Tag Archives: PIP 101

Pippen, the Parents, and the Party

Today, me and my brothers invited all of our close friends and cousins to our house for a fun party, but mainly to cheer Pippen up. My parents left for India earlier this month to buy traditional clothing and materials for my brother’s wedding. Consequently, Pippen has fallen into a depressed mood as he always does when they leave for long periods of time. Even if you don’t have pets, you can easily tell that animals have feelings and emotions too. If you don’t believe me, please locate the nearest search engine. Better yet, head over to National Geographic’s page dedicated to my hero, Jane Goodall –> National Geographic – Jane Goodall

Welcoming Pippen into our family has been the best part of my life because he just lightens our lives with his undeniable joy, incomparable personality, and everlasting kindness. With every move he makes, you can tell that he is having the time of his life and that his only motivation is to have fun.

Oddly enough, my parents weren’t leaving the country as much as they are now. There’s really no explanation other than that it’s all a coincidence. Funnily however, my dad really wants to take Pippen to India, but will never allow him to plop our precious pup onto a plane for an eighteen-hour flight, I know the dangers and at the end of the day, my dad is always bluffing.

Ever since they left, Pippen has been super mopey which dampens the mood of the entire home because he is an equal member of the household and when he feels a certain type of way, we ALL feel a certain type of way.

I live in Surrey and work 9 to 5 in Vancouver, so I have to leave an hour-and-a-half before work and arrive at home an hour-and-a-half after work. I like to tell my cousins that it’s really a 7:30 to 6:30 type of lifestyle. This is my first job since completing my undergrad in December and so I am super grateful that I have been given this amazing opportunity. But because I work 9 to 5, five days a week, I only get to see Pippen towards the end of the day. Of course, I have weekends, but I devote those to schoolwork. Nonetheless, Pippen gets his walks every night from me and my cousins, which is probably my favorite time of the day. I remember before I got this job, I got to see my family so much more, I miss getting to see these little moments.

I was thinking the other day, that the best thing to do would be to bring all of our cousins together to hang out because Pippen loves when we throw parties at our home. It gives him a chance to mingle with our family members who don’t usually see him as much because of work.

The party hasn’t begun yet, but I know for a fact that it will cheer Pippen up, I’m getting anxious just thinking about it!

The Life of Pip: An Analysis of PUB 101

The Life of Pip: An Analysis of PUB 101

Over the past semester, I have learned so much about the blog sphere, from content creation to audience development, and in doing so, I have gained an appreciation and interest in blogging as well. It has been quite a fun learning experience, with informative lectures and in-depth tutorials. Incorporating guest lecturers with experience in publishing was a great asset to the course because it took us students one step further, rather than relying simply on experience. Hearing their experiences regarding Google Analytics, advertising, typefaces and design was very helpful when developing my own blog.

The First Step in the Creative Process
Deciding a topic to focus on for the entirety of the blog and course was not all that difficult for me. I knew immediately that I was going to incorporate Pippen, my four-year-old Golden Retriever, as I usually do with school assignments. He is by far, the most fascinating being in my life, which makes writing about him even easier. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to incorporate Pippen in some way because the content was already there, it just needed to be fleshed out.

Registering domains in the first week of class was very helpful because it gave me a strong sense of freedom over what content I was about to post. Having one’s own domain gives the user more say over their public profile and digital identity. They have more control over how their website looks and what they share publicly (Watters, 2015). It allowed me to take more time and consideration to brainstorm ideas about what I wanted my website to be about and to put thought into the name because it is, in some ways, the first impression that the consumer has with the blog.

Theme and Audience
The Life of Pip is meant to document the daily adventures of Pippen, his nightly walks, and the ultimate joy that he brings into my life. During one of the earlier process post activities, I laid out the website through the vision board activity. This helped quite a lot because it made it easier for me to visualize my ideas and thoughts about my blog, like having a page for the gallery of pictures and another for my stories of Pippen when he first came into our lives.

In addition, I wanted to make sure that the blog was lighthearted, because for me it was about letting loose of all the daily struggles of life and reading these adorable stories about a big fluffy energetic dog. The best way for me to do this was to change the post category titles like, “Pictures,” and “Pub 101,” to “Piptures,” and “Pip 101,” which I was actually advised by your son. After all, the blog was being targeted to animal lovers.

For me, it was not about looking smart or making a point to seem intellectual, it was focused on bringing the readers into Pippen’s daily life. It was for the animal-loving readers who do not have animals to hear the experiences of someone who does or for those who already have or had pets before and wanted to hear of experiences of someone with a crazily energetic dog. I did not want to target a certain age group because being an animal lover has no age restrictions. There was also no target gender either, as being an animal lover has no gender restrictions. Now that I think about it, being an animal lover has no restrictions at all.

