Monthly Archives: April 2019

Sources of Happiness

Snow in Cantonese: 雪 [syut3]

It was the last day of Blackcomb and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola yesterday, so my family friend took us to the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola which I was two minutes late and missed it last time.

Some people dressed up as bunnies or unicorns jumpsuits, some children even added bunnies’ ears to their helmet to celebrate Easter. I managed to take a lot of photos of people smiling which makes me happy too. It’s heartwarming to see so many smiley faces that I don’t get to see so often in Hong Kong.

  • Showing her daughter how wonderful the nature is

Check out the other photos I took at Whistler here!

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Marine Wildlife at Stanley Park

Sea lion in Cantonese: 海[hoi2] 獅[si1]

Stanley Park is the place I would always want to go whenever the sun comes out. It’s my third time visiting Stanley Park since my arrival in December (fourth time in total because I paid a visit a few years ago). The first time I came for the sea wall, the second time I came for the cherry blossoms and the third time I came to show my father around.

It’s a sunny day and 420, I cannot think of other places to visit when downtown is filled with the smell of weed. Originally I wanted to show my father the cherry blossoms in Stanley Park so he can take photos, unfortunately, most of them have wilted already. I guessed the best time to visit was two weeks ago when all the flowers were in full bloom.

It was a bit disappointing not seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom, so we just casually walked around the park and enjoyed the sunshine. While my father was taking photos of two ducks on the sea, I spotted a black smooth surface floating above the water and quickly dived again. We waited for several minutes and it appeared again. I immediately took some photos. Guess what is it?

It’s a sea lion!!!!!!

I have never seen a wild one before, I hope we’ll get to see more of them during our trip to Tofino in 4 days time! Let the travel marathon begin!

Click here for more photos taken today!

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Cherry Blossom!

Cherry blossoms in Cantonese: 櫻[jing1] 花[faa1]

It has been raining all week except for Wednesday, so I went to Stanley Park to look for cherry blossoms! It wasn’t as pretty as I thought it’d be because when I see the photos on Instagram, they look very pink, but when I see them in real life, it is much whiter than what I saw on Instagram (looks like people have photoshopped too much!)

I was a bit disappointed, to be honest, so instead of taking pictures of the cherry blossoms, I took pictures of people who are taking photos of the cherry blossoms. At first, I noticed a lady who was sitting under the tree smiling. I took a photo of her. She later started walking around and I noticed that I accidentally took quite a lot of pictures of her, so I thought it’d be polite to send her the photos. It was my first time to walk to a stranger and tell her I secretly took pictures of her. Imagine if someone walks to you and says things like this… Luckily, she was very friendly and was happy that I took photos for her! She has never been a model and has people take photos for her because she never knows how to pose, which I have the same struggle. So I kept chatting with her while I press the shutter in order to capture her most natural look.

I am so happy that she likes my photos and I can make her feel special and confident! Maybe I should do that more often when I secretly took photos of strangers, that could be one way of making friends. Who knows?

More photos that I took on Weds here!

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Essay 2: My Experience as an Online Publisher

I have never thought about creating my own blog and publishing things until I decided to join PUB101 and to be honest, it was a great learning experience. The reason I guess I have never tried or thought about doing it because I was not confident or educated on how to start my own site. But this course really pushed me to try new things and to experiment. Throughout my experience I have had many highs and lows with my blog. At the very start, I had many lows, trying to choose a theme, knowing the basics on how to publish a post, and trying to make things work when they were not. Deciding how I wanted to make my blog look and what content I want on it took a lot of time and effort. To this day, I still want to change a lot of things on my blog because I always feel like there is something to make better.

Publishing for my blog category was easier than the posiel category because I had many art pieces waiting to be posted. The academic part took on a lot more work. Due to the past Instagram posts I have made on artbynishita, it made it more convenient to post on my blog because I have experience blogging about my artwork. After publishing a few posts on my blog, I started to realize that it is becoming an art blog because I mainly focused on publishing my art pieces and discussing what some of them meant.

The peer reviews was really great because getting feedback from others is always helpful towards making room for improvement. When I would read the reviews, I took the feedback and created some changes on my site. After creating those changes, I saw how my blog started to look and become more aesthetically pleasing. One of my peer reviews also mentioned how I should post some of my poetry on my blog to have a wide range of people come visit my blog. Having different content may attract different groups of people, and so I added a poem. I also added some changes to my sidebar because it had a lot of empty space before.

I created my blog in a way to engage people with similar interests as me. Interests mainly include, art, poetry, and hip hop. My blog was meant for youth, young adults, and elders who are interested in visual art, hip hop and poetry. Although, it is targeted towards that audience, I like to encourage others to check out my blog because you never know if you will be interested or not until you see it yourself. When I see my google analytics, it shows that people have seen my site from eight different countries; Canada, United States, Jamaica, China, Austria, United Kingdom, Japan, and Philippines. Google Analytics is very useful and helpful because it gives you descriptive data on what activity is going on your website. To know specifically who my targeted audience is, I check on google analytics. I have attached screenshots of the graphs below from google analytics to show my overall results.

I have created my blog in a way for my viewer to get a some sort of understanding of my personality, for example, for the header image, I decided to use a picture of me standing by this huge brick wall of graffiti. This gives a sense of who I am to my viewers. When I had gotten peer reviews, they also mention how the layout, and image I use for my header gives an understanding of who and what the blog is about. I tried my best to publish my online self similar to how I am in person so my personalities match in both worlds. I have done that in my blog category because the stuff I publish is personalized and the language is casual. I show my passion of art and hip hop through my posts, for example, some of my works is built around hip hop artist portraits. My main focus on my blog category was my artwork and I feel that if my viewers enjoy what they see, they will come back to my site or scroll through my Instagram link that is attached and maybe follow me.

