Tag Archives: Academic

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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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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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/

Community Guidelines

Leave it better than you found it

Hello, and welcome to One More Klick!

A common saying in the outdoors community is “leave it better than you found it”.  While this often relates to trail conservation, it also relates to this community.  Do not comment anything you wouldn’t want your mother to read.

In other words:
  • There is zero tolerance for disrespecting or degrading any race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender, identity, etc..
  • Any hateful, disrespectful, or derogatory comments will not be approved.
Stay on the trail:
  • Promotional and spam-like content will not be allowed.
Look, but don’t take:
  • All of the artwork and writing should not be copied, used, or taken without explicit permission granted by the owner of these works.
  • All writing, photography, videography, and other artworks are made by me, unless specified otherwise in their caption. If you are wanting to use any of the footage, art, photography, and/or quotes, please reach out.
Join the community:
  • You are welcomed and encouraged to ask questions, share your experiences and suggestions.
  • This is a safe space for travellers, artists, adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts and the like to share thoughts, experiences, and tips. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Thank you for respecting these simple rules, and happy klicking!

Sincerely,

Magali Bureau


redesigning my about page

Repurposed

The About page is where people go to gain a better understanding of a website or blog. Basically, my about page is the first impression newcomers will get of my blog and me. Keeping this in mind, it’s important for this page to be captivating, professional, and beautiful. Looking at my current About page, I knew I wanted to make some changes – not only in the style, but also content. My current bio explained the basics, but was too short in length and was unengaging for my likes.

I tried editing my About page through Elementor, as it offered a whole lot more versatility and customization to the elements, especially in comparison to the blocks theme that I’ve been using. Because I didn’t have an exact idea of what I wanted the layout of my About page to look like, it took a lot of time and trial and error.

What I liked about my previous page was the definition of “klick”. I wanted to keep this, but redesign it to make it more appealing and cohesive with the style of the logo that I had created weeks prior.

Original design of the definition on my first About page:
First updated draft:
Changing examples:

I wanted this definition to be the first graphic on the page, as it would set the tone for the rest of the blog. Yes, I do know that click is typically spelled with a “C”, and yes, the “K” was on purpose. In one image, I hoped to capture the explanation and theme. Just like in dictionary definitions, I wanted to use “klick” in a sentence, so I used this first sentence – which was originally used in Joffre Lakes; however, I ended up changing it to something much more relevant to my blog:

I had the plan of creating three distinct clickable categories in columns below with brief descriptions of these different categories. I wanted this graphic to blend seamlessly with the categories below. Originally, I wanted to extend the grey a little further down, and add a white mountain in the middle to blend the grey from this graphic and the white from the following section. While I was doing this, I realized I was creating an arrow in the wrong direction. Instead of having a white arrow pointing up, which would have been the case had I kept the white mountain on the grey backdrop – I created a negative valley (as in lack of colour, not unhappy) to draw attention to the following section.

Third and final draft:
Finally, with the added category columns, this is what the top part of my About page looked like:

Each of these columns are responsive, meaning that it react to your curser. When the mouse hovers over the column, it becomes a darker shade, inciting you to click on it. These columns, images, and titles are linked to their respectful pages. For example, if I were to click the “local” column, it would send me to the landing page for the local category.

Already, this so much better than my previous About page, which is below for reference:

Editing my bio:

Next up was rewriting and redesigning my bio section. I chose colours that would match the image, along with a readable and professional font. My original About page lacked warmth and friendliness, so I tried to keep this in mind when redesigning and rewriting this next section:

Staying Connected:

All that was missing was connecting my social media account and contact information. I opted for simple responsive icons. The icon would increase slightly in size when hovering over it with your mouse, and for consistency, I chose to have the colours change to the blue and yellow of my logo:

Mouse over the Mail icon
Mouse over the Facebook icon

When clicking the facebook icon, it would open my facebook page in a new tab with to make sure I’m not kicking them off my blog. Similarly, when clicking the mail icon, the user’s email would open up in a new tab, ready to send me an email.

The trouble in troubleshooting

So while I’m really happy with the design and content of my new About page, you might be left wondering why you still see my old About page, as opposed to this new and improved one. To my big disappointment, when I was troubleshooting this page for different screen sizes, I realized how illegible it is for mobile devices. Somehow, the graphics, icons, columns and images didn’t transfer well onto a smaller screen: not only was the layout lost, but some images disappeared and the content was just not easily readable.

Final note:

This was especially frustrating, as I had spend days working on it this. While the layout did still work on tablets and desktop computers, over half of my audience accesses my blog on their mobile device, so keeping this up was out of the question. I rather have an elementary version of my about page rather than make this illegible gibberish live on my website. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to try and fix this before the end of the semester, but I plan to sort this out as soon as possible. If nothing else, I learned the importance of troubleshooting regularly throughout my progress to make sure its compatible with all devices.

Week 10

This week, we had a guest speaker during lecture to talk about multi-channel marketing.

I found it super fasinating that how many channels actually exist in our world. There are so many more channels than just the typical tv, newspapers, magazines, online, billboards advertisement that everyone thinks about. And not all channels are equal. They all tell stories in different ways. When we have different goals and want to attract different kind of audiences, different channels would be chosen. The guest speaker also talks about the challenges that companies and brands face when comes to marketing. There are too much noise in the world and so much competition. And now that advertisement has become so accessible for everyone, it is becoming harder and harder to attract more and good-quality attention.

