Author Archives: joyce

Process Post #11

I want my site to be a safe community for everyone to be in. Although it is a personal blog so it is not likely strangers will even see my posts, and the people who do see my posts will not be participating in it as much as they are reading posts and maybe leaving the occasional comment, I still would like my blog to be a civil, safe space for people of all backgrounds.

Because most of the content is my own, a lot of the monitoring I would do would be deleting and monitoring comments that go against my community guidelines. For community guidelines that would make everyone feel safe and welcomed, as well as content that would be appropriate for all ages, my guidelines would include these things:

  • No physical or mental threats of harm/assault/any sort of ill-intending comments
  • No racist, homophobic, misogynistic or transphobic hate speech of any kind
  • No bullying or harassment of any sort allowed

Et cetera, et cetera. If you make any sort of harmful, ill-intended comment or anything that would be inappropriate to read in a work setting, it would not be allowed. I would like to encourage constructive discussions and people to speak their opinions if possible, however, I draw the line when these ‘opinions’ include harmful and unconstructive points that are generally rude or over the top.

Having a civil space where minorities can feel safe and not under attack is important to me and I hope my blog can be a space like that.

Love Songs (I Hate to Love)

Who likes listening to really cheesy love songs? Even though I like to think (pretend) I have a sophisticated and cool taste in music, I always find myself reaching for that old Taylor Swift album. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people who won’t admit it but they do as well! (At least, I refuse to believe I’m the only one who does this!!)

I thought I’d make a playlist of radio love songs I love listening to but I won’t admit that I love. Here it is:

Have fun listening! Love, Joy.

Essay #2

My experience with creating my online presence and expanding it.

Being affected by anxiety, which, unfortunately, impacts virtually everything I do, my online presence started out shaky, and I was unsure of what I even wanted to post. The idea of being given a website space where any content I wanted could be posted was both exciting and terrifying. I did not have an audience or even content that I wanted to post in mind and that scared me more than anything. The possibility of anything I said being posted out there for the entire world to see, and even scarier yet, the fact that all of this was connected to my name and my face was absolutely horrifying. From the slightly petrified, unsure student given a blank canvas to work with, that I was at the beginning of the semester, to the (slightly more) confident lifestyle blogger I am now, my online self and perspectives have changed and grown marginally with my blog.

The online disinhibition effect is a theory by John Suler (2004) that describes the loosening of social norms and behaviour that are usually present when interacting face-to-face versus communicating online. Suler calls one of the key factors behind the online disinhibition effect “dissociative anonymity” – the feeling of being protected behind the wall of anonymity on the internet. When one feels anonymous they do not have to own up to their behaviour. Being someone who was used to never adding my full name or face to the social media websites I post on frequently, like Tumblr and Twitter, I would never post anything at all on social media websites where adding my full name and face were necessary (like Facebook and Instagram). In this context, making the blog connected directly to my name and face took away the dissociative anonymity for me. This made me anxious and worried to post anything at first. Because of this anxiety, I had a preferred audience in mind and I decided to take baby steps in choosing an audience I would feel comfortable with – my close friends and people my age with similar interests. An audience I felt comfortable with, that would mean I would post things more often, and with all this in mind, I set out to begin my blogging journey.

Danah Boyd writes an example in her book “It’s Complicated,” that struck a chord with me when I was beginning to construct my online personality and blog. In the book, she speaks about teens trying to find their own private and public spaces on social media – in this particular example, the boy in the example was an active user of both Facebook and Twitter. “Initially [she] assumed he was using Twitter to keep a public presence while keeping Facebook as a more intimate space.” (Boyd, 2014). However, that was not the case. Facebook has become the more widely used platform to add every acquaintance you have, making it feel more public than an actual public Twitter account would feel, and this particular boy felt that posting on Facebook was “yelling it out to a crowd”, while on Twitter it was just “yelling it out to a room of people.” This is similar to how I felt about my blog when I first started out – although my blog was a completely public space that anyone could access, the likelihood of anyone actually seeing my posts that I did not know about or know of was very low, so although it was a public, it felt very private and helped me transition to being more comfortable posting about myself. My imagined public and audience thought out, I began to choose the layout of the blog and make posts. The posts and layout were centred around things I would enjoy, and I tried to pick post topics I thought my friends would enjoy. My friends left a medley of friendly, joking comments throughout my posts which made me feel more comfortable with my blog space.