I do plan on keeping my website but changing few things. I want to design my website in a way that just focuses on my artwork. I want to create more awareness with my work as I already started on Instagram. I am going to change my URL to artbynishita.com because that is the name I go by on my Instagram. I want to keep things unified. My goal is to have people more aware of “artbynishita” and have more viewers on my site. I want to change it up a bit to mainly focus on my art and to have it similar to my art page on Instagram. Hopefully, I will get more well known through my website.

Week 11 Process Post: Website Review

For this week’s class, we were given an interesting and fun group activity where we were to critique a website on a art gallery based in Vancouver called Canwest Art Gallery, which is a good example as to why it’s important to make sure your website runs smoothly on all devices and platforms. One of the main concerns that was addressed by the class was that it took way too long to navigate through the website and load a page. A second general consensus was that some of their links weren’t working such as seeing who their art partners were. Lastly, it was brought up that their art pieces were ridiculously priced at an average of $900.

What came to mind was that if a company is expecting to sell an art piece valued at $900, at least have your entire website runs properly with no issues and looks presentable so that your potential customer can trust that they can make a big investment online without hesitation. It was eye opening to me as it goes to show that it is easily to tell the quality of one’s work by the amount of effort they put into maintaining their website to the best it can be.

My Written Presentation

The name of the company that I have chosen is called ‘BeautyBlondie’. I chose this name because I felt like it fit well with everything I am going to be creating on my blog and I am blonde so I just felt like the name was fitting. I have loved beauty and fashion since I was 11 years old and I have always wanted to create something that had to do with it. I have always been passionate about makeup, the reason for this is because I feel like anyone can express themselves however they can, no matter what gender and age. It is okay for anyone who wants to wear makeup to put it on and I think it does a great job of showing people who you are. It is easy to get lost in a world of makeup and you can change what you look like in a matter of minutes. Now that I have grown up and been able to dip my toes in the makeup world, I would say I have become more of an expert in the field and know a lot more about makeup. I have tried so many different types of looks and tried many different trends since 2011 and I have realized what works for me and what looks ridiculous on my face. I have also learnt that what works on my face may not work on others and vice versa. I have always wanted to create something that had to do with beauty and fashion and the only thing that I thought of creating was a YouTube channel. At the end of 2018, I started a YouTube channel which I put a lot of effort into, but then I started to feel uncomfortable about it and embarrassed. I realized that this is not what I should be doing at this point in my life because I obviously wasn’t ready to be put myself out there yet. I then started PUB201 and I didn’t know exactly what this class was about and then I realized we had to create a blog. I then started to get excited because all I had to do was just write about something I am passionate about. As soon as I posted my first blog post I knew this is definitely a hobby that I was going to continue throughout the year. This blog is something that I am very passionate about and I am so grateful that I took this class because otherwise, I wouldn’t have thought to create a blog.

I was very excited to create my blog because there was so much that went behind it. I decided to create a logo for my blog because I wanted to brand myself.

I have decided to use this image as my logo because I loved how it made me feel. I created this image because I wanted to portray the fact that anyone and everyone is allowed on my blog no matter what. I tried to illustrate that by having the two hands holding up a heart. Usually, when you see these types of hand holding up something, it is normally holding up the world to create a sense of unity. The reason why I chose to have the hands holding up a heart instead of the world is because I wanted to show people that you are loved and welcomed no matter what. At first glance, you would probably think it is super girly (which it is) because you see all of the colours which are pink and white and the marble background also creates the “girly” looking blog. I wanted to use these colours because I believe they look really good together and they make the blog look fresh and clean. One thing that I wanted to do that was considered different from other beauty/fashion blogs, was the ‘Product of the Month’. I decided to create this because I wanted to show my viewers what I am interested in and loved during that specific month and I also wanted to help people if they are looking for something specific, maybe my product of the month would help them because it may be one of the products they are choosing between.

I have had google analytics for about 2 months now and I have learnt some cool things about how my blog is being accessed and who is viewing my posts. With Google Analytics, I get all the information I would ever want to know. When I first log onto my analytics account I get to see how many people have viewed my blog in the last 7 days. I am also able to see my bounce rate and how long people stay on my blog.

I really like how I am able to see who is viewing my blog. I can see who is returning to my blog and then I am also able to see how many people are new to my blog.

I found it super useful too because there were features I never thought I would be able to find. I liked how I could see how my blog was being accessed (e.g. Mobile, desktop) because then it shows me that I need to make my blog accessible for all types of devices otherwise it might not look as good on one as it may the other.

I definitely have more people then I would ever have thought of viewing my blog. I have been super surprised by the number of people that have seen my blog because I didn’t think people would actually find my site and read my posts.

The initiation that I have taken to market my blog has been a few different types of ways. I have created an Instagram for my blog where I try to post photos weekly that have to do with the blog posts I have just written. I have realized that it is easy for people to find me on Instagram because I can do as many tags as I want and that is where I get the most views on my photos from. I also really enjoyed using Instagram as a marketing tool because I was able to tag the brands I was posting about and most of the time the company would respond to the post or Instagram story. I found that very useful because this whole term my goal has been to have the brands see what I am posting about them. I have also found it a great way to get other brands that I am not advertising to message me and they have asked me to work with them. I have gotten many messages from many different types of brands like swimsuit, clothing and jewellery brands. I have taken up two brands on becoming an “ambassador” for them and one of them was a clothing company, but unfortunately, the items that I got were horrible and nothing like how they were shown on their website. I ended up not posting any pictures of me wearing the clothes because I didn’t want my followers to get scammed from this site. The second company I have become an ambassador for is a jewellery company and I am excited to see the piece I have gotten. The necklace that I have ordered hasn’t come in the mail yet, but I am hopeful that this brand doesn’t rip me off because I would love to be able to post about a brand on my Instagram and blog. I want to be able to post something about a company I have worked with because it shows that I have worked with brands before and if a company is wondering if they should message me that other brand deal may make them think that I am good person to work with. The marketing strategies that I have taken when it comes to things in my actual blog. I found it hard to get brands to find my actual blog and I don’t think any brand has seen my actual blog yet, but I have linked every company that I have talked about but that’s as far as I marketed on my actual blog. To make my blog grow in the next few months I think I am going to just keep doing what I’m doing because it seems to be working. I will post more on my Instagram account because I have been lacking recently and I want to keep the page up. I also want to create working with brands so more and more brands will want to work with me.