Now when I’m on social media these days, I would sometimes apply these perspectives scrolling down my feed. I follow quite a few fashion houses’ Instagram accounts. I’ve noticed how these fashion brands have integrated advertisement with editorial shoots, short films, etc. A lot of the times, it is hard to tell whether certain posts are editorial or ads. In my opinion, the purpose of these Instagram accounts are not to sell anyone anything, but to raise brand awareness, build loyal followers who might one day turn into actual buyers.  Because the majority users of Instagram users are young professionals who might not have the money just yet, but are interested in learning more about whatever they are interested about. And if fashion is one of them, they for sure will follow lots of fashion brands. By posting these editorial style ads, brands are slowly immersing themselves into the mind of these followers. Again, it is more about awareness, not selling.

As for my blog, and what media platform I choose to focus on, Instagram is for sure the number one channel. I think my intended audience demographic would most likely be active Instagram users. On top of that, most of my own online activities are on Instagram, and I’ve created most of my followers on there as well. It only makes sense to start my promotion there. Besides Instagram, I would also look into promoting my blog on Facebook and twitter at the same time.

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PEER REVIEW No.3: Eats and Feats

After a long semester of hard work, Eats and Feats has produced a useful series of food and location reviews for Vancouverites looking for adventure. The title is so terrifically catchy while the subtitle–”explore Vancouver, BC”––does a nice job of orienting any passerbys as to the overall thematics.


“I genuinely believe Vancouver has so many things to offer, delicious food, amazing events and gorgeous sceneries and I love to explore so I decided on that. I wanted to write a blog that would help people see what there is to do here because there is never a shortage of things.”

–– Eats and Feats author Helen writing about her purpose

Let us jump into the review below, which will gradually unpack the visuals, written word, and overall premise of my classmate’s great blog.

THE VISUAL STRUCTURE

HOMEPAGE
Underneath the horizontal menu bar, Helen has good combination of three main visual elements (the title and then two featured posts), which align with the suggestions proposed during our guest lecture by Mauve Pagé. The featured posts are well-selected as some of the blog’s finest, with bright and attractive imagery of food. Not only do those pictures attract the eye, they also activate viewer engagement given their “clickability” (scroll function). So, as a visual element, these featured reviews seem to be integral to the website’s immersive capacity and accessibility, while also being foundational to the website’s success as a whole system––specifically if we consider encouraging desirable outcomes for page traffic and bounce rate, which were outlined as important factors to growing a business according to our other guest lecturer by marketing expert Monique Sherett.

SIDEBAR
In addition to what has already been mentioned, I would like to commend Helen on the use of her sidebar which really encourages readers to conveniently explore other posts from the blog. Not only does she include a juicy little glimpse of her longer About Me, there are many links (in the form of both tags and titles) which make navigation from one page to the next a lot smoother than in other websites I have seen (including my own).

PHOTOS
Also, I would be remise not to highlight the extremely comprehensive and necessary use of food and site photography. Particularly when it comes to images of meals, Helen is careful to crop and angle her photos, and ensure that other factors like contrast are tweaked so that all the relevant textures and colours are accurately conveyed. This plays a crucial role for the viewer as they imagine themselves interacting with what is described, and the images are always well arranged so as to perfectly complement the written descriptions.

While there is always some room for improvement that could be considered, namely in the form of customizing the visuals, the visual structure of the site mostly serves the viewer quite favourably.

THE WRITTEN WORD

TECHNICALITIES
Although the grammar is not completely consistent throughout the blog, Helen’s careful use of descriptive language really illuminates the scenes she describes and does a good job to pique viewers’ interest.

FORMATTING
The immediate impression is that Helen has an excellent sense of paragraph structure and dispersion, something that I struggle with personally. She is thorough when including important information such as location, menus, and pricing, although I would suggest potentially bolding, italicizing, or adding icons to these areas for “skimmability”.

PREMISE
I have to respect that Helen has committed to creating a positive “public sphere”, if we can recall Nancy Fraser’s description of this term coined by Habermas. She gets to the point while impressively weaving in a tone of warmth and welcome for her readers.

Given some of the sinister things we have read about the internet this semester, I think we can all agree that websites with more upbeat attitudes, such as Eats and Feats, are probably needed in the larger scheme of things. Importantly, from a strategic standpoint, this could potentially help Helen achieve some form of monetization either through sponsorships or the kinds of affiliate ads debated by Tom Bleymaier in his article titled On Advertising –– Maria Popova.

However, Helen’s “favourites” will have more value if they are allowed to shine through comparison and contrast. By this I mean to suggest that introducing some experiences that are more negative could potentially suggest more credibility in the minds of Eats and Feats’ readers, and potentially even contribute some playful humour.

THE OVERALL CONTENT + Suggestions

In a city often critiqued for a supposed lack of activities and cultural opportunities, Helen is clever to centre her blog around dispelling this mischaracterization about Vancouver––one blog post at a time. It is a solid initial premise and one that can also serve her well in the long term.

This foundation works well because it allows Helen to better tailor her content towards a specific audience, very much in line with . In short, the blog knows it It is a solid initial premise and one that can also serve her well in the long term.

WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE?
With that said, going forward I would encourage her to ponder the following questions: What makes this content well-suited to the blogging format? What knowledge is imparted that distinguishes my posts from Yelp reviews or a “foodstagram”? By brainstorming some answers to these questions, I can envision an exciting future in which Helen leans further into her own unique opinions and investigates new possibilities for content.

A FRESH TAKE
Beyond the food/activity review structure (which seems to be the blog’s “bread and butter”), investigating other thematic pathways could present exciting avenues for readers to live vicariously though the author. For example, potential premises for engaging content might include replicating favourite restaurant dishes at home, trying out intimidating new activities like paddleboarding around English Bay, or chronicling a week of eating out on a relatable budget. Of course, it is perfectly okay if the author dislikes those specific suggestions: The point is that there is still somewhat of a need for Eats and Feats to distinguish itself as a unique voice amongst all the noise. I am simply suggesting that one way to “stand out from the crowd” would be by diversifying the scope of subject matter by incorporating an element of risk or challenge into future posts.

