Monthly Archives: April 2018

Mislabeling Food

This week, I’d like to talk about a giant problem I have with the dining hall: mislabeling food.

Since the dining hall experience is centered around meat eating, there is a disregard for the treatment of those who do not ascribe to that way of life. The results of this? See below.


 

Quite often, I will see labels for food such as vegan soup (marked with a v), yet in the fine print contain milk. Another occurrence of this is when food that is not vegan is put in the designated vegan food area, such as in the photo above (In this case, the soup contained milk ingredients).

 

Is it really that difficult to label things properly and put them in the correct location?

 

While I am not vegan, I have friends on the meal plan that are. I can understand their frustration in their diet not being taken seriously, and having to simply put up with standard of living for the duration of their time on the meal plan.

 

This is not only a problem for vegans, in fact, but those of us with allergies. Mislabeling something as vegan could have serious implications on a person who may be severely lactose intolerant.

 

In sum, food labels are no joke, and the dining hall should be diligent in their consideration of the well being of others.

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PP9

In creating a coordinated entertainment experience, transmedia storytelling seems to be the most appropriate way to achieve that process. In the words of Miller (2013),

 

“Transmedia storytelling is the ideal aesthetic form for an era of collective intelligence.”

 

When I think of a successful transmedia storytelling experience, I think of Harry Potter.

 

 

 

 

Growing up, the Harry Potter franchise was a huge part of my life, and I actively read every book and movie in the series. I recall when they announced they would make the last movie into two separate films, thus extending the storytelling experience. Following the publication of the final book and movie, the franchise released a website, Pottermore, in which you could sort yourself into one of the four houses (I’m a Hufflepuff). All of these features contribute to the shaping of the Harry Potter world, and create an immersive experience in which a fan can engage with the story across multiple platforms.

 

For my own website, I’m not sure if transmedia storytelling is something that I’ve been focused on developing. Perhaps, if I should continue camitheveggie in the future, I will create an Instagram account to accompany the blog which would provide more emphasis on the photos of the food itself, but until I improve upon my photography skills, that aspect of transmedia storytelling will have to wait.

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Process Post #9: Marketing a Blog

Today, we had two speakers come in and talk to us about the ways in which we can market our brand as well as ways in which we can monetarily benefit from our blogs through elements such as advertising. Brand marketing is so crucial when it comes to blogs because you need to be able to reach out to your intended audience, find them, keep them engaged, and keep them coming back. Before you can even dive into ways in which to do so, we were taught to consider who our audiences is, what purpose are we filling in the world of blogs.

One of the speakers which I found very inspirational had started off in selling candles. He saw that there was an opportunity to make money in his neighbourhood selling candles during the holidays and made a name for himself for the years following. Taking his experience and applying it to our blogging, we have to try and identify the need or the want of our audience in order to ensure their subscription.

Reflecting on Awkward Girl, it was never my intention to create it for the purpose of views or hits since it was mostly for myself although, if I were to think up of way to meet a more specific demographic in order to generate more traffic on my website, I think I would take the approach of foodie to my blog as previously mentioned in another post. I would centre my information around Vancouver locations in order to target a certain demographic specific to this region.

Another area which we discussed could be beneficial to some were advertisements. For some, such as Alex Rose (http://djalexrose.com) who is making a website to cater to his DJ career and business, I can see this approach working very well in his favour since it is more of a business model type blog where it serves the purpose of showcasing his work although I do not think that it would work well for a personal blog like mine. I personally believe it would take away from the look I want for my website as well as the intimacy and authenticity I want to project to my audience.

All in all, I think that if I were to continue this blog after this course and wanted to make it a more public and successful blog, I would take these approaches in order to do so.

-Awkward Girl.

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PP8

This week, we learned about data trails and digital breadcrumbs. What does this mean? Well, for starters, the access you give to corporations every time you agree to the “terms and conditions” of an application entails them to every bit of information you post, from facebook statuses, to google searches, to online shopping preferences. In the digital age, every action we do online leaves a breadcrumb of data that can be collected by the likes of retailers, banks and various other organisations (Pod Academy, 2016, pp. 10).

I can’t help but consider the way we so willingly agree to give access to our most personal and private information online. Most apps have options of turning on location services, which can track where a user is in real time due to the censors on their personal smartphone. These sensors extend further to sound, as we give application access to our audio as well. The Pod Academy (2016) elaborates upon this process, stating the following:

Basically, when you have a phone, you have a series of censors and you have this constant background communication between the phone and the cell towers, but also if its connected online between the phone and the internet so there are all these apps that are getting information about your phone, about your environment.” (pp.13)

In my own personal experience of being made aware of the sensory tracking that was occurring within my smartphone, I remember how I was talking with a friend once who was telling me about getting a new job at a local Cafe. We discussed this event in person, and not once did I physically engage with my phone during the conversation. Following the encounter with my friend, I recall using Instagram when an ad for the same cafe came up on my feed.