To conclude I believe investors should support me because I am giving my audience real and authentic reviews and opinions in every post I create. I am always honest and I want my viewers to know that I am giving them real makeup looks and actual tips and tricks. You can already tell that I am honest with my viewers as you can see because I turn down brands if they are not up to my standards. I think more companies need more authentic brands that represent them because then people will know they are not afraid to give honest views even if it might affect their relationship with the brand. I have been so grateful to be given this opportunity of creating my own blog on whatever I wanted to.

Portfolio Entry #11

I’ve known Sherman for quite a while now to the point where I don’t even remember whether I met him as member of Club 16 or an employee. But I can definitely say he’s one of the most down to earth people I know at the gym which is always a nice trait to see from people. He’s always open to learning and trying out new things when it comes to effective exercises or anything fitness related that may be beneficial for him as well. We always have a small chat whenever we bump into each other at the gym and I had a chance to ask him a few questions to see what he’s been up to in terms of his fitness goals. Here’s what he had to say:

What is your current occupation?

A bartender

How often do you train per week?

Usually three times a week

What are your current fitness goals?

Nothing specific, I just want to stay in shape.

What would you say is your style of training?

Mainly bodybuilding

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness has given me more energy, self-confidence, and definitely more discipline on myself

What would you say your favourite exercise is?

Dumbbell bench press

If people wanted to get to know more about you, where can they find you?

They can find me at Club 16.

Perfumes

I just realized I’ve never talked about what perfumes I love. I have only used a few perfumes in my life so I know which brand is my favourite. I have really only used Bonpoint perfume, Elizabeth & James, Chloe and Gucci Bloom.

I have NEVER finished a perfume in my life, but when I got the ‘Chloe’ perfume it was like my life was changed forever. This was my new scent and everyone complimented me on it. It had become my favourite scent I’ve ever used. I have used the ‘Chloe’ perfume since grade 7 and haven’t wanted to change it since.

I got a new perfume for Christmas and I never thought I would ever want to use another perfume. My backup for my ‘Chloe’ perfume is my rollerball version of the ‘Chloe’ so I’ve never ventured out. The new perfume I got was the ‘Gucci Bloom’ perfume and the second I smelt it, I was in love. This perfume is now my backup to the ‘Chloe’ perfume and I will use it if my other perfume runs out.

I would definitely suggest the ‘Chloe’ perfume and ‘Gucci Bloom’ because they both smell amazing on anyone and they last for such a long time.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading and try either of these perfumes!

xx

Portfolio Entry #10

I met Yancey last year in 2018 when I was still working as a customer service representative at Club 16. Me and another member named Rod would do these challenges every week, with holding a plank for as long as possible being one of them. One day we invited Yancey over to come take part of the challenge and he was up for it. Fast forward to a couple months later, I had left Club 16 for about 6 months and came back as a returning member at the beginning of this year. I had the opportunity to chat with Yancey and see what he’s been up to. Here’s what he had to say with the questions I had lined up for him:

What is your occupation?

I’m a business consultant

How often do you train per week?

Right now, I’m usually getting to the gym about 4 times a week.

What are your current fitness goals?

Building strength and improving flexibility

What is your style of training?

I would say it’s mostly weightlifting, I would usually do a 2 muscle split sort of training each day.

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness has changed my mental outlook. I feel more balanced and definitely helps me sleep easier as well.

If you had to choose one exercise that is your favourite, which would it be?

Lat pulldown

And lastly, if people wanted to know more about you, where can they find you?

On Facebook

What’s new in April?

Summer style is here! Take a peek at these beauties, just launched today.

Hart Versatile Bracelet

This bracelet comes in turquoise or multi-colored and doubles as a necklace. So versatile!

Hart Versatile Bracelet

Filigree Earrings – Botanical

Inspired by palm leaves and lightweight so you won’t mind wearing them all day.

Filigree Earrings - Botanical

Want to see more? Check out my Stella & Dot website to see the rest of the new arrivals.

The post What’s new in April? appeared first on Veronica Aarstad.

Process Post

Is monetization right for your site?

I’ve been struggling with the decision is monetization is right for my site. My blog doesn’t receive thousands of views monthly, I think it would difficult to start leaning in that direction until I figure out what the purpose of my blog will be. Many websites say that it is difficult to monetize any sites will less than a thousand views. Comparing my blogs to other blogs that have been around for years isn’t going to be an accurate comparison. After looking into this more I am leaning towards not monetizing my blog. I think I’d like to keep my blog going for the content and enjoyment of others, in hopes it will inspire them- rather than profiting off of my posts.

Portfolio Entry #9


I had the chance to catch up with J.C. to see how his progress towards his goals have been coming along since the last time we spoke, and as he is quite versatile in his training in terms of incorporating different styles of lifts, I was curious to hear what he had to say:

Since the last time we’ve spoke, how have your goals been coming along?

It’s been going quite well so far, I noticed that my work capacity has increased in terms of being able to get more sets and repetitions in with heavier weights.

What does your general training split look like per week?

Generally on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays I do a full body routine where I train just about every muscle group in one session. Every other day I focus on my weaknesses and do corrective exercises that help even out imbalances and rehabilitation.

