Monthly Archives: October 2018

PRESSING ON – Process Post #8

The header image saga continues. Every week I’ve been changing my header image ideas. I decided this week that I want to incorporate an image that has more than just a colour and typefaces I like, so I’ve been researching other ways to create header images for people like me (graphic design and coding dummy). This week I made this:

It’s a start, but I don’t love it. I’m going to continue tweaking it. Though I really have no experience with web design, I was affected by one of our course readings by Travis Gertz in which he says: “design is the expression of content” (“How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse“). I will not be able to make an elaborate website, but I do want the design and aesthetic to be representative of my content, which I am putting a lot of effort into.

We have started talking about monetizing. I began the construction of this site with the idea that this project would function more as a portfolio than anything. I feel pretty resistant to this idea, but I am anticipating engaging with this idea in at least some small way in the future, so I’ve started adding images of the book covers to each of my posts. It is possible that I’ll eventually add an Amazon link, or maybe a link to local bookstores that I like.

This week I spent some time reading book reviews and about strategies for effective book reviews. I’m not writing clearly identifiable reviews in that I am reading books usually that I know I’ll like, or that have been recommended to me by people that I trust, and using them to reflect on my own life and worldview, but I do want them to be recognizable to people who are looking for books to read.

 

Wanderlust – A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

In some of the most emotionally turbulent times of my life I have taken to walking. The memories surrounding these walks are blurry, mysterious and back lit. I will often not remember what I was going through at the time, but the poignancy of the landscape, the crisp air, the mist hanging over a field, remains. In Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit’s History of Walking she quotes an unnamed German man: “‘In the experience of walking, each step is a thought. You can’t escape yourself’” (51). I remember on one of my walks, unconsciously breaking into a run and realizing what my body was doing after some time had passed. Trying to escape from inside myself, my body kindly reminded me of my limits.

Walking, Solnit says, “trespasses through everyone else’s field – through anatomy, anthropology, architecture, gardening, geography, political and cultural history, literature, sexuality, religious studies” (4). The rest of the book follows these routes that walking takes, illustrating the way that this simple, profound practice touches everything. Solnit is a historian and writer, but her language translates to me like a geographer – allusions to space, women and public space, the anonymity provided to those who are able to leisurely take in space, that is, take a break from activities of production. The Flaneur is a geographical concept that translates as someone who strolls, lounges, or saunters; flaneur is shorthand for someone who has the privilege of being able to, essentially, consume space.

To that end, walking can also be a radical self-care practice in a society that demands participation in capitalist production. “Walking itself is the intentional act closest to the unwilled rhythms of the body, to breathing and the beating of the heart”, Solnit writes (5). Walking is like thinking: producing nothing, meandering, perhaps results in lostness.

In the first section of the text titled “The Pace of Thoughts”, the reader follows Solnit down the romantic countryside of walking, down a rugged trail, away from the street – quiet, contemplative, spacious. Solnit’s pace quickens in “Lives of the Streets” – urban walking and the implications of class distinctions on the street complicates our understanding of “flirting” with getting lost in the idyllic countryside (44). Indeed, Solnit distinguishes between leisure walking and walking out of necessity. Wanderlust provides histories of urban walking concerned with gender while touching on geographies of exclusion and harassment. In the late 19th century, it was permissible for police to arrest and medically examine any woman who was perceived to be a sex worker. “Merely walking about in the wrong time or place could put a woman under suspicion”, Solnit writes (233). Not surprisingly, in the case of nineteen year old Caroline Wyburgh, the soldier that she was thought to be in a relationship with was never “named, arrested, inspected, or otherwise drawn into the legal system”, while Caroline was forcefully subjected to, essentially, a virginity examination (ibid).

The last section of the text, “Past the End of the Road”, continues to look at space geographically, analyzing “efforts to control who strolls and how… suggest[ing] that walking may in some way still be subversive” (285). Solnit insists that walking is a deeply politcized act, and that the freedom of imagination is inextricably linked to our ability to wander.

“Musing takes place in a kind of meadowlands of the imagination, a part of the imagination that has not yet been plowed, developed, or put to any immediately practical use. Environmentalists are always arguing that those butterflies, those grasslands, those watershed woodlands, have an utterly necessary function in the grand scheme of things, even if they don’t produce a market crop. The same is true of the meadowlands of the imagination; time spent there is not work time, yet without that time the mind becomes sterile, dull, domesticated. The fight for free space – for wilderness and public space – must be accompanied by a fight for free time to spend wandering that space. Otherwise the individual imagination will be bulldozed over for the chain-store outlets of consumer appetite, true-crime titillations, and celebrity crises” (289).

