Monthly Archives: November 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! This is my first time celebrating the Thanksgiving since it is not popular in the place I am from, Hong Kong. It is always something American to me and I didn’t know Canadians equally care a lot about the festival. It is a time to gather the family and friends and enjoy a good meal together.

I chose to spend my Thanksgiving with the church, going on a retreat in Hope! In the natural and peaceful environment, I regain strength and recognize the blessings in my life.

 

A Remix of Hong Kong and Vancouver

The Coal Harbour reminds me of the Victoria Harbour. Why not mix them in a sketch? These two places have so much in common and I love these two lovely harbors! The Star Ferry and SeaBus are equally iconic. Personally, I prefer riding on the Star Ferry as it is not air-conditioned and you can enjoy the sea breeze!

My Imagined Readers

I dedicate this blog to readers who love film. I would share the film that I recently watched and comment on the quality of the film.

I do not think my readers are imagined. They actually exist. There are many Facebook, Instagram pages online and they usually have thousands of follower. I think my readers exit. The problem is how to draw them to read my blog. I probably have to create more content and connect with other bloggers on film! In doing so, I am joining the blogging family!

Community Guidelines

Hi readers, welcome to my blogs. For happy reading and blogging, please check out the guidelines which applied to every visitor of my blog:

  1. No hate and offensive words. Any would be removed when violating this rule.
  2. Sharing of my content is allowed but please reference me in the post and put the link of my blog.
  3. Readers are always welcome to leave negative yet constructive comments on my blog.
  4. Respect one another. Engage in the discussion through comments!

Clara

Monetizing my blog?

I do not think that I would monetizing my blog in the near future. I consider this blog as my hobby. Turning it into a business could stress me out when you have to be responsive to sponsors and clients advertisement request. Who would love to be controlled, but not fully controlling the personal blog!

Personally, I do not appreciate the ads column. They turn the page layout less visually-pleasant. In addition, everyone is using adsblock now. The effectiveness of the advertisement is questionable.

Even if I want to monetize my blog. I would prefer writing sponsored posts for the company and therefore would not have unpleasant advertisement column on my blog. I would also make sure my readers know that this is a sponsored post. I won’t eliminate the possibility and opportunity of monetizing my blog.

Sharing parts of myself through the blogging journey

This journey is about self-expression, publicizing yourself. It has been a difficult journey for me. I realized the difficulty of self-expression and acquiring a different voice online when you have you can be identified by the reader. If I retained anonymous, the journey could be less stress. I truly admire those who can achieve

I truly appreciate those who can achieve self-promotion and self-expression in the digital, mentioned in van Dijck’s article. Using Facebook and LinkedIn as examples, van Dijck suggests the function of social media for connectivity and narrating a persona, be it professional or playful implies the existence of an online identity, which could be different from the private self and the ‘true’ self. In the blogging process, I experienced difficulty in self-promotion and self-expression. I think the reason is, I let myself out on the internet without being anonymous. 

It is tricky. On one hand, you want people to know your name so that you are recognized for your work. On the other hand, you fear how people see the ‘you’ you portrayed. Originally, I intended to blog about my personal journey in Vancouver, letting the readers know the pieces of my adventures. However, I found that it is difficult to share my personal life online. I am not comfortable enough to share my personal life with my imagined readers, who in some sense, are really strangers (back to week one)! What if they use my photos and use my identity for a scam? (My roomate became a victim of a scam which involves stealing identity recently.)When people misuse the social media, that is when problems emerge. This is why online scam, fake news, fake identity emerge. Where is trust? When people only think about their self-interest? I can hardly engage with a stranger, unlike James Hamblin. While I can see the strangers on the street, the hidden viewers are more alienate to me 

I am not ready to open up myself without anonymity and engage with ‘strangers’. This is why I have been struggling to post posts about my personal life throughout the semester. I, with my picture in my right-hand column, can be recognized and judged based on my posts. I have no room to hide! What if they use my photos and use my identity for a scam? (My housemate became a victim of a scam which involves stealing of identity recently.) Therefore, Suler’s view on the fact that anonymity and invisibility encourage users to express themselves is real. I could feel less stressed if I had hidden my name. My readers can focus on the content, but not on me. They can hence give a fair review of my work while I can distance from the threats of exposing too much.

This is also why I have shifted to write more about film, which seems more objective and informative than personal. I love film and I know people love films. The director of the film takes up a role similar to a blogger– being a storyteller through pictures and sound. This blog is a platform for me to tell my story. It doesn’t have to be me, but only part of the ‘true’ self shines. I can sense the agency of a writer, to narrate in your own style, as long as they are ‘true’ to yourself.

My imagined readers are now those who have seen the same film as me and are looking for casual discussion on the film. I infused my emotion and watching experience in the reviews and in doing so, I let my readers sense my personality, let them know that I am an emotional and real human being. This is a middle ground –to expose myself to a comfortable extent.

This is just a beginning I would like to continue blogging. Yet, I definitely have to tune my writing direction and find a balance between personal and impersonal, private and public. Writing on the film is what I feel like I can continue to develop and I enjoy sharing films I like and gain insights from them. I should consider including more images and videos on my blog. In addition, I have to create more content.

Hamblin, James. 2016 “How to Talk to Strangers” http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/08/civil-inattention/497183/

Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

van Dijck, José. 2013. ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn.” Media, Culture, & Society

Community Guidelines

Rules when visiting my blog:

  • no hateful/harmful comments
  • no anonymous posts
  • comments disagreeing with one another are alright, as long as they are not disrespectful
  • understand that everyone perceives art differently; your opinion is not the only one that matters
  • no claiming other people’s art as your own

How these apply to my blog specifically:
These rules apply to my blog specifically because the last two are centered around art, and my blog is based on photography.  The last rule is especially important to me as I value artistic integrity, and hope that those who visit my site do too.  The second rule is based on the statistic given in this article: 25% of people say they have left a comment anonymously.  In my opinion, you should not be saying anything that you wouldn’t claim your own.

Sacrificing can be beautiful

I never really used to see sacrificing as an act of love. I found it really hard to really sacrifice for another person. Over the past semester , I’ve had to humble myself a lot in placing my friends and peers emotional well being above mine. I was seriously struggling …

A hard time to be merciful

Just at the beginning of the semester and throughout September, I grew a romantic interest in a friend of mine over the summer. I finally had decided that I desired to pursue her and so I did 2 days before my birthday. When I did I didn’t receive the response …

Process Post week 12: My community guidelines

For my site, my blog is focused on self-reflective content. This is primarily focused on people that like learning something insightful, grow in self-reflection and put  their reflection  into reality. My blog is an open ongoing dialogue  and collaboration among my audience and any newcomers. I truly appreciate those that …

Looking Back on the Semester

This class taught me a lot about not only publishing, but also about myself.  My experience as a publisher this fall was definitely a positive one.  At the beginning of the course, I was hesitant to put my work out there.  I am very self conscious when it comes to my creative projects, writing and photography included.  As a perfectionist, I hate posting work that I am not one hundred percent happy with.  My blog helped me with my insecurities, and improved my writing abilities as well!  The main reason I took this course is because I wanted to see how different blogging would be to the social media sites I use daily.

When I first created my blog, I struggled right away with choosing a theme that I felt best represented the layout I had pictured.  Right away, it was clear that you have more control over your content on your blog compared to your Instagram or Facebook.  I wanted my theme to be simple, yet not blend in with other blogs like Travis Gertz mentions in his article about design.  In his article, he talks about why mainstream posts have all been similar lately.  He mentions that in a connected world like ours, it is hard to not give in to pressures of copying what is popular.   To be honest, I feel that I could have done a better job at making my blog unique.  It is still something I am working on.  The next part of the course focused on audience awareness.

When using my social medias, I never thought deeply about who my audience was.  I would post what I wanted, whenever I wanted, not thinking about what impact it had on those seeing it.  This blog was interesting because I wanted to make content that both my audience and teacher enjoyed.  Using google analytics, I found out that the majority of my audience was from Canada.  Considering that I had promoted my blog on my Instagram, I assumed that most of my blog readers were the same people that followed me on Instagram.  In his 2002 article, Warner describes my goal for this blog perfectly.  He states that content on a blog should be relatable for both the audience and the creator.  As I said before, most of my blog readers are my followers from Instagram.  I believe I have achieved this because prior to blogging, I already knew through comments that my audience liked my Instagram.  I tried to reflect the same personality on my blog as well.