Granted, we must keep in mind that is always easier said than done! And, in fairness, Helen has made some subtle disclaimers that she views this website as a first step into navigating herself within the digital landscape. Thus, the everyday casualness to her tone is a natural and understandable extension of such a context.

SUMMARY
All of this is only to say that I would encourage Helen to really go for it. Perhaps she wants to lean more into the diary-like lens of everyday adventures or perhaps her angle will be to illuminate the underrated underbelly of Vancity: Either way, she is already off to a solid, well-reasoned start, complete with enticing imagery and relevant information. Well done, Eats and Feats––I hope you continue your blog after our course wraps up so that I know what adventures I can explore during those long summer days!

Check out her extremely generous review of my blog here.

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Week 9

In last week’s lecture, we learnt about analytics, audiences and marketing. It was very interesting for me to see how the numbers in analytics translate into the audience online engagement to our website.

Looking at my blog’s google analytics, I notice that Monday and Tuesday seem to be the peak of traffic. And I think that definitely has something to do with the fact that our lecture is on Tuesday, and I tend to upload all my new posts on Monday night or Tuesday. The bounce rate of my blog is around 51%. People averagely spend around 5 min on my site. From what we learnt in lecture, the lower the bounce rate, the better. Because that means people are actually taking time reading my blog. That is definitely something I could improve on.

Another interesting thing that have come up in my analytics is where my audiences are located. Most of my audience are from United States, and the second most are from Canada. In the ranking of city, most of the visitor of my websites are from Vancouver, which is not surprising. But the second city in ranking is New York, which makes me quite happy since it is my favourite city in the whole world. I also get a few random users visiting from Spain, Belgium, Brazil, etc. It is exciting to think how someone across the world are visiting my blog. Another part of the demographic of my audience that has surprised me is the fact that there are more users are in the age of 25-34 than the ones in the age of 18-24. Since I fall in the category of 18-24, I’ve assumed that would be my audience’s demographic as well, but apparently it’s not the case.

I also notice that posiel.com of course is my main referral. But ever since I added my website address onto my own Instagram account bio, I’ve noticed an increase of incoming traffic from Instagram. In the future, I will definitely try and promote my blog posts on my social a bit more often, in order to drive up the traffic. I also get analytic report from my Instagram account since it is a business account. And it is very interesting to compare my website statistics with my Instagram’s.

In my opinion, these analytic statistics are so important because it helps us to understand our audience better, so that we could tailor the content better to our intended audience. But at the same time, it is quite a scary thing thinking about how  every step we take on the internet every second is recorded and analyzed by others.

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Nishita’s Blog

Nishita’s Blog
Here’s a little bit of me!

*The above image was taken from Nishita’s Blog.

A peer review on audience and channels

Nishita’s Blog is vibrant and eclectic gallery of multi-media art. The overall aesthetics are consistent, easy to navigate, and convey a style that seems to be very reflective of Nishita herself: on her about page Nishita shares her love of hip hop, which is ever-present in the style and colours for this blog. The pages themselves are purposely monochromatic: the dark background acts as the perfect wall, drawing all attention to the images of art. As Travis Gerts explains in his article Design Machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse, “nothing makes a drop of colour brighter than when it’s set against a wall of grey”. Most of the images are vibrant, and bright pieces of art, contrasting well against the simple and dark theme. With this in mind, I find the title of her blog really hard to read against the busy background – changing the font colour from black to white, or even to the same red as the paper garland would allow for the title of the blog to pop, and become a lot more legible.

While navigating Nishita’s website, the first noticeable graphics were the large Instagram icons on the right, under the blog tab. There is a main instagram page that is private, as well as public art page While this is a wonderful way of building a following and audience, I would recommend linking your blog to your Instagram, which would allow for a stronger use of this cross-promotion. In addition, I would recommend making the main page public to allow for greater audience and reach – especially as it is labeled main, which leaves me to assume that traffic would be preferably diverted here as opposed to the accompanying art page. If this is not the case, I would remove the main link altogether. This seesaw between personal blog and art blog speaks to the multidisciplinary qualities of social media, and the undefined rules of online networks, which are “bringing change to all forms of information” (Kissane).

The mixed modes of art is really wonderful: this blog truly highlights Nishita’s talent and versatility. When it comes to videos, however, I could be cautious with the auto-play. For example, the blog tab automatically plays the last video at the bottom of the page – a vibrant alleyway filled with colourful street art and vendors. At first, its hard to say where the sound is coming: I check all my other tabs to see if there might be an add somewhere, or a video that popped up. We’ve all seen those people I class, in a café, or in a library, who interrupt the silence with an unexpected video, and panic trying to turn the sound off. Similarly, I often find myself browsing websites in a public space, and exit the website immediately as opposed to taking time to find the source of the sound. Keeping this in mind, especially if this blog is looking at retention, lower bounce rate, and overall keeping track of the analytics. If the auto-play function is something particularly desired, perhaps the blog could have a pop up muted video, like in Lonely Planet’s landing page, so the user immediately knows where the sound is coming from.  Similarly, having a preview of the post as opposed to the entire post would allow for reduced scrolling, and potentially more retention: the easier it is to find what you need, the better the experience for the user, which means a higher chance of returning to the blog.

These simple suggestions could help elevate the blog to the next level, creating a stronger sense of legitimacy, and foster a strong following. Overall, Nishita does a beautiful job of curating her website to best highlight her art. If you’re an art enthusiast, or an artist yourself, I recommend you check out her work here!

