Monthly Archives: April 2018

Make It Show Review And Haul

Make it Show Vancouver happened this past weekend! There were various local, Canadian vendors hosting their own stalls at the event. There items ranged from foods to jewellery and anything and everything in between. The event gave attendees a chance to discover various local businesses.

The event took place at the PNE starting from Friday afternoon up until Sunday evening. My sister and I decided check it out on Sunday afternoon. We already had a few stalls in mind that we wanted to stop at. We discovered them through the Make It Show’s Instagram account.

Here are the items my sister and I decided to buy from the Make It Show. We definitely went overboard, but can you blame us? There were so many amazing vendors!

Flatlay of all the items we bought

 

To start off, we have the fudge which we have slightly dabbled into and I must say tastes divine! As for jewellery, I have been wearing my opal ring from LanaBetty on the daily! I love it. The owner custom made it to fit my finger, which was so lovely of her. We also got two pairs of earrings from her – triangles and seashells. We also got necklaces with our initials from courtneyraidawnjewelry. They’re super cute! Moving on, my sister and I are excited to try out the soups (in the long packaging to the left), as well the Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai and Kashmiri Golden Saffron tea! We love drinking tea on a daily. In the centre, we have 3 different types of hot sauces. We couldn’t help ourselves! To the left we have TheDopeSoap! We got the bath salts and balm to help with any aches!

Let me know what your thoughts are. Do you think we went a little overboard? :/ Also, let me know if you attended the event. If you did, what did you buy? I will post a few close up pictures on my Instagram. Be sure to follow me there too.

-Shazia xx

Songs That Make Me Feel Nostalgic

I may only be 18, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have good old days to look back on. As of Tuesday, I will be finished my first year of university, and that is absolutely crazy to me. It feels like just yesterday I was barely 15. Although I am extremely happy at this point in my life, it’s nice to think about when I was younger. One of the ways I do this is by listening to old music. Here is a playlist of songs that make me nostalgic.

P.S. Isn’t it weird how music marks a specific point in time forever?

The post Songs That Make Me Feel Nostalgic appeared first on Unapologetically Curious.

Process Post 11

And alas, the last week of school has approached us and so has my last post for PUB 101. This has been one hard semester, not going to lie. The  stress came about more personally rather than academically. With all actual stress out of the way, I am going to stress about the fact of community guidelines and online ethics, more so honing on to the ethics and guidelines I want my audience to follow on my website.

I am the type of person who cannot handle criticism from strangers online. They do not know me as a person (the reason why I keep my online life to me and my friends only), they do not know my affiliations, and they most certainly do not know where I come from. Content creator’s have a lot of gusto for keeping their comments open and eventually they have to get used to fact of people making assumptions like no tomorrow. I honestly do believe that people are very sad and have no reason but to pick on other’s to make themselves feel bigger. I do not want to encourage these behaviours on my platforms because I know that they will effect me emotionally because I do not have the filter to block out negativity due to my obsessive nature that is bought on by extreme anxiety.

Community Guidelines for Confabulous Conversations

  1. TREAT THIS SPACE AS COMMUNITY
  2. Feel free to express your views because there is a fine line between criticism and being a bigot
  3. Please delegate conversation as if you were talking to an actual person
  4. Feel free to interact with other member within the Confabulous Conversations space
  5. If I see any hateful comments amongst the interactions of users, consider both parties blocked
  6. PLEASE SEND ME RECOMMENDATIONS BECAUSE I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF VANCOUVER
  7. Do not ask for my personal information in the comments
  8. There will be no “sliding into my DM’s”
  9. I encourage freedom of speech, so I am not strict against swearing but please do not direct it towards someone (your mother will find out)
  10. Do not plagiarize from my school assignments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Process Post 10

Context 

This photo series follows me and my friends Teghan through the city of Vancouver when we were shooting promo shots for our podcast called Sustainability Circle (Comes out May 9th) for a non-profit called Embark. We came across this little antique/paper shop called  in the neighbourhood of Kitsilano. The pictures are supposed to represent forms of authenticity because the most authentic moments are the ones we stumble upon, just like we did with this antique store

Process Post 9

New media works through convergence of new platforms and channels in order to create something more efficient and to bring in more users. Week 9 is all about bringing multiple channels into the everyday life of publishing. The intersectionality of channels and blogging comes through social media and a whole lot of linkage. My plan for bring on platform one platform that I really do is shaping up the lives on many content creators but it is also the most efficient way to bring in a following and Instagram happens to be the master of that. Instagram

I am a private person and therefore I do not feel comfortable with the idea of bringing my personal social media on this website because we know how the internet can get. Confabulous Conversation’s focuses on my love for Vancouver, not as me as Navreet. If I were to bring in Instagram onto this platform, it would be focused on Confabulous Conversations. The posts would correlate with the posts on the blog and since I do take most of my pictures for the blog, they would be featured on the Instagram as well.

I would try to integrate  all the elements of Instagram as possible to promote my blogposts as much as possible. Here is a breakdown.

