Author Archives: Awkward Girl

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

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

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

Thank you PUB 101.

-Awkward Girl.

The post Process Post #12: Annnnnd….It’s a Wrap! appeared first on Awkward Girl .

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

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

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

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

The post Process Post #11: Fake News…Am I Fake? appeared first on Awkward Girl .

Process Post #10: Transmedia

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

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

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

-Awkward Girl.

The post Process Post #10: Transmedia appeared first on Awkward Girl .

Process Post #9: Marketing a Blog

Today, we had two speakers come in and talk to us about the ways in which we can market our brand as well as ways in which we can monetarily benefit from our blogs through elements such as advertising. Brand marketing is so crucial when it comes to blogs because you need to be able to reach out to your intended audience, find them, keep them engaged, and keep them coming back. Before you can even dive into ways in which to do so, we were taught to consider who our audiences is, what purpose are we filling in the world of blogs.

One of the speakers which I found very inspirational had started off in selling candles. He saw that there was an opportunity to make money in his neighbourhood selling candles during the holidays and made a name for himself for the years following. Taking his experience and applying it to our blogging, we have to try and identify the need or the want of our audience in order to ensure their subscription.

Reflecting on Awkward Girl, it was never my intention to create it for the purpose of views or hits since it was mostly for myself although, if I were to think up of way to meet a more specific demographic in order to generate more traffic on my website, I think I would take the approach of foodie to my blog as previously mentioned in another post. I would centre my information around Vancouver locations in order to target a certain demographic specific to this region.

Another area which we discussed could be beneficial to some were advertisements. For some, such as Alex Rose (http://djalexrose.com) who is making a website to cater to his DJ career and business, I can see this approach working very well in his favour since it is more of a business model type blog where it serves the purpose of showcasing his work although I do not think that it would work well for a personal blog like mine. I personally believe it would take away from the look I want for my website as well as the intimacy and authenticity I want to project to my audience.

All in all, I think that if I were to continue this blog after this course and wanted to make it a more public and successful blog, I would take these approaches in order to do so.

-Awkward Girl.

The post Process Post #9: Marketing a Blog appeared first on Awkward Girl .

Process Post #8: Collaborations

Collaboration week was in my opinion quite successful. Keeping in theme with my blog, I teamed up with a couple of my friends to ask them so of their most awkward moments. I thought it would be nice for readers (the intended audience) to know that awkwardness happens to everyone not only myself. The whole point of the blog is for individuals to feel like they have a space, a space where they feel like it’s okay to not be perfect and polished, we all go through embarrassing moments and sharing them will hopefully help my readers into realizing this.

Through this exercise, I realized how beneficial it could be for bloggers or online publishers to collaborate with another in order to create more content that could potentially reach a larger audience. In the first week of publishing class, I had told the class that I thought that publishing was the sharing of information and although my views and thoughts on publishing since then have much expanded and broadened, I still stand by the fact that publishing is the act of sharing. Sharing not only with the world through means of technology but collaborating and sharing ideas and capabilities with peers in order to continue the constant flow of sharing.

My blog being the nature that it is, doesn’t often make room for collaborations since it is mostly my own experiences and daily life recording although even in a space such as this one, I have come to realize what collaboration can do to enrich one’s online experience, perhaps even broaden their mindset and inspire them to come up with new content.

In this 21st century, it is often said that our generation spends far too much time stuck in our technologies and we have lost what it means to connect with people around us. We have lost the ability to interact with one another with arguably has hindered the way we learn but what publishing has taught me is that sharing is alive now more than ever. Media as a whole as permitted us to share in a whole new way which yes, isn’t quite the same as before but still holds an importance in today’s digital world.

-Awkward Girl.

The post Process Post #8: Collaborations appeared first on Awkward Girl .

Peer Review #3: Closet Affair

Hey Y’all! I am back here today with my third and final peer review! You ready? Here it goes.

http://miaericci.com

So today we take a look at Closet Affair (http://miaericci.com) written by Mia is the type of blog I always wished I could write. It is so cool! Your front home page is very girly and cute which definitely gives off the fashion blog archetype although some of the design elements that have been implemented, such as the background, can seem a bit busy to some BUT, let me just say personally, I LOVE the background with the “gucci cat” despite it’s repetitively. I think it speaks to Mia’s personality as well as the type of brand she wants to emulate in her blog persona. In her blog, she seems like “cool” just comes naturally to her which especially in fashion will definitely attract the type of audience she is trying to receive. I really like how all her personal blog posts include a picture of her outfits (which are all incredibly amazing!) with a short description of the items and why she chose to put them together.