Peer Review #3

This week, I had the pleasure to visit Jill’s Book Blog.Jill's Book Blog Homepage

Jill’s Book Blog — Adventures of Accessible Reading, as it states quite clearly in the title tag, is all about books. Reading through Jillian’s blog, I learnt so much about her and her favourite thing to do EVER — Reading!! In 2018, she read 96 books in 365, which is so crazily impressive. Jill’s Book Blog at the moment features three categories: Book Reviews, Accessible Reading and Posiel. From the type of content that Jillian has been constantly posted, i think the intended audience of the blog are book lovers like Jillian herself. People who would be frequent visitors of Jill’s blog are people who love reading, who also love to learn more about certain books and how others think of them. And since most of the books that have been reviewed are mostly fictions, romance, thrillers, etc, I figure the demographic of Jill’s blog are the demographic of these books, which are mostly teens to young adults and young professional, predominately female. And lastly, in most of the post, Jillian’s tone of voice seems quite lighthearted, excited, and playful most of the time, which also leads me to believe that the age of the intended audience of Jill’s Book Blog are around 17 to 30.

In my opinion, Jillian has done a great job in terms of keeping her audience engaged with her constant and high-quality content. The design of her website is fairly simple. There is quite a lot of white space, which is a great thing, since it makes the blog seems way less cluttered. On that note, the fact that there are not too many menu options also makes the blog seems less overwhelming. When I visit Jill’s website, I always find myself feeling calm and collected. And a lot of that has to do with the timeless design that Jillian has chosen. One thing that I do wish Jill’s blog could improve itself on, would be the homepage. At the moment, when users of its site opens the homepage for the first time, it has all of the most recent posts on one page, positioned vertically, and it causes the homepage to be quite long. Since most of the audience of Jill’s blog are around our age, I think it would nice to make the homepage slightly shorter with more directions to the posts. In that way, her audience could find what they want a bit easier, and it would decrease the bounce rate of her site. Another thing that I think could be improved would be finding some way to break up some of the text-heavy content. Since it is a mostly text-based site, it would be nice to see some more breaks in between paragraphs, it could be by highlightin certain quotes, adding images, or just adding simple lines and subheading, in order to keep her audience even more engaged with her content.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed Jill’s Book Blog, and I am excited to see where this blog would develop and process in the future.

The post Peer Review #3 appeared first on Heyy, Jessie.

SELF AND SKY: Digital Collages

MINI ASSIGNMENT No.4: Remix
Women silhouettes jumping over a mountain range

Jellyfish with eyes overlooks a tent

Little boy looks out the window at the cosmos

Photographic sources (links):
DANCING ACROSS MOUNTAINS:
> the women > the mountain range
THE GREAT JELLYFISH:
> the jellyfish > the outpost > the aquatic eyes
COSMIC DAYDREAMER:
> the child > the cosmos

Hope you found these my new collages to be enchanting. Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comment section below!

Dawn

5 Reasons to wake up early – Travel Edition

Rise and Shine

*The above footage was taken by Sage Watson in Kathmandu, Nepal, and used in the introduction of his documentary The Beginning of a Journey.

5 Reasons Why

Early mornings have always been difficult for me. Difficult might be an understatement; rather, I resist early mornings with every fibre of my being. I either sleep through my alarm or have to set my first one 45 minutes before I actually need to start my day, with 5 subsequent alarms, each boasting a different ringtone. I say this because I know how difficult it is to get out of a warm bed at the crack of dawn, so believe me when I say that it should become a top priority when you’re travelling.


1. Catching the sunrise

There’s something special about waking up at the crack of dawn and watching the sun rise over a new city. Simple mornings have become under appreciated, as the hustle and bustle of city life and daily responsibilities have taken precedence.

Colorado, USA

2. Getting a head start on the day

Personally, allowing time not only for coffee and breakfast, but also time for me to wake up boosts my productivity and alertness throughout the day. When I run out the door in a hurry, the rest of my day feels rushed, groggy, and usually fairly unproductive. This is especially important when traveling, as I find myself trying to cover a lot of ground, or trying to fit in sightseeing in a tight schedule. For my most recent trip, this meant getting a head-start on our whole adventure: we departed Vancouver, BC bright and early, and were able to make it to California by the afternoon!

California, USA

3. Skipping the lines

The early bird gets the worm! Whether it be the Louvre in Paris, or the Taj Mahal in Agra, or the Grand Canyon in Arizona, escape the crowds by setting an early alarm. In addition to faster and shorter admission lines, the fewer crowds allow for better photo opportunities, especially if you’re one to visit popular sights.

Agra, India

4. Taking in the new city

Every country, every city, every town has its own routines and customs. Wake up with the city, observe and take part in the morning rituals, people watch, ask a local for directions, and enjoy a cup of your preferred morning brew.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

5. Mid-day naps.

While this isn’t a morning activity per se, it is the result of waking up early – especially if you’re anything like me, and you aren’t a morning person Naps are definitely underrated, and necessity when navigating a busy schedule. While travelling can be busy, fast, and sometimes hectic, it’s important to pause and take in your surroundings. Listen to the sounds of a foreign park, breath in the different smells, and let yourself recharge. I would be cautious of napping in public places when traveling alone just for your own safety and the safety of your belongings; however if you’re traveling with friends, family, or a significant other, this is definitely recommended.

Alex, taking a moment to relax in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, California, USA


Community

Building a Community

Building a Community

When was the last time you tried something for the first time?

The first time I heard someone ask me this was two years ago, at the Tough Mudder start line, minutes before the race started. For those who don’t know what this race is, Tough Mudder is a 12 mile obstacle race that was originally designed to test mental and physical strength. Of the 25 obstacles, some include crawling under barbed wire, running through live electric wires, submerging yourself in a pool of ice water, climbing over walls, hanging from monkey bars, and much, much more.

