Are You A SKOUT Leader?

What makes a fantastic Skouter? Is it someone who fills out the About Me section of their profile or someone who posts more than just selfies? We asked more than 3,000 Skouters what they think makes a great member of the community. The results are in! Drumroll, please…

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There you have it!

  • The majority of Skouters, about 35%, like when fellow members of the community ask how they are doing or give them a virtual gift.
  • 33% of Skouters enjoy when fellow members of the community share fun pictures instead of only posting selfies.
  • 32% of Skouters appreciate when fellow members of the community take the time to fill out their About Me section.

How do you achieve SKOUT Leader status?

  • Start with adding a personal touch in your About Me section. Say something about yourself, where you’re from and what your interests are to give other members of the community some background about who you are.
  • Give Gifts to fellow Skouters! Not only are Gifts appreciated by the friends you’ve already made on SKOUT, but they’re a great way to break the ice with a new connection!
  • Boost your Buzz game! Remember to post more than just selfies, be positive and keep it classy. This Skouter’s Buzz game is on point. Take notes.

Remember SKOUT is all about social connections. You can make friends from your neck of the woods, or you can use SKOUT Travel to meet people from all over the world. Wherever you want to meet people, remember to follow the tips above to help you make the most friends.

Do you know a Skouter who deserves SKOUT Leader status? Give them a SKOUT Leader trophy! These trophies are located in the SKOUT Leader category of the Gift Store.

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New to giving a gift in SKOUT? Click here to learn how.

Get Your Buzz On

The Buzz is a great place for you to get to know your fellow Skouters, but also show off your own personality and let people get to know you! An occasional selfie is fine, but if your Buzz is filled with selfies, people won’t get an idea of who you are as a person. Post fun and engaging content to your Buzz that will make people want to talk to you, such as a fun photo or a question.

For example, we know this Skouter is a fan of dogs because of her Buzz post:

Try to stay positive because most people don’t want to be friends with a negative Nancy. And remember to have fun and keep it classy!

Looking for more Buzz tips? Click here.

3 Tips for the Socially Awkward

One of the most challenging parts of meeting new people – for relationships, friendship or networking – is building up the confidence to engage someone in conversation. No one wants to be rejected! Believe it or not, even those deemed attractive by society’s standards experience insecurity. Our goal at Skout is to provide an online safe place for you to meet new people, and then it’s up to you to take it offline. But chatting online is one thing – many people are nervous about meeting someone in person for the first time.

So what to do? Here are some great tips I found for overcoming social awkwardness:

  1. Be kind, honest and tactful. If you genuinely admire a person’s shoes or someone else’s athletic prowess, say so! But don’t fake that enthusiasm, warns WikiHow – you’ll come off as desperate and insincere.
  2. Don’t like your looks? Work with what you have, advises a recent Dear Abby column. Be conscientious of how you dress, keep yourself well-groomed and stand tall. Self-confidence goes a long way.
  3. It’s all about quality, not quantity, reminds Inc. Don’t worry about chatting with every single person at a party or conference – one good conversation can be more valuable than a bunch of superficial ones.

Still not feeling it? Click to read even more tips for the socially awkward.

Socially Awkward Penguin image via Know Your Meme.

Skoutdoor Fitness

Summer is right around the corner, and no one wants to be stuck inside a stuffy gym when it's beautiful outside. Similarly, the rising temperature is no reason to slack off. Why not grab some friends, and enjoy the weather while getting fit? Here are some of our favorite outdoor workouts. Hop on the Skout app, and see who will do some with you! Running: Although efficient, the treadmill can get boring. Staring at the same spot in front of you for even just a few minutes can make it seem like you've been running FOREVER. Fresh air, and beautiful scenery can sometimes make time and distance pass faster.

Outdoor Yoga: What better way to add even more Zen to your yoga session than to do child's pose in a meadow of flowers, or on a rooftop during sunset?

Sports: You can play volleyball, or you can play volleyball on the beach! Playing any sport outdoors when the weather permits makes the experience more enjoyable.

Swim: Whether it's water skiing, surfing, or paddle boarding, now is the time to take advantage of any water activity. Swimming alone is a total body workout!

Hiking: Hiking is awesome, because you can make an entire day of it. Grab some friends, bring some snacks and hike the road less traveled. The best part is you can set your own pace, and take breaks at your leisure.

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Tips for the Awkward

While it may sound silly, the description above hits many close to home. Not all introverts are anti-social. For some, the anxiety of approaching a stranger is just too much to handle and they don’t have a choice but to stand in the corner of a crowded room. If you fall in this category, we hope the following tips will encourage you to go out and meet new people!

