Instagram Workshop – Torrington, North Devon

DATE AND TIME

Sat 24 February 2018

18:30 – 21:00 GMT

LOCATION

The Plough Arts Centre

9-11 Fore Street

Great Torrington

EX38 8HQ

BUY TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/instagram-workshop-with-kim-stone-kistography-tickets-42357891594

  • DESCRIPTION

    A three hour evening workshop exploring the popular social media, Instagram. Whether you are a business or a social user, this workshop will cover all the aspects of the platform, from styling to building a following. The Workshop is aimed at those who have a basic understanding of Instagram.

    Overview

    • What is Instagram
    • Why should you use Instagram?
    • Creating a compelling profile
    • Optimisation, so others can find & engage with you easily
    • What to post and when
    • Hashtags
    • Building an audience
    • Understanding the Instagram Algorithm

    Workshop requirements

    • Attendees should be familiar with the basics of Instagram and have an account they can log into during the class.
    • In order to take part in practical exercises, attendees should bring along a smartphone or tablet (and charger) with the Instagram app installed.
    • Students can bring their laptop or paper and pens to write notes, their happiness and positivity, as well as business cards to share with other creatives around the class.
    Instagram Workshop, Plough, torrington

    Instagram Workshop, Plough, torrington

Instagram Workshop – Appledore, North Devon

DATE AND TIME

Sat 10 February 2018

18:30 – 21:30 GMT

LOCATION

DESCRIPTION

A three hour evening workshop exploring the popular social media, Instagram. Whether you are a business or a social user, this workshop will cover all the aspects of the platform, from styling to building a following. The Workshop is aimed at those who have a basic understanding of Instagram.

Overview

  • What is Instagram
  • Why should you use Instagram?
  • Creating a compelling profile
  • Optimisation, so others can find & engage with you easily
  • What to post and when
  • Hashtags
  • Building an audience
  • Understanding the Instagram Algorithm

Workshop requirements

  • Attendees should be familiar with the basics of Instagram and have an account they can log into during the class.
  • In order to take part in practical exercises, attendees should bring along a smartphone or tablet (and charger) with the Instagram app installed.
  • Students can bring their laptop or paper and pens to write notes, their happiness and positivity, as well as business cards to share with other creatives around the class.

A journey to plant based diet.

On 3rd January I decided to switch to a plant based diet. The fact that this was at the start of January, was co-incidental rather than being a new years resolution. This wasn’t something I did on a whim or as a ‘fad’. I had actually been building up to this point for months (years?). For several years, I had been aware that I was probably lactose intolerant. Whenever I consumed a large amount of dairy (particularly milk on it’s own) I would feel nauseous, bloated, have an upset stomach and generally feel unwell – so I switched to Lacto-free milk a long time ago. I think it was probably this awareness of how milk impacted on my body, that initially sparked my interest in plant based diet.

Several friends of mine began sharing information, pictures and details of their plant based diet (and the benefits it was having) and they captured my attention. I am a lover of vegetables anyway, I’ve often opted for Quorn products (over meat) and when dining out I would naturally gravitate towards the vegetarian option. Towards the end of 2017 I met The Holt Twins at an Instagram meet up. They spoke eloquently, openly and convincingly about their journey to plant based – this spurred me to begin researching a plant based diet and to pay attention to those who were plant based.

I was shocked to learn of the impact that meat and dairy has on the human body. I go to the gym regularly in order to keep fit and healthy, so it seemed counter productive to be consuming foods that didn’t provide my body with optimum fuel and health.  It’s shocking how many links there are between milk and diseases such as cancer (sources: [1][2][3][4][5]). Society is aware and understand how bad smoking is…yet are oblivious to the fact that dairy/meat presents a similar level of risk to our bodies. It’s consumed because we are conditioned to do so and because industry wants us to… (or else they will go out of business)!