I know what you’re thinking: why would anybody put themselves through that?! I was thinking that too, until I used that fear as fuel to gain a sense of ownership and control. In 2017 I wanted to challenge myself to do something I thought I would never be able to do. For a long time, Tough Mudder was it: I hate cold water (with a passion), I’m not the biggest fan of heights, and I didn’t think I’d be physically able to complete this treacherous course. Despite all of this, I managed to rope my friends into completing it with me in. And not once – but twice – with plans of doing it again in the summer of 2019.

Be not afraid of discomfort. If you can’t put yourself in a situation where you are uncomfortable, then you will never grow. You will never change. You’ll never learn.

Jasno Reynolds

Realistically, my current audience is the small circle of family and friends who relentlessly support me (hi mom!). Ideally, this following will expand to an audience that doesn’t know me personally, yet is still drawn to the content and photographs of this blog. The dream would be for this blog to flourish internationally, growing a community of fellow travellers and adventurers. I want this blog to encourage people to share a desire to get outdoors and try new things; I aspire for these images to inspire the love for travel, adventure, and the outdoors; I hope motivate people into embracing the unknown and challenges. This will take time, no doubt, but I am excited at the opportunity for potential.

Thank you for being a part of this community!

PEER REVIEW No.2: Aylin Gis’ Blog

Examining the design of a fashion & lifestyle website.

This week, we will be taking a look at my lovely classmate’s blog, Aylin Gis. Named after the author herself, this website covers a variety of topics––from fashion trends, to product reviews, to lifestyle photography––all seamlessly unified under her personal identity and brand! My task will be to identify her stylistic choices and offer feedback as to whether these decisions either advance or detract from her content overall. For clarity, I have gathered my thoughts into three sections; atmosphere, imagery, authorial presence, and formatting.

A view of the homepage.


1. ATMOSPHERE

Aylin has chosen a refreshingly minimalistic, crisp look for her website. This is a strong decision that makes every subsequent visual element much more prominent, therefore presenting both opportunities and challenges. The overall impression is fairly light and airy thanks to the choices in typeface; thin sans serifs that are appropriately modern without being too trendy and an excellent initial decision for this blog. Because the text is always black on white, the only colour on the page comes from the images (more on those later) which certainly draws the eye towards the content, encouraging us to click. These are all important aspects to the overall look of the website that do function well to establish the perfect mood for us to enter into Aylin’s content.

However, I would love to see a bigger impact from Aylin’s homepage. Besides the title, there is no establishing focal point for readers to grab onto, and as we learned from Mauve Pagé’s guest lecture, this makes things a bit disorienting. So, a more dramatic and unifying element is necessary; both to more immediately convey a sense of uniqueness and to distinguish the homepage from subsequent pages.

Seeing as Aylin has a passion for photography, the natural solution to this focal point problem would be to introduce a website-wide area for banner imagery. If we take a look at Aylin’s theme, Kale, this can be easily accomplished by selecting some featured posts with strong imagery to be highlighted. Luckily, Aylin has a variety of photography posted already and this is the perfect opportunity to highlight past efforts and ensure that these posts don’t get lost. Assuming these are original images (it is unclear), I think this seascape, these barnyard outfits, and this flat-lay would be perfect stars.

In sum, it is clear that Aylin has the right mood in mind but she should consider making a stronger impression by introducing a focal point to convey a unique sense of place, which is lacking at present.

2. IMAGERY

As mentioned earlier, Aylin is clearly well-tuned to the nuances of images, I suspect in a manner that is akin to Tara Chittenden’s explanation of “aesthetic socialisation” whereby bloggers utilize the right visual codes to convey their familiarity with culturally significant trends. In selecting the thumbnail imagery for her posts, Aylin expertly utilizes photo curation and filtration techniques to convey a desired impression to her viewers. It seems these images are fairly consistent in that they are distinctly feminine, approachable, and a tad romantic––all qualities that work well to enhance the written content. In sum, Aylin’s confident selection of both stock and personal pictures is an important foundation to her website’s success given that she has chosen an otherwise sparse layout.

On the whole, Aylin’s colourful thumbnails jump from the page, sparkling like enticing little jewels, all lined up in rows. This orderly appearance, whereby all the posts appear as the same size on the homepage, could be slightly better maintained by making sure all the thumbnails are always properly cropped and scaled to be the exact same size. This inconsistency unfortunately appears repeatedly on this blog. While that may seem a minor adjustment, it is an important consideration when using a minimalistic layout.

Which one is Aylin? After clicking into the posts, I am pretty sure
that is her on the bottom left (the others are stock imagery).


3. AUTHORIAL PRESENCE
(via visuals to enhance brand)

These chosen images (above) seem to indicate that Aylin wants to integrate a sense of personhood into the visual vocabulary of the website. I feel the often personal perspective to Aylin’s content is not yet fully reflected in the visuals: There is perhaps a disconnect between the title of my classmate’s blog, Aylin Gis, and the fact that viewer’s don’t have a clear sense of who she is. (It is fine that Aylin seems to be a bit camera shy in her poses, but I find this puzzling because Aylin Gis has previously stated her affection for another fashion blogger, Aylin Koeing, whose coy positioning of face and body is the great uniting factor of that aspirational blog.)

After all, recognition brings familiarity and a sense of legitimacy that I think could be useful here; differentiating from stock imagery would also be key if Aylin is interested in partnering with brands or building up a fanbase. (Chittenden refers to this ideal position as “prosumer”––a hybrid of consumer and producer that acknowledges the monetization of blogs, whereby imagery is a key player in that success.) In brief, I would encourage Aylin to produce more original imagery of products, everyday life, and herself, whenever possible. In prior posts, when she has had the time, I better understood the future potential and look of Aylin’s blog.

