Happy Valentine’s Day! – A Love Story In Photos

This may be one of the sweetest posts we’ve seen in a long time. Photography Tim Dodd captured the love story between his friend, war veteran Taylor Morris, and his long time girlfriend Danielle, in 22 shots that will surely leave you misty-eyed.

Tim started broke the story out on his blog, which you can read here, about one of the most inspiring stories you’ll ever see.

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See, you needed the tissues didn’t you?

February 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm 1 comment

Hump Day Post – Random Acts of Kindness

If you’ve never heard of buzzfeed.com, you’re about to. They have some of the sweetest, funniest, and cute everyday moments on the web. We found this post over there that we just had to share!

*All commentary belongs to buzzfeed.

1. The parents who made their son’s wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever

The parents who made their son's wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever

2. The terminally ill man who loves receiving mail… and got more than he ever expected

The terminally ill man who loves receiving mail... and got more than he ever expected

Scott Widak has Down syndrome and suffers from liver disease, and he loves receiving mail. His nephew Sean posted his P.O. Box on Reddit and the site’s users responded with hundreds of letters, packages, and gifts.

Via: mashable.com

3. A kind stranger who stopped a day from being ruined

A kind stranger who stopped a day from being ruined

Via: i.imgur.com

4. The doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy

The doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy

Via: shortformblog.com

5. And the people that helped out any way that they could during super storm Sandy.

And the people that helped out any way that they could

Via: facebook.com

Via: reddit.com

Hospital employees make a human chain passing containers of fuel up 13 flights of stairs to the backup generator at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.

Via: facebook.com

6. The older couple who saw themselves in two young parents

The older couple who saw themselves in two young parents
Via: i.imgur.com

7. This Libyan child who doesn’t believe in hate

This Libyan child who doesn't believe in hate

Via: facebook.com

8. The parents who tattooed insulin pumps on their bellies so their diabetic son wouldn’t feel “different”

The parents who tattooed insulin pumps on their bellies so their diabetic son wouldn't feel "different"

Via: 4.bp.blogspot.com

9. The police officer who bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man

The police officer who bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man

Jennifer Foster was visiting Times Square on Nov. 14 when she snapped the heartwarming moment. Here’s her account of what happened:

“Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching*. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name. It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared.”

Via: facebook.com

10. And the police officers who made blind 13-year-old Gage Hancock-Stevens’ dream of being a cop come true

And the police officers who made blind 13-year-old Gage Hancock-Stevens' dream of being a cop come true

They even gave him a cake!

They even gave him a cake

Via: millcreekmultimedia.com

11. The Michigan soccer team who gave their team manager with Down syndrome an opportunity to start

The Michigan soccer team who gave their team manager with Down syndrome an opportunity to start

Source: Courtney Sacco  /  via: annarbor.com

Source: Courtney Sacco  /  via: annarbor.com

Source: Courtney Sacco  /  via: annarbor.com

12. The Texas A&M students that blocked Westboro Baptist Church protesters with a human wall

The Texas A&M students that blocked Westboro Baptist Church protesters with a human wall

When students heard that Westboro Baptist Church planned on protesting the funeral of a soldier, they formed a human barricade around the funeral service to block them out.

13. And this brave kid who stood up against hate

And this brave kid who stood up against hate

Via: facebook.com

Via: facebook.com

14. The woman who kept a homeless man dry during a downpour

The woman who kept a homeless man dry during a downpour

Via: 1.bp.blogspot.com

15. The Disney security guard who is amazing at his job

The Disney security guard who is amazing at his job

Via: reddit.com

16. The Icelandic heroes who rescued sheep during a major snowstorm

The Icelandic heroes who rescued sheep during a major snowstorm

17. The quick-thinking little girl who saved her mom’s life by slapping her with a piece of pizza

18. The young girl who loves her dog unconditionally

The young girl who loves her dog unconditionally

Source: twentytwowords.com  /  via: cheezburger.com

19. The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital

The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital

Via: i.imgur.com

20. The bros who worked together to save a cat

The bros who worked together to save a cat

21. The community that came together to make Caine’s dream a reality

The community that came together to make Caine's dream a reality

You can watch the full story here.

22. The football star who gives children in need a shopping spree each year

The football star who gives children in need a shopping spree each year

This is a receipt for $19,000 in toys.

23. The man who comforts the old dog that saved his life

The man who comforts the old dog that saved his life

When John Unger had suicidal thoughts after a breakup, it was his dog Shoep who brought him back from the brink. This photograph shows Unger cradling his friend in lake Superior to soothe the dog’s arthritis.