One of her posts that I thought was interesting was the one about Bella Hadid. (http://miaericci.com/looks-2/beautiful-bella-3/) I like that Mia is sharing her own personal style but she also takes the time to tell her readers where that inspiration comes from, giving them additional information of who she is as a person as well as a clothing enthusiast. I think it would be cool to do weekly reviews perhaps of a look Bella sorted on the red carpet or out and about and then showing how she would pull inspiration from it.

I also find the inspiration page a good addition to the blog adding another dimension to simply posting about outfits she has worn, although the tab didn’t seem to include any information so moving forward I would definitely suggest adding more content to that page. (http://miaericci.com/inspiration/)

I think Mia, much like myself, is writing this blog to show her true authentic self and it is very much perceived through this blog. I believe that a lot of times in fashion, bloggers will try to cater to a certain audience for followings and what not but I believe that Mia’s unapologetic authenticity is what will attract her demographic. Considering this, I still do think that Mia should keep in mind what she would like her audience to be if she wishes to grow her site.

Just a last little thing, I love your Instagram! (ya…I stalked you a little) I think it is super cohesive with the type of persona/brand you are building on your blog. I think you should for sure somehow advertise your posts on your Instagram or link your Instagram in some future blog posts about outfit ideas etc., I think it would add an additional space where you could actively interact with your readers.

Overall, great blog I really enjoyed reading it and hopefully now with your guidance will be able to somewhat better dress myself.

Sincerely,

Awkward Girl.

The post Peer Review #3: Closet Affair appeared first on Awkward Girl .

Process Post #7: A Review of my Review

I received my first peer review from Carly Camera and it was eye opening to what my blog came off as to others. I hadn’t really considered an audience at this point and I was more so writing for myself and what I thought was interesting. What I realized from this review is that I can have a personal blog with it representing my authentic self all the while catering to a certain audience and I needed to keep that in mind.

She suggested that some of my writing was a bit too casual and at first I didn’t quite agree because what I had envisioned for my blog was a comfortable space where people could feel like they were reading something their friend wrote, content that was not be intimidating or exclusionary. Although, after I had considered her critique, I could appreciate her point of view and where she was coming from. I can be relaxed and casual with also conserving a certain level of professionalism.

Another critique I had received was for my website design which I have very much changed since the feedback. Chloe suggested that the website seemed broken up since the colour stopped after the header and didn’t flow through the entire web page. I too very much agreed with this feedback and wanted to change it. I had realized that I needed to change my theme completely as the one I had originally chosen was to restrictive for the changes I wanted to do to the look of my blog.

Doing reviews for me are a bit hard because this blog is very personal to me and it is truly a work that I wear on my sleeve. It means a lot to me and so having it critiqued by individuals who also know that it’s me who wrote it intimidates me. Like in Suler’s piece about “The Online Disinhibition Effect” in his section about anonymity, thats what i most appreciated from having a blog in this course. It offered a level of comfort and doing these reviews removed that security blanket that I had been hiding behind as a publisher.

Even if the critiques are difficult do to myself wanting to hide behind my persona, the feedback is very much appreciated and I can’t wait to keep improving until my next review.

-Awkward Girl

The post Process Post #7: A Review of my Review appeared first on Awkward Girl .

Essay #2

In the first week of the semester, we were given the task to present ourselves as well as reflect on what we thought defined publishing. My short introduction to my classmates included that I was a second year communications student, I wanted to work in magazine publishing and that I thought publishing was the sharing of information. That was the the first impression I gave off to my peers but this, in my opinion was not a good representation of who I was. Although through this exercise I realized that this is not the identity I want to be known for. Through this class, it gave the chance to show my peers as well as myself what I truly want to say about my identity, online and otherwise. The outlet of the blog opened my eyes to exploring my scholarly identity outside of my communications degree which was truly eye opening.

