Tag Archives: SFU

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.

Essay 1

With the rapid growth and development of technology, there is no doubt that social media platforms continuously influence the public opinion, touching on the economic, cultural and social aspects of society. Stated from News Use Across Social Media Platforms, “two-thirds of Americans report they get at least some of their news on social media” (Shearer, 2017). Because of Facebook’s large user base, being a dominant force, it takes the lead on every other social media site as a source of news: a whopping 66% of Americans use Facebook on a daily basis (Shearer, 2017). For many, the social media site remains as an important news outlet source that has made digital communication more transparent and malleable. As a regular social media user, it is crucial to understand the impact of social media because of its creation and impact on social life.

Digital communication tools are the source of facilitating the exchange of information across platforms, resulting in the manipulation and distortion of truths. Consequently, the misinformation leads to what is known as the creation of “fake news”. False stories have been becoming hugely popular online with deceptive titles that attract the reader into believing as real news. Recently, in the last three months of the US presidential campaign, fake news outperformed real news. As a result, a blur between what is genuine and what is false is increasingly becoming harder to differentiate because in a world of easily accessible digital devices, consumers have the ability to play a role in being producers of information. The creation and circulation of public opinion affects social life on two standpoints: cultural and social. Not only does public opinion have the competency to corrupt traditional values, it can alter the audience’s perspectives. Thus, public opinion is ever-changing: it is persuaded and influenced through social media — making it more achievable, yet uncontrollable.

The distribution of fake news on Facebook carries uncontrollable and disruptive ramifications on an individual’s life. Take for example: a photoshoot to promote plastic surgery became viral when false stories began to spread quickly on Facebook, leading to a long-term consequence of a Taiwanese model, Heidi Yeh’s career. The photo shows Yeh posed in a family photo with three kids who were purposely made to appear “ugly” with small eyes and flat noses. Little did Yeh know, she would soon became a victim of a viral internet meme that put a toll on her personal life and career. False claims stated that her supposed husband in the photo sued her (his wife) for deceiving him when he discovered that she had undergone plastic surgery before they met because the image shows a lack of resemblance between the children and the parents. The Taiwanese model felt destroyed by the media, claiming she felt hesitant to continue her modelling career because of the public embarrassment. Serving as a real-life example of the uncontrollable outcomes of public opinion, as a result, the model’s job offers slowed down for three years and shattered her relationship with her then-boyfriend. Subsequently, the situation clearly got out of hand when threats to sue began to emerge.

How did the photo get distributed to become a global meme? The talent advertising agency stated the ad would be featured in newspapers and magazines by the initial cosmetic clinic only, according to Yeh (Willett, 2015). However, the agency later allowed another clinic access to the image for their website, claiming their copyright ownership and intention to promote plastic surgery in a humorous manner. When Yeh threatened to sue the cosmetic clinics, they responded by claiming that she damaged their reputation and demanded for an apology from Yeh. Soon enough, it was all over Facebook news feeds and it is because of these stories that Facebook has moved towards the implementation of algorithms to optimize users’ news feeds in order to cease the prioritization of fake news without restricting the accurate content. The attention that has caused Facebook to take action proves that public opinion is largely influential and is not taken lightly. Therefore, social media and the internet encourages and enables collaboration through the exchanging of knowledge that builds and influences societies.

Citations

B. (2014, July 18). What’s the impact of social networks on public opinion? Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://medium.com/@behradj92/whats-the-impact-of-social-networks-on- public-opinion-fe148ce89a6

Franz, J. (2016, December 10). What’s the role of social media in the news media? Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-11-26/whats-role-social-media-news-media

Shearer, E., & Gottfriend, J. (2017, September 7). News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from http://www.journalism.org/2017/09/07/news- use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/

Social Media: Shaping The Way We See the World or Shaping the New World Itself? (2013, February 19). Retrieved October 11, 2017, from https://astanatimes.com/2013/02/social- media-shaping-the-way-we-see-the-world-or-shaping-the-new-world-itself/

Willett, M. (2015, November 06). A Taiwanese model said her life was ‘ruined’ after she was turned into a plastic-surgery meme. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/taiwanese-model-plastic-surgery-meme-2015-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Big Changes Ahead

This week I made some big changes to my website.