There is one simple thing that can be done right away to enhance the personal aspect: I would encourage Aylin to make the About Me a more prominent visual element. She already has a brief About Me page, along with its charming picture, which could communicate a sense of orientation and permanency by being positioned into the right side of the blog (again possible according to the Kale theme demo). This would also add a sense of balance to the front page and is much more do-able than designing a logo.

3. FORMATTING

The trouble with formatting is that it can be very tricky to achieve good-looking text using WordPress. However, by looking back to the beginning of the semester as compared to now, I can see that Aylin is doing a great deal of necessary experimenting to appropriately improve the legibility of her text.

In the beginning, the text was very small with unappealing proportions and little spacing, but Aylin’s latest posts have enormously improved by increasing the type size. Her site is legible across devices as well. One small improvement that could be made is by increasing the spacing between text paragraphs and images. As you can see below, Aylin is careful to create wonderful spacing between images themselves (right) but her text could use some breathing room and a better proportion between line length and image width (left).



Overall, as demonstrated through our above discussion of her visual choices, Aylin clearly has a great aesthetic sensibility! I have every confidence that this will help her navigate future design decisions with clarity. With that said, there are a lot of easily-accessible customization options for her theme that have yet to be explored. My hope is that she will implement some of my suggestions, with the primary goal being a more impactful and considered representation of her content. Although there is certainly room for improvement, we can see that Aylin has already taken it upon herself to steadily improve the look of her digital space.

I look forward to seeing Aylin’s body of content grow by the end of the semester. Please have a look at her review of this website, which offered up some tremendously insightful suggestions. (Thank you, Aylin!)


Live Like Joao

Live Like Joao
Food, Places and Everything About My Life

*Above image taken from Live Like Joao’s Blog

A PEER-REVIEW ON WEBSITE DESIGN

Live like Joao offers a personable and candid approach to food blogging. When it comes to creating his new blog, Joao’s honesty is refreshing; while this may be a daunting new task, Joao invites his audience into his inner thoughts as he navigates the unfamiliar waters of WordPress. According to the screenshots from Amanda‘s first peer review, Joao has implemented a lot of her recommendations and suggestions. Already, Live Like Joao is starting to have synchronicity between the website’s appearance and the content. To properly unpack the different design elements in this blog, I will be focusing on two important design umbrellas: user experience (UX) and User Interface (UI).

User Experience

Travis Gertz’s 2015 Design Machines: How to survive in the digital Apocalypse explains the UX design as how the website works, as opposed to how it looks. A hyper-simplified breakdown of the UX design category would include layout, interaction, information architecture, wireframing, prototyping, research, and testing. At first glance, Live Like Joao seems to work pretty cohesively and sensibly. There are subtle cues throughout the blog that indicate where I should look or click. For example, both the BLOG and POSIEL tab on the top righthand menu have a little downwards arrow to indicate a drop-down menu. These exemplify what Victor Kaptelinin describes as affordances in his article The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction.

The search function right above the categories list is a really helpful tool, especially when looking for a certain page or post that I particularly enjoyed, but was unable to retrace my steps. Since this blog is fairly new, I wasn’t lost in the content and it was easy to find my way back; however, once there are more entries and if Joao chooses to continue this blog post-PUB101, I suspect that this search function will become a really handy tool.

While there are affordances that create direction throughout the blog, I still seemed to have encountered some problems with Joao’s BLOG section. Firstly, I noticed that there is a category for “Blog” and “Blog Post”. This seems counter-intuitive, as these categories seem synonymous. Kaptelinin underlines that “Good designs are intuitive“; hence, I would always recommend going through the website fully – as a sort of informal audit – and paying extra attention to what is intuitive to you. What comes up when you click certain links? Does it take you where you would expect it to? This brings me to my second suggestions: make sure that  the information is stored in the right place. For example, when I click the BLOG POST on the drop down menu, the only post that is available is the “Short Essay 1”.

User Interface

In contrast to the former, UI Design encompasses how the website looks as opposed to how it works. Gertz explains that typography, colour, forms, illustration, photography, and detail can all be found within this realm.

Caution: Do not read when hungry!

This blog does a wonderful job at capturing mouth-watering cuisine. From a UI design perspective, there is a great use of white space and visual contrast with images. Blog Post 1 does a good job of separating chunks of text and using different fonts, especially by bolding the Ingredients title. The other blog posts could benefit by following the great example from that first blog. For example, my eyes are yearning for more contrast in the text in the Blog Post 3. There is a beautiful photo of gorgeous cuts of meats – perhaps I should have waited until after dinner to write this review – followed by the restaurant’s information and a short review. To better accompany the bold image, I would make the text larger and create a small text box containing the restaurant’s pertinent information. Currently, the review is the smallest group of text on the image: all these small modifications would allow for the sections of the page to be more proportionate to each other, and allow the important information to stand out.

The beautiful rustic table of food that act as the blog’s cover page sets the tone for a visually-enticing food blog. Keeping this in mind, I would recommend continuing with this theme by adding more images throughout the blog: as we are unable to taste this food with our taste buds, we do so with our eyes. Therefore, it is important to describe or visually show these through images and videos, as is done in the first blog post. If at all possible, ensure that photos and videos are the same size or are complimentary to the overall page layout to allow for synchronicity and fluidity.

Overall, I enjoyed joining Joao on his adventures through WordPress and discovering exciting new restaurants around the Lower Mainland through his reviews. I look forward to seeing the progress and reading more content from Joao. The recipes, reviews, and personable tone leaves me  hungry for more!

Check out Live Like Joao here.

