Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Tramlines 2013: Sheffield music festival


Tramlines festival (19th-21st July) was definitely one of my favourite music festivals of this year (along with the Isle of Wight 2013). This festival took place at various locations across Sheffield and was a 3 day event not to be missed! I was lucky enough to attend all three days and enjoyed a decent variety of music including folk, indie and progressive rock.

My favourite venues were most definitely city hall, O2 academy and devonshire green. Having stayed at the Premier Inn, Angel Street, I was able to meander from one venue to another within a few minutes. I advise anyone planning on attending this next year to stay here. It is reasonably priced, open 24 hours and the staff are extremely friendly and helpful.

My favourite acts from the weekend were Two Skies, I LIKE TRAINS, The Pineapple Thief and Amplifier. Two Skies played at Viper Rooms, their funky psychedelic sound complemented the two for one cocktails very nicely indeed! I must insist that this three piece band are worth checking out, they are described as ‘big sound offering soaring vocals’. If you haven’t heard of the other bands I have mentioned then head over to Spotify to find out what you are missing.

Tramlines is the perfect opportunity to simply stumble from one place to another and discover new bands and acts, from the local area as well as far and wide. Tramlines had such a happy vibe and atmosphere in comparison to some of the other festivals I have been to; the streets were filled with people of all ages looking to enjoy music and delicious food.

My highlight from the weekend has to be from one of the bands who played the crowd-pleaser “Rollin’ ” by Linkin Park in a car park based stage. You can imagine the scene already. If anyone knows which band this was do let me know! Beers flying with head banging, jumping festival goers was the only way to truly appreciate this song. Tramlines 2014 can’t come around soon enough!

Did you attend Tramlines this year?


Twitter hashtags: the ones to remember (or bookmark!)


As I find myself spending hours on social media, I constantly rely on my saved searches for Twitter. I have produced this short but comprehensive list of my top used hashtags on Twitter, great for adding to Tweetdeck. I hope you also find it useful if you are a writer or are interested in social media. As a general rule of thumb hashtags help give a ‘tweet’ context. For those who are not familiar with hashtags it is simply the # symbol followed by the subject or keyword related to the tweet.

Studies show that hashtags can increase engagement by 50% (1.5x) for brands and each tweet using a hashtag is more visible. This in turn means you will gather more Twitter followers. (Data taken from ‘Twitter for Journalists’ PDF).

The best hashtags on Twitter

This is by no means a definitive list just a few of the best; I will add to it as and when.

General: #news, #love, #photography, #fashion, #health, #fail, #followfriday, #competition, #win, #bloggers, #writing, #mustread, #beauty, #music, #follow, #book, #travel

Business: #jobs, #business, #sales, #economy, #marketing,#socialmedia, #startup, #retail, #smallbusiness, #tech, #SMBs, #restaurant, #csr

Tech: #android, #androidgames,#iphone, #iphonegames, #ipad,#ipadgames, #app

Education: #edtech, #education, #lrnchat, #teachers, #edu, #edtools, #school, #edchat, #ptchat

Environment: #climate, #solar, #globalwarming, #drought, #environment, #green

Social Change: #socialgood, #cause, #volunteer, #4change, #charity, #nonprofit, #philanthropy, #aid, #climate, #sustainability, #earthtweet, #eco, #fairtrade

Sport: #sports, #football, #sportsnews, #rugby, #f1, #active, #fitness, #lifestyle, #tennis, #footy, #…followed by the football team you support is a website which allows you to search for hashtags and find the trending ones. It also lists a number of topics and their related hashtags.

Related links

Useful hashtags for writers and authors

How to find the best Twitter Hashtags – this in depth article has everything you need to know from how to find associated hashtags to using a Twitter trend generator map.

How to use Twitter for customer service – a really informative article from Mashable.

Writing guide l Why you should blog

Blogging can be as much for personal enjoyment and fun than it is for a steady income or personal achievement. As an aspiring journalist (kind of), I see the value in online blogging. Some of the best ideas have originated from blogs and it is definitely a great way to deliver a message to an audience; both well targeted and alert. It can create a high level of engagement and provoke responses from all over the globe. Yet it all came from the comfort of your home, office or space.


Different types of blogging


Enjoyment – first and foremost blogging can be about expressing yourself online. It is one of the best places to voice your opinion and receive almost instant feedback. You can create small communities online depending on your likes/dislikes or interests. Blogs can also be combined with your other ‘stamps’ online such as Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. So within the space of someone reading your blog they can connect to the other sites you express your personality and identity on.

Reviewing – if you are fortunate enough you can be paid to review products online. This can be great publicity for your own blog as well as for the company asking for the review. Usually you will be given the opportunity to try a product and then write a balanced review [though the company will obviously be hoping for a positive review]. If you are headhunted, or you a find a particular company you love, you could be reviewing a number of products; from the latest innovative hair and beauty product to a newly released film or novel.

Guest blogging – guest blogging is the perfect opportunity to gain more exposure as a person and for your website. It creates a larger ‘web’ of your presence online. Perfect. It can also be an exciting way to acquire new readers and build relationships with other bloggers. It is also (here comes the SEO part) great for search engines such as Google and Yahoo. You will also be in a new community online which is great for extending your knowledge and interests (also known as personal development).

Online portfolio – whether you are a student finishing college or university, or perhaps an expert marketing assistant an online portfolio can continue to showcase your writing skills and the ability to adapt for web. It can be a second CV in addition to your electronic (or possibly paper) copy. Being online shows you are in touch with technology and you can also demonstrate to a future employer your range of skills, for instance with photography, InDesign, Photoshop, WordPress, Flickr etc. The list really does go on!

Paid bloggingit is a dream job to be paid for blogging yet that is right, it shouldn’t just be a dream. If you create enough chances (usually to do with your great writing skills) this can soon become a reality. Or alternatively there are full-time jobs working as a ‘blogger’ for a company or within their social media and marketing department. In Journey’s words “don’t stop believing!”

Top five tips for blogging

  1. Find four bloggers that you like and follow them on a regular basis. Take note of the articles they are producing and how they acquire an audience.
  2. Sign up to Google Alerts and find trends which you enjoy writing about. For example you could sign up to the latest film releases and write a weekly film review. It is a great way to find content which will receive hits quickly in a short amount of time. Bear in mind these blog posts may not be evergreen content so always think why you are adding the content to your blog, ask yourself, what is the purpose of this post?
  3. Write in your own style. Individuality really is key and this is sometimes forgotten in the World Wide Web.
  4. Promote your blog posts via all your social media channels. However remember to target these websites differently. Keep your audience in mind. No doubt (and it goes without saying) people using LinkedIn are using the site differently to that on Twitter.
  5. Above all else have fun and enjoy writing whatever your style may be or personal preference. I still hand write notes before I go anywhere near a computer, so don’t be afraid to express yourself the way you want to. Blogging can open up a ‘new world’!


I am available as a guest blogger for your site, so if you like my writing style or think I can do something for you please contact me. If you are a business or company with new products I am available for reviewing. I have previously reviewed products for the health and beauty industry and written critical pub and restaurant reviews for Sussex Food and Drink Guide 2013.

Please leave a message below if you would like to get in contact or if you have any questions/thoughts regarding this blog post (or any others). I appreciate hearing from you.

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