Tag Archives: pub101

A Personal Post

Today I found out that I still had a chance to submit my assesment several days ago. Ever since April the 4th I’ve been constantly having problems with my relationship, and it has impacted me greatly. And ever since that day my depression has taken over me. I’ve missed my last lectures, I haven’t finished my process posts, and I’m even reluctant to submit an assessment. Every other day I find myself sobbing so terribly that I can’t even function. I never thought that I would be that person who lets emotions take control of their life. But it has happened. All I ever want to do is run away. I just want to run away from everything and everyone.

So today I decided that I should submit an assessment anyway, even though I know it’s way too late. I made this decision because I feel like it’s the first step of taking back control of my life. I need to stop running away.

I find it extremely hard to open up to anyone about this problem I have. So sharing it to the public is a huge step.

This post is the start of my recovery.

I remember I had this problem when I was in highschool. Except it was more anxiety than depression. I didn’t want to face my teachers because my emotions stopped me from going to class at times. I was scared of what they thought of me. My grades dropped, causing even more anxiety about getting into university. But I remember how supportive my Math teacher was. He listened to what was going on in my life and gave me advice and leniency. He made me tear up, because of how kind and inspiring he was.

This time it’s even worse because I’m failing. And it feels like I’m going to fail in life. I know that in the next semesters to come, I can make up for how terrible this semester was. But in order to do that, I need to be more confident and worry less about being a failure.

Next time I feel that fear of failure, I want to come back to this blog post and rememeber that I can do it.

That I can be better.

Process post #12

Develop community guidelines for your site. Why are those the right guidelines for you? How will you implement them?

 

This week, we had Sharifah Williams , Associate Editor of theriot.com, as our guest speaker.

 

What have I learned from Sharifah? The importance for users to follow community guidelines when discussing their opinions. Each particular case should be addressed individually. But there should be a zero tolerance for hazing. It all depends on the levels of the content that is posted. So yes, we should accept changes, and expect comments that we don’t approve of. But at the same time we should treat them with mindfulness and without being biased.

I went ahead and checked out the Book Riot community guidelines to get a full image and idea about what Sharifah was trying to point out. Their community guidelines are straight to the point and clear. It was made clear that if anyone tried to make extreme comments they will be banned from the page.

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process post #6

For this post, our creativity should take the lead!

I have chosen a video from the Ministry of Tourism in Syria and decided to edit it 😉

How? used Adobe After Effects for the first time, and apparently it is not that hard! Yes believe anyone can make videos, but of course not PERFECT video from the first try 😉 you just need some patience, the thing that I did not have while editing, ooppss.

What Have I changed? Nothing, I just added texts. It nice to have great visual of what the country offer but it is better if you have some extra wording explaining and adding effects for that video. I felt that some small texts are missing here and there and I tried to follow the rhythm, I tried 😛

Hope you enjoy 😀

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My Experience as an Online Publisher

As a child I was always reading, and slowly as I’ve grown in age I’ve started to transition from a reader to a writer. For years I have known that I was meant to be writer, but I was never sure of what kind of writer that I was meant or wanted to be. There’s come a point in time where you feel like you’ve read enough stories and instead it’s time to create your own, and this blog has become a part of that process. For me it started with a blank notebook and a pen where I started jotting down every thought of mine that I didn’t think I could say out loud, and then eventually developed into something more, something that I felt comfortable sharing with other people. Don’t get me wrong, I still write in a notebook that will never be shared for my own personal sake, but instead of hiding there I have become more open about sharing my writing and work.

Starting a blog was something that I had been considering for quite a while but never really gotten around too, so I figured enrolling in this class would be a good push in the right direction. For me I think the most difficult part of this entire process has been developing a set identity that people can associate me and my website with. I’ve always thought of myself as someone with various different and distinct personalities, so for me this was almost as if I were choosing which one of those personalities would be best to project out into the world. It wasn’t until I actually started creating content on here that I realized I didn’t have to choose just one of my many personalities to share, I simply just had to find a way to make them work in a cohesive manner. The easiest way to do this was to just create a series of different distinct categories for my different posts to go under, while also keeping them relatively similar underneath one broader theme which for me was lifestyle. By doing this I was able to express the side of me that loves fashion and going for coffee with friends, while also sticking a bit more true myself and creating content based off my one of my life long passions – music. When creating this blog I wanted it to be something that everyone would be interested in reading, not just a certain group of people and I think that again, due to the different categories, I was able to at least take a step in the right direction when it comes to achieving that. From the beginning I knew that I also didn’t want this website to be strictly my writing, I wanted to build a platform for myself that I could use to share essentially anything I wanted to whether it be writing, photos, playlists, recipes or whatever else came to mind.

When designing the overall look of my website, my biggest inspiration was Aspyn Ovard. The design of my blog is nowhere near what I want it to be, but we are getting there slowly and taking inspiration from Aspyn’s blog has really helped me start to develop a better sense of what I want for my blog to look like as a finalized product. An article assigned for reading in this course stuck out to me when considering how I wanted to design my blog (Design Machines: How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse). I want for my blog to stand out among the thousands of others as it is suggested in this article, but I’m still unsure of how I am going to make that happen. Right now its all about creating a good foundation, and as time continues I’ll start to build on that foundation and turn into something much greater.

