Tag Archives: pub 101

Intellectual Property and The Reputational Economy

Listening to David Beers’ during lecture today was very insightful because he brought up points that I was I unaware of. I never knew that writers could be rewarded through a cycle of different moves like the example of the professor who offered to write for free but in return he was getting an audience, which was going to increase his likelihood of being invited to policy meetings and then a higher pay at his university. Just because you’re doing a job for free doesn’t mean that you’re not going to make money.

It was nice to hear that David helped one of his writers land a book deal too. He didn’t want any money from the deal and he helped quite a lot too. He pointed out that The Tyee is not meant to be a permanent job and that you always have to have a plan for the future. Makes me think about the job of a writer, can you ever stay at the same paper and with the same job? I don’t think so because in my opinion, you always want to explore new possibilities and you want to have more and more control as you progress through your career.

It’s weird to think how much the newspaper has evolved, especially in he past decade. New media is great because it’s interactive and for me, that’s one of the benefits of online newspapers. They’re filled with hyperlinks, videos and interactive graphics. For me, this is more intriguing than simply reading a newspaper and it also saves all those trees. I didn’t think that the newspaper would evolve into what it is today because technology is so innovative and interactive now.

You Know It’s An Issue When…

The rise of social media has brought with it an increase in connectivity; facilitating networking, socializing, and communication of information. I, for the most part, have only ever benefitted from this improvement in accessibility; thanks to social media such as Facebook and Snapchat, I have been able to maintain and develop relationships across the country […]

You’ll never guess what I just read…

Header from Google Images

Essay #1 – Social media as a source of news

If I was a stranger who approached you on the street and told you a piece of news that hasn’t been widespread yet, would you believe me? Let’s be real, probably not.

But if I started up a professional looking site and posted something about it on my website, would you believe me? Maybe not, but there is probably a higher chance – even if it is just a slim one – that you would than if I just approached you on the street.

Almost a year ago, my friend came to me upset because she had an argument with her friend. She claimed that she was tired of her friend being so opinionated, but with opinions that were not even hers.

At first I was confused, but she told me that she would read news or editorials online and believe everything she read. Her opinions were easily swayed, maybe even nonexistent.

I understood her frustration since I know a lot of people are quick to jump to conclusions after seeing articles online. Anderson (2016) noted that in the 2016 election, 20% of social media users modified their stance on a social or political issue or views on a particular candidate because of content they read on social media about candidates and their platforms.

So why do some of us lose our common sense when we stumble across articles online telling us about how eating some new food will make our lives longer, going blonde will indeed guarantee us more fun, or the key to happiness is achieved through this list of activities?

Social media is so impressive because we have access to all sorts of information worldwide within minutes. Unfortunately, without proper precautions, anyone can sound like an expert on the internet so our opinions can be swayed with greater ease.

While there are a lot of sketchy things floating around in the web, social media has always been my go-to source for current events. The weird thing is, I do not even find myself looking for news purposely.

I can find out about the hottest local or international news within 24 hours of their occurrence/broadcast because of my social networks and their involvement in sharing. Why? It is like the spread of gossip. Someone see something then shares it with their friends, who shares it with their friends, who shares it with their friends, and it continues on. Occasionally I’ll be scrolling through my feed on Facebook and I will see a news article being shared by multiple people or people posting statuses if something has happened. Naturally when I see it, I am curious and end up looking into it. I guess I’m not the only one who experiences this. In 2014, 78 percent of the the people who read news online just found articles incidentally through networking and sharing (Desilver, 2014).

Personally, the first thing I do when reading news I find on social media is talk to someone nearby (that I know, obviously, whether they are the friend I am currently with or my parents). I like to see their reaction, whether they have heard about it or not, and discuss their take on the issue. It is a form of small talk that is easy to engage in. People often believe me before asking where I found out. Since we know each other well, they view me as a trusted source of information. For that reason, when friends spread news, we are more likely to trust the links they share.  Therefore, it is also more likely to elicit a response from us to share this information whether online or offline, online being sharing it to your social networks, offline being discussing it with friends or family in person (Bialik & Matsa, 2017).

The more people in your social network that see these shared posts, the more the posts may potentially be shared. As a result, you may end up seeing the articles pop up multiple times through different people and on different social media platforms. According to a recent undergoing academic Yale study, familiarity plays a role in our belief of fake news (Pennycook, Cannon & Rand, 2017). The more often we see it, whether it is shared by our friends or pops up as a trending topic on various social media platforms we use, the more likely we are to believe it because it is so widespread.

While it may seem like a many of us are easily swayed by information we find through social media, Bialik & Matsa’s (2017) research says otherwise – only 5% of web-using U.S. adults have high trust in the information found on social media. Personally, before reading a news article, I usually look for sources such CBC or equivalent well known news channels that broadcast on TV as well – I can thank my teachers and professors that have tried to guide me in the right direction when it comes to reliable sources. However, I can see how it is extremely easy to encounter fake news. While scrolling my Facebook feed, often I encounter articles articles that appear with a header “Articles you might like” with no indication that these articles were shared by my friends. Generally it is a site I’ve never heard of and is clearly an opinion or one of those blogger sites rather than factual information with backup evidence.

The spread of news through social media is like back in high school when you heard a piece of hot gossip from you friend – it brings you excitement, you feel informed on the school’s current events, and it gives you something to talk about. You’re not sure if it’s true or not, until you talk to someone “reliable” – ie: the popular girl in school who is claimed to know everything, the person directly themselves, their best friend they might have confided in, etc. In the end, when compared to this analogy, maybe we haven’t lost common sense from going online. Maybe we just never had any… and just moved the discussion from in person to online.

Just kidding, I’m sure most of us have moved on past those childish tendencies in high school… or at least I hope so.

 

Stay skeptical kids.

 

 

References

Anderson, M. (2016). Social media causes some users to rethink their views on an issue. Retrieved from: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/07/social-media-causes-some-users-to-rethink-their-views-on-an-issue/

Bialik, K., Matsa, K.E. (2017). Key trends in social and digital news media. Retrieved from: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/04/key-trends-in-social-and-digital-news-media/

Desilver, D. (2014). Facebook is a news source for many, but only incidentally. Retrieved from: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/04/facebook-is-a-news-source-for-many-but-only-incidentally/

Pennycook, G., Cannon, T.D., Rand, D.G., (2017). Prior exposure increases perceived accuracy of fake news. Retrieved from: https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=882123066117005091070016003016003104017037064079033004076088090068091112087005127000036041017035040124044001120071004065005064038045044040053070028003099123113122102002081037124066126027115103085094009100118001088126107106123012100025118068100104025067&EXT=pdf

Google’s Excuse for Spreading Fake News

Over the past decade, social media has taken over the communicational landscape as most users interact online to discuss their personal lives, upcoming events, and most importantly, the news. As a result of looking to social media for their daily news, users are subjected to both true and false accounts, which has recently become a problem because the websites have large audiences who are, in most instances, unaware of the validity of the content. Alexis Madrigal’s, “Google and Facebook Failed Us” (2017) highlights Google’s role in promoting false stories claiming the Las Vegas shooter who killed 59 people was a Democrat who despised Donald Trump, when the identity had not even been revealed yet. It was later confirmed by authorities that the shooter was Stephen Paddock, who had later been found dead in his hotel room (Ohlheiser, 2017). The story originated on 4chan, a popular source of racism, hoaxes, and misinformation. Nonetheless, Google played a major role spreading the false information, better known as ‘fake news.’

Fake News
The term, ‘fake news’ refers to content that helps spread misleading, low-quality and false information (Hern, 2017). It is a major barrier to the dissemination of information online, considering the influence of social media on public opinion. As of 2017, two-thirds of U.S. adults look to social media for their news content. Considering how much the role of technology has increased and evolved over the past decade, this is not surprising (Shearer & Gottfried, 2017).

(Shearer & Gottfried, 2017)

Google, which is one of the world’s largest tech companies, has a massive audience to whom they are subjecting to false information. Less educated and older Americans are increasingly using social media to follow the news (Shearer & Gottfried, 2017), which makes them more malleable because they may not know how to properly evaluate the validity of sources Therefore, the likelihood of fake news infecting the minds of readers is likely, especially with such a website as Google, which has a large audience.

(Shearer & Gottfried, 2017)

Google’s Role
Google’s role in spreading the fake news was a result of a change they made to their algorithm in late 2014, in which they chose to include non-journalistic sources in their “In the News” box instead of taking the sources straight from their news feed. This allowed for search results to include content from Reddit discussions, blog posts, videos, and more from non-news websites (Sullivan, 2014). It does not make sense for discussion posts to be included in their news feed when they provide no credibility as to whom the source is and their credentials. Most times, discussions include opinion and are of an anecdotal nature. Regardless of that, it cannot be guaranteed whether discussions have a factual basis or not and with Google’s fault algorithm, this misinformation can seep through the cracks and into the communication channel.

Immediacy
Being that social media takes place online, there is no need to wait for articles to print when they can be posted immediately. Whenever an event occurs, the content is immediately posted. The 4chan post that incorrectly identified the shooter came up in the search results because it was recent. Immediacy works for and against social media because on one hand, social media helps to inform the public of news events as they are occurring, but on the other, the possibility of misinformation is high because not enough time is given to provide evidence to back up points that are made.

Googles Mistake
Within hours of the 4chan post having been shown on Google, it was algorithmically replaced by results that were more relevant to the story. Google acknowledged their mistake in allowing for content in the “In the News” feed to be, in part, derived from the newness of the content (Sullivan, 2014). Google was very irresponsible for allowing such content to surface on their website, knowing that it was not confirmed by authorities and that it came straight from 4chan. They are one of the most powerful information gatekeepers in the world, however, they fail to take accountability for the role they play in damaging the quality of information that they present to the public. They have continually been accused of allowing the spread of propaganda and the promotion of fake news and low-quality content on their websites in order to reach larger audiences (Levin, 2017). Rather than take ownership and accountability for their actions, Google’s response was to blame it on their algorithm and promise that the appropriate moves were being made to ensure that the incident would not occur again. They not only displayed fake news regarding the Las Vegas shooting without flagging 4chan as a questionable source, they also increased the visibility of the inaccurate posts through curated pages (Chaykowski, 2017).

Through social media, people are helping to inform the people in their social networks of news stories. But they are also able free to express their opinions and insight in these forums, regardless of their expertise or education on the topic. This is a much larger scale of communication than the traditional word of mouth (Napoli, p. 755). One of the major issues with getting news from social media is that the users are not always looking at the most credible or trustworthy websites because of their lack of knowledge regarding source filtering and moderation. Consequently, these individuals arrive at websites that are of low-quality, reporting stories without any factual basis or witness testimony.

The Need for Moderation
It is surprising that 4chan was never blocked or blacklisted as an unreliable source by Google, considering their history and user base. Google has to understand that their algorithm lacks the ability to tell right from wrong and that at this point in time, human moderation is the only solution. Their past problems regarding the spread of fake news can no longer be shrugged off, their algorithms have showed that they are incapable of dealing with breaking news events and thus, it is in their best interest to implement humans into their decision-making process.

Social media does not compare to journalism nor does it try to. But for websites like Google to group news with social media is unjust and irresponsible. Journalists take their time to construct the stories have the proper education and knowledge that is required to do so. They know how to develop and present a story from getting witness accounts to providing essential data to supplement their points.

Google was responsible for displaying false reports on the tragedy in Las Vegas, underlying their failure to manage information properly. Social media is great for interacting with friends and providing opinions on stories and events, but it should stay at just that. Websites like Reddit, Facebook, and 4chan have no place in the realm of news dissemination because of the lack of control and moderation they have over the content posted.

After acknowledging their involvement in spreading fake news, Google announced that they were going to try moderating the circulation of fake news by allowing users to report misleading content to improve the algorithmic results (Hern, 2017). They also said that they would refine their search engine to provide more trustworthy pages and less low-quality content in response to the spread of fake news. Google continues to rely heavily on algorithms to provide news to their readers, but with the growing amount of digital news, it would be in their best interest to implement human moderators into the filtering and dissemination of the news content.

References
Chaykowski, K. (2017, October 2). Facebook And Google Still Have A ‘Fake News’ Problem, Las Vegas Shooting Reveals. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathleenchaykowski/2017/10/02/facebook-and-google-still-have-a-fake-news-problem-las-vegas-shooting-reveals/#eed157d7138f

Hern, A. (2017, April 25). Google acts against fake news on search engine. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/25/google-launches-major-offensive-against-fake-news

Levin, S. (2017, October 2). Facebook and Google promote politicized fake news about Las Vegas shooter. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/02/las-vegas-shooting-facebook-google-fake-news-shooter

Madrigal, A. C. (2017, October 2). Google and Facebook Failed Us. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/10/google-and-facebook-have-failed-us/541794/

Ohlheiser, A. (2017, October 2). How far-right trolls named the wrong man as the Las Vegas shooter. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/10/02/how-far-right-trolls-named-the-wrong-man-as-the-las-vegas-shooter/?utm_term=.98ce6181bc5f

Shearer, E., & Gottfried, J. (2017, September 5). News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017. Retrieved from http://www.journalism.org/2017/09/07/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/pi_17-08-23_socialmediaupdate_0-02/

Sullivan, D. (2014, October 6). Google’s “In the News” Box Now Lists More Than Traditional News Sites. Search Engine Land. Retrieved from https://searchengineland.com/googles-news-listings-beyond-traditional-205213

Peer Review 2 – Response

Thank you to Debbie for writing a very helpful and clear review of my website so far, I will definitely take all of her points into consideration. To make my process post easy to follow along with Dickwitz’s peer review, I have made my headings the same as hers. This way, each response that I have can be automatically traced to her suggestions, recommendations, and overall critique.

At First look
I am happy that she liked the front page of the blog, although I think she may have been done some of the review while I was in the editing process throughout the week. In case you did not know, I will fill you in. Over the past week, I have been trying to elevate the look and feel of my website so I tested out new themes to see if any were better fitted to my blog. Short answer: no. I went through several (at least 3) different themes, customized them, and came to the conclusion that TwentySeventeen, although the default theme, best represents The Life of Pip. I say this because it has the video header, it has room on the side for my custom widgets, it has room for my featured images, and it works best with the typography. I also realized while going through the themes that I am only able to download the free ones because I do not have pro and I don’t even know if I would pay for it. I did still end up changing my blog, even though I reverted back to my original theme. I made sure that the background was of dog art, while the video is still the first element of the website that shows up.

Fonts
I can understand what Debbie is saying about the typography not meshing well with the article content, so I may end up changing the font from Life Savers to Raleway. I liked the font because it was fun to read, but from her point of view, I can understand that maybe fun isn’t always the number one priority. I am thankful for her insight because although I have been sending my blog to my friends and family, they have not said anything about the font. Keep in mind that they could possibly be ignoring the messages.

Images
Coding is probably my biggest issue so I have to figure out a way to, like she said, move the images to the left of the article to tidy up space. I am happy however, that Debbie liked my featured images because I worked really hard to make those.

I decided to start editing each featured image on Photoshop to add consistency to my content. What I am now doing is adding the desired image to a 1200×800 pixel .PSD file I have saved which I use as a template. It has the frame and bottom left paw print on it and all I do is add the image, resize it, and change the frame color. In doing so, I like that I have more consistency and flow amongst my content and that there’s some hint of outside color that I don’t usually use. It was hard when I first started using it because this was when I was acting very bipolar with the theme customizations and I had changed the canvas size of the .PSD file, which resulted in me having to reshape the frame and the paw print. I had to do this at least 3 times, which took at least an hour in total. I finally came back to my original theme and stuck to the 1200×800 pixel canvas size, which works really well for the theme.

Composition
I absolutely get what Debbie was saying about the Posts or Categories title coming up at the top of the pages, I am heavily annoyed by this. I have to figure out how to remove these because they’re annoying to me.

I liked her point about capitalizing PIP in the titles because she said it wasn’t so clear, and coming from someone in the class, if she is unclear, imagine the audience outside of the class. I am going to try to fix the galleries on my blog because at the moment, I am confused as to whether I want a gallery for the PIPtures or just posts in which I add media. But I do like her suggestion about the 6×6 gallery instead of the 4×3 because of how much space it would take up, leaving little empty.

My Experience So Far
For me, the hardest part I am having with this whole course is the design of the blog because I find myself doubting everything I do each class. Its very hard having to edit the design and then suddenly hate it and revert back, I also hate that I’m somewhat limited in what I can do because I am not a pro user (Thanks WordPress). Content comes easier to me because I can easily express my feeling through words. If I ever have a thought, I quickly type it into my notes app on my phone or computer, which I am currently typing this post into at the moment.

Thanks to Debbie, I have a better insight of what my blog looks like to the audience. I really appreciate her feedback because much of it was news to me and she made it really clear what I could gain from making those changes. And thanks for those funny moments in the review when you talk about the adorableness of my dog, DITTO DEBBIE DICKWITZ.

Oh noes

Picture from Google Images – Thanks to my friend for showing me this!

Process Post #7

How am I supposed to write about what changes I made from my peer review when my reviewer didn’t even write me one????

Instead, here is a list of things that I personally want to improve (but haven’t really found out how…)

My Sidebar

I want to fill my sidebar with less “generic” things or repeats of my categories, pages, etc in other words, stuff you can find at the top in my menu. Only thing is I’m just having a liiiiittle difficulty (as in, I know how to hide some stuff, but I don’t know what to fill it with and don’t really want to leave that blank space there)

The Font Size of My Posts

Okay, so I was reading my posts and the font is actually kiiinda tiny. I like tininess, I like writing tiny and all that but I understand its pretty hard to read… especially when reading on a computer is way more difficult and our eyesight doesn’t really get better… hah…

The “Templateness” of my theme

Okay this is a hard one… like yes I want to add a little pizzazz to my blog to make it a little less drab and template like… but I’m worried about fooling around with the code and just messing everything up HAHA. I’ll have to tinker around with it a bit, but the problem is, I like how it’s all just really laid out simply and neatly right now. What should I change to make it a little more interesting? Also how??? I know nothing!! If anything, it would maybe be some little personalizations here and there to make this blog a little more “me”.

That’s all I can think of for now, maybe I’ll edit this post later (if I ever get my peer review!!)

Toodles!

You Won’t Believe How People Make Thousands of Dollars With FAKE NEWS (Not Clickbait)

I bet that title was pretty intriguing, you probably clicked on it thinking this article would teach you how to make money. Looks like you fell for the clickbait. It said not clickbait in the title? It’s 2017. We all know that if the article doesn’t have a clickbait title no one will read it. However, this post will show you what fake news is, how clickbait works, and how people make money writing fake news. Moreover, this article will prove that fake news can create real money.

Fake news, false news, or whatever you want to call it, is everywhere right now. I don’t mean to say that everything is fake news, but everyone is being made highly aware that it is out there, especially if you paid any attention to the 2016 US presidential election. But what is fake news? Well if you are Donald Trump, fake news seems to be any story that views you in a negative light. According to Penn State University’s library fake news is:

“Sources that intentionally fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports”, (Novotny, 2017).

Now this type of content is different than satire, rumour mills, and junk science but it does often use clickbait. Unfortunately for creators of fake news, clickbait titles aren’t enough to spread fake news. One of the huge ways that fake news is spread is through automated accounts or “bots,” (arXiv, 2017). This is very scary because without direct intervention from sites like Facebook and Twitter people can create thousands of these accounts and manipulate algorithms to spread their fake news. The people creating these bots are smart, they are designing them to direct the fake news tweets/posts at influential users, (arXiv, 2017). This is concerning because influential users can create real momentum if they share what the bots are feeding them. This would then result in their huge followings receiving the fake news. A real example of this is a story that ran on a website called the “Christian Times Newspaper.” It used the momentum of an idea Donald Trump mentioned when he said he was afraid the election would be rigged for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US Presidential election. The website then ran a fake story about how tens of thousands of fake Hillary Clinton ballets were found in a house in Columbus. This story reached approximately six million people, (Berman, 2017). This is an example of the scary power fake news holds. In sum, fake news is created; it is shared by bot accounts on social media, and then is shared to a plethora of influential users that create real buzz around the articles. This is how fake news is spread.

The big question is how do people make money from spreading fake news? Two ways that fake news websites make money are through advertising networks and posting sponsored content, (Gillin, 2017). Firstly, looking at advertising networks, people can connect their websites to third party advertisers who will pay the user a fraction of a cent per click, (Gillin, 2017). Obviously a fraction of a cent is not much money, but if you multiply that by hundreds of thousands of times people can make some serious money. Secondly, people use sponsored content to make money for their websites. This method works similarly to the first method. Instead it uses advertisements that are designed to look like real articles, (Gillin, 2017). For example, if you see a post titled something like, “this new soap will blow your mind,” and then you click it to read information about some soap product and want to buy it. That is sponsored content. Adding to the example above about the fake news that there were tens of thousands of fake Hillary ballots ready to be used in the 2016 US Presidential election, the man who created that website made roughly $22,000 from that post and other various hoaxes. Not only that, but his website at one point was worth $125,000, (Berman, 2017). To sum up, people have been able to monetize their fake news websites to make real money from advertising in the form of advertising networks and sponsored content.

In conclusion, fake news is apparent and is being spread to us like wildfire. The use of clickbait and automated social media accounts to spread it has significantly affected people’s lives. People have been able to set up fake websites, write fake news, and monetize that content to make actual money. The era of fake news has hit us hard since the 2016 US Presidential election and is unlikely to be curbed until major changes continue to be made by the social platforms that share it. Now you know that fake news can make real money.

References

arXiv. (2017). First evidence that social bots play a major role in spreading fake news. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608561/first-evidence-that-social-bots-play-a-major-role-in-spreading-fake-news/

Berman, N. (2017). The victims of fake news. Columbia Journalism Review, 56(2), 60-67. Retrieved from http://proxy.lib.sfu.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=125432045&site=ehost-live

Gillin, J. (2017). The more outrageous, the better: How clickbait ads make money for fake news sites. Retrieved from http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/article/2017/oct/04/more-outrageous-better-how-clickbait-ads-make-mone/

Novotny, E. (2017). “Fake” news. Retrieved from http://guides.libraries.psu.edu.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/fakenews

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Big Changes Ahead

This week I made some big changes to my website.

Based on some feedback I received recently about the site, it was brought to my attention that on my about section the grey text on white background was hard to read. Therefore I changed it to a solid black, as suggested, hopefully this brings the readability level back up.

There were other changes suggested, but because of my lack of skill in custom coding website templates and I didn’t find them very useful, I won’t be making anymore changes. For example, there is no way to edit the navigation bar on the template I am using. Although I find it incredibly easy to use/read and reflects the bare bones design I am going after.

Hopefully I don’t come off as pretentious or stubborn, just my opinion.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Peer Review #2

MY MIND’S MADE UP Apologies, I’m probably going to start off every peer review with some sort of pun. The blog under review for this week is Make Up Your Mind, by JordanAnne. Now, in Travis Gertz’s article, “Design Machines: How to Survive in the Digital Apocalypse”, he mentions the two sides to design: UI […]

Peer Review 2

Peer Review #2

Hello all! Last week is was the Dog blog, this time my review is for the FOB (?) blog.

First Impressions:

I liked how the photo was the first thing I saw. Even better, it was a photo including yourself (or at least I think it is). I think this definitely personalizes your blog – like hey, this is a blog about me, not something or anyone else. I also think the photo goes along well with your title. The mountains make me think you’re on a trip/taking a journey. The title also suggests that your blog is about your journey through Vancouver culture. The white text on the dark blue background of the header photo is also very clear because of the contrast and it is well bolded and easy to read. Well done.

Theme:

I think your sidebar is perfectly customized to give little glimpses of what you like, especially since this is a personal blog. You have your instagram, your “song pick of the week”, and a short video clip of a game you’re looking forward to. I really like this, it helps fill out some of the white space on the side with some interesting things about you.

The color scheme of your theme is dark, which I think reminds of gamers/gaming? No idea why, maybe it was all our critiquing on Tim’s site (the GM) or in general game sites like to choose black backgrounds. Nothing is wrong with it being dark, it just adds a different quality than white (I think of minimalist and crisp) background sites. Also the colours were all very neutral so it was pretty easy to view.

The only downside to your theme is how much scrolling is involved, see my comments on the menu below.

The Menu

This might just be personally me, but I thought the menu had too many options. When I hovered over all of them, none of them also had a drop down submenu. I remember from Page’s lecture she said you want to minimize the amount of clicking as possible or else the reader thinks the site is too much effort. I personally felt lost with all the headings. I didn’t know where to click first or where to start. For example, without clicking, I wasn’t sure what the difference was between “Daily Life” and “See What I See”. I would have to click both to find out. It would be nice if there were submenus under each so I could get an idea. Maybe you could combine them both under Daily Life. I personally think the menu is super important because, as Page mentioned in her lecture, you want to minimize the amount of scrolling or else the reader will lose interest if they have to scroll a marathon to find a post they want. I always use the menu to get around and find what is interesting but I couldn’t get a sense of your blog from the menu.

See what I See” Tab

Speaking of the “See What I See”, I mentioned in my last peer review that there was too much scrolling in his photo section and that he should make them smaller so he can fit more and enlarge them as needed. That is exactly what you did! I like it a lot better, it definitely organizes the page and minimizes the scrolling.

“Daily Life” Tab

When I clicked on Daily life, I kind of wish there was a way that I could easily filter through posts so I could see them all instead of having to scroll a marathon through each one. Are you able to put multiple posts with a short preview so you don’t have to scroll through each one to see the next one?

“Canton Pop Music” Tab

I don’t really get this tab – I’m sure you’re sharing the music you like to listen to with us, but it would be kind of nice if you introduced the tab with a brief description of why you have all this here. Maybe a history of how you discovered this music or if you listened to these songs back in Hong Kong, etc. Also I am terrible with coding and fully rely on my templates so I don’t want to criticize too much but since there is a lot of scrolling and content the layout is so right justified it is sort of bothersome. Is there anyway to fix this so it is more centered? Or does this have to be a tab in itself? Can it be just a post? Or can it be a page that just has, say, one song and then links to your soundcloud/spotify playlist or whatnot if people are interested in more?

Font

“Choosing readable or expressive typefaces and proper use of white space is just as important as user flow. In fact, it’s a vital part of it.” (Gertz, 2015)

Considering the background of your blog is black, white was the smartest choice of picking your font colour. It is the most contrasted and easiest to read. I personally did not have trouble reading it. The font size is also big enough to read without me struggling. I have no comment on the font style either. It is simple and easy to read to me. It might not be super unique, but honestly, neither is my font on my blog. I personally never felt inspired of by fonts except titles generally. This is coming from the person who always writes their reports in Calibri… or Times New Roman (better safe than sorry right…) for an academic paper. Remember that picture Page showed us in lecture that described each person based off their font use? I remember Calibri was “too lazy to change the default font”. That was actually 100% accurate for me.

Posts

When I clicked on one of your posts I noticed at the top it said the date and that the post was by “admin”. I also made this mistake so now I can’t help but notice it on other blogs as well. The person that reviewed my blog suggested I changed “admin” to Kimberly to make it more personal and less awkward. I didn’t even know that was an option! So I think you should give it a shot too! I can’t remember off the top of my head exactly how I did it but I’m pretty sure click “users” in your sidebar and it’s pretty straightforward from there.

I clicked on several of your posts (to make sure that the formatting was consistent before I said anything) and I think you did a good job of formatting your posts. You break up paragraphs with either images, subheaders, or just topic changes so there isn’t a giant mass of text to read. I also like how you made smaller italic text underneath photos as captions – I need to figure out how to do this myself. Additionally, for your process posts I like how you thoroughly linked things and also made it in italics – your posts in general just look very professional.

About Me

I like how you kept it short. I also like how you changed up the formatting a bit, such as the caption of the photo being on the right hand side of the photo instead of underneath. The font is nice and big since its such a small section to read. It is short and to the point and I think it sums up who you are!

I think your blog is very well developed compared to our last peer reviews where we all did not have a lot of content. I can see you have put a lot of thought into adding extras about yourself and I’m looking forward to seeing how all of our blogs develop by the end of the semester! Well done!

To my readers: Who are you?

Header image from Google Images

Process post #6

To my readers: Who are you? Why are you here? Why are you reading this?

Maybe you stumbled upon one of my posts while looking for general information on one of the topics I wrote about. Maybe you know me and are checking out my website. Maybe you’re just here because you’re reviewing my blog for pub class (yeah, I thought so).

As the writer of this blog I always imagined my audience to be similar to my peers. People around my age, probably knowing me in some regard, casually reading my blog. I write my blog posts really casually as if I were having a conversation with someone in real time. My blog posts are if I were telling you a story of one of my experiences recently, if you asked me about a place I’ve been to before, or what I’ve been baking lately.

For this reason, thinking that all the readers of my blog are my peers similar in age and part of this millennial generation, I write casually about day to day experiences in Vancouver which you can maybe reflect: “hey, I’ve been here/heard of this place” or go, “hey this is interesting, I’ve never thought of this, maybe I should try it”.

Design wise, I just chose something that is easy to navigate and looks pleasing to myself. I’m not a design student so I’m not catering to a specific crowd of theme. I also terrible at coding so I’m just working with the template the best I can, hopefully learning aspects of design as I progress in this class.

Dickwitz Does Canada

Dickwitz Does Canada

First Impressions
When I first opened your website, I noticed that your description under your title said “Indigenous perspective…” and I IMMEDIATELY knew who you were from the speed dating challenge during second week of classes. I think that the topic of your blog is so fresh and different from other students, so you already have an edge. I do think that at the moment, you do not have a lot of visuals besides the one picture that is attached to the “Heart of a Wanderlust” post. It is not the picture itself that puts me off, it’s the black font on white background, with contrasting typefaces for the menu, the blog titles, and the author. I would consider adding pictures to all or most of your posts because your blog is so unique and you are essentially exploring your social environment so it would be nice to have some form of visual to go along with each.

Theme and Customizations
I don’t think it’s your theme that is off-putting, I feel like its the customizations that have made it a little awkward and not as eye-catching as it deserves. You have such amazing content that should be read because you’re speaking about the harsh realities of indigenous people like in your recent post, “Heart of a Wanderlust” where you speak about the pain that your parents suffered as children going through the residential schools and the good life you had as a child. If I was you, I would consider customizing the theme differently or changing the entire theme in general because I don’t feel like I as the audience am getting much from your website design. I like how you have a clear visual equilibrium in which your content is symmetrically aligned, like we discussed in the Mauve Page guest speaker lecture. There is a lot of white space, which I would absolutely recommend coming up with a solution for. Don’t fret too much because this is a major issue for many people in the class and in some cases, like my own, coding is the only solution. Either try to add a bold background to amplify your text or add more pictures to your blog posts. I would also like to add that with your theme or customization, the picture attached to “Heart of a Wanderlust” looks like it is the site wide main background picture when it isn’t. I would consider having a design process set in mind. Try to map out how you want your blog posts to appear because right now, it seems a little unorganized.

Typography
I would suggest deciding two or three fonts that are related to one another or mesh well and stick with them for the remainder of your website because from what I see right now, each element of your blog has a differing typeface. You have a different typeface for the title, the menu, the blog titles, and the blog authors. If you were able to minimize the amount of typefaces you use, I think that your blog would be so effective and more cohesive as a whole. There isn’t really a typeface that I think is better than the other, I think they’re all great, it just comes down to picking the ones that you like best. Having too many can be confusing and definitely sticks out, I was able to see the difference almost immediately. Also, I would change the way that your website description, “Indigenous perspective of media and social encounters” appears on the page because at the moment, it is very awkward. Dickwitz Does Canada looks fine but when the description comes underneath it, it just does not look polished for some reason. I would either center it or make it so that the title and description appear on one line each because I feel like if you made the description appear on one full line while the title DDC appears on three, it would not make as much sense.

Layout
I think that inserting the “read more” break into your text definitely minimized the amount of reading and space that the blogs take up on the front page. However, I would recommend inserting them at better places throughout the posts because at the moment, the text breaks off mid-sentence and it doesn’t quite make sense. I think that doing that once or twice is okay because it adds a sense of mystery but doing it more can be a bit overwhelming and confusing at times. I will give you credit for having your titular picture be aligned properly to your blog post, this goes back to your symmetrical layout according to the visual equilibrium.

 

The spacing between each blog post is a little awkward, which makes it hard to understand where one post ends, there is too much space in between the date of the post and the content of the post.

Social Media Integration
At the moment, I don’t see any social media being integrated into your website. If you don’t know how to add them, head over to plugins and install one. I would recommend Instagram if you were looking to emphasize the visual aspect of your blog but since all I see is mainly text, I think maybe Twitter might be a good choice. You have a great way of writing, as I saw with your “Heart of Wanderlust” post and I think that if you can be concise with your words, you should aim for a Twitter plugin.

Site Structure
I noticed that under each blog post title, it says your name which I don’t think is necessary considering the entire blog and content is being written by you. It’s repetitive and makes me, the audience, think that you’re not responsible for every post on the blog. Below the author name, it has the date and number of comments on top of the actual blog content, which I think is also unnecessary, although if you choose to keep this, I would put it under the content so it blends better together. I feel like when it is over top of the content of the post, it takes away from it.


In regard to your menu, I think that it might be a little minimal at this point in time. I would consider adding one or two more categories to give your readers a feel of the content because right now, you have your About, Home (which does not necessarily constitute a page), and #POSIEL which is the course posts. You should have a place for your blog posts that are separate from the course content so that readers can navigate quick and easy to the stuff they want to read about. I don’t know if you are aware that when you hover over #POSIEL, the Process Blog title heads too far right and gets into the picture which is a tad off-putting. I would figure out a way to reel it in more because there definitely is space for it.


I think that maybe the About page should be at the top of bottom, but I would suggest not putting it in the middle because its different from your content as it introduces you to the author. It should be very easy to spot for the reader when they are accessing your blog. Also, I do not know whether Ariel spoke to your tutorial about adding a picture to the About page to make it more relatable but Suzanne definitely spoke to us about that. I would recommend adding one to your page so that you can add a face to the beautiful writing.

Usability/Mobility
For the most part, your website is very accessible and similar across all platforms. Once again, I think that you should consider adjusting how your posts pop up because the date and author are taking up too much space and then there is also the problem of too much space between the post title and the content. I think the white background with black text and different typeface doesn’t work well when considering the mobility of the website because it just doesn’t separate the titles from the content that well. It’s the font sizes that save the audience from knowing what is what. I would suggest continually looking at mobile viewing websites like Screenlfly (www.quirktools.com/screenfly/) so that you are up to date with how your website is appearing across different platforms.

Final Thoughts
I have nothing bad to say about the content, it’s absolutely amazing and different from anything I have read so far. I think the only problems with your blog are related to design. By fine-tuning the design issues, I think that you can get a much bigger audience because at the moment, your blog looks very unfinished. I think that this has somewhat to do with the black text on the white background, it comes off too plain.

Do you take Debit?

Hey Richard, I haven’t met you in real life, I have never played video games with you, but I am about to give you my opinion on your website Insert Coins(s) to Continue….

Quick Introduction

The website is a blog about video game development. Obviously Richard is passionate about video games as he writes posts reflecting on games and their design. He is an aspiring game designer himself who is working on designing his very own game. I will show you a screenshot of what you see when you first land on the home page.

First Impressions

Initially when I landed on the site I was confused. The white, purple, and brown aesthetic didn’t exactly scream game design website, if it wasn’t for the large site title at the top of the screen I would think I made a typo in the web address. I did like in your title how you used the parenthesis’ around the ‘s’. It made me think video games and gave me nostalgia reflecting on arcade machines and dusty old arcades. Moving on, I wasn’t feeling the colour scheme. I think a different background image would help people connect quicker to the game design idea. Also the two search bars and the title being off centre should be fixed (just disable both search bars).

Design Decisions

In the post from Travis Gertz titled: “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse,” he says:

“Whether it’s a lack of our own critical thinking or external pressure clamping down, we shy away from carving our own path. Originality is risky. It’s difficult to quantify and defend. Why try something new when someone else has already tested it for us?”

Concerning the website, I feel like you have been playing it safe, colouring within the lines, and not challenging what is ‘supposed to’ be there. It seems like you haven’t customized much from how the theme comes stock. Elements in the sidebar such as archives or the search bar are not helpful and should be taken away. Replace them with something different or even more negative space. There is also a lack of engaging imagery on the home page, a really cool game related banner across or behind the site title could grab someones attention quicker and keep their eyes scrolling down. The sites usability is functional, which I like. The lack of annoying and unimportant bells and whistles is good, although you need to add a link to your game development category from the menu on the home page.

Victor Kaptelinin talks about how it is important to make sure concepts that you implement are relevant and useful. This speaks to some of the general concepts you have applied to your blog. For example, is designing your website like pages in a notebook a relevant concept when your subject is video game design? I think you could borrow from video games a bit more when thinking about elements like buttons or transitions between pages.

Overall

It seems like you put a lot of effort into your blog posts, the content and your writing style are great! I enjoy your style because it comes across as this cynical authenticity that I can connect with. It is obvious that you are passionate about design and video games. On the other hand, the overall design and aesthetic of the site doesn’t seem to reflect that. If you added some engaging and relevant imagery to the site, updated the colours, and added some cool video game inspired functionality your website would be so much more enticing. Great work, I understand that the site is continually under construction and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Informed Imagination

When making decisions about images, copy, design, and production I have mostly been thinking about myself.

I don’t want that to sound selfish or conceited, but I am operating under the assumption that I know what I want and what I want caters to my target demographic. My target demographic is 20-30 year olds who enjoy visual art & photography and are engaged by behind the scenes stories. I believe that there is a large interest group from this that I am a part of and engage with on Instagram. I guess, I am designing for the target audience, but I am using myself as the ‘Persona’

Persona Definition
Personas describe your ideal customer. They help you make decisions about marketing and sales processes. These characters are called personas, and just like in plays and movies they need a full backstory so that you…can fully understand their goals, motivations, and problems.

I am also trying to create an authentic experience on this blog. Authenticity is something that I struggle believing in. Sometimes I don’t think it exists and sometimes I catch a glimpse of it (or at least think I do). When writing editorial, this is forefront in my mind because I want to come across as authentic as possible. I don’t want to seem over edited, too polished, or fake because I want people to connect. When someone lifts the veil, you lose the magic. What I mean by this is sometimes the connection comes from the mystery of not knowing. For example, when you are a kid there are so many great mysteries in the world. You connect with them so much because they seem like magic. When you get older, you figure it out and slowly realize that everything isn’t as it seems.

What I am trying to get at is my decisions on this website stem from self motivation. I am not operating under the motivation that I will be famous or anything. I am trying to write for myself, not trying to fool anyone, and hopefully that comes through in the stories and design and people can connect.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

 

process post #4

This week, I have realized that I do not really browse the web… When trying to think of a site whose design I could review for this week’s process post, I had a hard time being able to even name a site that I frequented. I guess there’s the social media sites such as Facebook, […]

process post #3

I often visit Aritzia‘s website when they have seasonal sales. It’s elegant and chic design perfectly caters to their brands’ fashion styles. The color scheme they use for their website is kept black and white except for their product pictures. They also use sans serif fonts only except for their Aritzia logo to keep everything minimal. This is intentional as they wanted to highlight their clothing rather than distract their visitors with the overall website. However, one thing that I dislike about their website is that they don’t have a “Sort by Price” option on pages. Visitors are only allowed to sort by the percentage of discount if there’s a sale page, but never by price. If they don’t even have a sale that’s happening at the time, then their usual page only allows users to sort the products by Size, Color, and Brand. That makes the user experience a bit frustrating if people like myself prefer to shop by price instead of having to scroll through all of their products.

In tutorial, we went through changing the font to our website. I found that the body font to my website doesn’t really match with the other elements on it. The body text is a serif font, while the other fonts are sans serif, which I prefer. It just makes everything look more modern and clean.

Website Designs and Elements

Process post #5

Using the terminology and elements I learned in Page’s lecture, I’ll be looking at the design elements of the site Etsy.

I had trouble picking a site I was on a lot since I’m usually on my phone and the only sites I really check on my computer are SFU related sites or Netflix (which I feel like I won’t have enough to talk about because it is very simple and serves its purpose.)

However, I’ve been recently searching for a special piece of jewelry for my friend and Etsy has really been helpful for me, so here we go!

I like the asymmetrical layout Etsy is using because since it is a selling site, it probably should have multiple announcements about what is going on with the sites. This could be new things, ideas, promotions, etc. Also, this is an example of where the search bar should be big and draw attention because there are so many shops and listings on etsy, a person needs to specify exactly what they are looking to buy.

Additionally, we discussed how the first thing we see should be the most important and we should not have to scroll for miles to find other information. Etsy scrolls down quite far, BUT the information is less relevant to us (ie: recently viewed, favourited shops) and can also be accessed from our profile which is at the top. So Etsy has a lot of shortcuts, but “optional” scrolling, as I would call it.

Since this is a shop website, I would say in this case it is good to have a lot of menu options. It helps organize through the huge volume of posts on the website.

The thing I found interesting about this site is that they put all their “About” and other links on the bottom. The top of the page is all dedicated to your profile, how to sell on Etsy, and the search bar. I think this is because this site is mainly centered around the sellers and not Etsy itself. I don’t necessarily disagree with this layout. I have little opinion on it since I do not click those links anyway. Sometimes I only look there for shipping policies, but since it is all different in this case, it doesn’t really apply.

You could potentially criticize the use of plain font, but in this case, I believe that since it is mainly about buying and selling on this website, using a basic font makes it easiest to read.

The thing I always found interesting about the Etsy website was how small the logo was. It is in the top left corner, and the search bar is nearly the same size as it. It really takes away attention from the logo of the site,  not necessarily a good or bad thing. Also, going orange is quite a bold move, but they even it out by using white.

Wiring my Website

A website that I really admire because of its design along with the content that fills it is wired.com.

What I really like about wired is it’s minimalist design. For the most part it is easy on the color and intuitive to navigate. If there is something that immediately turns me off of a website when I hit it is when I am bombarded with a million menus and links to click. I need things to be organized and easy to navigate in seconds. Wired does a great job of sizing their logo so that it stands out, but does not take over the page. The menu is right there below it and I can quickly find the topic or category that interests me. When you scroll down further, you can see the posts separated and spaced evenly. It all works really well together.

There are a couple things about the website that I personally would change however. I think that the top bar with the logo and the menu is a little on the thin side. Adding some negative space above it all or between the logo and the categories would give some more breathing room to lighten things up. Although I love the way that the content is layout out on the home page, I think that it could be spaced out a bit more to allow for some better readability.

Pictured below is what I have been talking about….

This week I made some small tweaks to my website. I changed the banner image on the home/about page of my website. I was always meaning to change it because I was using the stock image, but I just hadn’t found the right one yet. When Gillian did her peer review of my site and mentioned that the image was misleading, I decided to search harder for an image that worked. Looking through my own archives, I couldn’t find a photo that I have taken that represented what I wanted it to. So I took to thinkstock and found an image that I really think represents the visual art and story theme that I am going for. This image will work for now and maybe in the future I will take a photo I think encapsulates what I want this website to be about.

Another thing that I was thinking about changing was the ‘Hello Peeps’ tagline that is the first thing you read when you go on my site. To be honest, I put it there as a joke when I was building the site to fill space and I never changed it. After leaving it for a while I just thought it was funny and have decided that it fits the vibe I am going for while displaying my personality a little bit. This is kind of a non-update, but I thought it was still worth reflecting on.

One thing that consistently bugs me is that I can’t for the life of me figure out how to make the about me section on my homepage narrower. On mobile and narrow web browsers it looks good, but when the website spans the entirety of my 13″ screen the readability sucks. I will continue to try and figure out how to put a maximum on how wide it gets, but for now I will suck it up.

Another thing that Gillian mentioned in her peer review of my site was that she didn’t want to click right through to my instagram via the green button without knowing what she would be getting into. I added a page to my site that is a preview of what my Instagram feed would look like, hopefully this is clear and people can check that out if they want a sense of what is on my feed.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

The Tim Game

There are few things more satisfying, to me, as a GM than having a tight knit group that will end up providing you and the other players at the table with content to play with. What that means is small things that bind the group together, or lines that may be said in jest that can be made into a running gag, or little tidbits of information that reveal more about the character than race and class.

Sometimes it takes a long time to get this information out. One group I had took nearly 6 months of playing every Sunday, other groups in the past never had more than one or two of these moments in the few months we played. So i decided to come up with a way to promote and facilitate that style of play. The first group I used it on called it “The Tim Game” and the name stuck.

After we go around the table and do the usual introductions: Character Name, Race, Class, and any relevant major points (a sentence or two) I make the players go around a second time. This time however, they are not talking about their character, they are creating a connection between their character and the one next to them. I also give them a single question to ask. They have to answer that question and both players will have a bond between their characters.

For a short version, take a d6 and roll as you go around the table, (or ask without rolling if you don’t want to have doubles)

  • Tell us about the FIRST time you met x and what were they doing?
  • What was that thing x did that made you laugh so hard milk came out of your nose?
  • Where was that place x took you to that you were nervous about, but had a really good time?
  • Can you keep that secret x told you, and do they remember telling you?
  • When did you realise this was not the first time you met x and when was that first time?
  • What’s that one thing that x did that makes you trust them with your life?

This works for almost any RPG I have ever played. I have other questions and I am going to compile a full list for a patreon (not too much) later down the road.

I love this for team building. In a world of make believe we can often get lost in the setting: I’m a fighter – I bash things, I am a smuggler – I sneak things around, I am a parent – I worry about my kids, too often we forget that these characters, like ourselves, likely have different masks or presented selves. Rarely does a game start with a character starting at age 1. So what happened during the rest of your time until the moment the character started in the game story?

We as people have many different layers to us. We present different masks or aspects of ourselves to different people at different times be it online or in person, depending on where we are, who we are with, and what we are doing. Everything from our language, to behaviour, to outward personality it all changes. So why don’t we think that way for our characters? The Tim Game helps with that, and it does so with the whole group. By having it come from another player it creates a shared experience, which is what the biggest part or roleplaying games is about. A shared fun experience.

Peer Review

Michelle Wong’s CONCEPT

CAN’T GO W[R]ONG.

Excuse the terrible pun, but WOW. Michelle’s website  literally made me say “damn.” I openly admit that I am incredibly impressed with the professionalism of her site. Maybe I was expecting that everyone else in the class would be first-timers with WordPress or blogging like I am… No, I remember it being mentioned in class discussions that we had some avid bloggers already. Regardless. Michelle’s experience is evident.

Aesthetic. If I were to describe Michelle’s blog in one word, it would be aesthetic. The all-caps, the sans-serifs, the desaturated colour scheme, the white space all work together to create a cohesive look that pairs well with the blog’s overarching theme.

Something I particularly like about the layout of her website is that she included an About blurb in the sidebar on the right of the page. With the blog and her most recent posts being the first thing you land on when visiting the site, I found it added a more personal and welcoming touch; this way, while you get straight to the content and what the blog is all about, you feel like you’re being greeted by Michelle herself.

In his talk “What Is Publication?”, Matthew Stadler notes that part of being a publisher is being a good host. By including a picture of herself in the sidebar, I think that Michelle does a good job in being a host, not just by having a friendly tone in her posts, but by being present as you click through the site. It makes it feel like you’re getting to know her on a more personal level as you read; taking away the dissociative anonymity and invisibility that John Suler defines in The Online Disinhibition Effect.

Looking more closely at the content of Concept, it’s evident that Michelle has put a lot of thought into her blog. I enjoy the introductions of each blog post — they act as great hooks, without being too obviously “hooky”, if that makes any sense. The introductions are informative on what the post topic is (as an intro should be), but is written in a casual way that is relatable and thusly inviting to continue reading.

The categorization within the blog shows focus and again, emphasizes the amount of planning Michelle has done. As the reader, I find it a nice touch that Michelle has allowed me to filter the content to whichever topic it is that I am interested in. Realizing that not all visitors may be interested in all of the different topics she writes about once again shows her compassion as a host.

It is clear that Michelle already has a coherent online identity built up from her time instagramming and working on her Wong Collective. I think it will be interesting to see this transition from a very photo-based, minimal word medium to a word-focused medium, but I have no doubts that Michelle will be as successful here on wongconcept.com as she is on Instagram.

peer review #1 – Jenny Chan

Jenny Chan’s Website: http://triangularzebras.com/

This week, I was assigned Jenny Chan’s website to do a peer review on developing her online self. The short description that she wrote for her website in the google spreadsheet was: “A blog of the photos I take on my phone and the music I like.”

Upon arriving to her website, “BETWEEN THE STRIPES”, I immediately noticed that she went for a color scheme that mostly consisted of black, white, yellow, and a few orangey-red colors. After reading her process post, it definitely made sense to me why she chose that color scheme! As she explained in the process post, she loves zebras and the interests and enjoyments in her life were her stripes! I also found in her About section that she her favorite color is yellow. Speaking as a designer (I’m actually a SIAT student), the way she added the hints of orangey-red allowed her to highlight things from her blog and differentiate them with the other content. She had the title of her webpage boldly displayed at the top of her pages, however it was not too clear as the background image and the strike-through font mesh together. Her body text were also all-caps, which gave off the impression that she has an enthusiastic personality!

Asides from her process post, she posted a playlist of the music she was currently enjoying. I find this allows her visitors to feel engaged and get a better sense of who she is. I listened to a few of the songs on her suggested playlist and they are very chill. And like Jenny said, they are perfect for cold rainy days! On the side of her blog, she included a Search Bar, Categories, Recent Posts, and Archives to make it easier to navigate through her website. She also included a  Social Media, Music, and Vision Board section, which included her Pinterest, Instagram, and SoundCloud account, where visitors can take a look at what she likes and what she’s like. Moving on to her About section, I could tell that she seems like a very happy and care-free person overall! I learnt many interesting facts about her, and have a pretty good idea of what her personality is like from her description. Lastly, her Captures page showcases a few pictures that she’s taken of different locations, but they all have the same theme, which are sunsets!

I’d love to read more about her blog when she makes more posts, and would love to see more of her sunset pictures! Overall, I enjoyed reading through her blog, as her personality shown through her posts and made it interesting for me as her audience! 🙂

Process Post #3

WHO AM I, WHAT AM I?

I am definitely struggling. The fact that I’m up at 2:35am is proof of that.

It feels as though I’ve lost my voice, or that I’m in that infant stage of trying to learn to talk. Better yet, I feel like I do when I’m trying to speak to my best friends (who are from Quebec) en français; I know (or at least I think I know) the story that I want to tell, but I don’t quite know how to spit it out. In a nutshell, that’s how I feel about blogging.

It’s funny to me though — I don’t plan for the blog to be the main attraction of my website. Despite that section being more or less the only part of my site that currently has any content, I have a Projects section in the menu, ready and waiting to showcase my design work. The end goal, for me, is for my website to be my professional portfolio. Hence the decision to keep my name as the title. After a lot of back and forth-ing in my planning, I decided that the blog will merely be a feature of my portfolio, a kind-of extension to my About page. Meant to capture my personality, life experiences, and demonstrate my communication skills, Rise & Grind would be a way for potential employers (and other visitors, of course) to get to know me in greater depth, and to (hopefully) be inspired or gain some insight from the tidbits I share.

As I noted above, the blog is the only part of my website that contains content — and it doesn’t have much content at that. I have been struggling, without a doubt, on how to present myself. Or, not how exactly, but more what it is I’m publishing. I’m comfortable and happy with the type of voice I’ve put forth so far; casual and friendly, yet not necessarily in an unprofessional way. I’m trying to present the truest self that I can to the world, but as John Suler questions in The Psychology of Cyberspace, what is the True Self? In my not-yet-published second blog post, I want to address what karate is. But it has literally taken me over a week to figure out what exactly I wanted to explain, and it’s only [right] now as I’m reflecting on my week of frustration, that I am finally making a clear decision.

My debate had been on how personal to make this explanatory post (and the whole blog, really). Thinking about Rise & Grind and what kind of audience might read this, I kept shying away from making it an overly personal story. I didn’t want this to turn into my autobiography — who was going to read that? So I began writing in a more detached fashion, but soon felt like I was writing a history paper. Um, yeah. No thanks. But I became stuck.

Re-explaining my vision anew here in this process post has helped me to refocus however. I stopped telling myself that no one was going to be interested in what I was saying, and instead I asked myself again, what is my goal with this website? What is it that I want to share with the world? And really, what I want to share is who I am — and who I am includes my personality, my profession, and my passions. So Rise & Grind will be about me. It will tell the story of how I rise to the occasion and grind away to better myself a little more each day. It will be for me to work on expressing myself and to become comfortable with that self-expression.

I’m excited now. I feel like I have my attention back.