Do you currently take any supplements to help your performance in the gym?

Currently, I am taking pre-workout and whey protein.

Have you experienced any obstacles that may have slowed you down in being able to achieve your goals that you have set?

A major one for me is overworking my legs, which can result in knee pain and minor tendinitis. Being tired during workouts can be tough as well when trying to complete exercises.

And lastly, if someone wanted to get started on their own fitness goals, but didn’t know how to or where to start, what advice would you give them?

Just follow your gut and don’t worry about what others think. Truth is no one is really watching what you’re doing as they’re busy with their own workout.

New York City in Spring

My only class on Wednesday was cancelled, so I had five day-offs last week. I decided to visit New York City to visit my father who was having a business trip there.

It is my third time visiting New York City but the first time to visit in Spring. I think it’s the perfect season to walk around in NYC when compared to summer, which is too hot and smelly.

Here are some of the tourist spots I visited, and I highly recommend to all of you:

  1. Central Park – You can rent a boat at the Loeb Boathouse, it costs only $15 per hour and you can row your way to enjoy the most breathtaking view.
    We made a reservation for lunch at the Tavern on the Green – a restaurant at the Central Park. The Tavern has a historical exterior and is enclosed in a glass cube overlooking the park. The sunlight that seeps through the glass windows provides perfect lighting for taking photos.
    p.s. the young couple next to us just got engaged there! They were low-key until they spilt the champagne on the floor and the waitress came over to congratulate them!
  2. New York Public Library – a historical and iconic building that’s open to visitors and New Yorkers to read, study and do some research. The gift shop is also a great place to buy souvenirs for your families and friends. If you hate touristy postcards like me, pay a visit to the gift store in New York Public Library, it will not disappoint you!
  3. Hudson’s Yard and the Vessel – the instagrammable spot was open to the public on March 15, 2019. Visitors are supposed to get tickets to get into the Vessel, it is for the staffs to control the flow and avoid being overcrowded. Fortunately, there were staffs handing out free tickets to us that day. We entered the Vessel at 7pm, which is the perfect timing because we can see the sunset as we walk up.
  4. Flushing – locals called it the new Chinatown. To me, it doesn’t feel like first-tier cities in China such as Shanghai and Beijing, it is more of rural China. I bet we are the only tourists going there because everyone stared at us when we take our cameras out. But it is a lively and vibrant place to visit.

Even though it’s my third time in New York, I am not sick of it yet! There’s always something new every time I go and I am just obsessed with how lively this city is (despite the horrible traffic). See you soon NYC!

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Essay 2: Not the end!

Last April, I have created my first website with Wix.com. It serves as a portfolio to showcase my photography work to others, especially to the employers when I am applying for jobs. I did not intend to write and post other content on the website because I feel self-conscious when people read what I wrote.

I haven’t updated the website for months as I was too busy at school. But when I receive my acceptance letter as an exchange student in SFU, I thought it’ll be a great opportunity to reactivate my website to post so I can document my journey in Canada. I am glad that I took PUB101, which “forces” me to post on a regular basis. It was frustrating at first when we have so much freedom in this course and I was still adjusting to the new learning environment here, jet lag and everything. I remember I couldn’t think of a name for my domain until I was unpacking my clothes from my luggage, then I realised how many stripes clothes I have. That’s how lilyinstripes was born.

It took me a whole night to complete the setup of the blog, from purchasing the domain and picking the theme that best matches my content. As these 12 weeks progresses, I am proud of the content I created and the positive feedbacks that I received from peers and friends from around the world.  It has resulted in a reduction in bounce rate to 61.67% and an increase in session duration to 2 minutes 13 seconds compared to the last 30 days. Google Analytics is by far one of the most useful and important tools that I’ve mastered in this course. The analytics provides me with insights to create intriguing content that will allow users to stay longer on my blog.

According to Patel (2019), bounce rate refers to the “bounce” that someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. As of the statistics by Google Benchmarks 2017, the bounce rate in the arts & entertainment industry is 58.69% (Ritwick, 2018), which is three per cent below mine. I will continue to post when the semester ends, aiming to reach through this three per cent difference by including more engaging content. When I look at the pages that my users most frequently visit, I notice that more people visit the photography page rather than the portfolio page. I think they may have expected to see more of my photography work under “photography” while I put them under “portfolio”. To avoid confusion, I will remove the photography category and use portfolio instead, so people can easily access to my photos.

When I started my first blog, I asked myself “How should I differ from other travel or photography blogs?” I knew exchange or studying abroad may seem interesting to my audiences, so I thought it’ll be a good idea to share Hong Kong culture to my Canadian friends and also allow my family and friends in Hong Kong to know what I’ve been up to in Canada. Tobi Cheung, one of the classmates who did a peer review on my blog said the Cantonese characters and pronunciations in each blog posts adds a personal touch and connection to my audience (Cheung, 2019)[, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve. Even though Cantonese is not a very common language to most Westerners, I hope to connect with my audiences by showing Hong Kong’s language so my users can understand my background and the place where I grow up in better. I see language as a way to connect with others. I realise most Westerners cannot tell the difference between Hong Kong and China (that’s the most frequently asked question by Uber and taxi drivers), we share similar language, similar characters but they are not the SAME. Therefore, I’ve decided to always include a Chinese keyword in traditional Chinese characters and its Cantonese pronunciation, so it tells more about what’s special about Hong Kong. As Adam wrote in the peer review, “One of humanity’s defining features is its ability to communicate with language.” (Schmidt, 2019). I hope my audience can get an overview and know more about Cantonese and Hong Kong culture when they read through my blog posts.