Exposure therapy is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy technique used to target specific phobias and other fears a person may have. (Grohol, 2016.) It is not a completely new idea to me – in the past, my therapist used it to target my anxiety. Exposure therapy guides a person through thinking of the specific thing that is affecting them and getting them used to the idea. Gradually, as they get used to the idea of whatever scares them the most, they can slowly start to face their fears. Just like that, throughout the semester I gradually got used to the idea of complete strangers reading the posts on my blog, seeing my face, and knowing my name. After going through my Google Analytics, I started to notice a few strangers who had went through my blog. At the beginning of my online publication journey that might have seriously freaked me out. At the moment I found it to be perfectly fine. I continued posting as normal, making my usual process posts and regular blog posts. In a way, this helped me beyond this specific publication class. At the end of the semester, I was able to post a picture on Instagram for the first time in more than a year. That does not sound very impressive in retrospect, but for me it was huge.

Looking back, the change I can see in my online self has helped me gain more confidence, not just in posting things online, but as a person in face-to-face interactions. It sounds strange but I associated my face-to-face self with my blog. In being more uninhibited with posting things on my blog, it helped me gain more confidence to say and do more things as a person. Although making blog posts was a lot of fun, I would probably not continue as a blogger due to my inability to keep up with posts as a hobby if they are not associated with a grade. I want to work on creating a more confident online self and actually using the social media I have that are associated with me as a person. This course already helped me take a huge step forward and with this, I hope to grow even more in confidence.

 


 

References:

Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychology & behaviour, 7(3), 321-326.

 

Boyd, Danah. (2014). “Searching for a public of their own.” It’s Complicated. Retrieved from https://www.wattpad.com/203798155-it%27s-complicated-8-searching-for-a-public-of-their/page/3

 

Grohol, J. (2016). What is Exposure Therapy?. Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-exposure-therapy/

 

How to Get Things Done on Time When You’re A Procrastinator

Procrastinating is something I’m sure many people have a HUGE problem with. Me included as I’m typing these blog posts a few days before they’re due. Although it’s fun and all to look at the person next to you when you were both procrastinating on that assignment, it’s a seriously unhealthy habit that can hinder your life if you don’t cut it. So with this post, I’m hoping to share a few tips to help cut procrastination out of your life! Hopefully, they help.

Step one: keep track of what you have to do and more importantly when it’s due.

Realizing how many (or few) days you have left will give you a sense of urgency. Put the due dates in your planner if you have one, or a calendar (which is even better because you can visually see all the due dates placed in front of you that way). Don’t have a planner or calendar? Use your phone calendar instead!

Step two: plan things ahead of time.

You have two weeks until that projects due right? Don’t wait until those last two days to start it… it might feel like you have all the time in the world but two weeks pass quickly, and when the due date rolls around it won’t feel like you have all the time in the world when you’re pulling an all-nighter two nights in a row. A lot of assignments tend to be due around the same time period so try to set days in advance for each of them instead of sprinting to do four things in the span of two days.

Step three: prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!

Do your important assignments/tasks first! Especially if there’s a huge workload that comes with it. Don’t put it off because it seems like too much work – you’re setting yourself up for failure in the long run. At least start things with the biggest workload first.

Step four: just do it!

This is probably the most helpful thing to do. A lot of people are totally aware of their due dates and how much time they have left and so on – it’s just getting started that they have difficulty with. Procrastination isn’t always not knowing when something is due and putting it off, sometimes it is putting it off when you fully know when things are supposed to be due. So this is this most important step. Just get up and start doing whatever it is you needed to do. Don’t feel like doing it? Don’t wait until you ‘get in the right mood to do it’ because let’s be honest – you’ll never feel like doing it if you wait for that.

Failed all these steps? That’s ok! Me too, we can both try again next week.

Procrastination is a seriously hard habit to cut. If you can cut all these habits out of your life in less than a week, I’m not sure you’re human. Just keep practicing the last step and hopefully, it’ll stick and you can start to build healthy task-doing habits!

Love, Joy.

 

Innovative Budget University Meals

Being a broke university student with not a lot of money, eating out all the time is not an option. But if you’re at school and you didn’t bring food and you’re stranded – you’re inevitably going to be spending money on food. But spending a ton of money even if it’s only on a 10$ sandwich a day – that can add up.

But if you’re going to be spending 10$ on a sad sandwich, might as well spend it on something more substantial.

If you go to a school close to a supermarket, here’s what else you can do besides eating out at a restaurant or buying expensive fast food. The other day I saw my friend eating a complete meal with stuff she bought from T&T and I thought it was the smartest idea ever!

The campus I go to is right next to a T&T, Walmart and Maxim’s. When I saw my friend, she bought a cup of instant noodles from T&T and a bottle of tea, as well as three pastries from Maxim’s – all for under 10$! Like if you’re going to be eating a barely substantial unhealthy fast food meal for over 10$, might as well be eating a cheap, pretty substantial unhealthy meal for less than 10$, you know what I’m saying?

If you’re not into instant noodles and there’s a Walmart near you or a grocery store with a frozen meals section you can buy a cheap frozen meal there instead. Most schools will have a microwave somewhere you can use to heat up your meals.