I read an article recently titled ‘Blogging Is an Art But Attracting the Right Audience Is a Science’.  This article talks about how important it is to be consistent with your online identity.  Being consistent ensures that you can not only attract the audience you want, but also maintain that audience.  This is something that I struggled with, as I went in to the class not knowing exactly what I wanted my blog to be about.  I am passionate about many things, photography, hockey, and reading just to name a few.  It was hard for me to pick one of these passions and create a whole blog about it.  Overall, I believe that my online presence is consistent.  My blog posts are cohesive and reflect who I am as a person.

Another interesting part of the course was the lecture on monetization.  As I mentioned before, I created this blog mostly so that I could have an outlet to express myself.  For right now, I don’t think monetization is right for my site, as I post content mostly for myself.

Looking back at the semester, my view on publishing has had a major shift.  Before this semester, I thought the word publisher only applied to those who worked in the publishing industry and created monetized content.  However, this course taught me that social media has turned us all in to publishers.  The way in which we distinguish ourselves from everyone else is through the quality of our content.

In the future, I plan on continuing my blog and challenging myself to produce more content than I did this fall.  My goals for myself after this course are to continue building on my online identity, and incorporating my audience more.  Soon, I plan to look back at which of my posts were the most viewed and I will tweak my future posts accordingly.  I want to continue blogging so I can look back on my posts in the future and see how my photography skills have evolved.

References:

Travis Gertz AuthorTravis Gertz is both a designer and partner at Louder Than Ten. He went to school to design magazines, ended up designing apps, and now does everything he can to bring those things together. He is not a machine.@travisgertz View profile. “Design Machines.” Louder Than Ten, 12 Apr. 2017, louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines.

Dholakiya, Pratik. “Blogging Is an Art But Attracting the Right Audience Is a Science.”Entrepreneur, 1 Dec. 2014, www.entrepreneur.com/article/240280.

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425.

 

Chapter One (pt 2) – Mother Earth

Dear Diary,

Nov 29th, 2100

 

It snowed about 3 inches this morning, but all of it melted this afternoon. I remember reading about how the streets of Vancouver used to be completely covered in white snow. I envy my parents who had the privilege of experiencing such a gorgeous view or nature. Nowadays, the summers and winters are humid. The foggy sky and muddy air.

Sometimes I wonder whether it would be too depressing to see how humans destroyed the planet? At least, I was not responsible for the generation that made global warming irreversible.

But would it be worth the while to have seen the earth at a better state? It’s like the saying:

“tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

So, is it too late for me to love my planet in its tainted state?

 

P.s. forgive my parent’s mother nature

Learn to Lie #10: True or False

After all this time, I’ve been teaching you how to step away from the truth. But here I am in this post, teaching you that lying does not necessarily oppose truth.

Sure, you’re not telling the truth, but all believable lies are in some way rooted in truths.

If you told an outrageous lie like you won $50 million from the lottery, you would need some sort of evidence to back up your claim. You can’t just say you won all this money and not have proof to show your friends or family that it’s real. They would want things from you, they would ask you why you’re not spending your money on travelling, or buying a new house, new car, new clothes.

Whereas if you told a lie that was in someway rooted to a truth, something related to something that actually happened in real life, it would be more believable.

Sometimes it can be difficult to separate fiction from truth. Sometimes we choke up and accidentally tell a lie when we meant to tell the truth, or vice versa, we tell the truth when we meant to tell a lie.

It can become confusing when we tell so many lies over so many years that it becomes hard to differentiate what’s true and what’s false.

Sometimes we get caught up in all these lies that we’ve told that truth becomes a lie and lies become true.

Reality is a fickle thing and everything that we do or say gets jumbled in our head when we try to recall something from the past that will inform us of our present.

To this, I say remember the most fundamental rule of any life lesson: KISS

Keep it simple, stupid.

If we get caught up in a bunch of lies that don’t connect to each other and come around to bite us in the ass, we’re screwed, and our reputation is over. Everything we’ve worked for has been for nothing and no one will ever believe you again.

They’ll remember that one time they caught you in a lie and they’ll keep their distance; not wanting to get close to you, not wanting to share anything with you, not wanting to trust you.

Your life will be over.