The Process

Instastories: I would be using the Instastories to show my followers a sneak peak of future posts by posting the future images and integrating quotes from the blogposts as little snippets

Profile Highlights: This is more of a new feature on Instagram. They are stories that you can attach to your profile that do not go away. I would use the profile highlights to link my most viewed blog posts on my website because it’s is quick navigation to the website and it allows the user to come across two platforms that are linked to the Confabulous Conversation’s brand.

Posts: The posts on Instagram would allow my followers to gain a closer look to what my brand is and through the posts, it would allow me to best market myself as a person who is in love with Vancouver. I would be posting pictures of me in the process of creating Confabulous Conversations. The posts would feature pictures from the blog posts with a passage from the blogpost and the links to the blogposts at the bottom of the caption. The whole point of Instagram is to blog through the process of the pictures. I would be trying start a mini-series of picture that would correlate with the content on my website. An example being for my coffee shop reviews, I would bring the series to my Instagram by taking pictures of me in the coffee shop and then providing a short caption and then providing a link to blog post at the bottom of the caption. The Instagram picture would allow my followers to have a little window to access the bigger picture that would be available on my website.

Personal Process

I mentioned who uncomfortable I was with the idea of bringing elements of my personal life onto a platform such as this one. In order to gain an audience, I have no option but to start at a personal level but it wouldn’t be on the level of Confabulous Conversations. The most I would do to spread word about my blog is my posting videos of me saying that I have a new post on my website and providing a swipe up link to my posts. I would also encourage my friends to follow me on my Confabulous Conversation network so they have the opportunity to see me at a much more creative stand point.

 

 

 

 

 

Process Post 8

This week is all about Google Analytics.

Audience Overview

When opening up Google Analytics, the first thing to pop up was the audience overview. I screen-capped the results from April 9-15. The general consensus was that I get somewhere between 1-2 users a day and quite frankly, I am not surprised. This website is still going under some construction with it’s identity and content that a consistent algorithm has not been constructed. I also haven’t tagged my social media on the website and that is why I feel that my followers and friends have not been able to check out my website. One of the reason’s why I have not tagged my social media on my website is my profile is private and I would rather keep it that way.

User Count

This chart shows me how many users I’ve had on website from April 9th-April 15th. My website tracked 6 users in 6 days. 4 out of the 6 users are new. Between those dates, there were 8 sessions by the 6 users. They all came around the website at least once. The pages on my website were viewed about 30 times and each user looks at least 3 of the pages. The average time that every user spent on the website was around 4 minutes. With all of that in mind, I think my website has been doing pretty well because by looking the audience overview, it showed me that at least 1-2 people came across my website on the daily and the math added up. They spent more than a minute on the website and at least read one of posts. I just wish that  there was more interaction.

Audience Location

This chart shows me the demographics of where my audience is coming from during this weeks audience. I am very happy to say that all of my viewer’s are Canadian and most specifically for the west coast because my website is supposed be for the pacific-west coast of BC.

All in all, my ratings do not surprise me because this website is running on it’s barebones and looking at my audience, I am happy that my content is reaching Vancouverites. It gives more than enough reason to keep up with the Vancouver related content on Confabulous Conversations. I want this website to grow, albeit, I do not want my content driven by algorithms because I feel like I will be stuck in this constant train of perfectionism, which is already bringing me down as a content creator.

 

Hey, It’s Helen.

Although I do want to help people be the best person they want to be, and I heavily talk about finance, I made this blog as a ‘portfolio’ for future employers and others to see me as more responsible, reliable – something positive for sure.  

 

My ‘finance blog’ I produced over the semester did a few things:

  1. Knowledge or interest in Finance
  2. Learning one’s value and self worth
  3. Skills developing a website (technical skill – using WordPress)
  4. Working understand of Google Analytics, Google Adsense, knowing how to monetize and newsletters
  5. Engaging online audiences
  6. Writing skills and sample writing
  7. Present myself in a way I want to be considered

 

In fact, this blog was an advantage for me while applying for a Co-Op job in finance and public relations.

 

Finance is a big part of my life, in fact a huge part of everyone life in the way in which they are able to navigate in the world. Money unfortunately is what makes the world go round and will determine the way we live, our opportunities, the future, EVERYTHING and yet it is something that everyone struggles with like me. I wanted to share a few of those struggles.

 

My family immigrated here to Canada to give me and my sister a better future – you know, your typical immigrant story I guess. Money really mattered to my family, it never came easy and it was always a struggle. My family would tell me stories about how they made it in Vancouver and although we are not rich we are in a pretty good state, but I still hear the stories…

 

The story of my grandpa’s death when my mom was 11.

The bullying she faced wearing ragged clothes.

Her inability to finish high school.

Moving to Vancouver, she got scammed by people who spoke English.

When she was pregnant, she walked to work instead of bussing to save $1 on bus fare.

My family of 5 living in a 1 bedroom apartment.

