Tag Archives: Posiel

Hey, It’s Helen.

Although I do want to help people be the best person they want to be, and I heavily talk about finance, I made this blog as a ‘portfolio’ for future employers and others to see me as more responsible, reliable – something positive for sure.  

 

My ‘finance blog’ I produced over the semester did a few things:

  1. Knowledge or interest in Finance
  2. Learning one’s value and self worth
  3. Skills developing a website (technical skill – using WordPress)
  4. Working understand of Google Analytics, Google Adsense, knowing how to monetize and newsletters
  5. Engaging online audiences
  6. Writing skills and sample writing
  7. Present myself in a way I want to be considered

 

In fact, this blog was an advantage for me while applying for a Co-Op job in finance and public relations.

 

Finance is a big part of my life, in fact a huge part of everyone life in the way in which they are able to navigate in the world. Money unfortunately is what makes the world go round and will determine the way we live, our opportunities, the future, EVERYTHING and yet it is something that everyone struggles with like me. I wanted to share a few of those struggles.

 

My family immigrated here to Canada to give me and my sister a better future – you know, your typical immigrant story I guess. Money really mattered to my family, it never came easy and it was always a struggle. My family would tell me stories about how they made it in Vancouver and although we are not rich we are in a pretty good state, but I still hear the stories…

 

The story of my grandpa’s death when my mom was 11.

The bullying she faced wearing ragged clothes.

Her inability to finish high school.

Moving to Vancouver, she got scammed by people who spoke English.

When she was pregnant, she walked to work instead of bussing to save $1 on bus fare.

My family of 5 living in a 1 bedroom apartment.

 

My mom inspired me to think more mindfully about money, and sparked my passion to write a finance blog. Money is scary and so many people deal with it (like me!). So I thought it would be healthy to have a dialogue about money in the most expensive city EVER. I truly want to help people, it’s why I am not in business actually! This class has really shown me something I had a strong interest in and even using it as leverage to encourage me to be better, to be more responsible and best the best I can be. Large money has always been a part of my life and yet, it is not the only thing about my life. There are so many other ‘inner selves’, personalities, and values that I have, that will be unincluded in my blog.

 

I like fitness. I like going to the gym. I love zumba. I play badminton. I dance. I run.

I like eating. I like cooking at home. I like follow recipes. I enjoy looking at restaurant menus and scrolling food feeds.

I like anime (This one is the hardest one I face). I like the weird and yet beautifully engaging way it tells a story. I like american cartoons too. Bojack Horseman. Rick and Morty. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (btw which is the same writer for Psychopass and Fate:Zero – give it a watch Roshane).

I like animals to the point that I don’t eat them. Yeah I’m a vegan. I have a mat and nat bag because I am basic and idk I just can’t.

 

There’s a lot. There’s even more but I wouldn’t know how to say it all. In fact, I am more than my finance talk, but it is for the better good to put my professional foot forward into my professional career, and slowly grow my opportunities when I graduate. Throughout my life, I wasn’t taken so seriously – but I want to be serious! I want to care about my online presentation of self, something I have been neglecting for a long time and something online, something I learned throughout the course. It’s about the audience and in some ways creating a show for my demographic group based on the persona I make. People come for that, not particularly for all that I am, simply just a part of who I am.

 

Who do I want to be defined as?

 

I produced my blog because I wanted to take control of how people may see me, the way I navigate and enter into the world, and although I am not particularly a private person, it scares me to post something online. I have no profile picture on my Linkedin nor my Facebook. As previously stated, my snapchat username is Gamepwner69, in some ways I can’t take myself seriously, and this blog in many ways is to show me who I want to be, and hopefully will be what I am.

 

Responsible. Aesthetic. Admirable.

 

I am a lot of those things, and at the same time I’m not. I am human. However, authenticity can be threatened, we keep pretending to be people we are not, but at the same time as Erving Goffman so nicely put it, we are all just different in different contexts, the digital sphere is just one of them.

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My Transmedia Strategy | Week 10

Before knowing the “transmedia”, I was already critically aware of the importance of having not just a cohesive online brand, but one that cross-promoted itself. Before starting djalexrose.com (and still now), Instagram was my primary social media platform. I had always promoted my Soundcloud using the business website function and by posting previews of songs, however, now the connection is deeper. My Instagram and Snapchats focus primarily on “story” function engagement with polls, event promotions, and exclusive media.

My Facebook and Twitter are both quite neglected, being automated to post content whenever I upload to Youtube and Soundcloud. I’ve heard from colleagues that Facebook has a much stronger ROI on advertisements than Instagram (which I recently tried) so I’ll be investing more into that platform soon. As of now, neither one has exclusive content.

Soundcloud has shifted to have only my best musical content. From originals to bootlegs to remixes, Soundcloud houses all the tracks that make it Spotify and ones that can’t clear copyright but are still strong releases. It also includes links to all my other social media platforms.

Youtube is the king of my content strategy. It’s home to weekly vlogs, 30-80 minute mixes, exclusive mashups, and much more. As you can see, djalexrose.com remains a focal point being included in my banner.

The final service I’ll mention is ArtistUnion, a download-gate service that exchanges downloads of your music for specified actions. In my case, I require my audience follows my Soundcloud and like and reposts the song they wish to download.

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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.

Insights from my Google Analytics | Week 9

Let’s start off with my User Overview. We will look at my data since the website’s inception in January, including February 20 – March 10th whose data was lost due to a tracking code issue. My traffic is relatively low and consistent. According to 21 Handshake, my type of site has an average bounce rate of 70-90%. Compared to this benchmark, my bounce rate is very good at 38.44%, however, my low amount of users makes most of my analytics insubstantial. The biggest thing I’ve taken from this section is to remove my Youtube videos from my site as session durations are too short for them to be relevant.

Next up: some technology-related data. Most of my users are in the Apple ecosystem and use Google Chrome like myself. Not much to say here other than I may consider implementing an Apple Music widget as well, seeing as my music is hosted there as well as Spotify.

Now for geography. The website follows my Instagram and Soundcloud analytics in that I am predominantly popular in the United States and Canada. Interestingly, the website maintains my popularity from Spotify which is concentrated in Latin America, especially Chile and Brazil. This is most likely due to name confusion with Latin artist Alex Rose (the reason my name is spelt “alex rose”).

How about discovery? Well, there’s a pretty even split between Direct, Social, and Referral here. Most of my social traffic comes from Instagram (my primary social media for engaging my audience) and I’ve also seen a lot of traffic from my peers’ websites referring users to me. I should continue focusing on my Instagram as a traffic source and expand my collaboration to ensure more referrals. Finally, I plan to improve my SEO to see my organic search improve.

