Ashika Chauhan, Digital Creative Director at bigdog, part of themission, shares her favourite online destinations.

Ashika Chauhan is the Digital Creative Director at bigdog – part of themission, headline sponsor of The GWG Website of the Year Awards. Passionate about engaging content, immersive user experiences, beautifully crafted design and creatively harnessing emerging technology. Over the last decade Ashika has worked in the UK and Australia on local and global campaigns for the likes of L’Oréal, NEFF, Bridgestone and EA Games, to name a few.

Over the last year, Ashika has focussed on building up a brand new in-house content studio for the agency and was most recently listed as one to watch in the Campaign and Creative Equals list of Future Leaders.

Favourite website... Pinterest - Whilst it is beyond a website, it’s one of the most useful places I tend to visit on the desktop daily. It helps me collate and categorise ideas for different projects and clients and allows me to see key visual trends at a glance. As opposed to a social platform, I tend to treat it as a tool – using it privately or in collaboration with the team.

Favourite App... Not only has Headspace shifted my perception of meditation being something that other people do, it’s actively helped me focus, sleep and step back when I’ve needed to. One of my favourite things about digital is when I see something making a real difference in people’s lives, that wouldn’t have previously been possible. Check out the app here if you haven’t already.

Favourite Vlog... I’m a real foodie and this isn’t strictly a vlog but I love all the content from Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen, best seen on their Facebook page. It’s the kind of subject matter that a lot of food publishers or brands can cover – seeing how chocolate is made, recipes and so on. However, the way in which the publisher has put its real people front and centre has resulted in authentic longer form content that consumers will stick around for. With the recent advent of IGTV, it’ll be interesting to see how many brands and publishers try to follow suit and if they’ll be able to produce content good enough to keep consumers interested.

Here’s one of the more quirky episodes, featuring Natalie Portman.

Favourite podcast... On the surface Reply All is all about the internet, however what makes it so good is the unique human stories each episode focusses on. People discovering their true illnesses, escaping isolated communities and tracking down their lost bitcoins. One of my favourite features is ‘Yes, Yes, No’, whereby the presenters demystify specific Twitter memes so that we can all understand them.

Did Donald Trump really want to tweet ‘Covfefe’?

Favourite social platform... I think that all the major platforms have their place to play in today’s digital world, however I tend to get much of my news from Twitter and see it as a great portal to the internet in general – if content is worth engaging with, it’s most likely that it will be tweeted about it. Say hello!

Favourite newsletter... A keen traveller, I’ve been a little late to the party when it comes to Jack’s Fight Club. This simple email helps you bag a bargain by alerting you when airlines have reduced fares. I love stories like Jack’s where someone has followed their passion and created something useful for people and the beauty of the Internet has allowed them to do so.

Pet hate about life online... Negative comments on posts really drive me up the wall and it makes me wonder how people have so much time to waste needlessly.

Most recent online purchase... every food and lifestyle prop you can imagine! Over the last year I’ve been working on building up our new content studio here at the agency, the nature of social can at times mean quick turnaround shoots, which has in turn meant lots of last minute prop ordering. I’m eternally grateful to my Amazon Prime subscription and to every site that offers next day delivery.

My standout online memory... I remember dial up. I remember the first time I searched the Internet using Yahoo. Designing and building my first ever website using Front Page. The days of university being ruled by MSN messenger. Setting up my Facebook profile. Getting everyone I know onto Twitter. Teaching my Dad how to use eBay. Using all the filters on Instagram. Screaming whilst falling down the virtual ski slope with Oculus Rift! I can’t quite believe how much has evolved in digital over the years and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

October 2018