 

My mom inspired me to think more mindfully about money, and sparked my passion to write a finance blog. Money is scary and so many people deal with it (like me!). So I thought it would be healthy to have a dialogue about money in the most expensive city EVER. I truly want to help people, it’s why I am not in business actually! This class has really shown me something I had a strong interest in and even using it as leverage to encourage me to be better, to be more responsible and best the best I can be. Large money has always been a part of my life and yet, it is not the only thing about my life. There are so many other ‘inner selves’, personalities, and values that I have, that will be unincluded in my blog.

 

I like fitness. I like going to the gym. I love zumba. I play badminton. I dance. I run.

I like eating. I like cooking at home. I like follow recipes. I enjoy looking at restaurant menus and scrolling food feeds.

I like anime (This one is the hardest one I face). I like the weird and yet beautifully engaging way it tells a story. I like american cartoons too. Bojack Horseman. Rick and Morty. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (btw which is the same writer for Psychopass and Fate:Zero – give it a watch Roshane).

I like animals to the point that I don’t eat them. Yeah I’m a vegan. I have a mat and nat bag because I am basic and idk I just can’t.

 

There’s a lot. There’s even more but I wouldn’t know how to say it all. In fact, I am more than my finance talk, but it is for the better good to put my professional foot forward into my professional career, and slowly grow my opportunities when I graduate. Throughout my life, I wasn’t taken so seriously – but I want to be serious! I want to care about my online presentation of self, something I have been neglecting for a long time and something online, something I learned throughout the course. It’s about the audience and in some ways creating a show for my demographic group based on the persona I make. People come for that, not particularly for all that I am, simply just a part of who I am.

 

Who do I want to be defined as?

 

I produced my blog because I wanted to take control of how people may see me, the way I navigate and enter into the world, and although I am not particularly a private person, it scares me to post something online. I have no profile picture on my Linkedin nor my Facebook. As previously stated, my snapchat username is Gamepwner69, in some ways I can’t take myself seriously, and this blog in many ways is to show me who I want to be, and hopefully will be what I am.

 

Responsible. Aesthetic. Admirable.

 

I am a lot of those things, and at the same time I’m not. I am human. However, authenticity can be threatened, we keep pretending to be people we are not, but at the same time as Erving Goffman so nicely put it, we are all just different in different contexts, the digital sphere is just one of them.

The post Hey, It’s Helen. appeared first on Hey, it's Helen. .

tenth process post

Car pool Karaoke Collab 🎤🎤

Hello friends!

This week, among our busy schedules, Theona, Jade and I were able to come together and shoot a VIDEO

We three have been friends since the first tutorial, and when the opportunity to collaborate with other people in our class we realized we had a similar idea for a fun video!!! 🤩🤩🤩

This is the outcome of one rainy Monday afternoon in Jade’s sisters car, with Theona’s IPhone 8 and Jade’s spotify playlist.

Enjoy!!!

Peer Review 1

At first glance the blog “An international Student’s Life in Canada” strikes me as professional and an easy to navigate blog. He clearly displays the main focuses of his website while further elaborating on them in his “About” section of the blog. In addition, he has menus which allow you to easily navigate to the section of the blog which you are interested in viewing. I’m particularly interested in how the blogger is originally from Hong Kong and whether there will be any similarities or differences from those of a Canadian. This especially ties in to his “About” page where he states that there was a culture shock when he first came to Canada and the thoughts a person may have when first coming to Canada. Some of the critics that I have for his website would be for the music portion of the blog, photography, and travel. The content there already gives us a good idea of the author of the website and the passions he has and what kind of entertainment he enjoys. Examples of this include the list of his favorite songs as well as his enjoyment for the band Cold play. I especially enjoyed how he discussed why he supported this particular band and gave us some background to them. The one critic I have for this section is that if he was going to do this on a weekly basis or as a common re occurrence. That he maybe selects a few songs each week instead of submitting a whole playlist. That way he won’t have to create a mass playlist each time and will be able to constantly have content for that page. He could even go in depth on a couple of songs or Artists and the reasons behind his enjoyment for them. As for the travel part of the blog. There isn’t anything currently there right now and I’m not sure what you’re going to add to it since it’s going to be difficult to travel to many places while taking classes at SFU. Maybe he’ll be posting stories and photos from places previously visited and explored. Either way I’m extremely excited to the see what fills this currently blank page. Finally, pertaining to the photo part of the blog. He explains his passion for photography and displays some wonderful photos of Hong Kong. I’m not sure whether these photos are his own or not. Although, if they are then I’m thoroughly impressed. I’m assuming he’s going to either post photos of his own here or perhaps photos that he enjoys and what they mean to him. Furthermore, if posting his own photography; I’m sure adding the specs of the cameras that you’re using will be of great interest to others who have a passion for photography as well. Either way, I’m looking forward to the beautiful photography that’s going to be captured on this page. Overall, I’m rather pleased with the crispness of the website and the ease of navigating its menu’s pages. I’m presuming this blogs layout isn’t completely developed yet. Although It’s currently on the right track and I look forward to seeing it’s future development and the interesting stories, photos, and music that come along with it.

ninth process post

🎵 Join the club 🤙 🎶Join the Club 👀

Hello Friends!!!

This week is all about the REMIX

A few weeks ago, my friends and I were hanging out in our usual spot on campus at the Interfaith Center (a space where religious clubs and groups are able to practice their faith on campus and engage in fellowship with other students in faith).

One of my AWESOME sisters in Christ, who I also lovingly call my Ate Dana, wowed us all with an impromptu freestyle over Yo Gotti’s “Rake it Up”.

In the song she gathers all y’all to join our club! Catholic Christian Outreach is active on 15 campuses across Canada, and with the beat backing her up, she provides some insightful and persuasive ways to get you involved. Also, me and my bro Gabe in the back had to support as dancers!! Enjoy 🙂

 

eighth process post

💸💸 Cha-ching 💸💸

Hello Friends!!

This week we played around with Google Analytics and discussed monetization of our site.

 

Related image

Yee that monaay schmoneeey  😆 😆

 

But now on to a serious note, Using Google Analytics was more than a little confusing, and all that really interested me were how many people went to my site. It’s pretty amazing that Google can offer us that information…but also creepy they’re all up in our business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

 

It’s cool I can see how long people have visited my site for, and the amount of people per day that visit my site. This visual presentation of data is extremely useful.

 

 

 

 

 

Google even goes as far to track which times per day people most regularly visit my blog, where they are coming from and from what device.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It makes me a little weary of how much Google tracks my online data, where I shop, browse and visit most frequently. Google analytics isn’t just proof people go to your site, it’s proof Google can track which sites we visit.

This issue of Google’s thorough coverage of the Internet is discussed in the article by Nilay Patel, where they make a note of this “Google makes the lion’s share of its money on search, and Google search doesn’t work if the web isn’t searchable, so Google has a huge interest in making the web profitable for media companies, so they can search all that content” (2015).

 

Reference

Patel, Nilay (2015, September 17) “Welcome to hell: Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook and the slow death of the web” The Verge. Retrieved from: https://www.theverge.com/2015/9/17/9338963/welcome-to-hell-apple-vs-google-vs-facebook-and-the-slow-death-of-the-web.

 

 

 

 

seventh process post

Someone else’s work…is someone else’s work!

Hello Friends! 😄

This week we are discussing the use or no use, the correct and incorrect way of crediting another fellow contributor, the policies of Copyright!

Related image

Copyright helps both parties, it makes sure the credit goes to the right person and that person is protected, and that you don’t look bad taking someone else’s work 😎

In our publishing lecture this week, Jon Festinger from the School of Law at UBC spoke on “Copyright Topics
(& a little bit of contract law)”.

He said in essence, “copyright…means the sole right to…reproduce the work…in any material form whatever…”(2018). As I reflected on this, I immediately thought of Instagram and it’s copyright culture (or lack thereof). As social media makes it incredibly convenient and simple to screenshot or download someone’s content on their feed and timeline. With the rise of business utilizing Instagram, and making partnerships on the platform, we have seen some professional and formal crediting taking place. However, it is not the common culture. We see photos being reposted all the time, and sometimes it can be hard to trace a photo back to its original taker.

 

 

 

There’s a story by Max Dubler, a professional photographer working with downhill skateboarding. He explained his situation in the article, with having one of his photos being used by a longboard company on their instagram; and that for this particular use (as they are a profitable company) it is expected he get a fee. He simply messaged them asking for payment, and was rejected and told they would take it down. But the point he made was that despite them taking the photo down, he would still need to be compensated regardless; as the value and impact of his picture for their company on their Instagram was already spent.

With this in mind, moving forward we can be more aware of not just crediting people to the work they put out, but acknowledging the power and impact our posts can have. If that means adding a logo to your pictures to protect yourself, or making your fees and business procedures public.

I personally haven’t dealt with issues regarding stolen work or copyright, but this blog can be my starting point to protecting the words I write and videos I make.

 

 

 

References:

Festinger, Jon (2018, February 28) “Copyright Topics (& a little bit of contract law)” Lecture Files Week Seven. Retrieved from: http://posiel.com/2018/02/lecture-files-week-seven/

Dubler, Max (2017, July 13) “No, You Can’t Use My Photos On Your Brand’s Instagram For Free” PetaPixel. Retrieved from: https://petapixel.com/2017/07/13/no-cant-use-photos-brands-instagram-free/ 

fifth process post

 You said what now?!

Hello Friends!

Hope you all had a good break…read a lot hopefully 😉

This week, I am reflecting on a post that focused on a subject I am always needing work on…ME 🤣😆😅

Joy from With Love, Joy took time outta her day to take a look at my blog, with the design as her main focus. Let’s give her a hand for that!! 👏👏👏 I really appreciate anyone taking the time to look at my blog, let alone make note of what works and doesn’t; especially as design is not my strongest point!!