 Finally, pageviews broke down by page. No surprise that my homepage would have the most traffic. It’s also comforting to see that my shows page, where my audience can purchase tickets and RSVP to events, is second most popular. Shows are a growing form of revenue for me so this is a welcome insight. Unfortunately, my blog doesn’t appear to get much attention. Most of my blog content can be found directly on my Youtube, but moving forward I plan to have exclusive blog content focused on SEO friendly tutorial content.

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5 Things Developing a Website for My Brand Taught Me | Essay 2

djalexrose.com home page, January 2018

 

The first four months of 2018 have felt like the fastest of my life. At the crossroads of doors opened and closed, I’ve developed a digital home for myself to chronical what has begun to feel like the legitimate fruition of my creative pursuits. To say I’ve learned a lot about myself, my industry, my art, and my brand is an understatement. I want to focus the many learnings I’ve had into the 5 most important. Some of these I knew in a different context but had to realize they still applied, some were taught to me by mentors, and some I learned over the coals. Regardless, they continue to inform my decisions about this website and my digital presence overall.

Teach yourself

Unfortunately, none of us come out of the womb knowing how to use Adobe Premier, how to produce in FL Studio, or how to design a website. Thankfully we live in possibly the best time to learn ever. Companies like Skillshare, Khan Academy, Lynda.com, and many more have been built with the sole intention of educating people and developing their hard-skills, with the World Economic Forum estimating the e-learning market was worth an enormous $166.5 billion in 2015. The best part? If these services aren’t the content for free, someone on Youtube is.

Here is a short list of hard-skills I’ve become proficient in mostly from video tutorials and with no formal training: DJing (both on controllers and on CDJs), music production (primarily in FL Studio), playing the guitar, Photoshop, Premiere, Salesforce, and so on.

I’ve seen far too many of my peers roll over and die at the discovery of their own ignorance or incompetence. News flash: success doesn’t come from your genes or luck, it comes from closing your Netflix tab and spending that time learning deliberately.

 

Build a home

I had some initial scepticism about the costs and benefits of creating a website for my brand. As a musical artist, my priority should be directing the public to my Spotify as my main revenue stream and putting clicks in between discovering me and listening to my music could lose potential listeners. I’ve learned very quickly however that this potential cost is vastly outweighed by having my own domain, my own home on the internet.

Magnetic Magazine puts it best in saying “one of the biggest advantages of running a website is that the artist has full control over it”. Unlike social media platforms like Instagram where I am at the whim of the algorithm about whether or not my tribe even see my content, every piece of content on this website is created and designed by myself. I can experiment and change as much or as little as want at any speed. The agility and freedom of having a website has allowed for me to engage my tribe how I see best.

Integrating widgets on the homepage

 

The other huge benefit to having a website is the consolidation of the many platforms I use. Instead of linking people my Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and so on, I can just tell them to come here. It’s fantastic. Especially as I learned to integrate widgets throughout the site instead of hyperlinks, djalexrose.com became the easiest way to follow me on Spotify, subscribe to my Youtube, and much more. My blog and media pages are also filled with relevant content that is well organized, meaning my tribe can explore the site and find value throughout.

You are not your audience

Many creatives say that they make their art for themselves and that their desired audience is “people like me”. While the response may come from a place of wanted to seem authentic and empathetic, it can’t be true. If it were, any content you produce would have 0 value to the audience as they’ve already thought of, known, or seen it. It’s possible to have a past version of yourself as an intended audience, but to say you are your audience is a failure to understand your own potential and the variety of interests people have.

Take me for example. I am, as of writing this, a 21-year-old male from a major North American city who produces bass-heavy / ghetto house music at an intermediate level, DJs multiple genres at clubs downtown, is classically trained in music theory, and a vocalist. If I only targeted myself as my audience I would miss a lot of opportunities. For example, my experience as a classically trained musician who is literate in music theory is unique in the dance music production industry, meaning I can teach those who do not have my level of theory. Being a vocalist means I can attract other vocalists from outside of the dance music world. If I only focused on my own age range I would miss a huge potential audience of teenagers who consume dance music. Finally, as an intermediate producer, I can’t teach other intermediate producers but I can teach novice producers techniques I find valuable.

Your target audience should be value-aligned to your brand, meaning that they can extract value from your content, but that target is far larger than you as an individual. Accepting this fact does not come at the cost of authenticity, in fact, it amplifies it by making you seem inviting and accessible to the public.

Make it easy

After 4 years of a Communications degree, my writing and speech heirs more on the side of quantity over brevity. My tendency towards purple prose is still noticeable in my writing which is a huge problem when communicating with a general audience. Thankfully, the medium of a blog incentivizes concise content over the 3000-word research papers of my university faculty.

When it comes to creating content for my audience, I always keep in mind that I target beginner producers and dance music fans who have little-to-no technical knowledge. This manifests in my content in a couple key ways. First I try to never have videos go over 10 minutes to make sure my tutorials are focused and streamlined. Second, in editing I simplify sentences as much as possible. The more density of meaning and the less repetition the better.

This philosophy even impacts my UX design. Compared to other DJs, my website is very minimalist and visually simple. Take a look at Dutch superstar DJ Hardwell’s website. It is so cluttered with carousels and text boxes it leaves me nauseous. Of course, this is due to the challenges of being world famous and having multiple music labels to promote, but for an artist who is always so cutting edge, his website is surprisingly unfriendly. I try to do the opposite of Hardwell with my website. I am okay with having more than 2 pages for the sack of accessible and we as designers should always have the user’s ease in mind.

Don’t keep secrets

The world of music production like any art is prone to copy-cat’ing. Once Tchami and Oliver Heldens combined the worlds of deep house and mainstage electro to invent the genre of future house, Youtube exploded with tutorials on how to make their bass synth patches and percussion patterns. The same would happen with future bass, future bounce, and now Confession-style ghetto house. Because of this, most producers are reserved about sharing their techniques out of fear of being copied.

A project file in FL Studio

I believe that an artists sound goes beyond just the bass they use (see Tchami’s evolving style from 2014-2018) or the shaker they prefer. Videos titled “How to make music like _” or “How to sound like _” equip developing artists with new tools to add to their arsenal in developing their unique sound. Personally, learning to make percussion like Oliver Heldens, kick patterns like RICCI, basses like Tchami and Malaa, and melodies like Martin Garrix have allowed me to craft my own sound in my productions like Drank.

Sharing my techniques with other only works in my favour creating a stylistic movement behind my music. If someone produces a track similar to Drank, others will say “hey that sounds like Drank! I like it!” and both myself and the other artist benefit.