Solnit’s case for walking seems to be one in the same with the case for enjoying the luxury of non production, and engaging in the subversive act of getting lost in the ‘meadowlands’ of one’s mind while imagining a better world.

Process Post Week #9 – Monetization

This week we explored how our blogs could be monetized. While the possibilities are endless, I have narrowed down my options to a few potential methods.

Google AdSense would enable my blog to be monetized through advertisements, however, I do not enjoy seeing advertisements when I browse the Internet and do not want to disengage readers by running advertisements against my content. Thus, I do not plan on using Google AdSense.

I explored the potential for sponsorships, but this is something that I have not done previously on my blog. As a result I would have to gauge if readers enjoyed or engaged with the sponsored content. I think that it would either be a success or readers would be disengaged similar to some of Matt Shea’s YouTube viewers who were unhappy when he began posting content which they were not accustomed to. My sponsorships would primarily include a variety of hockey equipment companies who’s products I would review. While this is something to consider companies may be anticipating a positive review whereas my opinion maybe the complete opposite. But, if I were to go this route I would also feature affiliate marketing by providing readers with links to purchase the equipment.

However, I feel that the best way to monetize my blog would be through merchandising. Not only is there the potential for profit but my blog would gain awareness and free publicity as my merchandise would be branded through identifiers such as logos or words, for example, my custom hockey jersey below. Additionally, the possibilities for merchandising products are endless since there are many customizable products. I found that Vistaprint offers a wide selection of customizable products including the mug below.

I never realized how many methods there were to monetize a blog but after exploring the topic and thinking of potential methods I cannot wait to get started!

 

Process Post – 6

This week, I realized that I should put less of my focus on the actual design of my blog, because these minor tweaks are less important than the retention of my audience. Thus, I’ve decided to add some mechanisms to my blog that helps my viewers engage with my content. In order to accomplish that, I must develop a more personable online persona to my audience, so that I have a higher retention rate on my blog. Therefore, I’ve decided to add a social media plugin on my blog. I installed the Social Media and Share Icons (Ultimate Social Media) plugin on my website, placing my Instagram and Email on the left sidebar below my navigation menu. Furthermore, I also added a RSS (Rich Site Summary) to let my audience subscribe to my blog with their email, so that they’ll get a notification with my every post. This helps me build a community of audiences, creating loyalty, and helps my blog expand.

Puzzles & Dragons – Mobile

What’s up everyone!! I’m back and more tired than ever after the midterms season. Today, I’d like to talk about a mobile game. Now, I know most of you reading this are probably like “Dude mobile gamers are not real gamers, you casual”, but hear me out. This is a Japanese developed puzzle game for both IOS and Android phones, that started gaining a lot of popularity in Asia in around 2014. This game has really blown up since 2014, developing its own game culture with forums and fanbases, while also inspiring a lot of other games in this genre.

Gameplay

As all smartphones are touchscreen nowadays, the player moves orbs of different colors in a 6×6 box, the objective is to get 3 or more orbs of the same color in a row or column. The player enters a game fighting (usually) 4-5 stages before getting to the boss fight, and some monster eggs might drop on the way. There’s a few types of currencies in this game to engage the player base.

  1. Magic Stones
  2. Coins
  3. Monster Currency

Each of these currencies are used in different ways. The magic stones are stones that you get when you finish a certain stage, when you get 5 magic stones you can use them to enter a draw for monster eggs for rare monsters that will help you fight battles.

This game also has a lot of potential for retention of user base, due to the fact that smartphones are so accessible and convenient, people would play on their commute to a destination or play whilst lounging around at home. Furthermore, after the player finishes the campaign, developers keep them engaged by coming out with new updates, such as new monsters, new bosses and multiplayer modes.

This game has kept me entertained during commutes and past times, and it can help you too!

 

Posiel Week 8

This week in our lecture we had Jon Festinger come in and talk about copyright laws. It was very interesting as copyright laws are not usually talked about and I don’t have much knowledge other than basic common sense. I was fascinated about finding out that you can replicate a scene from a movie and put it in a video game and still be able to get away with not infringing on copyright. I couldn’t believe that an escape via helicopter on the roof of a hospital is vital in to a zombie genre that you could use that scene in anything you make and not get in trouble. There are so many little loopholes out there but still require the person to be extremely careful because if you are not careful you will be sued for copyright. I also liked it how I was taught about what can and cannot be copyrighted and was surprised that not everything in this world can be copyrighted such as a house. I also learned that Canada is now joining the USA after the new trade agreement and that copyright will become public domains after 70 years which I had no clue that something copyrighted would ever be able to be public again. Copyright laws are such major component of everyday life and I never knew there was so much behind them. It really got me thinking about being more careful and citing my sources as I never want to get in to copyright trouble. Overall, Jon was very interesting to listen to and I appreciate all the knowledge I gained that day.

