Tag Archives: peer reviews

PEER REVIEW #3

Athena’s blog named Finding Balance has gotten my attention right as I visited. (Here’s the link to her blog: http://the-hermes.com)

First of all, I liked how Athena has her photos big and noticeable on her home page. Moreover, the five photos interchanges every couple of seconds. The menu on the top of the page is simple and clean. As well, I like the overall design. It is organized and easy to follow. Since Athena’s blog is about steps to being healthy and finding balance, I found that her blog gives that impression on the visitors. It gives me a relaxed and calm feel when I roamed around her blog. Especially, the blue title.

What I also liked is her headings. I found myself to be reading some of her posts because the headings has caught my attention. I think I can learn a few from her and fix my headings because they’re so bland.

Furthermore, I like how she incorporated quotes and links in her posts. I found them to be quite inspirational and it works very well since her blog is about being healthy. Since I’d admit that I’m not super healthy, her posts have gotten me to reflect on what I can change or do better to acquire a healthy lifestyle.

Besides the content Athena has put up, I could see that she has monetized her website. As I read her post about monetization, she pointed out that she didn’t think the ads would affect people from reading her content. Since I am the type of person to not like ads everywhere on the page, I actually didn’t mind it on her site; therefore, I would agree with her. I also liked how she emphasized the fact that to stop interruptions of ads to her readers, she placed the ads accordingly. I found that super smart.

Her “Leave a Reply” section is simple. A nice kind of simple. There is a comment section as well, a section where you can leave your email and when she replies to your comment you will have a followup email. I found that quite neat because if someone left a comment, they wouldn’t need to go back on Athena’s blog to check if she replied.

I also found it interesting how her Instagram is specifically made for her blog. Rather than a personal Instagram account.

Overall, Athena’s site is rolling quite well and I would for sure come back and read more of her content.

 

 

The post PEER REVIEW #3 appeared first on BETWEEN THE STRIPES.

Peer Review #3

First Impressions:

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

Design:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Organization:

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

Content: 

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

Audience / Monetization:

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

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

 

 

Peer Review on Why am I like this

I was pretty impressed by the head image of Zoe’s blog. Her blog is a comprehensive one and I am have discovered various interesting topics, from her personal stories to media critics on film.

In terms of the menu, Zoe has a reasonable number of sections. She has Home, About, Personal, Posiel and Things I Don’t Mind in her blog. I think Personal and Things I Don’t Mind are two stunning sections and I am attracted by those at once. I clicked on ‘Things I Don’t Mind’ at once, where I found articles ‘Some Good Songs’. Zoe’s formatted the article with bolded song titles and a brief note on the songs. It is an article that readers can easily scan through. She used effective hashtags for the posts as well.

She has linked her blog to her Twitter which could direct her readers to find out more about herself. It is a good way raise her social presence on the internet. Linking to Twitter means she can update the online self without solely relying on writing a blog post.

I like how her blog is personal. It generates a sense that Zoe is approachable as she shares her everyday life with the audience. Her ‘Personal’ column consists of personal reflection on down-to-earth issues, such as friends and personal struggles.

In ‘Notes of Seasons Passed’, Zoe made a reflection based on random notes that she made. Each note has a story behind it and in concise sentences, Zoe has managed to share her angst and sadness effectively. I am like reading emotions and go through the ups and down as her. “They are my word but I am not theirs.” How sad it to feel like being an outside from a group. These shared feelings and thoughts made me as a reader, feel connected with Zoe.

To improve her blog, Zoe may fix the indent of her posts.  For example, the  ‘Peer Review #3’ is indented in on her home page.

The font size for the title is also larger than that of other posts. To make the layout more consistent, Zoe may fix the indent problem, making the post align to other posts. Similarly, in ‘Personal’, ‘Notes of Seasons Passed’ stands out from the rest of the posts because of inconsistent format.

All in all, Zoe’s online character is friendly and welcoming. I appreciate her ‘Personal’ column. With simple revision on the layout, her blog would be wonderful. I am sure Zoe’s blog will continue to flourish and I look forward to her new posts.

 

Peer Review 3

Hello all!

First the dog blog, the fob blog, and now the fashion blog review!!

Today I’ll be reviewing the site fashioncatalog.ca.

I’ll be reviewing basically solely on content instead of layout this time, so here we go!