Source: johnschoep.zenfolio.com  /  via: facebook.com
Aw away! We sure did!

February 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

If Bridget Jones Made A Valentine’s Day Album …

Bridget Jones’s Diary is a modern love story. Girl meets boy, can’t have boy, goes through a series of embarrassing, yet comedic and self-discovering obstacles and realizes that made said boy isn’t right for her. There’s other fish in the sea. Other, well dressed, terribly handsome, fish. Now all she has to do is navigate the tricky world of unspoken feelings, and she’s all set!

Maybe you have a much more classic love story, maybe you and your loved one actually did fall in love at first sight, or you met when the two of you accidentally picked up the same lemon at the supermarket. Either way, there’s nothing quite like recording your story of how the two of you got together. Narrate your photos by adding your own personal thoughts, reflections, and memories to give to your other half this Thursday (yes, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching)!

So go on, make yours!

photo

Like what you see? Follow me @leeannyee for more updates!

February 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm Leave a comment

Creative SPOKEnPHOTO Album Ideas!

Here’s my food album. Here’s my vacation album. Here’s my pet album. Not so creative is it? So why not find a theme and create an album around that theme? For instance, if you love food, why not try putting together an album with all your breakfast moments with friends? Here are a couple ideas to get you started on making a creative digital album that talks!

10 reasons why I love you!

Valentine’s Day is upon us. Very soon. No gift idea yet? Why don’t you put together all the images you love into one album and add your own personal love note?

Try this: singing his favourite song – belt it out like Beyonce!

Every morning of our vacation

Vacation pictures are common enough, but why don’t you put a spin on it and give it a theme? If you took pictures every single morning during breakfast, put those images together and create a gorgeous album.

Try this: recall the best and the worst of that meal, everyone loves talking about food!

Bloopers!

cyclist-crashes-flips-over-bicycle-mid-air-blooper-picture

All those photos you wanted to delete because they looked like you were caught in the middle of a tornado or when you had one eye open and your tongue sticking out? Keep them! Years down the road, they’ll make for some hilarious conversation, and great memories.

Try this: talk about what you thought was happening at the time the photo was taken!

Anatomy of a weekend

Weekends are such a fun and relaxed time. So if you’ve just come back from 2 day girls weekend in Miami or you just spent some good quality time together at the park, gather all your favourite moments of the weekend and put them together in a photo album.

Try this: get your kids to talk about their favourite part of the weekend!

Kids artwork

The fridge is the perfect place for all of your child’s creations, so why not make an album of them and let your child tell you the story behind it? Those are memories you’ll want to cherish forever, and plus – it’ll be great material for embarrassment in their teenage years!

Try this: once you add their artwork, interview them! Ask them what each colour means or what inspired the drawing.

Letter a page

This is a popular idea for traditional photo albums, but since this option doesn’t really need to you to be a graphic designer, set out to either create letters with your bodies and snap a shot of it, or find hidden letters that you spot around the city! It’ll be such a fun and creative project and you can record your adventures along the way!

Try this: what could be more interactive than talking about why that letter is special to them?

Have any other creative ideas for your albums? Have you already done an amazing one and we haven’t mentioned it? Share with us!

Like what you see? Follow me @leeannyee for more updates!

February 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

Spoke’s Weekly Wrap Up

weekly

It’s been a snowy and fun week here at Spoke, let’s wrap it up shall we?

Twitter – Song Photography Series

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We tweeted the Sony World Photography Short list, with gorgeous photos, and Sony took notice! @sony_canada

Facebook – Relive Winnie the Pooh

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Missing the voices of Winnie the Pooh? We’ve got all the actors voices right here, just take a listen and you’ll be taken on adventures with our favourite honey-loving bear.

Blog – Hump Day post; Paperman

Black and white and sweet all over.

Love Week – Little Love Stories

2013-02-08 10.59.03 am

We found some of the sweetest voice love stories on the net, and these are probably going to put a smile on your face 🙂

There you have it! Happy weekend!

February 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

Voice Series: Who Is The More Talkative Gender?

It’s the age-old question. Wh0 is the more talkative gender? Hollywood depicts women as the chatterboxes, constantly going on and on about something that appears to be mundane and unnecessary. While the men give long speeches that are supposed to move nations and change policies and talk about sports over beer. So who of the two sexes talks more? Perhaps it’s neither, perhaps we both talk the same amount, let’s investigate.