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Essay Two

The first day of of the semester, each individual student in our Publishing 101 class was tasked to come up with a definition of the word publishing. As a communication student who has heard only good things about the department, I was excited to finally gain some insight into the world of publishing. In coming up with a definition, however, I soon came to the realization that I had no real understanding of the field at all, and struggled to come up with a definitive answer without the help of Google. In taking this course, I’ve learned that publishing can mean a variety of things, from engaging collaboratively within networked public spaces online, to developing our own digital lives. One way of looking at it, as Nash (2013) notes, is to consider the word publishing like you would a book, in that it is almost but not quite a proxy for the “business of literature” (pp.4).

The course has enabled students, from various faculties, to develop their digital media presence through the creation and development of their own personal websites. In their article, “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure”, Campbell (2009) theorizes that by developing a personal cyberinfrastructure, students will have the capability to become system administrators for their own digital lives (pp.6). To add onto this theory, Campbell notes:

 

“Students not only would acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives but also would engage in work that provides richly teachable moments ranging from multimodal writing to information science, knowledge management, bibliographic instruction, and social networking. Fascinating and important innovations would emerge as students are able to shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium” (pp. 7).

 

Campbell takes a very technophilic approach in his consideration of the web, however provides useful insight into how I’ve created my online self this past semester. I’ve been able to express myself through a digital platform, and learn important aspects of what it means to be an online publisher. Prior to this course, I had little to no experience in curating a personal cyberinfrastructure for the purposes of creating meaningful, engaging content. While my digital media literacies are well developed regarding social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and my willingness to share personal information is reminiscent of the benign disinhibition effect that Suler (2004) refers to (pp. 1), my knowledge of WordPress or blogging in general was limited.

A reading that had significant impact on my decision making when designing my blog was Gertz’ (2015), “Design Machines: How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” In their article, Gertz describes the current state of design in an online context, and sheds light on the homogeneity of web-based digital design due to external pressures to keep up with the competitiveness of the online world (pp. 6). When browsing the various themes to choose from, the homogeneity of website templates was obvious. While they were all very aesthetically pleasing, they lacked character and authenticity. So many companies, in their attempt to emulate the success of others, end up producing content that falls flat or lacks meaningful content.

While I do not consider myself a professional website designer by any means, the article was helping in making me aware of the decisions I was making regarding all design elements of my website, including text, images, and overall layout. The purpose of my website, more than about sharing vegetarian food, was to develop my skills as an online publisher. By keeping that in mind, I would make decision about design, as well as content, to reflect my learning process as I became more adept at managing my own personal blog.

The best part of creating my blog was developing my voice within my writing and conveying it in a way that would resonate with others. Warner (2002) discusses the idea of a “public” address (in this case, the collective of random internet users) being predicated, to some extent, on their attention (pg. 419). While some aspect of what I am doing is simply contributing content to a void of infinite possibilities in hopes that someone will find it, another part of me is interested in being, well, interesting. Being a publisher is more than simply creating content for content’s sake, but producing something of value. While I am very sure that no “public” has been created in response to my website, perhaps someone, someday, will pay my blog enough attention that a small internet community of vegetarians could form. One can only hope.

Now that the course has come to and end, and I am no longer prescribed to a meal plan, my goals for my website have shifted. If I should continue blogging, I would like to develop my photo editing skills by learning Photoshop in order to enhance the quality of the graphics I post. My website is very niche, however one thing I am sure of will stay consistent: my vegetarianism! I’ve learned so much in regard to best strategies to developing an online presence, and hope to continue applying those skills in the future.

 

References

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

Gertz, T. (2015). “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” Retrieved from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Nash, R. et al. (n.d.). What Is the Business of Literature? Retrieved from: https://www.vqronline.org/articles/what-business-literature

Suler, J. (2004). “The Online Disinhibition Effect”. Cyberpsychology & behavior 7(3), 321-326. Retrieved from: http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

Warner, M. (2002). “Publics and Counterpublics”. Quarterly Journal of Speech. 88(4). Retrieved from: http://knowledgepublic.pbworks.com/f/warnerPubCounterP.pdf

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Process Post #8: Collaborations

Collaboration week was in my opinion quite successful. Keeping in theme with my blog, I teamed up with a couple of my friends to ask them so of their most awkward moments. I thought it would be nice for readers (the intended audience) to know that awkwardness happens to everyone not only myself. The whole point of the blog is for individuals to feel like they have a space, a space where they feel like it’s okay to not be perfect and polished, we all go through embarrassing moments and sharing them will hopefully help my readers into realizing this.

Through this exercise, I realized how beneficial it could be for bloggers or online publishers to collaborate with another in order to create more content that could potentially reach a larger audience. In the first week of publishing class, I had told the class that I thought that publishing was the sharing of information and although my views and thoughts on publishing since then have much expanded and broadened, I still stand by the fact that publishing is the act of sharing. Sharing not only with the world through means of technology but collaborating and sharing ideas and capabilities with peers in order to continue the constant flow of sharing.

My blog being the nature that it is, doesn’t often make room for collaborations since it is mostly my own experiences and daily life recording although even in a space such as this one, I have come to realize what collaboration can do to enrich one’s online experience, perhaps even broaden their mindset and inspire them to come up with new content.

In this 21st century, it is often said that our generation spends far too much time stuck in our technologies and we have lost what it means to connect with people around us. We have lost the ability to interact with one another with arguably has hindered the way we learn but what publishing has taught me is that sharing is alive now more than ever. Media as a whole as permitted us to share in a whole new way which yes, isn’t quite the same as before but still holds an importance in today’s digital world.