Fashion Posts – first impressions

When scrolling through the posts on this blog, the first thing I noticed was the excellent use of images. This blog actually uses the same theme as me, and personally I haven’t tinkered around with it a lot, but my photos always show up really small in my posts (then you can click for a larger size) but I always wanted to change it so it could be bigger and break up the post in a nicer fashion. Guess I’ll have to start tinkering!!

I think the frequent image use is really important because of the theme of the blog. Fashion is heavily image based – there needs to be some kind of visual to see how outfits are put together/the exact style of the pieces/how it looks on a person vs on the rack. I also noticed there wasn’t a lot of text in each post – however, I think this works because fashion is mostly image and visual based. Seeing an image of an outfit is way more effective than describing the image via text – in fact, who would actually do that? No one.

Post Topics

From what I observed (I didn’t do deep research on these lines because I am not a follower of high fashion, so this could be wrong), the blog talked about the latest designs from some famous fashion designers. There was also a post on colour palettes which was a nice change-up.

I think this leaves a lot of room for marketability and monetization because there is a clear theme going on and the audience is clearly defined – this blog would appeal to not only companies or designers that are trying to hop onto the latest trends to appeal to the market, but also just avid fashionistas that want to keep up with the latest trends in the fashion world and potentially give their wardrobes a little update.

Ads would be less disruptive to this kind of blog assuming they fit under the theme – such as linking to online shopping websites potentially that sell these particular designers listed on the blog. This blog is more informational than personal, so I feel like ads would be less invasive. Popova might have thought that ads don’t put the reader’s best interest first because her website is more personal, since my blog is a personal lifestyle blog I feel in a similar way.

The only thing (as of this moment) that would hinder the website’s marketability is the lack of content. I was a little disappointed to see that there were only 3 fashion posts/non posiel posts. However, I’m glad that you posted them at the top as your featured posts. I wished there was more content, I feel like there is a lot of room in a fashion blog even if it is not your own personal fashion blog. I wished it would have more about some hot new trends (ie: apparently the “it” colour this fall is red?? What is the latest statement piece to add to an outfit??) instead of just new lines from designers. I think there is a lot of room for expansion since there is a lot of talk in the high fashion world.

Peer Review #3 – Makeup Your Mind

Link: Makeup Your Mind, by JordanAnne

First Impressions
When I first arrived to JordanAnne’s website, I landed on her About page. I think that, in most cases, this would not be the best choice of landing page but in hers, it works because the overarching theme of the blog is about her experiences with makeup and her thoughts on self care too. For this reason solely, the reader needs to at least have some trust in JordanAnne and thus, it makes sense for them to get to know her first. I would say this is a good marketability choice on her part because she bridges a connection between herself and the reader immediately when they click on her URL.

Title, Slogan, and Categories
The title of her blog is very well thought out, I love how I knew immediately what she was going to be focusing on just from reading the title alone. However, I do think that the slogan seems a tad confusing: “Turning Looking Good, Into To Feeling Good.” I think what she means to say is: Turning looking good into feeling good.

When you hover over the main title, the typeface turns to a yellow, but not one that matches the JA logo. This yellow is more golden than the JA logo. I would recommend changing the hover yellow to match the JA logo because it would unite the overall theme and website design better.

     

I would advise that JordanAnne delete the “Posts” category and rename the “Categories” category to Posts. This makes more sense than what she currently has because “Posts” is such a generic title name and “Categories” is kind of just an odd name for a category.

In addition, I don’t think that she needs Self-Care Sunday to have any subcategories so she should try to get rid of the #SelfCareSunday from the categories. Although it is a necessary tag, it doesn’t need to be in the categories. Self-Care Sunday should be a single page within the categories.

I will say that I think it was very clever of JordanAnne to divide up her self-care posts from her makeup posts because her vision is all about this dichotomy between the two.

Creative Layout and Design
The colour scheme is very calculated and well decided in that I, the reader, was able to easily pick out the pink/grey floral vibes and overall theme of the website. There is however, a little too much white space which takes away from the content. I think that the blog would benefit from making the wallpaper larger and maybe adding a background image or colour to bring the readers in. With such a decisive theme, JordanAnne is able to present herself as a blogger who knows what they are about because readers are looking at such a collective idea, rather than a mess of just everything.