Going into making this blog, I already expected the layout and design of my blog to be difficult for me, and to be honest, it makes me less enthusiastic to do something when I have no clue what I’m doing. It’s not that I don’t WANT my blog to look super cool and hecking awesome, but it’s just…well, NOT my area of expertise. I’m fully ashamed to admit how long it took me to find online tutorials on how to change my font and font size..(so long I still haven’t figured it out).

So reading Joy’s review was extremely helpful, and also a little frustrating. It was helpful because a fresh set of eyes always notices things you don’t! There were many things she noted that I was already aware of, which frustrated me as I lack knowledge on how to fix those things and silently hoped everyone else just ignored them.

One of the things she suggested was to make my titles and captions more distinct, with an easy fix such as grammar!

Image result for gif duh

 

I chose to fix this example because not only was it the simplest and quickest fix, but c’mon sam!! man, I gotta get it together 😂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, thanks Joy!!! 🙂

 

My Transmedia Strategy | Week 10

Before knowing the “transmedia”, I was already critically aware of the importance of having not just a cohesive online brand, but one that cross-promoted itself. Before starting djalexrose.com (and still now), Instagram was my primary social media platform. I had always promoted my Soundcloud using the business website function and by posting previews of songs, however, now the connection is deeper. My Instagram and Snapchats focus primarily on “story” function engagement with polls, event promotions, and exclusive media.

My Facebook and Twitter are both quite neglected, being automated to post content whenever I upload to Youtube and Soundcloud. I’ve heard from colleagues that Facebook has a much stronger ROI on advertisements than Instagram (which I recently tried) so I’ll be investing more into that platform soon. As of now, neither one has exclusive content.

Soundcloud has shifted to have only my best musical content. From originals to bootlegs to remixes, Soundcloud houses all the tracks that make it Spotify and ones that can’t clear copyright but are still strong releases. It also includes links to all my other social media platforms.

Youtube is the king of my content strategy. It’s home to weekly vlogs, 30-80 minute mixes, exclusive mashups, and much more. As you can see, djalexrose.com remains a focal point being included in my banner.

The final service I’ll mention is ArtistUnion, a download-gate service that exchanges downloads of your music for specified actions. In my case, I require my audience follows my Soundcloud and like and reposts the song they wish to download.

The post My Transmedia Strategy | Week 10 appeared first on alex rose.

PP11

In developing community guidelines for my blog, I take reference from the other online communities I frequent. As an avid Reddit user, I take part in discussion within certain sub-reddit communities. Each of these sub-reddits have their own unique guidelines in which users must abide by. In my own experience, I have previously posted to r/curlyhair, and in doing so I must follow the pinned rules located in the sidebar (AKA community guidelines) or else my post will be deleted.

 

For my own blog, I am hesitant to even come up with community guidelines in the first place, simply because I do not have a community to engage with. Right now, I enjoy giving my blog users complete freedom, as any dialogue at this point would be better than nothing.

 

Another reason as to why I do not see the value in community guidelines in the context of a personal blog is that it is just that: personal. As the known moderator of my own blog, it should come as no surprise that I can delete and moderate content in whatever way I please. Communities like reddit are moderated by and for the community, and thus must consider the opinions and values of the entire group. In my case, the only person’s opinion I have to consider is my own!

The post PP11 appeared first on Cami The Veggie.

Essay #2

       Self-branding and online identities have become a common topic in everyday conversations in recent years, especially with the omnipresence of popular social media sites like Instagram. Despite this topic even being a common theme over the course of my Communications degree, I had never honestly considered the benefits that I myself could have by constructing a strong online brand in this digital age. “Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others” (Schawbel, 2009). Publishing 101 served as a strong pedagogical narrative by which I learned not only about the changes in the world of publishing, but also about the ways in which we can now publish ourselves, and the benefits (or even downfalls, when done incorrectly) that may arise from these online publications. Throughout the course of this essay, I will first address the ways in which this course has shifted the way in which I think about publishing, and further, how these new ways of publishing have worked their way into my online presence over the course of this semester. Following this, I intend to specifically address my online self and publication, not only referencing my blog but also my social media platforms. Lastly, I acknowledge my goals going forward, including what I aim to take with me beyond the confines of this course.

       It would be erroneous to claim that I hadn’t considered online works to count as publishing prior to the start of this semester. Of course, tangible books are the obvious thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “publishing,” but it goes far beyond that. Having said this, I didn’t the extent of which publishing expanded to. Publishing is not only online works and articles as well as tangible books; it is further embodied by anything that gets put out to the public, including social media posts and – of course – blogs. “Publishing” is has many definitions, but has come to be best defined as “the dissemination of literature, music, or information—the activity of making information available to the general public” (Wikipedia). While Wikipedia is generally not the best source for correct information, other acclaimed dictionaries are still stuck in the ways of defining publishing as being limited to formal publications that are for sale, which we have come to know is simply not the case.