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

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

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

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Finding my Career Path

When I was a young child, I was gifted a workbook that prompted me to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up. To this day, I still clearly remember the colourful butterfly I drew on that page.

Remembering the blissful days of my childhood when things were so much more simple and all I wanted to be when I grew up was to be a colourful butterfly one day. If it was only that easy. If only I could fly off, care-free and explore the world… No, I’m not a butterfly, but that beautiful butterfly I drew may have signified my exploratory phase into the beginnings of my career: venturing further into the world of visual arts.

Thus, I grew up to love drawing: something that had never ran in my family background. I would draw on any surface I could set my hands on (yes, I remember drawing on the headboard of my bed with a ballpoint pen) and I spend hours on the internet looking for tutorials when I was in middle school. My cute cartoons and illustrations became more detailed, attempting to replicate a photograph on a blank piece of paper. Realism drawings of still objects became hyper-realistic until people thought I had suddenly become a photographer. I naturally developed an eye to see the world and the spaces around me differently, converting the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional realm in front of me. I thrived in it and it didn’t take long for me to find a sense of identity through drawing and sketching. Everyone around me was certain I was going to be the next Emily Carr. It seemed like I had my career mapped out for me after many long nights of practicing in my bedroom: my professional career path had already been set for me.

The last hyper-realistic drawing I have drawn to date. — March 2015

 

So it began: my senior year in high school and I was one of the handful of students who had gotten a letter of acceptance into Emily Carr University on the spot. This was what was deemed to happen my whole life by my peers. Was it fate?

Not too long after I received a letter from Simon Fraser University, informing me of my acceptance into their School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT), I had to make a big decision. I had never heard of this program and didn’t know of any graduates or alumni from SIAT. I spent my whole childhood moving a pencil around on paper, was I really going to make the transition to digital design? I thought, and thought hard for awhile, but I sensed an urge to explore my skillset: where could digital design take me? At the end of the day, I followed my gut and took the leap into the realm of design. This period marked my transition into technology and design, pushing my sketching pencils into the back of the shelf.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know how to code and I only had intermediate experience with Photoshop. The summer before my first year in university, I spent hours and days going through online tutorials to learn as much of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign as I could. But I loved it. I loved that making a mistake was a simple and quick CTRL/CMD + Z to fix. Strokes and lines were so much smoother, cleaner and there was no accidental smudging — this was fool-proof.

Illustrations done on Adobe Illustrator for a freelance project — October 2015

Slowly, the time and demand I had for sketching decreased and since my second year, I have not posted a single photo of a drawing. Do I miss it? Yes — I can recall the nights when I was upset and drawing took me into a place of serenity, a place where my worries did not exist. It will still always be a part of me: when I brainstorm for my designs, knowing how to sketch is always at the core and every time, it brings me back to my roots — where I started and came from: pencil and paper.

Rough sketches for a game design.

I have made my transition from an artist to a designer and I’m not turning back.

– E

Check out my portfolio work!

Do you take Debit?

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

Quick Introduction

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

First Impressions

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

Design Decisions

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

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

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

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

Overall

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

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Week 5: Process Post

Thus far, I have been imagining my blog to be catered towards creative teens and young adults who are looking for a platform for personal inspiration and motivation. Because I tend to be a more introverted and reserved individual, I really enjoy having a digital space for me to express myself and for people to get to know who I am. Catering to this audience I have in mind, I have created my blog to convey simplicity through a minimalist design — to be organized with the least distractions possible.

My hope is that visitors will see the world in another perspective through the online space I have created and through my personal thoughts and experiences, will find relevance in their own lives. As Warner states,

To address a public we don’t go around saying the same thing to all these people. We say it in a venue of indefinite address, and hope that people will find themselves in it. (Warner, pg. 418)

 

Peer Review #2

All Things Pacific Northwest, created by Rachel Fung, is a blog that is dedicated to her personal and authentic experiences living in the pacific northwest. The overall appeal is very organized and clean, with a well-structured main menu that lets the audience get a sense of the topics she writes about. On the homepage, there are beautiful images, filling the whitespace with bright green and blues, rightfully depicting the natural beauty of Vancouver. One suggestion I have is to create a header that is consistent in any page the viewer may navigate to. Clicking into another page, there seems to be no website/blog title or header image that tells them what website the user is on, which contributes to increasing the viewer’s cognitive load. Questions such as “What website am I on again?” “What is this website about?” should be answered through a header/title that sets a brand for the blog. Another design suggestion would be to differentiate the Featured Posts from Recent Posts in the homepage. The consistent gridded structure between these two sections cause it to seem like they organized under one category. Perhaps Featured Posts could incorporate larger images in a carousel that catches the audience’s attention first.

I am quite impressed with the amount and frequency of posts Rachel has written in the past few weeks. It really shows how much she enjoys writing and being persistent with putting up content on a regular basis. I loved reading about the hikes because it gives the viewer a good sense of what the whole experience is like. As more hiking posts are written, I would suggest creating a visual scale that indicates her personal difficulty ranking of each of the hikes to let the viewer know if that hike may be suitable for them. All Things Pacific Northwest is a blog that presents Rachel’s genuine opinions and experiences, depicting her true self on an online digital platform through her personal and cultural values: it may be an aspect that one can only see if they read her blog. It’s also great that she has linked her Instagram account to her blog that let’s the audience have a better sense of who she is and gives more content about her personal life. Without the social linking, her identity is almost anonymous without a photo or revealing too much information in the About section so the images from her Instagram really adds a more personal touch. Overall, the blog is being produced very professionally and consistently!

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.

Wiring my Website

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

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

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

Pictured below is what I have been talking about….

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

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

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

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

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Week 4: Design Decisions

We are all familiar with Buzzfeed, the social news and entertainment site that drives students into a seemingly unending procrastination train. Plastered all over our Facebook newsfeeds, Buzzfeed produces over 700 pieces of content every day with an average of 7 billion views a month. With the impressive amount of traffic it’s quite crucial for Buzzfeed to maintain a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing online presence.
Upon first glance, the home page (shown above) is crammed with bright, colourful photographs. It screams “Read me!!!!”: from the small carousel under the navigation menu to larger images in the main feed section to the blocks of images in the right side bar, Buzzfeed clearly wants the reader to indulge themselves into their endless collection of articles. Where do I start first?

Are those buttons? Are they just decorations? What is “LOL”? “WTF”??
If you’re not a millennial, or someone who is up with the lingo these days, how is one supposed to know what these acronyms stand for? Are they clickable buttons or just static icons? What does the red one with the arrow pointing up mean? These aspects of the site doesn’t seem to speak the user’s language, but luckily the feedback of them (when I hover over them, they have a ‘bounce’ effect) tells me that it is in fact clickable, taking you into a different feed. Out of curiosity, I wondered how this effect would translate into the mobile version when a user can’t have the same hover interaction. To my surprise, they aren’t even present in the mobile site. Completely gone. Vanished.

An aspect that I see is done quite well is the navigation/menu bar. With a good amount of contrasting colours on a white slate, the bold and bright colours of the type is representative of Buzzfeed’s branding that is fun and exciting. Clean, legible type and a concise system of labelling gives the user at least some hopes of navigating through heaps of content and images.


 

This week, I dove into the CSS of the WordPress theme I am using to start to personalize my aesthetics into the theme. I am aiming to incorporate some of the natural & earthy tones as light accents and tinker around with the letter-spacing and padding of the elements. I’ve come up with a list of topics to write about so I am hoping to set a schedule to be more consistent with the frequency of posts.

Peer Review

From an initial glance, Jason’s blog — From Hong Kong to Vancouver — is visually simple and pleasing to the eye. The header image clearly gives the reader a sense of who he is and what his blog is about: his journey and transition from his childhood in Hong Kong to his university experience in Vancouver. He briefly shares with the reader the challenge of language barriers and experience of stepping into a foreign environment within a crowd of strangers. As Suler explains in The Online Disinhibition Effect,

“to convey thoughts and emotions that go “deeper” than the seemingly superficial persona of everyday living” (Suler, 2004)

is a valuable aspect of the Internet as a web platform. I would encourage him to share and explain more in-depth about how he faced the challenge of approaching people — an act that is inevitable being an international student in a new school surrounded by undoubtedly many cultural differences from where he grew up. This could be thinking about the emotional aspects of leaving home, perhaps family and friends, and living in a country that has its many social, economic and cultural differences. How did he deal with the anxiety of approaching people and feeling more comfortable doing so? What steps did he take to improve his English speaking?

