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PROCESS POST: PEER REVIEW #2

Today I am taking some time to review my classmate Tessa’s blog. Her blog is called Tessa’s Thoughts , and it contains essays, experiences, and film/TV reviews. From what I gather, Tessa’s blog reflects who she is – her interests, struggles, and joys.

I quite enjoy Tessa’s theme. There is lots of white space, beautiful and relevant pictures, and it is obvious where I should click and when I should scroll. I like that each post on the home page shows a short block of text with a call to action that says “read more.” I think this entices people to click on her posts and explore her blog further. Additionally, I appreciate how clear the Categories are on the right side of the page. It is straightforward where I can find each section of the blog. One suggestion I have for the home page is for Tessa to hide her posts that are under POSIEL so that only her blog posts are showing.

The typeface for the titles of Tessa’s post is great. It’s bold and legible. I also like the typeface for her posts, however, something that she might want to think about is how legible it is. Considering the font is quite light and the letters look similar, it may not be accessible to everyone reading. Mauvé Page, a guest speaker in our PUB101 class, suggested that typefaces with clear letter differentiation are often a better choice. One suggestion I have for Tessa’s blog is to change the typeface and colour of her header. A more unique typeface would catch the eye, which I think is important because it is the first thing I see on the page. Additionally, the current colour of the header does not contrast enough with the background. Tessa could possibly highlight the text black and make the font white to achieve a higher level of contrast.

Design Machines by Travis Gertz  is a reading that we had for PUB101. Gertz (2015) outlines touches on how the art in layouts should not replace content, but it should give us a reason to explore the content further. I think that if Tessa incorporates this philosophy for her header media, it would really push visitors to explore the amazing content she has on her blog!

The layout of Tessa’s page is easy for my eyes to follow. The picture of clouds in her header represents “Tessa’s Thoughts” well, almost symbolizing a daydreaming theme. I particularly like how her posts are on the left side of the page, and they stay on the left side of the page when you click on them. I like this because my eyes naturally go to the left side, so I found the content on her page quite fast. I also appreciate how her Instagram is previewed at the bottom right of her page, with a call to action that says “follow me!” It shows a few of her pictures, which fit well under the brand of her blog. Since Tessa’s Thoughts is about her lived experiences, I believe her Instagram reflects that well.

Another article from PUB101 called Affordances by Victor Kaptelinin explains the concept of affordances. Affordances are basically indicators of how something should work (Kaptelinin, n.d.). Kaptelinin writes that “when affordances are taken advantage of, the user knows what to do just by looking: no picture, label, or instruction needed.” This is one of the things I appreciate most about Tessa’s Thoughts. This blog makes it clear where to click for what content. There is no confusion when it comes to usability, and I think that visitors of this blog will value this immensely!

Altogether, Tessa’s Thoughts is a great blog and has a ton of potential when it comes to design. I think that Tessa offers intriguing, relatable content, and I think that a few design boosts will allow her content to be engaged with at a greater capacity.

#1 Rule: BE KIND TO WOMEN

I was graced with a warmish fall evening for my first night at NightShift. I parked outside NightShift’s offices around 6:30, as instructed by the email they sent me earlier that week. The street people were already hanging out around the facility, casually talking to one another. It was fair to assume they were awaiting their meal that night.

Something you should know about me is that I am a very observant person, and this comes across as being shy at times (which I hate). When I enter into a new setting with new people, I often sit back and watch what is going on around me before making myself heard.

I walked into the building, ready to meet my team for the night. The first person I meet is Sue, who is the team leader. She is vibrant, kind, and on top of things — the exact kind of person you would want for a team leader on a night like this. In our team meeting, she introduces me to everyone.

“Everyone, this is Mariah. She’s new, which might explain why she looks like a deer in headlights. Make sure you get to know her this evening. We’re excited to have you, Mariah.”

My observant nature didn’t seem to be translating too well. Sigh. I internally told myself to straighten my posture and act more confident.

Sue gave me the duty of serving juice and coffee with another lady on the team, which I was happy to do. We all walked outside to meet the people that were hanging around the offices earlier when I first walked in. As I guessed, these people were waiting for a warm meal. On tonight’s menu, pizza!

Sue’s husband, Greg, announced that we were going to start. “What’s the number one rule?” he said.

“Be kind to women!” I heard a street person say from the background.

Although that was not technically the number one rule for the night, I thought it was a good one.