I like how the sidebar is set up but I do not know if the “Recent Comments” section is really a necessary part that JordanAnne needs because it just ends up crowding the sidebar section with comments that the reader may not want to see.

I would suggest making the social media icons bigger if possible because I could barely see them when I was scrolling down the page. I think it was very smart to post them though because it allows for her readers to get a better sense of who she is, away from her blog.

About
The JA logo is very nicely designed, however, there are two of them on this page. I would suggest removing one of them, preferably the one in the center because it takes away from JordanAnne herself and brings too much white space along with it.

I liked how the first sentence alone lays everything out so well that I knew exactly what was in store for me with this blog. I think that it is very important that this section was written in first-person because the readers are expecting to build a connection with a writer for a blog of such context.

I would also suggest changing “Most of all, hope…” to “Most of all, I hope…”

My Vision
I love how there is an individual page separate from the About one, about her vision for the blog/website, I wish I was smart enough to have thought of such an idea. This really goes well with her overall blog theme because her goal is to help her readers feel good while looking good and for them to get a better understanding of who she is, they can go to her About page but to get a better idea of what she wants to do and her intentions, they can go to her My Vision page.

I would suggest changing “…with one simple goal, Unapologetic happiness” to “…with one simple goal: unapologetic happiness.”

Let’s Talk
I wanted to give a heads up that this page goes nowhere, and so I would urge JordanAnne to deal with this issue first because the bond between her and her readers depends on this kind of feedback.

Self Care Sunday
Self-Care does have a hyphen in between Self and Care, however, I do not know if JordanAnne is following the dictionary’s rules, it’s honestly not that big of a deal if she is or isn’t because she isn’t spelling the word wrong. What an amazing idea though, she has done such a great job fleshing out her content so that her readers have a good understanding of what she is blogging about and who she is as a writer. This is what makes her marketability so great. She can not only promote beauty products and services on her blog, but also retreats and fun things to do and places to go because she is all about looking and feeling great.

Making it a specified day post is so smart for marketability reasons because she will see that there will be an influx of users who visit her blog on Sunday. If she continues with this smart idea, she is able to promote content to her readers with the help of brands who support her. Overall, very smart to go through with such a concept.

I don’t think that she needs to number her SCS posts because they already have date stamps which differentiates them from one another. I also don’t think that she needs to sue the same SCS logo for every post, she should try keeping it at the top of the page on the left sidebar. But if she chooses to keep them for every post, she should make sure that they are all centered and that the earlier posts have the same SCS logo as the later ones.

Final Thoughts/Conclusion
Overall, I must say how much I enjoyed reading JordanAnne’s blog because she knows who she is and what she wants out of the experience. Because of this, her marketability is so high. She is able to blog about beauty products but she doesn’t have to be limited to that because she has this whole other half of her blog which is about feeling good, she could talk about anything regarding feeling good like food, places to go, and even her own tips and suggestions. This is all in part, because of how fleshed out her content is. She has a wide variety of stuff she talks about but she isn’t that type of blogger who goes straight from left field to right, she revolves around her vision, to blog about beauty and self-care. I see her reaching mainly young adults and teenagers because of her own age and experiences but I don’t think her audience is limited to just that. She reviews beauty products which any beauty product lover can resonate with. This is what makes her so marketable. She is a chameleon in a sense, because you cannot really limit what her content is about into a single box.

A Review For Thought

Who doesn’t like food? Silly question because no matter who you are or where you live, odds are you’ve eaten something in your life and have preferences to things you do and don’t like. Living in a city like Vancouver, I like to refer to it as a melting pot of culinary options. You can try cuisine from all around the world within one city. This leaves endless opportunities for Tiffanie and her website, Food For Thought, which centres around food reviews. Just by looking at her photos attached to her blog posts, it’s evident she is a foodie, and one with good taste at that! Her target market can easily be locals looking to check out good places to eat around their city or even tourists wanting to know what places to hit up given their food preferences. But as you continue reading through some of her older posts, you’ll notice that her food reviews aren’t just local to Vancouver where she lives, she talks about restaurants she’s been to on the other side of Canada as well as on the other side of the world. This pushes her target audience to be comprised more of people who are interested in food rather than just interested in a particular city’s culinary options. Which is wonderful in my opinion, perhaps in the future, as she continues to write about her culinary adventures, she could have her posts organized geographically so her readers from all over the world can quickly find out good restaurants to check out closest to them.