The post Posiel Week 8 appeared first on The World of College Football.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK: Stories Shared Through Chaos

Traditional media offers our world skewed stories, left and right, and hidden realities. Sometimes, people crave to hear the story of a real person. The connection felt when reading authentic, raw words about someone else’s lived experience brings us down to a level where we remember we all have one thing in common: we are all human. Humans of New York (HONY) is a Facebook page that provides the world with these stories. Brandon Stanton is the person behind the photoblog style idea. He originally aimed at sharing 10,000 stories from people in New York, but has now expanded far past that, giving us stories of people across more than 40 countries (Humans of New York, 2018; Stanton, n.d.). HONY gives us authentic stories of people’s lived experience all over the world and is currently sharing stories from the inhabitants of Rwanda who experienced the genocide in 1994 (Humans of New York, 2018). Although they are active on social media other than Facebook, I will be focusing on their Facebook page for the sake of this paper.

Throughout this essay, I aim to show how HONY is an example of how social media can be used as a global liberation technology to create a democratic space in the midst of a politically chaotic world. I will be sharing how HONY creates a democratic space by empowering people through shared stories that stretch across borders. Considering that 42% of Canadians and 39% of Americans receive their news through social media, it is important to realize the weight that these stories hold in informing the public about what is going on with citizens in America and beyond (Mitchell, Simmons, Matsa, & Silver, 2018).

Humans of New York not only provides a voice for those that Stanton interviews, but also a greater voice for everyone who can relate to or connect with the story being shared. Stanton aims to channel authenticity through Facebook posts, to show humans as they truly are. In the case of Humans of New York, Facebook can be seen as a liberation technology. Liberation technologies are ones that “demonstrate potential to empower citizens to confront, contain, and hold accountable authoritarian regimes,” as recalled by Larry Diamond (2012, p. xi). Although Humans of New York does not always share stories that tackle issues among authoritarian regimes, these stories work to empower voices that are typically not heard in society. The voice of an abused single mother, or the teenager who gets bullied; HONY works to liberate these voices and give them a megaphone to speak into the world.

A reason why HONY does an incredible job at sharing stories is because they have large network. The stories shared are from the marginalized, the pushed aside, the forgotten, the unheard, and so many more. These stories reflect the human experience, and readers are attracted to this type of content. People all throughout the world can see stories that relate to them, that put a voice to their own story, or that expose voices they have never heard before. Halpern and Gibbs explain that larger networks typically provoke a greater sense of participation (2013, p. 1161). To expand, networks that have a far reach tend to engage people who are willing to step into a greater conversation (Halpern & Gibbs, 2013, p. 1161). Not only this, but larger networks also provide people with alternative opinions that are outside of what people are comfortable with (Halpern & Gibbs, 2013, p. 1161). Because HONY has expanded their network outside of New York, it has created a democratic space where people can feel free to engage, connect, or disagree, with the stories presented on the Facebook page. Some of HONY’s stories have the power to push up on people’s preconceived notions and make them uncomfortable, and because they are shared from such an authentic point of view, these stories are hard to brush off or ignore.

The expansion of HONY’s network has added a global element to the democratic space. Stanton, being an American male, brings an important perspective of the struggles and sufferings going on in other countries. Chen, Ping, and Chen write about cross-national political mobilization. They define the term as “a part of global political participation in which citizens abroad air their concerns, voice opinions, take actions, and make changes,” (2015, p. 444). Three factors that are crucial for social movement in cross-national mobilization are attitude, emotion, and frequent use of social media (Chen, Ping, & Chen, 2015, p. 444). HONY is a tool that can be used for cross-national political mobilization because it is a democratic space that is not limited to the voice behind the stories told, but also allows for engagement from the public. It is not limited to New York, but it is global. Additionally, HONY aligns with the factors that contribute to social movement. Chen, Ping, and Chen outline personal attitudes and civic attitudes, writing that personal attitudes are related to one’s compassion towards an issue, and civic attitudes motivate people to take action towards an issue (Chen, Ping, & Chen, 2015, p. 445). We can see how Stanton demonstrates a personal attitude through HONY, by taking the time to hear and share people’s stories. HONY also demonstrates a civic attitude through its Facebook page, acting as a place that brings attention to stories that need to be heard. HONY’s civic attitude has raised a total of $12,000,000 for charitable causes (Stanton, 2018). This combined with emotion given through the stories told, and daily posting, makes HONY a social movement in cross-national mobilization.