Looking back at the blog posts I’ve written, I realized how much I’ve grown and experienced in the past couple of months. First time blogging, first time studying abroad, first time skiing, first time seeing aurora and of course, my first solo trips. I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and experienced so many new things here! I will keep on posting when the semester finishes. I will be doing lots of travelling before I head back to Hong Kong, hopefully, there’ll be more photos coming up! Also, stay tuned to my blog if you’re interested in my life in Hong Kong! The support from all of you is the greatest motivation to keep my blog running.

This is by far the most rewarding class I’ve taken in university. Thank you all for making the first half of 2019 extra special and memorable!

References:



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Process Post 11: Online Shaming

In Week 11’s class, we discussed online comments and online shaming, featuring Justine Sacco’s twitter post. It read: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” It went outrageous on the internet after her flight took off to Cape Town.

When we comment online, we usually don’t think much before posting. Unlike person-to-person dialogues, it doesn’t require immediate reaction. You can think about the perfect response or how to defend. It is unfortunate for Justine that she doesn’t even have the chance to defend herself as she was on a flight when her post spread like fire on Twitter. Her life was torn immediately; she lost her job, online shamed by other users. People who retweeted barely know Justine in person, but they can ruin her life in just several seconds with a click on the internet. This is how powerful social media can be.

We are afraid to make comments in real life, worrying that it may hurt the person’s feeling, not knowing what to react to others’ criticisms. However, when you see other users posting similar comments like yours in the online community, you feel like your opinion is backed. You can also post anonymously which seems you don’t have to take that much responsibility. Therefore, netizens teamed up and created a hashtag – #HasJustineLandedYet and online shamed Justine’s reckless tweet.

I then start to reflect my online behaviour. I think I’ve never online shamed anyone because I rarely comment on any social media platform. I know how fast words can spread on the internet and I didn’t want to online shame anyone or be online shamed, so I’ve always been kind of passive when coming to online activities. I am afraid to voice out any opinion online because I’m afraid people against my stance would judge me. I think the online community would only be more harmonious if people can learn how to respect others’ opinions even if they’re against you. Also, online users should think twice before making a comment, the impact could be more viral than you think.

The post Process Post 11: Online Shaming appeared first on lily in stripes.

Week 11

This week I got to read about public shaming and what happens when it gets too far. Frankly, it is not surprising to me at all. it is sad but true to say that online shaming and cyber bullying has been part of our generations for quite some time. There are all kinds of movies and tv shows being made that talk about this topic. And unfortunately, real life is just as cruel as the fiction.

In Jon Ronson’s ted talk, he talks about Justine’s tweet and the public shaming that followed with it. Her life was fully destroyed because of one tweet. And in his opinion, it was taken too far. No one deserved what she got, even for one badly landed joke. He talks about how social media used to be a democracy, a place where the voiceless gets a voice. But it has turned into a monster. It has become a surveillance society. Everyone is watching, and everyone is trying dig up deep dark secrets of others. This is such a scary thought to process. I would like to believe that social media has done more good than bad, but unfortunately the negativity that it creates is undeniable. A lot of people change their behaviours online because of dissociative anonymity and invisibility. They think that because no one can trace back to what they are saying, and no one knows where and who they are, they can do whatever they want. It is a naive thought since no one can hide away from the data we create. But people use these excuses to hurt and shame others, which then get taken too far sometimes.

I then think about my own behaviour online. I don’t think I have ever participated in a part of a online shaming. But I am still affected by the fear of that happening to myself. Since my instagram is public, I’m always so careful with everything I post and share. I am so afraid of the possibility of online shaming that a lot times I would rather be silent than to voice my opinion about certain things. I am aware that it is a very passive way of handling things, but unfortunately in this day and age, it is sometimes the only way.

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quality tunes: movies with A+ soundtracks

If there’s one thing I have always loved about movies, it’s the integration of music. Sometimes it’s something that you don’t even notice in a scene, or it will be the main focal point and everything in the scene will revolve around it. Today I am going to be talking about some of my favourite movie soundtracks. Although, just to keep this list as concise as possible, I am going to exclude movie scores as well as musicals and focus on movie soundtracks. The score of a film is the background music (usually instrumental) that is composed specifically for that film. While the soundtrack is typically a compilation of songs (usually including lyrics) that are chosen to be included in the film, and are sometimes even written specifically for the movie — I’m not going to be including scores & musicals because if I did that this list would be about 50 movies long, and I don’t really think any of us really want that — do we?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2013, dir. Stephen Chbosky)

the soundtrack is sadly not on Spotify, so here is a youtube playlist of the songs

I have talked about this movie a lot on my blog — probably because it is one of my favourites. And one of the main reasons I love this movie so much, is the soundtrack. And not only that, but in the book the protagonist Charlie creates a mixtape to give to his friend Patrick for Christmas — and I myself recreated that exact mixtape to give to my friend for Christmas one year! All the songs in the soundtrack (and even the mixtape, titled one winter) are 80’s and 90’s songs that were compiled by the author/director of the book/movie, so it’s introduced me to a lot of awesome songs and artists, and I actually still listen to the soundtrack on a regular basis because I love so many of the songs. (and here is the one winter mix tape as well!)

The Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 1 & vol. 2) (2014-2017, dir. James Gunn)

this playlist consists of both Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 soundtracks!

If there’s one thing these movies are most well known for, it’s their extensive and excellent soundtracks. Comprised of mostly old school songs (all being ones the protagonist Peter (Starlord) Quill’s mother made into “Awesome Mix” mixtapes). I personally think the first one is a liiiiitle bit better, mainly because I enjoyed the 1st movie a bit more, but the second volume did include some Fleetwood Mac — so who can complain. And much like the Perks soundtrack, this one also introduced me to so many awesome old songs as well as artists.