Essay #2

       Self-branding and online identities have become a common topic in everyday conversations in recent years, especially with the omnipresence of popular social media sites like Instagram. Despite this topic even being a common theme over the course of my Communications degree, I had never honestly considered the benefits that I myself could have by constructing a strong online brand in this digital age. “Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others” (Schawbel, 2009). Publishing 101 served as a strong pedagogical narrative by which I learned not only about the changes in the world of publishing, but also about the ways in which we can now publish ourselves, and the benefits (or even downfalls, when done incorrectly) that may arise from these online publications. Throughout the course of this essay, I will first address the ways in which this course has shifted the way in which I think about publishing, and further, how these new ways of publishing have worked their way into my online presence over the course of this semester. Following this, I intend to specifically address my online self and publication, not only referencing my blog but also my social media platforms. Lastly, I acknowledge my goals going forward, including what I aim to take with me beyond the confines of this course.

       It would be erroneous to claim that I hadn’t considered online works to count as publishing prior to the start of this semester. Of course, tangible books are the obvious thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “publishing,” but it goes far beyond that. Having said this, I didn’t the extent of which publishing expanded to. Publishing is not only online works and articles as well as tangible books; it is further embodied by anything that gets put out to the public, including social media posts and – of course – blogs. “Publishing” is has many definitions, but has come to be best defined as “the dissemination of literature, music, or information—the activity of making information available to the general public” (Wikipedia). While Wikipedia is generally not the best source for correct information, other acclaimed dictionaries are still stuck in the ways of defining publishing as being limited to formal publications that are for sale, which we have come to know is simply not the case.

       As mentioned above, publishing encompasses any online works that we “publish” or make available to the public, including any blog posts or social media posts. As Alive Marwick states, “the logic of marketing and advertising embedded in social software has infiltrated the ways in which we relate to ourselves and to others,” and that we “[use] social media as a neoliberal technology of subjectivity that produces social status as the ultimate commodity” (Marwick, 2013). In other words, we live in a world where we have technologies at our fingertips that allow us to market ourselves, our products, and how we ultimately wish others to view us. Throughout the course, we learned of how wide the span of publishing is now, and how we can use these new technologies tour advantage. Though I am nowhere near the status of being a “micro-celebrity” or Instagram celebrity (nor do I aim to be), I can now recognize that our online presence can be extremely useful one way or another. Even if you’re not trying to become famous in one way or another, marketing yourself as a brand online can be a valiant tool in this digital age.

       With regards to both my social media presence as well as my blog, I found the focus throughout the semester on the importance of identifying an audience and a brand to be largely advantageous. In the early weeks of the semester, I decided my blog was going to be a foodie blog which what chronicle my adventures to various restaurants around Metro Vancouver and write about my experiences. Identifying my audience, I learned, was one of the first major steps I had to take. In a process post I wrote, I identified my intended target audience to be foodies in the Vancouver area. I added that I don’t necessarily imagine there to be a specific age demographic, but likely people out of high school, perhaps young adults in general. This is mainly because high school students may not be interested in food blogs, cooking, and so forth, and may not have the means to go to far-out restaurants. In “Publics and Counterpublics” (2002), Michael Warner addresses that if you are reading his essay, “you are part of its public.” Warner goes on to say that there is a difference between thepublic and apublic (Warner, 2002). Warner describes the public as a ‘totality’: an all-inclusive description of the general amount of people, whereas a public is more specific, like an audience. Therefore, the people frequenting my blog would be a specific public or audience, likely visiting to check out restaurants they may be interested in.

       It is important to recognize your audience and public in order to market it to those specific people and thus further your success and your clout. “Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes” (Campbell, 2009); each platform or domain may have a different audience and environment, and must me marketed as such. How I market and design my online self and presence on my Instagram page differs in the way in which I design my blog, as I have identified different audiences for the two. My personal Instagram features more artistic photos of self-exploitation, encompassing the best parts of my ‘self.’ Conversely, my blog markets itself to my (assumingly) foodie audience, and thus my posts tempt to embody food, Vancouver culture, and often an attempted humor. Furthermore, more online publications look to provide a service to their audience in one way or another. Ensuring that the basic service functions of one’s website or publication is an important element to consider because your audience will likely not return if they aren’t able to find what they are looking for. As I briefly touched on in the previous paragraph, my blog seeks to satisfy the service of reviewing restaurants (as well as local food and beverage in general) in the Greater Vancouver area.

       Through an immense and tedious 10-week-long trial and error process, I finally settled on a simplistic layout, removing the (apparently) tacky carousel-style photos on my home page. Gone with this was all of the numerous background images I tested out that just didn’t work. I created a logo that I felt embodied my blog in a clean and crisp way, keeping in mind the design elements that our guest speaker Mauve Pagé taught us at the start of the semester. I attempted to link colours together by bringing the gold found in the logo into other elements of the pages, such as titles and links. Travis Gertz had an interesting take on design elements and layout as well in his work, “Design Machines: How to survive in the digital apocalypse” (2015). Gertz’s main argument is based on the premise that all websites have started to look the same in an attempt to “look sexy” and appeal to the masses, but by appealing to the masses many actually become lost among the massesof other sites (2015). Unfortunately, I found it difficult to break free of most of the stereotypical constraints of which Gertz spoke about due to the confines of this course, being both the short timeframe as well as the resources made available to us. Nevertheless, these are useful pieces of information to consider when we inevitably use online mediums in our future professional lives.

            In summation, these four months have shaped the way in which I view publishing. Although I understood publishing to go beyond physical books, I didn’t understand the broad span that the term encompassed. Not only is it books and online articles, but also virtually anything that disseminates products and information to the general public. This includes social media presence as well as forum posts and, of course, blogging. Through the combination of the creation of my food blog with various guest speakers, tutorials, and online readings over the last 12 weeks, I have learned that identifying an audience and marketing yourself is a useful tool at any level of this digital world be live in. Despite my blog not gaining a large enough following to truly be able to use applications like Google Analytics or AdSense to my advantage, I can now realize these as important tools that help to compliment ones persona and identify important information. Going forward, I can confidently say that although I may not become a blogger, I have gained important and useful tools to brand myself, whatever that ‘self’ may be.