“No matter what happens being able to laugh at yourself will save most situations. So go for it”. -Anthony W., Dir. of Business Development

“I told myself that they are JUST as nervous. Then, I reminded myself that if they don't respond it usually isn't personal. Also, fake it until you make it. No one is really as confident as they project themselves to be”. -Heather SM., Graphic Designer

“Talk to them like you have been long time friends”.-Deryk D., Sr. Civil Engineer

“Just do it!”-Ricky C., Product Support Analyst

“Eye contact first, smile second. They go hand in hand. Then, a simple “Hi””.-Nicole B., Student

“Ask for directions to the nearest romantic coffee shop for two shy awkward people *hint hint*”.-Eli T., Too-many-hats-wearer

“Liquor”.-Taria C., Product Marketing Mngr.

Spruce up your Skout!

A common practice for some of us once allergy season starts is “Spring Cleaning,” the act of thoroughly cleaning your house once the warm weather approaches. Purging the old to make room for the new is a good way to not only clear out your house, but your mind as well. So while you’re at it, why not perform some spring cleaning on your Skout profile? Below are a few tips on how to do so:

  • Update your pictures. If your own mother can’t recognize you in your default picture, it’s probably time to update it. People want to see your beautiful face, the places you’ve been visiting, and maybe even what you’ve been eating. Let them have it!
  • Update your info. Season’s change, and people change - or at least their interests do. Why not redecorate your profile by updating your “About Me” section, as well as visit others. You may find your new best friend! Sort out your friends. Maybe someone on your friend list hasn’t been active in over a year, time to rid yourself of some excess baggage. This creates more room for you to add new friends.
  • Create a buzz! A good way to communicate with people on Skout is to post something in your buzz! It sparks up good conversation, and allows you to get to know those around you. Try a new Skout feature! Think your new friend on Skout is cute? Send them a winkbomb!
  • Have you been thinking of visiting London for the past year? Use Skout travel to chat with people that live there, so you can prepare for your trip! As you can see, there’s a lot that can be done. Have fun, enjoy the weather and spring into action!

Ready, set, spring!

It's here: Festival Frenzy 2014

Coachella officially kicks off the 2014 music festival frenzy with the first round of shows this weekend in Indio, California. With headliners like Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Zedd, Lorde, and Outkast, the 2014 shows are sure to attract a record breaking number of attendees from all over the world.

While veteran Coachella goers have their weekend strategy down pact, surviving your first music festival without losing your phone (or mind or liver or soul) can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to ensure maximum epicness whether it’s your first Coachella or third.

Lodging: If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to book a place to stay OFF site. If you plan ahead, the extra cost for an actual roof over your head, running water, air conditioning, Wifi, and electricity will be worth it. Otherwise, you can be traditional and camp on the designated festival grounds. All I have to say is, BABY WIPES. Lots of them. Either way, it’s sure to be an experience and you will definitely have the time of your life!

Attire: Whether we’d like to admit it or not, Coachella is the laid back, hippie sister of fashion week in New york. Still, functionality over function always. Unless you’re Selena Gomez in VIP, you don’t want to be THAT GIRL walking around the dessert in broken heels. Thus, I wouldn’t leave home (or your tent) without the following:

  • Comfy, close-toed shoes
  • A bag that requires as little effort to hold as possible, i.e. backpack, cross-body bag, or fanny pack. We recommend that way it’s easier for you to access your things, but harder for others to steal from you.
  • It’s the desert, so it’s going to be hot. DUH. This is where you have to be strategic, and think of everything, especially for the ladies. While rompers are easy to wear, they’re hard to use the bathroom in. Also, think about tan lines, and bring lightweight items that you can carry around in the day that will keep you warm at night. It’s the desert, so it’s going to be freezing at night. DUH.

Safety: We’re trying to have the most possible fun you can have without visiting a jail cell or emergency room. So we’re going to risk sounding like your mother in the name of safety.

  • Stay hydrated!!!!
  • Slather on the suncreen
  • Grab a mini first-aid kit to bring with you
  • Bring a portable phone charger (mophie is our favorite!), and write important numbers on a piece of paper (gasp) just in case!
  • BE SMART. Don’t take candy from strangers, or jump into random white vans. We don’t care if they have puppies and cupcakes inside, DON’T DO IT!

Last, but not least - USE SKOUT! What better way to connect with new and old friends at the festival?! Keep your buzzfeed buzzin, and don’t forget to share your experience and post lots of pictures! #SkoutOn

#SkoutSuccess

We've said it before, and we're saying it again. There are many things that make being a part of the Skout team such a rewarding job, but one of the greatest is hearing success stories from those who matter most to us: our amazing, awesome, passionate community members. We've made it our mission at Skout to enable as many connections as possible all over the world, and our hope is that those connections will change peoples lives. At the end of the day, hearing success stories makes the juice worth the squeeze, and we want to hear more of them! We know you have stories to tell, and our ears are open. Tweet us using the hashtag #SkoutSuccess to share your story about how Skout has impacted your life. We can't wait to hear from you.

Share away, Skouters!

Help, I've Just Moved!

Happy end of summer Friday Skouters! Today's question comes from Jordana who recently moved to a brand new city. She found me on Skout (skoutwinggal) and chatted this question.

