Tag Archives: publishing

Nightingale

Hello again!

I apologize for not posting in… *gulp*… weeks. It was reading break, and this time around I actually had a lot of reading. That being said, I’m here now. Nobody panic.

Disclaimer: this is a long one. Be forewarned!

Last week was also Valentines Day. To be honest, I’m not one for the holiday. I think (know?) it was created by Hallmark in cahoots with Hershey’s to sell cards and kisses. So, I stuck it to the man and refused to go out on Valentines Day! ….we went out on the 13th instead. That’ll show ’em.

All kidding aside, I do like to go out once in a while for a nice dinner. After a little research we settled on Nightingale – a new, modern concept ‘Canadian cuisine’ restaurant that focusses on share plates and ‘social dishes’. The man behind it all is David Hawksworth, a critically acclaimed chef that first opened the very successful Hawksworth’s restaurant. Let’s just say, Hawksworth’s was out of our price range, and even if we could afford it, we wouldn’t have the clothes (or class) for it.

Nightingale was one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to.

My boyfriend and I made last minute reservations for 6:30 on February the 13th. We were told over the phone that they did have one table available, but asked if it was okay that it was a table in the lounge, where we would sit side-by-side and watch the action in the kitchen. We’re not picky so of course we said yes!

Our seats, in front of the action.

To say the decor is ‘cool’ would be an understatement. You walk in through double doors to be greeted by a friendly, casually-dressed host team. The dining room had tall ceilings, and a bar stretched from floor to ceiling – and I love a good bar. I can’t comment much more on the decor because it wouldn’t do it justice!

A terribly blurry photo of the terribly cool bar and high ceilings!

We were lead upstairs to our seats. It was better than we expected, actually, considering the ‘warning’ we were given on the phone. We sat in a booth seat sunken into the wall. It was more private than the average table, and it was right in front of the open-concept kitchen, like they said. It was also very hot, which was the only trade-off.

We were quickly greeted by not 1 server, but 2 servers and the expeditor (all at separate times, of course) who seemed to know what he was doing well enough to perhaps be someone that works in the kitchen as well? I can’t attest to this but we definitely felt looked after. The server advised us to order at least 3-4 plates to share amongst ourselves to get the full experience. We ordered some cocktails – which were delicious, might I add – and 3 items from the menu to start.

The Bramble
33 Acres Brewing – ‘Darkness’ Schwarzbier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food:

First to come to the table was the Butternut squash tortelloni with sage brown butter, pumpkin seed, and goat gouda.
This is one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. (For $17 for 6 tortellonis, it better be good.) The sauce was salty, but the creaminess of the pasta filling cut it for a perfect marriage of carby goodness.

Butternut squash tortelloni, sage brown butter, pumpkin seed, goat gouda.

Next we had the Roasted cauliflower with sunflower seeds and green harissa. Not sure what Harissa is but it was pretty damn good, whatever it was. I understand why they said to share because both these dishes were very rich while being a bit ‘one note’, so I think I would have been disappointed if I got this to myself and was the only thing I had. That being said, I definitely recommend this as part of the vegetable section, if you’re the type of person that conforms to eating vegetables. We were between this and the grilled broccolini, and thanks to our seats we were able to see the grilled broccolini go out and knew we made the right choice. (It was a pile of green).

Roasted cauliflower, sunflower seed, green harissa.

Last for dinner we got a pizza, upon the servers recommendation. It felt kind of strange to order a pizza when going out for a nice dinner but we took the advice and didn’t regret it! We opted for the Pork ‘nduja sausage, kale, roasted eggplant, fior di latte pizza whilst simultaneously avoiding having to attempt to pronounce ‘nduja. I let my boyfriend take the lead on that one. It was a proper Neapolitan style crust, which I can definitely appreciate. For $17, it was pretty standard. I think next time I wouldn’t get a pizza – it was delicious, but we saw a plethora of amazing options than were more unique, IMHO.

Pork ‘nduja sausage, kale, roasted eggplant, fior di latte.

By this point, we were completely stuffed. So we ordered dessert, because that’s the kind of people that we are.

You know when you eat something and and start laughing because that’s how good it is? The Salted caramel pot de creme did that for me. If you go here…. get this. ‘Nuff said.

Salted caramel pot de crème, whipped crème fraîche, butterscotch, vanilla breton.

Here’s a photo of something we saw and didn’t order but deserves to be seen because IT’S ON FIRE.

A flaming steak of sorts. I don’t get out much.