In 2007, a study was published in Science Magazine that had participants wear voice recorders. 396 participants participated in this study to analyze the sounds and words that were voiced from each gender. The daily word uses were extrapolated from the tapes, and the data gathered showed that men and women both spoke an average of 16,000 words a day.

Here’s another interesting fact:

Psychologist Matthias Mehl of the University of Arizona says the three top talkers in the study — uttering up to 47,000 words a day — were all men. So was the most taciturn subject, who spoke only 700 words a day, on average.

So it seems as if the national myth that women are more talkative then men is completely false. According to a study published in the Daily Mail, the differences that determine the level of chatter between the two genders stem from the difference reasons in which men and women speak, and what they are most vocal about.

For instance, one of the reasons men may be more, or just as, talkative is a reflection on their need to control conversations, especially around women. Men also have a tendency to talk more about technology or sports for instance, while women speak out more on relationships and the occasional gossip.

The idea that men clam up? Not the case it seems! Men are more likely to talk more in certain social situations – with groups of people, or their significant others, even strangers. Women on the other hand chat a lot more when they’re with their friends or with children.

So it really has nothing to do with biology, in fact the study concluded that it was more cultural influences that determined how much we speak. When it comes to nature versus nurture, nurture appears to play a key role in our daily verbal interactions.

Through a little bit of digging, we’ve been able to dispel a bit of an age-old myth, popularized mostly through movies and mass media. In fact, there is no such thing as a more talkative gender. As a species, we both like to chatter just the same albeit on different topics and in different scenarios.  Just know that next time your wife tunes out when you talk about sports, or when his eyes seem to glaze over when you’re cooing about your co-workers newborn, it’s not because you are talking too much but rather that your talking may be off-gender!

February 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

Hump Day Post – Paperman

It’s almost Friday! And it’s also a little bit closer to the big Hallmark holiday next week – Valentine’s Day! So to celebrate, and infuse your day with a little bit of old world romance, we give you this wonderful Disney short – Paperman.

It’s been going viral all across the net and we can see why! A sweet silent film that shows love in it’s purest, sweet, and most innocent form. What Valentine’s Day should be all about.

 

Happy viewing!

February 6, 2013 at 11:49 am 1 comment

Love Week: Little Love Stories

There’s a lot to look forward to next week! There’s Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and the Koreans have a 3 day long celebration to celebrate their Lunar New Year. Today, we’re going to get your little love engines going with some sweet love stories that we’ve collected from all over the web!

Love Stories via StoryCorp.

Just click on the quote to hear their story!

We love hearing love stories, do you have any you’d like to share with us?

Like what you see? Follow me @leeannyee for more updates!

February 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

Spoke’s Weekly Wrap Up

weekly

Facebook – Talking Valentines!

2013-02-01 11.55.40 am

We’re making Valentine’s Day a little easier for you this year – with an album full of pictures for you to send to your loved ones with your special voice note attached!

Blog – Top 5 Photography Apps That Aren’t Instagram

Everyone has Instagram, so let’s switch things up and look to some other apps!

Twitter – We gained 40+ followers!

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In the span of a week, we gained more that 40 followers, so thank you to everyone who followed us! We’re excited to see more of you!

jOBS: First look at the biopic about Steve Jobs

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs? Look at this picture, we believe it!

And there it is! It was an exciting week!

Like what you see? Follow me @leeannyee for more updates!

February 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Voice Series – How Voice is the Natural Next Wave in the Personal Network

Our voice is completely unique and natural to us. It transfers our emotion, our energy and our intention when we communicate. One small inflection in our tone sends a completely different message. Over the last 15 years, we have sacrificed the quality of our correspondence for convenience with the growth of asynchronous text communication like email and SMS. However, as our world becomes completely built on the Internet, it only makes sense that voice will come full circle and re-emerge as the next wave of online communication to enrich and improve our conversations. It’s universal, intuitive, emotional, and provides more clarity. The question is, where and how will it emerge and where will it make sense in our digital world? We think it’s in the Personal Network.

As of 2012, 71% of cell phone users preferred texting over calling.

So in such a text-driven mobile landscape devoid of verbal communication, where will voice make a comeback? Everyone thinks about Siri when you talk about voice and technology. We are talking about voice specifically in the context of correspondence. Technically, Siri is a machine who does not require any insight into your feelings, so it doesn’t qualify! But look at the big guys like Google introducing Google Voice, Microsoft acquiring Skype and even Facebook testing voice in their Messaging App. It doesn’t seem like they really know yet exactly where it’s going but they know they want a piece of the verbal action as we shift the balance of traffic from telephone networks to social networks.