Conclusion

There you have it, my top 5 learnings from developing a website for my artist brand. I expect to continue learning more as this site and my career progress, but I’m extremely happy with where its come in such a short time. If you’re a returning reader, thanks for sticking with me, and if you’re new, welcome to djalexrose.com.

 

 

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Essay #2 – My own experience as an online pulisher

An Introduction of my Own Website

This fall, I started my website rachelbiubiubiu.com and named it as 36C, the name I use in every game I play. As stated in the title of this website, let’s see what this cup size can do. I have been hoping to create a website of my own for a long time; however, I didn’t implement any action due to the thought of I’m not good at programming. Thankfully, I was recommended a powerful software called WordPress. “Typically, WordPress developers tend to focus more on design aspects of the application compared to development aspects” (Rakhitha 329).

To begin with, I registered and bought a domain of my own I was so excited of my domain because it’s exclusive in the world. Then I read through some usage guidance and watched quite a lot videos shot by experienced WordPress users. Both the software itself and its guidance are very user-friendly, so computer idiots like me are able to get command of online publication within a pretty short time.

MY PUBLIC

My website mainly deals with online games since I’m fond of playing online games especially League of Legends and Fortnite. I share information of gaming with the hope of attracting game players all over the world to discuss and compete with me. And I also hope to know more about the latest trend of Internet games through communication with other game players.

At first, the majority of my public was my friends and classmates, because I shared the joy of establishing my website with them for the first time. And they clicked on my site quite frequently. Later, they also recommend this 36C publication to their friends and acquaintants. This website has been a highly convenient and useful platform to express my ideas to all visitors.

HOW AM I ADDRESSING THE AUDIENCE

I address my audience through a combination of photos, game review and introduction, peer review, relevant articles and so on. And I will update some videos as soon as possible. The website is consists of four parts, namely, home, about, blog post and Posiel. The primary color of this website is warm orange and soft pink, showing an atmosphere of youth and freshness. By designing the appearance and content of the site, I would like to share the funny sides of gaming and reveal the joy of a simple life.

With the help of Google Analytics, I’ve got to know more about my audience. For the reason that “Google Analytics is a tool to quantitatively measure what happens on your own business” (Justin 1) Comparing with essays reposted, the original contents created by me have been visited by a larger number of audience. For instance, I posted a pink keyboard and mouse I got as a gift on Valentine’s Day, not long after, I got lots of comments, among which lots of them highly praised this gift and asked me where to buy it. So, this technique contributes a lot to know what kinds of content are most popular and attractive then I can update relevant contents accordingly. From comments of my audience, I also learn that the majority of them are teenagers like me. To my surprise, some of them did not play games before, but they still click on my website out of curiosity. Furthermore, they said what I updated has interested them significantly, so they’d love to give it a try. This is precisely the goal I intend to achieve, that is to spread the joy of playing games.

I’ve received a various type of comment through e-mails. Most of them are words admiring the effort I’ve spent to manage this website, but some of them are sharp words of criticizing me for showing off and wasting time. I have to admit that I was upset when seeing these unfriendly words, but later I think that people do have different opinions and I will still stick to what I enjoy doing. Since “A considered and well-executed response will help repair the damage of negative comments” (Newson & Patten 19), I should be more prepared for the potentially harmful comments and respond to them appropriately.

Looking back, this website has helped me to realize that my understanding of games is not yet profound enough and I should communicate with and learn more from my audience. Looking forward, I would like to continue to blog by updating more photos and videos. Most importantly, I will spare no effort to test and recommend marvelous online games to my audience. I cherish this platform a lot and wish to keep it as a digital diary to document my life as well as share with game players all over the world.

Works Cited

Rakhitha Nimesh Ratnayake. WordPress Web Application Development   https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=mnc5DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA329&dq=WordPress+importance&hl=zh-CN&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3l4CzuvjZAhVrxoMKHQmKA04Q6AEIPTAD#v=onepage&q=WordPress%20importance&f=false

Cutroni, Justin. Google Analytics: Understanding Visitor Behavior https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=jDpN8YAQSNcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Google+Analytics&hl=zh-CN&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjuvLbBu_jZAhWo5YMKHVkRB1sQ6AEIOTAC#v=onepage&q=Google%20Analytics&f=false

Newson, A. Patten, J. Blogging and Other Social Media. Web. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.hk/books?isbn=1351955187

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#posiel: community building

I only have 3 golden rules for my website:

1. Have fun.
2. Hate comments will not be tolerated.

3. You must participate in the polls, but only if you want to.

How many shrimps do you have to eat before your skin turns pink?

Yes
No
Maybe
42
Created with Survey Creator

#posiel: transmedia tributaries

I think that incorporating transmedia platform on one’s blog is great technique for expanding one’s public sphere.

However, I am notorious for poorly maintaining my existing social media accounts (replying to messages), so much so that sometimes I just opt for temporary deactivation. Here is an actual message I received from a friend:

… no. lol (u//w//u) I wam dwead. I wam a bwurried jwowanni.

I’ve mentioned several times previously that I am not comfortable with the idea of a growing public sphere, and that my blog is primarily a safe space where I can gather my thoughts for myself and for my three friends to look back on later. A growing public sphere would mean a growing opportunity for scrutiny.

Hypothetically speaking, if I were to integrate transmedia into my online publication, I think Facebook would be the most effective platform to utilize. Out of the social media accounts that I use, Facebook is where I’m connected with the most people, and the more people, the greater audience, so hopefully the wider the public. Each time I publish a new post, I could post a link to my Facebook for my friends to see.

Process Post 12

Community Guidelines 

Online comments are a bit of a double-edged sword – they can facilitate meaningful dialogue but they can also attract obscene and harmful content. According to Konnikova (2013), comments sections can produce a diffusion of responsibility because individuals feel less accountable for their own comments and thus, are more likely to engage in amoral behaviour. In order to combat this amoral and potentially harmful behaviour, it is imperative to establish a set of guidelines on what is appropriate vs. what is not appropriate.

In addition to this post, I think that I will implement my community guidelines under my About page or under a page where they can be easily found. In order for users to be aware of what constitutes an inappropriate comment, it is important that they first find, read, and understand my community guidelines. Therefore, it is imperative for my guidelines to be on a page that is easy to find.