As I served juice and coffee throughout the evening, a man named Wes parked himself beside me. He offered me great jokes, movie lines, and imitations — my kind of company. He was kind and sweet. I gathered that he was a street person who had been around for a while.

Coffee was more popular than juice that Thursday evening. People kept saying that they were cold, and that’s why they opted for the warm drink. At first, I was wondering why they were so cold. It was a warm night, I thought. Then I remembered that when the body lacks proper nutrients, it gets cold easily.

A woman came through the line and told me that she had just completed her first day at her new job. She was ecstatic; beaming with joy and thankfulness to have somewhere to work. I became aware of how much I take my job for granted.

I feel like our world tries to put a scary mask on street people. They want us to think they are not like us — they are people to be avoided and pushed to the margins. But as I looked in the eyes of each person that came through for juice and coffee, I saw people just like me. People with struggles and victories. People with stories.

Throughout the night, one of the volunteers asked every person that came through the food line up if they had any prayer requests. Some people politely said no, others shared pain they were dealing with, and others expressed a gratefulness for NightShift. At the end of the night, we stood in a circle and prayed for each person’s request. Slowly, street people trickled in to fill the empty gaps of the circle and offered some of their own prayers. It was a special few moments.

My first night at NightShift exposed me to a wonderful group of people who carry a deep compassion for those on the street. It also exposed me to another wonderful group of people who reside on the street each night, yet walk with a spirit of kindness and hope.

I cannot wait to see them again.

 

Assignment Peer Review #2

For this peer review, we review Joban’s blog “The Hockey Singh: A passionate fan’s thoughts on Canada’s national winter sport”. Within Joban’s blog, we get to see his passion in the sport by following the most up to date news that he provides us related to the hockey league and teams.

 

When first arriving at his blog, you can tell immediately that this blog is going to be related to hockey just by looking at the banner with the picture of the hockey helmet, stick and puck. The blog also gives this Canucks vibe to it through the blue and white color scheme as that is also the colors of the Vancouver Canucks.

 

As for the posts themselves, it shows that a lot of thought and effort have been put into them through the use of pictures and much detail when talking about certain topics. One idea I liked in one specific post, What if Both John Tavares and Erik Karlsson Were With The San Jose Sharkswas the use of a poll to see what the audience would think if these two players were put into the San Jose Sharks. Its a way to engage the reader to take part in the discussion of the topic. As Joban discusses in his post on setting up our blogs, I can definitely say I was on the same boat as him during the first couple weeks of the semester. I thought it was great that we were able to have this platform, WordPress, where we can share a part of ourselves that we are proud of with the world. But it wasn’t just the process of figuring out how to use WordPress and what each function did that was difficult, but also deciding as to what we wanted our blog to be about. For myself, my mind revolved around the thought of what something that I was passionate about and was something that was “bloggable” where I can have different topics to talk about? and that’s where I decided on fitness as that has been a big part of my life.  

 

If you’re reading this Joban, I think your overall idea and look of the blog is awesome! Some minor things I would change is perhaps putting your menu/categories in the center, rather than the right hand side. And I noticed that in your second process post, there were differences in font sizes with the first half of your post and second half which is something that can easily be fixed. 

 

One last note that I’ll leave here and could be a possible idea for your next post is that I actually haven’t watched or followed the Vancouver Canucks since the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs as I felt that was our only year where we had a chance to win a Stanley Cup. I feel that the Canucks haven’t been able to play at that level ever since and was not worth watching or following anymore. Just wanted to see what your thoughts were and what could be the issue behind it? could it be the roster? management and coaching staff? will we ever have our chance again at the Stanley Cup? 

PROCESS POST: Design and the changing world of publishing

I am so glad that Mauvé Page came into class, because I was able to critically reflect on the design of my blog. Design is one of my weakest points. I do not have any background in design, and I find that it is hard for me to accomplish what I desire to have on my blog.

One of the things I am on changing on my blog is the background picture. Currently, it is a picture of some bare trees at dusk with the moon peeking out. Although this picture is visually appealing, I have come to the conclusion that it does not fit with my brand. Since my blog is called “Street Stories,” I figure that I should have a picture that involves a street.

Additionally, I want to change the home page of my blog. Mauve brought to my attention that it is not obvious that a visitor has to scroll in order to see my content. So, I plan to put an arrow that points down and a call to action that says “scroll” to indicate that visitors must scroll to see posts.