-Awkward Girl.

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Peer Review #3: Closet Affair

Hey Y’all! I am back here today with my third and final peer review! You ready? Here it goes.

http://miaericci.com

So today we take a look at Closet Affair (http://miaericci.com) written by Mia is the type of blog I always wished I could write. It is so cool! Your front home page is very girly and cute which definitely gives off the fashion blog archetype although some of the design elements that have been implemented, such as the background, can seem a bit busy to some BUT, let me just say personally, I LOVE the background with the “gucci cat” despite it’s repetitively. I think it speaks to Mia’s personality as well as the type of brand she wants to emulate in her blog persona. In her blog, she seems like “cool” just comes naturally to her which especially in fashion will definitely attract the type of audience she is trying to receive. I really like how all her personal blog posts include a picture of her outfits (which are all incredibly amazing!) with a short description of the items and why she chose to put them together.

One of her posts that I thought was interesting was the one about Bella Hadid. (http://miaericci.com/looks-2/beautiful-bella-3/) I like that Mia is sharing her own personal style but she also takes the time to tell her readers where that inspiration comes from, giving them additional information of who she is as a person as well as a clothing enthusiast. I think it would be cool to do weekly reviews perhaps of a look Bella sorted on the red carpet or out and about and then showing how she would pull inspiration from it.

I also find the inspiration page a good addition to the blog adding another dimension to simply posting about outfits she has worn, although the tab didn’t seem to include any information so moving forward I would definitely suggest adding more content to that page. (http://miaericci.com/inspiration/)

I think Mia, much like myself, is writing this blog to show her true authentic self and it is very much perceived through this blog. I believe that a lot of times in fashion, bloggers will try to cater to a certain audience for followings and what not but I believe that Mia’s unapologetic authenticity is what will attract her demographic. Considering this, I still do think that Mia should keep in mind what she would like her audience to be if she wishes to grow her site.

Just a last little thing, I love your Instagram! (ya…I stalked you a little) I think it is super cohesive with the type of persona/brand you are building on your blog. I think you should for sure somehow advertise your posts on your Instagram or link your Instagram in some future blog posts about outfit ideas etc., I think it would add an additional space where you could actively interact with your readers.

Overall, great blog I really enjoyed reading it and hopefully now with your guidance will be able to somewhat better dress myself.

Sincerely,

Awkward Girl.

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Process Post #7: A Review of my Review

I received my first peer review from Carly Camera and it was eye opening to what my blog came off as to others. I hadn’t really considered an audience at this point and I was more so writing for myself and what I thought was interesting. What I realized from this review is that I can have a personal blog with it representing my authentic self all the while catering to a certain audience and I needed to keep that in mind.

She suggested that some of my writing was a bit too casual and at first I didn’t quite agree because what I had envisioned for my blog was a comfortable space where people could feel like they were reading something their friend wrote, content that was not be intimidating or exclusionary. Although, after I had considered her critique, I could appreciate her point of view and where she was coming from. I can be relaxed and casual with also conserving a certain level of professionalism.

Another critique I had received was for my website design which I have very much changed since the feedback. Chloe suggested that the website seemed broken up since the colour stopped after the header and didn’t flow through the entire web page. I too very much agreed with this feedback and wanted to change it. I had realized that I needed to change my theme completely as the one I had originally chosen was to restrictive for the changes I wanted to do to the look of my blog.

Doing reviews for me are a bit hard because this blog is very personal to me and it is truly a work that I wear on my sleeve. It means a lot to me and so having it critiqued by individuals who also know that it’s me who wrote it intimidates me. Like in Suler’s piece about “The Online Disinhibition Effect” in his section about anonymity, thats what i most appreciated from having a blog in this course. It offered a level of comfort and doing these reviews removed that security blanket that I had been hiding behind as a publisher.

Even if the critiques are difficult do to myself wanting to hide behind my persona, the feedback is very much appreciated and I can’t wait to keep improving until my next review.

-Awkward Girl

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the self

The Self

As Suzanne set us off in our very first class with a vague outline of the semester, and one immediate task; grasp a sense of “the self”. Suzanne recognized how difficult it can be to categorize ourselves into just one passion, and how necessary it was to keep the process in constant movement. By her suggestion, I created a vision board. A map with my self at the center, and streams flowing outward; as I portion energy every day into separate areas of my life. At first, it seemed there couldn’t possibly be enough space to fit everything I care about, and the more I sat on it, did I realize the difference between caring and engaging. There were few but valuable things where I could say I actively participated and contributed to day to day. I settled on a play board of ideas; ranging from my family, friends, and relationships I keep and fight for, my personality and beliefs, things you would find out from a conversation with me, to what kind of a space I wanted to create and lead online. I primarily focused on what I expected my intended audience to like, being inflexible to what audience I could attract with the person I was at the moment; already believing I was not enough. Throughout the semester I encountered barriers, with constantly needing to create, anxiety in how people would receive me, and in trying to keep my online and real-life self synonymous. In this essay, I will reflect on how my attitude towards publication has shifted over the course of the semester, being influenced by course material and discussion, and real-life experiences and challenges with the self.

Before I took this course and delving into the process of curating my own online publication, I had only a surface understanding of what it meant to be published. During a writer’s conference, Matthew Stadler defined Publication as “the creation of a public, is essentially a political act…more than a market created by deliberate acts, the circulation of texts, discussions, and gatherings in physical space…together these construct a space of conversation that is a public space which beckons a public into being” (2010). This opened my eyes to how broad publication can be, as we write formal papers and update our social media, we are creating and encouraging dialogue. It felt as if I was bringing something to life, forming something into existence. Hossein Derakhshan, a contributor to Medium explained the power of blogs to connect people miles apart, that they “were windows into lives you’d rarely know much about; bridges that connected different lives to each other and thereby changed them…; were cafes where people exchanged diverse ideas on any and every topic you could possibly be interested in.” (2015). It felt compelling to have a piece of the internet dedicated to funny things I wanted to share, more serious reflections, and experiences I could more easily relate to others. At first, I was intrigued by the freedom of my own domain online, and later overwhelmed by how many executive decisions I was confronted by; I learned I had to trust my instinct, and that the design of my vision would be achieved. However, the vision I had in my head felt far-fetched from the actual me, and this affected the process of conceptualizing my brand and making my posts; I let a standard hinder me from exploring my true self. The pressure of being perfect in my own eyes, made me dread having to make posts and upload on social media; It was as if I failed before I even started. But something changed, as I started to post more on Instagram as myself; I showed a side to myself that encompassed my attitude and beliefs and was celebrated for it.

I believed that blog-writing only focused on the reaction of the reader, and was surprised to realize I as the author, changed in the process; of digging deep to create content with depth and emotional relatability. But my blog was live and alive, Campbell states “technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes” (2009).  The online environment of my own domain was a dynamic that grew with me as I evolved; If I chose to be more personal and honest about my beliefs on Instagram, there was a shift in my “self”. Going back to my vision board, I realized that subconsciously over time, the areas of my life that I was working on the most were where I chose to highlight in my online self. I was spending more time at volunteer events with an organization called Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) and helping a fundraiser at my past high school. I was spending more time with friends who accepted me just as I was, and I recognized that those were the kind of people I wanted as my audience, as my reach. The validation from my family and friends in who I was, helped me find confidence in publishing my true self online, and in everyday life. I was surprised to see how “In developing this ‘personal cyberinfrastructure’ … [students] are the subjects of their learning, not the objects of education technology software” (Watters, 2015).  As I began with allowing my online domain to control me and my creative process, by the end of the semester I changed that around.

I’m glad I took this course, it filled gaps in my knowledge about publication, blogs, and online domains, and most importantly; allowed me to see my true self as enough.

 

References list

Campbell G. (2009, September/October) “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.” EDUCAUSE Review 44 (5) Retrieved from: http://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure

Derakhshan, H. (2015, July) “The Web We Have to Save.” Medium Corporation. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/matter/the-web-we-have-to-save-2eb1fe15a426

Stadler, M. (2010, May 21) “What is Publication?” Talk from the Richard Hugo House’s writer’s conference, Seattle, WA. Retrieved from: http://vimeo.com/14888791

Watters, A. (2015, July 15) “The Web We Need to Give to Students.” Medium Corporation. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/bright/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

Lift + Breakfast Bakery

Ever been stuck on the North Shore and in need of some damn good brunch, but don’t know where to go? Or perhaps you do know where to go, but it’s full with a waitlist out the door (ahem, BLVD Bistro). Look no further! Here’s a restaurant in the heart of Lower Lonsdale that will blow ya mind.

ALL HAIL, LIFT BREAKFAST BAKERY!

A girlfriend of mine showed me this bustling breakfast joint less than a year ago and it’s been my second place brunch place ever since (BLVD ilu). I finally dragged my boyfriend 10 agonizing blocks from his apartment to come here, and I think I successfully burned a hole in brunch wallet for as long as he lives on Lonsdale, ’cause he’s gonna be going there, lots.

The scoop: You walk in, and their menu is on the chalkboard, coffee-shop-style. You pick what you want from a selection of intriguing Benedict’s, hearty hashes, and some sweet stuff too, like French Toast. They serve alcohol too (woooo!) so you can get a Bailey’s + Coffee or a beer, if you so desire. They have other drinks too, like cappuccinos and kombucha. So don’t worry, they got you.

The vibe is overall pretty casual — once you’ve decided what you want, it’s counter service, so you order and pay first, then they bring it to you. Their food is good enough that they can be confident they don’t need a server coming by to ask how everything tasting, but the owner will come chat you up if he’s there, anyway.

This time around, I ordered the Maple Bacon + Roasted Tomato Benedict, add avocado, of course. The boy got the Heritage Hash (pictured below with the web of crispy PARMESAN CHEESE ON IT). Look me  in the screen and tell me you don’t want that right NOW. You can’t, ’cause you’re not a liar.

Other items on the menu include a House Smoked Trout Bene, the Tomato, Spinach + Boursin Bene, pastries, breads, waffles, and sandwiches.

The pictures speak for themselves: if you’re in the area of 101 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, make sure you check this place out for brunch!