 

The WHO notes:

Top 10 causes of death worldwide

Of the 56.4 million deaths worldwide in 2015, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. Ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15 million deaths in 2015. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years

 

Dr. Linda E. Kelemen published a study in February 2005 which reconfirmed the link between meat consumption and heart problems. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, concluded that among the 29,000 participants, those who ate the most meat were also at the greatest risk for heart disease. The researchers also reported that a high intake of protein from vegetable sources like tofu, nuts, and beans lowers our risk of heart disease by 30 percent. Dr. Linda E. Kelemen, the scientist who headed the study, told reporters, “Not all proteins are equal”—while vegetable protein can help keep our hearts healthy, eating animal protein can put us in an early grave. [SOURCE]

I also watched two films on Netflix “What The Health” and “Forks Over Knives”. One is more sensationalised than the other, but nevertheless, these also helped secure my decision to switch to plant-based.

I’m not strictly ‘vegan’ because my driver to switch diet is driven by my health desires, however on switching I am becoming increasingly empathic towards the plight of animals – especially knowing that there is no need to consume rotting flesh and baby cows milk. The more I think about it, the more I find the thought of it repugnant.

To conclude, I am 15 days in and I have never felt better. I have so much energy. I can comfortably complete a days work (often my job is quite physical), a solid hour in the gym – and still have plenty of energy to keep going. I can cope better on less sleep. My skin and hair feel healthier and I am toning up much quicker than I have ever before. I’ve not been hungry once and my meals are tasty, satisfying and quick! The whole process has been quite liberating rather than restricting. Knowing I only need to choose from plant based food groups is far easier for me when it comes to shopping and cooking.

Instagram Workshop – Looe, Cornwall

Instagram Workshop with Kim Stone (Kistography)

DATE AND TIME

Fri 2 February 2018

18:30 – 21:30 GMT

LOCATION

RNLI Looe Lifeboat Station

Church End

Looe

PL13 1AH

A three hour evening workshop exploring the popular social media, Instagram. Whether you are a business or a social user, this workshop will cover all the aspects of the platform, from styling to building a following. The Workshop is aimed at those who have a basic understanding of Instagram.

Overview

  • What is Instagram
  • Why should you use Instagram?
  • Creating a compelling profile
  • Optimisation, so others can find & engage with you easily
  • What to post and when
  • Hashtags
  • Building an audience
  • Understanding the Instagram Algorithm

BUY TICKETS:

£15 (+booking fee)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/instagram-workshop-with-kistography-tickets-41705680814

Instagram Algorithm Explained – R.E.S.T.A.R.T

How to make sense of the Instagram Algorithm

Instagram Algorithm

 

Instagram originally started off as a simple ‘reverse-chronological’ feed where you would see the most recent posts of the people you followed first. In March 2016 Instagram Switched to an Algorithm. The way Instagram works now, it uses an algorithm which figures out what content will interest you and this is the content you will see first

Instagram mentions the following factors as influencing the algorithm:

  • “the likeliness you’ll be interested in the content,”
  • “your relationship with the person posting”
  • “the timeliness of the post.”.

The introduction of the algorithm means that content creators have to work a bit harder to get their work seen and to get engagement. It also means it’s necessary to have a bit more consideration about what, when and how to post. However, Instagram is a fast growing platform with it expected to top 1 Billion monthly users by Jan 2018, which allows a vast audience to tap into if you can get your strategy right.

The Instagram algorithm is somewhat of a mystery, so it’s only possible to make assumptions and guesses about how it works, based on the information they release and also from user experience. There’s no magic formula I can offer, but in order to frame the different elements that are thought to influence the Instagram algorithm, I have created the acronym – R.E.S.T.A.R.T. which I will explain in more detail.

[R]elationship
[E]ngagement
[S]hares & Saves
[T]imeliness
[A]ctivity
[R]elevancy
[T]ime spent

 

RELATIONSHIP

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM - RELATIONSHIPInstagram is a ‘Social Media’….So not surprisingly ‘Relationship’ relates to the accounts you regularly interact with on Instagram.

Instagram commented:

“And no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest posts”.

