Tag Archives: pub101

Peer Review #3

For my third peer review, I got to take a look at Jade Boiser’s blog. For this peer review, I will be looking at how marketable this blog is for its intended audience. I will also be taking into consideration how this blog gains its audience and what can be done to get more traffic so that more individuals can see Jade’s content.

In one of her process posts, I noticed that Jade mentions that her imagined audience is between the ages of 13-20 as she feels as though she can relate to individuals within this age group. She talks about how individuals closer to her age group will find her content relatable. Going through many of her posts I noticed a few things that allowed me to see how her blog is truly created for this age group. The first would be that her posts are easy to read. The words she uses get across to the readers easily and are not complicated for young audiences. Her posts are also short enough that young audiences feel encouraged to read them, and most importantly, they are engaging. I think her posts are engaging for young audiences because they seem relatable. Some of the topics I came across included personal relationships, breakups and what she has learned through her experiences whether negative or positive. Her content allows young readers to feel as though Jade is just like them.

According to an article from week 5 – Searching for a public of their own, I think Jade has definitely nailed it with producing content that relates to the teen demographic. The article talks about how choosing what to share and how much is up to the content creator. Jade choses to share a great amount of personal stories and the connections she makes with the music she listens to. This demographic she is targeting in particular seems to be all about their music and therefore her content can be extremely relatable for this audience.

In order for this blog to attract new readers, I feel as though Jade could perhaps either make her Instagram account public or create a specific one for her blog. I see that she has her private account on her site in the sidebar, however because it is private, viewers on her blog cannot access her posts and see the person behind the screen and it seems a little pointless to link the account if it is private (I do recognize her great use of pictures in her posts- which go amazingly with the content). Also, because the account is private, she cannot use hashtags on Instagram to promote her posts. I think Jade could really use this social media platform to get her blog out there as it has such a unique concept and young individuals could really connect with her through her posts.

-Shazia xx

Peer Review #3 – Goode Eats

With a witty play on one of my favourite food network TV shows, Lauren’s blog “Goode Eats” is well developed and shows her online personality well.

As Lauren states in her “Audience” post, her intended audience is most likely foodies living in the Vancouver area. Goode Eats is an extremely marketable blog towards that audience, since her blog is about, well (if the Food Network pun title didn’t ring any bells to you) –  food.

The content Lauren produces on her blog is really well suited towards her intended audience. She posts about places where she goes to eat and details her experience very clearly, adding pictures and her own fun reactions and opinions. The pictures added to her posts of the beautiful decor or the appetizing looking food makes them engaging and fun to read. As well, the tone that Lauren writes her posts in is very simple, easy to understand, and amusing. Going through her whole blog, there has not been a single post where I have been bored and felt like I wanted to click away (not even the process posts for some odd reason!).

Her blog is not only appealing to her intended target audience, but I believe it appeals to quite a lot of people – take a look yourself! Simply just looking at her pictures of food and reading her blog has made me hungry and wanting to visit the places she posts about.

A small problem with her content is that there are quite a few grammar errors scattered throughout her posts, some of them being typos or just oddly worded phrases (they are quite minor so it’s not a big deal) but they are scattered throughout too many posts to link specific instances of them all.

Another thing Lauren does extremely well in her blog marketing wise is that when she leaves a favourable review, she links the addresses and websites of the places where she goes to eat. This optimizes her chance of getting affliates and sponsors from places who may want her to review it in the future! She also lists the prices of the food she orders which is good for any prospective foodies wanting to eat at the places on her blog so they know what to expect budget-wise! Lauren also fittingly is leaving hashtags at the bottom of all her posts – a smart move which increases the possibility of her blog showing up through a search engine.

Overall, Lauren’s blog is very solid from a marketing perspective.

Design wise, her blog is quite easy to navigate and looks very cute. The logo Lauren has made and uploaded as her header fits extremely well onto her theme and it makes the blog seem much more cohesive and professional! The combination of the cutlery symbols + type outlining what is on her blog is wonderful for branding and is in fact what many small companies do when starting out before gaining recognition (because when starting out a logo itself is not recognizable enough to an audience). There are a few minor issues with the navigability, however.

One is that the names of the top menus are a bit confusing.

After clicking through them I can understand what the ‘Get Your Grub On‘ and the ‘You Cooked?!‘ categories are (although I suggest taking out the You Cooked?! category if there are not going to be any cooking posts), but I am still not exactly sure what the Get Your Buzz On category means. That could be confusing to a reader opening your blog who does not have the patience to click through the categories to figure out what they mean, so I suggest renaming them something that is better understood.

The Instagram-esque grid sidebar gallery full of pictures of food is a nice touch! The feed doesn’t clash with the blog theme at all, since the pictures are all earthy, muted, natural colours (which is what seems to be the overall colour scheme of her theme), and the preview pictures of food look delicious, keeping a potential reader of the blog’s interest.

As well, Lauren links her actual Instagram below, which is a smart marketing move especially for foodies, where Instagram is a major platform for gaining an audience. Something I would suggest design-wise, however, is to either add more social media links where the Instagram widget is, or to get rid of that widget and link the Instagram account separately. This is only because the widget container looks quite empty, having a black border around the Instagram link but nothing else filling the space making it look empty and a little bit awkward.

Overall, Lauren’s blog “Goode Eats” does amazingly well, and very appropriately tailored to suit her intended audience. Her blog is super cute, really engaging and I loved going through it! From a marketing perspective, her blog does a good job selling itself to the reader, as well as giving herself the possibility of promotional opportunities from places she reviews.

Vol. 10: Peer Review #3


This week, I will be reviewing Teresa’s blog: teresahanulseo.com. I want to be clear from the beginning, as per usual, that I will be examining her content as well as visual design. In light of this, it would be best to start off by trying to describe the audience persona she has envisioned for her blog.

Already from the homepage of her blog, I feel that I can quickly try to identify the type of audience it is for. Her blog title, “The Confusing, Jumbled Life of Teresa Hanul Seo” already denotes that her blog is intended for a more young, fun, and lighthearted audience. Right away, humour is present within her blog, denoting one should view this without taking anything too seriously. If I were to give an ideal demographic audience, I would say that it would be roughly between the ages of 15-20, either male or female, and closely tied to attributes of Millennials.

Right away, I’m presented with a humourous picture of Childish Gambino. I would say that in terms of designwise, it seems out-of-place, but it ties the theme of her blog together in the beginning. The one thing it does correct is that it entices me to want to see other things for a possible laugh or smile. The colours used are vibrant pops of red and yellow, yet are on the softer side to ease the eyes. I’m glad she didn’t use overly vibrant colours or I would’ve commented on it. Her text is also a different colour, and gives a nice contract to everything. I would say the tagline under her title is a little hard to read, and possibly reworking the title a bit could have it feel more balanced.

The red pop of her menu bar struck out at me too much in the beginning, but once I realized some text inside her blog was the same colour, it was now consistent with the rest of her blog. I would say maybe now the blue of her title might be out of place–I personally find 3 colours that are very different from each other hard to handle. But, nonetheless, the carefree nature of her blog might say otherwise.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Teresa also has a calendar at the bottom of every page in her blog. Though the it is nicely presented, I found it kind of off-putting since there was no real use for it–we can quickly view the calendar from our mobile devices or laptop.

Teresa’s about section already sparks her style of writing for her audience. It’s very conversational, and I find it warming. Her ability to be this loud helps me realize how much she can be that dependable friend, or the main character in those tween movies we adore. This is her voice, and I find it quite powerful!

Though the design is sleek on different pages, I find that it is not creative enough for the intended “feel” she was going for. Maybe Teresa ought to put pictures in posts too, to at least bring some colour to her text.

I can’t say too much about her content, as none of it resides outside of pub101 posts or peer reviews, but I will say if she did post any content, I wish for her to include the quirkiness she has in her language, some colour to denote the fun and silly atmosphere, and to be creative! Overall, I find that she was able to pinpoint her audience well with her design and whatever content she has on there, but I am rooting for her to include more and post more for her audience!

’till next time, homies!

Week 9: What Google Analytics Has to Say

My findings in Google Analytics allowed me to see that most, if not all of my website’s audience is North American. This means that even though I’m an international student, I have to cater to my audience who are most likely North American and may not be able to relate to International student related content. The audiences were from Canada, America and Peru. To me this is quite surprising because I am Tanzanian and I know for a fact that I’ve asked some individuals in Tanzania to take a look at my sight and give me feedback. This does not seem to have been recorded by Google Analytics and therefore makes me feel as though I should not trust all the data Google Analytics is providing to me. Does Google Analytics only record data from activity taking place in North America? It does not feel like a credible source.

Also, according to Google Analytics, readers mostly go to the site on days that I post. This means that in order to drive traffic to my site more frequently throughout the week, I need to spread out my posts throughout the week. I can post on Mondays and Wednesdays if I’m only putting two posts out or Monday, Wednesday and Friday when I have a third post to put up. Furthermore, it seems as though when I mention the posting on Instagram, it seems as though more individuals come from there. Therefore I should keep promoting posts on my Instagram account as well as on Facebook because it seems as though despite me not posting on that platform, readers are also being driven from there. This could allow me to get more visitors and views to my site, allowing me to be able to activate my Google AdSense.

Let’s Talk Facebook

In my opinion, I believe that Facebook is already in its declining stages as older individuals are beginning to dominate the platform. We see our mum’s, aunties and uncles spending more time on Facebook sharing posts that are not credible; sharing pictures without thinking about what Facebook is doing with all their data and allowing strangers to view their pictures and private information. For many of us in our 20s, we understand the importance of protecting our privacy. We need to be cautious of what future employers, and coworkers are seeing. Although it is illegal for future employers to go through our social media platforms when deciding whether or not to employ us, it is a very common practice and therefore we should be cautions when posting anything on any open platform.

As for keeping in touch with individuals around the world, a world without Facebook would not necessarily make much of a difference in many of our lives today. This is because there are many other more engaging platforms such as Instagram where individuals can share highlights of their lives and keep it much more private. We are also able to have conversations with individuals on various platforms such as Skype, WhatsApp and so on.

Facebook is more difficult to keep private, as the user has to figure out exactly how to privatize different aspects of their profile. This includes privatizing albums, posts and profile pictures all separately. As for Instagram, the user simply privatizes their entire account and this means that those who do not follow the individual cannot access their posts. For me personally, I choose not to post anything on Facebook anymore because I allow anyone that I know or have heard of to become a friend. I have managed to delete old unnecessary posts and privatize pictures of when I was younger to the point where only I am able to view them. On Instagram however, I only allow close friends or individuals I want seeing my posts follow me. This allows me to keep my life private and protected from individuals who have no business in seeing my personal life.

Process Post #7

I don’t have much interest in monetizing my blog at all. This is very much a personal blog to me and it doesn’t feel right to me to monetize my content (at the moment anyway).

However, if I were to monetize my blog, I suppose I would make quite a few changes. I would probably try to come up with a lot more original content, not just my thoughts and opinions. As well, I would probably shorten all links to different products that I mention in my blog posts with an ad shortener link or something of the like. Right now though, I have no interest in it. I feel like it’s extremely tiresome to want to click a link and have it redirect to an ad page first, and since my current content (opinion posts) probably aren’t worth having readers click those links, they would get tired and turned off of reading my blog.

I have neutral feelings towards data trails. My dad who is a tech security designer always stressed to me and my siblings that ‘nothing we ever do is private on the internet‘ and I’ve grown up with that sentiment. I am used to the idea that there is data tracking on whatever I do on the internet, so that thought does not bother me, although maybe it should. But I’ve always thought about it like ‘if they are tracking billions of user’s data trails every day, why would my information specifically be important to them?‘ I’m not special and there’s got to be an information overload from the sheer amount of information tracked on the internet daily. Most of the information tracking that happens just goes towards targeted ads which don’t bother me because I have Adblock on (sorry! I do turn it off on some websites so they can make a profit).

Another extension I have installed in my browser is called “Ghostery” and with this extension, you can hide your data trails to some extent! Ghostery shows you which companies are tracking your data on website pages and allows you the option to hide your data from certain trackers. You need to manually turn them off though. It can make your page load faster if the page has a ton of trackers that slow down your browser. With this extension, I am able to minimize what little worries I have about my data trails being tracked by third parties. If you are worried about your activity being tracked, you might want to try downloading this extension!

Peer Review#3

My first impression of Navreet Dhaliw’s blog [ http://navreetd.com ] was beautiful, organized, and simple. The last my previews’ blogs were really colourful, and I really liked them because the bloggers chose really good colour combination. However, I did not expect that I am impressed this much about the simple design.


Especially, the header is really organized, when I move the pointer on the category the posts or another category shows up in the big categories. However, there are empty category so I think it is good idea to remove the category from the header or add posts on the category. Also, the font and all capital letter on very top of the header are hard to read. If the sentence is short, I think it is easy to read. The header letter is very important to send her message to her audiences. That is why it should be more pop out to send her message to audience at once when her audience opens her page.


Her choice of the header photo is really good, but the place of text seems to be a bit wrong(?). The text is covering photo and the font and the size of text do not really match with photo. I think this is a tip that the main header letter font and the sub header letter should be different even though the message is related.  I think she can give stronger message and/or expression to her visitors if you have different fonts of the main header letter and the sub header letter.


I really like her main page of showing her post. I can pick the posts that I want to read from pictures. And, also, the posts of the beginning text showing is really good idea because the audience can figure out and make sure the post is right choice to read. The font is really nice and simple. It should not be too much popping out so this font is perfect choice, I think.

However, the side bar and the posts’ bar do not seem to be separated completely because the all fonts are same. It can be changed and it can be separated if she even puts one thin line between the posts’ bar and the side bar. Or her blog is really simple colour so she can put the grey colour to make her blog more organized even though her blog is already organized.

Ads Are Not Riches

Process Post #8.

“Do you want to monetize your site? If so, how will you do so? What changes will you need to make?”

Who doesn’t want to make money? Seriously? No one. Everyone wants to make cash, let alone a little extra cash. We need it to survive. And most important, we need it to go out for meals so we can take photos of our duck confit and blog about it.

In all seriousness, there’s a right and wrong way to go about making that cash we so desperately need. There’s also an efficient and inefficient way to do it, and that varies from person to person. As far as monetizing my blog goes, I don’t think I’m there yet. Actually, I know I’m not there yet.

Using Google Analytics, I can see the traffic on my blog. Exciting! People are viewing it. OK, I’m famous. Slap some ads on there and bring me a mimosa cause I’m about to sit back and rake in the revenue I get from the…..

14 people that have viewed my blog this month.

OK, maybe I’m not famous.

As we’ve learned in class, monetizing your blog is something that may actually push new users away. AdBlock exists for a reason: people don’t want to see ads. Adverts often play to the subliminal, using data mining to target the perfect audience and at the very least remind them on the products and services the ads are selling. So, why monetize a blog with such a small following? As much as I would love to make a little extra money, I’m not there yet, and theres no use in ‘nickel-and-diming’ your users, especially if it’s such a small following.

Side note: February 5th, 97 users viewed my blog. Considering 141 users have viewed my blog… 97 is a pretty big chunk. Whatever happened on February 5th…. I do not not. But damn was I popular.

Long story short: no, I will not be monetizing my blog. Yet! Let’s wait until I do get a big following (it’s only a matter of time, I swear), and then I’ll revisit the idea.



Week 8: Monetization

According to Ad Sense, this blog needs to have posts with more words so that they can get a gist of the type of ads that would be appropriate for it. Apparently multi media posts are not considered when Google ads decide to approve a blog for monetization. This means that I am going to have to produce more wordy posts, which I am okay with doing, even though in my opinion I find them to be quite boring and I probably won’t re read ever. Do I want to monetize this blog? Of course I do. Nobody puts in effort into something without expecting a beneficial outcome. I should also put up posts more frequently if I expect to make more than a cent if even that.

Personally I think blogs are dying out in the same way as magazines are dying out. I’m taking a course – PUB 375, which is about magazines. Designing it, the costs of publishing it etc. The most important thing I’ve learnt from this course so far is that I do not want to work for a magazine. I once wanted to become an editor for some magazine, any magazine after I wrote a post for the SFU OLC/ Engage blog. People do not want to read if they don’t have to. I too hate reading after taking all the communication courses I’ve taken so far. Approximately 30 pages for 2-3 reading per week per course are no joke and no fun. I would much rather watch a 60-minute video per week for each course. This is why I believe that blogs are dying out, just like magazines.

-Shazia xx

Essay 1

The rapid technological advances have influenced many social aspects of society. Certain platforms like radio or television were considered to be the main source of publicity, however, since the beginning of the twentieth-century social media has gain popularity and with it, diverse worries about the sort of information shared, posted and disclosed have come up.  The previous platforms were considered to be a medium of expression of ideas, where the issuing entity would be the holders of truth and the observer’s mere receptors of the information (Lang and Lang, 2002). Now, the main concern shifted to social media not only because of the wide variety of information posted but the access to it. Social media has user of all ages, circumstances, and opinions, “Now information can be released with among all the users without filtering, fact-checking or editorial judging” (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017). As a result, the community faces issues with truthfulness as most the information posted on social media cannot be considered to be an accurate representation of reality. In this essay, I will discuss how fake news has become part of the day to day media system, affecting not only the credibility of people but the content itself. Unfortunately, the information posted in these platforms are usually directed to attract user attention for different purposes, hence, the reason why media platforms play a big role in shaping the public’s opinion despite how true the information is.


Globalization together with the access to the internet has made information more accessible, consequently increasing the different media sources to retrieve data from. Most of the platform used nowadays include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others, reaching people from all around the globe. The information posted can be for different purposes. Spreading false information or ‘fake news’ for personal or political gain is certainly not a new topic of discussion. Social media is now considered as the main element that allows individuals to implant and establishes false information more easily than ever before. The power of influence Facebook or Twitter has does not compared to the previous sources of information like leading newspapers or TV popular stations (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017). According to the CEO and founder of the Institute for Media Strategies, Dietmar Schantin stated: “We are drowning in fake news, where a big part of the population now consumes and shares its news via social media, often without realizing what they share is false”. Numerous studies conducted in the US have shown that adults in America use social media to get their daily news. The platform by excellence to retrieve news is Facebook with a 66% of respondent acceptance and 45% stated that they used another form of social media (Shearer & Gottfried, 2017).


What is fake news?

            Allcott and Gentzkow in their article “Social Media and Fake News in the Election 2016” define fake news as information that is intentionally misleading and verifiably false with the purpose of deceiving the reader or changing their opinion. Social media is the main platform for the creation of the false material. The web has several tools that make realizing fake or decorated information easily and with a wide range of spreading. There have been two recent events in which the creation of fake news has peaked, this was during the American presidential elections and the Brexit vote in 2016. These events had such significance that a new concept was added to the Oxford English dictionary known as “post-truth” which emphasizes the small role of the truth in shaping public opinion than political beliefs. This notion was named the word of the year highlighting the influential role of social media and the power it has in shaping public opinion than political belief or emotions (Shin et al., 2018)

There are websites that are generated specifically to release fake news, to illustrate this I will take the example of an article posted on DenverGuardian.com which included a viral fake news.  The article released was about the false death of Hillary Clinton, days before the US presidential elections in 2016. The article was shared massively on social media, seen more than half a million times and earned more than 15.5 million impressions. The author commonly known as Jestin Coler, was attributed the name of “Fake News King”. According to the national public radio interview with Coler, he stated that this article became excessively viral because “stories like this work because they fit into existing right-wing conspiracy theories”, in other words, he made sure to publish this article at the right timing, with the appropriate heading. The situation was adequate, as people were striving for catchy news and a notification like this would clearly attract people’s attention (Sydell, 2016).

According to a recent survey after the election of 2016, there was a correlation that was proven between the level of education and the level of believing the false news. The results show that people who have higher education level and spend a lot of time on social media have more accurate beliefs about whether an article or a headline is true or not. According to Flynn et al., (2017) they mentioned that education should increase people’s ability to argue against the false information they are reading on social media stating that “The more [people] are instructed, the less liable they are to the delusions of enthusiasm and superstition, which, among ignorant nations, frequently occasion the most dreadful disorders.”

Furthermore, fake news a2 not only the only problem. Clickbait is also a form of online scamming. The term means “content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page” (Rubin, 2015). According to Silverman this news pro-life because they are often misleading and unverified, but the unforgettable headlines are considered to be the major contributor to the spreading of fake news on the internet (Silverman, 2015).


The above figure is an example that shows the difference between click baiting and a traditional style of news. There are differences, headline a) presents an article that talks about Michelle Obama’s publication of a new biography. Whereas, headline b) expresses the same thing, but in a more shocking way, including scandalous words in the headline and making a simple article seem big news. The reason most of the companies/agencies use clickbait is that of the monetary value they receive from spreading fake news.

In conclusion, the existence of fake news is part of the social community. There are people ready to give the masses the scandalous stories many want to hear. In my opinion, fake news is a way to show us that we care more about the juicy stories than the truth, but it is also true that sometimes it happens out of curiosity. People are now much more aware of what is happening and do not believe right away everything they read. It is a process of learning and as social media users, we should be educated on how to prevent in falling for scams or provide tools to block unwanted information.






Allcott, H., & Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 211-36.


Shin, J., Jian, L., Driscoll, K., & Bar, F. (2018). The diffusion of misinformation on social media: Temporal pattern, message, and source. Computers in Human Behavior.



Chen, Y., Conroy, N. J.,   Misleading online content: Recognizing clickbait as false news. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM on Workshop on Multimodal Deception Detection (pp. 15-19). ACM

Silverman, C. (2015). Lies, Damn Lies, and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation. http://towcenter.org/research/lies-damn-lies-and-viralcontent.


Flynn, D. J., Brendan Nyhan, and Jason Reifler. 2017. “The Nature and Origins of Misperceptions: Understanding False and Unsupported Beliefs about Politics.” Advances in Political Psychology 38(S1): 127–50


. http://www.journalism.org/2017/09/07/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/


Remix – Process Post #6

This week for our process posts we were supposed to remix something. I decided to do an audio remix of one of my favourite songs by Carly Rae Jepsen by adding 3D audio and rain effects. I like listening to rain sounds when I listen to music because it calms me down so I thought this would be a nice idea.

Here it is!

Carly Rae Jepsen if you’re reading this I hope you know that you are my queen and I would die for you.

I am not a DJ so no DJ intended and no Copyright infringement intended.

Please support my queen Carly Rae Jepsen and buy E•MO•TION: Side B on iTunes Apple Music if you like it!

Thank you for reading!

Week #7: Remixing Blair Waldorf

For this week’s process post, the task was to remix something. I decided to remix a character from one of my all time favourite TV shows – Gossip Girl! It recently got put onto Netflix and I binge watched the whole show in less then two weeks! I love Blair Waldorf because she’s such an iconic character. Her confidence and sense of style are things I look up to.

I found this image of Leighton Meester, who plays the character of Blair Waldorf in Gossip girl using the Creative Commons web page. The web page took me to alien_artifacts’ Flickr page, where this image was located. I then downloaded it and uploaded it to befunky.com where I was able to change the lighting and tones of the image. I then exported it to an app called PhotoWonder where I replaced her original mouth with the the blue lips and crown. Here I also mirrored the image to give me two identical Leighton Meester’s. I also added a Gossip Girl quote that I found on Pinterest in the centre.

Let me know who your favourite character is from Gossip girl. I’d love to know!

-Shazia xx

Vol. 9: Process Post

Copyright – “the sole right to reproduce the work in any material.”

What I was immediately fascinated by, about the definition, is that it does not say ownership. As a current business student, concepts like copyright, ownership, patents are all so important. We learn time and time again that patents are a crucial concept in the way businesses run; they need patents in order to continue to innovate.

So how does this translate into the fashion industry? As a current fashion blogger, I’ve definitely paid attention to the concept of how designer’s are protected. But then again, I always knew that designs were never copyrighted or protected. It’s also interesting to find that no one will ever do it like the other, even though they technically can. A copy is never the same as the original, or nowadays, a copy does not look like any other copy.

Every store, brand, retail brings its own creative take to a particular trend. Let’s say flared black jeans are the new trend. It’s actually interesting to see that there are so many selections of these out there, and that they’re actually all quite different in some way. For me, I actually never buy into brand name, and I think there is a huge distinction between brand name and design.

Inherently, there does exit a total difference: brands/logos can be patented but ultimately, designs can not be. This is interesting as it opposes the notion that people need patents in order to innovate or continue to be creative in the industry. It is because FOR the fact that people can copy your designs, you must continue to innovate, and you don’t want to copy because trends come and go. Fashion is essentially revolutionizing the way we think we ought to be creative: we ultimately don’t do unless we get true recognition or protection for it.

Back to my point about the distinction between brand name and design, I ultimately buy the design. I found that it just so happens that the brand name offers the exact design of the garment that I wanted. It’s not the fact that I, as well, go for more expensive brands. I am someone who loves a good deal–so I’m not looking to buy expensive clothing to flex. It just so happens that these brands have intricate designs, which I care about, about a specific garment. For example, I want oversized pants. But, I care about how much it is oversized, how it looks, it fits, and if ultimately if it was designed differently then others. There is much to say about the fact that niche and small designers have the HUGE incentive to be innovative. As consumers, we want to be creative as much as possible, and we want to stand out. For me personally, I don’t want to be exactly like anyone in terms of my style. This means, I have the same kind of mindset as those smaller and niche clothing retailers and designers. I put more value in it, so this reflects in their price points as well.

Everyone’s also been talking about a “capsule wardrobe” to withstand time. I’ll probably talk about this in a future post, but for now I will simply say it is probably too hard to do so if you are someone who admires new trends all the time. It’s weird to see how my mind has been so different than 3 years ago about choosing clothing–this means too that I experience trends in my lifetime, and possibly it wasn’t due to the fact that the world of fashion has been changing.

I am excited, and will continue to be excited, for new designs to come!

’till net time, homies!

Process post #4

Design Matters! 

This week we talked about web design and the type on screen.  A guest speaker came this week to class and told us more on how we analyze design and look at our blog differently. You will never know who actually is browsing your website 🤷

We were advised to check a website we always visit and analyze the design. Oh well, honestly I don’t have a specific website that I look up to. For the purpose of this process post I will choose Gino’s Blog . Why? the blog kind of illustrate how I want my blog to kind of look like…so far yet so close!

The first thing that attracted my eye is the type font, I have something for simplicity and thin fonts. Gino used the simple fonts in the header and for specific tag lines. On the other hand for the blog content/posts he used a bigger and much readable font! 👏 👏 Our guest speaker emphasized of having different fonts in the blog but a the same time making the blog balanced and proportional.

Speaking of proportions, images! When clicking on the home page, all the recent posts will appear and for every post in Gino’s blog there is a featured image. But for the most recent one the image size is bigger compared to the other images. The main purpose of it is to create emphasis and sometimes tension?

What actually captured my attention the most is the clap button ( AKA Like button), next to the sharing button! Giving more space for interaction and making reader feel like their opinion matters!

Moving on to my blog, our guest speaker encouraged us to have a background. I was one of the people who are kind of against background, but after listing to our guest speaker I was convinced because it does actually create more tension and attract the reader’s attention. I chose my background to be Jasmine flower, not because I like flowers, but because Jasmine is the symbol of Syria. Where ever you go, even the small alleys in Syria you will find Jasmine flowers. Also the scent of the country is like Jasmine flowers. Having this background give me a nostalgic feeling for my country.



Process Post #3

Content Content Content: 

I will be focusing now more on the content of my blog. Well it is hard, having a blog is not easy! It need determination patience and passion. You actually have to believe in what you are writing and not creating content for the sake of having it. I am trying hard to put my personal touch in my blog and I am struggling with it. I am now in a dilemma of how I am imaging my blog to be and how it is actually is. Of course the first I did was to Google Tutorials that helps me understand WordPress. Pages? Posts? Widgets? honestly I was lost, But then it all together when I saw the tutorial video and read more about the options #MindBlow .

Moving on to my next concern, Images! it is really to hard High res images especially for specific places in Syria, and if I did I CANT credit that person because I have no clue who is the source of the photo. This just made my night harder, I am planning to share my posts on Facebook once I make my blog pretty and nice. I believe in this way I will attract more audience to my blog, since most of my Facebook friends are from Syria ( or interested in ) and can relate to what I am saying! I am just still waiting for the moment that I am fully satisfied with my blog.

Process Post #2

What do I think about Speed Dating!

In the Publishing class we had the chance to speed date with out classmates. Why? because it’s Fun! and most importantly it takes us out of our comfort zone.  Maybe not for all of us, but speaking about myself, I am not that comfortable sharing with people my thoughts and my plans, I just feel nervously awkward when I think about the idea of speed dating . How about sharing with your classmates a bit about yourself and what is your blog is about  .

When I first visioned my blog’s idea, I wanted to be the BUZZFEED of Syria! I want to share about my country and to show the good side of it. On the other hand, I had a  feeling that it is a bit lame although I am 100% convinced with the idea.  The sense that I am internally not believing in myself that I can make the blog worth It! made me uncomfortable to share, Also me not wanting to hear or see people’s reaction to my idea. Since I have no where to run, I did it, and yes It was fun and I liked the reaction from my classmates.

Them encouraging me to go for it and telling me it’s a great idea made me more convinced to work on my blog 😀 .

What I learned: It’s the little details that are vital, Little things make better things happen.

Some Changes Were Made…

Process post #6.

Last week, we had peer review #2. Going into this one, I was feeling a bit more confident: since peer review #1, I had now settled on a theme, a logo, and a colour scheme.

This peer review was done by Kim Kind of Cooks, and she has a lot of insightful and useful information!

1. “Lauren has decided to use a background image whereas the demo page has none. (Side note: I would think about changing the background image to a photo more optimized for backgrounds – when I zoom out, I can see that the image is simply repeated in the background). Nonetheless, I like how she changed the colours so that the hyperlinks accent the leaves in her background photo.”

Dammit Kim, you’re right. I tried to take Mauve Pagé’s colour-scheming advice into consideration but I think I missed the mark a bit (I’m glad she at least saw the intent, though!) The tiled background looked awkward to me but I kept it anyway, but now I’ve switched it to a gold fork tile that doesn’t have mismatched edges. I think I still need to play around with it a bit to make it less ‘in-your-face’, ya know?

2. “…going back to Lauren’s logo, I really like how she used script – it really makes the title of her  blog stand out. One suggestion that I have would be to make the “Food Drink Cook” font consistent with the font used on the rest of her blog.

This is something I hadn’t thought of! I think this is a good point, but I kind of like the linear font juxtaposed with script in my logo, and I don’t love the look of serif mixed with script that close together. For now, I think I’ll keep it but it’s definitely a good point that I’ll be considering changing.

3. “I feel that the search box and tags serve related functions. Maybe opt to get rid of the “Tags” box? I think that it would help clean up the sidebar.”

Gone goes the sidebar! Initially, I was thinking quantity over quality when I finally figured out how to use Widgets (or what they even were… see this post for more on this struggle). It looks a lot cleaner, as Kim thoughtfully suggested it might!

4. “On Lauren’s About Me page, I noticed that there is a duplicate post. It looks like one is part of a static page, whereas the other is an ordinary blog post.”

See, this is why peer reviews are so helpful! I hadn’t even noticed this, probably because I haven’t revised that page since I won’t be posting to it anymore. As Kim pointed out, I actually had a category description and an “About Me” post that were the exact same. Luckily, Kim was right in saying it was an easy fix, and all I had to do was remove the category description.


Kim’s peer review was super useful! She really helped me to eliminate the redundancy and repetition on my blog, giving it a cleaner overall look.

Essay #1: Social Media News

Personally, I am not a person who is interested in the news. I don’t watch the news, nor do I check news websites regularly. But I do check social media websites often, and I happen to come across news articles every time. I only look at news articles that I would be interested in, ignoring the ones that seem uninteresting, or irrelevant to me. And when the news story is about politics or incidents, I have never stopped to think, “is this news real?”.

It just so happens that fake news is a trend on the internet. According to the journal article following the 2016 election, Social Media and Fake News in 2016, written by Hunt Allcott and Matthew Genzkow, popular fake news stories are shared more than popular mainstream news stories. In 2016, there were 38 million share of fake news articles, and many believed in those news stories (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 212). An example of this would be of a fake news article that was shared more than one million times on Facebook (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 214). A fantasy news website, “wtoe5news.com” wrote a fake news article regarding the Pope endorsing Donald Trump (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 213). Even though the article did not disclose that this website was a fantasy/satirical news website, the about page does (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 214). But despite the disclaimer, people shared without checking whether the story was true or false. In fact, the BuzzFeed article by Craig Silverman and Jeremy Singer-Vine, Most Americans Who See Fake News Believe It, New Survey Says, claims that adults believe fake news articles 75% of the time according to a survey done on more than 3,000 American adults.

So why do fake news articles exist? One of the reasons for fake news websites are for money (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 217). Because of ad revenue, the more visits to a page, the more money the creators of the website earn. Thus, the more an article is shared and clicked on, the more revenue fake news websites receive. In addition, more interesting and attractive a news article seems, increases the likeliness that people will read it. The other reason, is to gain support for an ideology, or more specifically support a candidate in the election in this case money (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 217). The article shows that fake news stories favored Trump over Clinton; 115 fake stories about Trump compared to 41 about Clinton money (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 212). Because of this advantage, “fake news might have been pivotal in the election of President Trump” (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 232).

However, if it weren’t for social media, fake news would not be as prominent. According to the journal article, fake news articles get most of its visits from social media shares than from direct browsing, while it is the opposite when looking at top news sites. As a matter of fact, “62 percent of US adults get news on social media” (Allcott & Gemzkow, 2017, p. 212).

Although, other sources have a more detailed percentage on American adults who get news on social media. An article on the Pew Research Center website, Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver, found that 39% of Americans use social media for news, daily. More specifically, 54% of Americans from age 18-29, 54% from age 30-49 and 25% from ages over 50. In this article, 38 different countries are surveyed. Canadians are at an even higher percentage at 42%. The largest amount of people using social media for news would be in South Korea, at 57%. Unsurprisingly, younger people tend to use social media for news than older people (Mitchell et al., 2018).

In another Pew Research Center article, 8 Takeaways about Social Media and News, the most used social media site for news is Facebook, followed by Youtube and then Twitter in the US. 22% of people think that Facebook is a useful way to find news while the other 78% discover news just from looking through Facebook for other reasons (Matsa & Mitchell, 2014). Another interesting finding is that people who go directly to news websites rather than through social media are interested and engaged(Matsa & Mitchell, 2014). The minutes per visit, pages per visitor, and visits per visitor are significantly more in those going directly to news websites (Matsa & Mitchell, 2014).

These statistics might explain why fake news is shared so often. Since people are less engaged in news when they find it through social media, they spend less time looking at the article, and subsequently they don’t consider the authenticity. It also pertains to myself, since I am of the younger population, I incidentally find news through Facebook everyday, and I also don’t care enough to check whether the news I read is true or not. In conclusion, after conducting all this research on social media and fake news, you should always check news sources, especially before sharing to other people, when you’re a part of the younger generation, and especially when the news from a social media site.






Allcott, H, & Gentzkow, M. (2017). “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2): 211-36. DOI: 10.1257.


Matsa, K. E., & Mitchell, A. (2014, March 25). 8 Key Takeaways about Social Media and News. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from http://www.journalism.org/2014/03/26/8-key-takeaways-about-social-media-and-news/


Mitchell, A., Simmons, K., Matsa, K. E., & Silver, L. (2018, January 11). Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from http://www.pewglobal.org/2018/01/11/publics-globally-want-unbiased-news-coverage-but-are-divided-on-whether-their-news-media-deliver/


Singer-Vine, C. S. (2016, December 6). Most Americans Who See Fake News Believe It, New Survey Says. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/fake-news-survey?utm_term=.nbV5nv4RgW#.tbpJonlBPV

Process Post #3

Process Post #3

I’ve definitely been slacking on the process posts, and I’m going to blame that on the fact that my primary focus lately has been touching up and editing all of my previous posts. I can be a bit meticulous about things, so when I started looking back on posts that I had already done and published, I started to notice a lot of little things that didn’t sit right with me and needed to be fixed.

First thing that I noticed and immediately had to fix, and still have yet to finish fixing, was on my home page. From the top of the home page all is well in my eyes, but as you scroll down and begin to see the posts all of the featured images are different sizes and therefore do not lineup with each other properly. Yes it’s probably not that big of a deal, but I could not go on until it has been fixed as best as possible.

This was the most major fix for me, but lots of other little things needed to fixed as well. I read over my previous posts and made various different changes to my writing. I never begin my writing with a plan simply because in the past when I have tried to follow a plan, I  had always ended up scraping it and going in almost an entirely different direction. The posts that I create start from a basic idea or topic, and everything that I write after that is basically a transcription of my thoughts as they come. Sometimes this works well for me, but a lot of the time it can lead to some messy sentences and poor grammar which needs to be fixed later on.

Since cleaning up the smaller details of my website I think it looks quite more put together and visually appealing, which for me is very important.

Social Media as a Primary Source For Receiving News

Publishing Paper

Word Count: 1250

As social media platforms continue to grow and expand, they also continue to become an increasingly popular source of news for much of the population. With the President of the United States using Twitter as his primary method of communicating with the world and public opinion becoming so easily manipulated by what is seen in the media, it has become to difficult to decipher whether or not this dramatic change in the way in which we receive our news is a good or a bad thing. It has been found that nearly two thirds of US adults are receiving their news online, and though they might not be getting all of their news on social media, those two thirds of American adults are getting some or majority of their news from social media (Pew Research Centre, 2017). With social media having such a large and continually growing influence on the way in which we receive and interpret our news, there are many benefits that are presented along with various dangers and red flags.  

Various different social media platforms, specifically Facebook and Instagram, have been designed using a series of different algorithms which are said to create a personally curated feed that is different for each user depending on a variety of different factors such as where they live, their age, the pages they most frequently visit, etc. What many people don’t recognize is the danger that these algorithms are presenting to the users of these different social media platforms. It’s no secret that the primary objective of these major social media companies is to maximize profit just as it is within any other major business or company, and in order to do so they must maximize attention from their users. As human beings we have a tendency to engage in news that creates fear and anger rather than news that is sharing joy; the result of this then becomes that these algorithms designed to”maximize attention give an advantage to negative messages.”  (Mcnamee, 2018)  With an increase in negative messages appearing on our feeds, it creates a false sense of what is really occurring in our world, leading to inappropriate solutions and responses meant to fix what is being portrayed in the media instead of what is really happening. An example of this would be

The most important method of which Facebook and Google use these algorithms to hold user attention is their use of ‘filter bubbles.’ ‘Filter bubbles’ can be described as the use of algorithms in order to give consumers what they want, ultimately leading to an endless series of posts in which each users pre existing beliefs are repeatedly confirmed by what they are reading online. (Mcnamee, 2018) The result of this is that each user of the internet sees a different version of the internet, a version that is curated to create the illusion that they are apart of the masses and that everyone else agrees with them. These algorithms limit the exposure to alternative opinions that each user is receiving, which ultimately leads to public opinion being manipulated into believing one certain opinion is right as they information they are receiving on the others is very limited and insufficient.

Along with the risk of being subjected to the use of algorithms and filter bubbles, using social media as a primary source for receiving news can also be dangerous as it presents the risk of being subjected to misinformation, or what is more commonly referred to as fake news. Over recent years journalism has become a controversial topic as it seems that public confidence in the field is continually dwindling. In a recent study done by the Columbia Journalism Review it was found that many readers of Buzzfeed and the New Yorker consider both publications to be equally credible, demonstrating how our ability to detect sophisticated, trustworthy platforms from fluffy, tabloid like platforms has changed. One subject of the study stated that “it’s not that the reputation of the publication did not affect [his] opinion … but more that [he] didn’t pay attention to it at all.” (Columbia Journalism Review, 2016). Credibility in the news has become a major concern for many, especially those who are receiving their news online through digital and social media platforms. The internet allows for unfiltered and unedited publishing, meaning that anyone who wants to publish their work now has the ability to do so, unlike in the print media such as the New York Times or Washington Post where each article is edited, fact checked and proofread before publication. With unregulated publication comes the prominent risk of being subjected to news with little to no credibility from platforms and publications with misconstrued intentions, ultimately creating distorted knowledge concerning world affairs, social movements, political standpoints and much more. A primary example of this being the continued misrepresentation of black men in the news and media, through this repeating misrepresentation a distorted image or stereotype has been formed regarding the type of people these men are. The media has a history of repeatedly portraying black men in a negative way, which has arguably caused many real life issues such as lower life expectancies and negative public opinion regarding who they are (see article from The Guardian, 2015) for these men who 99% of the time do not deserve the the treatment they unfortunately deserve.

Along with these negative aspects of social media being a growing source of news, there are of course positive aspects that are presented as well. While social media can be dangerous for manipulating public opinion, it can also be helpful in promoting public opinion. In recent years many social movements have been almost entirely reliant upon the attention they have received through the media for their success, such as the Women’s March and more recently, the #MeToo movement. Without social media as a source of news, these movements promoting female rights and the end to sexual assault would not have been nearly as large and influential as they were.  Social media as source of news helped to create and spread these movements across the world, constantly allowing supporters and participants to stay up to date with what was occurring and take a stand alongside those heavily involved in the movement. Media and journalism have also been referred to as ‘the fourth pillar of democracy,’ meaning that the media, journalism and news all play a large role in keeping our government honest and in place which can be seen as a very important positive attribute of the social media as a source of news. Without constant online circulation of what was or is occurring in the government it is likely that our government and political system would be even less legitimate than it already is.

As can be seen from the given examples above, social media being a primary source of news can presents various benefits while also presenting arguably very concerning dangers. As social media continues to grow as a primary source of news for many people, it’s important to find a balance in acknowledging the dangers and concerns as well as the benefits. Social media is not either purely good or bad, it is a both positive and negative platform from which we can receive our news and needs to treated as such. For some the benefits outweigh the downfalls or vice versa, but it remains crucial that we as a whole try and recognize both sides of this argument and do our best to use social media as a primary source of news in the best way we possibly can.




  1. Bialik, Kristen, and Katerina Eva Matsa. “Key trends in social and digital news media.” Pew Research Center, 4 Oct. 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/04/key-trends-in-social-and-digital-news-media/.
  2. Curry, Kevin. “More and more people get their news via social media. Is that good or bad?” The Washington Post, 30 Sept. 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/30/more-and-more-people-get-their-news-via-social-media-is-that-good-or-bad/?utm_term=.c9a20e4af023.
  3. Donaldson, Leigh. “When the media misrepresents black men, the effects are felt in the real world. .” The Guardian, 12 Aug. 2015.
  4. Funt, Danny, et al. “The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, and the push for digital credibility.” Columbia Journalism Review, 27 June 2016, www.cjr.org/special_report/newyorker_buzzfeed_trust.php?curator=MediaREDEF.