HONY is a space where people can be informed of events in the world, as it aims to provide authentic stories from places of chaos. Kent (2013) argues that the Internet has done anything but created a democratic space. He says that the average person is not able to decipher what sources are credible through the multitude of information given to them (2013, p. 338). Kent points out that “people spend more time with technology and access to information than ever before, but probably engage democracy less than at any point of history, since technology has made filtering out the negative voices and opinions of others so easy,” (Kent, 2013, p. 338). However, HONY pushes up against this notion, because it shares “negative voices and opinions” of people around the world that are not easy to hear. Readers of HONY engage their personal attitude when they make deep connections with the stories being read, and possibly engage their civic attitude by reading further into the topic or issue presented through the story and taking action. Although some people may use HONY as a source to provide information on the events of a particular country, the Facebook page overall creates a space on the Internet where people can be exposed to, engage with, respond to challenging issues.

Altogether, HONY has expanded its network around the globe as a social movement in cross-national political mobilization in sharing incredible, difficult stories of how people experience the world. Through providing the public with these stories, HONY creates a democratic space where readers can be inspired by struggles experienced by others and motivated to engage in a greater political dialogue by researching more about a topic brought to the surface by HONY or through civic participation.

Reference List

Chen, H., Ping, S., & Chen, G. (2015). Far from reach but near at hand: The role of social media

for cross-national mobilization. Computers in Human Behaviour, 29, 443-451.

 

Diamond, L. & Plattner, M. (Eds.) (2012). Introduction. Liberation technology: Social

media and the struggle for democracy (ix-xxvi). Maryland: The Johns Hopkins

University Press. Retreived from

https://books.google.ca/books?printsec=frontcover&vid=LCCN2012012206&red

ir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

Halpern, D., & Gibbs, J. (2013). Social media as a catalyst for online deliberation? Exploring the

affordances of Facebook and YouTube for political expression. Computers in Human

Behaviour, 29, 1159-1168.

 

Humans of New York. (2018, Oct. 16). On April 6th 1994, an airplane carrying the President of

Rwanda was shot down over the capital city of Kigali, serving as a catalyst for genocide

against the minority Tutsi population [Facebook post]. Retrieved from

https://www.facebook.com/pg/humansofnewyork/posts/?ref=page_internal

 

Kent, M. (2013). Using social media dialogically: Public relations role in reviving democracy.

Public Relations Review, 39, 337-345.

 

Stanton, B. (n.d.). Brandon Stanton is creating Humans of New York. Retrieved from

https://www.patreon.com/humansofnewyork

INTERVIEW ⅓ : MEET MARTY

This post marks the first of a three part interview series. I had the privilege of meeting with three staff members of NightShift to hear about their roles in the organization and how they feel about the community that they interact with. Hearing these people talk passionately about the community that NightShift serves was an incredible experience.

First up, Marty. Marty is the Volunteer Services and HR Manager at NightShift and has been working with the organization since last year. His father was a former heroin addict that experienced a radical life change and turned away from drugs for good. So Marty grew up with his father teaching him what it looked like to have compassion towards people who struggled with addiction. For Marty, he didn’t see addicts as people who disrupt society, but he saw them as people who were like his dad.

How did Marty get involved with NightShift? He previously worked as a pastor for 17 years. Towards the end of that time, he felt his heart stirring for the local community. Although he served in the local church, he wanted a job where he could work with people within a community context. He yearned for a job that gave him experience on the ground with people who were struggling. Marty came across a blessing in disguise when his church started to struggle financially. He decided to follow the call on his heart to jump into something new, and asked the senior pastor to be laid off. From there, Marty was uncertain in what his future would look like, but he knew he made the right decision. A few months later, Marty started his job with NightShift.

What does Marty’s job look like? To put it simply, he interacts with the community in Surrey a lot. He meets with anyone who wants to become a part of NightShift, or anyone who could potentially work with the organization. Networking is Marty’s thing. He also is sometimes hired to speak at schools or churches. Lastly, he oversees all of the volunteer training. NightShift provides a structured volunteer training course called FORGE, which includes guest speakers that cover a wide range of topics. I will provide more information on FORGE in November when I go through it myself!

When I asked Marty how he feels challenged in his job, he responded that he faces the challenge of seeing the needs of vulnerable people in Whalley and knowing that he can’t always offer solutions. Marty said he came into his job with a superman complex — believing that he could come into NightShift and save the street people he came across. However, he quickly realized that he could learn from these people what love, hope, and purpose truly meant.