How does Instagram know who are your “best friends”?!
Thomas Dimson, a software engineer at Instagram suggests the following ways may determine your best friends:

  • Accounts whose content you like regularly(which includes stories & live videos)
  • Accounts that you direct message
  • Accounts you have searched for
  • Anyone you know in real life

It can be assumed that the more of these elements you use with an account (i.e. if you regularly search an account, then like, comment and share their posts), then the higher they will appear on your feed as they will be considered ‘best friends’.

ENGAGEMENT

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM - ENGAGEMENTA post with more engagement is likely to feature higher. It is also believed that early engagement is particularly important, because a flurry of initial activity indicates to the Instagram algorithm that a post is worth bumping to the top of other users’ feed, which leads to even more engagement. Instagram considers engagement to be likes, comments, video views, shares (via direct message), saves, story views, and live video views.

Figure out the best time to post on Instagram for your account. You can use Instagram insights to give you an idea of when your audience is online. .

Post consistently engaging visuals paired with compelling captions that encourage followers to interact with your posts. Put the most important words up front in you caption, to draw followers in and encourage them to keep reading.

SAVES & SHARES

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM - SAVES & SHARESIn regards to the Instagram Algorithm, direct shares and saves are another signal that you’re interested in an account. Also who you share the content with suggests to the algorithm that you have a relationship with that individual and this could rank them higher in your feed.

The other element is posts that are saved. If a post is saved it will suggest that it’s relevant content for you.

To use the algorithm to your advantage in this respect, create content that others want to save to come back to or posts that people will want to share with others such as:
* Tutorials .
* Facts .
* Hints and Tips .
* Instructionals .
* How To’s .
* Guides .
* Reviews.

TIMELINESS

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM - TIMELINESSInstagram themselves have commented:

“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

This means that Instagram considers more recent posts, to be more relevant to you. This suggests that a post that is more recent will feature higher in your feed, than an older post with higher engagement.

With this in mind, you should make sure that you are posting fresh content regularly. Also ensure that you post when your followers are most active to hit the prime window of engagement. In addition, it would be beneficial to be active around the time that you post. So you should be available to like, comment around the hashtags/geotags you have used and also respond to comments on your post. The first hour is thought to be key.

ACTIVITY

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM - ACTIVITYThis part of the algorithm relates to your activity around the accounts that you search for often.

An Instagram spokesperson commented to Business Insider that if you frequently search Instagram for a certain account, that indicates that your interested in that person or company. Their posts are then likely to appear higher in your feed.

It’s tricky to offer any advice for how to work this part of the algorithm to promote your own page in people’s feed. The only way I think you could get people to ‘search’ for your page is by using other social media channels and tell people to find you by searching. This maybe a slightly cumbersome way to go about it though when you could just directly link!!

RELEVANCY

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM - RELEVANCYInstagram have said:

”The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”

The Instagram algorithm uses your behaviours, such as follows, likes, comments, saves and shares to recognise what content you enjoy viewing to influence the relevancy factor. It is even proposed that Instagram uses photo recognition technology so that it can tell the type of images you are viewing.

In order to make the algorithm work for you consider the hashtags, content, images and accounts you follow as this will impact on what you see in your feed. You should ensure that you are genuine and authentic in your actions on Instagram, because your feed will reflect your behaviour.
Make sure that you engage and build relationships with accounts similar to yours – and “people like you”.

TIME SPENT

INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM - TIME SPENTThis is how long someone spends looking at and viewing your images, story or feed – or vice versa, how long you spend looking at someone’s images, story or feed.

The longer spent looking at the image, feed or story – the algorithm will assume you like it more and will bump that up your feed. That content will then become more relevant.

So when you’re creating content for your feed, you should be considering ways to get people to ‘linger’ on your post, story or feed. This could be in the caption you use (including engaging and interesting text), by encouraging your audience to visit other images on your feed or by adding an element to your image that means people have to view it for longer.

A good example of making an enticing image is @humannurture who cleverly conceals HN in their image for the audience to find.