I believe that this blog style platform was the best way to uncover more of myself since it offered a sense of sharing and publication while also giving me the reassuring comfort of anonymity. As Suler (2001) suggests in his work, “The Disinhibition Effect”, there is an aspect of dissociative anonymity that comes with posting online which accords more comfort to the publisher to share initiate details about themselves since they cannot be known. Although in some cases this effect can lead to negative effects, in my case, it was the driving force to what got me to start writing in the first place. The anonymity gave me the freedom to curate my own content and being able to choose what kind of things I wanted to write about gave me the creative liberty to discover what I like to write about. I felt like I was sharing a more intimate part or myself with the world, I also felt like nobody was listening but to be honest, it didn’t bother me at all. I liked the thought of having my feelings and thoughts about the world published for everyone to read if they wanted to but the fact that it was somewhat of a public secret was what I enjoyed most about it. It was more of a release for me than a sharing of information. Writing my blog made me feel as I was releasing tension from my brain letting the thoughts flow out onto my keyboard without filters or having an academic rubric dictating them.

Audrey Watters (2015) in her piece “The Web We Need To Give To Students”, she argues that online student paces give them the opportunity to reflect upon their work outside the world of academia which if controlled by the school. I have realized the importance of this liberty in order to create a well rounded learning experience. One cannot fully explore the lengths to which their education can take them if they do not take the chance to explore their intellectual interests outside of an academic institution. The freedom to explore and create was always the last thing on my mind (Campbell, 2009) since in an academic setting one learns to give the instructor what they want or what we think they and so this opportunity of creating my own blog and opportunity for self education gave me the chance to do so explore those elements of my student life.

This blog was incredibly beneficial for my own personal growth and that is essentially the purpose it filled. It was not created with a specific audience in mind since at it’s core, was a forum where I could practice the creation of blog making whilst discovering who I am as an academic outside of the label I had already been given. Despite this realization, I did consider that my audience would be mostly females, ranging from 14-25 years of age who wanted to read something relatable but also inspiring. I wrote quite a bit about food and so if I did try and market my blog and focus on it’s rise in ratings, I would probably choose to continue in a “foodie” direction focusing on a Vancouver based audience which is where the food reviews would be.

I received a couple of comments from my peers and although some of it was constructive which was beneficial for the overall functioning of my blog through technical WordPress changes such as colour scheme or background but what truly stuck with me was their opinions on my online persona I had created. They both shared that they liked the way I wrote and that it gave off an authentic self that was easy to relate to which is exactly what I set out to do. Getting this positive feedback was so incredibly validating since the information I was sharing online made me vulnerable because I was essentially sharing a more intimate part of my identity which usually is not seen in an academic setting. Getting reaffirmation that what I was doing through my work was good and appreciated by someone, even though it was just my peers, meant a lot to me and gave me confidence in the continuation of my blog.

At first, I was upset with the fact that I was simply thrown into this experience without any guidance. In traditional schooling that I’ve experience so far at university, there has always been some loose guide to follow but for this particular class, you had to take your education into your own hands. Even though in the beginning I did not see it this way, I now know how beneficial it is for individuals, like myself to be learning this way. Gardner Campbell (2009) says that the cyber-infrastructure in which we create offers an opportunity for individual and personal teaching moments which is exactly what I experienced through the process of online blogging. I thought myself first of all how to write a blog but also through this experience got a better understanding of who I am as a student. I am not just a communications student in second year and through my blog I got the chance to share this side of myself. Publication is the sharing of information, as I had shared in the first semester, but it encompasses so much more than that. Publishing is the way of the new world where individuals publish in order to connect just as much as share with it. It gives the opportunity for personal and creative growth where the liberty to do so is not always given in a traditional academic setting.

References

Campbell, G. 2009. “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.” EDUCAUSE Review 44 (5). http://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure

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

Watters, A. 2015. “The Web We Need to Give to Students.” https://medium.com/bright/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

The post Essay #2 appeared first on Awkward Girl .

Process Post #4: Website Style Overhaul

Today in class I got to really reflect on what needs to be considered when considering website design. Of course I had given thought before of what I like websites, what makes them functional and what my vision is for my website but I had never truly taken into account all the different elements that can contribute and slightly affect the comprehensibility and user friendliness of a website. Everything from font to text size to colour to menu bar, everything must be considered! Took get a better idea on how to dissect and take apart our own websites, we took a look at the oh so famous class website where we get our information about syllabus and weekly updates. Students of the class were opinionated to say the least…

We started by looking at the colours of the website (an oatmeal cream kind of colour) and talked about how it added or took away from the experience on the website. In my opinion, for the purpose this website serves, I don’t think it needs to be any wacky vibrant colour since it’s job is to serve an academic purpose however, taking into account the nature of the class (more of an arts directed creative course) a little more colour or illustration would be nicely welcomed I think by it’s users.

