Author Archives: Blog سوري

Process post #12

Develop community guidelines for your site. Why are those the right guidelines for you? How will you implement them?

 

This week, we had Sharifah Williams , Associate Editor of theriot.com, as our guest speaker.

 

What have I learned from Sharifah? The importance for users to follow community guidelines when discussing their opinions. Each particular case should be addressed individually. But there should be a zero tolerance for hazing. It all depends on the levels of the content that is posted. So yes, we should accept changes, and expect comments that we don’t approve of. But at the same time we should treat them with mindfulness and without being biased.

I went ahead and checked out the Book Riot community guidelines to get a full image and idea about what Sharifah was trying to point out. Their community guidelines are straight to the point and clear. It was made clear that if anyone tried to make extreme comments they will be banned from the page.

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process post #10

Make a plan for incorporating more transmedia integration into your online publication. What channels will you focus on? Why?

 

Since my blog’s focus is about Syria, my country, and not specifically me or my personal ideas and thoughts. I find it a bit weird to Launch a YouTube channel, or even think about Youtube as a transmedia integration for my blog.

As mentioned before, (sorry for the repetition Roshane! ) I have an Instagram account called @Syriaweekly, where I showcase User Created photos on it! It is pretty cool. I can definitely say that I have built a community, but until now I have struggled to get what the audience wants even though I have statistics.

Did I integrate my Instagram channel? Yes, I introduced my blog in a story telling way on the Instagram account. Mentioning that Syria Weekly is behind mysyrianblog.com and asking the Instagram community to show support and give us feedback. According to the statistics from Instagram around 200 people checked my link on the first day! Yes, I felt overwhelmed.

For me it was the other way around, I already had the transmedia channel and I wanted to integrate it with a blog/website. I want to use the community that I have on my Instagram to grow my website!

 

 

 

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Process post #9

The influence that Facebook have on our self!

How can we break free from our constraints?

This week’s process post is about google analytics, but for me, there was something way more interesting, that I learned about during class than talking about google analytics. For the first time, I felt so immersed in the presentation by Juan. Usually when people ask me what are you interested in? what is your field of study? where do you want to work? I have all the answers in my mind, but for some reason when I answer those question I do not feel excited explaining to people what I am interested in. Don’t get me wrong, I really like what I am studying, but I did not have a valid reason why am I interested in those subjects? is it because I just ended up here and working my way up. Not until Juan’s presentation, I found my reason for interest. It is not mainly concentrated on the subject of the presentation but on how I was interested in it. I can say I finally found a reason why I am doing what I am doing right now. I can assure myself now that this is what I want to continue to do 😀

Okay now, drama away, moving on to the main point of this post. After the presentation, I asked myself do I want to be like every other internet users? How can I make a difference? How can I be in power?

To start with it, I do not usually post my thoughts on Facebook, I do not believe it is a safe place for me to express my thoughts. I always wanted to have a safe place for me that I can control everything in it, but let’s be real, this will never exist on the web. It is not like I will have my diary with a lock, where I can keep all my thoughts. Even writing on my blog is not 100% safe, but yes I choose what I want to write and what I want to share. To some extent, I can control more than I can control what I share on Facebook.

In my opinion, the web is revolving around Facebook. every app you have you sign in through Facebook, every video I see, I see it on Facebook and every article I read I read it on Facebook….

What did I decide to do as a user? to minimize my Facebook footprints.. although I will not make any difference at least I will feel better. It is the idea that we are all controlled to some extent and we just can not do anything about it!

Future plans:  I would either end up working with Facebook! or working with the organizations that are trying to build their own community out of the Facebook world.

I do not accept to be just a user.. forever….

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Process post #8

Do you want to monetize your site? If so, how will you do so? What changes will you need to make?

hmm, well I was thinking that after my blog gets more visitors, as in ” thousands” per day, I will start monetizing it. But after we discussed it in the class, I decided to give a shot.

Having in my mind that the goal of me trying is to learn more about how to run ads and experience it on my blog! I did it, I downloaded the plugin, decided which ads I approve on my blog #LikeABoss and voilà!

Congratulations?  Google now owes me 20 cents 😉 😀

What have I learned?

-I decided to put all my efforts on the blog. Work hard on building the blog and my audience first.

– To focus all my efforts on creating as much content as possible!

After I read an article about whether I should Monetize my blog right now or not? by Fabrizio,  I realized that I have to work more on my blog. I believe it is a great article that helped me understand where am I currently in the process and how can I reach a point that will allow me to monetize correctly!

He proposed four questions  to ask myself before I start monetizing, and to be honest I could not answer all of  them since I don’t have that much information about my blog and me realized in order to monetize my website I have to take it more seriously with my blog and build an actual strategy and plan 😉 and not just wait for it!

