How to Use Instagram

27 May

My Instagram Experience

A week ago I downloaded Instagram after hearing about it’s aquisition by Facebook. So, I was doing it as a very late adopter. Fast forward a week later and I have 400 images in my instagram feed. I think this amount of experience warrants a how-to article on Instagram.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a mobile app that allows anyone to create captivating images using a simple phone camera. The app uses a few simple methods to ensure that a majority of the images created for the app are appealing.

The beautiful square

Instagram only creates images as a perfect square. The square has often been a simple of perfection, beauty, and precision. The fact that Instagram uses only a single aperature size should surprise no one.

Limited effects pallete

You cannot make your image look that different from what it looked like originally. Limiting the toolset is a great way to limit the variety of images you can produce, thus making sure no really ugly images are created.

 

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Map of Architectural/Cultural Monuments in Praga Północ

3 Apr

Praga Polnoc includes one of Warsaw’s great preserved neighborhoods Saska Kępa.Saska Kępa features a collection of over 30 historic monuments and is a very popular destination for foreign residents including being the location of several embassies and the residence of foreign diplomats. The map below showcases the numerous monuments available in Praga Polnoc.

The First Podcast

21 Nov

Better Now, than Never.

Well, here it is our first podcast, created really more as a test than an actual program, this episode will give you an idea of the characteristics of this podcast, it’s host, and most importantly the quality of the content.

Listen Now

In our first podcast we have used the Creative Commons-licensed music of Alastair Cameron

Free Film Music (cameronmusic.co.uk) (Alastair Cameron) / CC BY 3.0

How to Start a Great Internet Radio Station

21 Nov

Starting an internet radio station is all the rage nowadays and the internet is filled with dozens of sites claiming to represent a specific geographic location or a niche market, but let’s face it, in this age of the internet there are few boundaries worth regarding. Today I write up a few simple steps for creating a winning internet radio station on a shoestring budget.

  1. Hire a great Program Director; to learn more about this job read about it here.
  2. Develop a variety of programming.
  3. Hire the appropriate producers for your programs.
  4. See which programs stick, and which ones fail. Throw the failures out, and start again.
  5. Keep connected to your audience via twitter and Facebook, but don’t forget about real-world events.
  6. Get someone on your staff involved in gathering original news, even if it’s just from 500 meter radius of your building.
  7. Never stop developing new material and always focus on promoting the high-quality content and throwing out the rest.
  8. Stay focused, efficient, and keep costs down.
  9. Never focus directly on your competition, instead focus on your audience, and if it’s too narrow, broaden your scope.
  10. If your station is not meeting it’s listenership goals, fire your Program Director, and start from number 2.

Take a Break in Falenica

5 Jul

I am sitting in a old-fashioned leather office chair with plastic armrests at a perfectly square table which is plumb-up against the window sill, above which can be seen a set of train tracks through barred windows. I am not in a mental hospital, instead I am inside the former train depot building in Falenica (Warsaw), Poland. This old building was recently renovated and converted into a coffee shop/performance hall/library. Sitting inside with my laptop I can imagine the crowds of people of yesteryear queing in line to buy a ticket into the capital of Warsaw.

Today what used to be seperate city, is now the South-eastern outpost in Poland’s capital city. The trains here run all day long and start as early as 4:43 in the morning. Many people commute from Otwock to Warsaw to avoid the high rents in the city. One can only imagine that soon enough even Otwock will get obsorbed by the capital, and some far off village will become the next bedroom community. Poland is not growing as quickly as other cities in Europe, at least not in terms of square miles. In an article I recently read about the state of Poland’s roads, the writer mentioned that because the roads are so poor Warsaw has had the luck of developing in a way that is anti-sprawl. Although I must admit that some of the newer districts of the city are certainly prone to US-like sprawl.

This cafe is a comfortable place to go trainspotting (without all of the heroine and trouble), drink a nice espresso, and forget about your job, for just a few minutes. Their menu features some quick bites, delicious beverages, and of course my favorite the Red Cappucino. It’s made with Rooibos tea, and tastes sweet. Next time you’re on your way to Otwock, get off the train at Falenica and check out the cafe, located in the giant post-modernist construction, currently being remodeled. When you come here, take the place in, and enjoy yourself. Even if you miss your train their will always be one more waiting for you in a few minutes time.

-Staff Reporter

A Sure-Fire Way to Get an English Teaching Job in Poland

1 Jul

You get off of the plane at the Chopin international airport. Leaving the terminal you smell the cool air of a Warsaw autumn. You get on the bus at the terminal and travel across the city to your hostel. You explore the city for a bit and finally go back to your hostel for the night. The next morning you wake up to find you have only $100 to your name. You need to start earning money, or you’ll be forced to leave Poland in no time at all. You go to the desk clerk and tell him you are looking for a job, “anything to pay the bills”‘. He notices your UK/USA/Irish/Austrailian accent and suggests you try getting a job teaching English at the myriad English schools.

You go on the internet and visit this web site. You create a profile and you wait. A few days pass and someone gives you a call. “I would like to practice my English,” a voice says on the other end. You jump at the chance and tell her you’ll gladly oblige. When asked what you’ll charge per hour you say, oh just 30 PLN. When you say this the caller immediately says, “Great, when can we meet?” You set up a meeting at a local cafe.

It’s the morning of the lesson. You dress business casual and wait for the time to arrive. You show up at the lesson 15 minutes early and wait. At 9am your student shows up. She begins speaking to you in English. After the hour runs out, she asks to schedule another hour. She has only had one lesson and already, she wants more lessons.

After teaching her for about 10 lessons, she will most likely try to recommend you to her friends. Once you get a recommendation, you are golden. You will now be able to use the network effect to your advantage and grow your business. In as little as 30 days, you’ll have a burgeoning language teaching service, having invested only some time and no money.

After 6 months of doing this you will work towards becoming established in your city. Now is the time to consider getting a $150 TEFL certification from a site like this or a World-class CELTA certification here. These certificates are a great way to build trust with potential students, and ensure that your skills are up to par. A teacher with a Bachelor’s degree and a certification, who is confident, and smart, has no need to worry about earning a living.

 

A Fresh Perspective

21 Jun

We are happy to announce the launch of Warsaw.fm, an internet radio station for the progressive minded individual living in Poland. We are still under construction and hope to offer streaming audio content as soon as July of 2011. We are very excited to begin this process and hope that you will support us in bringing a voice of reason to the cities media landscape. Warsaw.fm is dedicated to bringing critical information and entertainment to you. As you wait for our service to launch, consider signing up to be part of our staff.