It’s done! We did it! If you made it this far, kudos. Reward yourself for reading my ramble by going to this restaurant, you deserve it!

TLDR: We went to Nightingale for not-not-Valentine’s day and it was good and the ambiance was cool and the servers were great and the food was delicious and I saw fire.

 

 

Nightingale by David Hawksworth is located at 1017 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
https://hawknightingale.com/

meilleurs mots

A peer review of Kelly Wong’s blog

Right off the bat, just based on the google sheet description, I’m excited to take a look at Kelly’s blog, Meilleurs Mots. Meaning best words, I’m imagining her blog to be filled with writing and thoughts. Furthermore, the google sheets description says it will be a design and layout blog, and based on our quick view over her business model canvas in class last week, I’m excited to see how she has translated it into a website. 

As soon as her website loads, you are greeted with this landing page. I am one to appreciate minimalism and whitespace, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder if it’s a little too simplistic. As I mentioned before, the google sheets says the name of her blog is Meilleurs Mots, and the URL does indeed match that. However, I must note that the title of her website upon landing on it says “koncept + ko”. At this point, I am uncertain of what that means as I cannot seem to find an explanation of the chosen website title. Furthermore, I believe that’s what the logo in the top left hand corner of the website says.

In regards to the logo, I must admit that I can’t read it. I understand my eyesight is not always ideal, but the chosen cursive font and size makes it difficult to read no matter how hard you squint. Until I looked at the website title on my internet browser, I honestly had no idea what it said. A large part of logos is recognition of brand image, and so I would suggest changing it to something more legible to make it easy for viewers and readers to recognize right away.

The blog theme without a doubt is very clean cut, very representative of what I think Kelly’s brand and professional self is trying to portray. I think she has chosen the perfect feed to represent her brand image. The background is a solid white, with nothing else on the page but her words in a sans-serif black font. As Kelly’s blog is focused on design and layout, I think it would be important to showcase her work on the landing page, rather than just the words “I am… Design”. Visuals and graphics tend to keep a reader interested, and would lead them to want to scroll through the rest of the website more. I believe the theme Kelly chose has a lot of potential, and I would even suggest looking through the demo page of the theme to get a better idea of what is possible within the framework of the chosen theme.

Scrolling down to the bottom of the page, we find little boxes of blog posts. I can tell that Kelly is still working on the blog content of her website, as I would expect since we are still very early on in the semester. Now that her website is live though, it would be a good idea to take down the default “Hello world!” blog post example, only a minor detail.

Still on this section of the website, I click around on the social media icons at the bottom. Kelly has done a great job integrating these already, as they will be an important part of her professsional online self and in branding as well. However, when I click through on them, they just lead to the default website, meaning she has yet to link them to any accounts. I’m excited to see what they will hold once her accounts are connected, as I believe they will be a very good extension for her brand.

Next I go to her menu bar to see what other sections she has on her blog. I find About, Progress, Publication and Contact tabs available. All of these seem like great sections, and will fit with the overall professional theme of design and layout that Kelly is aiming for. As you can see above though, all of these pages are still empty. A rule of thumb for websites is to never have “dead ends” or links, thus I would suggest filling these pages with information as soon as possible. That could even start with just a simple “under construction, please check back soon”.

Out of all the available tabs, I would have liked to see something on the About page especially. Asides from the brief information provided on the google sheet, there is nothing on her website that really tells me what her professional self and brand is about.

As Kelly’s blog is still new and in progress, there isn’t much content to read through yet so I haven’t quite grasped who Kelly or her brand is, but I am excited to see how she will develop this throughout the semester. Based off of what I’ve seen so far on the website, and on her business model canvas, I believe she’s well on her way to establishing her professional self and her brand. All in all, I’m exciting to see where this will take her and will have to check back later to see where it goes!

Images from Kelly Wong

Some Semester Thoughts

This semester has been not just about creating a website, but about creating an audience. I have always been inspired to create something that benefits others, because a lot of what we learn in life is that the world can be a really negative and greedy place. But I feel that if we don’t take a little time to think about ourselves as well, we won’t be able to help others. If everyone thought like this, I believe the world would be a better place to live in for sure. My blog is for those who have the same ideals. It’s for those who feel a little lost or stressed out, for those who would like to contribute to a space that isn’t trying to sell you something, and a place for others to express their stories and how they get through their lives. I particularly want to cater to those going into University, because when I started, there was an overwhelming amount of opinions about what is healthy and what isn’t. Fab diets, fat loss pills, and insane and unrealistic expectations of how you should work out and look like are huge issues. My blog reflects this with calming or goofy pictures meant to make people reflect what they do in their own lives, or even laugh. It’s a space for people to get information that isn’t from a top-down perspective. Although I haven’t started gathering comments on my website yet, I would hope to see more as I post more content. I get a lot of comments and reviews on my Facebook as well, not necessarily on the website itself, but so far I have gotten a lot of good reviews and look forward to more, with criticisms welcomed.

Personally, I was really moved by Audrey Watters article, “The Web We Need to Give Students”. This class and this article sum up what I believe University should be all about; not just education, but promoting creativity and new ideas and challenging our perspectives. I feel that University doesn’t do that as much in this day and age. It is such a traditional industry that dates back thousands of years — don’t we think we’ve gone beyond that old structure by now? We need to be challenged and driven to new ideas, and constricting us to these traditional teaching practices is stamping out creativity and drive. This class allowed the students in PUB 101 to “have control over the look and feel of their own sites, including what’s shared publicly. This means they have some say — although not complete — over their personal data, and in turn they begin to have an understanding of the technologies that underpin the Web, including how their work and their data circulate there” (Watters, 2015). As Watters (2015) says, “giving students their own digital domain is a radical act”. I call for these education industries to do the same in returning the agency to students, and in return you will have students who will be enlightened and contribute back to society with enthusiasm and passion.

I was really glad we went over online behaviours, particularly the bad ones, and because of this I was extremely interested in Whitney Philips’ article, “Let’s call ‘trolling’ what it really is”. Trolls are essentially “why we can’t have nice things online” (Philips, 2015). In an internet-driven world, I constantly worry about what my younger sisters will have to go through in their online environments. My little sister even knows the term ‘trolling’ and will use it when describing certain people even though she doesn’t have any social medias. Philips (2015) emphasizes that the term itself “implies a level of playfulness that tends to minimize their antagonistic behaviours, or at least establish a firewall between the embodied person and their digitally mediated actions”. This was a huge wake-up call for me and I am able to better position myself on the impact of people’s online behaviours, especially knowing that’s not just us being sensitive when we go against trolls; we are standing up against hate and violence. Especially violence people wouldn’t even commit or act in if they were face-to-face with the person they were ‘trolling’.

Another wake-up call for me was actually when I reflected on my online data trail. I haven’t had much filtration or thought about what I put online besides the basics, like no revealing photos of my body or me at parties, no obscene language, etc. My digital breadcrumb trail extends long and true. I thought about it this way; if I tried to run away and disappear, I am not sure I’d be able to stay ‘missing’ because I know I’m very dependent on everything I use, like my bank cards, phone, computer, etc. Although I have to admit I love anything that makes my life more convenient, it does disappoint me how much companies know about me. Like with how Suzanne Norman experienced going into the Amazon bookstore in Seattle, data is collected everywhere. I believe I’m most noticed in my online shopping, because all the advertisements online are tailored to what I’m always looking for. Maybe we have just grown accustomed to accepting a lack of privacy. Podacademy sums up the issue perfectly in one question: “Should we then as producers of data benefit from the money that we help generate or is the fact that we use these services for free suffice enough to serve as a form of payment in return for our data?”. I would have to argue yes, because what other choice do we have? If Facebook suddenly decided that it’s users had to pay a monthly fee, would I? Probably, I’m too dependent on it now. It sucks but it’s the truth. All I would be able to hope for is a different company to come along and offer a free service.

I would like to continue on the blog and see how it goes, however, especially as I move into PUB 201, I actually have a lot of inspiration to create a new blog based on the EDM industry. It is something I am truly passionate about and can possibly monetize off of, whereas with this one, I don’t think it feels proper to have a lot of ads on my blog. I also have a lot of inspiration for it so I look forward to creating that before the next semester even starts.

You can find my inspired articles here:

https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713

http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/staff-editorials/12898/trolling-stem-tech-sexism/

https://publishing.sfu.ca/2016/03/breadcrumbs-of-data/

Podacademy’s article/podcast by George Philip, Jennifer Anne Lazo, Rooham Jamali and Rudy Al Jaroodi: http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/

Process Post #week 4

“The medium is the message.” — Marshell McLuhan

With the fall of traditional media like newspaper, thanks to the rise and prevalence of mobile devices which allow access to media content and information regardless of time and space, the transition of dominant medium comes with the revolution of publishing which highlights the importance of being strategic for content on mobile devices. Instead of reading content from a newspaper which is of half our body length, people nowadays do that on smartphones that its screen size is smaller than our hand. When the same or even larger amount of information is displayed on a much smaller medium, it takes editorial, architectural, and technical knowledge” to make strategic publishing decisions for mobile media content.

Homepage of dictionary.cambridge.org

For years, this website has been merely functioning as my tool for looking up words without paying any attention to the page layout and design. And once I do, I immediately notice the prioritization of widgets and functions on its homepage reflected in forms of layout and size. Once users enter the website, the search bar appears in the centre of the page in white, contrasting with other busy colours around it. Users do not need to click on the search bar to start typing. All these echo with what Sara Wachter-Boettcher has suggested as “get purposeful” which involves deep consideration of site goals.

Enabling the media content to travel across different media is also important in order to be strategic in publishing. No matter a user is trying to get the information with a PC, laptop, or mobile app, access to the same database should be ensured. Besides, little buttons that link to social media can foster the spread of content.

Week 3 Process Post

This week I installed and activated Google Analytics and the Ultimate Category Excluder plugins to WordPress so I can easily track my views and prevent these posiel posts from appearing on the front page of my blog. I planned the layout of my blog so that #posiel posts would be accessible on the sidebar rather than the main navigation menu.

One of the readings this week came from Craig Mod, “How I Got My Attention Back”. I would like to share a quote from his article:

“Our measuring sticks for life tend to be optimized for material things, things easy to count. Houses, cars, husbands, babies, dollar bills. Attention is immaterial, difficult to track.” (Mod, 2017)

This quote resonates with me because I can often see how our world is radically becoming more advanced and how visual media is increasingly becoming a the cause of consumerism. In a world where we seem to live thriving off material and physical objects, it is so easy to become absorbed into this culture of consumerism as a means to measure the satisfaction of our personal life. As a result, people are increasingly less aware of the every day situations that are occurring around us as they pay more attention to their own lives and personal obsessions. Attention, like time, cannot be bought or exchanged.

I find that whenever I put my phone down for a few hours, I tend to feel more productive with my time and feel more mentally invested in the work or activity I am doing without constant distraction. That being said, I don’t think I can be offline for a month even if my life allowed it without harming me. For being someone who relies on social media to stay in touch with friends who live hours away, I can’t imagine the time needed to transit to them just to discuss a couple of things with them that could easily and quickly be done in a matter of minutes.

7 things you probably don’t know about me

  1. If I wasn’t a visual/interaction designer, I would love to pursue interior design!

    I love watching home reno shows on HGTV and if I had much more time in life I would most definitely be interested in learning more about interior design.

  2. I have never in my life like Barbies. Well, just dolls in general. Period.

    I remember when my dad came home with a Barbie wearing a Cinderella-like blue gown one afternoon, I almost gagged out the bok choy that was in my mouth when I saw it. I never played with it and tried all attempts to sell it out at multiple garage sales with no luck. Maybe it was the synthetic look and feel that I’ve always found dolls disgusting. To this day, I still don’t know what happened to that Barbie doll.

  3. I used to make jewelry out of paper clips and a pair of pliers.

    It’s true: I always had a bag of paper clips and pliers with me. I made necklaces, bracelets and earrings from twisting paper clips in different shapes.

  4. I was put in an ESL class when I was in elementary school.

    If I recall correctly, in Grade 1 or 2, I was pulled out of class by surprise and dragged to an ESL class. I was born and raised in Vancouver and had never thought or been told I had any problems with my English. Luckily, I was never put back in that class after that one time. In fact, in high school I actually got a lot of compliments from my teachers on my writing and academically did very well in my writing classes.

  5. I wasn’t born into an artistic family.

    I don’t know anyone in either side of my families who shares my artsy side, yet I have always loved drawing and creating. At a very young age, I have always been known as “the artist” of the class. From drawing anime and cartoons to hyper-realistic drawings, I never enjoyed the drawing classes my parents put me in, but preferred teaching myself through practice and experience.

  6. I can’t ride rollercoasters.

    I have a calm and soft heart that can’t take no adrenaline. When I was in middle school I went to Playland for my friend’s birthday and we all went on the well-known wooden rollercoaster. I don’t even know how I was even tall enough, but it was one of the worst decisions of my life. There is only one long bar that comes down in front of your waist (not secure at all!). Being a petite person, I did not feel safe and thought I was about to fly out any minute. I still don’t know how I survived that ride, but I’m glad to still be living.

  7. Being a rhythmic gymnast was one of the most impacting decisions of my life.

    How was it impacting? That’s a story for another time.
    I started recreational gymnastics when I was probably as young as 4 years old just “for fun”. In Grade 3, my school offered an after school rhythmic gymnastics classes so I gave that a try and fell in love with the sport. I continued to train pre-competitively for a short period before entering the competition world for the next four years. I loved — and placed very well in competitions. I had no limits to the way my spine could bend and I took it for granted.
    It wasn’t until I injured my spinal cord during a training — at the age of 12 — when I had to accept the fact that I would never be able to perform the same moves I used to so easily do. I never had a desire to compete in the Olympics, but I still had a raging passion for the beauty of this sport so I continued to compete for another 2 years with an injured spine. I stuck out the pain with many visits to different doctors and physiotherapists before deciding to focus more on my academics and pursue my passion for the arts. To this day (10 years after my injury!), I still occasionally struggle with back pain and I’ve gotten to know my physiotherapist like a friend.

Stranger Danger?

In a technologically advanced world, it has become the norm to for our eyes to be glued down to our mobile screens wherever we go: whether it be on the bus, on the street or in class. Consequently, it has undeniably caused us to be less aware of our surroundings and the people around us. It’s much easier now with easily accessible technological devices and social media platforms to engage and interact with “strangers” because we no longer need to carry the same feeling that may come with rejection or awkwardness in-person.

The difficulty of speaking to a stranger in public mainly comes from unknown motives; I’ve been approach by many strangers who tried to sell me a product, ask for cash, or for using me as an ear. I’ve almost been accustomed to creating a social barrier between me and the people around me when I am on the street alone because of unknown intentions and out of fear of being taken advantage of.
A stranger to me is someone who I don’t know personally and if I was asked, I would not be able to describe their personality or interests to someone else. I consider a person known when I have had at least one engaging conversation with them to really get to know who they are aside from recognizing a familiar face. Being a shy and reserved individual, once I get to know someone on a deeper and more personal level, I find it easier to approach them and feel more inclined to speak with them again, thus passing the notion of just being “strangers”.

 

My Vision Board + Process

For a lifestyle blog, I really aimed to develop a theme/palette that represents who I am.
Being a crafty individual, I decided to go back to my childhood roots and take out my scissors. I can’t remember the last time I created a vision board or collage, but I had fun with this. I really only had two magazines to work from, but IKEA magazines really did it for me. Besides the journalling images (thanks Google), I found that IKEA really speaks to my overall aesthetics. In fact, I get a little giddy whenever the new IKEA catalogue comes in the mail.

I always love to “embrace the white space”. A minimalist, I strive to stay simple while showing some natural/earthy and light tones: pastel pinks, blues and green tones from nature. I want my platform to be a space that inspires, is easy and enjoyable to read.

I’ve always wanted to have a platform to write about my passions and my hobbies in hopes to inspire my fellow friends and peers. Oh, and I love coffee. No — I’m not an addict… I can survive a day without coffee; I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee which is why I drink it. The energy boost is just a plus.
I’ve recently developed an interest in modern calligraphy probably because I love writing. And I don’t mean writing essays, I mean the action of writing. I love writing neatly and being structured, which leads me to my hobby of note-taking (wait, is that even considered a hobby?) and journalling.
I love to create, and I love to share what I create. And most of all, I love to help people. So that is what I hope to bring to this blog: a space for me to share inspiration, tips and advice on living a fulfilling and influential life.

But I Paid for It! Ebook Ownership and the ReDigi Case

ReDigi,  an online marketplace that enables the resale of "used" digital content, is being sued for by Capitol Records for copyright infringement. The case could very well set a new precedent for what ownership means in the digital world, and ebooks could be greatly affected (self-publishers should probably pay attention, too).

Essay #2

This semester we covered a variety of topics in PUB101, such as design, online behavior, marketing, and monetizing your website. Our blogs were meant to be either personal, business oriented or informative and encouraged to be professional. I saw a lot of different ideas sprout up from others in the class; baking blogs, nature blogs, fashion blogs, even political blogs- a popular topic in class. I decided at the start of the semester to make a bold choice and put my personal life on the line: I would record and document my experience in the dating world of Vancouver, and post about it on my blog. I started this with a lot of confidence, but my first few posts ended up being about my reservations on the topic. I was anxious about putting myself out there and danced around the topic of even going back on Tinder and similar dating apps after past experiences and knowing how I usually react when trying to date people in this way. I persisted, and tried to design my blog in a feminine way, using bubbly fonts and pastel pinks. I even had a countdown to Valentine’s day, a day I had titled “Single’s Awareness Day” on my blog. I still had made no progress in putting myself out there in the Vancouver dating world, and was working on adding more and more things to my blog which contained almost no content. Meanwhile, fellow classmates were updating their sites with things they were passionate about, and I continued to put pressure on myself to put myself out there. I wanted my blog to be a humour blog for an audience of like-minded, witty women. I tried to appeal to these women by fitting to stereotypical female design elements. Meanwhile in my personal life, I was making no progress and still dealing with personal issues that were stopping me from moving forward with my love life.

During this period however I was offered a job by the marketing department at my work to run the social media outlets for the restaurants I worked at. I would be paid to update the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the pub I serve at and take part in marketing meetings. It was an extra push of motivation for me to get back on track with updating something regularly online. A two months into this course, shortly after Valentine’s day, I realized I wasn’t going to make any progress with my original blog idea. I decided to change my angle and turn my site into a humour blog about “adulting”, something I found myself doing a lot of all of a sudden. Romance went on the backburner and I was facing having to think about second jobs, moving out, getting over an ex, potentially hooking up with a different ex, watching my friends move away… it was becoming a lot to handle. I had installed google analytics on my newly refurbished blog but it wasn’t giving me a lot of hits. I was trying to write more about my personal life but I was still stressed out. This class had shown us a lot of different ways we can use social media to our advantages to market ourselves and gain followings and blog readers. While I was struggling to use these techniques on my blog due to commitment issues (funny enough, the same reason I couldn’t commit to all those relationship topics), I was able to use them for my marketing job. Instagram and Facebook have their own forms of analytics and though a small budget I was able to use these charts to expand the audience of people viewing the photos and advertisements through these accounts. I was receiving positive feedback though comments on my posts, as well as likes from regulars. The attention on the Facebook page grew, and by reaching out to breweries and locally sourced food companies in the online community, we were able to enter into an exchange of sorts. For example, I would mention Phillips beer as a feature I had, and they would retweet it, and then give my pub a shout out, thus widening our audience and putting us on the map for Phillips lovers.

At the beginning of this course I thought that publishing a blog would be easy- I would post about my fun dating life and share my posts on Facebook. I would be incredibly open about my career, sex life and personal feelings about everyone and everything that was happening in my world, day to day. But I discovered that without the proper marketing techniques, right connections and social media hook ups, your blog just disappears into the ether of unclaimed and abandoned sites. You need to share and tweet your posts, as well as network and comment on other people’s blogs. It’s more than just mysteriously scrolling your url in a public washroom and hoping someone will peak interest enough to spend .5 seconds on your site on their phone while they’re on the toilet. My education about the different types of publication has advanced a lot as well. I had no idea how much design and proper formatting could make a difference in your blog. Even the right font can grip people and give them that visual element to hold on to and draw them into your site.

I think that I will continue my personal blog after this semester is over. I just moved out of my parent’s house this last weekend, and the source of my holding back on new relationships is leaving my life forever come the end of this month, so a blog about adulting might be more relevant than ever now. I think I’ll finally have a chance to experience a really independent lifestyle, and I think without certain things holding me back it would be a good time to document. Before I start elaborating my online presence I want to be sure of the image I want to give off. I want to rethink how much I actually share on the internet and not list people and events as accurately as they occur in real life so as to leave some form of privacy. A friend of mine has a blog where she uses her full name as her url and posts the most personal things imaginable to it, a move I consider bold but also somewhat foolish at the risk of future employers or even lovers reading it and getting false perceptions. I’m not sure if I want to pursue an online life that closely. As for my marketing job, I want to improve with the amount of reach I get, and I’m going to continue reaching out to other local medias to do so. The comments I gather on the social media pages and the feedback I get from higher ups is encouraging and it makes me want to give back and comment more and participate on other sites in return. I hope to bring these traits over to my personal blog and move up from there. But first the adulting. Then the writing about it.

https://www.instagram.com/the_blackbirdbar/?hl=en

The Blackbird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is a link to the website for the pub that I work at, and it gives a general look of the aesthetic the bar is going for, which I try to recreate in the Instagram, linked at the top.

Whereas below is a link to my own Instagram. So far all my posts of the year have been photos from my last vacation. I haven’t had a lot going on in my life lately that warrens a lot of posting, which also explains the absence of personal posts on my blog.

https://www.instagram.com/wallisbomb/

 

 

Rise of the Indie: Print Markets and the Road Ahead

When publishers rejoice at the “failure” of the digital market, they aren’t actually celebrating the preservation of print: they’re reacting to the preservation of their market share as compared to the self-published industry. But print isn’t safe from the rise of the indie market, and it’s important for publishers to be prepared to compete where … Continue reading Rise of the Indie: Print Markets and the Road Ahead

Peer Review #3

For our third peer review I was assigned kadunbar.com, a baking blog run by Kathleen Dunbar. Right away Kathleen’s site is welcoming and definitely gives the message of what it’s about. You’re greeted by a logo: a K wrapped in a wreath of leaves that looks like it could be the logo for a coffee shop or an independent clothing store.

The blog looks like it could be the website for a small bakery. Kathleen’s photos are very professional, and therefore bring an organized, more presentable look to the site. It’s a clean layout, white, with a header that changes between photos she’s taken of her baked goods. There’s a variety of pictures to show the diversity of her skills and tastes. There are also links at the top of the website that lead to a contact page, a link to her process posts, an about section, and a section linking to all her food posts. The photos for her mixed berry scones are gorgeous and look very professional. The powdered sugar and placement of the berries as well as the colour scheme of the photos matching the blog continues to bring a professional quality to the blog.

Kathleen also includes her social media links at the bottom of the page as a part of the footer, but as an added bonus there’s an option to save her posts to pinterest if you hover over the images on her blog. For bakers with pinterest boards this is a must and definitely an added quality to her site.

Kathleen’s website could be improved by adding more posts, but this applies to most of the blogs in this course. She’s off to a great start, and it looks like she could easily turn her blog into a professional website for a bakery if she were to make a start up one, or at least any kind of baking business. She’s also got several comments on her post and she replied to all of them, which is great to lend a hand to being a part of an online baking community. An excellent looking blog.

Essay: I Want YOU! (to stop spreading fake news).

Incorporating a business into the world of social media can be challenging. The competition to grab the attention of people scrolling through their newsfeeds requires more than bright colours and click bait. Your content has to be relevant and easily accessible. But more importantly, your content should be something that people want to hear about. Otherwise the backlash can be staggering. Recently the Donnelly Group, an independent business based out of Vancouver that owns pubs such as the Bimini and the Lamplighter, made another shift in their business by purchasing the now closed Railway Club. The Railway Club had been a Vancouver staple since the 30s, but fell out of business after it’s last owner couldn’t keep it up. Then when he couldn’t see it they shut it down. When Vancouver local Jeff Donnelly decided to buy the club one would think enthusiasts would rejoice, right?

Wrong. Shortly after the news broke the CBC released an article interviewing partner Chad Cole on the future of the club, where in the interview he stated that “unfortunately [live music]’s not going to be a core element of this new pub.” The news of the Donnelly Group buying out the club spread like wildfire over Facebook and the comment sections of Georgia Straight articles and those done by Vancity Buzz were alive with internet rage. Comments ranged from “For most people The Railway Club is synonymous with live music…to bring the place back without live music is very disappointing” to “I’d rather tear it down than turn it into another generic vapid soulless chain bar. Not going” to calling out employees who work there: “…then the greasy, little floor manager comes over and says “how can I make this right for you?” What a joke”.

The anger was on. But despite the complaints of no live music, the article continued to explain that there would in fact be live music, just not as frequently as the venue had in the past. A follow up article was released emphasising that there would be at least four nights of live music a week due to the backlash. As for the “bad beer, worse food”, the Donnelly Group actually sources almost all of their beer and food locally, and is a proud supporter of local breweries and sponsor of Vancouver events. If any of the commenters had attempted to do the smallest bit of research into this new group that was reviving their so-called favourite establishment when nobody else would, they would learn all of this. This is the effect of social media news.

People have gotten used to bite sized pieces of information. Today things are limited to 140 characters, 7 second videos and status updates to express huge events in our lives. When our attention span has been trained to be so short, all we read is the headline. The drawback is that these headlines can be misleading and often don’t give people the correct information. Pre-conceived biases people hold can be triggered by a negative headline they don’t agree with or enlightened by one that they do. How many times have you “liked” or reacted to an article’s headline without clicking on the link? According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 62% of U.S. adults get their news on social media. NPR reported that a Stanford survey conducted found that 80% of middle schoolers in 12 states couldn’t tell the difference between fake and real news. Based on the comments sections of certain Facebook articles, I’d wager that percentage would only be slightly less for adults. Fake news is effective because people believe what they want to believe. They want something to talk about, and when everyone has their own internet soapbox, it’s easy to yell your opinion into the void, however misinformed it may be. People see a title that supports their way of thinking and because it’s a “published” piece of writing, they cling on to that.

Publishing has changed now that Facebook is in play. In the Columbia Journalism Review’s article “Facebook is eating the world”, writer Emily Bell states “The future of publishing is being put into the hands of the few who control the destiny of the many.” Facebook’s power of news distribution is huge, and who can say what will and will not be published when people’s views of the truth have become so obscure, and even the president is spewing lies in national addresses. The technological powerhouses such as Google, Facebook and Apple have all started to dip their toes in the new industry, with Apple recently launching “Apple News” to add to the growing list of sources.

“When facts don’t work and voters don’t trust the media, everyone believes in their own truth.” claims Katharine Viner in her essay for the Guardian, published in July of last year. For a piece written over six months ago, the statements couldn’t be more true now. The world of publishing and how we receive and even accept our news is changing, and people blowing a restaurant chain out of proportion is just a small example. Incidents like #pizzagate that start off ridiculous and lead to shootings could just be the tip of the iceberg if people don’t start being more responsible for the news that they choose to regurgitate.

But the public doesn’t always believe they have time, or even consider looking deeper into the articles they’re being fed. In an attempt to stop the catcall of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, websites like Teen Vogue and Slate are attempting to educate their readers on how to spot false articles, with Slate even going so far as to create a Chrome extension that actually highlights articles on your newsfeed as possibly false if they come from uncredible sources. Despite this attempt, Slate’s headline for the announcement gives off the real message: “Only you can stop the spread of fake news.” The message is clear, and if people have a duty to themselves and to those around them to believe that the truth is not subjective when it comes to delivering facts. In the end, that’s what news media has always been and what we must fight to make it today.

Sources:

1. Bell, Emily. “Facebook is eating the world.” Columbia Journalism Review. March 7, 2017. http://www.cjr.org/analysis/facebook_and_media.php.
2. Colglazier, William. “The Best TIps for Spotting Fake News in the Age of Trump.” Teen Vogue. January 17, 2017. http://www.teenvogue.com/story/the-best-tips-for-spotting-fake-news-in-the-age-of-trump.
3. Domonoske, Camila. “Students have “dismaying” inhibility to tell fake news from real, study finds. .” NPR. November 23, 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/23/503129818/study-finds-students-have-dismaying-inability-to-tell-fake-news-from-real.
4. Gottfried, Jeffery, and Elisa Shearer. “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016.” Pew Research Center. May 26, 2016. http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2016/.
Oremus, Will. “Only You Can Stop the Spread of Fake News. .” Slate. December 13, 2016. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2016/12/introducing_this_is_fake_slate_s_tool_for_stopping_fake_news_on_facebook.html.
5. Viner, Katharine. “How technology disrupted the truth.” The Guardian. July 12, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/12/how-technology-disrupted-the-truth.

Design Flaws

I have been stalling on writing this blog post because I know I have much more to do. Although I like the general look of my blog, I’m not sure that it has enough visual interest to draw people in. I’ve tried introducing headers and backgrounds, I’ve tried replacing my blog’s title with a title header image, I’ve tried virtually everything I can think of that my theme allows. It seems that I may have to explore my options of switching themes and see where that takes me.

What I find most difficult about my theme is the fact that the features I find most appealing about it are only seen with high quality photography and lots of posts. Since I’ve made the decision to hide my PUB 101 posts from the main page, I am lacking in my front page content. I’ve considered a few options, and before I switch themes I intend on playing around with creating a static front page filled with pictures of my travels, my high school career, and essentially my life. I hope that this will bring both visual interest and a visual connection to my life.

In order to fulfill the above suggestion, I have tried creating a page to feature my images, but the image slider requires multiple images to work. Next I tried a gallery post, but then of course the slider requires multiple posts to work. I’ll be playing around more to get the visual I would like. I’m in the process of writing my second blog post which (albeit a little late) should add more personal connection as it will feature personal photos and stories from my past.

Although this process post isn’t much of a reflection, it has birthed many ideas and I look forward to trying more!