I thought It would be helpful to share the questions from the article I read!

“4 questions to ask yourself before you start monetizing your blog”

  1. How much traffic is my blog getting right now?
  2. Do I have enough loyal folks subscribed to my blog?
  3. Can I honestly say I fully understand my reader’s needs?
  4. What monetization strategies will I actually use?

 

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process post #6

For this post, our creativity should take the lead!

I have chosen a video from the Ministry of Tourism in Syria and decided to edit it 😉

How? used Adobe After Effects for the first time, and apparently it is not that hard! Yes believe anyone can make videos, but of course not PERFECT video from the first try 😉 you just need some patience, the thing that I did not have while editing, ooppss.

What Have I changed? Nothing, I just added texts. It nice to have great visual of what the country offer but it is better if you have some extra wording explaining and adding effects for that video. I felt that some small texts are missing here and there and I tried to follow the rhythm, I tried 😛

Hope you enjoy 😀

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The Making Of

Being a “Publisher” was something I never thought of, yes, I do have an Instagram account for my country, yes, I have built a small community on Instagram, but still I have never thought I am a publisher. Why? Simply because the word itself in my mind has a bigger image. For me the definition of Publishers was the people who publish articles, book, novels and more. They are people who write in a very creative and complicated way, and I have never perceived myself as one of them. After the first class, I have realized anyone can considered as a publisher. publishing your opinion on Facebook or tweeting it on twitter or describe it through a photo on Instagram is believed to make a you a publisher, of course there are levels, but still there is a chance you can improve and work on your content.

How did I create my publication? Well as simple as it sounds, it all started when I had to create a blog. I have an Instagram account that portraits my country. I wanted to grow more, not only on Instagram specifically, the overall process was not easy, having in mind that what I want to stand for my ideas and share my cyberinfrastructure that I built with “the public sphere”. I had a plan to represent a similar idea that I have on Instagram, but this time adding more words rather than just photos.  I planned according to Gardner Campbell’s article when he mentioned that progress is sometimes going back to what you have and bringing the ideas back into a new context. “Gardner Campbell. 2009. “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.”

The website that I build through word press, is called MySyrainblog (ADD LINK). Why? I wanted to give the blog an identity, I want the people who check the blog to directly relate and connect with before browsing it.  According to Suler, John in his book Psychology of The Digital Age, He mentioned that cyberspace is place that “ loosens the psychological barriers that block the release of these inner feelings and needs”. I wanted to take advantage of this space to create a sense of belonging for every Syrian disregarding the barriers that exists.

The content, in a crucial world that we live in, when mentioning my country, Syria, most of the public will react in a negative way from what is seen through the media, not saying it is not true, but it is also nice to appreciate the good side of this country.  I was tired of listening every day to the chaos and the destruction that is happening in Syria, I believe most of the Syrians feels the same way too, and I wanted to make a change even if it is minimal. My inner drive for trying to change the bad image of my country was very strong. My Syrian Blog is a website that talks about What’s new in Syria, related to newly opened places, concerts, food and where to go in Syria. It is a safe place for every Syrian.

My Imagined Public: my target readers are Syrian people who lives in Syria and would like to know about the updates and events that are coming soon. Also, Syrian people who left Syria because of the war circumstance and would love to stay connected and remember the good side of this wonderful country. I don’t limit my target audience to a specific age range, I want to target all different ages.

Getting to know my real audience : After posting my first blog post “10 photos that prove Syria is one of the most amazing countries in the Middle East or the world ;)” ( ADD LINK), I learned a lot about my real and current audience. I took advantage of my personal social media accounts and shared my first blog post. I also associated @SyriaWeekly as a part of the website and took advantage of Instagram by sharing the blog post for two days in a row as a story and post a photo on the account asking the Instagram audience to show support. After one week, I used Google Analytics to check the audience. I had at first 27 users who check my website since the time I launched it but not advertise it. After posting my first Blog and advertising it on different social media accounts my readers increased to 462!! Yes, I  was overwhelmed 😀 😀 Having in my mind the audience that I want, the real readers turned out to include people who are from countries I never expected like Philippines, Germany, peru and more. Knowing my audience more helped me in adjusting my posts depending on their behavior and interests.

Not only I got to know who my audience is but I also I got to receive comments from them. I decided to give a try and leave the comment section open for the readers in the first blog. I received four comments, from unknown readers encouraging me to continue writing and sharing on this blog. I was very grateful, after I read those comments, that I was able to make the connection with my readers. Will I keep the comment section? Yes, taking into consideration that not all the comments will be positive and thinking that I should think about the negative comments in a positive way!