——–

I found one of our class readings for this week quite intriguing. Contents May Have Shifted  by Erin Kissane writes about the changing forms of the webpage, the newspaper, and the book. The one that stood out to me the most was the changing form of the book.

“Books don’t live in one place anymore,” Kissane writes.

How true. Books are not just pages between covers anymore. They aren’t permanent, they aren’t consistent or the same. With the rise of audiobooks and e-books, we have found a new ways to retain information. It doesn’t always look like holding something in your hand and flipping pages. Now it may look like tablets, or headphones, or aux chords.

Kissane also touches on how the internet has allowed for the underlying mysteries of books to be exposed. Clarity can be given to anyone who does a quick search. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is different than how books have generally been read and shared among people.

The publishing world is changing in a lot of ways. Do we push against it, or accept it? Is it good, bad, or is it just how it is?

Process Post 3

I would like to take the time to discuss how I designed the layout of my website. Firstly, I decided to use the “Traveler Blog Lite” theme. This theme is very simple and is great for an older audience. Since I have an older audience I decided to keep my blog posts on the front page so right when people visit my site, they will know what my blog is about. Under my title I wrote “Analysis of historical artworks!” because it tells the audience right away what this page is.

I have added a site logo which says “Art history for all”(See above image). This is the image because I believe that anyone of any age can learn about art. Students in elementary take art classes and also seniors can take art classes. Art is truly something anyone can create because it’s so diverse.

Old soldiers never die, they just fade away

“노병은 죽지 않은다. 다만 사라질 뿐이다.” / “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away”

Douglas MacArthur, who was the top commander of the American forces in the Korean War, leaves the famous quot, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away” at his farewell speech.

Hak-ki Kim is my grandfather who was a marine during the Korean War. He partici

 

First Peer Review #1

In my first peer review, I am going to review the blog “Taking Life By The Love Handles.” It is a food blog with a poetic name which is created by Jenny, Jenny Zhou.

The first impression the blog gave to me is clean and organized. A simple food picture at the top of the page along with the blog name and menu, it is a direct and convenient design for readers. Below the header media, you can see a pink background with an article list on the left side; it lists out the latest blog she had been posted with page selection attach at the bottom. On the left side, you can see the category list and the tag list. It is relatively easy for people to find what they are looking for and easy to get access to it. Once you click on the post, you can see the black colour text with the sans-serif font. The sans-serif font perfectly matches the theme of the blog which is simple and clear. I found one interesting feature on her weekly blog which is the food rating. It is exciting and informative, and it provides an evaluation for people to refer before they try the food. It is a good idea.

While I was scrolling through the pages, I checked out the About and Contact page. It provides some basic information about Jenny, a description and contact. It is common on every blog. However, when I keep checking the blog, I realized something is missing on the blog. 

The blog is overall overly simple. The design is too plain after surfing in a period. Having a simple concept with the basic design is good. But when I was surfing the blog, it feels like I am watching the same page over and over again. No differences and surprises, every page look just the same.  Some weekly blogs do contain some pictures inside. However, it doesn’t help the blog design. Also, the category needs to improve as well; it is quite inconvenient if I want to use the category function, I have to go back to the home page.

I will suggest the blog need more pictures, or, use a bigger picture. The heading media picture I can only see a peek of the cake. I want to enjoy a whole cake instead of the strawberry on top. Besides, the usability also needs to improve. Try to play around the menu bar function to find out some other exciting features; it can make the site much more fun. Overall, the design concept is good, try to play with some more colours instead of monochrome tone, I am sure it will be surprised.

Mini Assignment #2: Spider-Man’s Guest Appearance

Hello reader,

It’s your friendly neighbourhood Spider Man just stopping by the PUB 101 database to see what SFU students are up to nowadays. I happened to swing through Chris’ blog because he seems to be passionate about his fitness.

You know, when I’m not busy fighting the Green Goblin, Venom or annoying bank robbers I encounter on the daily, I do need to keep my muscles strong in order to keep doing what I’m doing and stay being New York’s superstar hero. People usually wonder and ask me what do I do in my free time? and my response to that is what free time?? I’m still here trying to graduate high school! so when I’m not fighting crime, I’m either usually at school or at home hitting the books fighting to maintain my grades.

It’s very nice here in Vancouver and seems a bit more peaceful as well compared to New York. It’s also really cool to see the amount of ethnic diversity there is in this city as well! Before I swing back to New York, my only advice that I have is to stay in school kids!

Catch ya later!

Your friendly neighbourhood Spider Man

WHO IS NIGHTSHIFT?

Who is NightShift? How did they come into existence?

Like I mentioned in my previous post, NightShift serves the vulnerable, addicted, and homeless people of Surrey 365 days a year. They serve them with soup, sandwiches, love, and a sense of belonging. It is a registered not-for-profit society with a small staff of under 10 people and a mighty volunteer system containing more than 2,500 people. Their offices are located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Surrey on King George Boulevard, very close to the skytrain. Serving each night takes place right outside their offices. NightShift offers meals, clothing, crisis counselling, basic nursing, a mobile library, prayer, and loving community contact. Additionally, they offer support groups, extreme weather response, Bible studies, and counselling.

Who is the mind behind NightShift? What is the story behind the name?

MaryAnne Connor, a former successful real estate marketer, was struck with compassion for those on the street on one particularly cold winter night in 2004. She soon joined a Surrey church in handing out peanut butter sandwiches and blankets in the middle of the night, providing as much warmth as they could to those without shelter who are faced with fiercely cold nights every winter.

Closely following Connor’s experience handing out peanut butter sandwiches and blankets, she boldly created NightShift. The name of the organization is significant because it refers to the time when emergency response is needed most. On a deeper leve, it describes the shift that happens in humans as we give our resources in service to those who need it in our community – the vulnerable, the addicted, and the homeless. We gain a new compassion for people we did not previously truly see.

What is my place in NightShift?

Currently, I am in the process of becoming a volunteer at NightShift. This process includes an intense 4 day training shift which consists of stories from people who have served at NightShift, and training about addiction, homelessness, and mental health. This training takes place in November, however, NightShift let me come for a pre-training night where I could see if volunteering with them was something I was passionate about. My pre-training night experience will be on the blog next week!

Week 3: Theme Issues

I can’t choose a theme.

I hope this is a common struggle, but I’m having a hard time choosing my theme. I admit, I have very little experience with WordPress and I’m taking this course to try and compose this. It’s not working at the moment. It’s a bit discouraging. But, I have to keep trying!

Just as an example, I’m trying to choose this theme.

oh cool.

This is the Candid theme. Clean. Simple. A good balance for the content. But, this is how it looks in mine.

oh no.

I may as well continue this blog as a “learning to WordPress”. But this is my experimentation stage. In my discourse of mindfulness, this is a challenge because I do feel deterred from my inexperience. Just as I’m writing this post, I realize that the version advertised is the latest one and while I got the very first iteration. Nice.

I know I should be focusing on my content, but I do hope I can apply what I visualize onto my page eventually. Right now, I need to get over this insecurity and really try instead of attempting and quickly giving up.

Small Interactions

I went to a friend’s birthday party and out of the twenty who were invited, I only knew six of them personally. When I first got to the party, I greeted my friends and introduced myself to those I didn’t know. There was this one girl who I thought was beautiful, she looked like a natural beauty – her hair was straight and long, didn’t seem like she was wearing much makeup (of course I will never know if that was true) her teeth were straight and white, and she was tall with nice posture. I wanted to compliment her but being an introvert, I couldn’t get myself to do it.

About two hours in, the speaker ran out of batteries. By that time, my friend was having too much fun and didn’t give me any useful information about where the charger for the speaker was. She did, however, tell me that it was dark blue. I think music is essential, I’m listening to music whenever I have a chance to. I was going to find this charger no matter what. I looked through the entire house with a few others and we did not find a dark blue charger. Through that process, there was a moment where I was looking for the charger in the same room as the girl I thought was beautiful. I finally had the courage to tell her. Maybe it was because no one else was around but she responded with “oh no don’t say that!” She explained it was embarrassing and I could totally understand where she came from. I guess she doesn’t like being in the spotlight.

The charger was found the next day. It wasn’t even dark blue… it was red. I guess it was worth it? If the speaker never ran out of batteries I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to compliment her.

MY WHY

Growing up in Surrey, my parents instilled in our family a deep compassion and awareness of the homeless in our community. One of my first encounters with the homeless community in Whalley (a town within Surrey) was on Christmas Eve a few years ago. It was cold, and my parents armed us with plenty care packages and plenty more hot chocolate. We drove to a street that was lined tents. My family of 8 piled out of our car to meet the people of Whalley with some Christmas hope. My first conversation was with a middle aged woman and it went like this:

“Merry Christmas Eve! Would you like a care package?”