That is where NightShift’s mission is fully experienced: to love unconditionally and to help each other find hope and purpose. Marty’s job allows him to give people on the street a sense of love, hope, and purpose, but further than that, these people give Marty a sense of love, hope, and purpose as well. What a beautiful collaboration.

Next up in the interview series, Keri, who is in charge of communications at NightShift.

Biggest Game of the Year – LSU vs Alabama

By far the biggest match up of this years regular season is coming up this week. #4 LSU will be taking on #1 Alabama at home in Baton Rouge. LSU look to continue their dominating season after already defeating 3 top 10 teams and have by far the best resume in the country. Alabama on the other hand have been the most dominating team all year averaging 54.1 points/game  which is 5.2 points/game ahead of second place Oklahoma. Alabama’s quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa leads the way in the race for the Heisman Trophy as he puts up nation wide leading stats while still not having played in the fourth quarter. As good as this is, Alabama could have a little problem against LSU if the game is close as Alabama has not been tested in any of their games yet resulting in them not having to play their starting quarterback ever in the fourth quarter. No one knows how Alabama will respond to a close game, but if it is anything like what we’ve seen in the past they should be just fine. LSU’s defence looks amazing this year while being lead by star players Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit. Both players are elite in the tackles and interception categories in the country leading LSU to have the most interceptions caught in CFB. Both teams look to make the playoff, and for the team that loses it could mean the end of their playoff dreams. Alabama still have a chance to make the playoff with one chance but they would have to get a lot of help from the other top teams. LSU though with a loss will make them go up to two losses on the season and they will have a very slim chance as it is near impossible to make the playoff with two losses even with their resume. Overall, I predict LSU to win at home, 34-33 on a last second field goal. This game will definitely be one of the best games of the year and everyone can’t wait.

The post Biggest Game of the Year – LSU vs Alabama appeared first on The World of College Football.

College Football Jeopardy – Mini Assignment #3

Today’s contestants on College Football Jeopardy are all 3 returning champions. On the left we have The Oregon Duck from the University of Oregon. Followed by Big Al from the University of Alabama. And last but not least we have Brutus from Ohio State University.

Today’s categories are: Champions , Mascots, Campus Life, Traditions, Players and Whats That Play.

Brutus, since you have the least money so far you can start.Congratulations Big Al that’s correct.

Oh no looks like we are running out of time. It’s time for Final Jeopardy.

TIMES UP! Lets see your answers.

Im sorry Brutus and Big Al, but unfortunately those answers are not correct.

Congratulations Oregon Duck you are right and you win the game!

The post College Football Jeopardy – Mini Assignment #3 appeared first on The World of College Football.

Montreal Canadiens Rebuild Part 2

All images are from NHL 19.

This post continues from last week with the beginning of the Montreal Canadiens Franchise Mode in NHL 19. Prior to the start of the pre-season the trades and signings that I made in addition to my rationales are documented below.

Trades:

Major Trades

1) The current cornerstone of the franchise Carey Price along with Jeff Petry were shipped out to Vancouver for Elias Pettersson and two draft picks. Initially, I offered Price straight across for Pettersson but the offer was rejected; to pry him away from Vancouver I just had to add Petry and I was also able to secure a few late draft picks coming back. This was enough to get the deal done, especially they were interested in acquiring these two players. Pettersson has a very high ceiling and is likely to slot into our top-six forward group right now.

2) To help add to a team that is already doing well with a phenomenal defensive core I moved Shea Weber back to Nashville for Filip Forsberg and two late picks. He will be skating on the first line this season and will continue to grow as he is only 24.

3) With the acquisition of Pettersson and Forsberg there was a large void left on the backend and in the crease. Having Pettersson and Kotkaniemi as centers, I felt it was easier to trade Jonathan Drouin to fill the need. Ryan Murray and Jonas Korpisalo along with two draft picks were acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets. These two players are on expiring contracts and will require extensions.

Minor Trades

1) Philadelphia expressed interest in Karl Alzner and we were able to acquire a third-round draft pick and create roughly $4.5-million in cap space.

2) Similar to Philadelphia, Carolina was interested in Tomas Tatar, Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron. However, instead of trading for a draft pick Haydn Fleury was acquired to help round out the defensive core; hopefully he will develop into a top-four defenseman in the long run.

3) To draft a team must have draft picks. But to be successful in the draft a team must possess great scouts. The following trade was made with the previous few statements in mind. Phillip Danault, David Schlemko and Joel Armia were packaged to Nashville for a first and fifth round pick.