       As mentioned above, publishing encompasses any online works that we “publish” or make available to the public, including any blog posts or social media posts. As Alive Marwick states, “the logic of marketing and advertising embedded in social software has infiltrated the ways in which we relate to ourselves and to others,” and that we “[use] social media as a neoliberal technology of subjectivity that produces social status as the ultimate commodity” (Marwick, 2013). In other words, we live in a world where we have technologies at our fingertips that allow us to market ourselves, our products, and how we ultimately wish others to view us. Throughout the course, we learned of how wide the span of publishing is now, and how we can use these new technologies tour advantage. Though I am nowhere near the status of being a “micro-celebrity” or Instagram celebrity (nor do I aim to be), I can now recognize that our online presence can be extremely useful one way or another. Even if you’re not trying to become famous in one way or another, marketing yourself as a brand online can be a valiant tool in this digital age.

       With regards to both my social media presence as well as my blog, I found the focus throughout the semester on the importance of identifying an audience and a brand to be largely advantageous. In the early weeks of the semester, I decided my blog was going to be a foodie blog which what chronicle my adventures to various restaurants around Metro Vancouver and write about my experiences. Identifying my audience, I learned, was one of the first major steps I had to take. In a process post I wrote, I identified my intended target audience to be foodies in the Vancouver area. I added that I don’t necessarily imagine there to be a specific age demographic, but likely people out of high school, perhaps young adults in general. This is mainly because high school students may not be interested in food blogs, cooking, and so forth, and may not have the means to go to far-out restaurants. In “Publics and Counterpublics” (2002), Michael Warner addresses that if you are reading his essay, “you are part of its public.” Warner goes on to say that there is a difference between thepublic and apublic (Warner, 2002). Warner describes the public as a ‘totality’: an all-inclusive description of the general amount of people, whereas a public is more specific, like an audience. Therefore, the people frequenting my blog would be a specific public or audience, likely visiting to check out restaurants they may be interested in.

       It is important to recognize your audience and public in order to market it to those specific people and thus further your success and your clout. “Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes” (Campbell, 2009); each platform or domain may have a different audience and environment, and must me marketed as such. How I market and design my online self and presence on my Instagram page differs in the way in which I design my blog, as I have identified different audiences for the two. My personal Instagram features more artistic photos of self-exploitation, encompassing the best parts of my ‘self.’ Conversely, my blog markets itself to my (assumingly) foodie audience, and thus my posts tempt to embody food, Vancouver culture, and often an attempted humor. Furthermore, more online publications look to provide a service to their audience in one way or another. Ensuring that the basic service functions of one’s website or publication is an important element to consider because your audience will likely not return if they aren’t able to find what they are looking for. As I briefly touched on in the previous paragraph, my blog seeks to satisfy the service of reviewing restaurants (as well as local food and beverage in general) in the Greater Vancouver area.

       Through an immense and tedious 10-week-long trial and error process, I finally settled on a simplistic layout, removing the (apparently) tacky carousel-style photos on my home page. Gone with this was all of the numerous background images I tested out that just didn’t work. I created a logo that I felt embodied my blog in a clean and crisp way, keeping in mind the design elements that our guest speaker Mauve Pagé taught us at the start of the semester. I attempted to link colours together by bringing the gold found in the logo into other elements of the pages, such as titles and links. Travis Gertz had an interesting take on design elements and layout as well in his work, “Design Machines: How to survive in the digital apocalypse” (2015). Gertz’s main argument is based on the premise that all websites have started to look the same in an attempt to “look sexy” and appeal to the masses, but by appealing to the masses many actually become lost among the massesof other sites (2015). Unfortunately, I found it difficult to break free of most of the stereotypical constraints of which Gertz spoke about due to the confines of this course, being both the short timeframe as well as the resources made available to us. Nevertheless, these are useful pieces of information to consider when we inevitably use online mediums in our future professional lives.

            In summation, these four months have shaped the way in which I view publishing. Although I understood publishing to go beyond physical books, I didn’t understand the broad span that the term encompassed. Not only is it books and online articles, but also virtually anything that disseminates products and information to the general public. This includes social media presence as well as forum posts and, of course, blogging. Through the combination of the creation of my food blog with various guest speakers, tutorials, and online readings over the last 12 weeks, I have learned that identifying an audience and marketing yourself is a useful tool at any level of this digital world be live in. Despite my blog not gaining a large enough following to truly be able to use applications like Google Analytics or AdSense to my advantage, I can now realize these as important tools that help to compliment ones persona and identify important information. Going forward, I can confidently say that although I may not become a blogger, I have gained important and useful tools to brand myself, whatever that ‘self’ may be.

 

Bibliography

Campbell, W. G. (2009). A Personal Cyber Infrastructure. New Horizons, 44(5), p. 58-59

Gertz, Travis. (2015). “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” Louder Than 10.Retrieved on 12 April 2018 from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Marwick, A. (2013). Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age. Canadian Journal of Communication, 40(1), p. 143-146.

Schawbel, D. (2009). Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand. Mashable. Retrieved on 10 April 2018 from: https://mashable.com/2009/02/05/personal-branding-101/#ge_SBxPsZEq4

Warner, M. (2002). Knowledge and Public Works, 88(4), p. 413-425.