A quote from the aforementioned genius friend: “Always eat your salty foods with sweet foods but not a super cold sweet food, not that there’s anything wrong with cold foods but if it’s a solid it’s nicer like a cake or a bun.”

– My 200 IQ friend.

Here is my genius friend with her genius meal! I love her!!!!

So yeah! Next time, if you want to save money on food at school and you didn’t bring food, you can just head over to the nearest supermarket and get something!

Thank you for reading. Love, Joy.

Process Post #9

Transmedia integration is a very interesting topic to me. As someone who most definitely changes the way I post things depending on the nature of the platform, I am very very guilty of sounding different depending on the social media platform. For example, on Facebook, you would never see me post anything that doesn’t have to do with school or family events. On my private (fan) twitter (that I would never link to anyone) you can hear my whine about politics and celebrities I follow (an odd mix, I know).

For Love, Joy, I think a lot of social media platforms would be ok to use. If it weren’t for the way I use Facebook (in a very clinical, never-posting-anything way), Facebook, functionality wise would probably be one of the best platforms, because it allows so many different things to be shared – links, pictures, videos and long blocks of text. Instagram would be another platform that would be fine for my blog, just because it also allows long blocks of text. Twitter would be ok as well. The word limit isn’t necessarily a problem when you can make “threads” of posts on Twitter, linking a previous post to the next.

This week, we were asked to use four words and the hashtag #myfourwordcauseofdeath and post on a social media platform. Since Snapchat is the platform I probably use the most because it has a very transient nature since the media you send on it is fleeting and isn’t likely to be seen after you send it (which is why I like to use it so much), I decided to post it there.

#myfourwordcauseofdeath queen carly rae jepsen (in case you haven’t noticed this ongoing motif on my blog, I love Carly Rae Jepsen and I would die for her)

  

Although it felt kind of odd (using hashtags isn’t really a Snapchat thing because it’s not like you can click them to lead anywhere else) my friend played along and replied using another hashtag!


For other social media platforms, I don’t really use Instagram to post pics (at all) since I am very self-conscious about pictures of me (and this is probably a result of the generation I’m in and how my other peers are, but I feel like Instagram is a very showy platform so if you post pictures they have to be super nice. Other people feel the same way and have ‘spam’ Instagram accounts to post whatever pictures they want, and a regular account to post nice pictures). But if I posted on Instagram, I wouldn’t make it a post either because Instagram has a ‘story’ feature that is very similar to Snapchat’s story feature, allowing you to post a picture that ‘disappears’ after 24 hours. Because of that, I would probably post the same thing I posted on Snapchat, just on Instagram. (a four-word post plus a hashtag doesn’t seem important enough to actually break my over a year hiatus of not making posts on Instagram.)

On Facebook, I would probably word things a little differently. I never really post anything personal on Facebook, since the nature of Facebook has always been emphasized to me as something that is supposed to be ‘professional’, I would first of all use proper grammar for all my posts (save the hashtag) which I would then Capitalize Every Word In The Hashtag To Make It Clear What I Was Saying. #MyFourWordCauseOfDeath This Very Process Post. (Just kidding!)

On Twitter, since my own twitter account is private and I usually just use it to vent, I never use hashtags so I feel like it would be odd. But because Twitter has the same sort of informal atmosphere to me that I feel like Snapchat has, I wouldn’t bother with any punctuation or anything whatsoever. I feel very comfortable posting on twitter because it is private so I’d probably come up with something super funny (I know this is very subjective but – something I personally find super funny), niche and relevant to my life at the moment (but maybe not as understandable to other people since it is a private account).

Peer Review #3 – Goode Eats

With a witty play on one of my favourite food network TV shows, Lauren’s blog “Goode Eats” is well developed and shows her online personality well.

As Lauren states in her “Audience” post, her intended audience is most likely foodies living in the Vancouver area. Goode Eats is an extremely marketable blog towards that audience, since her blog is about, well (if the Food Network pun title didn’t ring any bells to you) –  food.

The content Lauren produces on her blog is really well suited towards her intended audience. She posts about places where she goes to eat and details her experience very clearly, adding pictures and her own fun reactions and opinions. The pictures added to her posts of the beautiful decor or the appetizing looking food makes them engaging and fun to read. As well, the tone that Lauren writes her posts in is very simple, easy to understand, and amusing. Going through her whole blog, there has not been a single post where I have been bored and felt like I wanted to click away (not even the process posts for some odd reason!).

Her blog is not only appealing to her intended target audience, but I believe it appeals to quite a lot of people – take a look yourself! Simply just looking at her pictures of food and reading her blog has made me hungry and wanting to visit the places she posts about.