 

www.liftonlonsdale.ca

Essay #2

In the first week of the semester, we were given the task to present ourselves as well as reflect on what we thought defined publishing. My short introduction to my classmates included that I was a second year communications student, I wanted to work in magazine publishing and that I thought publishing was the sharing of information. That was the the first impression I gave off to my peers but this, in my opinion was not a good representation of who I was. Although through this exercise I realized that this is not the identity I want to be known for. Through this class, it gave the chance to show my peers as well as myself what I truly want to say about my identity, online and otherwise. The outlet of the blog opened my eyes to exploring my scholarly identity outside of my communications degree which was truly eye opening.

I believe that this blog style platform was the best way to uncover more of myself since it offered a sense of sharing and publication while also giving me the reassuring comfort of anonymity. As Suler (2001) suggests in his work, “The Disinhibition Effect”, there is an aspect of dissociative anonymity that comes with posting online which accords more comfort to the publisher to share initiate details about themselves since they cannot be known. Although in some cases this effect can lead to negative effects, in my case, it was the driving force to what got me to start writing in the first place. The anonymity gave me the freedom to curate my own content and being able to choose what kind of things I wanted to write about gave me the creative liberty to discover what I like to write about. I felt like I was sharing a more intimate part or myself with the world, I also felt like nobody was listening but to be honest, it didn’t bother me at all. I liked the thought of having my feelings and thoughts about the world published for everyone to read if they wanted to but the fact that it was somewhat of a public secret was what I enjoyed most about it. It was more of a release for me than a sharing of information. Writing my blog made me feel as I was releasing tension from my brain letting the thoughts flow out onto my keyboard without filters or having an academic rubric dictating them.

Audrey Watters (2015) in her piece “The Web We Need To Give To Students”, she argues that online student paces give them the opportunity to reflect upon their work outside the world of academia which if controlled by the school. I have realized the importance of this liberty in order to create a well rounded learning experience. One cannot fully explore the lengths to which their education can take them if they do not take the chance to explore their intellectual interests outside of an academic institution. The freedom to explore and create was always the last thing on my mind (Campbell, 2009) since in an academic setting one learns to give the instructor what they want or what we think they and so this opportunity of creating my own blog and opportunity for self education gave me the chance to do so explore those elements of my student life.

This blog was incredibly beneficial for my own personal growth and that is essentially the purpose it filled. It was not created with a specific audience in mind since at it’s core, was a forum where I could practice the creation of blog making whilst discovering who I am as an academic outside of the label I had already been given. Despite this realization, I did consider that my audience would be mostly females, ranging from 14-25 years of age who wanted to read something relatable but also inspiring. I wrote quite a bit about food and so if I did try and market my blog and focus on it’s rise in ratings, I would probably choose to continue in a “foodie” direction focusing on a Vancouver based audience which is where the food reviews would be.

I received a couple of comments from my peers and although some of it was constructive which was beneficial for the overall functioning of my blog through technical WordPress changes such as colour scheme or background but what truly stuck with me was their opinions on my online persona I had created. They both shared that they liked the way I wrote and that it gave off an authentic self that was easy to relate to which is exactly what I set out to do. Getting this positive feedback was so incredibly validating since the information I was sharing online made me vulnerable because I was essentially sharing a more intimate part of my identity which usually is not seen in an academic setting. Getting reaffirmation that what I was doing through my work was good and appreciated by someone, even though it was just my peers, meant a lot to me and gave me confidence in the continuation of my blog.

At first, I was upset with the fact that I was simply thrown into this experience without any guidance. In traditional schooling that I’ve experience so far at university, there has always been some loose guide to follow but for this particular class, you had to take your education into your own hands. Even though in the beginning I did not see it this way, I now know how beneficial it is for individuals, like myself to be learning this way. Gardner Campbell (2009) says that the cyber-infrastructure in which we create offers an opportunity for individual and personal teaching moments which is exactly what I experienced through the process of online blogging. I thought myself first of all how to write a blog but also through this experience got a better understanding of who I am as a student. I am not just a communications student in second year and through my blog I got the chance to share this side of myself. Publication is the sharing of information, as I had shared in the first semester, but it encompasses so much more than that. Publishing is the way of the new world where individuals publish in order to connect just as much as share with it. It gives the opportunity for personal and creative growth where the liberty to do so is not always given in a traditional academic setting.

References

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

Suler, J. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

Watters, A. 2015. “The Web We Need to Give to Students.” https://medium.com/bright/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

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Creating Creative Content or Being Content with My Creative Content?

Confabulous Conversations became my platform to express my love for my city. I wanted my content to be open ended as I offered reviews all the way to lifestyle. I began to take my role on as publisher but not in the grand scheme of things, it was more so for me and I wanted to produce content that I wouldn’t be disappointed with. I am the someone who doesn’t necessarily follow blogs or Instagram pages, so I had no idea where to start. When I began my blogging journey at the beginning of the semester, I was scared because I didn’t know what my personal brand was going to be. Over the last four months, I embedded myself into cyberspace and created an online presence. The internet a huge space and throughout the entire semester, my biggest hurdle was going to be finding a space for this website in the tangles of cyberspace. PUB 101 opened the gates to what is now known as Confabulous Conversations. Through lectures, guest speakers and tutorials I became somewhat aware of how to build my online presence. Throughout the four months, the website has undergone many changes in design, content strategies and targeted audience.