Hey SWG - I just moved to an awesome new city but I don't know anyone. How can I meet peeps? Signed New girl in the big city

Well Jordana don't you worry your pretty little head because I've got some tips that will help you get out and about, meeting new people and making new friends!

So first, and most obvious log on to Skout and see who's posting on Buzz or just who's around that you might want to chat with. Second, get out of the house for coffee, or tea or whatever you start your day with. Don't be a shut in - the best way to meet people is to get out. Find your local coffee shop and start getting your morning Joe with other people. C

Check your local bookstore's calendar, yes they do still exist, and attend your favorite or second favorite, author's book reading. It's a great way to start connecting with people who like similar writers and live in the area.

The main take away here is  - get out of the house. You will find it infinitely difficult to meet people sitting at home on the couch alone. So check Skout, see what people are up to and head outdoors!

Gotta question - I'm here for you - Skout Username = skoutwinggal

Long Distance Relationship Tips

Even though it might still feel like summer outside, the sad fact is, school is back in session and fall is just around the corner. But what if you found that elusive summer romance has turned into something more, even though you live in different cities-don’t worry Skout Wing Gals got you covered with some advice for making a long distance romance work.

First, communicate! There is nothing more important then good communication in any relationship and when you are separated by 100’s of miles, it’s even more important. Touch base every day whether it’s on the phone, via Skype, an email or a quick text. It is comforting for the other person to know you are thinking of them and vice versa.

Second, related to communication, don’t argue. It’s totally fine and healthy to disagree, in fact you should! But there is a fine line between debate and argument. The old adage, don’t go to bed angry is around for a reason and the implications are only heightened when you are miles apart.

Third, keep in mind you both have your own lives in your respective hometowns – so continue to live your life! Don’t become a shut in just because your sweetie pie lives somewhere else. Part of what attracted them to you is how you are, so continue to be you!

Fourth, don’t take things personally. If the other person misses a call don’t jump to conclusions and assume the relationship is over. Remember that they have a life too and things come up. It’s the same as if you were in the same town, life happens and occasionally you have to just know that it can get in the way of plans.

Fifth, be honest. You have to be honest from the beginning about your feelings and where you see the relationship going, and you have to continue to be honest. If things start to change for you in how you feel then you have to let this person know. Also, you have to be honest with yourself and really think about what a long distance relationship means and whether or not it is truly for you.

Have a relationship question…search for me on Skout (skoutwinggal) or leave a comment below.

What’s up! What’s up?!

Hi Skouters! What's up with the What's up messages? Turns out we had shipped the wrong code from our internal testing environment. This has now been corrected -- big thanks to Alex Wilhelm who notified us about this!

Let me tell you more:

The most requested feature on Skout was: Help me find my real friends that are on Skout!. We launched two things to help you with this: a) Search by private username and b) Skout tries to figure out who on Skout is your friend, on other networks such as Facebook -- and will connect you with that friend if we find a match.

If Skout could match you and your friend, as friends on Facebook -- and you were both Skout users, signed up with Facebook and gave us access to your friends list -- then we would connect you in the chat list with a message "We just found a Skout friend ...", so that you could easily find and start chatting with your friends. Now, it seems we have trolls in the server room, or perhaps a gnome or two! The message that actually got sent out was "What's up!". We understand this was confusing and have corrected the message today. It was never meant to say "What's up!", and is a total SNAFU on our end. We work hard and long hours to make Skout better, faster and more fun -- for you guys. Sometimes moving fast introduces bugs, such as this one. And I'm glad we were able to correct it fast.

You can always email support .. or me personally at cwiklund@skout.com with your ideas, concerns, or bug reports :-)

Best,

Christian

CEO Skout

 

Second Date Ideas

Ok, so you made it through a first date and it went really well. You both got along, you had tons in common and there was hardly an awkward pause or lull in the conversation. It’s time to move on to the second date. Don’t feel performance anxiety - a second date can be just as special, if not more, then a good first date.

Hopefully on the first date you learned a little about the other person so when it comes to planning what to do choose something you both like, or have a common interest in. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be exactly literal. Maybe they told you that they always wanted to hike Machu Picchu; I’m not telling you to plunk down thousands of dollars and plan a weeklong trip to Peru complete with guides and hiking gear. But, if they did say they wanted to hike Machu Picchu why not suggest a late afternoon hike to watch the sunset?  Did she mention she likes to cook? Why not plan a morning trip to the local farmers market. Peruse the stalls, maybe buy her a bouquet of flowers and grab breakfast while you’re at it. Is he an outdoorsy guy? Why not rent bikes and take a biking tour of your city?  Or if you both like to listen to music search your local listings for a free concert or new band for you to go and dance the night away to.

In a relationship, whether it’s friendship or more, one of the most important things is to be a good listener, the first date is an excellent time to start. So really listen to what your date is saying, and surprise them when you plan something they will truly enjoy.

Keeping it real - Skout Wing Gal

Have a question? Leave it here in the comments or search for me on Skout - my username is SkoutWingGal.