Understanding the algorithm allows you to be able to ‘hack’ the algorithm to make sure that your content is shown to as many people as possible – enable increased reach and hopefully more engagement.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Be empathic, authentic and genuine in your content and your approach – Respond and react to your audience and your organic growth and engagement will happen.

The algorithm is constantly evolving, changing and updating so no doubt I will have new information to feedback on this soon.

 

A place to learn

On our last day visiting Care For Cambodia schools  with Edukid, we visited a school just outside of Siem Reap. This visit was probably my highlight of the entire trip. The Edukid delegates and children all had a wonderful time. There was so much fun, happiness and laughter. The khmer children fully immersed themselves in our ‘British’ traditional sports day events including a sack race and egg & spoon. The event was finished off with a 1.5km race.

The children were so enthusiastic, cheering each other on and embracing the challenges.

Siem Reap School Sports Day

Sack Race!

Siem Reap School Sports Day

Sack Race!

Siem Reap School Sports Day

Water cup challenge

Siem Reap School Sports Day

Egg and spoon race

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is also the school that left a lasting impression for me and I would like to do something to help.


All of the schools we visited were established beneath the teachers own home – this school was no exception. The red plastic chairs you can see in the pictures (below) were hired in, especially for this sports day event…because the school doesn’t actually have their own tables or chairs. The children are either taught on the floor or the teacher uses his wooden bed frame as a makeshift table. You can see the bed frame in the first picture. 

Care for Cambodia SchoolCare for Cambodia School Care for Cambodia School

 

 

 

 

 

To buy tables and chairs for this school will cost just £350 and I have pledged to raise the money to fund this for the school. The tables and chairs will be sourced and made within the local village, meaning that the money also goes straight back into the local community.

If you feel compelled to help towards the purchase of the tables and chairs, you can make a donation to my justgiving page and the money will go directly towards helping this school: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kistography

The Education system in Cambodia

 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

Nelson Mandela

History of education in Cambodia

Over 40 years ago Cambodia’s education system was destroyed at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, which saw the destruction of all schools and intellectuals were executed. Although, since then the education system has been rebuilt – it still has a long way to go.

According to UNESCO, only 1.6 per cent of Cambodia’s Gross Domestic Product (GNP) is spent on education. The GDP on education in most western countries is anywhere between 5.5 to 6.4 per cent.

The number of children entering education in primary school is increasing and the gender gap is closing, however completion rates for primary and lower secondary school are low. Parents are unable to afford the indirect and direct costs of schooling and many children are required to stay home to help with chores, field work or accessing the labour market.

There is also the problem that due to the insufficient funding, there is a lack of quality education and resources. Much of the education centres around learning by rote – rather than child-led and child-centred teaching practices. Also, children often repeat years and there are many over age children in the primary system who have not transitioned into secondary education. This all contributes to the high drop out rates as children are bored and become unmotivated.

There is also a gap in the provision for early childhood education. Less than 26 per cent of three and five year olds have access to early years development opportunities. Social and languages skills are developed in early childhood and it is important to embrace this stage to facilitate their academic success.

We were lucky to have the opportunity to visit a rural State school in the Preah Sihanouk Province (photos below). The school was closed for the summer holidays but even so – the lack of resources, basic equipment, teaching materials and the state of disrepair was concerning. The library was empty – the books worn, tattered and barely usable. 

Cambodian State School

Cambodian State School Library

Cambodian State School Library

Cambodian State School Library

Cambodian State School Classroom

Cambodian State School Classroom

Cambodian State School Classroom

Cambodian State School Classroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schools are frequently overcrowded so often have two shifts – one set of students in the morning and another in the afternoon.


 

NGO support for education is vital.

 

This is where the work of Edukid and Care for Cambodia comes in. Using the donations they receive they provide supplementary education in their village projects during the afternoon and each child is provided with a school pack which contains everything they need to attend school for that year. Edukid currently supports 2015 children.