4) Similar to the previous trade, Brendan Gallagher was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a first, third and fourth round pick.

5) A multi-player trade was made with the New York Rangers. Five depth players were moved for two late draft picks.

6) Similar to the previous trade, three depth players were moved to the Colorado Avalanche for three late draft picks.

7) Yet again another depth player was moved, this time to the Winnipeg Jets for a late draft pick.

8) With the Tampa Bay Lightning looking for depth in the crease, Antti Niemi and Michael McNiven were traded for three late draft picks.

Unsuccessful Trades

1) Trying to move Andrew Shaw and his contract was an issue. I was unable to find a trade partner who was willing to take Shaw for a seventh-round pick. However, overpaying to trade him away or retain some of his salary would make it easier to move him. Since this team has a plethora of cap space, a Shaw trade is not imminent. But when rookies with expiring entry level contracts are looking for a payday and this team is near the cap ceiling, Shaw will have to be moved regardless of what is required to move him.  The team trading block has been updated to include Andrew Shaw. Hopefully, we receive an offer for him.

Signings:

Forwards

1) Mike Cammalleri was signed to a one-year deal at $1,075,000 to fill the role of the second line center. He was the best option available in free agency.

2) Tomas Jurco was signed to a one-year deal at $650,000 to fill the role of the second line right winger. Since he is only 25 hopefully he will continue to develop and eventually become a third/fourth line staple on this team once it becomes a contender.

3) Upshall, Vermette and Jokinen were signed to one-year deals at $650,000 to play on the fourth line.

4) Logan Shaw, Stephen Gionta, Freddie Hamilton and David Booth were signed to one-year deals to provide depth in Laval.

Defense

1) Kevin Bieksa was signed to a one-year deal at $650,000 to fill the role of a second pairing defenseman. He was the best option available in free agency.

2) Dennis Seidenberg, Duncan Siemens and Clayton Stoner were signed to one-year deals to provide depth in Laval.

Goalies

1) Steve Mason was signed to a one-year deal at $750,000 to back up Jonas Korpisalo.

2) Denis Godla was signed to a two-year deal at the league minimum $650,000 to provide goaltending depth in Laval.

Extensions

1) Daniel Audette’s contract was extended by three-years at $750,000 per year to provide depth in Laval.

 

As the new General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, I can say that this rebuild is in full effect. Tune in next week for the team’s lineup, captaincy announcement, season simulation and more!

The World of Social Media

In today’s world, the internet has come so far and “every piece of information in the world is instantly accessible at our fingertips (Leetaru, 2017, para. 1’)”. As more and more people come online to express their opinions and ideas, we get lost in the realm of echo chambers, false news, public shaming, etc. The online space is democratic and people say what ever they desire as it is so easy for one to express themselves behind a screen. The new social media era has provided a platform for many, but it also unravels a world beyond the truth.

The online world has become so powerful and influential that we have come to rely most of our information through this medium This recent study, has stated that 51% of people who have online access rely on social media as a news source— but can we really rely on social media to deliver the truth? News or anything that goes online are open for discussion. For example, if news articles are shared on Twitter or Facebook, a thread starts and people join in the discussion. Because so many people are involved, it now becomes hard to differentiate what are facts and what are opinions. People read it and believe it. The online space is so fast paced, users usually just scroll past and do not bother to check for credibility.

Credibility also becomes hard to differentiate as that information can also be false. The public interest shifts to users who have a larger following, but does that mean they are the source to be trusted versus someone who has a smaller following? Take Donald Trump’s twitter for example, he is the President of the United States after all, but could one possibly take some of his tweets seriously? He has a following and even attracted worldwide attention about his tweets, but does this mean that everything he says is right and should be believed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His online presence online and tone does not seem very professional and this weakens his credibility. Trump’s freedom to say what ever he wants is abused and people begin to see his opinions as facts.In one of his tweets, it includes a subtle threat to North Korea, this goes against Twitter’s guidelines, as it includes “threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.” Trump’s post did seem like an implication to declaration of war and some people wondered why Twitter did not remove his tweet. According to the public policy, Trump’s tweet should be removed and his account should be suspended, but none of these actions went through. Twitter on the other hand stated that they kept the tweet up because it was newsworthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This example reinforces the notion that equal spaces online do not exist and the power differentials do make an impact. Yes, social media platforms are democratic, but the people who have more power over the public have more control.The influence and popularity steer away proper judgement and these improper actions become an excuse to feed back content to these platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Chappell, Bill. (Sept, 2017) ’Declaration Of War’ Means North Korea Can Shoot Down U.S. Bombers, Minister Says.” NPR. Retrieved from Mwww.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/25/553475174/declaration-of-war-means-north-korea-can-shoot-down-u-s-bombers-minister-says.