I find that since this blog was encompassing so many categories from personal stories all the way to review’s, it was hard to develop an identity for this website. I knew where I wanted this project to be but I didn’t quite know how to approach it until the end of the semester. I am the type of person who will start a project and take months to develop it because I am very particular with what I want and how I want it to look. I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with the idea of starting my blog from the get-go because I did not represent it to the public, let alone myself. Creating content with my perfectionism and recent unfortunate incidents has really put me off my game as online publisher. The funny thing is that as we approach the end of the semester, I am now starting to develop a real vision for this website and am getting comfortable with the idea of producing my own content.

Confabulous Conversations started out as a project for me and I wanted to produce content that was specifically targeted towards the west coast of BC. With that in mind, I had to create a vision board with what my content should comprise of. I am an intern at Daily Hive, so I drew upon their publication for inspiration. They are very Vancouver oriented but more so focusing on leisure. I wanted to take what they were doing and bring lifestyle into it. This blog is a passion project for me and I wanted to share my secrets about Vancouver to other Vancouverites alike or even tourists. I decided to approach the theme of my website with minimalistic options because I feel that resonates with the typical west coast. I decided to pull influence from one of my favourite Vancouver lifestyle bloggers, Beyunique. With the theme of minimalism in mind, it would align my content in a neat and orderly fashion (like my closet, no jokes). Navigation for the viewer was also the crucial thing I had on my mind. The last thing I wanted my the user of website to be lost in a cobweb of links and pages. I chose the theme of Kale because I felt like it aligned with the choices I wanted to make for my audience (BIG MISTAKE). I have never wanted to punch a screen more than anything in my life. Anything I did to change the design of the website automatically put me into a state of vexation. In the second peer review for my website, I was suggested that I change the banner of my website because the tagline under my banner “A Vancouverite Obsessed With Vancouver” was the same on my banner. I decided to change it and the font colour turned black and I did not and do not know how to change it back. This hiccup actually made me realize that the best way to start a website is to start from the bottom up and manually. This project has given more than enough reason to learn how to code and now I can truly learn how to build a website that is to my liking and meets my standards.

This blog has challenged me in ways that have gone my skills as a person who uses technology on a daily basis. This blog has challenged me quite analytically in the sense of determining what its value is and who is it for. At the start of the semester, I wanted to try the whole monetization process at the beginning of the semester. I wanted to know what the value of my content was and how I could receive compensation for just putting my thoughts out there. Bradley Freisen, who is a friend of mine and Videographer at Daily Hive (owner of Bentley the Bulldog). He is a YouTuber and he was discussing how YouTube’s algorithm has put him down so badly that he just wants to leave the creative space on the internet and just sulk. Most of his revenue has gone down due to algorithms that are changing faster than the speed of light. Not bringing light onto the shooting at YouTube headquarter’s albeit, the whole reason why the shooter did what she was because her livelihood was taken away from YouTube and the process of monetization. From hearing stories from people like Bradley, I knew I wanted the value of the website to be held in my hands and I wanted to produce content for the heck of it and have it held to my personal values. I could care less about what my analytics might say and who is viewing my website. This space is for me and to share my love for Vancouver. The perspective is coming from someone who doesn’t want to be sponsored or promoted. If this space wasn’t deemed as my own and say if it were for my portfolio (which I am developing as well), the story would be a complete 180.

This blog is VERY much under construction and with the help and material I’ve gotten from this class, I know it could very well go places. I definitely do think there is future for this blog and me being able to come out of shell and developing my digital identity. I, myself, need to develop a relationship with this website and not look like it was a mess (felt like it sometimes). I want to create a personal brand through this website and make meaning out of it. My niche is out there and I will figure it out and implement it on the website but for now it is a work in progress. Through my four months of being an online publisher, the most valuable lesson I’ve taken away is produce content that you want to share at the end of the day, no matter what the shape and form is. My perfectionism held down a lot of the content that I had in my head and even produced because I felt that it didn’t match with what my vision was. As a content creator,  I need to move away from my head and just produce and let my voice run free, somewhere out there, there is a fish that waiting to latch on and I will reel it in. I am a very introverted first year who is getting used to coming out of her shell in a big school like SFU. I want to take the journey of figuring out my personal identity and having it tie into my digital identity will be rewarding because I am able to project who I am through a current medium of communication, which is the internet. The one man that inspires me time and time again is Casey Neistat and he once said “Overthinking the process will kill any career in the creative space. You just have to do, not think” and I cannot agree more as it applies to my situation.

 

Essay #2 – My own experience as an online pulisher

An Introduction of my Own Website

This fall, I started my website rachelbiubiubiu.com and named it as 36C, the name I use in every game I play. As stated in the title of this website, let’s see what this cup size can do. I have been hoping to create a website of my own for a long time; however, I didn’t implement any action due to the thought of I’m not good at programming. Thankfully, I was recommended a powerful software called WordPress. “Typically, WordPress developers tend to focus more on design aspects of the application compared to development aspects” (Rakhitha 329).

