May 9, 2012

Slowly, or not so slowly (depending on your perspective), the contest to win a trip to France to follow Sebastien Murat’s world record attempt at free diving, is coming to a close.  I have noticed that more and more people are applying for the various positions (English Blogger, Chinese Blogger, Russian Blogger, German Blogger, Personal Assistant, Video Blogger, Pool Boy, and WordPress Expert).  As of today, in total 266 people have applied!  It’s testament to the fact that the word is getting out there to the world!  The question I have to ask is, “HOW?”

From what I can see, looking over the various applicants profiles, the contest began 16 days ago.  That would take it to about April 24.  My application was submitted about 11 days ago, or April 29.  That sounds about right!  I recorded my video for the position at about 2:30am on April 29 and uploaded it to the FRENCH JOB site (

The question is, and I’m sure many of my readers are wondering, and if they’re not, they should, “How did you find out about this competition?”

Just like many other people around the world, I am on Facebook.  Facebook has made many changes over the few years that I have been signed on, but the premise of the site is to keep people connected.  It is proven to me, to be a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, although I am on the other side world.  My connections are mainly in Canada, but I do have many connections here in Taiwan as well

One of the changes that I have noticed over time on Facebook, is the ads on the right side of the screen.  Normally, I don’t really look at ads.  Every once in a while, one will catch my attention, but rarely do I ever tap on them.  Having used a computer for most of my adult life, I realize that at times, tapping a link to a site can be detrimental.  However, and I must admit, I did notice the ad for THE FRENCH JOB a couple of days before I actually tapped the link.

As it appeared a few more times, just for the hell of it, I decided to see what this link was about.  Like I said, I’m normally very cautious when it comes to links of this sort, but upon looking at the site, I was mildly intrigued.  I suppose I thought, as others did, that this was some sort of scam.  Some way of obtaining information, spreading spam, etc., etc.  But something didn’t seem like it was this type of site.  It looked and ‘felt’ real.  There was nothing ‘popping up’ on my screen.  There were not other links to other sites.  There was no money involved.  Something about it made me feel that it was legitimate!

So, I took it seriously.  After a bit of surfing, looking at the video links on the site, and reading through the rules and regulations of this contest or competition, I felt somewhat comfortable enough to go ahead and apply.  Really, what did I have to lose?  It wasn’t costing me anything financially, and the benefits, both in terms of winning the competition, and the residual benefits like more people reading my blogs, it was all up!  My first attempt at applying, I kind of screwed up the application, and luckily, I was able to cancel the application process – but not before I fully understood what the application wanted of me.  Like anything else, they wanted name, email, birthdate… and then the odd thing was, a video.  Now, it wasn’t absolutely necessary, but the application suggested, it was a good idea.  Why not?  Again, what have I got to lose?  What did I have to gain?

Honestly, as it was about 2am, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to record a video when I’m not at my peak.  But, I composed myself, recorded about five or six videos before I was happy with the final.  I’m not a video blogger, and rarely (or should I say NEVER) get in front of a camera for any other purpose than ‘by chance’.  That being said, I’m not afraid of being in front of a camera.  I have gotten over the ‘fear’ of being in front of people.  I don’t think I really had as much a fear ever, but since coming to Taiwan and teaching, being in front of people is part of my task every day.  So perhaps saying that I have become more comfortable in front of people, translates to being comfortable in front of a camera.  Whether it be for five people or 500 or 5000, makes no difference.

Once the application was filled in, the video uploaded, then began the voting process.  Get the word out to people.  The promoters gave suggestions to the applicants on how to get the word out that the applicant had applied.  At the close of the contest, the top ten vote receivers would be the chosen within their categories.  Of those, one would be the ultimate winner for the category.

Immediately, I started getting my name out there.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… anything that I was a part of that I could post a message or post a video, became my avenues for getting the attention of my contacts.  As I have many contacts through Facebook in Canada, here in Taiwan, and through various other avenues on Facebook, I also have ‘friends’ in other countries around the world.

As I was one of the earlier applicants, there wasn’t a lot of competition.  When I had applied, there were only about 15 or 16 people applying for the English Blogger category.  Now, there’s over 50 people!  Getting a headstart, and getting the word out, really gave me an edge.  Then again, those people who had applied earlier, also had more of a headstart than me!  But I’m not worried.

I still use all the resources I have to get people to watch my video (via YouTube).  I use my blog and provide the link (  Daily and oftentimes, more than once a day, I post my link to THE FRENCH JOB site on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.

On top of all this, I am still doing my research.  I have found many links to various websites, blogs, and other Internet links, in regards to Sebastien Murat.  I may not know everything about Sebastien, but the more information I do have, can only be beneficial, should I win the English Blogger competition.  I can use this information as background, to inform my blog readers who Sebastien Murat is!

I’ve also noticed that more and more people around the world are logging in and reading my daily blog.  This is wonderful.  It gives me the impetus to inform them, and knowing that I am reaching the world, is an incredible feeling.  I hope that the promoters will see this as a benefit.  The name “SEBASTIEN MURAT” will definitely get more exposure, and “MAURICE LACROIX” will also benefit greatly by more exposure to the world.  Granted, each has their exposure, but maybe I have contacts in areas that they are not!

10 days to go!  Please, take a couple of minutes, use your computers, laptops, i-whatevers (haha), cellphones – anywhere you have access to the Internet, and please, cast your vote for me as English Blogger –


That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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