It was delightful to witness the children receiving their school packs:

Edukid - Cambodia School packs

Edukid – Cambodia School packs

Me with children receiving Edukid – Cambodia School packs

Edukid - Cambodia School packs

Me with children receiving Edukid – Cambodia School packs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here are some photos from a few of the CFC run schools we visited during our trip.

CFC school near Phnom Penh

Children enjoying activities in a CFC school near Phnom Penh

CFC school near Phnom Penh

Children enjoying activities in a CFC school near Phnom Penh

CFC school in Preah Sihanouk Province

CFC school in Preah Sihanouk Province

CFC school in Preah Sihanouk Province

CFC school in Preah Sihanouk Province

CFC school in Preah Sihanouk Province

CFC school in Preah Sihanouk Province

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How you can help:

Through Edukid sponsorship for £20 a month:

  • A school pack containing school bag, uniform and study material for one child
  • One hour’s supplementary education every day after school
  • Supervision and monitoring of the programme both incountry and externally
  • You will receive annual reports, films and lesson plans and further teaching resources.

Download a sponsorship form here

Alternatively you can make a one of donation via my Justgiving pagehttps://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kistography

SOURCES:
https://www.unicef.org/cambodia/3.Education.pdf

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/columns/education-and-its-role-cambodia

Our Projects

 

 

 

Cambodia

To have nothing, is not an excuse to do nothing.

There are many stories to tell from my time in Cambodia with Edukid and I intend to share them via here, on my Facebook and my Instagram. Some full of hope, some inspiring and some also full of sadness.
 
First off, I’d like to introduce you to the most empathic, selfless, driven, kind-hearted, gentle and caring woman I have met – Bonnie.
 

Watch Bonnie talk about her story here:

 

 
I had the privilege of meeting Bonnie on several occasions during our trip. What struck me immediately, was that consistently she was always putting others first. Whether that be fixing one of the groups broken flip flops, spending a bus journey making origami frogs for one of our younger members, sorting out a confused coffee shop order or cooking for us at the Homestay. It’s just instinctively and intuitively in her nature. No education or training can provide someone with these qualities. However, what education can do is enable someone to embrace those qualities and facilitate opportunities for them, to pay them forward on a much bigger scale. Bonnie had the tenacity to recognise this, when she decided at a young age that she wanted to study medicine. Her desire to study medicine was instigated after she witnessed a pregnant lady and her unborn child die – because they were unable to afford medical care.
 
However, as Bonnie conveys during the video – studying medicine was going to be fraught with barriers. Notwithstanding the cost, there was the fact her parents didn’t want her to have an education as they felt she’d be better off earning money collecting recycling, then marry a man and become a housewife – a fate already decided for many girls in Cambodia.
 
Fortunately, Edukid were able to find a sponsor for Bonnie to allow her to attend university and study medicine. Her sponsors were among the delegates on my trip and it was an honour to be there the moment that they met each other for the first time. Through their generosity, Bonnie will be finishing her medical studies in 2018 and she hopes to become a gynaecologist.
 
Of course, Bonnie has bigger dreams than “just” being a Gynaecologist. She has ambitions to also open a clinic in the slum areas of Phnom Penh. There she will offer free health care to those who are unable to afford it (all delivered around her “day job”). Already, still in training, she makes herself available 24/7 to anyone who needs medical care (often woken at 2 or 3am to see people).
 

A truly altruistic and magnaminous human being. Hopefully, through Edukid we could make her clinic a reality.

Please consider making a donation to Edukid – my Justgiving page will remain active indefinitely: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kistography

Other ways to donate: http://www.edukid.org.uk/donate/

Choum reap lear Cambodia

After an incredible 11 days in Cambodia, sadly, its now time for me to begin my journey back to the UK.

Our itinerary has been so jam packed that its been impossible to blog everything as it has happened, however when I’m back home I fully intend to share the stories, descibe the places we visited, explain the experiences we had and introduce you to the incredible people we have met along the way.

I have so many tales to tell and challenges I want to take on.

From hopelessness to hope.