 

Bibliography

Campbell, W. G. (2009). A Personal Cyber Infrastructure. New Horizons, 44(5), p. 58-59

Gertz, Travis. (2015). “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” Louder Than 10.Retrieved on 12 April 2018 from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Marwick, A. (2013). Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age. Canadian Journal of Communication, 40(1), p. 143-146.

Schawbel, D. (2009). Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand. Mashable. Retrieved on 10 April 2018 from: https://mashable.com/2009/02/05/personal-branding-101/#ge_SBxPsZEq4

Warner, M. (2002). Knowledge and Public Works, 88(4), p. 413-425.

The End of POSIEL (Essay #2)

An Overview of Pub 101
This semester, I took a course called The Publication of Self in everyday life (or Pub 101 for short). The main purpose of the class was to develop a website using WordPress. I chose to make mine a lifestyle blog, with content ranging from advice videos to travel diaries to rants about my everyday life. Overall, the course taught me a lot about WordPress, Google Analytics, and how to develop and create content for a specific audience. It has also allowed me to develop my voice and an online persona.

My Experience with WordPress & Google Analytics
Going in to the first lecture, I had no experience with WordPress. This, in addition to high ambitions for my website, made me nervous. However, with help from guest speakers, my peers, and an article about WordPress, I was able to learn quickly. I also spent a lot of time outside of class playing with different features of the site. Although I am happy with the amount of information I have learned in just a few months, I would like to continue to learn more about WordPress in the future.

Another platform I had never used before this course is Google Analytics. However, it has proven to be helpful in defining and tracking my audience.

Developing an Audience
While creating content is fun, if you want it to go anywhere you need to have an audience in mind. Early in the semester, we were asked to develop a persona for our audience. In my week three process post, I outlined my readers as having these characteristics:
* Young adult (High School or University)
* North American
* Female
* Urban & suburban location
* Active online presence
However, in my week five process post, I added that I would like the age of my audience to increase as I get older, and for it to include males.

In reality, I do not yet have data on the age or gender of my readers. However, according to Google Analytics, most of the people accessing my site are from North America. Specifically, they are accessing it from Vancouver, BC and Seattle, Washington – the two cities I grew up in. This makes sense because I have promoted my website on my personal social media accounts, which are followed by friends and family in these areas.

Creating Content
With these real and imagined audiences in mind, I have tried hard to create content relevant to them. One of the ways I have done this is by posting content that I find funny or interesting. I do this because I have many of the characteristics I want my audience to have. If I enjoy my content, people similar to me are more likely to enjoy it as well. This idea comes from a process post on the website MultiMonica. In addition to this, I also try to incorporate different kinds of media in to my posts. For example, some of my posts are videos, others are all words, and some have lots of pictures and/or gifs. I do this to help keep my audience engaged. I started doing this because of some advice I got on a peer review done by Shazia Nanji. When I implemented the change, I saw my bounce rate drop and my session duration increase on Google Analytics. Finally, I try to post ‘relatable’ content. What this means is content that focuses on current pop culture and ‘main stream’ information. I hope that by posting content related to stuff that is popular with my audience, my content will become popular as well.

A Reflection
Over the course of the semester, my blog has changed a lot. At the beginning, I was using a theme called Twenty Seventeen. While this theme was simple and allowed me to present myself through a large header photo, it also was weird to navigate and very stark. So, about halfway through the semester, after reviewing the website MultiMonica, I decided to change my theme to Kale. At first, I had some issues with the template. I wasn’t sure how to remove the sliding banner of photos at the top, I didn’t have a logo, and none of my posts had featured pictures attached to them. However, once I fixed these issues, I was extremely pleased with the results. My site now had lots of color, photos, and personality – overall, it just felt like a better representation of me.
Another part of my blog that has changed a lot over the course of the semester is my content. At the beginning of the class, I didn’t put a lot of effort into what I was posting, and because of this I ended up deleting a lot of my posts. However, once I engaged more with the content of the class and learned how to use WordPress effectively, I started to create content I was more proud of. With this confidence, I was able to finally restart my YouTube channel – something I had wanted to do for a long time.

Moving Forward
Overall, I have really enjoyed my time in Pub 101, and I’m excited to take more publishing classes (I am even hoping to major in publishing!). Even though the class is ending, I hope to continue to develop my website. It has been a very helpful tool for me in these past 3 months, I hope to continue to use it as a creative outlet.

Note: Sources are linked throughout the post. I chose to take a more unconventional route by giving credit to the sources that helped me throughout my semester, rather than sources that helped me write this essay.

The post The End of POSIEL (Essay #2) appeared first on Unapologetically Curious.

Process Post (Week 10)

For this week’s process post, we are supposed to discuss how we plan to integrate more transmedia into our online publication.

Over the last few months, I have been building my online voice, and as a result, I have started to represent myself on many different platforms. Currently, my website allows people to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and YouTube. Since I am trying to create the same type of persona on all of them, I would consider this one of the ways I am making use of transmedia.

Moving forward, I want to dive into a persona that I have been developing for awhile. I want to talk and share about my experience growing up in both America and Canada. This is what I like to call my “americanadian” persona. This is a unique story that I wish to tell people about on multiple platforms. From posting about my daily struggles of bouncing between the two countries, to writing about culture and reverse culture shock, to comparing the two nations. I plan to do these things on Facebook, YouTube, and my website. I want to use these platforms because I think they are all different, and will allow me to tell my story in different ways.

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