As for monetizing this website, I really don’t see why not, it might need a bit more content and perhaps a more obvious food-centred layout (i.e. pictures of food on the home page/banner) but otherwise I think it could be a successful enterprise. That being said, placing advertisements on your website isn’t always a clear line to success, for one it can really piss off some of your readers but with ad-blocks these days, you might not even be able to make a decent amount of money with them. Just look at the website The Toast for example, highly successful with over a million unique viewers but it was forced to shut down due to what they called “ad revenue woes”(Carpenter, 2016). Online advertising revenue is a tricky game to play so sometimes it’s best to look at other ways of monetization, Tiffanie could reach out to local restaurants and offer to do reviews of their business in exchange for a complementary meal or even payment. Seems like a win win if you ask me, free food is always welcome but you also need to tread with caution on this front too, if you aren’t upfront with your audience about this arrangement it could create distrust. That being said, the food reviews she does, don’t always have to be positive, if you really didn’t enjoy your meal tell us! Like my mother always said, the truth can be a cold hearted bitch, but we wouldn’t want her any other way!

Review: My Year of Humility

This week I am reviewing Simba’s website which is a blog featuring the topic of humility as its centerpiece. My first impression of his website is that it is clean and simple. The navigation is very straightforward and easy to follow. I felt like I was able to quickly find everything I was looking for. […]

Mind Flow Blog

Today I will be reviewing a website by Rory Chi Kin Wan – Mind Flow Blog. It is a blog ALL of us need to read to get some knowledge on how to cope with stress, develop physical and mental wellness, and achieve well-being. Let’s dive […]

Peer Review 3

An Outsider is a blog written by Taisia Lapko about her journey moving to Vancouver from Belarus. In this review, I would like to comment on the audience group and marketability of An Outsider. Also, I would focus mostly on personal blogs Lapko had published so far but slightly touching upon the process or posiel posts.

 

In terms of design, the banner placed at the front page catches my eye. It gives me the feeling of loneliness but excitement for a new adventure. The banner visually attracts readers to dig deeper into her blog and find out how it feels like to be an outsider and what she had experienced.

However, I am slightly disappointed with the content in her personal blog. From the website biography, I know that Lapko is an international student from Belarus and she would love to share the challenges she experienced after moving to Canada. Unfortunately, the theme of her blog posts does not match with the message she intended to deliver. In “Something I have been keeping to myself”, the post talks about the struggle with facing someone she liked in the past. In “Writing and keeping up with blogging”, she writes about having a hard time expressing herself through writing blogs. Lapko shows her sincerity by being honest with her audience. But telling your audience the insecurities you have means telling them to stop reading your blog. It is understandable that writing in English could be difficult for international students. Yet I would suggest Lapko add more photos to her posts and type a few captions underneath. By doing so, you do not have to struggle with typing long paragraphs, but still, express yourself and draws in the audience who like images and visual attractions.

 

For me, I am a Canadian who was not raised in Canada. I am going through the same challenges most international students face. Upon reading the biography of the website, I do look forward reading more about how Lapko struggles to engage the Canadian community, what she likes and dislikes about Vancouver or why she decided to immigrate here. These suggestions are all decent topics to share in the blog and draw in her audience, which is mostly international students or young adults who moved to Canada by themselves. Furthermore, Lapko could definitely create a community through her blog or social media like Instagram or Twitter. And promote her blog by organizing events and get-togethers for her audience to share their experiences living in Vancouver.

 

I think Lapko chose an amazing topic for her blog, but her posts are slightly off the track. She does have a large pool of audience out there but in order to draw them in she needs to put in more effort publishing content with a suitable theme.

 

If you want to know more please visit Lapko’s website:

http://taitaisia.com/

Review: From Hong Kong to Vancouver

This week, I will be reviewing Jason’s blog, From Hong Kong to Vancouver: FOB’s Life.

The first thing I looked for on his blog were ads and as expected, there weren’t any. I even went over to my phone and checked out his site on my device just to make sure if there were any, and again, none. I had a feeling that he wasn’t going to monetize from the title of his blog, From Hong Kong to Vancouver: Fob’s life. I had the impression right away that it was going to be more of a lifestyle blog and something similar to a diary. I think he just wants to genuinely document his journey and experiences for himself and perhaps his close friends as well rather than making money off of it. And I completely respect that because that’s what I’m going for too for my blog, but I did put in ads just for fun:). I do appreciate that he didn’t monetize his blog because it keeps it very pure and authentic. As Shelby Carpenter writes in her article about The Toast shutting down over ad revenue woes, the battle for online revenue is harsh and it affects big and small mediums of the like. I think if there is a following for a blog then it’s common to monetize but it can also be toxic at the same time. Honestly, it probably doesn’t even apply to what we’ve created in PUB101 because some of us may not even continue with our blogs after the semester. I think in terms of marketability, Jason’s blog is attractive to readers who are living the same “fob” life. It may also be just a blog to keep his friends and family updated on his life in Vancouver since he spent his childhood in Hong Kong.

I’m impressed with the header image because it is a great greeting for readers. I’ve noticed that the image alternates between 2 photos: One with the mountain and one of Hong Kong (I think), so every time I visit his page, I’m greeted with one or the other. The header image of the mountains is quite appealing and I think it might attract users who are into photography or the like. I’ve noticed in the “See What I See” tab, there is a compilation of his personal photos and I would like to say, definitely keep updating with more photos because visuals are a great way to engage with an audience.

The “Canton Pop Music” page in my opinion, is a very nice touch to his blog. I feel like it adds so much personality to his online identity and is a great way to personalize his online space. I think this develops his personal voice and style to his blog and by sharing his favourite song picks, I have the impression that he is very passionate about this interest of his and it feels like he is just simply expressing his honest opinions rather than sharing just for the sake of this course. I can tell that Canton Pop music plays a significant role in his life and it is something that he wants to share with his readers/users. Almost on every page he has set up, a widget dedicated to a weekly Canton Pop song can be seen on the right column, with a YouTube video embedded into it. Since it is labeled “Canton Pop Song for the Week”, I’m assuming that it will be updated regularly. I think this is a great way to engage with his readers because they will have something to look forward to every week. Even if his intentions are to keep his friends and family updated with his life, it is still a neat way to have them look forward to what his current interests are.

One thing I would say that is a bit distracting is his social media icons, widgets, Instagram feed are present on all of his blog posts. I think it’s hard to read a text when there are so many distractions going on, especially if there is a YouTube video on the side ready to be played. Other than that, I really enjoyed exploring Jason’s blog!

Check out Jason’s blog here!

Between the Stripes — A Review

Jenny Chan’s blog, “Between the Stripes”, is a beautifully simplistic space to explore new worlds of music while being within the comforts of home. Especially at a time of the year where I would be sitting inside, by a window, while the weather can do whatever it pleases outside. The design reflects this, as if the sun or the natural light was peering through the window trying to see what I was doing.

 

Exploring the site itself, I first notice there is a strange “social media & sharing icons” link that brings me to a page for plugins with WordPress; I’m not sure if you can get rid of that or not, it’s at the bottom of the page, so it’s not the biggest deal if you can’t. However, it looks a little off just because it isn’t aligned right with the blurb above it that reads “BETWEEN THE STRIPES Powered by WordPress and FancyThemes”.

Like I mentioned before, I love the colors, not sure if you could add a bit more shadow around the title and play around with that a bit more? As for the menus and categories, I also think the Home About and Captures sections would benefit from and stand out a bit more if it was placed on the black stripe, but if that was the point to be in between the lines, I would add shadow to that as well.  As for the content, I love how you incorporated all the different senses in the “About” section. Keep up the Captures page!

Your “Recent Posts” section keeps repeating every time you post “song of the day” so maybe change that somehow, or number the title in each one? As well, as a reader who may want to comment, it was hard to understand that the“post comment” button was there because it is highlighted black, so it was a little confusing until I hovered over it to make a comment. I would change that so it’s not highlighted black. The mobile version of your website looks very nice as well.

I’m loving the social media outreach on the site; it makes it very interactive and builds more dimension to the simplicity of the site. My one suggestion would be to use specific social media pages as the blog, instead of your own personal Instagram, or your own personal Instagram. With a Between the Stripes Instagram, you could post your song of the day, maybe a blurb with it. You can also purchase InstaReport to keep statistics on that as well! I know some music-based social medias post parts of songs and perhaps you could do the same on behalf of the page. My confusion with Pinterest leads me to ask if there is a specific page on Pinterest you’d like us to look at that is relevant to your blog? Because there are many boards related to your Pinterest. Maybe make sure it just links to a specific board or perhaps a completely different Between the Stripes Pinterest account instead of your whole Pinterest profile. Otherwise, I have definitely been inspired by the social media interactivity and aspire to reflect that in my website as well!