So let’s prevent this from happening and face up to your consequences of telling the truth. You don’t want to be that person. Tell the truth when it matters.

Some Semester Thoughts

This semester has been not just about creating a website, but about creating an audience. I have always been inspired to create something that benefits others, because a lot of what we learn in life is that the world can be a really negative and greedy place. But I feel that if we don’t take a little time to think about ourselves as well, we won’t be able to help others. If everyone thought like this, I believe the world would be a better place to live in for sure. My blog is for those who have the same ideals. It’s for those who feel a little lost or stressed out, for those who would like to contribute to a space that isn’t trying to sell you something, and a place for others to express their stories and how they get through their lives. I particularly want to cater to those going into University, because when I started, there was an overwhelming amount of opinions about what is healthy and what isn’t. Fab diets, fat loss pills, and insane and unrealistic expectations of how you should work out and look like are huge issues. My blog reflects this with calming or goofy pictures meant to make people reflect what they do in their own lives, or even laugh. It’s a space for people to get information that isn’t from a top-down perspective. Although I haven’t started gathering comments on my website yet, I would hope to see more as I post more content. I get a lot of comments and reviews on my Facebook as well, not necessarily on the website itself, but so far I have gotten a lot of good reviews and look forward to more, with criticisms welcomed.

Personally, I was really moved by Audrey Watters article, “The Web We Need to Give Students”. This class and this article sum up what I believe University should be all about; not just education, but promoting creativity and new ideas and challenging our perspectives. I feel that University doesn’t do that as much in this day and age. It is such a traditional industry that dates back thousands of years — don’t we think we’ve gone beyond that old structure by now? We need to be challenged and driven to new ideas, and constricting us to these traditional teaching practices is stamping out creativity and drive. This class allowed the students in PUB 101 to “have control over the look and feel of their own sites, including what’s shared publicly. This means they have some say — although not complete — over their personal data, and in turn they begin to have an understanding of the technologies that underpin the Web, including how their work and their data circulate there” (Watters, 2015). As Watters (2015) says, “giving students their own digital domain is a radical act”. I call for these education industries to do the same in returning the agency to students, and in return you will have students who will be enlightened and contribute back to society with enthusiasm and passion.

I was really glad we went over online behaviours, particularly the bad ones, and because of this I was extremely interested in Whitney Philips’ article, “Let’s call ‘trolling’ what it really is”. Trolls are essentially “why we can’t have nice things online” (Philips, 2015). In an internet-driven world, I constantly worry about what my younger sisters will have to go through in their online environments. My little sister even knows the term ‘trolling’ and will use it when describing certain people even though she doesn’t have any social medias. Philips (2015) emphasizes that the term itself “implies a level of playfulness that tends to minimize their antagonistic behaviours, or at least establish a firewall between the embodied person and their digitally mediated actions”. This was a huge wake-up call for me and I am able to better position myself on the impact of people’s online behaviours, especially knowing that’s not just us being sensitive when we go against trolls; we are standing up against hate and violence. Especially violence people wouldn’t even commit or act in if they were face-to-face with the person they were ‘trolling’.

Another wake-up call for me was actually when I reflected on my online data trail. I haven’t had much filtration or thought about what I put online besides the basics, like no revealing photos of my body or me at parties, no obscene language, etc. My digital breadcrumb trail extends long and true. I thought about it this way; if I tried to run away and disappear, I am not sure I’d be able to stay ‘missing’ because I know I’m very dependent on everything I use, like my bank cards, phone, computer, etc. Although I have to admit I love anything that makes my life more convenient, it does disappoint me how much companies know about me. Like with how Suzanne Norman experienced going into the Amazon bookstore in Seattle, data is collected everywhere. I believe I’m most noticed in my online shopping, because all the advertisements online are tailored to what I’m always looking for. Maybe we have just grown accustomed to accepting a lack of privacy. Podacademy sums up the issue perfectly in one question: “Should we then as producers of data benefit from the money that we help generate or is the fact that we use these services for free suffice enough to serve as a form of payment in return for our data?”. I would have to argue yes, because what other choice do we have? If Facebook suddenly decided that it’s users had to pay a monthly fee, would I? Probably, I’m too dependent on it now. It sucks but it’s the truth. All I would be able to hope for is a different company to come along and offer a free service.