Of course there have been some bumps along the road, including how I am going to get my blog out there as some technical difficulties continue to ensue (read process post 6 for more information on this). But nonetheless I know that I will continue to use this platform once this class is over, and I am very grateful that this class gave me the opportunity to actually begin this process rather than just sitting around and thinking about it. My goal for the website after this class is simple: keep posting. I hope that eventually I will be able to develop it into something more than what it is right now, but my main priority is going to be keeping up with creating content. I have definitely enjoyed my experience as an online publisher thus far, and sincerely hope that i’ll continue to enjoy it in the future.

The Making Of

Being a “Publisher” was something I never thought of, yes, I do have an Instagram account for my country, yes, I have built a small community on Instagram, but still I have never thought I am a publisher. Why? Simply because the word itself in my mind has a bigger image. For me the definition of Publishers was the people who publish articles, book, novels and more. They are people who write in a very creative and complicated way, and I have never perceived myself as one of them. After the first class, I have realized anyone can considered as a publisher. publishing your opinion on Facebook or tweeting it on twitter or describe it through a photo on Instagram is believed to make a you a publisher, of course there are levels, but still there is a chance you can improve and work on your content.

How did I create my publication? Well as simple as it sounds, it all started when I had to create a blog. I have an Instagram account that portraits my country. I wanted to grow more, not only on Instagram specifically, the overall process was not easy, having in mind that what I want to stand for my ideas and share my cyberinfrastructure that I built with “the public sphere”. I had a plan to represent a similar idea that I have on Instagram, but this time adding more words rather than just photos.  I planned according to Gardner Campbell’s article when he mentioned that progress is sometimes going back to what you have and bringing the ideas back into a new context. “Gardner Campbell. 2009. “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.”

The website that I build through word press, is called MySyrainblog (ADD LINK). Why? I wanted to give the blog an identity, I want the people who check the blog to directly relate and connect with before browsing it.  According to Suler, John in his book Psychology of The Digital Age, He mentioned that cyberspace is place that “ loosens the psychological barriers that block the release of these inner feelings and needs”. I wanted to take advantage of this space to create a sense of belonging for every Syrian disregarding the barriers that exists.

The content, in a crucial world that we live in, when mentioning my country, Syria, most of the public will react in a negative way from what is seen through the media, not saying it is not true, but it is also nice to appreciate the good side of this country.  I was tired of listening every day to the chaos and the destruction that is happening in Syria, I believe most of the Syrians feels the same way too, and I wanted to make a change even if it is minimal. My inner drive for trying to change the bad image of my country was very strong. My Syrian Blog is a website that talks about What’s new in Syria, related to newly opened places, concerts, food and where to go in Syria. It is a safe place for every Syrian.

My Imagined Public: my target readers are Syrian people who lives in Syria and would like to know about the updates and events that are coming soon. Also, Syrian people who left Syria because of the war circumstance and would love to stay connected and remember the good side of this wonderful country. I don’t limit my target audience to a specific age range, I want to target all different ages.

Getting to know my real audience : After posting my first blog post “10 photos that prove Syria is one of the most amazing countries in the Middle East or the world ;)” ( ADD LINK), I learned a lot about my real and current audience. I took advantage of my personal social media accounts and shared my first blog post. I also associated @SyriaWeekly as a part of the website and took advantage of Instagram by sharing the blog post for two days in a row as a story and post a photo on the account asking the Instagram audience to show support. After one week, I used Google Analytics to check the audience. I had at first 27 users who check my website since the time I launched it but not advertise it. After posting my first Blog and advertising it on different social media accounts my readers increased to 462!! Yes, I  was overwhelmed 😀 😀 Having in my mind the audience that I want, the real readers turned out to include people who are from countries I never expected like Philippines, Germany, peru and more. Knowing my audience more helped me in adjusting my posts depending on their behavior and interests.

Not only I got to know who my audience is but I also I got to receive comments from them. I decided to give a try and leave the comment section open for the readers in the first blog. I received four comments, from unknown readers encouraging me to continue writing and sharing on this blog. I was very grateful, after I read those comments, that I was able to make the connection with my readers. Will I keep the comment section? Yes, taking into consideration that not all the comments will be positive and thinking that I should think about the negative comments in a positive way!

 

 

Taking into consideration the design of my blog. I have integrated jasmine flowers as a background for my website. Jasmine flowers represent the capital of Syria, Damascus. I followed what Gertz, Travis said in his article “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse”, that we should integer emotions and feeling in the reader to tease them and make them beg for more.  Moreover, I have added Arabic words to the tabs that takes the reader to different posts. Also I learned to be consistent with the blog font, colors and scheme. Since design is considered as effective as the content that is on the blog.

 

Throughout the class, we have learned how to monetize our website through using Google Adsense .  I Even though I do not have a product to sell, so why advertise? I learned that what you do is your own personal brand. Since I am sharing my experience to the world at the same time I am building my own persona. So  went ahead and downloaded the plugin for google ad sense, and I started checking the ads on my website. Of course, it takes time and effort to start actually gaining money through google AdSense, so my main focus was focusing on my content and I will be thinking about the advertising later on.

 

Plans?

I can say that I sincerely enjoyed the journey of this course, where I had the chance to experience my online digital persona. I would definitely keep on blogging, I do believe this is just the beginning for something bigger! I can see that there is a lot of things that I can work on and make my online presence a statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citation:

Gardner Campbell. 2009. “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.” EDUCAUSE Review 44 (5). http://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure

Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326.

http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Essay #2: My Experience

This spring, I signed up for Publishing 101 because I thought it would be useful to learn about social media, especially because I’ll probably work a lot with website building in the future. I’m an Interactive Arts and Technology major, and I’ve learned about graphics and interactive design, but they don’t teach us about the social media part of web design.