If anyone is feeling adventurous and has a craving for new music, definitely check out Jenny’s blog here: http://triangularzebras.com

Peer Review #3

For this peer review I will be looking and my classmate Sharlyn’s blog. Sharlyn’s ‘About’ page fully describes to what she intends to write about, and therefore describes what type of audience she intends to write for. I believe that her primary audience, at least at the beginning, would be people that are already a part her life and wanting to keep up with how she is doing. And seeing she does have friends and family from all over (i.e Brunei and Malaysia), I think that her blog is successful in marketing towards that audience. On the other hand, I also think that as new people begin to stumble upon her site, they will start to learn more about her and what she’s about and want to continue following her life. This audience would likely be within the age range of 18 to 28, who have similar interests as she does.

Content

Sharlyn’s content is clearly meant for people who are interested in following her life and adventures. It is also great for people who may want to escape their own lives for the moment and step into her shoes to see what she’s been up to lately – which is made easy with plenty of images that she includes in her posts. In fact, she posts more images than text in most of her personal posts.  It is also great that she posts images of herself doing the activities that she posts about, as it adds even more of a personal touch to her blog.

One aspect of her blog that I think would attract new traffic and have her audience keep coming back is her “My First Apartment!” segment. I believe that many people who will be or are currently going through the same life change as she is would have great interests in keep up with her current transition. As well, the topic of moving homes is an easy one for monetization if she does intend to make money through her blog.

Scrolling through Sharlyn’s blog, I noticed that she has a mix of both her personal and academic (PUB 101) posts. Seeing that she has decided not to hide her process posts from her main page, her audience would also have to be interested in seeing the process of her building the blog as well as other aspects of her academics (i.e. peer reviews and essays). I also noticed that she has many posts and has been posting regularly, which is important as consistently posting is the best way for Sharlyn to learn how her audiences respond to her content and be able to adjust accordingly (Jesse Thorn,  2012).

Design

Sharlyn’s blog has a great minimalist design, with simple and concise widgets on the left side, which I like because it allows the readers to focus on her content as they scroll down the page. She also has an image that takes up the full screen upon landing on her home page, along with the name of her blog and a tagline. Although it is a beautiful picture, it does not really illustrate what her blog is really about. The tagline ‘At times, I wish I was Lara Croft’ also doesn’t tell me much about her content.  A change of image and tagline to something that reflects more on what the blog is actually about may be helpful as that is the first thing that audiences see when they land on the page and the image will be what helps them determine whether or not they would like to stay.

On the other hand, I love that Sharlyn has made her own logo. As she has mentioned in her “Remix” process post, she wanted it to have a “report” feel, which seems fitting as the name of her blog is ‘The Sharlyn Report’. It is also nice that she has something that makes her blog stand out from others, especially in the “copycat culture” that Travis Gertz talks about. In the current culture where everybody uses the same themes or designs because it’s what works, it is nice that Sharlyn was able to customize in order to stand out from other sites that may be similar.

Overall, it looks like Sharlyn has a great idea of who is writing for and what she would like to write about. Her personality and authenticity shines through in her posts, making it very easy to be interested in her and her life – I feel as if she I actually know her and am her friend. I look forward to seeing more from her in the (near) future!

 

Gertz, Travis. 2015. “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” July 2015. Available from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Thorn, Jesse. 2012. “Make Your Thing.” http://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/

Peer Review #3

For this Peer Review, I got Maddi Wilson’s:
http://maddiwilson.com/ 

Maddi’s website sets the stage for many viewers to enjoy the simplicity of life, in an attempt to discover the writing in an open landscape, free flowing and direct, straight to the user. From an unbiased perspective, I really love the layout of Maddi’s website as it clearly depicts and directs the audience to a clean atmosphere for an ease of reading. I really also enjoy viewing the large “notes and such” title that displays a large, yet subtle way to convey an open and creative atmosphere for the viewer. Maddi’s website is a place for anyone to see a glimpse of her life and what she likes to read, her opinions through reviews, and just really anything she is up to lately.

Looking at this in terms of advertisements, I feel that Maddi’s website can gain a lot of traction through the use of affiliations to the types of books, films, or articles she chooses to review. A lot of companies are looking for people to create an in depth review of their content, so I feel that this website could be that perfect platform for the audience to follow her content on a regular basis, also creating an environment for marketing to a certain niche. Furthermore, her content can also have banners along the side of the website, as the layout is more open than other websites, which can be an advantage to market that way as well. Links to Amazon, Kindle, or any of the book sharing websites may be something that she can do in the future as a following starts to grow on her website!

However, I noticed that Maddi’s beautiful and open layout caters to a relaxed atmosphere, I feel that she can improve by adding more visuals to appeal to a larger audience, especially those who are drawn to images and large letters. With this, I her title and her “moon and sun” post draws me in immediately, I would also love to see more of those visuals present in her other posts to gain even more traction in the marketing aspect of things.

All in all, Maddi’s use of her open layout create an atmosphere that is visually appealing, marketable, and is adaptable for a future for advertisements and potential revenue gaining tactics that will grow her audience base into a much larger one.

 

Peer review #3

Peer review: http://whatswongwiththeworld.ca

 

Intended Audience group:

I think that the blog’s intended audience group is people who are interested in Canadain and American politics.

Content

The website is about politics in daily life specifically in the United States and Canada. The blog owner discusses their personal viewpoint on the state of politics and is extremely passionate about the topic. The goal of the blog is to teach others about the importance of politics. I personally think the sites name and content is extremely interesting. The name “What is Wong With the World” is unique and an intriguing name. I was instantly curious about the topic of the website. The content itself is well written and informative that also remains objective. Wong certainly links well and engages with the audience through critical analysis. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the blog posts especially the post about fake news called ‘The Alternative Facts of the World’. According to the journal article by Nancy Fraser, the blog acts as a public sphere that “conflates at least three analytically distance things: the state, the official-economy of paid employment and areas of public discourse” (pg.57). According to Habermas, the idea of a public sphere is that of a body of “private persons” assembled to discuss matters of “public concern” or “common interest” (Fraser, 1990, pg. 58). Hence, the blogger chooses to share their opinion about the topic of politics by citing different resources that support the opinion of the writer.

However, every process post is not accessible since they are password protected. I would highly recommend that Wong unlocks the process post to allow the audience to read the process posts. The peer reviews are also locked with hinders users from reading Wong’s critique on other people’s blogs. Furthermore, the Canada tab does not have any content. I would recommend that Wong’s locks the Canada section and provide a preview of what type of content will be posted under the category.

Design

The design of the blog is very minimalistic. I actually like how the minimalism contrasts with the flamboyant topic of politics. The site is extremely easy to navigate which has both the main menu and a sidebar. The posts are categorized according to the topics. The categories are separate from the main menu items, I would recommend that you should change the categories into menu items to increase more functionality. The blog uses very few pictures, one being the main image on the homepage that is made of text. I like the design and I think it suits the topic of politics well. I will keep up with the blog!

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Peer Review #3

PEER REVIEW #3 Audience and Channels: kimlaughasmuchasyoubreathe.com

JUST LAUGH AS MUCH AS YOU BREATHE

Kim is a second year university student who spent the first 14 years of her life living in Hong Kong. Her website ‘www.kimlaughasmuchasyoubreathe.com‘ details her adventures and experiences as she explores the foreign country of Canada. Her posts are written in first person and display a personal account of her travels both around Vancouver and the surrounding cities. The website is aimed at study abroad students living in Vancouver aged between 18 and 26. Assessing the marketability of the site for that target audience depends on two main factors; the content and the design.

CONTENT

The content of Kim’s blog posts are very well suited to her target audience. Detailed recounts of her trips to Seattle and Harrison Hot Springs paired with stories of local activities like laser tagging in New Westminster provide readers with ideas and inspiration, particularly useful for someone who is also new to the city. I believe that adding some posts about the differences between her new lifestyle in Vancouver compared against the lifestyle she grew up with for 14 years in Hong Kong would be very interesting. This would also be beneficial to giving some more relevance to the ‘exciting yet challenging’ aspects of exploring a foreign country that she references in her About Me section. There is an also an opportunity for Kim to monetize her posts by partnering up with some of the local businesses she is visiting (e.g. laser tagging) to do some sponsored content.