I would like to continue on the blog and see how it goes, however, especially as I move into PUB 201, I actually have a lot of inspiration to create a new blog based on the EDM industry. It is something I am truly passionate about and can possibly monetize off of, whereas with this one, I don’t think it feels proper to have a lot of ads on my blog. I also have a lot of inspiration for it so I look forward to creating that before the next semester even starts.

You can find my inspired articles here:

https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713

http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/staff-editorials/12898/trolling-stem-tech-sexism/

https://publishing.sfu.ca/2016/03/breadcrumbs-of-data/

Podacademy’s article/podcast by George Philip, Jennifer Anne Lazo, Rooham Jamali and Rudy Al Jaroodi: http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/

Essay 2

Throughout the semester in Publication 101 classes and creating my own blog, I have learned a number of things in terms of content creation, audience, design, and many more.

When I created my blog back in September, it was difficult to settle on what I want my website to be about. When I finally decided to make my website focus about my faith and experiences, I was then burdened with having to find an appropriate theme and design for my website. It was difficult as the question I always asked myself before selecting a theme was “do I think the theme is a good fit with the identity of my blog?” I ended up settling with the theme Hestia as it was a simple theme and would fit my blog well.

When I first thought about who the audience of my blog will be, I thought of having everyone to be part of the potential audience as people who read my blog would read through my content as food for thought. However, as the weeks passed, I came to understand that the people who will take the time to read my blog will be those who are looking for something in their lives are have gone through some time of adversity because an aspect of my blog focuses on overcoming challenges, obstacles, and struggles.

As the semester moved onwards and looking into the feedback from peer reviews, a question that came to me was “who do I want to be to my audience?” It was because my blog lacked the identity of the person behind it, similar what John Suler says in his article, The Online Disinhibition Effect about invisibility and anonymity. As I know vulnerability is part of what builds trust, I took the advice and added a couple photos of myself to take away the lack of identity of the author.

In terms of design, I choose to not do much with what has been provided from the theme I went with. This is because I enjoyed the minimalistic look that came with the theme. It was also because I felt that the theme that was provided was a neat, organized design and does not have much clutter on the pages. I found that it was also very simple to use and my first thought of it was that it is something that would be very easy to navigate around. However, what I really like about the theme was the white spaces that comes with it. As I learned in class about the importance and effectiveness of white spaces, this design was perfect for my blog.

The idea of “white space” is also something that will stick with me after the semester ends, not just when I think about online content, but with any form of designing I do. As a business student, knowing how to attain the audience’s attention is a major goal. So, according to Mark Boulton, knowing how to use white spaces effectively will “give your readers a head start, position products more precisely, and perhaps even begin to see your own content in a new light” (Boulton, 2007).

There was also some interesting information from my Google Analytics. According to Ginny Mineo, the average user spends approximately 15 seconds on website before deciding whether or not it is worth their time to stay there. However, in my Google Analytics, I found that the average session duration on my website to be about four and a half minutes. Although I am sure that not everyone who visited my blog found the content to be worth spending a lot of time reading about, the information that Google Analytics showed reminds me that there is still a group of people who is interested in what I have to blog about whether they end up reading only one post or if they have kept up with me throughout the semester.

I am not too sure about where I will be in terms of blogging after this semester as I find that it is not exactly a passion of mine. Because I do not see it as a passion, I feel that if I continue to blog and try to commit to it, it would feel more like an obligation instead of something I do for own enjoyment. However, as a business student, I have expressed interest in the field of marketing. If I do end up deciding to concentrate in marketing as a career, I believe that the work I would be interested in doing would be similar to what the things I have learned in Publication 101 classes such as, customer analytics, creating content to market to the public, being involved in social media, and many more.

 

Reference

Boulton, Mark. “Whitespace.” A List Apart – Whitespace. 2007. Accessed November 25, 2017. https://alistapart.com/article/whitespace

Mineo, Ginny. “55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on your Website. Should You Care?” Hubspot – 55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on your Website. Should You Care?. July, 2017. Accessed November 25, 2017. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/chartbeat-website-engagement-data-nj

Suler, John. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Psychology of Cyberspace – The Online Disinhibition Effect. 2016. Accessed November 25, 2017. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html#status.