Monthly Archives: December 2020

The Christmas Song Book Tag

Hi all! Today I’m going to be doing another really fun book tag, which I found over at The Sassy Book Geek. Happy Holidays!

“You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch”: Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

Oh Declan Lynch for sure, he’s such a funny guy. I think definitely also Bellatrix Lestrange because she’s such a cool character (and also I’m a huge fan of Helena Bonham Carter).

“All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

100% The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline. These are both 2020 releases and I’m really excited to read them!

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Probably Simon from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list? b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

a) Maybe Locke from Cruel Prince…I hate him. Or maybe Levana from The Lunar Chronicles.

b) Wylan Van Eck – no doubt about that

“Frosty the Snowman”: Which book just melts your heart?

I had a problem narrowing that down.

“Feliz Navidad”: Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

The Joy Luck Club is probably one of my favourite books ever (most of the memories take place in China). I have to include Harry Potter as well because The Chamber of Secrets was the first book that got me into reading.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

I think the only holiday themed book I read was Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares ? That was pretty good. I watched the TV series the other day and that was cool too…book was definitely better though.

“Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

Probably Blue Sargent and all the boys: Adam, Ronan, Gansey, and Noah too.

“Baby it’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Snow Like Ashes…let’s turn this book to ashes.

“Do You Hear What I Hear”: Which book do you think everyone should read?

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter, by David Chariandy. Such an important read.

The Beginning of an End

One thing that I love about watching movies is getting to ruminate on the different narratives they present. Recently I’ve been reflecting on the idea of “starting over” while watching the drama, Start-Up. In the drama, the male lead recounts the times when “the wind has become a storm,” times when his mistakes have grown to become life burdens.

When I was younger, I remember imitating the erasing of a blackboard whenever I said the wrong thing or made a mistake. It signified “starting over” for me and eased my perfectionist mind to think that things were “back to the way they were.” This made sense to me at the time, but as I grew older, I went through events that I could no longer pretend never happened. While some were easier to push aside, others remained as lingering thoughts that affected my perspectives and decisions thereafter. As a result, I tried avoiding mistakes altogether. I thought that if I didn’t make any mistakes, I wouldn’t have to erase anything.

The truth is, you and I are fallen humans and therefore, are bound to make mistakes. Maybe we couldn’t control the turn of events, we didn’t know any better, or we knew the right choice but still made the wrong one due to a lack of courage or added pressure. We cannot retrace our steps to the past and change what was lived, unfortunately. Knowing this made it all the more difficult when I watched the male lead in the drama grieve for what he lost. I almost felt like he was expressing the inner turmoil that I wish I could put into words at times. The grievance to change the past can be a burden to carry. Nonetheless, he was willing to “start over” and pursue what he wanted afterwards. He didn’t settle for complacency but for a second chance. It was inspiring to watch him work to create a different ending.

“Starting over” or resetting can take many forms: it can be taking on a new mindset, pursuing the same goal but with an alternative method, or rerouting and taking a new path altogether. An additional investment of time or effort may be required and so it can feel like a waste of time, but I want to learn to trust God with my “start-overs,” to acknowledge that He never wastes anything. I am learning to perceive destruction as sometimes necessary for the successful rebuilding of something else to occur and that even if so, I can still be within His plan.

This is a reminder for both you and I: It’s okay to grieve and wrestle with our past, but we must learn to eventually reconcile with it and with ourselves. Each day is a new chance at life. We can choose to either keep circling in our regrets or to pick ourselves back up and move forward. The present is worth living for, and there is still a chance to change the ending or if not, create a new one. An alternate path may end up being something we never knew we needed, or it could be a different kind of beautiful, right?

To The First Of Many…

I finally did it! I made my first proper YouTube video, and I attempted to vlog my exam week. It’s tough to always remember to vlog, but I think with some practice it’ll get easier. Anyways, a lot happened in this vlog so I’d love it if you checked it out!