The core values of Jkallu.com are sync with those of Book Riot. Jkallu.com values social justice, feminism, and inclusivity. Therefore, I have developed the following community guidelines for this website:

The following comments may be removed:

  • Comments that harass, abuse, insult, or discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, race, age, national origin, and/or disability
  • Comments that contain any computer virus or other malware
  • Comments that are threatening, defamatory, pornographic, or violate any party’s intellectual property
  • Comments that are posted for any obscene or immoral purpose

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Essay #2 – Importance of Value in Blogging

Lafleur Lifestyle is a lifestyle blog that has helped me explore my passions through a public platform. I can be in control over every aspect of my website, creating, editing, and posting content about anything that I please. Over the last few months, I have become a part of a new community through my online …

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Essay 2

Publishing My Online Self

 

          Publishing until this course had never meant anything in my life.  At the very beginning of this course for our introductions we were asked to define publishing.  I had no clue at all what publishing was, I said this on the card actually. I did not even know how to begin to piece a definition for the word.  I am still not completely confident in a definition, I will say though that I have come some ways from knowing absolutely nothing. In the setup of this class, where we are pushed into a formal online publisher role, publication (still unsure about the definition) has come to mean something pretty significant to me; the context it has in this course is really personal, and in that I have been able to connect to it in a way I have not ever before.  My blog is not perfect, I am not completely content with where it is, but I am nonetheless proud of how far it has progressed. I have learned a lot while building my site, about publishing, about myself (Brown, Czerniewicz, & Noakes, 2016). I will in this essay share about my experiences as a publisher, my relationship to publication as a result, by discussing the logistics of my presence’s concept, and its relationship to an audience.

          My presence is a personal blog based on the music I surround myself with (my playlist).  All of my posts relate to music I enjoy, in some way. I have it on my blog somewhere that I think playlists are very revealing, because they speak very intimately to our unique experiences.  How I approach my posts is I aim to give my life’s context for saving a particular song into my playlist. In the beginning my content was text-heavy around my life stories that the particular song brings up; after a couple of posts like these I found it hard to always have something to say.  More recently I have been playing with different mediums and ideas for my content. I have been posting not just about my past, but things relevant to me right now, and things that I am looking forward to as well (Schmitt, Dayanim, & Matthias, 2008).  I have expanded past just my life stories. It is still a priority to me that my posts are personal to my life, now though I have been trying to present myself in more creative, interesting (to me) ways.  I have been trying things with audio, video, in addition to text. Referring to Analytics I found that my posts with audio were received the best; these posts were my favourite to work on, so this is nice for me to find out.

          In the beginning of this presence I did not think very much of an audience.  I really just saw this site an an opportunity to explore things that I am interested in, and just express anything I felt compelled to; in almost every way I see my site still as a place for these things.  As I have bulked up my presence slightly, I have grown to see site interest/loyalty in the demographics most similar to me; this means college-aged, BC-residing, females who listen to R&B and Chill Rap. Because what I post about is so personal to my experiences, it makes sense that the people who consume my work most meaningfully are the people in similar circumstances as me; they have the most to relate to in my posts (Correa & Jeong, 2011).  For my design decisions this audience informed my choices somewhat, this site is a personal blog so authenticity to my experiences, and my preferences play the biggest role in my decisions. I have not changed anything drastic to the make-up of this site based on audience analytics. Because the audience is quite similar to me I think things worked out well, design-wise, there were not any glaring discordances. Some small things I have done include adding a description to my subtopics under the Blog section, and also I make an effort to post on Sundays around five, Analytics found most engagement on my site at this time slot (Moses, Dwyer, Fuglestad, Kim, Maki, Snyder, & Terveen, 2017).

          Up until this course I, for the most part, just consumed content.  On my end of social media, I was very inactive. I posted probably once a year on each of my platforms.  I did not express much of myself anywhere online really. I still am mostly a consumer, now however, having had the experience of publishing content, my opinion of publication is better rounded.  I have a worldly greater appreciation for content that is put out. Through this experience I have been able to moreso understand the thinking/logistics behind publishing anything. As strictly a consumer like I was, I never got to sincerely see the intention and work in the things I read, listened to, or watched; so much thought and attention is given to things people usually gloss over, like fonts or spacing.  Developing my presence in this class, it had me thinking about orientation, tone, among so many things I never thought about when thinking about my work, and consuming other people’s. I have a greater respect for publishers now. Content is not published just because. There is intention for the work, and there is purposeful work in the content meant for certain people; I never had the opportunity, or context to see publishing and publication in this way, till this class; and I am really glad for it.  

 

References

 

I am using APA format for this essay

 

Brown, C., Czerniewicz, L., & Noakes, T. (2016). Online content creation: looking at students’ social media practices through a Connected Learning lens. Learning, Media and Technology, 41(1), 140-159.  https://doi-org.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/10.1080/17439884.2015.1107097

Schmitt, K., Dayanim, S., & Matthias, S. (2008). Personal homepage construction as an expression of social development. Developmental Psychology, 44(2), 496-506. http://dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/10.1037/0012-1649.44.2.496

Correa, T., & Jeong, S. (2011). Race and Online Content Creation. Information, Communication & Society, 14(5), 638-659.

Moses, J., Dwyer, P., Fuglestad, P., Kim, J., Maki, A., Snyder, M., & Terveen, L. (2017). Encouraging online engagement: The role of interdependent self construal and social motives in fostering online participation. Personality and Individual Differences, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.06.035

 

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What This Site Means to Me. . . (5%)

The most significant thing this class has done for me, I am grateful it’s done this, it has changed my relationship with content/content-creating.  I mentioned it in my essay that I identified most as a content consumer prior to this class.  Because I’ve been pushed into putting out work (as is the expectation of this course), I have been able to experience content-creating in a way I never have before, and probably if not for this class, maybe never at all.  I learned a lot about the logistics in creating a presence, and I expected that, but the growth that matters more to me is the one towards my own personal self.  I have through this class been able to explore my self, my interests in ways I never thought I could/would.  I have been able to express things I did not know I wanted to.  I did not know that I had so much to say.  I see content more than just something to consume, now I see it as a piece of the creator, an expression of themselves, and in that the work (whatever it is) is really special.  In this experience as an online publisher of the self, I have come to have such a huge appreciation for people who put out content.  I see content in an almost unrecognizably different light now.

It’s kind of scary thinking back before this class, social media was my only idea of self expression; I was not even active on my platforms.  I may be wrong, but I think a lot of people feel like social media is their only way to express themselves.  What makes this perception dangerous in my opinion is the fact that these platforms are facilitated by numbers, (likes, shares, views), and for people who don’t have large followings, this can be discouraging.  Expression is expression, just because one post is shared more, it should not disvalidate the other one that is not as engaged with.  There is a tendency for comparison with social media, and when it comes to exploration and expression of  oneself, no one is better than another.  The value of the content in these situations move from the freedom of the creator to the attention given to the content (in my experience at least).   This might be why I identified as a consumer of content moreso than anything else.  Numbers are there, and it is hard not to look at, or interpret your work in that kind of lens; this is a hurdle this class has helped me get over.  This course has given me a platform that is mine to build, and make decisions for.   With this website before even the logistics, the fonts, the orientation, the site theme, before all of that is me as the presence it’s all going to speak for.  I am not, in this, just a cog in some kind of social/monetizing framework, not as tightly at least.

I am really glad to have this space to just explore and express myself.  I love that I can share about anything I want to on this site.  Some people have actually reached out to me because of this site, and that is also really special to me.  Not advertisers per say, just people who connect to some part of this presence (my posts, my music recommendations, etc.).  My audience from analytics is not super huge, but it’s growing and because it is so off-grid (in my opinion), I take the people it is gathering to be genuine.  I am moved to know that there are people my content is relating to, that in some way my posts are doing something.  In terms of after this course, I would love to keep this up.  I don’t know what my life is going to look like post-this-term.  I just gushed two paragraphs worth about the freedom I have on this presence, it’s not something I think I’ll ever have with my social media platforms.  If in my life time permits it, I will keep posting.

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Blog Post #11 The (After) Life Of The Party

Nothing really to report now. It’s finals season and I’m neck deep in papers, video projects, and still full time at work. I was hired for some Pro-Am nights at Yuk Yuks at the end of the month which I am super excited for, just need to write some new material and work up the strength to re-watch my set. Hoping to finish up my posts in this course too!

Week 12: Community Guidelines

The following community guidelines for Shaponders are set in place to protect the Pondering community. Comments will be monitored before they are approved by myself. Any inappropriate comments will be deleted and the commenter will be blocked immediately. Non relevant comments will also not be approved in order for discussions to remain on topic and relevant. This website is a safe space for my audience to interact with me, my content and with those of similar interest. I encourage you to converse amongst yourselves in the comments section so that we can build a strong community.

Community Guidelines:

  • Do not post abusive or discriminatory comments.
  • Do not promote anything in the comments sections.
  • Do not argue with others in the comments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
  • No name calling or attacking in the comments section.
  • No hate will be tolerated in the comments section.

Violating any of these community guidelines will result in the violator being blocked from this website.

My Experience as an Online Publisher — Essay #2

Prior to this spring semester at SFU, I had only experienced the surface of online publishing. I’ve made posts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter but I’ve never been so involved and dedicated into creating my own personal cyberinfrastructure. Throughout these weeks of taking PUB 101, I’ve gained valuable experience in developing my online self, curating content for my imagined audience, and cultivating my creative side. In addition, I have acquired some useful technical skills by working on my blog.

I didn’t have to think too long about what type of blog I wanted to develop. I’ve always had an interest in reading lifestyle magazines, watching lifestyle vloggers, and following lifestyle influencers on Instagram. Thus, I created a lifestyle blog, but I wanted it to cater to my lifestyle and my online self. So I decided that I wanted my blog style to be very simple. My blog contains content surrounding fashion, beauty, fitness, and everything lifestyle. I thought that it would be perfect for general women in their 20s or 30s who live a normal, simple and modern life. This was the audience I imagined, and I felt that my style of blog can be relatable to my targeted demographic.

Keeping my imagined audience in mind, it has influenced many decisions I’ve made for my blog. For example, I put in a lot of effort into making my blog look pretty, simple and clean. This is because my targeted demographic is mainly females, thus much of the aspects of my blog is feminine. I think “about how [I] should treat each piece of content, designing to reflect its subtle personality. The content should speak to the few people who can identify with this personality because this is the only audience that matters.” (Gertz, 2015) I’ve maintained a simple and feminine theme throughout my blog by making my colour scheme white and coral. Also, my font is either cursive or light and simple. I target my content to audiences who appreciate aesthetics and are looking for content that lightens up their lifestyle. I cater to this by posting about fashion and makeup tips for example. Furthermore, I include a lot of relevant and quality images in my posts to capture my viewers attention.

Google Analytics has been a helpful tool in my journey as an online publisher. It really helped to see if my content is appealing to my targeted group of people. I discovered through looking at the statistics provided by Google Analytics that a majority of my audience were females. From seeing this statistic, I believed that I was successful in creating content that appealed to my imagined audience. Also, I saw through Google Analytics that many of my viewers visited my blog through Instagram. Therefore, I have been continuing to work on and integrate Instagram more into my blog. I have also been working on writing better keywords for my blog in order to attract more users through organic searches. By gathering and analyzing this information, I was able to better cater my content to my intended audience which helped me market my blog.

Thus far, I have only gather a few comments from my fellow classmates which I am grateful for. I found it challenging to successfully engage my audience and I hope that my content will attract more comments in the future. I believe engagement with my audience can inspire and encourage me to continue creating and improving my online content. Audience engagement is one of the areas I wish to improve on for my blog in the future. “It allows you to use online marketing to its full potential and purpose in order to build stronger relationships with your audience as well as grow your brand loyalty and presence online.” (Henwood, n.d.)

At the beginning of the course, I though publication was simply the act of putting content out for the public to see. I soon learned that it was a lot more intricate than that. I’ve never though about my online self, my online presence, or my online audience until this course. Publication involves “how we carefully craft the way we appear, the way we behave, and, as a result, the way we are perceived by others.” (J Max, 2015) I’ve learned to develop my online self and create quality content to effectively attract an imagined audience. After gaining experience as an online publisher, I’ve gained respect for other online publishers. I discovered that developing a cyber infrastructure demanded a lot of time and effort. On the other hand, it is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. I learned a lot of technical skills during this journey. For example, I improved my Photoshop skills and learned more about Google Analytics. At first, it was daunting to have so much freedom and lack of structure to the instructions for this course. In the end, I was grateful for having a creative outlet where my innovation wasn’t stifled. |Fascinating and important innovations would emerge as students are able to shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium.” (Watters, 2015) I’ve really enjoyed developing my blog this semester and I plan on continuing to blog past the end of this course.


References

Gertz, Travis (2015). “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.”
Henwood, Annaliese (n.d.). “Audience Engagement: The Why, When, Where and How.”
J Max (2015). “The Publication of Self.”
Watters, Audrey. (2015). “The Web We Need to Give to Students.”

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Essay 2

My Publication In A Nutshell

This semester PUB101 focused on students creating their own spaces online. The publication that we were required to create was a blog. I created my blog www.shaponders.com, which was quite exciting as I got to choose exactly what direction I wanted my blog to go in. This began with the freedom to select the name for my blog and then designing the entire structure, including the theme, the fonts, the layout and so on. For the content, I had to put out weekly posts for my blog that were for my specific audience, weekly process posts, three peer reviews and two essays.

My weekly posts for my imagined audience gave me the most amount of freedom to express myself and shape my blog in the direction I wanted it to go. My imagined audience was originally international college and university students, however I have now gone in the direction of creating content for college and university students in Vancouver between the ages of 18-25. I have chosen to go in this direction because after looking at my audience demographic on Google analytics, I have come to realize that most of my audience is based in Canada, with a few individuals around the world, in places such as the UK and India viewing my blog.

To cater to my audience based in Canada, I focus on publishing blog posts reviewing restaurants and café’s that I visit and I think will be of interest to individuals around my age – who are of the demographic I am catering to. I also post about my current interests such as the shows I am watching on Netflix and quotes that motivate me. Although these posts are personal, they are relatable to individuals of my age range because they too are watching similar shows or may have similar interests as myself and this is how we can find common ground. New discussions can be formed around these topics, as they are both current and relevant. I try to create content that is not too personal, as I want to keep my privacy.

When I first created my blog, I was hesitant to use my name. I did not want to attach myself to the content I wanted to originally create, however I realized that using my name would allow my audience to be able to relate to me better and make my blog appear more personal. According to the article ‘Searching for a public of their own‘ by Boyd (n.d), it appears as though individuals choose to be more public online because they want to become a part of a larger public group. They want to find individuals who share similar interests as themselves and interact with them. This relates to what I have been trying to do with my blog. I too am trying to interact with individuals who share the same interests as myself.

I have received a few relevant comments on blog, however not as many as I had expected to receive. I received a relevant comment on my ‘Must Watch On Netflix’ blog post last week, where the commenter was interested in taking a look at a TV show I recommended and also recommended something for me to watch. This was a very constructive comment, which goes to show that my post was relevant to someone. When replying to the few comments that I received on recent blog posts, I have had a difficult time trying to figure out what I should say. Usually when I produce work for my courses or submit assignments, I am accustomed to receiving feedback and a grade. I do not have to continue discussing the topic with my marker, and therefore I have to take some time to think about what I should say in response to the comment. I believe that over time I will take less time when responding to comments. Also, responding to comments in a timely manner will make my readers feel as though I am engaged with my content and interested in making connections with them.

The design for my publication that I have selected is that I am going for a clean layout. I want there to be white spaces so that my audience do not have a hard time navigating through each post. The posts on my blog appear as they do on Instagram, in little boxes. I believe that this layout gives my blog a very current and on trend feel, which is exactly what I want it to have. It also allows my audience the ease of being able to quickly glimpse over the images and see what strikes their interest. According to the PEW Research Centre, an article titled ‘Social Media Use in 2018‘, 71% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 use Instagram (Smith & Anderson, 2018). This suggests that this age group are likely to be drawn to a website that looks familiar to a social media platform they use on a daily basis.

Looking back, I now understand that a publication is anything that is posted for others to access. My blog is a publication; my social media content are also publications. Before taking this course, I thought that blogs were being phased out as individuals prefer visual content over having to go to a website and read content. I learned that I can make blog posts more visual too, such as by using gifs instead of making my posts text heavy. I created a blog post ‘5 Things Only International Students Can Relate To’ using gifs and a minimal amount of words. I found this extremely fun to create and I loved how the post turned out.

At the beginning of the semester, one of the required weekly readings, ‘The Web We Need to Give Students‘ made me realize the importance of publishing my work (Watters, 2015). The article talks about students not being able to access their work after the semester is over as it is not publicly available. This is true for most of my courses because I do not save all my work after submitting it. Being in my fourth year at university, I have deleted most of my first year work to make space on my computer for work that is more important right now. Having my work published on my personal blog allows me to refer to the content I created weeks ago. I will have access to this work for at least a year, until my subscription expires.

As for my goals in the future regarding my publication, I will continue to try and put out weekly blog posts. I will also continue to promote my blog on my Instagram account, and if I continue to enjoy doing this, I will renew my blog subscription next year. I believe that working on improving my blog could be a great asset and I could use it as part of my portfolio to showcase some of the work that I have created.

 

References

Boyd, D. (n.d). searching for a public of their own. Retrieved from https://www.wattpad.com/203798155-it%27s-complicated-8-searching-for-a-public-of-their

Smith, A., & Anderson, M. (2018, March 1). Social Media Use in 2018. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/

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

Essay 2

Reflecting on My Journey Through Pub 101 

The process of creating a blog was much different than what I anticipated. I thought that it would be a fun and straight-forward process. And while the process was fun and exciting, it was also confusing, frustrating, and sometimes aggravating. The following images illustrate what I thought blogging would be like vs. what blogging was actually like:

 

What I thought creating a blog would be like. Image source: Arts on the Horizon.

 

What creating a blog was actually like. Image source: Kennedy Institute.

One of the main things I struggled with was finding a purpose for my blog. The amount of freedom that I was given in this course was foreign to me. I think academia has conditioned me into thinking that there is always a right or wrong way to do things, and this mindset was really difficult to overcome when I started blogging. After reading Gardner Campbell’s (2009) A Personal Cyberinfrastructure, I realized that the amount of freedom afforded in this course was necessary in order for students to learn the ins and outs of cultivating an online identity. Campbell (2009) notes that by building a personal cyberinfrastructure, students will “acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives … [and] engage in work that provides richly teachable moments” (para 7). Therefore, it is only through a hands-on, self-driven approach that students may be able to fully explore and understand the intricacies of the online realm. Overall, while I learned how to blog in Pub 101, I also learned about the “so what?” and “why?” questions underlying what is done online.

Initially, I decided that I didn’t want to set too many restrictions on the content that I would post. The theme of my blog is fairly open – I have a “blog” section for personal posts, and I also have categories for food and beauty. Later, however, I realized that having too many categories created some difficulties for me – was I being concise enough? Should I focus on one specific topic? How was I defining my audience? Had I known what I know now, I probably would have been more precise about the purpose of my blog.

In Process Post Three, I noted that my imagined audience includes someone similar to myself: female, late teens or early twenties, student, interested in posts related to food and beauty. In addition, I think that my blog might attract other South Asian females because culture is discussed in some of my personal blog posts. Conversely, my real audience comprises my close friends, some of my classmates in Pub 101, and of course, professor Norman.

Keeping My Audience in Mind

I did not have a distinct audience in mind when I created my blog. Instead, I followed Warner’s (2002) suggestion to “put on a show and see who shows up” (p. 82). Unfortunately, I failed to understand the importance of defining my audience. Now, however, I realize that keeping a potential audience in mind is an integral component of the blogging process. At the same time, this is a personal blog first and foremost. Therefore, my decisions are mostly informed by my personal preferences, and my imagined audience is a secondary consideration.

I decided to stick with a minimalist theme because it is trendy and easy to navigate. This is ideal for my target audience because I expect that most individuals in their late teens or early twenties are comfortable with a clean design. With regard to my content, I kept a casual tone and tried to include personal anecdotes where possible. In addition, I included a sidebar with an image and description of myself. I did this because my blog is personal in nature and I wanted my audience to feel like they could relate to me.

After Mauve’s lecture on design principles and Heather’s peer review of my site, I decided to incorporate a seafoam green accent colour. Unfortunately, the theme that I am using does not allow me to include an accent colour. In order to do this, I had to make changes to the CSS using the editor tab. By doing this, I realized how malleable themes really are. I think that an accent colour enhances the consistency of my website and is also aesthetically-pleasing for my audience. In “How To Survive the Digital Apocalypse”, Travis Gertz (2015) raises concerns that we have designed ourselves into a corner by being reliant on design choices created by machines. To address this concern, I customized my theme to reflect my personal taste. As a result, I believe that my audience is better able to get a sense of my personality and style.

Moving Forward

Pub 101 has inspired me to do a better job of linking my existing social media accounts to each other. In “Publics and Counter-Publics”, Michael Warner (2002) argues that “no single text can create a public… nor can a single voice, a single genre, or a single medium” (p. 420). In class, we learned that the medium we use can ultimately influence what and how we post. Thus, I think that transmedia integration is an effective way to provide my followers with a more nuanced and comprehensive look at my online self.

To be honest, I do not think that I will continue with this blog. However, I might re-structure it to narrow the scope of my content (e.g. create a personal blog, a food blog, or a lifestyle blog). Currently, my blog is a mix of personal/lifestyle content and I don’t think that will fare well if I want to expand my site. Admittedly, this blog is a bit of a mess. But, at the very least, Pub 101 has equipped me with the tools that I’ll need to clean this mess up.

References

Campbell, G. (2009). A personal cyberinfrastructure. EDUCAUSE Review, 44(5), 58-59.

Gertz, T. (2015, July 10th). Design machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse. Retrieved from https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and counterpublics. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4). 413-425.

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And Thats A…WRAP

Social media and the inter web play a major role in society today . This is what shapes our world today and it will continue to do so for the future. The power social media has alone is outstanding. Every person in this world plays a key role in the evolution of the internet. Publishing 101 has taught me many of the different aspects the internet has to offer. Throughput this course I have listened to lectures and watched educational power points which have taught me the different standpoints of the inter web. It was interesting to see how many ways the internet is used and depended on today. I remember one class we were asked what we would do with only one hour left on the internet. Everyone though long and hard but there were many of the same responses, “Netflix and online shopping” were the two most used ideas. This goes to show how dependable we are on the internet without even noticing. The simplest things such as watching TV and shopping for retail are tied to the internet and they can be done without it.

The idea of making a blog to me at first was simple. I had not yet attempted an internet website so this concept seemed simple. It was not too long until I realized that this was going to be a difficult task. All of the details to my blog mattered. I decided to do a fashion blog to reflect my thoughts and ideas behind what fashion means to me. This consisted of posting images of  myself and explain what I was wearing and why. I also managed to incorporate tips and other option for every look because i believed this was important to have.

Fashion has been a passion of mine for quite a while. It was unique for me to find a class where I could incorporate my desire into it. I had not thought much about blogging before this class. I did not know what went into the process of every post but I now have a lot of respect for bloggers of any genre. Every detail to a blog must be perfect in order to grab readers’ attention. From the size of the font to the colour of the home page every detail matters and has many steps that go into it. The marketing and branding strategies one can have for their personal blog will be different than any other, but everyone has the same goal, to be read and subscribed to.

The internet is a powerful tool. It allows for many opportunities. The only issue is that there are many other individuals that want to attain the same goals as you on the internet. Because of this your work must stand out and you must have many different aspects that will set you aside from the rest. For myself, fashion blogs are very generic. There are many fashion blogs that have the same purpose. In order for this genre to stand out you must have something that the others don’t. Whether it is the way you capture your images or the way you market yourself it is very important to spend a lot of time building your brand to set it aside from the others.

My biggest struggles in this class was to create my blog the way I wanted it. Due to the fact that I was a beginner to blogging and still consider myself as one I was not familiar with how to create my blog. I had a vision but my knowledge of this software was not good enough and so I had to try to figure it out as I went. I found this whole experience very educational as I feel this course is beneficial to every student wanting to learn more about the internet as user and as an educator. This has been my favourite class so far in my educational career and can take a lot away from it as the semester comes to an end.

 

 

Essay Two

The world is a different place with the internet constantly evolving, not long ago it was a place to google definitions, or recipes— it is now a place for free expression. This year I was lucky enough to get into Publication 101. Each student created a website and was told to post freely on whatever inspires them, I chose anything related to fashion. Whether it was reviewing quality, the new trends, and new collections. Although It does sound straight forward and very easy, I did face many challenges. Starting off with the layout; I had a tough time deciding on a back splash, the font size, how many colours I wanted to use…etc. This issue may seem minimal to some, to me this is what was going to make my website what it is. Once I got that figured out finding inspirational content to post about was my next challenge, and lastly just simply working my way around the site. Throughout this paper you will find out the ways I’ve over come these challenges, and my thought and overall experience with this class.

WordPress offers countless amounts of layouts to design your website up to just about anyones standards. During the first week of designing the layout of the website, I went through at least six different styles before I found the perfect one. My website follows a black and white theme, with a checkered back splash and a thick font. It keeps my website looking clean so I am able to add colourful photos. Since online shopping is something I catch myself doing a least once a day, my website is the perfect place to express this. I enjoy finding new online clothing stores and testing them out. It can be tricky finding a size appealing for your body shape. I plan to use my website to give insight to others on quality, fit, and shipping details. When I’m not posting about my own experience with the clothing, I’m posting about new trends and designers. WordPress is the perfect place to show my content , it is one of the easier websites to manage for self-publishing. Its a great blogging platform for people like me who want to build their on website for under $100 a year. It also gives me control over the content I post.

Each class Suzanne brought in a guest speaker to further explain the workings of the internet. Each spoke on tips and tricks we could to use so we stay away for the common mistakes people make on when starting out on a new website. One of my favourite classes we had was speaking to a very successful Youtuber— he spoke about his experiences with the industry and how easy it is to lose sight of your original goal. I looked forward to going to class to see all of the exciting and relatable information brought to our attention that we could use in our very next post. Not only have I learned how to manage WordPress, but I also get a better understanding how to fully expressing my thoughts.

Three websites which I used for inspiration is Budget Fashionista, she posts on how to shop on a budget. The blogger goes through style advice, what you should look for in stores and beauty tips. By looking at her website I can see she also uses WordPress, she has a clean looking background which is very similar layout to the one I chose. The Startorialist is a fashion website which solely posts photos of trends which may or may not have made it to the run way. The author of this site uses minimal words but plenty of photos— something I took a liking to and decided to use that technique in my own work.  Lastly one of my favourites, Alicia Fashionista— Alicia is from Vancouver and posts regularly on common outfits she wears. The reason this blog is my favourite is because of how relatable and attainable her outfit choices are. She also grew as a blogger and made her website like her virtual diary. She not only posts on fashion, but other content that inspires her. This class has opened me up to a goals I didn’t even know I had, after the time I’ve put into my blog I now know I would like to achieve these goals.

Fashion is a tricky field to jump in to, however posting weekly about it has given me a taste of what I can accomplish. I use my posts to get out of my comfort zone and be creative with the outfits I wear. This website is for me and for any other individuals who take pride in what they wear. Fashion is an art, which scares many people including myself when stepping out of the box. My overall goal after finish this course is to hopefully continue posting weekly on my blog, and feeling comfortable in my clothing choice as well as hopefully expanding with my content.

 

A Vancouver based fashion and lifestyle blog. (n.d.). Retrieved April 09, 2018, from http://www.aliciafashionista.com/

Style and Fashion on a Budget. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.thebudgetfashionista.com/

The SartoriList. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://www.thesartorialist.com/

Essay #2

Walking into the first PUB 101 class, I had no idea what to expect. I had found this course by complete coincidence and figured I would take it as a refreshing change to all the film courses I had already been taking. But when I had found out the main focus of this class would be to independently operate my own blog, I was a bit surprised. Surprised by how radically different this course was sounding, and how it would be run. Nevertheless, I was excited to have a course that was something different, so I stuck with it. Little did I realize however, that this course wouldn’t only be about how to maintain a blog, but also about the deeper more philosophical reasons behind social media and the internet as a whole.

The first hurdle I had to overcome when creating my blog was what it was actually going to be about. The choice came down to being either a photography blog where I post my own pictures and comment about being a photographer, or a movie blog where I talk about movies I like, dislike, etc. What made my decision in the end came from a course reading that I had stumbled across while looking ahead into the outline. The quote comes from Why We Post “Social media has shifted human communication towards the visual at the expense of text and voice. Now a photo can become the core of our conversation.” This quote really struck me, and reminded me of the old phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Sometimes an image can have a greater impact than a 750 word essay (cough cough). So it was decided. Using my last name as clever wordplay, Pawer of Photography was born. Then came my next hurdle, design. Being both a film enthusiast and student of it, design and aesthetics are concepts that lay close to my heart, so I knew I really wanted the design to both highlight the purpose of my blog and look good doing it. After examining different WordPress themes and playing around with their options, I eventually settled on my current theme, Hitchcock. Not only did I like how this theme gave special attention to photos, but I found it fitting that it be named after the famed director. However this would not be the end in my attempt to get my blog looking the way I like it. For almost a week I struggled to figure out a way to select which photos I wanted to appear on my homepage, and which ones I didn’t. I wanted my regular content, and my PUB 101 content to remain separate (with a few exceptions here and there). I wanted my homepage to reflect the content I wanted to put out, and not the content that I was required to create. Eventually, one of my peers suggested a plugin for me, and it’s been working just the way I like ever since. Working on getting my blog looking just the way I wanted was by no means a simple task, and it required a lot of time experimenting with the limits of WordPress. Erin Kissane, in her magazine article “Contents may have shifted” explains this, stating “But as the web has matured and our browsing devices have proliferated, online content has begun to turn liquid and fall out of our page-shaped boxes.” I remember the time when no website looked good. They were all very blocky and unappealing (those dark days of the early internet). But as technology has evolved, so has our understanding of what looks good online. Working within WordPress very much felt like I was working with a liquid that can take the shape of whatever container I place it in. It required a lot of creativity, but the tools existed to help you shape the liquid into a shape I liked. 

Having and appealing to an audience was something I hadn’t considered while initially creating my website. I wasn’t expecting there to be a great deal of traffic, and I had created this site primarily for myself as an archive of my photos. As a result, I didn’t put a lot of effort into cultivating or imanganing a specific audience. Looking at my analytics, I see that my entire audience is viewing my site from Canada, who I suspect consists mainly of my classmates or my close friends who i’ve shared the website with, or from the U.S., who I suspect consist entirely of my girlfriend and whatever of her friends she’s shared my site with. I’m not getting a lot of foreign traffic, or even traffic that I don’t except in the first place. However, this isn’t discouraging. I understood perfectly well while creating my site that I wanted it to be for me primarily and for others secondary.

Something that I was thinking about while creating my website was how I was going to behave while creating content for it. I knew I wanted to write a short commentary for most of the photos i’d post, but some part of me was worried about opening up too much. I began to understand this situation better once we started learning about the online disinhibition effect. Suler explains the effect in his article, stating “They loosen up, feel more uninhibited, express themselves more openly.” As I began posting and writing for my blog, I definitely began to feel this way. This was both a frightening and comforting realization. Reading about something, only to discover that you’re going through it yourself can be a bit unsettling, but conversely I thought it might be a positive thing that I was opening up a bit more. It meant that I was able to put more personality into my posts, and I think it really shows in a few specific posts i’ve made. Thinking back to the start of this course, I had understood publication as simply putting content out for others to see. However now I understand that publishing is a process that requires a lot of thought into what kind of content you want to create, how you want to distribute it, and who you want to see it. Will I continue to post on my blog? Quite frankly I wouldn’t bet on it. Maybe if I take a picture i’m particularly proud of, or think of some groundbreaking idea for my site, I can’t imagine it will see too much activity once this course is over. That is not to say however that I didn’t find this course enjoyable. I may have struggled in the first few weeks to fully grasp the concept, but coming out of it I have a much greater appreciation and understanding of the online world and how I interact with it.   

 

Works Cited

Suler, J. The Online Disinhibition Effect. The Psychology of Cyberspace. truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/basicfeat.html Accessed 7 Apr. 2018.

“Why We Post: We used to just talk, now we just talk photos”. University College London. www.ucl.ac.uk/why-we-post/discoveries/why-we-post/discoveries/7-we-used-to-just-talk-now-we-talk-photos. Accessed 7 Apr. 2018.

Kissane, Erin. “Contents may have shifted”. Contents magazine, issue No. 4. 2013. contentsmagazine.com/articles/contents-may-have-shifted. Accessed 7 Apr. 2018.