed looking for something that sticks out the same way we rapidly turn pages in a magazine looking for something interesting. Whatever gets us to stop scrolling has to be interesting or at least intriguing. Most of the time these days it is some sort of drama or meme photo. The only people we stop to see on purpose are those who we are truly interested in.

The people who we are truly interested in is what I wanted to focus on. I noticed that I would look at the updates of the people whom I care about most and then take no action. Occasionally I would comment or like the post but most of the time I would just read the post or view the image posted. That is not the way I should be communicating with the people that matter the most to me. Those people deserve face to face communication or at the very least, phone calls.

So what about voyeurism? I think that Facebook has turned us all into voyeurists. You could also call it, “keeping up with the Jones on steroids.” We find enjoyment out of watching the lives of others with out them knowing it. We occasionally interject with our own comment or let them know we saw their post by liking it but for the most part, we just watch or maybe even stalk. It’s not really healthy at all. I am friends with other photographers, business people and a few people who just seem to have very appealing lives to me and I realized that all I did was watch their lives or their work. The problem with voyeurism is that your own mind is what puts context to every post you see and all most people post to Facebook is their highlight reels of life. Not many people are real and post the ups and downs of life.

I have had a few people ask me if staying away from Facebook has caused me to have closer relationships. The answer is yes and no. As I mentioned in my last post about being logged out of Facebook, I converse with my wife much more than before because I don’t see her Facebook updates. I prefer to listen to her recap her day. She posts a lot of photos of our kids to Facebook throughout the week and I prefer to have her show me them when I get home so she can explain them. You know what you don’t see when you read posts on Facebook? The expression of joy, excitement, sadness or any other facial expressions at all. You lose so much by communicating through Facebook, or other forms of nonlinear communications.

I haven’t stopped text messaging, posting tweets to Twitter or uploading photos to Instagram, but part of me wants to. I first got hooked on communicating with people through text when I dialed into a BBS through a dialup modem and was able to make posts and read posts from other people. Since then, I have loved being able to communicate through text. I love sending emails and sometimes I prefer emailing someone over a phone call.

The death of the personal relationship

All of my life I have only had a few close friends. I was never that guy who had a ton of friends and always jumped around between different groups of people. I am a social person but I am also very introverted when it comes with others. I am better in one on one situations than I am in group settings unless I know everybody in the group. What Facebook has done is allowed me to keep tabs on the close friends I have without actually spending any real time with them. I think many of us can relate that we often spend less time with some people because of social media. This has to change for me because I could probably be a person who lived on his own island by himself so long as I had an internet connection.

It’s not Facebook’s fault

I did not logout because I can’t stand Facebook as a platform. I still manage my business pages on Facebook because they are tools I like to use to market and keep those who care to follow my ventures up to date. I actually just revised all of the content for my Facebook Pages Course for Businesses that is on Udemy. The course has over 18,000 students so you would think that I am a pretty big fan of social media and have definitely taught some people how to use the platform.

The truth is, I received a lot of confused emails and comments from people when I said I was going to logout of Facebook. At the time of logging out I had over 4500 friends on Facebook. Many people only know me through Facebook. For many, I was the social media poster child. Once I explained to these people my reasons for leaving, they understood. I think all of us know deep down that we would be better off without personal Facebook accounts, but most could never let it go.

Facebook is like the news

I used to listen to the news when I was driving. That would give me about 15 minutes of news each direction to and from work and some midday news whenever I was out and about. The problem with the news is that it’s horrible. News is bad. Nothing good ever gets talked about on the news. Our world is a horrible place and the news just rubs it into your face and it’s hard to do anything but think about the negative. This is what Facebook was doing to me. I would read some of the stuff that people were going through and it would make me feel bad. Most of this was coming from people who I don’t even know in real life and don’t really communicate with at all anyway. Yes there have been times I have felt prompted to pray for people who post something tough they are going through and for this I am thankful. I have even helped fund some situations that people posted to GoFundMe that I would not have seen had I not scrolled past it on Facebook. The problem is that the bad outweighs the good and you have to cut the fat sometimes in order to be more focused and positive.

There is nothing wrong with posting about life to Facebook. As I mentioned before, since joining Facebook I got married and had three kids. There are countless aspects about my life that have been shared through Facebook. I don’t want to lose that of leave that behind.

Will I ever come back to Facebook?

I have been considering what to do. I have not posted anything other than links to these recap posts since logging out (my website automatically posts them to Facebook). I have considered turning my Facebook profile into a page but then I would not get to view the newsfeed. I also also realize that most people are probably ok with being my friend on Facebook but may not want to “like” my page. That used to be called being a “fan,” which made it sound even more weird. I have also considered converting my current profile to a page and then creating a new personal profile that will only be accessible to close friends and family.

It’s hard to figure out what to do. I think I will continue to wait until the 60 day mark. I do not feel that I have missed much by being logged out of Facebook. Most of the content I consumed through Facebook does not really matter at the end of the day. Most likely, I will spend the time on my personal Facebook profile to create a newsfeed list of just those who’s updates I want to see so I will see more of their updates and less of the stuff I don’t care about. In the meanwhile, I will continue to post to my blog and to Twitter as I have been doing. I am glad that I am posting more to my blog, especially in the photos section, because my blog can go with me even after Facebook is long gone. It saddens me to know that everything I have posted to Facebook will one day be gone. There was a lot of time invested in all of that posting. If I had just posted to my blog instead, all of that content would be somewhere I had total control. Even thinking back to the days of Myspace, my blog could have been a fantastic timeline in and of itself.

I realize that this post could make it sound like I don’t care about people. That is furthest from the truth. I do care and anybody who has taken even a moment to see what I am about knows this. The problem with social media is the lack of context and personal connection. I miss the personal connection that should be a part of every story. Maybe the answer is that all of our posts should be video instead of text. I think that is where it is going as video blogs on platforms such as Youtube continue to permeate our culture. I have tried video blogging or Vlogging a couple of times and have a hard time getting into it. I already know that it is the video content I have created that has done the most good for me and for others. My online courses on Udemy have over 70,000 students taking them. People have said that they enjoy the video format instead of reading books or tutorial papers.

As I write this I am on a Virgin America flight to Boston for a couple of days to photograph and film for a company I often work with that organizes conferences for online marketers. It’s interesting stuff to me and the people who attend are definitely social media people. I also realize that maybe updates like this should be done in video. Maybe my next challenge should be to do all of my updates in video rather than text. That would definitely make my dumb jokes and comments I post to Twitter more interesting, or maybe more annoying…

What do you think about what I have had to say. Is there anything you agree or disagree with? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Blog

Two Weeks Without Facebook

Today marks two weeks without using Facebook and three weeks without having the Facebook apps installed on my devices. Now that I am two weeks in, I have really started to notice the benefits of not being on Facebook. Here are a couple of things I have noticed.

I talk more with my wife
When I was checking Facebook periodically throughout the day, I would see all of my wife’s posts and when I came home, we would have nothing to talk about. To be honest, sometimes I would say that I didn’t see something just so I could hear her tell me about it. I had already recognized the fact that social media had taken away the ability to catch up with each other’s day before we went to bed. My wife still asks me if I saw the photo she posted with the kids earlier in the day and I can enthusiastically say that I have not and then get to experience it and the story that goes along with it. The rest of the world may have known about it already, but I get to hear about it from the source.

I am slightly more disconnected but this is a good thing
It was already hard to stay up on what my closer friends and acquaintances were doing but now I have to personally ask by sending a text message or making a phone call. Actually reaching out to people makes for more meaningful conversations. Sure it would be nice to know more of what is going on but do I really need that?

I am less worried about missing things
At first, I felt like I didn’t know what was going on in the world of the people I know. Now, I am less worried about that. We never used to know every little detail about what was going on in each other’s lives. We used to get together to “catch up.” I am looking forward to doing more of that.

I am more focused on writing
I have been blogging more often, which is a good thing. I don’t want to waste too many thoughts on Facebook because what happens when Facebook goes away? So will all of the time I spent posting to it.

I use Twitter more
I save my quips for Twitter where people seem to have more of a sense of humor. Twitter users also do not feel the need to comment on everything and give their opinion when it was not asked for. Twitter also has a different tone. There are a lot of business minds that I follow on Twitter and I have been paying more attention to their writings. I would rather ingest positive information that helps me grow than negativity and complaining.

Final Thoughts
Not going to Facebook to mindlessly scroll is kind of liberating. I have had several people reach out to me and ask that I continue to post to Facebook. I guess you don’t realize who actually likes your posts until you stop. I thought about posting to Facebook through another app but I don’t like the idea of putting stuff out there and not coming back to it to respond to comments. I am enjoying not being plugged in to Facebook for personal usage. As I have mentioned before, there is too much negativity on Facebook. Not everything on Facebook is negative, it just seems like there is an excessive amount of narcissism going on there and it’s too hard to filter through it these days.