Wakefield, Jane. (June, 2016). “Social Media ‘Outstrips TV’ as News Source for Young People.” BBC News, BBC Retrieved from: www.bbc.com/news/uk-36528256.

Warzel, Charlie. (Sept, 2017) “North Korea Says Trump’s Tweet Is A Declaration Of War. Twitter Won’t Say If It Violates Its Rules.” BuzzFeed News. Retrieved from: www.buzzfeednews.com/article/charliewarzel/north-korea-says-trumps-tweet-is-a-declaration-of-war#.pqEDG2x3n.

Nancy Fraser. (1990). “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy” in Social Text No 25/26. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/stable/466240?seq=1

Warner, Michael. (2002). “Publics and Counterpublics.” in Quarterly Journal of Speech. 88.4. Retrieved from: http://knowledgepublic.pbworks.com/f/warnerPubCounterP.pdf

Brenda R. Weber. (2009). “The intricacies of an Intimate Public Sphere.” Contemporary Literature 50 (3). Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/40664367

Leetaru, Kalev. (Sep, 2017). In a Digital World, Are We Losing Sight of Our Undigitized Past? Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2017/09/29/in-a-digital-world-are-we-losing-sight-of-our-undigitized-past/1#14b2488ccd01

Week 8: Copyright

This week we had guest speaker Jon Festinger educate our class on copyright law. I was looking forward to this lecture because I have always found copyright law confusing, especially with people constantly taking items from the internet and doing almost anything they please. What surprised me most about this lecture was the amount of court cases that resulted in the copyright infringers walking away victorious (such as Preston v. 20th Century Fox regarding Ewoks). Clearly copyright can still be manipulated and benefits larger companies more than individuals.

Even though there have been some questionable court cases rewarding infringers, there has also been improvements in copyright laws. Jon Festinger (2018) briefly discussed the challenges of giving copyright for group stories that originated in oral storytelling communities. It was a relief to learn that royalties now go to the First Nations band instead of the author who transcribes their stories (Festinger 2018).

I was also interested in the discussion of moral rights and parodies. For some reason, I always forget that parodies and satire are allowed under copyright. This should be easy to remember with the abundance of memes on the internet, but there are also tons of mashup videos and reaction videos, which Festinger warned us against. I don’t typically think of the internet as a place following rules, so perhaps this is why I expected memes to be just another breach of copyright. I was also interested in moral right because I assumed that once you sold a work (specifically a commissioned art piece), it would no longer be your own. It makes sense, however, that you would have the right to the integrity of your work because you created the piece with an expectation for how it would be presented.

Overall, this presentation made me reflect on the content I have been posting on my blog and think about how I am giving credit where it is due. In the next couple of weeks before the end of the semester, I am planning to do a full review of my website to ensure I cite all academic and art pieces I use.

 

Work Cited

  • Festinger, Jon. October 2018. Presentation on Copyright Law. Lecture at Simon Fraser University for Publishing 101.

Mini Assignment #3

This time I use clips from Ronnie Coleman. I mixed different clips together along with mixed background music to create this video. Enjoy!

  • Sources: Apple music 
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vWgSTdkc2A
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IaMMu1ckv8
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydmgd81zczg
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lVMwl3FsPg

Process Post 7 (Changes After Peer Review)

Having another pair of eyes to review your work is always beneficial. For this week’s process post, we were to make some changes based off of the peer review we received last week. I was delighted to review and be reviewed by Red Lasiste of Business School Prescription. Red offered some great points and insight in what worked for my blog and what could be improved. For the goal of this process post, I will discuss what I have changed based on the review.

One of the first changes that I made (which also came from the class discussion) was changing the header image to look slightly more related to my overall theme for the blog. This included vector images of hands, which I retrieved from, Free Vector, that would be placed on top of the design I made before. The use of the hands both connected with my artistic theme, but also represented coming together – one of the goals for my blog. Lastly, this design choice was made as I wanted to maintain a simplistic composition whilst still making something meaningful.

Another change that I made, as mentioned by Red, was to offer playlists on the website that are not restricted to 30-second previews. Spotify only allows for full listening of songs within a post if you log in or open up the platform itself, but not through an embedded playlist. So, I found as many songs on Soundcloud that I had on my Spotify playlist and created a new one on that platform instead. Luckily, embedding my new Soundcloud playlists offers the visitor to enjoy full listening of songs.