“… It’s Christmas Eve?” her shaky voice whispered.

My heart broke. I was stunned that she didn’t know it was Christmas Eve. My year basically revolves around the Christmas season, yet this woman was not even aware of it.

My compassion for the community of Whalley continued to grow when I had a co-op with the B.C. Lions. The organization is based one street away from tent city. For three months I drove into work past the tents. Each day the sharp, cold air hit face and the rain wet my hair I was reminded of those enduring the elements that fall so abruptly offered while I was warm, inside with a cup of tea in hand. Why was I swimming in excess while these people didn’t have basic shelter? I felt restless.

A few weeks ago, I met a girl that works with an organization called NightShift Ministries. NightShift is dedicated to serving the impoverished in Whalley each night, 365 days a year. I had heard about them before, but as this staff member shared more about the organization, I was drawn to their vision. On their website, NightShift says that their “utmost goal is to treat street friends with respect and dignity, regardless of individual circumstances.” Captivated by what they stood for, I made the decision to start volunteering.

So, I am in the beginning of the volunteer process with NightShift. Join me as I tell stories from the street: who the people behind the NightShift’s vision are, and who the people in front of the NightShift’s vision are.

trying something new – infatuation

 

Infatuation is a dangerous game,

 

an emotional Russian roulette;

 

a dizzying,

 

crazy,

 

feeling

 

– emotion?

 

It’s walking on a tightrope,

 

the knots rough under your bare feet;

 

the air heavy.

 

Perfect balance is a must

 

or else

 

you’ll plummet to more disastrous

 

and complicated

 

emotions.

 

Process Post 11

And alas, the last week of school has approached us and so has my last post for PUB 101. This has been one hard semester, not going to lie. The  stress came about more personally rather than academically. With all actual stress out of the way, I am going to stress about the fact of community guidelines and online ethics, more so honing on to the ethics and guidelines I want my audience to follow on my website.

I am the type of person who cannot handle criticism from strangers online. They do not know me as a person (the reason why I keep my online life to me and my friends only), they do not know my affiliations, and they most certainly do not know where I come from. Content creator’s have a lot of gusto for keeping their comments open and eventually they have to get used to fact of people making assumptions like no tomorrow. I honestly do believe that people are very sad and have no reason but to pick on other’s to make themselves feel bigger. I do not want to encourage these behaviours on my platforms because I know that they will effect me emotionally because I do not have the filter to block out negativity due to my obsessive nature that is bought on by extreme anxiety.

Community Guidelines for Confabulous Conversations

  1. TREAT THIS SPACE AS COMMUNITY
  2. Feel free to express your views because there is a fine line between criticism and being a bigot
  3. Please delegate conversation as if you were talking to an actual person
  4. Feel free to interact with other member within the Confabulous Conversations space
  5. If I see any hateful comments amongst the interactions of users, consider both parties blocked
  6. PLEASE SEND ME RECOMMENDATIONS BECAUSE I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF VANCOUVER
  7. Do not ask for my personal information in the comments
  8. There will be no “sliding into my DM’s”
  9. I encourage freedom of speech, so I am not strict against swearing but please do not direct it towards someone (your mother will find out)
  10. Do not plagiarize from my school assignments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#inthemoodformusing: sunsets

I always wonder if I’ll ever come to believe that I deserve to be happy. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of times I’ve been told the words I and love and you consecutively, but I’m still counting on the day when I finally believe that I deserve to be loved. Happiness is a fight that I don’t always pick. I’ve only ever known how to be hard on myself.

– excerpt from my journal, 150817

 

tu sais… quand on est tellement triste on aime les couchers de soleil

Process Post 12

I don’t really that there should be too many guidelines for my website other then no racial comments and no submission of anything involving 18+ (Pornography). The main reason for this is I believe that freedom of speech is an important part of being able to discuss and have conversation online. Meanwhile, I don’t believe that anyone should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or race. I feel that at times people can become too sensitive from comments on the internet when they should instead just ignore the person who is probably a troll looking for retaliation. However, if I did have these issues I would give that person a stern warning saying that kind of behavior is intolerable and another offense will result in banning from the website. I also plan on adding the community guidelines to somewhere on my page where it is easily accessible and view able. Current places that I’m considering is the info page or a link leading to it from a tab on the right side of the home page. I want my guideline to be very liberal in terms of auguring your points although I don’t want there to be any constant bullying on my blog as I feel that it would badly portray what my blog is about.