Looking across the social mobile landscape, new voice-centric apps are popping up every month that are pairing voice with pictures, replacing text messaging with voice, or adding voice to social networks. It’s clear that something is brewing on the mobile Internet but, with the exception of perhaps HeyTell, nothing has really caught fire. On one hand, it adds back exactly what is lacking in text communication, emotional context. On the other hand, it often lessens the convenience of being able to scan conversations, chat during boring work meetings, or be semi-anonymous in the public social networking arena. It’s really only in the Personal Network, for the average person, where quality trumps convenience.

Personal Network? What’s that? It is, according to Robin Dunbar, evolutionary psychologist and social network guru, the number of friends that an average human tends to socialize in – specifically, this number of friends is 150. Sound small? It’s quite large actually, according to Dunbar. Here is what he has to say:

“The reason we’re able to function in so much larger groupings than our primate cousins…is because, tens of thousands of years ago, we taught ourselves to talk. Whereas baboons bond by taking turns picking each others’ nits, we have rhetoric and gossip and half-time speeches, not to mention singing and storytelling and jokes, to bring and hold us together. Language is how humans used their big brains to get to 150.”

Since the Caveman’s system of grunts and cave drawings, we have evolved to find the best and most efficient way to communicate, carry our voices, and spread our messages. In fact, we are still evolving. Adding voice back to personalize online communication is the next step.

Before the invention of cell phones and the Internet, the telephone was the leading method of personal connection. Before we could put a face to the voice, families gathered around their radios and listened to their favourite voice personalities. Shown pictures of some of the most powerful people in history and it’s their voice that plays back in your mind. Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr., Charlie Chaplin (kidding – just wanted to see if you were paying attention!), Ghandi, Barack Obama, Michael Jackson, and even Hilter are all voices that you can most likely identify within seconds of hearing them. Voice is our own unique and personal stamp. The interesting thing is that because it is so personal, we really only connect with those voices of people that we care about (your Personal Network) or that are familiar and aspirational (celebrities, singers, actors, teachers, politicians).

LadyGaga

So basically, unless you’re a close friend or family member, Lady Gaga or Michelle Obama, millions of people aren’t going to take the time to listen to what you have to say. Your family, friends, sports team, co-workers – they are the Personal Network and community who are motivated to listen. We think voice communication is for corresponding with those who want to listen, not just for sharing blindly out into the public social space where it simply turns into noise for anyone outside your circle of 150.

Just as we function and survive in our social circles, to survive in today’s social networks, you have to use certain tools to engage and capture attention to distinguish yourself, add your unique stamp. While it’s the combination of text, digital photos and video that are really what is piling up on the world’s servers at a rate faster than bunnies can multiply, people are increasingly finding ways to re-integrate voice back into their everyday. Which says there is actually hope for the triumph of ‘quality’ over ‘convenience’ and reversal of the stat that Facebook released last year that said on an average day,

57% of people talk more to people online than in person

It’s more now no doubt, and we find that slightly depressing!

*What makes me happy? Seeing the same 2 little old Italian men, in their weekend finest, meet every Saturday morning at my local coffee bar at 8am to engage in heated discussions…with lots of hand-motioning of course!

Dunbar also states that we have an innermost circle of friends of about 3 to 5. Chances are you maintain that closeness with those 5 people because you talk frequently. Maybe not face to face, but with a phone call at the very least. Think of your 5 people, they’re close with you because you’ve forged an emotional connection with them. You’ve debated, fought, laughed, had deep conversations about life, annoyed each other, and learned from each other. You actually have moments where you suddenly think, ‘I haven’t heard their voice in a long time.’ Almost like it’s an essential element of your being.

He goes on to say that that innermost circle is included in a group of about 12 to 15, those whose death would be devastating to us. And then comes 50, those friends who you see on a fairly regular basis, who you would invite to your 40th birthday bash. And of course, then the magic 150. Those you would send a Christmas card to (if you ever got around to it!). That’s where voice fits. Very rarely will you ever get meaningful conversations from text, and studies show that when something’s important, people do in fact pick up the phone to deliver their words in an emotional context. That’s how true connections are made and strengthened. To maintain those connections, to hold us together, as Dunbar says, humans have voice. ‘Human’ is making a comeback.

Have you tried adding voice back into your everyday correspondence? Share your comments or tweet at us: Lynne McEachern (@spoketech) or Leeann Yee (@leeannyee)

February 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

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