Baby Driver (2017, dir. Edgar Wright)

I don’t think I have talked about this movie on my blog yet, and if I’m being honest I don’t think people talk about it enough in general. This was one of my favourite movies in 2017, one of the main reasons being the integration of music at almost every moment of the film. The main character, Baby, has tinnitus and so he listens to music through his earphones for pretty much the entire movie. And with different songs playing throughout most of the film, everything goes to the beat of the music (!!!) every little gun shot, head turn, foot tap, and punch. As someone who did dance for most of my life, it is incredibly satisfying when things go to the music and so this movie was no exception. Not to mention the actual soundtrack itself is so good and full of so many different songs. The summer this was released I was listening to the soundtrack at literally any moment I could have headphones in. (also if you don’t believe me watch the opening sequence of the film here on youtube)

Lady Bird (2017, dir. Greta Gerwig)

Now this movie is definitely not one where immediately after watching it I wanted to listen to the soundtrack. Although there is something very cool that they have done with the soundtrack that I very much enjoy. They integrated short little snippets of dialogue from the film, and placed them in-between some of the songs. I really like this (and have even see them do this with other soundtracks like the one for A Star is Born (2018)) That being said if you haven’t seen this movie there is a chance you may not love the soundtrack, because many of the songs are very relevant to the film and seem odd out of context. (they also included a HAIM song which is not in the movie so I usually skip that but whatever…)

Call Me by Your Name (2017, dir. Luca Guadagnino)

now I know I said I would not be talking about the scores of films, which are primarily instrumental songs that play throughout the movie. but I would say that the Call me by Your Name soundtrack doesn’t count because not only were the songs not composed for the movie — but there are several songs with lyrics and so on (and two original songs by Sufjan Stephens). This soundtrack is beAuTiFuL, and I love listening to it because it makes me feel like I’m on vacation somewhere in Northern Italy, while i’m actually stuck at home doing school work. The original songs are also beautiful and high-key make me want to cry. While there are also some very fun 80’s classics in there as well.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009, dir. Chris Weitz)

No, this is not a belated April fool’s day joke. All of the soundtracks for the twilight movies are actually really good — although my favourite is New Moon (which is funny cause it is most definitely my least favourite movie/book of the saga, but that’s not the point right now). I find it very funny that these movies, which are not very good if we are being honest with ourselves, have some of the best soundtracks. Pretty much all of the songs were written specifically for these movies, many being written by very well known artists. To me, I think it is because the artists knew how much money these movies made and how popular they were — so this would then result in publicity for them and their music. That being said, this soundtrack in particular contains one of my favourite songs of all time (“Roslyn” by Bon Iver & St. Vincent) and the other movies had many other classics like “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron & Wine (both of which are songs I have done lyrical solos to when I was in dance). So yeah, while you may hate the twilight movies with a burning passion — there’s a very good chance that you will enjoy the soundtracks.

So there ya have it! some of my favourite movie soundtracks. Like I said, I decided to not include movie scores as well as musicals, because then this list would be very long. That being said, since there are many other movies I love for their integration of music, I may make another list — and possibly one specifically for scores and musicals!

Essay 2

The past few months has been life-changing for me in all aspect of life. And one of the best things that has happened is that I’ve finally built my own blog. Having a blog has been a dream of mine for quite a while. I have tried multiple times to start one, but always ended up forgetting about it, and giving up. But this time, with the help of PUB 101, I was finally able to keep up with my blog. Frankly, I’m quite proud of what I’ve built in the past three months. And through this process, I’ve also learnt a thing or two about myself, my blog, website design, and more.

Comparing to the beginning of the year, I’ve gotten to know my online self a bit better through PUB101 and the blogging process. I’ve noticed my behaviour changes when I’m on different media platforms. When I am on instagram, which is where all my friends are active, I am very cautious with my every move. From the perspective of the Online Disinhibition Effect, I treat my Instagram account as the “true self”. It is supposed to represent who I am in real life. And especially since my account is an business account, I HAVE to be on my best behaviour on Instagram. In my mind, everyone is closely watching and judging me on Instagram, which is why I always overthink and analyze everything I post and share. What ends up happening is that I would not post anything for weeks, sometimes even months, because I don’t consider anything being good ENOUGH for my feed.  But when I am on my blog, I behave very differently. I am affected by “You Don’t Know Me dissociative anonymity)” and “You Can’t See Me (invisibility)“. I feel much more carefree when I’m posting on my site. Yes, my blog still has my name on it, but people who visit my website are not necessary people that I encounter with in real life. I don’t feel that my audience has an existing expectation of me, and I don’t need to be actively matching that exception. I feel that I could post whatever I’d like, and no one could judge me or define me over it. That is why I did not promote my blog to anyone on Instagram for quite a while. I wanted to keep my blog as a safe space, away from all the opinions from people that I care too much about. It has been quite an interesting journey seeing the different sides of my online self, and slowing learning to understand and accept that they are all me, and I don’t need to shy away from certain things or hide certain parts of me.

Not only have I started to understand my online self, I’ve also realized what my blog is really about. In the beginning of the semester, I envisioned my blog being a lifestyle/personal blog. I wanted to write about fashion, dance, travel, life. I wanted to share my stories, advices, and thoughts about everything that I’m interested in. Now thinking back, this plan was a bit unrealistic, unorganized and lack of focus. Going through all my post, I realize that I never ended up posting anything about dance or travel. I have mainly been focusing on posting some of my projects in fashion and photography, and as well as in the topic of wellness. Learning and researching about different types of blog and their definitions has helped me re-define my blog. I’ve learnt that lifestyle blog covers a variety of topics and it is mainly advices and suggestion based. And personal blog is more about the author of the blog and her/his personal stories, experience, and daily life. Now, I consider my blog more as a personal blog, with a focus on wellness and personal growth plus a part of my portfolio. Wellness and personal growth is something that I’ve been focusing in my own life for quite some time now, and posting about it has been very beneficial for myself. So I’d love to continue on that path and see where it would take me and my blog.

