Tag Archives: posiel posts

Process post #12

Community guidelines are a funny thing to talk about for me, since I have not established an online community on my site. Doing the readings for this week, however, it’s very clear to see that once any sort of community does develop, it is crucial to moderate it appropriately.

In my eyes, I would implement a policy similar to that of  book riot, which is not overbearing, but allows for all voices to be heard with no fear of retaliatory bigotry, shaming or abuse.

At the end end of the day, the internet should be a safe space if it needs to be, and community guidelines which allow it to be so are not only beneficial on specific sites, but on the whole of the web.

Essay #2

 

With this essay, the goal is to think introspectively on our experience as an online publisher, and reflect, really, on all that we’ve learned in PUB 101 this fall.

When I was first contemplating what exactly my publication would be, I had a lot of ideas going through my head, and not all of them were the brightest. Being tasked with building a website from scratch is a very tall order: obviously, you want to pick a topic that is naturally interesting to you, but you also want to build a space where a real audience can develop and foster, gaining something from it.

I decided on a food blog, because not only am I very interested in food, but there is a huge potential audience for food content on the web. As I’ve noted in some of my previous process posts, food has seemingly taken over Facebook and Instagram for a lot of people.

I felt that starting a food blog put me in an advantageous position, since I would be able to tap into a demographic (foodies and regular folk alike) which already existed, and that I wouldn’t have to shift too much to accommodate.

When it came to designing my website, I definitely had a goal in mind to be simplistic and easy reading, because in my opinion, following recipes online is hard enough without having to navigate overly-complex fonts, layouts and spacing. I also wanted to play to my audience, which I imagined would be those who enjoyed aesthetically-pleasing, simple layouts. A lot of my secondary design tweaks came after reading Travis Gertz’s article on “Design Machines” (2015), which was undoubtedly the course reading which I gained the most from this semester. Hearing advice on needing to make your site stand out in a world of unnoticed assimilation was very needed, and helped motivate me to add the splash of unique yellow that my site now has.

When it comes to my public, I must say that I dropped the ball in not promoting my site, or posting enough. My biggest mistakes, in my opinion, were

a) not having a pre-scheduled selection of meals which I’d write about, and

b) focusing on more complex recipes, instead of simple ones which would not only be easier to read, but much simpler and faster to draft up as content posts.

Because of these two mistakes, my postings were definitely not frequent enough, and I lost a huge chance to, in my opinion, make a website that could realistically have a great impact for students and foodies.

Having said that, I feel like if someone were to stumble upon my site at the moment, I would still be able to provide them with a couple of solid recipes, and most importantly, a smile on their face. From day one, I knew that I needed to have some cheeky, funny images to draw readers in, and I fell like Full Plate, Empty Fridge still has the potential to do so.

Looking into the past and into the future in regards to what I’ve learned from PUB 101, I can confidently say that I learned an absolute ton that will help me be not only a better publisher, but a better consumer in the future. When the question “what is publication” was asked in the first lecture we had by Matthew Stadler, my answer would undoubtedly have been something related to “putting out content”, but throughout the entire semester, I’ve become more and more aware of how Stadler is absolutely right in saying that moving from the thought process of “getting from publishing, to publication… the creation of a public” is the most important thing to understand about any online or print platform (Stadler, 2010).

Big, successful brands in every industry, from fast food to fashion, all share a commonality of having created publics, not just content.

Any type of publisher, from a Denny’s P.R guy (yikes) to someone with no more than a dozen Instagram followers, can benefit from this thinking: if you can create a public, you can be successful.

That’s not all that I’ve found useful in PUB 101, however: perhaps the most interesting topic for myself personally was the rise of data tracking and advertising’s shift into highly-personal, tailored ads. Hearing about just how much control companies like Facebook have over what we see has been unsurprising, but very unsettling nevertheless, and pieces like Suzanne’s on Amazon’s deft ability to track you no matter what were interesting and revealing (Noraman, 2015).

I hope to further establish my online presence after the conclusion of this course, and now I have the tools to do so. When it comes to Full Plate: Empty Fridge, I’m hoping to trow up a couple of recipe posts during the winter break and see if it’s something I can realistically continue to do in the future when life gets busy (funnily enough, that’s more or less the tagline of my website). Worst case scenario, I’m definitely going to show it to my friends and family, because not only is it something that I’m really proud of creating, it’s hard proof that yes, I am a publisher.

Works Cited

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

Norman, S. (2015). “Trying not to drop breadcrumbs in Amazon’s store.” Retrieved from: http://publishing.sfu.ca/2016/03/breadcrumbs-of-data/

Stadler, M. (2010). “What is Publication?” Talk from the Richard Hugo House’s writer’s conference, Seattle, WA. May 21, 2010. Retrieved from: http://vimeo.com/14888791

 

Process Post #10

When it comes to transmedia integration and my site, there are a few possibilities that I can explore, namely with video integration.

One of the most popular uses for Facebook nowadays is as a platform to share recipes and food experiences. From quick-fire recipe makes to reaction videos to unique foods, social media has become a goldmine for food-related content.

Should I grow my site further and focus on certain platforms specifically, I believe that the smartest platforms to focus my efforts on would be Facebook and Instagram jointly. The two platforms also make sense as a pair because they are very cross-compatible.

Other avenues I could explore are Snapchat (valuable because their story format is very recipe-friendly) and Pinterest, which is already a goldmine for recipes and food-sharing already.

No matter what I decide to do, it holds true that transmedia integration is incredibly valuable to any website, especially those with the same subject matter as mine.

Process Post #9

After looking at my google analytics, I was pretty taken aback. Not at how few people looked at my posts, but at the fact that somebody actually looked at my posts.

It’s not that I don’t think that quality of my work has been bad; not in the slightest. I just simply do not have enough content on website or have put enough work in to make it seen!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to have more time to put content on my site later on in the coming weeks, and my analytics numbers will look somewhat respectable.

One thing I do hope to keep, though, is the ‘time spent on site’, which at this point is pretty long, leading me to believe that people are actually using my site for its intended purpose: making delicious recipes!

Assignment #3

For this peer review, my task is to assess Ivan’s website, Ivan So Sweaty, for its overall marketability towards his intended audience group.

There are a million different ways one can assess marketability, and Ivan’s website is a very interesting case because whereas many websites have an overarching theme to go off of, his is more of a personal blog on which he speaks about poetry, his thoughts, and even delves into his insecurities.

The writing on Ivan’s blog is very personal. It’s absolutely the best part of his website, and what really sets it apart from others. I feel like, from glancing over his website, Ivan is someone whose website is purposely ad-free for now. It’s definitely a fine line to walk: monetizing a space which you’re trying to draw readers into with the authenticity of your work is a slippery slope. Is it immoral to do so? How do you make decent income from a project you put so much time into without ads?

If Ivan does eventually decide to put ads on his website, he has a very good base to work from. The aesthetics of his website are very clean and professional, and he presents his personal logo very well, setting the tone for the rest of his site.

When it comes to marketability, I feel like Ivan’s site could be more marketable if he chose to go with a solid-coloured background instead of the current prism-like design. While the current design looks very, very good, his site would be far more accessible to marketers with more negative and plain space. As a viewer of his website, it’s perfectly ‘busy’ right now, but could.

This is perfectly in-line with what Travis Gertz says in his article “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse”: It’s very tough to be simplistic while still maintaining originality in an age where templates are becoming more and more repetitive.

Another avenue that Ivan could explore when looking to make his website more marketable is using sponsored content within his posts. At this point, the large majority of his content is POSIEL posts (exactly like my site), but if during his posts he happened to name-drop certain brands in exchange for sponsorship, he could find decent income without having to clutter up his website.

All in all, Ivan has done a very good job at making his website marketable, and although it’s evident that he’s chosen aesthetics over ad-friendliness, the premise of his site combined with his layout mean that should he decide to ‘make the switch’, he’ll have no trouble at all.

 

Process post #8

When it comes to monetizing my site, I see a lot of both positives and negatives.

Obviously, it’s nice to make some extra moolah, and my site has a layout which is very accommodating for ads, so it should be a no-brainer to have ads on my site. For some reason, though, I feel like it would make my site seem un-authentic with ads blaring down the side, and I’m wary of colourful ads becoming the focal visual point of my site, instead if my content.

I did try out Google ads, however I got an email back saying I didn’t have enough content to do so (you’re bang on, Google). I may try again once I’ve got more content posted, but for now my focus is definitely on just getting posts up (which has been hard with my schedule!).

When it comes to analytics, I definitely see both sides of the coin as well. I personally run the social media accounts for my workplace, and the data which Facebook ads provides to me is crucial in the marketing decisions I make. Realistically, though, I know that it’s ridiculous how much info these sites provide to advertisers: I’ve heard many stories about creepy specific ads and even have a few myself.

In regards to my footprint, I only really make a concentrated effort to alter my data trails when I know it directly affects a purchase I’ll make. For example, I’ll delete all of my cookies from travel sites after I visit them in order to get better deals once I do decide on a trip. I’ll even sometimes purposely over-search for certain topics in the hopes of getting an ad which is relevant to me and I haven’t seen yet: for example, I’ve been shopping around for hoodies recently and am looking specifically for some sort of soccer-themed one. I made sure to google “soccer hoodie” and other variants multiple times in hopes of getting relevant ads from brands and stores I may not have seen before. In this case, I’ve not only thrown in the towel: I’ve dumped my entire laundry hamper in.

Process Post #7

For this process post, the task was to ‘remix’ something. Unfortunately, I’m not the best music or video creator, however I am a whiz at editing pictures on Microsoft Paint.

For my ‘remix’, I  decided to make a thumbnail for my ‘happy pasta’ recipe using Microsoft’s most brilliant invention.

I started with a copy of this copyright-free image on freeimages.com. To remix it, I decided to make the photo exponentially better by plastering my ugly mug on it.

I went into Word and copied/cropped/removed the background on a photo of my face, coloured it to match the background, and then used everyone’s favorite artisic tool, Word Art, to slap some text on the picture.

Just like that, a simple picture of spaghetti was transformed into a beautiful thumbnail.

The end result is pretty inspiring if I do say so myself: