Tag Archives: processpost

Process Post 8

No, I’m not going to monetize my site

Look, I understand. Completely. Some people, especially ones named Trevor Battye, become so desperate for cash that they decide to monetize their wedding invites. Obtaining a high quality of  life is hard. Getting a job that pays well enough to maintain that life is even harder. So if I too was desperate, I would probably monetize a lot of things.

That said, my website is about yarn graffiti, and as far as I know, most people don’t get paid for (admittedly mild) vandalism.

What I do is a hobby. Yarn bombing has never been a monetized endeavour. It’s just supposed to be . . . fun? Don’t get me wrong, you can have fun at a job and make money too. But just because what you’re doing doesn’t pay, it doesn’t mean that it’s inherently foolish or worth less of your time.

For example, I do sell the crochet toys and accessories I make. I’ve been casually running an Instagram account for two years, selling my wares to friends, family, and strangers. Sometimes I get requests for custom items, which I enjoy making. I’ve been to a couple craft conventions and made a small profit from those. It’s a side profession that I don’t take too seriously.

Yarn bombing, however, is a completely different story. I came into this class wanting to do something fun. My first thoughts weren’t “how am I going to make the money back that I had to spend on this site?” but “what can I do that will be fun, creative, and over the top?” So I went with a yarn graffiti site.

Ads are ugly and I had no intention of putting them on my site. I hadn’t even considered ads before it was brought up in class. Why would I have? The way our websites were talked about up until then was “they are your portfolios!” Do people usually put ads in their portfolios? I don’t know.

This week we read about The Toast shutting down, despite its attempts to incorporate ads. This was a site that needed to do this in order to support labour costs. I don’t have to do that, so I might as well not even bother.

Another way I could monetize is to sell my yarn bombing services aka put a price on my hobby. Think of a hobby you have; let’s say you collect bottle caps. Are you going to charge someone because you’re technically cleaning the streets of garbage? Of course not. It’s your hobby, and usually people don’t put a price on theirs. I can’t speak for everyone, of course. But no, I do not want to charge anything for my graffiti.

It defeats the purpose of the art and I can afford yarn with money from my real job, thank you very much.

As for data trails, my job requires me to Google lots of different stuff, and I rarely ever like/comment/share something on Facebook, the only social media I use other than Instagram. I doubt anyone is getting any useful data from me or about me, honestly. If I’m being naive and they are, well darn. They’ve yet to manipulate my mind as far as I know.

Process Post 7 (Remix)

Remixing a sculpture


Today I yarn bombed Geert Maas’ On The Beach that resides across from the Trottier Observatory on SFU’s Burnaby campus. It was for my remix assignment, and I decided not to charge anyone for doing it because I’m not the kind of person who would put ads in my wedding invitations.

On The Beach was installed at the campus in 2002 and purchased from the artist in 2000. Maas’ work is displayed in more than 30 countries worldwide, so it’s kinda neat that we have one of his originals.



I wrote a piece about this sculpture and four other works of art around SFU for The Peak recently. This little brat is my favourite; I’m glad he has such a perfect orifice for yarn bombing. Unfortunately, I’ve shown this yarn bomb to two people so far and they’ve said it looks like a) a cigar or b) a flower phallus. I reasoned that a flower is pretty much a penis with pollen for sperm, but they didn’t listen.


My intention was to show nature reclaiming this piece in a vibrant way that contrasts the sculpture’s dull metal. Someone has done this before; these sculptures have been given cute necklaces and a hat (?) swimcap (??) thing. I think it’s important to not only appreciate art at SFU or make and display art at SFU, but to comment on the art already at SFU.

You know that giant painting above Images Theatre? This one I mean. It’s called British Columbia Pageant by Charles Comfort and it’s about the whitest depiction of BC’s history you could find. I remember when I first saw it I was like “Where’s the bloodshed, trauma, forced schooling, aggression, unrestrained violence, and thieving? Hmm…”

Other people were and still are thinking the same thing. Many have asked for this mural to be taken down. I think what happened instead was more powerful: art has been put up  across from it in protest.

I won’t describe this art for you. I think if you should go see it and think about it for yourself.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s important to question and work with the art you encounter. I love On The Beach, and I remixed it to add to it in this case, to make it stand out a bit more to passing students. However, if you find a piece you want to comment on, leave something behind that doesn’t harm the piece. No one likes book burnings. This follows the same principle.

I’ve considered crocheting some yarn blood to drape off British Columbia Pageant, but I think I wouldn’t be able to attach it successfully. Alas, I am short.


Process post 6

Helen gave me some great feedback this week, and I made two changes based on it. First, I changed my byline to “by Vox” on my posts rather than “by Admin.” Second, I heeded her advice: “it is clear that VOX wants her audience to appreciate her for who she is [—] her honest way of design, no ‘Bullshit’ and that’s lovely in itself. If that’s the case, fuck my review and do whatever you want girl, but it is something to consider.”

The first part was a minor change that I thought was a smart idea (thanks Helen!) The second part is very important to me.

Helen made some very important observations about my site, especially about how there is a strong contrasting theme between gentle and harsh that doesn’t necessarily work. I was originally worried that I might lose marks or scare away people from my page because of it, but I soon decided not to care. I was having a lot of fun with the juxtaposition and didn’t want to change it. Helen noticed this too. She told me that I should consider her feedback (which I am), but also to fuck her review if I want to just do my own thing.

In this university atmosphere, I think it’s important to remember this kind of sentiment. Since I entered SFU, I’ve become very self-conscious in lectures and tutorials. In my English classes, I feel a definite strain in the atmosphere. People are scared their answers will be wrong, their analysis will be weak, and their essays will be torn apart. There’s this unspoken expectation that you have to act really intellectual. It’s kind of ridiculous. And then the TAs just stand there like

What are you waiting for? That’s the big question in uni. What do you want us to do? How do we do it best? What do you want from us?

Whenever I get back an essay, I immediately flip to the feedback and try to parse out what I need to do to get a higher grade next time. I tuck the paper into my “Shit Writing” folder, crack my knuckles, and begin to write another one that’s hopefully worth the next letter grade up. But who really gives a shit what we do at the end of the day? Yeah, we have to get through uni, but that doesn’t mean we need to pass our work off as garbage because a few people don’t like it. Grades are like the Slap Chop. Everyone thinks it’s really cool, but if you think about it for more than five minutes, you realize it’s a useless piece of junk that doesn’t really make your life that much better.

One thing we looked at this week was Jon Bois’ “What Football Will Look Like in the Future.” I didn’t really like it, after reading the first segment. That said, I though it was amazing. It was unique and weird, and Bois obviously had a lot of fun making it. I’m having a lot of fun making this ranty post no one will ever read. Life is great.

But fuck what I think. I’ll leave you with the wise words of Vince Offer as he skinned an onion with the Slap Chop: “Life’s hard enough as it is, you don’t wanna cry anymore.”

Process Post #10: Press Release

Take a drab press release and add some pizzazz. Choose a platform and create a new and improved press release. I chose Twitter as the platform for the new press release. Twitter will allow the CBC to post short yet attention-grabbing tweets, which users can respond to directly, and re-tweet. There can be multiple tweets: […]

Process Post #9: Google Analytics

I was surprised by a lot of things I found in Google Analytics. I looked at a period from February 1 up until now (March 14). Altogether, during this period, I had 43 sessions and 184 page views.


Looking first at where my users are from, unsurprisingly, the great majority are from Canada (with all coming from BC). But very surprisingly, I had 5 sessions from India (3 being new users, 2 being returning), 5 from the U.S. (spanning across California, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas), 3 from Russia (all from the same city but different users), 1 from Austria (but this had a bounce rate of 100% so was most likely a bot), and 1 from Portugal (most likely also a bot). In terms of language, most sessions were English but it was cool to see that I had a few in Russian, Chinese, German, and Korean, and Portuguese. In looking at my user flow, 4/5 sessions that came from the US visited my fake news essay. The Austria session also visited this post.


32 visitors of my 43 were new visitors and 11 were returning. Looking a bit deeper, it looks like users see an average of 4 pages per visit. This is fairly reassuring. To me, this indicates that people are actually somewhat interested in my content and are not simply leaving right away after clicking on my page. (My bounce rate overall was pretty low as well). This encourages me to make an effort to put more thought and dedication into my content and really make each post count. In terms of specific posts, other than the home page, many page views are looking at my process posts and about. Aside from these two things, the individual post that has the most page views is my essay on fake news (as I essentially alluded to above). I put a lot of work into that post so this is nice to see! There are also a couple of blog posts that have gained more page views than others. One I made about visiting Normandy and one that I made into more of a reflection on the current political climate are the specific ones that have more page views. It’s interesting to think why that would be. This will definitely incite me to put more effort into my blog posts, perhaps incorporating more reflection.

Most people are using Chrome to look at my blog, but some are using Safari. (One sad soul used Internet Explorer). The great majority are accessing my site from desktop, with only 5 being from mobile. I have looked at how my content appears from a mobile device and although everything looks normal, I do like the way it looks on desktop better than mobile. I just think the general layout of the site works better and appears more crisp when viewed from a desktop platform. Seeing as how most people do access my site through desktop, I think I will continue to develop my content with that in mind. However, that does not mean I will ignore that people are increasingly viewing content on mobile devices. I will definitely make sure that my blog posts function as they are supposed to on a mobile platform. It was interesting to note that out of the 5 sessions that viewed my blog on a mobile device, 2 had a bounce rate of 100%. So I am assuming 2 of those sessions were bots. (But the 3 that accessed through an iPhone seem to be legit!).


Looking at how people came to my site, 60% were direct. 10 sessions were through organic search. It’s unfortunate that Analytics doesn’t let me see what specific search terms landed people on my blog but it’s still cool to know that it happened. Finally, 7 sessions were referrals. Now this is the really interesting part. One referral came through this site. It’s some sort of weird Russian blog where this guy is accusing Google of being a lying thief. Then two referrals came from motherboard.vice.com, which is a legit site. Specifically, from this article. The article references the Russian guy that made that weird blog and says that he had been bombarding Google Analytics accounts with fake referrals. So now it makes a bit more sense. Essentially, the referrals were fake (or at least, that’s what I’m taking away from that). Looking at the behaviour flow, all visits from those referrals only visited the landing page then dropped off so it seems even more likely that they were just spammers. Such a weird thing…


Process Post #8: Monetization

Monetizing my site is something that I go back and forth on a lot. I have already expressed doubts about advertising being something that I don’t think will work for my blog. My blog is more of a reflective platform rather than promoting a service or brand so I just don’t like the idea of having ads on it. I feel as though the presence of ads would look almost out of place. I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to get Google AdSense to approve my blog anyways, so this may work out for the best. Now this leaves me with other possible options of monetization. As I learned through the guest lecture this week, there are actually quite a few ways to make money through a blog. For example, I could reach out to organizations to ask them for money in exchange for writing a review about them. However, considering my blog is about nature, that type of content doesn’t really fit. However, I did write a blog post about New Zealand so I suppose I technically could have reached out to the specific places I mentioned. Yet I doubt that would have resulted in anything. Tourist places are not places in which to make money through blogging about.

I think I would have to change up my actual content if I did try to make money through sponsored reviews. And that is not something I am willing to do. Right now, it seems as though I am heading in the direction of not monetizing my site. And I am okay with that. That was never a desire for me when I first started it and it still isn’t now. My blog is more of a place where I can reflect on things I care about and share those opinions with others.

Process Post | sunday.5th.march.2017


“Remix something”… That’s all the instructions provided… This had me stuck for a while, so I did what everyone does these days when their brains don’t provide all the answers… I went to Google. Yeah, you guessed it – that did not help. I thought about it a little more and decided, what better to remix than myself. I took the photo I have on my ‘About Me’ page, mixed it all up with Photoshop and the results were… well… a bit odd.

The original for reference (really I just put it here to prove I don’t always look like that): 


This weeks results are fairly consistent. There wasn’t any days that I spent a drastically higher amount of time on my phone. I have noticed that I have begun to be less purposeful with trying to reduce the amount of time I spend on my phone. By no means have I given up trying to reduce it – but I think about it less now than I did when I first begun tracking.

*Note: Ignore Thursday’s results. I know for a fact that the results on Thursday were faulty as I accidentally shut the app down for the majority of the day.