DESIGN

The design of the site is very simple and aesthetically pleasing. The bright green and yellow header image supports the theme colours chosen and also the positive, happy tone of the site’s content. Functionality wise, there are a few improvements that could be made to enhance site navigation. Firstly, the main menu has 6 tabs; Home, About, theREALfun, Musings, Blogs and Process Posts. From there however, there are no sub-menus. I believe it would be beneficial to add sub-menu’s under these sections (e.g. PUB101 > Peer Reviews, Essays, Process Posts | Blogs > March > Longer Days, America’s Rugby Championship, Seattle). This would allow users to open a specific blog post in one click. Secondly, the home page displays the entire posts rather than just a small excerpt from each post. This makes scrolling down the home page quite difficult – especially when some of the posts are quite long (e.g. the Seattle post). To fix this issue, it would simply be a matter of checking the ‘show excerpt’ checkbox in settings rather than ‘show full post’. Another design aspect that may benefit the marketability of Kim’s site is adding a ‘Contact Me’ tab to the primary menu bar so that viewers and potential sponsors can easily and efficiently get in contact with Kim.

Kim has successfully produced a website that is interesting, functional and engaging. The content is consistent and clear and the site as a whole is very marketable. Kim has a very clear target audience and her content and design works to support that interaction.

Peer Review #3

For my third peer review, I am reviewing Zhifeng’s (Neo’s) blog, www.neo100.com

In order to assess his blog’s marketability to his intended audience, I first had to determine who his intended audience might be. So I went to his About section. There, I learned that his blog is a space to discuss Chinese movies, primarily looking at the Chinese culture in the movies. From this, I can deduce that his intended audience is people who are interested in Chinese movies (or maybe even just movies or Chinese culture in general). Now I can turn to assessing his blog’s content and design from the perspective of one of his audience members.

Content

Neo has two posts that relate to his blog’s content. The first one reviews the movie Buddies in India. From his post, I learned the synopsis of the film and learned that the movie is in fact based on a famous novel about journeying to the West. Relating to this, Neo also discusses Chinese New Year and the New Year movie season. As a reader, I find his post informative and engaging. He discusses many different aspects relating to the movie as well as movie culture in general, which I found very interesting. In his second blog post, Neo reviews the movie Journey to the West: Demon Chapter. He talks about how this follows the current trend of reconstructing classic tales to create new content that might appeal to movie audiences. He also provides a useful explanation of a type of character seen in the movie.

Overall, I find Neo’s content interesting, informative, and ultimately, related to his blog’s theme. He also links well to external sites in which he finds his information. However, one suggestion I would make is to make more posts. Neo only has two and thus, more movie reviews would appeal to returning readers! Another suggestion I have regarding content is to make the posts a bit longer and analyze more aspects of the movies and their cultural content. Finally, Neo may want to consider advertising. As we have learned through class and the readings, ads can really help to attract readers as well as be a source of potential revenue. And considering the blog’s theme, I would assume that movie-related ads may appear on his website, which might be attractive to readers.

Design

When I follow the URL of Neo’s blog, this is what I am greeted with:

The title at the top makes it very clear what the blog is about, which is an important first feature to have. I enjoy the header picture and think the blog has a simple, clean look to it. However, there is a limitation to Neo’s blog with the Menu bar. The menu bar has only two sections: Home and About. And in fact, on the home page, there is only his two movie posts. In order to access Neo’s Posiel content, you have to find his categories, which are here on the side:

This layout is not very intuitive and as a reader, confuses me. Additionally, the fact that he has ‘Recent’ as a category seems even more confusing. If you click on Recent, the posts that are labelled with this category are the same two posts that are on his home page. I do not understand the reasoning nor logic behind this. As we have discussed in class numerous times, intuitive design is very important in guiding readers logically through a blog and in helping them to engage with the content.

Finally, Neo does not have any links to social media or ways in which to contact him directly. He might want to consider adding links to different platforms so that readers can engage with him more. However, this would be a personal marketing/branding choice and thus he may not want to do that for personal reasons which is completely okay!

Overall, I enjoyed reviewing Neo’s blog and I think its strengths lie in its straightforward and informative content. However, his design may need tampering with in order to make his blog more accessible and really unlock its full potential!