The Public
According to Habermas (Fraser, 1990, p. 58), the public sphere is made up of people who would meet up to discuss their common interests. The imagined public of The Life of Pip are the animal-lovers and owners who got their first pets later on in their teenage years and earlier on in their adulthood, similar to myself. In my opinion, these types of readers are likely to resonate most with my content because of the possible similarity in our experiences, like the keeping up with school and managing the responsibilities of an adult, also known as “adulting.”

The real audience of my blog are those in my social network or in the social networks of people I know, who may have heard from my friends and family about the blog. They could potentially be reading my posts on the basis of supporting my endeavors, or even just reading up on some funny stuff regarding animals.

Addressing the Audience
I address my audience through my easily understandable and enthusiastic vocabulary and phrases, as well as the content, editorial layout of the featured images and posts, and the overall design of the website, like the color scheme and widget and view configurations. The overall use of easier words and chronological arrangement of the sentences makes for the story to be better understood and perceived.

Content development is not all that easy and it requires a lot of copyediting work in addition to the layout and design (Gertz, 2015). Prior to entering the blogging sphere, I thought that blogging was very easy because of how the media portrays it. It is made to look as if there is no editing and that it is straight from the mind to the page rather than all of the other key components like the integrated media, the layout ideas and the overall editing process.

When it came to developing the look of my website, I made sure that the editorial layout was minimal but impactful because as a reader, I don’t like seeing too much on the screen. By this, I mean that I did not want the pages to be cluttered with content but I also did not want for the sidebars to be empty. Throughout this entire process, I have used my own experiences as a reader to guide my website development because in addition to listening to the guest lecturers like Mauve Page, I also understand how the reader, consumer, and viewer feels because I am one myself when I choose to go on the web.

The Value
My blog gives users and readers insight into what me and my family experience with Pippen. In writing and editing this blog, I feel that I am helping other dog owners who may also be experiencing the same things. I also think that I am giving my readers the value of respect and responsibility because I talk about my own struggles with my brothers and the division of responsibilities. To me, it is a bout understanding each other’s feelings too, to ultimately view the experience from everyone’s perspective.

Google Analytics

Observing Google Analytics was a turning point for me in the course because I started to realize the importance of spreading the word about my blog especially considering how much time I have put into the content, layout, and design. I started spreading the word more and not just through text like before. It provides so much feedback regarding my audience like their location, the times at which they viewed my blog and for how long they viewed it. I found that Google Analytics proved to be such a useful tool for my blogging experience because it did all the talking for my audience so they didn’t have to.

Reflecting on the Course
Prior to this course, I thought that content creators were not deserving of a pay because they were not really doing much. However, I was very surprised because I began to see how hard they must work when they are blogging because there are so many factors in the process like editing, creating original content, remixing content, maintaining the layout, reaching out to your readers, and much more. Nonetheless, managing this cycle of work is very difficult because many of the factors depend on each other to work successfully.

Building a personal cyberinfrastructure allows users to develop a sense of self and identity throughout the digital age (Campbell, 2009). Creating my blog, posting original content and designing the layout gave me a sense of personal identity in the digital sphere. I was able to express my thoughts and feelings through this personal cyberinfrastructure that I had worked so hard to build.

I also realized how hard is to flesh out content because you have to take your overall idea and go full steam ahead. While doing the process posts, it became easier for me to understand what my blog was about, who it was intended for, my goals, and the process by which I was going to achieve them.

Goals for the Future
I hope that once my blog has more content and has a more fleshed out design and layout, that it attracts a larger audience outside of my social network. Currently, all of my readers are apart of my social network, whether they are friends, family, or co-workers. I want to expand from my network to a group of readers who are more interested in the content and not me or my interests. I want for the content to speak for itself and for the readers to keep coming back to read about Pippen.

Also, I want to work harder to make the layout more robust and better designed because I am still not fully satisfied with it at this point. This course has been a split between design and content for me, as I have spent each week working on perfecting both to the best of my ability. Although I feel that my content posting has gotten really better, I still think that the design of my website could still use some work. I edited each of the featured pictures for my original posts on Photoshop so that they all have a paw print in the bottom left corner and a frame inside the border. By doing so, I feel that I was able to add a sense of originality to the design, one that my audience could pick up on.

Once this course has ended, my primary goal is to continue posting at least once a week because this course has taught me that by sticking to a routine, I find that I keep myself in check and do not become lazy. By sticking to a weekly posting routine, I can guarantee that there is always new content on my blog, which is likely to appease my audience. The freshness of content will assure my readers that I am attentive to their needs and that whenever they check my website, there is always at least one new post.

Campbell, G. (2009). A Personal Cyberinfrastructure. EDUCAUSE Review,44(5), 58-59. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure.