I also figured out how to link my YouTube channel onto the sidebar of my website so it’s easy to access. I’d appreciate if you would like and subscribe, and thank you for the support!

xx Savannah

Essay 2: Looking Back On A Blog for Life Livers

Week 12 Final Assignment For PUB 101

Throughout the  fall semester of 2020, I had the experience to create my own publishing domain on wordpress for PUB 101. If you haven’t guessed it already, the website you are currently reading this reflection on is the very website that I am talking about. My publication was formed with the idea in mind of creating the type of blog that I would personally want to read. With that as a guideline, I based my blog around a multitude of different avenues passions and interests, but mainly followed the theme of a creative adventure blog with an emphasis on living a holistic, well rounded, and happy life. Through this process I learned a lot about what it takes to create a public space, how hard it is to be creative and original in the digital world, how to engage with an online public by responding and adapting to feedback, and about myself as a digital media user. 

Part One: What Do I Even Blog About??

The first steps of my creative process began with our first course assignments where I created a vision board to outline the general “idea” of my website. During this process I pulled inspiration from different Instagram pages and YouTube videos. Both of these content sources came from pages that exuded “vibes” of living in the moment, pushing yourself in outdoorsy sports, adventuring, surrounding yourself with good friends, and having an optimistic and laid back life view. This all may sound slightly broad and general to you. I thought so too. Which is what brought me to the idea of “A Blog for Life Livers”, Where I could be as broad as I wanted by combining all of the things that moved into the general theme of a “life well lived” (hence my website’s tagline).

The first step in the creative process: Week 1 Vision Board

The second thing that I came to realize was that in order to create my own “original” content that I was cultivating my own garden of different ideas, styles, and passions that I have absorbed throughout my life and inspire me. I was able to explore this idea further in my week five process post “Digital Dressing up: Reflection” where I explain that “I decided to create my online identity for my blog in a way that invited all who simply live life to take whatever it is they need from a wide variety of content. Whether it was stories, videos, poems, or random photography from experiences and adventures, that there would be something for everyone”. During the process of creating my online self, the “voice” that came from the cultivation of my personal digital garden was a projection of the things that moved me and were the source of inspiration of what I chose to display on my website (Basu, 2020). I found that I related my creative process to our week four reading from Tanya Basu “Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet”  in a sense that the projection of my online self became a “digital garden” that “explores a wide variety of topics that are adjusted and changed to show growth and learning” (Basu, 2020). By being able to pull from multiple different channels of inspiration such as Instagrammers and youtube channels, I was able to create a space that was my own rendition of the pieces of media that move me. For instance, I drew great inspiration for my blog through a five minute YouTube video released this October 2020 of a young skier who has a passion for skiing and an unbelievable zest for life (embedded below). Content such as this fuelled my desire to create my own digital garden that moved others similar to how this short clip moved me. 

The clip that kindled the stoke and started it all:
Trenton Gravity Research. “Kai 3.0: Thirteen-Year-Old Skier Kai Jones Takes Flight at Jackson Hole”. October, 20, 2020. https://youtu.be/Q52poh9Hq6I