We also took a look at the menu bar and it’s functionality regarding the course as well as the side menu. We discussed how the side menu was not being used to it’s full potential as not many students had been utilizing the Twitter feature. One thing I had suggested to make the overall experience better a student using the website would be to have the weekly tasks be the first thing that shows up on the front “home” page instead of a link to the syllabus where you need to scroll down to the specific week in the course to retrieve current information. Having this feature would enable students to have some a sort of “quick glance at the week” which would prevent the whole clicking around different tabs and whatnot.

All in all, the class truly got a chance to pick apart every part of the Posiel website and after the exercise, it really forced me to reflect on my own website. I ended up actually changing my whole website style after this class. With my old template, I couldn’t even change my font and I knew after this class that even something as trivial as font can make a difference! I ended up changing the template, font, background image and theme colours. The only thing I have yet to change is my background as it had been brought to my attention that the polka dots might be a little too dark and distracting from the content of my website which I think is important to address. Perhaps lightening out the image in a photo modifying application will help me achieve the style I’m going for.

Were moving onto better website days, I can feel it! Until next time,

Awkward Girl.

The post Process Post #4: Website Style Overhaul appeared first on Awkward Girl .

The Bus: A Public Arena for Embarrassment

As much as I wish I lived a glamorous life where I could get up late and oh so cutely hop into my customized mini cooper to get to school, I take the bus. The bus is often underrated, it kind of has this working independent women vibe to it right? Well regardless, I am stuck taking it so I am gonna go with it. This morning, I was (like most mornings) running late and had to quickly assemble my things in a rush leaving my room looking like it was ravaged by a tornado or an angry wild animal. As I make my quick walk/slow awkward jog to the bus with my wet hair messily tied up in a bun (if you can even call it that) and my not so coordinated outfit, I am stuffing things into my backpack trying to get it all together so I can make it on the next bus. I see it come around the corner and make the hasty decision to make a run for it. I just barely make it on the bus, but I did make it! I am so thankful that all my gym efforts came in to help me in that moment. I slouch down in one of the closest seats to the door and put in my headphones to enjoy this well deserved bus ride.

The bus is maybe half way to my destination and I notice the city’s transit security get on the bus to check for peoples tickets and bus cards. With my run to the bus, I forgot to scan my card coming into the bus since I had just made it on just as the but was preparing to jet off so I rummage through my bag to show it to the officer. As I am searching through the many backpack pockets, I realize I had left  the card in my other jacket and forgot to switch it into my today’s jacket before leaving. The officer is getting closer and I am trying to find an excuse any excuse as to why I first of all didn’t scan my card coming into the bus as well as why the hell I don’t have it. My stomach is starting to churn and I can feel the sweat starting to accumulate down my back. “Bus card please” the officer says to me. He doesn’t look to happy since he can obviously tell I am trying to buy time by looking through my wallet and bag that obviously don’t contain any bus card. All that manages to come out of my mouth is “ahh…ehhh…uhhh…I’m sorry.” My face is red hot with embarrassment as the officer as well as other bus riders look at me with disapproving eyes. I don’t know if it was the shame on my face or my quivering lip ready to bust out a small cry but he let me go with a warning…THANK GOD! In that moment I thanked all my lucky stars and swore I would be the best responsible person possible from here on out (I mean I would try my very very very best but you know, sometimes, things happen…) The rest of that bus ride I felt thankful but also nervous as I needed to still remain on the bus for like a gizzilion stops before getting off at school so I kept a strict look out on all bus doors in case more cops showed up on the way. Long story short, I got to school, everything turned out ok, I was only two minutes late for class and the rest of the day was a successful one! (I got avocado toast and a coffee for lunch so just that alone for me is a win for the rest of the day. Did I mention I like avocado on toast?)

The End.

Awkward Girl

The post The Bus: A Public Arena for Embarrassment appeared first on Awkward Girl .