Through building my blog, I’ve also gained some knowledge and experiences in website design. I’ve spend hours and hours on WordPress trying to build my site into what I wanted it to look like. One of the biggest challenges was selecting a theme that fits my every need, which has been proven absolutely impossible. This problem is mentioned in the reading of “Design machines” .These website building services don’t care about the content or the individuality of the websites. Design machine’s example is squarespace, and how “its entire business model relies on the fact that you can paste any ’ol passage of slop into their system and it will look acceptable.” But thanks to the restriction of themes, I was able to dive into the learning of plugins and more design rules.Through class and readings, I have learnt about things like whitespaces, balance, rhythm, and more. It has also help me realize how much I’d like to master this skill, and I am planning on taking a few graphic or website design classes in the future.

Overall, this has been one of the most relevant, beneficial, and fun classes that I’ve ever taken at SFU. I’ve really enjoyed learning about my online self through the process of building a blog. I am definitely going to keep this blog going, starting with an re-design of the whole site, since I’m now more clear about the direction of my blog. And once my upgraded site is finished and running, I am planning on incorporate more content between my Instagram and the blog. I would like to show a more 3D and true version of myself to people in my life through my online presence.


 

Reference

 

The Online Disinhibition Effect

Design Machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse

Revealed: Which are the Most Popular Types of Blogs?

 

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A Night To Remember & More: The Great Gatsby!

After a year of hard work, my sorority comes together for a night of celebrations: our annual formal!

This year the theme was “The Great Gatsby” and was planned by my two beautiful sisters, Caterina and Henna! They put in so much hard work and everything looked so beautiful. The gold wine bottles with the feathers were perfection!

I was very excited for this years formal because last years, which was my first one, was so beautiful. I do not remember most of it… for reasons… but I looked great, the food was great, and the venue/decorations were stunning. That’s all that matters! I do remember getting on a yellow bus after the dinner portion… it was a moment.

A side story to go along with this formal themed post is I LITERALLY have the worst luck with formals. Ever since grade 11 it has just been quite the journey. That’s a story to tell another day, perhaps on a podcast, but let’s focus on the positive! Shout out to my bae, Natasha, for always pulling through and being the best date I could ever dream of!

I found this beautiful silver dress on prettylittlething.com and after a lot of money and alterations later, it was ready to be worn. I was personally inspired by Lady Gaga’s 2019 Grammy’s dress and Lauren Burnham’s limo exit dress on season 22 of The Bachelor.

Since I spent so much on my dress, I had to be boujee on a budget. I wore my high school graduation heels and my friend Lauren’s elegant and sparkly earrings. All that was needed for a sparkling look! As you can tell, I love sparkly things.

After months of preparation, shopping with my other sisters, sharing each others looks, and gathering advice, the night finally arrived…

Our formal was held at the Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre in their ballroom. My sisters and I decided to stay in a hotel room so then we can get ready and be prepared for anything that may happen in the night. I personally live very far, so this was my best option.

My sister, Ryley, and I decided to decorate our hotel room as much as we could before we got ready. We blew up balloons and I even brought a disco light for the nighttime. We really wanted to make the most of it as we expected a lot of people were going to use our room as the “pre-game” room.

After frantically getting ready and me still being indecisive about what I need to wear, we finally arrived down to the ballroom (in a very slow and crowded elevator).

The ballroom had dim lighting which was hard for pictures but really set the tone of the night. The black and gold accents on the seating chart, the round tables with the black table cloth and gold wine bottle with the feather, and everyone looking divine, it was a magical night.

My fellow sister, Caterina, sure came through with the country slow tunes until my date, Natasha, grabbed the aux.

flex

I won two awards (Most Improved Academics and Helping Hand) and received a shoutout for my hard work as our Guardian this semester. Caterina and Henna played a slideshow of everything we have done this past year and it was the cutest!

I have to admit, I did not take many photos solely based on: my dress being annoying to walk in, I am lazy, and other people took the photos whom I do not remember so I barely have any on my phone. But the ones I do have are truly iconic!

The dinner portion included a buffet with many options and we were all truly blessed.

After the night ended, we all quickly got changed and ran to The Pint to make guest list.

The jams were playing, the drinks were flowing, we busted it down, and there were so many people I met that I could not keep up. It was super fun. Especially stopping at McDonalds on the way home.

After finally returning home at 2 A.M., it was time to settle down and truly reminisce on the night.

This past year in my sorority has been super special to me. I got a position, a little, made some amazing memories, made so many new sisters, grew closer to sisters, and will be entering the next year as the new Vice President (following the steps of my grand-big and big!). I cannot wait for what this new year holds.

I can truly say that being in a sorority has made me the happiest I have been in a while. My sisters have been there for me through so many transitions in my life, especially these past few months. I am so sad to be saying goodbye to some of them this year, but know that we will stay connected for life. I mean, 7 of us have matching tattoos, so we on that next level love!

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Brunch places in Vancouver.

Brunch is a very popular weekend tradition and there are plenty of options in Vancouver. Many Vancouverites love having brunch right before they go hiking and enjoying outdoors.

1.Cafe Medina

This place is famous for its Belgian waffles. They also have many savory Mediterranean dishes. It’s always very lively and busy there. Anyone can find something they like!

2. Boulevard

A fancy, fine-dining style brunch that tastes as good as it looks. Stuffed Nutella French toast is a must-try!

3. Jam Cafe

Jam Cafe is famous for its pancakes. They also offer various bowls and gravy coops, that taste amazing. The lineup to get in might be crazy, but it’s worth it!