Part Two: The Blog in Action

Once I sorted through the first twists, turns, and speedbumps of learning to use wordpress and turning my ideas into digital content, I was able to put my blog into action. I imagined my public to be a demographic of teens/ young adults/ adults ranging from 14-30. I also imagined my public to be similar to that of the heavily engaged public of Instagram. This is due to the fact that pages with similar adventure/wellness/holistic living ~aesthetics~ normally attract that age demographic. I worked to address my public through multiple channels of media in attempts to “enhance (fan) engagement and expand our understanding of the original” as introduced by Henry Jenkins from his article “The Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Principles of Transmedia Storytelling (Well, Two Actually. Five More on Friday)”. Jenkins’ idea of the “original” pertains to the general essence of adventure and holistic well being that I aimed to create on my blog by using different levels of Transmedia integration (Jenkins, 2009). I found this as a super fun and creative way of engaging my audience through different styles of editorial design and content. An example of this would be the addition of my “media gallery” on my site where I showcase different photos and videos that I have taken/ made that appear on the posts within my website. In addition to this, I was able to dive deeper into creating a digital space to “unwind” the mind by sharing pieces of my own creative writing through short stories and poetry. I found this to be one of my most favourite ways of putting my blog in action and found great creative energy in displaying a “life well lived” through written words. This sentiment seemed to be shared amongst my public of readers and page viewers as my peer reviews, comments section, and google analytics data all showed that my “short stories and poetry” posts were my most popular and well received. I found this to be an interesting development as in the beginning, I thought that the most “attractive” part of my blog would be the videos and photos that I posted and only intended to throw in a poem and a short story as a fun little side thing to keep my content diverse and fresh. I used this feedback and adapted my blog post style for the rest of the term, focusing more on creating more short stories and poetry such as “Magic: Sometimes Lost But Always Found”, “Rain Thoughts” and “The Sun’s Solace”. In addition to this, I received feedback from my peer reviews that spotlighted blog posts such as my “Forest Foraging” post where I talked about mushroom hunting and recipes for coastal BC Mushrooms. I was able to take this feedback and use it to inspire further blog posts similar to this one. Posts such as “Sounds for the Soul”, “Good Food, Good Life”, and “Self Care: Yoga & Mindfulness Tools” all followed the same idea of lifestyle/ wellness blog posts that gave readers tools and inspiration for a healthier and happier life (or“tools for a life well lived”). Through this process I learned that the blog posts that I was the most passionate about and allowed my personality and interests to roam freely were the most fun and easy to write, and it seemed as if my public could sense that too. 

Part Three: Main Takeaways

One of the largest takeaways from my publishing journey was from the reading “How I Got My Attention Back” by Craig Mod. This was a reading that was given to us early in the semester and ended up being a piece of content that I took to heart and explored further outside of the classroom. This was displayed in my two part process post series “How I Got My Attention Back” and “How I Got My Attention Back: The Debrief”. During the span of these two posts, I took a month long social media hiatus (inspired by Craig Mod’s article). This allowed me to learn about myself and my own dependence on social media and also allowed me to practice some of the “tools for a life well lived” that I preach on this blog. I was able to remove myself from the jaws of the online world and afterwards, was able to come back to my blog with a set of fresh eyes that had a whole new set of values towards social media use. This allowed me to reflect on the image that I created for myself online and solidify what I feel is the importance of creating a blog such as this one that puts emphasis on mindfulness, well being, and enjoying every moment that life has to offer you. Now that this class is over, I want to continue to use this blog. However, in what way, I am not quite sure. From this experience, I re-kindled my passion for writing short stories and poetry and am now considering transforming this lifestyle blog into more of an interactive “vault” or “collection” that showcases my artistic passions such as photography, cinematography, writing, and poetry. 

My social media hiatus that helped me discover me to the elixir of life and the meaning of social media

Works cited: 

Basu, Tanya. September, 5 2020. “Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet” MIT Technology Review.

Henry Jenkins. “The Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Principles of Transmedia Storytelling (Well, Two Actually. Five More on Friday).” Henry Jenkins, Henry Jenkins, 12 Dec. 2009, henryjenkins.org/2009/12/the_revenge_of_the_origami_uni.html.

Mod, Craig. “How I Got My Attention Back.” Wired, Conde Nast, 22 Dec. 2018, www.wired.com/2017/01/how-i-got-my-attention-back/.

Trenton Gravity Research. “Kai 3.0: Thirteen-Year-Old Skier Kai Jones Takes Flight at Jackson Hole”. October, 20, 2020. https://youtu.be/Q52poh9Hq6I

My Experience as a Publisher: PUB101 and Beyond

Okay, I need to admit something.

I actually enrolled for PUB101 way back in the spring of 2019. I didn’t take it then (because it didn’t fit my schedule), but I was interested because of the positive things I’d heard from some of my friends at the time. I did, however, attend the first lecture to get a feel for what the class was about. And it was great! It was in an actual physical classroom. Anyway, I ended up dropping the class in the second week because it didn’t fit my schedule. But really, I secretly thought, “I can do this class on my own without even taking it! Maybe I should start a blog then?” — I’m honestly so glad I did because I learned so much about myself as you will soon read (this class was great too 🙂 ).

