Author Archives: Guila

Community Guidelines

Rules when visiting my blog:

  • no hateful/harmful comments
  • no anonymous posts
  • comments disagreeing with one another are alright, as long as they are not disrespectful
  • understand that everyone perceives art differently; your opinion is not the only one that matters
  • no claiming other people’s art as your own

How these apply to my blog specifically:
These rules apply to my blog specifically because the last two are centered around art, and my blog is based on photography.  The last rule is especially important to me as I value artistic integrity, and hope that those who visit my site do too.  The second rule is based on the statistic given in this article: 25% of people say they have left a comment anonymously.  In my opinion, you should not be saying anything that you wouldn’t claim your own.

Looking Back on the Semester

This class taught me a lot about not only publishing, but also about myself.  My experience as a publisher this fall was definitely a positive one.  At the beginning of the course, I was hesitant to put my work out there.  I am very self conscious when it comes to my creative projects, writing and photography included.  As a perfectionist, I hate posting work that I am not one hundred percent happy with.  My blog helped me with my insecurities, and improved my writing abilities as well!  The main reason I took this course is because I wanted to see how different blogging would be to the social media sites I use daily.

When I first created my blog, I struggled right away with choosing a theme that I felt best represented the layout I had pictured.  Right away, it was clear that you have more control over your content on your blog compared to your Instagram or Facebook.  I wanted my theme to be simple, yet not blend in with other blogs like Travis Gertz mentions in his article about design.  In his article, he talks about why mainstream posts have all been similar lately.  He mentions that in a connected world like ours, it is hard to not give in to pressures of copying what is popular.   To be honest, I feel that I could have done a better job at making my blog unique.  It is still something I am working on.  The next part of the course focused on audience awareness.

When using my social medias, I never thought deeply about who my audience was.  I would post what I wanted, whenever I wanted, not thinking about what impact it had on those seeing it.  This blog was interesting because I wanted to make content that both my audience and teacher enjoyed.  Using google analytics, I found out that the majority of my audience was from Canada.  Considering that I had promoted my blog on my Instagram, I assumed that most of my blog readers were the same people that followed me on Instagram.  In his 2002 article, Warner describes my goal for this blog perfectly.  He states that content on a blog should be relatable for both the audience and the creator.  As I said before, most of my blog readers are my followers from Instagram.  I believe I have achieved this because prior to blogging, I already knew through comments that my audience liked my Instagram.  I tried to reflect the same personality on my blog as well.

I read an article recently titled ‘Blogging Is an Art But Attracting the Right Audience Is a Science’.  This article talks about how important it is to be consistent with your online identity.  Being consistent ensures that you can not only attract the audience you want, but also maintain that audience.  This is something that I struggled with, as I went in to the class not knowing exactly what I wanted my blog to be about.  I am passionate about many things, photography, hockey, and reading just to name a few.  It was hard for me to pick one of these passions and create a whole blog about it.  Overall, I believe that my online presence is consistent.  My blog posts are cohesive and reflect who I am as a person.

Another interesting part of the course was the lecture on monetization.  As I mentioned before, I created this blog mostly so that I could have an outlet to express myself.  For right now, I don’t think monetization is right for my site, as I post content mostly for myself.

Looking back at the semester, my view on publishing has had a major shift.  Before this semester, I thought the word publisher only applied to those who worked in the publishing industry and created monetized content.  However, this course taught me that social media has turned us all in to publishers.  The way in which we distinguish ourselves from everyone else is through the quality of our content.

In the future, I plan on continuing my blog and challenging myself to produce more content than I did this fall.  My goals for myself after this course are to continue building on my online identity, and incorporating my audience more.  Soon, I plan to look back at which of my posts were the most viewed and I will tweak my future posts accordingly.  I want to continue blogging so I can look back on my posts in the future and see how my photography skills have evolved.

References:

Travis Gertz AuthorTravis Gertz is both a designer and partner at Louder Than Ten. He went to school to design magazines, ended up designing apps, and now does everything he can to bring those things together. He is not a machine.@travisgertz View profile. “Design Machines.” Louder Than Ten, 12 Apr. 2017, louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines.

Dholakiya, Pratik. “Blogging Is an Art But Attracting the Right Audience Is a Science.”Entrepreneur, 1 Dec. 2014, www.entrepreneur.com/article/240280.

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425.

 

let’s go to the beach

If you were to ask people what season they associate with the beach, they would say Summer.  While I do enjoy summer strolls on the beach with ice cream, my family has always been one to visit the beach during all seasons.  It is a place where we can all relax, and share stories about our hectic lives.  Here is a small collection of photos I have taken recently at the beach.