Insights from my Google Analytics | Week 9

Let’s start off with my User Overview. We will look at my data since the website’s inception in January, including February 20 – March 10th whose data was lost due to a tracking code issue. My traffic is relatively low and consistent. According to 21 Handshake, my type of site has an average bounce rate of 70-90%. Compared to this benchmark, my bounce rate is very good at 38.44%, however, my low amount of users makes most of my analytics insubstantial. The biggest thing I’ve taken from this section is to remove my Youtube videos from my site as session durations are too short for them to be relevant.

Next up: some technology-related data. Most of my users are in the Apple ecosystem and use Google Chrome like myself. Not much to say here other than I may consider implementing an Apple Music widget as well, seeing as my music is hosted there as well as Spotify.

Now for geography. The website follows my Instagram and Soundcloud analytics in that I am predominantly popular in the United States and Canada. Interestingly, the website maintains my popularity from Spotify which is concentrated in Latin America, especially Chile and Brazil. This is most likely due to name confusion with Latin artist Alex Rose (the reason my name is spelt “alex rose”).

How about discovery? Well, there’s a pretty even split between Direct, Social, and Referral here. Most of my social traffic comes from Instagram (my primary social media for engaging my audience) and I’ve also seen a lot of traffic from my peers’ websites referring users to me. I should continue focusing on my Instagram as a traffic source and expand my collaboration to ensure more referrals. Finally, I plan to improve my SEO to see my organic search improve.

 Finally, pageviews broke down by page. No surprise that my homepage would have the most traffic. It’s also comforting to see that my shows page, where my audience can purchase tickets and RSVP to events, is second most popular. Shows are a growing form of revenue for me so this is a welcome insight. Unfortunately, my blog doesn’t appear to get much attention. Most of my blog content can be found directly on my Youtube, but moving forward I plan to have exclusive blog content focused on SEO friendly tutorial content.

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The first day in Bangkok, Thailand (part 2)

By the time someone came up it was mid-afternoon and we still had the entire day ahead of us. So instead of chilling out by the pool or going to an air-conditioned museum, or something else that would ease us into this completely different culture, 90 something percent humidity, and the mid forty degrees weather, we went sightseeing. We took off first tuk-tuk of the trip to Wat (temple) Pho, aka reclining Buddha number 1 out of 7 I think. The ride there taught us some valuable lessons in the unspoken traffic rules of Thailand and for the most part South East Asia. Such as:

  1. If there is an open space, be it your own lane, the oncoming traffic’s lane, or a sidewalk, you are free to use it.
  2. If the light is red you don’t actually have to stop, just honk a bit as you go through to make your presence known.
  3. Stopping for pedestrians to cross will cause an accident, instead weave around
  4. Just an extra: Tuk-tuks are like roller coaster rides, minus the safety

Image result for bangkok traffic

Around 3 pm, even after a popsicle, I was really beginning to feel the humidity, heat and lack of sleep. Luckily we were done sightseeing for the day and headed back home for a quick dip in the pool, which was quite refreshing. After, a bit before 6 pm, we ventured out to look for someplace to eat. There was a restaurant on the top flour of our hotel but we wanted to go someplace different for dinner. Since Thailand is so close to the border the sunset around 6 pm year round so we were walking around in the dark, finding all the restaurants to be closed… at 6. Yes, there were roadside stands with meats of a sort cooking over a fire, however, it was our first night in Thailand and we weren’t feeling all that adventurous just yet. Accepting failure and too tired to continue looking we headed home to the restaurant on the top floor.

This brought us to about 4 hours of sleep in the last 30 hours, 24 of which were spent travelling, add to that the culture shock, heat, and humidity my brother and I were exhausted. The restaurant was basically empty. My brother and I were more tired than hungry so we just decided to order chicken and cashew nut at out mom’s recommendation. (This lat became my favourite dish to eat in Thailand. I often had it at least once a day.)

The food came around 7 pm and I really didn’t care that much. Sleep had overtaken my thoughts, our lack of thoughts since I was starting to doze off, only to awaken multiple times with my mom trying to get me to eat. At some point, she figured my brother and I had had enough, let us roll out heads back a fall asleep for a bit. At which time she took a picture of us, heads back, tilted to the left and mouths wide open. bangkok city

We went up to our room and I was ready for bed, but I still had to brush my teeth, so toothbrush in hand I decided to just lie down, only for a few seconds, on my bed on the way to the bathroom. So I fell I sleep, toothbrush in hand, face planted on the side of my bed. I was woken up just enough to get me to roll on the way onto it and that’s where I slept at 7 pm.

Only to wake up 4 am in the morning. Safe to say I was a little jet-lagged and stayed that way for a good weak. That being said it did help us get an early start on the day, which meant being back home by that time the afternoon heat came around.

 

 

The first day in Bankok, Thailand (part 1)

And by day I mean 48 hours, except because of the timezone difference it was more… or less. Safe to say I was 15 years old and confused as heck, over the time zone change.