4. Earls Ambleside Beach

Earls Ambleside Beach, located in West Vancouver at Ambleside Beach. Designed in a ‘West Coast meets California Beach’ style-a perfect location to enjoy the brunch while enjoying an ocean view. They also offer a brunch happy hour!

5. Catch 122

It’s designed with brick interiors and located in Gastown. Has so many great brunch options. If you need a filling brunch but still want it to be classy, then this is a great place to brunch with your friends.

TRASH OR TREASURE: Reviewing iPhoto 3.0’s Filters

ORIGINAL:

VIVID:

Being the first option, Vivid sensibly offers a simple boost to both contrast and

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The end of a chapter but the beginning of a book

The end of a chapter but the beginning of a book

For as long as I can remember, my camera has always been my side-kick.  Something about being able to capture a moment, an emotion, or a light in turn captured me.  From the beginning of the semester I knew I wanted to create an online space for my photography. In reality, it was the reason I enrolled in PUB 101; while I didn’t lack initiative, I lacked the knowledge and tools to create and curate a platform for my photography.  Finding a domain name and aesthetic was the first challenge.  It was important to have a very visual, professional, and clean blog – a space where images could stand out. Eventually, after much thought, I settled on One More Klick.

One More Klick features a blend of photography, travel, and the outdoors. “Klick” is another word for kilometre, which was very fitting with both the outdoor and travel aspects of tis blog, marking the distance traveled, in addition to klick also being the phonetic sounds of a camera’s shutter.  Since traveling, photography, and the outdoors are a passion of mine, I aspire to always challenge myself by going further, reaching higher, and persevering through the fear of the unknown.  For these reasons, there will always be one more klick – whether it be one more photograph, or one more kilometre.

With the help of photographs taken during various travels and adventures, my blog aims to share the stories behind photos, and provide context.  While some posts feature more personal stories, they still hold some informative content – whether it be in the form of tips and tricks, political context, or specific photography settings to achieve a photograph.

Currently, the majority of the audience reading One More Klick consists of direct family and friends, with some page views coming from countries outside of North America. Some of the perks of traveling abroad include creating friendships and connections across the globe.  Maintaining these friendships are even easier in light of the digital age.  According to the 2018 Digital Media Report, there are over 4 billion active internet users across the globe, and there has been a 13% increase in active social media users since January 2017.  The internet allows for greater connectivity, breaking the barriers of time and space.  In just the touch of a finger, users can connect with anyone, anywhere.  This immediacy has allowed me to connect with people from around the globe in little to no time.  For example, I reached out to Hasham to ask for his permission to post his photograph for the Friends in Foreign Places blog post.  Despite residing in Qatar at the time, within a few hours I received a response and we were connected once again.

This is especially useful for this blog, as I hope to expand the audience internationally.  Already, this blog has most of its’ international traffic coming from the United States, with other countries including France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Croatia, Ireland, and Luxembourg to name a few.  

It’s possible that some of the page views from the countries above are just bots, which are basically software that run automated tasks over the internet.  This would become more apparent when cross referencing with the amount of time spent on the page and the bounce rate.  Because I don’t know of anyone personally in Kenya, Sri Lanka, or Russia, I would assume that they aren’t actually real people reading my blog.  If you’re reading this and you are currently in Kenya, Sri Lanka, or Russia, let me know!

With the goal of eventually creating a stronger following and international audience, having a strong social media presence would be a huge asset.  Currently, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram hold the podium for most popular social networking sites:

2018 Digital Media Report, page 68

“Let’s face it: we have entered an era of media convergence that makes the flow of content across multiple media channels almost inevitable.”

Henry Jenkins, 2003

In his article Transmedia Storytelling, Jenkins (2003) highlights the importance of using a multitude of different social media platforms as opposed to restricting your content to just one.  The advantage here is not only more exposure, but also meeting your audience where they are.  With this is mind, I have created a Facebook page to share my blog posts.  Having a separate page for One More Klick that is independent from my personal page means traffic won’t be restricted by my own personal privacy settings.  Eventually, I will create an Instagram page which will feature different photographs linking them to their blog posts.  If it weren’t for social media, very few people would know about my blog and even fewer would be reading it. 

With blog posts being shared on social media, it was increasingly important for my blog to be responsive and mobile friendly. In Design Machines: How to survive in the digital Apocalypse, Travis Gertz (2015) criticizes the homogeneity of basic website designs. While I was trying to create a unique and customized aesthetic for my website, I ran into some serious challenged. While the desktop version worked perfectly, the layout didn’t translate well for mobile devices. As the majority of internet users access websites on their mobile devices, it was extremely important for my website to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

Social media allowed for networking and collaborations with other artists.  My first essay 21st Century Nudes covered the topic of censorship of artistic nudity on social media platforms. This essay was inspired by Vince Hemingson, a photographer, filmmaker, and bestselling author based out of Vancouver, who’s beautiful photographs routinely encounter censorship.  In wanting to share my essay on social media, I reached out to Vince for permission to tag him.  Not only did he agree and share my article with his network, he commended my work and asked for my feedback and comments on his Artist’s Statement for his Nude in the Landscape series.

Already, creating this blog has allowed me to build concrete skills by learning how to use WordPress and Google Analytics, along with broadening my artistic and professional network. This blog acts as a live document, changing and improving as I continue to learn and create. I plan on continuing this blog alongside my adventures, and hope that one day it might flourish into something larger.



References

Gertz, T. (2015). Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse. July 2015. Retrieved from https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Hemingson, V. n.d. Artist’s Statement: The Nude in the Landscape. n.d. Retrieved from http://hemingsonphotography.com/fine-art/nude-in-the-landscape/

Jenkins, H. (2003). Transmedia Storytelling. January 15 2003. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/401760/transmedia-storytelling/

Kemp, S. (2018). We are social – Digital report 2018. Retrieved from https://digitalreport.wearesocial.com/