To begin with, I registered and bought a domain of my own I was so excited of my domain because it’s exclusive in the world. Then I read through some usage guidance and watched quite a lot videos shot by experienced WordPress users. Both the software itself and its guidance are very user-friendly, so computer idiots like me are able to get command of online publication within a pretty short time.

MY PUBLIC

My website mainly deals with online games since I’m fond of playing online games especially League of Legends and Fortnite. I share information of gaming with the hope of attracting game players all over the world to discuss and compete with me. And I also hope to know more about the latest trend of Internet games through communication with other game players.

At first, the majority of my public was my friends and classmates, because I shared the joy of establishing my website with them for the first time. And they clicked on my site quite frequently. Later, they also recommend this 36C publication to their friends and acquaintants. This website has been a highly convenient and useful platform to express my ideas to all visitors.

HOW AM I ADDRESSING THE AUDIENCE

I address my audience through a combination of photos, game review and introduction, peer review, relevant articles and so on. And I will update some videos as soon as possible. The website is consists of four parts, namely, home, about, blog post and Posiel. The primary color of this website is warm orange and soft pink, showing an atmosphere of youth and freshness. By designing the appearance and content of the site, I would like to share the funny sides of gaming and reveal the joy of a simple life.

With the help of Google Analytics, I’ve got to know more about my audience. For the reason that “Google Analytics is a tool to quantitatively measure what happens on your own business” (Justin 1) Comparing with essays reposted, the original contents created by me have been visited by a larger number of audience. For instance, I posted a pink keyboard and mouse I got as a gift on Valentine’s Day, not long after, I got lots of comments, among which lots of them highly praised this gift and asked me where to buy it. So, this technique contributes a lot to know what kinds of content are most popular and attractive then I can update relevant contents accordingly. From comments of my audience, I also learn that the majority of them are teenagers like me. To my surprise, some of them did not play games before, but they still click on my website out of curiosity. Furthermore, they said what I updated has interested them significantly, so they’d love to give it a try. This is precisely the goal I intend to achieve, that is to spread the joy of playing games.

I’ve received a various type of comment through e-mails. Most of them are words admiring the effort I’ve spent to manage this website, but some of them are sharp words of criticizing me for showing off and wasting time. I have to admit that I was upset when seeing these unfriendly words, but later I think that people do have different opinions and I will still stick to what I enjoy doing. Since “A considered and well-executed response will help repair the damage of negative comments” (Newson & Patten 19), I should be more prepared for the potentially harmful comments and respond to them appropriately.

Looking back, this website has helped me to realize that my understanding of games is not yet profound enough and I should communicate with and learn more from my audience. Looking forward, I would like to continue to blog by updating more photos and videos. Most importantly, I will spare no effort to test and recommend marvelous online games to my audience. I cherish this platform a lot and wish to keep it as a digital diary to document my life as well as share with game players all over the world.

Works Cited

Rakhitha Nimesh Ratnayake. WordPress Web Application Development   https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=mnc5DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA329&dq=WordPress+importance&hl=zh-CN&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3l4CzuvjZAhVrxoMKHQmKA04Q6AEIPTAD#v=onepage&q=WordPress%20importance&f=false

Cutroni, Justin. Google Analytics: Understanding Visitor Behavior https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=jDpN8YAQSNcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Google+Analytics&hl=zh-CN&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjuvLbBu_jZAhWo5YMKHVkRB1sQ6AEIOTAC#v=onepage&q=Google%20Analytics&f=false

Newson, A. Patten, J. Blogging and Other Social Media. Web. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.hk/books?isbn=1351955187

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2018 Update on The Life of Pip

Hi everyone,

I don’t know how many of you may be reading this since it’s been a while since we were all looking at each other’s websites. Anyways, you might be sad, depressed, worried, anxious, etc. about the fact that there are no more posts and pictures of Pippen on this. Well, don’t fret because I have created a new website and transferred all of the blog posts as well as created new ones.

Head over to my new website for the same amount of fun, but with faster loading time and great SEO. 😉

Essay #2: My Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#posiel: community building

I only have 3 golden rules for my website:

1. Have fun.
2. Hate comments will not be tolerated.

3. You must participate in the polls, but only if you want to.

How many shrimps do you have to eat before your skin turns pink?

Yes
No
Maybe
42
Created with Survey Creator

RAMEN #1: The Ramen Butcher

The Ramen Butcher is one of the best ramen places in Vancouver! 

Located in Chinatown, and a short walk away from the Main Street – Science World station. It’s a very small shop, with cute decor. Might be difficult to get a table, especially during peak times, or if you have a big group. But a great place to bring a date! 

   

This was my second time going to Butchers (what my friends and I call the restaurant), and both times we have splurged and ordered more than we should. Last time I had the Shoyu Ramen. It was a light broth, quite oily but that’s normal, great if you don’t want anything too rich. I also got the truffle gyoza, which has gotta be the most flavorful explosion ever. It’s basically gyozas with cheese and a truffle aioli on top. It’s so incredibly delicious, it feels almost guilty to eat.