I can’t say that this is my first blog, I’ve ever made, because when I was a nerdy teenager, I made this lame Tumblr blog. But it was just reblogging pictures I thought that were cute. I’ve also made a website before for my graphic design class, that focused on making a portfolio and interactive design. This blog I’ve made, PICKIEATER is a huge improvement from my previous websites, especially in terms of design and content.

PICKIEATER is my diary of food. This blog is for myself. I never intended to make money off blogging or gain fame, I just enjoy sharing my dining experiences, so that I have the chance to look back on them. Although, I do think that this blog will be useful for those looking at restaurant reviews before visiting them, or people who don’t know what to order from a restaurant.

PICKIEATER reflects who I am. The way I write shows that I’m a young adult, who is laid back, and very honest. I would never pretend to like food that I didn’t actually enjoy. I also like to write as if I’m telling a friend about my experiences, so my writing isn’t significantly sophisticated and at most times, colloquial. I wanted my online personality to be that average university student who loves to eat and takes pictures of every meal, because that’s who I am in real life. As for the design aspect, the minimalism and aesthetics encompasses my general approach to design. Everything I design is minimalistic and colors are not vibrant. Another thing I tried to incorporate was photography. I wanted all my photos to be original and high quality. I edit all the pictures I use, but I don’t always have my camera with me when I go out to eat. But I am proud of how the pictures went from dull and poor quality to vibrant and appetizing. I also wanted to have a logo, but it is still in it’s draft phase.

I thought it would be easy to make a blog with WordPress at the start of the semester. But I learned that it is not easy to make the blog look like how I imagined it to be. I have no experience in coding for websites, so it was hard to customize the things I wanted to customize. I had difficulty the fonts and colors, and I still don’t understand why my category excluding code does not work. But I learned from research that fonts and many other things can be customized with plugins. However, I also learned that very specific and easy to use features of plugins are not free. Of course, I am planning to learn how to code in the future, but for now  my blog relies on plugins.

The lecture on website design is one of my favorite lessons of Publishing 101. In my opinion, it is the most important. People are visual, so if the blog looks unpleasant, why would the public want to read through the blog? I learned so many important aspects, for example responsive design, spacing and proportion, and typography. 

Even though, this blog is mostly for myself, it’s interesting to understand who the audience is. Google Analytics is an immensely useful tool to recognize the readers and to strategize how to gain more viewers. Last time I checked my Google Analytics, I learned that most of my viewers found my blog through my Instagram. I started posting more, and promoting my food Instagram on my personal Instagram. Now, over 50% of my audience is acquired through social media, and I have had about 45 viewers in the past month. If I want to monetize in the future, promoting my social media is definitely the direction to go in.

Publishing 101 also had interesting lessons on one’s online presence. One of the most memorable moments, was the ted talk about Justine Sacco, and how a tweet ruined her life. I’m already a cautious person online, but the video really showed me how unintended words could lead to a disaster. It was a good reminder to consider the consequences of what you’re posting.

In conclusion, I have learned so much about publishing online, and about the online world. Even though, I have improved tremendously, I have so much more to improve on. I want to have my Instagram feed on a sidebar, a gallery of all my photos, a map on every food post, a few videos, and a finalized logo. I think that I will continue blogging since it is fun, maybe I’ll even take Publishing 201.

 

Essay2: The Internet is dangerous tool.

Have you ever posted something you are interesting in or want to share your opinion to others through using the social internet service? There are so many ways to send out information to the social through using the social internet services such as the blog, the website, or/and app(Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube). It is clever to use the social internet services to get information, however if you use those wrong way, you are going to be in trouble either as one of the readers or the information senders.

There is an example that is from the one of the famous YouTuber from US, is called Logan Paul. He is the person who shares his own experience videos on the social internet service, YouTube to his audiences. He used this service wrong way at once so he got reported and he disappear from the internet for a while because there were so many audiences who were disagree and mad at same time with his wrong decision to post the inappropriate video to share his experience in Japan.

 (Logan Paul, World News, 2018)

According to World News, he filmed and decided to post the video that is shown a dead person who committed suicide in the forest of Fuji mountain. He also made fun of the dead person in his film. Moreover, his behaviour in Japan made Japanese people really angry such as

  • Stick your upper body out the window of a moving car and yell, “I’m blonde white boy from Ohio here to cause trouble in your country!”
  • Glorify acting like a Neanderthal at Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple.
  • Swing around a raw octopus in the Shibuya scramble crossing, like a dog with stick in its mouth.
  • Enter a popular clothing store and touch the high-end coats with the inky hands, then follow-up by plugging his own merchandise.
  • Nonchalantly leave the raw octopus and fish on the trunk of a moving taxi.
  • Go into the restaurant, point his camera at a hard-working waitress and say, “See? They always smile!” after spending the entire day breaking local laws.
  • Use selecting editing to remove all the scowls he received while validating rowdy American stereotypes in Shibuya.
  • Lie down in the middle of the road.

etc.

After all this happened, he was on news to apologize because of his behaviour in Japan. However, Japan is not going to forgive him and he is not allowed to visit Japan forever, according to “news ZIP!”.(Tomoki,S. Jan 24th, 2018) Also, YouTube cancelled the contract with him as well.(Ariana.B, Jan 10th, 2018)

There are still the pros and cons to argue about his behaviour and the issue but this news proved that how dangerous and risky it is to share the information or own opinions to the social internet services without right decision. I think he though it was the right way to show his style to his audiences otherwise he does not post the video the dead person on. His mistake was that he only focus on the one side of audience who is always happy to see his action and behaviour, he did not think about the another side of audiences’ feeling such as Japanese people mostly. It is totally fine to share your opinion but somehow you have to choose the right words and behaviour if you are posting on the internet because every person has different opinion and different background.

What I learned after these issue that Logan Paul done made me realize that I am the person who is posting to share my opinion and experiences on my blog . And Google analytic shows that who is visiting my blog, so I focused on the another side of audience as well who is not my target for the article. I put more images to explain easily and not to make those audience bored on my page.

Publishing is the subject to think about the audience’s feeling and share the information at same time. I think it is really hard to make all audience happy after they read your article but there are many hints to make the article looks better such as changing design based on the main audience, make the article to read easily, and choose the right words and images to share your opinion and experience. Even the size of font, the gap between word and word make the readers’ feeling for the website change. Publishing is the great course to learn what other people think about my website and how I can develop my website more.

 

Reference:
aceshowbiz.com(2018). World News. YouTube Star Logan Paul Apologizes After Backlash for Posting Video of Suicide Victim Retrieved from http://worldnews.easybranches.com/entertainment/celebrity/youtube-star-logan-paul-apologizes-after-backlash-for-posting-video-of-suicide-victim-566049
Ariana Brockington(Jan 10th, 2018). VARIETY,  YouTube Cuts Logan Paul from Preferred Program Over Controversial Video Retrieved from http://variety.com/2018/digital/latest/youtube-logan-paul-cut-ties-suicide-video-1202660515/
Tomoki Shibasaki(2011). Logan Paul,  ZIP!(Jan 24th, 2018). Tokyo: Japanese Television.

 

Week 12: Community Guidelines

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

Community Guidelines:

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

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

Essay 2

My Publication In A Nutshell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

References

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

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

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

Process Post #11

I want my site to be a safe community for everyone to be in. Although it is a personal blog so it is not likely strangers will even see my posts, and the people who do see my posts will not be participating in it as much as they are reading posts and maybe leaving the occasional comment, I still would like my blog to be a civil, safe space for people of all backgrounds.

Because most of the content is my own, a lot of the monitoring I would do would be deleting and monitoring comments that go against my community guidelines. For community guidelines that would make everyone feel safe and welcomed, as well as content that would be appropriate for all ages, my guidelines would include these things:

  • No physical or mental threats of harm/assault/any sort of ill-intending comments
  • No racist, homophobic, misogynistic or transphobic hate speech of any kind
  • No bullying or harassment of any sort allowed

Et cetera, et cetera. If you make any sort of harmful, ill-intended comment or anything that would be inappropriate to read in a work setting, it would not be allowed. I would like to encourage constructive discussions and people to speak their opinions if possible, however, I draw the line when these ‘opinions’ include harmful and unconstructive points that are generally rude or over the top.

Having a civil space where minorities can feel safe and not under attack is important to me and I hope my blog can be a space like that.

Essay #2

My experience with creating my online presence and expanding it.

Being affected by anxiety, which, unfortunately, impacts virtually everything I do, my online presence started out shaky, and I was unsure of what I even wanted to post. The idea of being given a website space where any content I wanted could be posted was both exciting and terrifying. I did not have an audience or even content that I wanted to post in mind and that scared me more than anything. The possibility of anything I said being posted out there for the entire world to see, and even scarier yet, the fact that all of this was connected to my name and my face was absolutely horrifying. From the slightly petrified, unsure student given a blank canvas to work with, that I was at the beginning of the semester, to the (slightly more) confident lifestyle blogger I am now, my online self and perspectives have changed and grown marginally with my blog.

The online disinhibition effect is a theory by John Suler (2004) that describes the loosening of social norms and behaviour that are usually present when interacting face-to-face versus communicating online. Suler calls one of the key factors behind the online disinhibition effect “dissociative anonymity” – the feeling of being protected behind the wall of anonymity on the internet. When one feels anonymous they do not have to own up to their behaviour. Being someone who was used to never adding my full name or face to the social media websites I post on frequently, like Tumblr and Twitter, I would never post anything at all on social media websites where adding my full name and face were necessary (like Facebook and Instagram). In this context, making the blog connected directly to my name and face took away the dissociative anonymity for me. This made me anxious and worried to post anything at first. Because of this anxiety, I had a preferred audience in mind and I decided to take baby steps in choosing an audience I would feel comfortable with – my close friends and people my age with similar interests. An audience I felt comfortable with, that would mean I would post things more often, and with all this in mind, I set out to begin my blogging journey.

Danah Boyd writes an example in her book “It’s Complicated,” that struck a chord with me when I was beginning to construct my online personality and blog. In the book, she speaks about teens trying to find their own private and public spaces on social media – in this particular example, the boy in the example was an active user of both Facebook and Twitter. “Initially [she] assumed he was using Twitter to keep a public presence while keeping Facebook as a more intimate space.” (Boyd, 2014). However, that was not the case. Facebook has become the more widely used platform to add every acquaintance you have, making it feel more public than an actual public Twitter account would feel, and this particular boy felt that posting on Facebook was “yelling it out to a crowd”, while on Twitter it was just “yelling it out to a room of people.” This is similar to how I felt about my blog when I first started out – although my blog was a completely public space that anyone could access, the likelihood of anyone actually seeing my posts that I did not know about or know of was very low, so although it was a public, it felt very private and helped me transition to being more comfortable posting about myself. My imagined public and audience thought out, I began to choose the layout of the blog and make posts. The posts and layout were centred around things I would enjoy, and I tried to pick post topics I thought my friends would enjoy. My friends left a medley of friendly, joking comments throughout my posts which made me feel more comfortable with my blog space.

Exposure therapy is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy technique used to target specific phobias and other fears a person may have. (Grohol, 2016.) It is not a completely new idea to me – in the past, my therapist used it to target my anxiety. Exposure therapy guides a person through thinking of the specific thing that is affecting them and getting them used to the idea. Gradually, as they get used to the idea of whatever scares them the most, they can slowly start to face their fears. Just like that, throughout the semester I gradually got used to the idea of complete strangers reading the posts on my blog, seeing my face, and knowing my name. After going through my Google Analytics, I started to notice a few strangers who had went through my blog. At the beginning of my online publication journey that might have seriously freaked me out. At the moment I found it to be perfectly fine. I continued posting as normal, making my usual process posts and regular blog posts. In a way, this helped me beyond this specific publication class. At the end of the semester, I was able to post a picture on Instagram for the first time in more than a year. That does not sound very impressive in retrospect, but for me it was huge.

Looking back, the change I can see in my online self has helped me gain more confidence, not just in posting things online, but as a person in face-to-face interactions. It sounds strange but I associated my face-to-face self with my blog. In being more uninhibited with posting things on my blog, it helped me gain more confidence to say and do more things as a person. Although making blog posts was a lot of fun, I would probably not continue as a blogger due to my inability to keep up with posts as a hobby if they are not associated with a grade. I want to work on creating a more confident online self and actually using the social media I have that are associated with me as a person. This course already helped me take a huge step forward and with this, I hope to grow even more in confidence.

 


 

References:

Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychology & behaviour, 7(3), 321-326.

 

Boyd, Danah. (2014). “Searching for a public of their own.” It’s Complicated. Retrieved from https://www.wattpad.com/203798155-it%27s-complicated-8-searching-for-a-public-of-their/page/3

 

Grohol, J. (2016). What is Exposure Therapy?. Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-exposure-therapy/

 

Process post #5

This week’s question is :

What audience have you been imagining thus far? How has that imagined audience informed your design and editorial decisions?

In my imagination, I divided the targeted audience into categories.

1-INTEREST: my targeted readers are people who are interested in knowing about Syrian culture and the country itself. Also Syrian people who would like to connect more with their country.

2- DEMOGRAPHICS: my target readers are Syrian people who lives in Syria and would like to know what are the new events and life updates in the country. Syrian people who left Syria because of the war circumstance and would love to stay connected and remember the good side of this wonderful country.

3- BEHAVIOR: Syrians who are searching for a sense of belonging, for a place where they can relate their childhood too and for a words that brings back their dreams to life ! YES this sentence is a bit dramatic!! but this is how I felt when I had to leave my country 😉

Leaving the drama aside, and moving on towards the second part of the question. Since my target audience is people who speaks Arabic, I have integrated the Arabic language in the content of my blog. My blog tabs are in both Arabic and English, not only for translation but also for creating the sense of belonging where my readers can directly attracted to the content. I have an idea to expand more and start writing the blog post in English and Arabic, but for now I will stay on writing in English 😀 #TresComplicated.  Design wise, basically the backgrounds of the blog, jasmine flowers, represent Syria, especially in the capital.

In my content and design, I focused on giving the reader the ” Sense of Belonging” , Yes I have probably repeated this phrase A LOT in this process posts, just because this is my main mission and reason of the blog 😀

What is next? I will be looking forward to check my audience through google analytics and see if it matches my imagination!

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peer review three

 

The final peer review for this class is for Sonia’s Closet 

First Impression: The first thing that caught my eyes when I opened the website was the quote, I read it before reading the logo and that’s how I knew it is about fashion! The second thing that grabbed my attention was the background. it gives the website a calm sense and is very simple.  The home page shows the recent posts, as a reader, I would suggest to add the picture of the 90s in back post ( the first post on the home page) at the beginning of the post and not at the end. Sonia also has linked her Facebook and Instagram account of the website! I really enjoyed checking her outfits on Instagram.  

Accessibility: When I tried to move to other tabs some of them are empty, for example when you press on PUB 101 it does not show anything.On the other hand, there is another tab above on the corner that says process posts and when I click on it it shows one process posts. Although I can see that there are more posts from the sidebar I still could not find them under any of the tabs. I would suggest to try and make the flow easier, in this way the reader will not find it hard to go around the website. 

Now! Talking about what is more important for me FASHION! the content of the website is really good. I can definitely tell the tone of voice of Sonia. I do believe that Sonia is mixing her passion to fashion with a sense of humor, instead of being like other typical fashion blogs! In her content, Sonia talks about how much she appreciates color! I can definitely see that in the outfits section but I can not see that emerged on the website. I do believe from a readers point of view that Sonia should imbed her passion for colors to the website in this way she can fully develop her online persona!

Another note: the outfit section is only available on the sidebar Since the website is a fashion website I think it is more relevant to have a full page for this section. Moreover, I would love to know more about the outfits from where did she buy them for example and a small description for every outfit would complete the post 😀  I would also encourage adding more visuals since it is a fashion blog, the readers are expecting to see outfits and styles as a content.

 

Overall: I really enjoyed checking how Sonia dress and from where she gets her outfit inspiration. I do think that if the content was organized more it will be easier for the reader to check the website.

 

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Vol. 11: Process Post

“Upload to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter”

This is the heart now of what people think promotion and marketing is all about. But is it really just posting on these websites? Does it require no skill, practice, or even knowledge to do these well?

I think nowadays what discerns a social media marketer and an amateur is their ability to get substantial reach. There are many methods in ways to get more views to your post, but it takes skill and knowledge to drive engagement. Being not in the realm of marketing at all in terms of my concentration (Accounting and Finance), I always found myself wondering how hard it is to make it big in the marketing world. To be a marketing consultant.. you have to be really, really good at it. It’s too hard nowadays to be a high-paying successful digital marketer, not unless you’re basically “god-tier” in all of marketing.

What I value in social media marketing is the thought process that people go through to do so. When people pay attention to the wording, how it will look like, who is the audience, and a million other variables, it makes me see how purposeful they are being. However, this more often than not, does not lead to greater reach of engagement. And so, I admire the resilience that these marketers have.

This brings me to say how the different social media mediums differ in terms of how people read information off of these. Yes, they all could have the same audience, but now there is an even added layer of complexity of how we read information on different mediums.

For Facebook, it’s usually a “click-bait” strategy, or the like. I know it sounds wrong, but that’s how specific articles or ads get my attention. I also notice the fact that it’s super hard to do this, because I am easy wary of fraud or not credible sources, so to get me interested and dig deeper, something’s gotta pop and pop with credibility.

For Twitter, you got to be short and sweet. This is where memes dominate on another level–everyone’s commenting on each others’ tweets, trying to one up them, or making it more funny. I would say humour works best on Twitter to get people’s attention, along with conciseness. We’re here to read short and sweet things, and one that makes us laugh!

For Instagram, it’s pretty obvious that visuals need to be used. I haven’t found that text does much of the dirty work to reel me in. This, in itself, is also very tricky since there is so much content on Instagram. The focus here is not just on wording alone anymore, but about how a picture is supposed to encapsulate 100+ word characters with a single shot. That’s pretty hard, but at least you know this is the focus for this medium.

All in all, whatever you choose to do in terms of social media, be purposeful in what it looks like on each medium. Even though you are attracting, or can be, a particular niche, it does not mean that they absorb information, words, or pictures the same on each medium.

’till next time, homies!

Process Post #9

A few weeks ago, I made a twitter for my blog, to post food that I probably won’t blog about. I have actually never really used Twitter on a regular basis. So far, I’ve only used Twitter to check about trendy shoes being released online, and occasionally post a tweet about food. I don’t really use twitter enough for it to be useful for my blog. That being said, I’m going to try to post more frequently, tweet about new blog posts and tweet about food events going on in Vancouver. 

The reason why I made a Twitter account for my blog was because I thought I already had  too many Instagram accounts to manage (I had two), but I realized that I use Instagram very often and that it’s more appropriate for a food blog, rather than Twitter. So I finally made a food Instagram! And it’s turning out better than I expected. All of the posts are pictures of food from my phone that I didn’t get the chance to blog about (because of picture quality and how long ago those meals were). I love how quick and easy it is to edit and post on Instagram. And the pictures actually look great, since it’s a mobile app the pictures are small.

I know now that the channel I should be focusing on is Instagram, because of Google Analytics. I already learned that a lot of referrals for my blog come from Instagram. Food pictures on Instagram also seem to be very popular.

Another channel I could be using is Facebook. But as a person who opens Facebook on an almost hourly bases, I don’t post very much, I don’t even share on my timeline. I’m one of those people who scroll to see relevant news and to tag my friends in memes. I also don’t follow public figures on Facebook, especially food vloggers, so I don’t think that many people would follow my Facebook page if I created one.

One thing I’m definitely going to start doing is linking my social media posts to my blog, so it’s like re-marketing. For instance, if someone started following my social media through my blog, they’ll go back to my blog when they see my social media posts refer to a blog post.

Process Post #8

I took at look at my google analytics, and I learned that I have about 17 people who have looked at my blog!

This isn’t very surprising because I haven’t advertised my blog very much. I’m sure that out of the 17 people, majority are from my PUB101 class doing peer reviews, or comparing process posts. I also learned that the viewers who aren’t in my class, are referrals from my Instagram accounts (64%). There is a good increase of new users after I mentioned my blog link in my Instagram bio. Therefore, the best way to advertise my blog to people is to drop the link on social media, especially Instagram. I think it might also be a good idea to use better tags, since I have one user who found my blog through searching. Google analytics is a great tool for coming up with a strategy to improve my website. It shows what aspects are helping your blog and what aspects aren’t. And the more I found out about who my audience is, the more aware I am about how I should write and design.

Process Post #7

I’d love to make money from eating food.

However, I never thought about monetizing my blog because I don’t expect it to become popular in any way. I started this blog because of PUB101, but if I did make a blog outside of a course, it would be for fun. I also didn’t want to monetize because I feel like there would be more expectations placed on me, and it wouldn’t be as fun anymore. I also didn’t want to be pressured to write about things just to gain views. Looking at YouTubers that are famous, like StrictlyDumpling or RaphaelGomez, they have a distinctive personality. RaphaelGomez also has the advantage of attractiveness, in addition to his cute and humble personality. But in the case of this blog, I don’t express enough of my personality, mostly because people might not like the informality and possible vulgarity. In other words, my blog doesn’t stand out. Despite not making much money, I found out that adding a few ads, wouldn’t affect me very much.

After the presentation about monetization. It appears easy to gain a small earning from Google Adsense. You don’t lose anything from including ads in your blog, besides maybe the aesthetics of the blog. I also learned that you can control what kind of ads are put in and where they are placed. If i were ever approached by a restaurant to advertise them, I would take the opportunity. Even better, if i started to blog about fashion, I would love free clothes. So after learning about monetization, it became incredibly appealing. But I wouldn’t monetize at this point in time, I would only do it if I had some regular readers, which I don’t right now. I’d also have to be more committed to blogging, and I feel like in the future I would rather vlog. If I become a Youtuber, however, I would monetize for sure.

When I do want to monetize my blog, I would have to market my website and branding. Like I mentioned earlier, I would need to make my blog and myself stand out from everyone else who blogs about food. I’d also need to be very active on social media to advertise myself, and make an Instagram page, Facebook page and public snapchat story. Then, research on my audience, and keyword research. And I would need to improve the design of my blog.

Onto my person opinion on data trails, I think that I’m so used to giving out my information online to the point where I don’t realize it. I remember when I was younger I would use fake information on the internet, out of paranoia. But nowadays, everyone gives their information out on the internet nonchalantly, because of the convenience. Like when I started buying items online, my parents warned me about using credit cards on the internet. But even they have gotten used to saving their credit card information on certain apps or sites like Starbucks, for the convenience of reloading their Starbucks cards. I’ll have to admit it’s a little scary, like when I go on Facebook and all the ads are for things I really want. How did they know? Can they read my mind? However, if I refused to give out information online, I would lose access to things. For example, buying clothes online, and certain apps like Uber and food delivery apps. I just hope that all the information that google or Facebook have on me, won’t negatively affect me in the future. 

 

Process Post #9

Transmedia integration is a very interesting topic to me. As someone who most definitely changes the way I post things depending on the nature of the platform, I am very very guilty of sounding different depending on the social media platform. For example, on Facebook, you would never see me post anything that doesn’t have to do with school or family events. On my private (fan) twitter (that I would never link to anyone) you can hear my whine about politics and celebrities I follow (an odd mix, I know).

For Love, Joy, I think a lot of social media platforms would be ok to use. If it weren’t for the way I use Facebook (in a very clinical, never-posting-anything way), Facebook, functionality wise would probably be one of the best platforms, because it allows so many different things to be shared – links, pictures, videos and long blocks of text. Instagram would be another platform that would be fine for my blog, just because it also allows long blocks of text. Twitter would be ok as well. The word limit isn’t necessarily a problem when you can make “threads” of posts on Twitter, linking a previous post to the next.

This week, we were asked to use four words and the hashtag #myfourwordcauseofdeath and post on a social media platform. Since Snapchat is the platform I probably use the most because it has a very transient nature since the media you send on it is fleeting and isn’t likely to be seen after you send it (which is why I like to use it so much), I decided to post it there.

#myfourwordcauseofdeath queen carly rae jepsen (in case you haven’t noticed this ongoing motif on my blog, I love Carly Rae Jepsen and I would die for her)

  

Although it felt kind of odd (using hashtags isn’t really a Snapchat thing because it’s not like you can click them to lead anywhere else) my friend played along and replied using another hashtag!


For other social media platforms, I don’t really use Instagram to post pics (at all) since I am very self-conscious about pictures of me (and this is probably a result of the generation I’m in and how my other peers are, but I feel like Instagram is a very showy platform so if you post pictures they have to be super nice. Other people feel the same way and have ‘spam’ Instagram accounts to post whatever pictures they want, and a regular account to post nice pictures). But if I posted on Instagram, I wouldn’t make it a post either because Instagram has a ‘story’ feature that is very similar to Snapchat’s story feature, allowing you to post a picture that ‘disappears’ after 24 hours. Because of that, I would probably post the same thing I posted on Snapchat, just on Instagram. (a four-word post plus a hashtag doesn’t seem important enough to actually break my over a year hiatus of not making posts on Instagram.)

On Facebook, I would probably word things a little differently. I never really post anything personal on Facebook, since the nature of Facebook has always been emphasized to me as something that is supposed to be ‘professional’, I would first of all use proper grammar for all my posts (save the hashtag) which I would then Capitalize Every Word In The Hashtag To Make It Clear What I Was Saying. #MyFourWordCauseOfDeath This Very Process Post. (Just kidding!)

On Twitter, since my own twitter account is private and I usually just use it to vent, I never use hashtags so I feel like it would be odd. But because Twitter has the same sort of informal atmosphere to me that I feel like Snapchat has, I wouldn’t bother with any punctuation or anything whatsoever. I feel very comfortable posting on twitter because it is private so I’d probably come up with something super funny (I know this is very subjective but – something I personally find super funny), niche and relevant to my life at the moment (but maybe not as understandable to other people since it is a private account).

PEER REVIEW #3: Adventurous Adventures of an Adventurer

The first look Tyrell’s blog impressed me immediately with the well shot video as a header. The other thing that stands out about his blog is the amazing photography. Just scrolling through his blog, causes a feeling of wanderlust.

Content

So far, the blog only has 3 entries, while the rest are title and have a photo, but no text (besides “Coming Soon”). I would recommend finishing the blog post before posting, so that readers aren’t disappointed by the lack of content when they click the photo. I enjoy the inspiring tone these posts are written in. The writing encourages the reader to experience new adventures as he has. The photos harmonize with the text to bring an exciting experience. However, I did find some grammatical errors and tense mistakes. Fixing those errors would result in a smoother flow in the writing, thus creating a better experience for the audience. Lastly, the maps at the bottom of every post is a great addition! This is something I’ve wanted to implicate as well (although I’m still having trouble figuring out how). It shows the reader exactly where Tyrell had his adventure, so that they can experience for themselves!

Design

Overall design of the theme is simple and straight forward. Of course, the website is responsive, and works at all browser sizes. Surprisingly, the website loads quickly despite the high-resolution photos and video. The theme hasn’t been customized very much; the fonts are theme fonts and the colours are the basics. Aesthetic wise, it isn’t a big issue; the design does have unity. However, it’s good to stand out from other blog designs, especially if he were to monetize. There aren’t any widgets or sidebar, which I think is a good idea to add, especially for social media outlets, like Instagram feed. The proportioning is good, because the photos are large and attractive. I think that Tyrell’s photos are the most important aspect of his blog, since he’s a photographer.  

Marketability

There currently aren’t any ads present on the blog. Perhaps Tyrell doesn’t want to ruin the aesthetics of his blog by adding advertisements. If he were to monetize, I would suggest adding features and customizations to make the blog more unique, and promote his social media channels more. In addition, his about page explains that he is a freelance photographer. I like how his about page is essentially a resume, which makes it easy for employers or potential clients to view his portfolio. as well as his credentials.

Process Post 5

As it can be seen, I am quite behind on my process posts… so get ready for about five of them in a row as I attempt to catch up on all my incomplete work here.

Im not going to lie, these past few weeks have been very frustrating for me on here. For some reason my link has been blocked by Facebook as for having ‘abusive content.’ Im not quite sure why this is happening and I have tried almost everything imaginable to try and solve this problem. I started by trying to contact Facebook and ask how I could fix this problem, which I later realized is virtually impossible. Despite the fact that I have sent in probably between 15-20 complaints asking for their assistance, I have yet to hear so much as a peep back from them.

At first I wasn’t sure if this was strictly a Facebook issue or if it was maybe something to do with my URL, so the next step I took was contacting Reclaim Hosting and describing the problem. After a few emails back and forth we both concluded that it wasn’t something that could be fixed on their end, so I took to seeing what I could do to solve this issue on my own. I started by reading every forum and article I could find that suggested similar issues, but that also ended up being a dead end. Next, I manipulated my HTML coding to force my URL to appear as secure which, surprise, didn’t work either. After this I installed countless anti spam plugins and still no luck.

After all this, I still am unable to post by URL on Facebook and Instagram which for me is very troubling as Instagram is my most used channel and social media platform. This whole situation is beyond frustrating to me because I am completely out of ideas on how I could fix this or get around it, and is ultimately taking a toll on how many people are seeing my content as I am unable to share/promote it on the two biggest social media platforms.

You may be wondering now what the whole point of this post was, and for me the point was simply to try and get out some of this frustration that I have been carrying around for about three weeks now. I had hoped that I would be able to continue to create content for this blog and develop it into a more professional hobby for myself following this class, but now I am kind of unsure of where I should go with it next. This may be a pretty bad way of looking at this situation, but I don’t really see a point in creating content on here if I am going to be unable to share it and show it to people. Just some thoughts I have been having regarding this lately. Thank you for reading (if anyone actually has).

Peer Review 3

For our third and final peer review I have been given ‘Carly Camera’. Upon first glance her website seems to be a platform for her to express her more artistic side, primarily through photography. But upon looking a bit deeper into some different posts and pages, it becomes clearer that this blog is also a way for her to express herself in a general sense as well.

I can’t be positive of what her target audience is, but my best guest would be to say that she is hoping to share her content and connect with likeminded people. Personally I am a big fan of her blog, I love her vintage and simplistic artistic style and thoroughly enjoyed her post on how she edits her iPhone photos to look as if they had been taken on a 35mm camera. I can assume she probably uses Instagram as her primary channel or platform outside of her website as it is definitely the most effective and useful platform for any sort of artists. By prioritizing her Instagram, she can promote and draw greater to attention her blog/website through her Instagram accounts and individuals posts. Sharing content on Instagram automatically subjects it to a large audience, an audience that can then be brought over to her website through reference to it in these posts.

Instagram can be a very, very useful channel for photographers. Not only does it give photographers an easy way of creating a public portfolio and a trackable, active following – it also allows for a lot of internal collaborations and networking. Photographers on Instagram are almost, if not always, open to collaboration and working alongside fellow likeminded people, something Carly may want to consider. Earlier this year a few friends of mine (all of which happen to be amateur, aspiring photographers) and I went to an Instagram meet up in Stanley Park which was organized entirely by photographers in the area through Instagram for the sole purpose of meeting new people, connecting and networking. It’s things like this that in my opinion make Instagram so useful and important, not only is it a platform where she is able to present to a mass audience everything she has been working on, but she will also be able to use it for so many other purposes related to the blog she has created and, from lack of a better word, ‘brand’ she is trying to create.

All in all, I think the concept of Carly’s blog is really great and can easily be built upon. Im excited to see where she goes in regards to which channels she chooses to use and the audience that she will draw in. 🙂