A small problem with her content is that there are quite a few grammar errors scattered throughout her posts, some of them being typos or just oddly worded phrases (they are quite minor so it’s not a big deal) but they are scattered throughout too many posts to link specific instances of them all.

Another thing Lauren does extremely well in her blog marketing wise is that when she leaves a favourable review, she links the addresses and websites of the places where she goes to eat. This optimizes her chance of getting affliates and sponsors from places who may want her to review it in the future! She also lists the prices of the food she orders which is good for any prospective foodies wanting to eat at the places on her blog so they know what to expect budget-wise! Lauren also fittingly is leaving hashtags at the bottom of all her posts – a smart move which increases the possibility of her blog showing up through a search engine.

Overall, Lauren’s blog is very solid from a marketing perspective.

Design wise, her blog is quite easy to navigate and looks very cute. The logo Lauren has made and uploaded as her header fits extremely well onto her theme and it makes the blog seem much more cohesive and professional! The combination of the cutlery symbols + type outlining what is on her blog is wonderful for branding and is in fact what many small companies do when starting out before gaining recognition (because when starting out a logo itself is not recognizable enough to an audience). There are a few minor issues with the navigability, however.

One is that the names of the top menus are a bit confusing.

After clicking through them I can understand what the ‘Get Your Grub On‘ and the ‘You Cooked?!‘ categories are (although I suggest taking out the You Cooked?! category if there are not going to be any cooking posts), but I am still not exactly sure what the Get Your Buzz On category means. That could be confusing to a reader opening your blog who does not have the patience to click through the categories to figure out what they mean, so I suggest renaming them something that is better understood.

The Instagram-esque grid sidebar gallery full of pictures of food is a nice touch! The feed doesn’t clash with the blog theme at all, since the pictures are all earthy, muted, natural colours (which is what seems to be the overall colour scheme of her theme), and the preview pictures of food look delicious, keeping a potential reader of the blog’s interest.

As well, Lauren links her actual Instagram below, which is a smart marketing move especially for foodies, where Instagram is a major platform for gaining an audience. Something I would suggest design-wise, however, is to either add more social media links where the Instagram widget is, or to get rid of that widget and link the Instagram account separately. This is only because the widget container looks quite empty, having a black border around the Instagram link but nothing else filling the space making it look empty and a little bit awkward.

Overall, Lauren’s blog “Goode Eats” does amazingly well, and very appropriately tailored to suit her intended audience. Her blog is super cute, really engaging and I loved going through it! From a marketing perspective, her blog does a good job selling itself to the reader, as well as giving herself the possibility of promotional opportunities from places she reviews.

Process Post #8

My Google Analytics findings were not extremely surprising to me. I did not expect my blog to have any viewers besides me, my friends I linked my blog to and my peer reviewers.

What did my Google Analytics dashboard say?

31 monthly active users? So… me, my single friend and 30 other people from my pub class including the people marking this? Looks about right. It’s what I expected!

I didn’t really think anything on my blog would take off and suddenly become viral with a million hits every month, which is fine – that’s not what I really want for my blog either.

According to my Google Analytics overview, I have a bounce rate of 33% which makes me really happy because this means people actually stay on my blog and read the posts! (For the unlikely person who is reading this and is not here to mark my posts – a bounce rate means how many people ‘bounce’ off your page without clicking any other pages – the lower the bounce rate the better it is for your page!) But at the same time I am not surprised most people stay to read my posts because the people who are reading my posts are probably also taking this course doing a peer review, or just curious to see how other people’s blogs are doing.

When I looked at the user location demographics, I was mildly surprised because I expected pretty much everyone to be from Canada!

Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, New West… Understandable. Probably my friends and people who are involved with this class!

I was really excited to see some American cities but then I realized about half of them were my out of town friends I had linked my blog to… So it really wasn’t anything unexpected.

Except for Coffeyville-? I have no idea where that is actually. Hello, random user from Coffeyville! I hope you liked whatever you saw on my blog! I have no idea where you came from.

Overall, my Google Analytics findings did not surprise me. I’m happy and ok with what I found because it was exactly what I expected. I don’t think it would change my online publication in concrete ways because it is just what I expected. I am not trying to monetize my blog or anything. I suppose, hypothetically if I was though, I would change my online publication topics to include a lot more eye-catching and current topics that are searched frequently (basically, clickbait, except I would rather not compromise my blog content for the sake of more clicks on my blog) so more people would find my blog and read it.

Rainy Day Playlist

It’s been raining for the last few days and while some people dislike the rain a lot, living in the Pacific Northwest – you kinda get used to it.

It’s really atmospheric for me and at times, I really love the rain because I can walk around with my headphones in and pretend I’m in a drama. Here’s a playlist that you can plug in and pretend you’re living something else!

Have fun listening!

Love, Joy.