 

This time, I coincidentally went during happy hour, so of course I had to order off the happy hour menu. My boyfriend got the Aburi Chashu and green basil Ramen. The Aburi Chashu was very disappointing. It’s a tiny bowl of little pieces of Chashu, that are a bit chewy and bland. Chashu should be a fatty piece of marinated pork that is seared, but it seemed to lack that fat and flavor. The green basil Ramen, is a combination of the Tonkotsu broth along with basil paste and Parmesan cheese. It’s almost like a pasta, since it’s so creamy and cheesy.

For myself, I ordered the cheese gyoza and the Ramen flight off the happy hour menu and added a chicken Karaage don to make it a combo. The cheese gyoza is a level down from the truffle gyoza, but still really good. For the Ramen flight, you get half a bowl of their classic Tonkotsu Ramen and then you get to choose either red and spicy, green basil, black garlic or orange miso for the other half. I actually really like garlic flavored things, so of course I wanted to try the black garlic flavor. It has a roasted garlic kind of taste, and I liked how it wasn’t overbearing, since black garlic a strong flavor. The black garlic went really well with the super creamy broth. The chicken Karaage don is some fried chicken on top of a bowl of rice. The chicken wasn’t crunchy but it tasted really good with the mayonaise and lemon juice on top. The rice is just plain Japanese short grain rice, so I added the Ramen broth, and IT WAS BOMB. Soup and rice go hand in hand. I was so incredibly full that I couldn’t finish the classic Ramen bowl, so I got to enjoy it later that night. I can’t get over how creamy the soup is.

On average I spend $20 at Butchers, but that’s because I order way more than I can eat. One bowl is enough to fill me up, and that would me about $11.50, or $10 during happy hour. They even give you an extra bowl of noodles for free, since the there will always be leftover broth. This place is WORTH it.

Til’ next food adventure,
keep munchin’!

#posiel: transmedia tributaries

I think that incorporating transmedia platform on one’s blog is great technique for expanding one’s public sphere.

However, I am notorious for poorly maintaining my existing social media accounts (replying to messages), so much so that sometimes I just opt for temporary deactivation. Here is an actual message I received from a friend:

… no. lol (u//w//u) I wam dwead. I wam a bwurried jwowanni.

I’ve mentioned several times previously that I am not comfortable with the idea of a growing public sphere, and that my blog is primarily a safe space where I can gather my thoughts for myself and for my three friends to look back on later. A growing public sphere would mean a growing opportunity for scrutiny.

Hypothetically speaking, if I were to integrate transmedia into my online publication, I think Facebook would be the most effective platform to utilize. Out of the social media accounts that I use, Facebook is where I’m connected with the most people, and the more people, the greater audience, so hopefully the wider the public. Each time I publish a new post, I could post a link to my Facebook for my friends to see.

Process Post 12

Community Guidelines 

Online comments are a bit of a double-edged sword – they can facilitate meaningful dialogue but they can also attract obscene and harmful content. According to Konnikova (2013), comments sections can produce a diffusion of responsibility because individuals feel less accountable for their own comments and thus, are more likely to engage in amoral behaviour. In order to combat this amoral and potentially harmful behaviour, it is imperative to establish a set of guidelines on what is appropriate vs. what is not appropriate.

In addition to this post, I think that I will implement my community guidelines under my About page or under a page where they can be easily found. In order for users to be aware of what constitutes an inappropriate comment, it is important that they first find, read, and understand my community guidelines. Therefore, it is imperative for my guidelines to be on a page that is easy to find.

The core values of Jkallu.com are sync with those of Book Riot. Jkallu.com values social justice, feminism, and inclusivity. Therefore, I have developed the following community guidelines for this website:

The following comments may be removed:

  • Comments that harass, abuse, insult, or discriminate based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, race, age, national origin, and/or disability
  • Comments that contain any computer virus or other malware
  • Comments that are threatening, defamatory, pornographic, or violate any party’s intellectual property
  • Comments that are posted for any obscene or immoral purpose

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#inthemoodformusic: let’s take a nap

One of my fondest memories during the summer of 2016 (the summer before I began university) was doing nothing. I loved having the time twice-a-days (two naps a day – one in the morning, and one in the afternoon). I especially loved my afternoon naps where I would wake up with the warm sun rays on my skin, the sound of the fan whirring as its air cools me, and the softness of my pillow against my face. In fact, I love this memory so much, that I often think about. If my life were to be made into a movie, I would want it to capture that moment, and maybe these songs in the playlist that I created would play in the background.

Happy listening!

#milkteaoftheweek: hawaiian fruit tea

As I’ve mentioned in my previous, I am sensitive to weather – which is why last week was such a party for me with the wonderfully warm weather. As summer gradually approaches, I would like to recommend to you the perfect bubble tea for a perfect weather.

Hawaiian Fruit Tea from Chatime is a black tea base mixed with miscellaneous fruity syrups and water – the end result of this concoction is a heavenly, refreshing, absolutely-thirst-quenching, fruity drink. A sip of the Hawaiian Fruit Tea is like a breath of fresh Hawaiian air. Save yourself that $700 airplane ticket and just head over to Chatime for an equally satisfying Hawaii experience!

I personally prefer the Hawaiian fruit tea without any toppings. However, if you were craving for something to munch on, the drink goes great with coconut jelly or rainbow jelly.

Happy drinking!