 

 

Taking into consideration the design of my blog. I have integrated jasmine flowers as a background for my website. Jasmine flowers represent the capital of Syria, Damascus. I followed what Gertz, Travis said in his article “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse”, that we should integer emotions and feeling in the reader to tease them and make them beg for more.  Moreover, I have added Arabic words to the tabs that takes the reader to different posts. Also I learned to be consistent with the blog font, colors and scheme. Since design is considered as effective as the content that is on the blog.

 

Throughout the class, we have learned how to monetize our website through using Google Adsense .  I Even though I do not have a product to sell, so why advertise? I learned that what you do is your own personal brand. Since I am sharing my experience to the world at the same time I am building my own persona. So  went ahead and downloaded the plugin for google ad sense, and I started checking the ads on my website. Of course, it takes time and effort to start actually gaining money through google AdSense, so my main focus was focusing on my content and I will be thinking about the advertising later on.

 

Plans?

I can say that I sincerely enjoyed the journey of this course, where I had the chance to experience my online digital persona. I would definitely keep on blogging, I do believe this is just the beginning for something bigger! I can see that there is a lot of things that I can work on and make my online presence a statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citation:

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

Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326.

http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Process post #5

This week’s question is :

What audience have you been imagining thus far? How has that imagined audience informed your design and editorial decisions?

In my imagination, I divided the targeted audience into categories.

1-INTEREST: my targeted readers are people who are interested in knowing about Syrian culture and the country itself. Also Syrian people who would like to connect more with their country.

2- DEMOGRAPHICS: my target readers are Syrian people who lives in Syria and would like to know what are the new events and life updates in the country. Syrian people who left Syria because of the war circumstance and would love to stay connected and remember the good side of this wonderful country.

3- BEHAVIOR: Syrians who are searching for a sense of belonging, for a place where they can relate their childhood too and for a words that brings back their dreams to life ! YES this sentence is a bit dramatic!! but this is how I felt when I had to leave my country 😉

Leaving the drama aside, and moving on towards the second part of the question. Since my target audience is people who speaks Arabic, I have integrated the Arabic language in the content of my blog. My blog tabs are in both Arabic and English, not only for translation but also for creating the sense of belonging where my readers can directly attracted to the content. I have an idea to expand more and start writing the blog post in English and Arabic, but for now I will stay on writing in English 😀 #TresComplicated.  Design wise, basically the backgrounds of the blog, jasmine flowers, represent Syria, especially in the capital.

In my content and design, I focused on giving the reader the ” Sense of Belonging” , Yes I have probably repeated this phrase A LOT in this process posts, just because this is my main mission and reason of the blog 😀

What is next? I will be looking forward to check my audience through google analytics and see if it matches my imagination!

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peer review three

 

The final peer review for this class is for Sonia’s Closet 

First Impression: The first thing that caught my eyes when I opened the website was the quote, I read it before reading the logo and that’s how I knew it is about fashion! The second thing that grabbed my attention was the background. it gives the website a calm sense and is very simple.  The home page shows the recent posts, as a reader, I would suggest to add the picture of the 90s in back post ( the first post on the home page) at the beginning of the post and not at the end. Sonia also has linked her Facebook and Instagram account of the website! I really enjoyed checking her outfits on Instagram.  

Accessibility: When I tried to move to other tabs some of them are empty, for example when you press on PUB 101 it does not show anything.On the other hand, there is another tab above on the corner that says process posts and when I click on it it shows one process posts. Although I can see that there are more posts from the sidebar I still could not find them under any of the tabs. I would suggest to try and make the flow easier, in this way the reader will not find it hard to go around the website. 

Now! Talking about what is more important for me FASHION! the content of the website is really good. I can definitely tell the tone of voice of Sonia. I do believe that Sonia is mixing her passion to fashion with a sense of humor, instead of being like other typical fashion blogs! In her content, Sonia talks about how much she appreciates color! I can definitely see that in the outfits section but I can not see that emerged on the website. I do believe from a readers point of view that Sonia should imbed her passion for colors to the website in this way she can fully develop her online persona!

Another note: the outfit section is only available on the sidebar Since the website is a fashion website I think it is more relevant to have a full page for this section. Moreover, I would love to know more about the outfits from where did she buy them for example and a small description for every outfit would complete the post 😀  I would also encourage adding more visuals since it is a fashion blog, the readers are expecting to see outfits and styles as a content.

 

Overall: I really enjoyed checking how Sonia dress and from where she gets her outfit inspiration. I do think that if the content was organized more it will be easier for the reader to check the website.

 

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