Fraser, N. (1990). Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy. Social Text, (25/26), 56-80. doi:10.2307/466240

Gertz, T. (2015, July 10). Design Machines: How to Survive in the Digital Apocalypse. Retrieved from Watters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web We Need to Give to Students. Retrieved from https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics. Quarterly Journal of Speech,88(4), 413-425. Retrieved from http://knowledgepublic.pbworks.com/f/warnerPubCounterP.pdf

Watters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web We Need to Give to Students. Retrieved from https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

Community Guidelines for the Blog

Community guidelines are important because they dictate how the users who access your website behave and the rules by which they should abide by. I am fortunate that this blog does not deal with heavily debatable content like politics and current events, but I still think there are a few guidelines that I should set in place:

  1. No stealing any of the pictures I post on this blog – They are private and I don’t want someone passing Pippen off as their own dog. No one should be benefitting from content that is my own.
  2. No commenting about what animals are more important than others – This will just ignite a huge mess because some people like cats, some people like dogs. My blog is for ALL animal lovers.
  3. No swearing/bullying/rude language in the comments section – I will monitor the comments, delete the rude ones and then block those users.
  4. No threats – I don’t want to see this kind of stuff on a harmless dog blog, so I will just block these users.
  5. Comments on blog posts become property of The Life of Pip.

My goal overall, is to prevent any form of online abuse or harassment on my blog. I want it to be a fun place, not one where users are afraid to comment out of fear that some troll will just harass them afterwards. These 4 guidelines are important to my blog because they leave no room for negative behavior, making for a funner time and experience.

The Commentariat

The debate that we had today in class was very engaging and probably one of my favorite activities that we have done in lecture to date. Although we were split into two teams and took opposing sides of the argument, it was still great getting to hear what the class thought about commenting online and how to deal with threats. I was fortunate enough to be on a side that I personally agreed with.

In my opinion, I feel that users who choose to threaten others online should, in some way, be punished for doing so because they should be held accountable and the online community needs to see the outcome of such actions so that it deters those who are planning or currently do threaten online from doing so.

When it came time to the debate, I was very impressed by the other side’s argument because even as they were speaking, I started to think of points that they could have possibly said, like the “freedom of speech” argument and the fact that the Internet is a worldwide community so you cannot necessarily regulate certain behavior that would be regulated if it was in real life when someone from a different country would say different.


Today’s lecture was very interesting because I got to learn more about the importance of editing content and Wattpad, which after listening to Ashley Gardner, seems like such a great opportunity and writing outlet for aspiring authors.

Prior to the guest lecture, we participated in a group activity around editing. It definitely made me more aware of the issues that are likely to arise when not taken the proper precautions before posting content. With the online voice, it is very easy to be misunderstood so you have to choose your words carefully and you have to be aware of your audience and how they could interpret your content. I am fortunate that my blog topic isn’t really that controversial, nor do I try to make it sound like such.

I enjoyed Ashley’s lecture because although I knew about Wattpad, I didn’t know what it actually was. It sounds like such a unique idea and like Ashley said herself, some of the authors on the website don’t even want to get published anymore because they make enough money from views alone. This is an interesting point because it shows this change in book publishing. The writers are satisfied with their content being heard and being paid for it and they don’t even need for their books to be physically published. Another great part about Wattpad is that the author’s have full ownership over their content. That’s probably every writer’s biggest concern when publishing content through websites like Wattpad because you never know what the terms and services could entail. Nonetheless, today’s lecture was super informational and pretty fun to watch.

Planning More Transmedia Integration

For the future, I plan on integrating more text-based social media platforms into The Life of Pip because I think that speaking to my readers from the perspective himself will be funny. Basically, what I am saying is that I want to create Pippen parody accounts where users are able to engage with my content, not necessarily for the sake of responding to each other but just reposting. I am mainly thinking of Twitter and Facebook for this, although I will still post images on all 3 platforms (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook). I could potentially integrate Snapchat too but that would require more treats and spur-of-the-moment pictures.

My plan is to increase Pippen’s Instagram following so that I have a larger audience to experiment with. I feel that I need more of an audience to start with because then, there is a higher chance of my content being liked and reposted. My intention throughout all of this though, is to drive users to come to the website. I think that from Instagram, I want to start tagging the Twitter account so that the users are moving to Twitter to see that content. I already have a Facebook page for Pippen but it has absolutely no content. My goal is to get a larger audience for Twitter and Instagram so that when I do choose to post content on the Facebook page, there is already a solid audience to begin with. It’s kind of like a snake effect, collecting the followers as I go along.

I want to focus on Facebook and Twitter because they are both image and text based. They’d be great tools for me to speak to my readers because I would be able to link/attach several different types of files like pictures and links.

I like that Suzanne suggested that I try to include an automated follower greeting because I never thought of that myself and it makes so much sense because it makes the readers/followers feel like they are being acknowledged.