 

The flight was not until 12 pm at night, which meant we- my family- had the entire day to pack and try to remember if we were forgetting anything. My brother still ended up forgetting his retainer and me my favourite capris, but that’s fairly minor.

 

After boarding the flight I was fully prepared to go to sleep. It was midnight, I was tired, but what I was not was hungry… for airplane food. And yet at 1 am that is what they came around to serve. I mean I ate the fruit, obviously. By this time I was past the point of tiredness and was feeling that second wind, so I watched a movie. finally, I felt tired and was able to turn the “T.V.” off, put the remote into the slope of the armrest, the inside of the arm armrest, and go to sleep

Only to be woken up every time I moved, which, on a regular basis, is a lot. This was because, as I mentioned earlier the remote was on the inside of the armrest, therefore every time I moved, subsequently bumping it, the bright blue screen in front of me would turn. Safe to say I got about three hours of sleep out of the 13-hour flight.

At Taipei, Taiwan we switched flights for the last six hours of air travel. Getting off the plane we were immediately hit with the immense humidity and heat of Thailand, and we hadn’t even stepped foot outside the airport yet. Driving in from the airport the first thing I noticed there was an abundance of was giant billboards. Not the small to medium ones you’d see driving on a highway in North American, these things were 2-3 times the size of those billboards. 

prince palace hotelWhen my family travels we tend not to book things ahead. We arrive in a new place, “set up camp” at a cafe and search around for a good place to stay. The only time we book a place ahead of time is if we know we will have travelled most of the day and will probably just want to go “home” (where ever we happen to be sleeping that night) and chill out for a bit. 

On our way up to our hotel room, we passed this 3-foot wide jade cabbage. It was magnificent. My dad found it hideous and tacky, so naturally, I save it on his phone as the lock screen and the home page. He did not know how to change it back.

I guess our room hadn’t been cleaned yet, so my dad ended up calling down to get someone to clean. However, when you got someone on the line he began to talk around with the corded phone in hand, which in turn cause the phone to fall off the table every time. And by every time I mean, he did this a total of four times.

 

Process Post #12: Annnnnd….It’s a Wrap!

Wow. I can’t believe its already over. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in class wondering how the heck I was going to figure out word press and what the heck I was going to write about. I was clueless to say the least and scared, very very scared.

I didn’t thin there was a subject that particularly interested me and so personal blogging seemed liked the rout to go. Thank god I did choose it since it helped me in so many ways not just academically but personally. It was a way for me to unload about my personal life but also create content that I felt mattered and that I wanted to do. I wasn’t writing in order to please any professor but simply for the joy of publishing, the joy of creating content and sharing it with the world. I know this all sounds cheesy but it did feel like that. It was such a great experience to rediscover my love for writing outside my academia. I now know I am not just Veronique Brissette the communications student, but really I am so much more than that.

Thank you PUB 101.

-Awkward Girl.

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Process Post #11: Fake News…Am I Fake?

I ask in the title if I’m fake referring to be anonymity. I wonder if though this journey my anonymity makes me “fake news”. Although I am not hurting anyone or saying anything untrue, I am being misleading about my true identity. I think that fake news has done quite some damage in the arena of social media and has caused many upsets and disagreements that have lead to individuals never being sure about the truthfulness of information they read online. Unfortunately , this uncertainty is not going away any time soon as our online world is flooded with fake news. It has become our civil obligations to become aware and practice our media literacy in order to reduce the chances of misinterpreting falsified information.

In most cases of fake news derives from political news stories but has anyone ever considered that perhaps fake news could be extended to other ways of falsifying information on the internet? I personally do not think that I am spreading fake information but perhaps the better term for what I am doing is cat fishing ?

I think that anonymity will always be an important part of my story as a blogger identity and that although readers do not know exactly who I am, I think it contributes to the way my audience interprets and relates with Awkward Girl.

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Process Post #10: Transmedia

Today in class, we had a speaker come in talk to us about the importance of spreading our brand in different ways to do so. Like discussed in Kathryn Lyndsey’s article “UNPOPULAR OPINION: These YouTube Authors are Ruining the Publishing Industry”, she argues that although different forms of media have perhaps taken away the traditional sense of publishing, the importance of sharing content across different platforms is not to be ignored, it has become a hallmark in today’s pop culture society.

There is Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, the list goes on! So many different ways we can connect our blogs to different platforms with the end goal to grow our audience and get our message out to the most people as possible. In my personal circumstance, I cherish my anonymity within my persona and sharing my social media outlets on my blog would mean that readers would get to see who I really am which in my opinion, defeats the whole purpose of the anonymity I have created with Awkward Girl.

There are many individuals in the class that have linked their social media’s to their blogs which has very much helped them grow. I think that if I were to continue on in this journey of blogging and was adamant on keeping my secret persona, I would need to create different accounts to my own personal ones in order to be able to participate in this transmedia style of publishing while assuring the brand (no one knows who the other is) that I wanted.

-Awkward Girl.

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