Transmedia Integration

A study done in 2016 shows that the average internet user has 7 social media accounts (x).  How does this affect us as content creators?  We can use this fact to our advantage by creating social media accounts that link back and promote/reinforce our blog.  For example, my blog, as a photography blog has my instagram connected.  This can show my readers photos that I take in my day to day life.  You could also connect other social media sites such as twitter, facebook or pinterest.  Which social media you connect depends on what the central theme of your blog is.  If you were to have a blog about your journey as a film maker, youtube would be a good platform to connect.  If you ran a blog that was centered on writing, you might consider connecting your wattpad.  In addition, connecting social media accounts is an effective way of giving your audience a way to contact you.  This can be achieved through an ’email us’ form, or a link to your facebook page.  In the future, I hope to create a separate instagram for my photography.  Right now, it is my personal account linked.  If I was able to grow a larger following, I would make a separate account and post previews to my instagram.  This could encourage my followers on instagram to visit my blog and read the full post.  I am also considering creating a twitter account, where I tweet out links to my blog posts.

Peer Review #3

First Impressions:

This is a review on Israrul Haque’s website, Journey Through the Lens.   At first glance, it is clear that this blog is about photography.  Both the title and header show that.  The first thing I noticed about Isrual’s blog is the header image. I thought this was appropriate, and a great way to showcase his image! I also scanned the page for ads, but as expected did not find any.  I feel that Israrul and I have the same goal for our sites.  As photography blogs, we want showcase our images.  Personally, I feel that ads might distract from my photos.  It seems that Israrul might feel the same way.

Design:

Israrul uses a very simple and clean theme.  He uses a white background and black, easily-readable font.  A minor detail that could be improved is his balance, something mentioned in the lecture we had on design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When reading his posts, I kept finding myself looking at the white space on the left side of the page.  It was a little bit distracting while I was trying to read the post.  I would suggest inserting images on the left side to balance out the body of text.  For example, for a peer review post, you could have a screenshot of your peer’s site on the left side of the post.  A design element that I really liked on Israrul’s blog was the vibrancy of his photos

This image in particular stood out to me because I feel that it showcases his talent, not only in his photography. but also in his editing.  The colors in this photo pop out.  All of his other photos carry the same kind of vibrancy.  I think his editing skills really fit his site because they stand out against the white background.

Organization:

I found this blog to be very organized.  It was very easy to find what I was looking for using the menu at the top.  I also like that his menu has a drop down option, so you can easily get to a specific post.  An improvement he could make is hiding his posiel posts from his main page.  I did this on my blog by using a widget.   This would improve Israrul’s blog because it would be faster to get to his photos if you did not have to scroll through the posiel posts.

Content: 

Israrul’s blog has a lot of content.  He has a lot of photos on his ‘Vancouver Chronicles’ page, and he is consistently posting posiel posts.  This is a great opportunity for monetizing his site, because you are more likely to make money off of a site that is active.

Audience / Monetization:

Israrul’s target audience are those who are interested in his images, but also his process of taking/editing photos.  I would understand if he did not want to use ads because they might distract from his photos.  However, if he did want to incorporate ads, I feel that affiliate links (mentioned in this reading) would be a better option than the traditional photo ads.  Affiliate links are links that generate profit for the writer if an audience member purchases from that link.  The reading specifically talks about Amazon’s affiliate link’s program.  Israrul could make this work if he wanted to.  For example, his ‘Why Photography’ page includes a photo of his DSLR.  If he had an account with Amazon affiliate links, he could insert a link to that camera, in case his readers were interested in purchasing it.

Overall, I really enjoyed scrolling through Israrul’s blog.  His photos are very captivating.  In the future, Israrul could make money from his website by using affiliate links.

 

 

Monetization

As of right now, I do not feel confident enough in my content to monetize my site.  For monetization, a site must be updated quite frequently.  As a busy college student, I already have trouble doing weekly process posts.  However, in the future, I might monetize my blog.  To do this, I could instal google adsense and have ads on my homepage.  I do not love the look of this though, so as an alternative I might use Amazon Affiliate links.  This is a program in which you get rewarded when someone uses your link to buy anything from Amazon.  I feel that this is a better option for me because I can ensure that the ads I use are related to my content.  For example, if I was to photograph a trip I took, and post about it, I could link to a suitcase (or something else I used on the trip) that my audience could purchase.  To  monetize my site, I also have to make sure I have enough time set aside in the day to update my blog.  I cannot make money by not posting.

My Last Hour on the Internet

I don’t think we realize how much of our lives depends on the internet.  I use the internet for everything, from searching up bus schedules, to catching up on my favourite TV shows.  I also use apps such as google drive, and dropbox to store a lot of information.  So much of my life would be different without the internet.

What would I do with my last hour of internet?  First, I would download all of my photos that I have uploaded to google drive.  As someone who enjoys photography, it is important for me to be able to see my past work and grow from it.  The next thing I would do is download a few episodes from Netflix.  They recently introduced the option to stream offline.  I would do this because I do not have cable, but I would still like to keep up withe my favourite shows.  The last thing I would do is give my phone number to those I only connect with via Facebook messenger, email, or i message.  I would still like to be connected to my friends without the internet.

I feel that the majority of my friends would do similar things with their last hour.  I know a few people who would suffer a lot without the internet, as I never see them without their phones.  My sister, who is  huge music fan would spend her entire hour downloading music.