New feature image for “Representation Matters” and Instagram preview embedded within the sidebar.

Finally, a few more changes that I implemented included moving my Instagram account preview onto the sidebar. Instead of being placed at the footer of my site, the new location aids in tying in with my “About me” section and in creating a personality behind my blog. Lastly, Red mentioned that the photo for my “Representation Matters” post clashed in terms of my aesthetic of my blog. Finding an image proved much more difficult than I thought, as it was challenging in terms of finding royalty-free images where I would not run into problems of copyright. As much as there are great pieces of artwork online that I could have used, it was important for me not to use an image without the consent of the artist. So, I used an image sharing site, Unsplash, to find a new image that would fit as closely as possible to my aesthetic while still following guidelines of being able to be shared and used commercially.

Edits that I could not fix at this stage included making the header colour not transparent when scrolled to the very top. When Googling for solutions, there were a few options that would allow for this to remain a solid colour, however I had some trouble finding a way to make it remain the colour that fit my blog. I hope within further edits I will be able to fix this. Another issue that I had trouble solving was implementing a search bar at the top menu, instead of the footer. Unfortunately, my theme does not provide a search bar at the top, which left me looking for plugins to alter my menu bar. All the plugins I tested did not fit well with my theme and clashed with the design or did not quite work. Again, I hope I can solve this issue further down the road and find possible solutions and customizations to change this.

I Survived Fright Nights

I recently went to Fright Nights, which is a Halloween-themed fair experience, complete with rides, fair food, and haunted houses. It’s open from 7pm until midnight, and the darkness adds to the spooky atmosphere.

I didn’t go to Fright Nights last year, so this year I really wanted to go to do something Halloween-ish with friends. Despite my excitement, I was a bit apprehensive, as I get scared very easily. In fact, when I went a few years ago, an actor in one of the haunted houses completely terrified me. For that reason, I wanted to start with one of the less scary houses and work my way up to the scarier ones.

To my dismay, the first house that my friends lined up for was Asylum, which is the one where I had that terrifying experience. This instantly made me nervous, as I did not want to go through that again. My nervousness got worse as we got closer to the entrance, and right as we were about to go in I had a panic attack. It got worse inside the house but I was able to make it out, at which point my breathing became even more laboured. I told my boyfriend what happened and we agreed to rest until I felt better. We got some food, and then I agreed to go into another house, as I felt better and didn’t want to waste the money we spent on tickets.

My friends wanted to go to The Bloodshed, so I reluctantly agreed to try it. We went through the house and it was very gory and creepy. A few of the actors scared me, but only when they initially jumped out. Before entering each room, I stopped and quickly scanned it to look for actors or anything else that would pop out at me. If I saw the actors beforehand, they didn’t really scare me; it was only when they came out of nowhere that I got scared. I made it through that house, and despite the fact that I screamed a lot, I felt well enough to go into the next one.

Next up was Darkness. It had some werewolves and creepy monsters, as well as some actors that scared me, but I felt fine once I got out, so I knew I was okay. The next house we went to was Hollywood Horrors, which consists of movie monsters and killers, and that one was probably the least scary. It was cool to see the characters in real life, and it didn’t have many jump scares.

After that, my friends wanted to go into Keepers Doll Factory, which is supposedly the scariest house. I refused to go in because I was too freaked out, but they convinced me to try it. The house itself was very creepy – it was very well-decorated and immersive. There weren’t as many actors as I expected, but the dolls themselves were super creepy. When we made it out I was very proud of myself, as I didn’t even get that scared.

We then went into Fear, which I was not looking forward to, as it highlights common phobias. The part I was most afraid of was the spider part, as I have arachnophobia and can’t even look at a picture of a spider without experiencing intense fear, but I just looked at the ground and my boyfriend told me when it was over. The other parts that freaked me out were the darkness portion (because I am a child and I hate the dark) and the portion where you have to crawl through a tight space, as I have claustrophobia. After those parts, I was fine, as the rest of the fears were things that didn’t bother me.

Lastly, we went to Car-N-Evil, which was not bad. You put glasses on before you go in which distort everything you see, so it was a bit weird, but it’s not very scary. When we got out, we went to buy some donuts (because fair donuts are a must) and then we went home. It was a very eventful night, and although it started out poorly, I was able to recover from my panic attack and have a good time.

If you are planning on going to Fright Nights and have the same reservations I did, I would recommend starting with Hollywood Horrors or Car-N-Evil, as those were the least scary houses and they can ease you into the scarier ones.

I hope you all enjoyed this post. Happy Halloween!