So yesterday I arrived in Phnom Penh and met up with the Edukid delegates who I will be spending the rest of this week with. We enjoyed an evening meal together and did our introductions. The group comprises of children, teens and adults, from various walks of life, different areas of the Country, but all with the same goal – to try to promote and support the work Edukid does in Cambodia.

 

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

“From hopelessness to hope.” This is how one of the Edukid delegates descibed our day, today here in Phnom Penh and I think this sums it up rather eloquently! Our day started with a visit to S21 Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide.

Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide.

Tuol Svay Pray High School sits on a dusty road on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge renamed the high school S-21 and turned it into a torture, interrogation and execution center. Of the 14,000 people known to have entered, only seven survived. Not only did the Khmer Rouge carefully transcribe the prisoners’ interrogations; they also carefully photographed the vast majority of the inmates and created an astonishing photographic archive. Each of the almost 6,000 S-21 portraits that have been recovered tells a story shock, resignation, confusion, defiance and horror. Although the most gruesome images to come out of Cambodia were those of the mass graves, the most haunting were the portraits taken by the Khmer Rouge at S-21. Today, S-21 Prison is known as the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide. Inside the gates, it looks like any high school; five buildings face a grass courtyard with pull-up bars, green lawns and lawn-bowling pitches. The ground-floor classrooms in one building have been left to appear as they were in 1977. The spartan interrogation rooms are furnished with only a school desk-and-chair set that faces a steel bed frame with shackles at each end. On the far wall are the grisly photographs of bloated, decomposing bodies chained to bed frames with pools of wet blood underneath. These were the sights that greeted the two Vietnamese photojournalists who first discovered S-21 in January of 1979.”

It’s really hard to find words to truely articulate the experience of visiting S21. This was evident as we all gathered at the end of the tour for our Tuk Tuk ride back to the hotel – somewhat pensive, contemplative and reflective. I’m glad that I was in the situation where we visited this as a group, as it enabled us to share our thoughts and experiences on the journey back. We were all touched in different ways by the exhibits. For some it was the reality of standing within the confines of the cramped cells, for others it was seeing the faces of the victims depicted in the countless photos, for me it hit home when I spotted an English man had been caught up in the atrocities. John Dewhirst, aged just 26, was on a sailing trip with New Zealander Kerry Hamill, and ended up in Cambodian waters. Their boat was seized by a Khmer Rouge patrol vessel and they were brought to S21. The circumstances of their deaths are unclear. One thing is for sure, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. About halfway through the audio tour I decided to stop listening as it all got a bit overwhelming. The physical reminders, visual images and paintings were over powering in their own right.

After the museum visit, over lunch we got to meet Care For Cambodia who work in partnership with Edukid. Here we were blessed to meet Srey Da who’s story you can watch here:

Srey Da – Edukid

Tomorrow we will be travelling to Srey Da’s village to see the difference she and Edukid have made in supporting the children to receive an education.

We had a small amount of time to browse the sensory layer cake that is the russian markets. Clothes, jewellery, watches, trinkets, motorbike forks, live crabs, a rainbow of fruit & veg…it’s all sold here! I didn’t buy anything here this time, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being there with others as they haggled and bartered for their goods.

Our day was rounded off nicely, when during late afternoon, we all piled into Tuk Tuks and headed off to meet with a group of University students that Edukid are supporting to study. They had organised for us to have a boat ride on the Mekong and they’d prepared a selection of local cuisine for us to eat, which included frog, Amok and fish egg soup! My daughter had challenged me to eat something unusual whilst in Cambodia, so this was the perfect opportunity! I decided to try frog and I’m pleased to say it was actually really tasty!

We had lots of opportunities to mingle and chat with the students. Their grasp of English, significantly better than my Khmer! Their commitment and dedication to their education is inspirational. When we visit the village tomorrow, we will get to meet a number of the students again, as remarkab they now volunteer as teachers in the village, selflessly paying forward their gift of education.

We had lots of fun when we were set the challenge of getting the funniest group photo. Here’s my groups efforts!

 

 

And here is all of us together: