Tag Archives: publishing

Process Post: Week 12

Community guidelines for my site would include the banishing of anonymous commenting that Konnikova states as “forty per cent of people in the eighteen-to-twenty-nine-year-old demographic” (Konnikova, 2013). The reason being is that my site is intended to be a safe, honest and inspiring place for visitors in the age range 18-24.  However, anonymous comments strip the true identity of the commenter, which then encourages incivility and inhibits personal communication between users. The aspect of anonymity also touches on John Suler’s “online disinhibition effect” that creates a disconnect between the commenter’s identity and what they are saying.

This means a close monitoring of comments to ensure that the rule is enforced. Additional behaviour such as name-calling, insulting, abusive or inappropriate content will be removed and the user will receive a warning as to why they have had their comment removed.

Week 10: Process Post

I plan on focusing on my linked Instagram channel to incorporating trans media integration into my publication because Instagram is a heavily photo-based platform that reflects my visually dominant blog layout. Specifically, my Instagram account will be used to promote my blog posts and also adds additional visual imagery of my life in short, concise captions. My Instagram channel would feature photos that are not posted on my blog while sharing the same aesthetic feed and provide sneak peek photos that are linked out to my blog post.

Week 9: Process Post

My Google analytics show that 62.5% of my visitors are new to my blog and 37.5% of visitors are returning visitors. This is encouraging to me because there are a number of users who are returning to the blog. However, it can be quite discouraging when looking deeper into analytics, that with 42.6% of page views are on the homepage while each individual post has ~3-6% page views. This may suggest that my viewers are not clicking into the posts and may just be exploring the homepage before clicking out of the window. I did notice that the day I published my last blog post and I promoted it a few times on my linked Instagram story, the post did substantially well (11% page views) in comparison to the other posts. It may also tell me that viewers are more interested in fashion content.

Peer Review #3

Gillian Lies a Lot, is a blog that informs the reader of the depths and secrets of lying. Upon entering the blog, I am very intrigued by how to learn to lie because I, myself, always feel guilty about having to lie to someone. The overall visual appeal is simple and clean: an ample amount of white space with a legible typeface. As I read through the posts of Learn to Lie, Gillian’s causal tone of writing only makes it so much more fun and sneaks in some humour. The large title makes a clear statement of what the blog is about and the sub-title is a smart play with her last name. Overall, the type is comfortably legible and the menu bar is clearly organized. I love how the “sticky” menu that persists on the top of the page when the reader is scrolling. I would like to see more posts in the “Blog” category because it seems to but just an expansion of the “About” section and I would be interested to see how “Blog” differentiates. In the preview of each post on the homepage, I would like to see more of the body copy in the preview. Especially with the lack of imagery, seeing a bit more of the content is helpful to inform the reader about the post before they click into it. In addition, I would suggest removing the Meta category from the bottom of the site to maintain a sense of simplicity for the audience to focus on the actual content (most important to the blog!).

What is really intriguing is the fact that Gillian keeps her personal image away from the reader. Her full name is revealed, but photos are never shown. Thus, her blog encompasses the disinhibition effect: You Can’t See Me (invisibility). She conceals her identity through a lack of images and likewise, she maintains and links her Twitter account to the blog rather than using a photo-based social media platform such as Instagram. Her Twitter does not reveal any images of herself which provides consistency throughout her social outlets. Cognitively I tend to remember and understand information when there are supporting visuals, so my feedback would be that I would appreciate seeing images that relate to each post. Perhaps a small illustration (doesn’t require high artistic skill) to accompany each post would be a suggestion. By providing illustrations, it adds a sense of personality and uniqueness to the blog while still maintaining the anonymity of Gillian’s personal self.

Week 8: Process Post

I don’t plan on monetizing my site any time soon as my blog is still partially in its early stages of development: the reason being that I don’t want to cause distractions for my readers that may cause them to steer off from my blog. In addition, going for a minimalistic design and platform, I want to keep ads minimal to line up with the visual aesthetics.

I personally don’t prefer to leave my data trail behind for privacy reasons. A lot of the times when I am making a purchase at a store, I often get asked for an email and phone number (sometimes an address as well) without an explanation of where my information is going to and where it will be used for. I’ve always hesitated to leave this personal information because from personal experience I have noticed I start getting a lot of marketing emails from the company that starts to build up in my inbox.

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Week 6: Process Post

This week I received feedback on my blog from the peer review that was both complimentary and constructive. I had made changes to the theme I was using a couple of weeks ago and I discovered that all the CSS work I had done was completely overridden back to the original theme. I had lost all the code I changed. Thus, I began to work through my CSS again: this time I made sure to copy and paste all the CSS into a separate text file in the case that it may get overridden again. I’m not sure what and when my changes had been overridden, but I’m guessing it was when I updated my WordPress before the peer reviewing happened.

Besides that, my peer reviewer didn’t have any major issues, but suggested I make the titles of my entries larger so it visually catches the reader’s attention while helping keep each entry distinct from one another. I was quite happy with what I had, but I decided to make the font size larger and slightly heavier. I also made my header image smaller because it was appearing too large and took up too much of the screen. Overall, I am happy with the ample whitespace and light accents.

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.

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!

Transforming Your Magazine Into a Powerhouse Online Presence

Way back in November, I attended a conference in BC for magazine publishers. I attended for free as a student of Simon Fraser University, and went to get information for a magazine I volunteer with. I went to a few panels, took a lot of notes, and figured I’d share the tips from one of them … Continue reading Transforming Your Magazine Into a Powerhouse Online Presence

Episode 5: December Wrap-up

With December came the last week of the semester, the crazy-fun culmination of everything we’d learned over the last few months. There was scrambling, and panic, and late night meetings and script rehearsals, as well as several trips to the printer to make sure our materials would print just right. For Margin Press, we had … Continue reading Episode 5: December Wrap-up

Episode 4: November Wrap-Up

November was wholly consumed by what is known as “Book Project,” a seven-week crash course in publishing covering everything from the concept pitch to sales. Students in the MPUB cohort are placed in three separate groups and are given a two-sentence missive on the direction their mock publishing house should take. Each part of the … Continue reading Episode 4: November Wrap-Up

Episode 3: October Wrap-Up

October and November were extremely busy months for me. Multiple assignments and projects across all of the courses suddenly began or reached their deadlines, and there was simply no time for anything else. Now that the winter holiday has begun and I am blissfully allowed to stay in my pajamas whenever I feel like it, … Continue reading Episode 3: October Wrap-Up