His sharing about the feelings of nerves and anxiety shows us an example of the inhibiting self (Suler, 2004) in a real-life context. Perhaps the initial language barrier and nerves took over to inhibit his true self and the personality that he displays in his hometown, appearing to be shy and introverted, when his true personality in a space he is comfortable in may show a more outgoing side.

In a visual aspect, I appreciate the sidebar that provides a path for the visitor to explore his Instagram and Facebook profiles and sharing a weekly Chinese pop song that shares a side of his interests. I encourage Jason to use his this section to provide a short and concise bio that gives the reader a brief background to who he is and what his intentions of this blog is. The longer description in and a photo in the About Me category would further enhance his character through his platform. In addition, reinforcing a sense of branding or personality could be done through the use of colours, textures or patterns throughout the site.
Overall, it is a good start to a meaningful blog that serves as an opportunity to log about your personal experiences and share with friends and family in Hong Kong and in Vancouver an update on your growth.

What am I Lying About Gillian?

Hey Gillian, I have never met you in real life and I haven’t messaged you online, but I am about to tell you what I think of your website…

First impressions

I am also a big fan of minimalism, especially when it comes to design. When I click on to a website and I am greeted with a animated banner, flashy colours, and so many clickable options my first instinct is to leave. That is where I really appreciate your layout and design. The black and white treatment is nice and I think the typeface that you have chosen goes well with the aesthetic you’re going for. Everything seems to be easy to find and I do not want to leave yet!

Getting deeper

Looking at your about page, it gives me good context as to why you chose to create a blog about lying. Your story is interesting and as a reader it makes me want to read on to hear your experiences and tips. However, you do not mention what your last name is exactly, this might be on purpose, but it would help me connect your blog title better if I actually knew what your last name was. Also, I know that you said you didn’t think images went well with your site, but I think some kind of visual representation of yourself could help your audience see you. Even if it weren’t a standard profile picture, some kind of image to give visual representation would go a long way I think. I also love that you linked a blog post right at the bottom of your bio, this is smart. It gives the reader a direct link to start hearing what you have to say.

Clicking through and reading your blog posts, I like how you are creating straightforward and simple posts to teach people. You aren’t writing essays about the subject, you are more introducing it, giving an example, and summarizing. This is short and sweet and something I think people would enjoy reading. This formula is executed perfectly in your post Learn to Lie #1: Start Small.

In Matthew Stadler’s keynote address, he talks about creating a readership that cares and how to go from publishing to publication. Publication is something real such as meeting in public spaces. I think that the concept you have created here could create a community that transcends the online space. You could host meet-ups where people practice the skills you are teaching. I believe that because we do all lie, and learning to lie unfortunately is important in our society.

Your online self

Narrowing in on your online self, I believe you have created a unique character. When I read your posts I almost can picture you signing off xoxo gossip girl. I get that sense because you express your story and opinions, but do so in an anonymous manner. In John Suler’s article he talks about how there is dissociative anonymity and that gives you power. I think your online self and the persona you are creating as the author of this website relies on that fact. Not that it is a crutch, but as someone who wants to learn how to lie, learning it from someone who is being transparent with their methods while hiding who they really are is powerful. At this point in time, you don’t have any links to personal social media sites, you don’t have any pictures of yourself, and you don’t even say your real last name (a point I brought up earlier, but I may change my mind about now). I believe that all these factors combine to empower you with a dissociative anonymity that gives you more authority when teaching lying to strangers.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

Process Post #2

Clean. Simple. No Confusion. These ideas guide how my site is laid out. As you can see with the diagram below, the layout to my site is simple.

My site is organized into three distinct pages. Firstly, there is my about page which also operates as my homepage. The idea is that if someone links to my site that the first thing they see is a welcome message and then my bio which tells them what this site can offer them. Secondly, I have my blog split up into two streams, the first is the picture and story series blog posts. These posts will have a mix of visual art and the stories behind that art. It could be the story behind multiple photos, one photo, some kind of mix like that. The second stream is the PUB 101 content, this side of the blog is for documenting my process, submitting assignments, and completing any other tasks to do with the course content.

-Topic Transition-

Getting my attention back?

After reading Craig Mod’s article about his time spent offline, I feel jealous of his experience. I have a few times a year that I pretty much disconnect for a weekend or a week, but mostly I am always connected. My phone is never more than 2 feet away from me in my hand, in my pocked, or on a surface within reaching distance. It can feel like a ball and chain, it is a weight that can hold you back. I read this line somewhere recently that joked about how you can’t push people in pools anymore because everyone has $1000 dollar machines in their pockets. It doesn’t speak to the connectedness of our devices, but it does speak to how they hold us back (probably in more important ways than pushing people in pools).

Anyway, I would love to be able to give up my phone or internet connection for any extended period of time. But in reality I can’t. My job, my school, my volunteering, my girlfriend ALL require me to be on call. If I don’t reply to that email, text, or phone call within a couple minutes or hours there is a price to pay. Craig obviously benefited from his time disconnected and having experienced disconnection for extended periods in my life I can vouch for its healing powers.

Craigs rules:

The internet goes off before bed.

The internet doesn’t return until after lunch.

That’s it. Reasonable rules. I’m too weak to handle the unreasonable.

These rules sound awesome. But unfortunately they are not realistic for me to abide by on a daily basis. I respect you Craig, and one day maybe I can live a life with that freedom from my phone.

¯\_()_/¯

@jessefinkle

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.

PUB101 – Process Post

I’ve realized that I’m spending more and more time on building this personal website – my own little cyber space – playing with awesome plugins to make it richer with different kinds of content. Unlike on my Facebook and Instagram where I share content with mainly friends back in Hong Kong, my audience here is only all those in my PUB101 class who are my new friends and only read English. It makes a difference of what to share on my social media and in here.

Theme

I started with the ‘Twenty Seventeen’ theme and uploaded my header image as my very first action of the website development. The photo is taken on the top of Mountain Whistler in summer 2016, and its composition makes it the best header image, also showing a little bit of my character as an outgoing and energetic young adult who loves looking at the sky and is eager for adventure. I had tried changing to a few other themes but none can give me a sense of simplicity and an emphasis on the header image like this one which maximizes its size. I want the image to fully occupy visitors’ monitor and their eyes when they enter my website!

Widgets

There are only a sidebar and two footers at the bottom of the website to contain widgets. I’ve added icons to other social media at the top of the sidebar for visitors to share my posts/website as well as to let them learn more about me on other platforms. Especially for Facebook and Instagram, which I’ve placed them as the first two icons, they are the social media platforms I use the most and therefore contain a lot more info about me. In addition, I have added audio widget to share some of my favourite Cantonese pop music, like a weekly selection, with text widget as its caption for a brief introduction to the song.

I have opened two categories so far – ‘posiel’ for required course work from pub101 and ‘daily life’ for sharing my trivial things in my daily life as well as my experiences here in Vancouver as an international student. The development of the two pages ‘About Me’ and ‘Canton Pop Music’ is still in progess.

Off the Grid Waffle Bar

I’ve never been big on waffles but after trying Off the Grid Waffles in East Vancouver….oh boy has that changed! Decidant…moist… & oh so chocolaty *mmm mmm mmm* They offer an array of options: from a savory pizza waffle ($8) to a sweet Strawberry Nutella waffle ($7) (which you can also get in waffle cups! $6) […]

Essay #2

This semester may be coming to an end yet, my online publication will go on. Over the last three months, I was introduced to the world of online publishing and given a chance to create a place that was solely mine – sukhisthename.com. It became a place to share my favourite recipes, new beauty regimes, and […]

Process Post #10: Press Release

Take a drab press release and add some pizzazz. Choose a platform and create a new and improved press release. I chose Twitter as the platform for the new press release. Twitter will allow the CBC to post short yet attention-grabbing tweets, which users can respond to directly, and re-tweet. There can be multiple tweets: […]

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