So, I did (after a lot of contemplating and people on the Internet convincing me to), I started a blog. I wrote about stuff and ideas I’d been thinking about, did some reflections on life, and shared my thoughts on interesting videos I came across. I was just trying stuff out, writing about a whole bunch of topics, and trying to figure out what it is I was interested in. Eventually, I did, and that’s where my blog stands today. Obviously, I fast-forwarded time on the details of this one because you know, brevity.

First and foremost, my blog is for me. It acts as a personal museum of my past where I can go back sometime in the future and indulge and get lost in my own past self — like a digital garden (Basu, 2020). It isn’t all selfish though, and I think it’s best explained with the blurb I have on my home page:

“I don’t consider myself an expert at anything in particular (yet), nor do I consider myself a seasoned veteran at the game of life—though being an extremely knowledgeable and wise sentient shaman would be epic. I’m only 21, and I’ve got a lifetime of experience ahead of me to embrace. My goal with this blog is to share my reflections on my life (past, present, and future), important lessons I’ve learned, and talk about anything and everything that fascinates me. My hope is that through reading the assortment of stories I’ve written you’ll be able to see life in a more positive light.

That’s essentially what my blog is about. It’s a treasure chest of ideas filled with things ranging from life experiences, personal stories, poems, reflections, things I’ve learned, and much. It’s me sharing my journey through life. At the same time, it’s me sharing insights. It’s me sending out an encouraging message with each of my posts. It’s me trying to be the light in someone’s day.

There’s one topic I know more about than anyone else, and that is myself. (Nguyen, 2020)

And who is my blog for? It is for people interested in personal growth and self-love. That being said, there is a slight quirk to that, and to explain, I want to draw attention to my mission statement:

Writing to inspire personal growth & self-love for the millions. Living to spark joy in the heart of one.

The quirk is that I am writing for people, for those who don’t believe in themselves yet, for lost souls who don’t know they are lost. I know that’s general and obscure, but that’s my goal. Because I’m a storyteller. My posts aren’t blogs or articles, they’re stories—stories I genuinely believe can help people and that people can connect with or relate to.

Which is a great transition into my next topic (!) — value. What value am I providing through my blog? And to whom? I touched on this a bit above, but I’ll expand. Again, it goes back to my mission statement. I ultimately want to help people live better lives. For example, if I want to instill a lesson on the importance of random acts of kindness, I will write about an experience I’ve had where someone did something nice to me and how that impacted my day and how it made me feel. The value is delivered through the stories I tell.

Editorial, design, and content — let’s talk about that. How am I addressing my audience through these channels? I think the core of this is the reader-on-website experience, so I’ll start there (the blog post page of course).

Each one of my posts has a featured image (the one that appears at the top) that relates to the post’s content in one way or another. I source these from Unsplash because all the images are clean and professional. This matters because of first impressions. I choose to use a professional image because it subconsciously sends a message to readers about the quality of the writing. Those two factors don’t necessarily correlate with one another, but if I used drawings I made in Microsoft Paint as my featured images instead, you can see what I mean. People wouldn’t take what I am saying as seriously. And I do want to make an impression on people.

Now moving onto widgets. I have a couple. If you’re reading this you can see them on the right. I’ve got a little blurb about who I am at the top, a search bar, recent posts, archives, and my favorite: reading music. Err, well, technically they’re videos, but, videos can be of musical content! *thumbs up emoji* I really like this addition to my blog because I feel like music (the right type of course, not hard-rock or metal) helps people get into the mood of reading, for me at least.

Comments. No one has commented so far, but I do send what I write to my friends and receive their comments through messages. How has that influenced me? It’s been really nice to hear from them and what they thought of each piece. They love what I write and always encourage me to keep writing.


At the beginning of the semester, I thought the publication of the self was just about an expression of self — since that’s what I had mostly done with my blogging up to that point. And in part, that’s a core feature of publishing yourself. YouTube’s old slogan used to be “Broadcast Yourself” (Parker, 2019). But what I’ve learned is that publishing is also about the audience and what they want. There has to be some sort of takeaway.

That takeaway can be in the form of practical advice and steps, a take-home question that makes people think, or just making people feel something.

This idea that publishing = expression + catering towards audience needs & wants was further reinforced in my mind as a legit concept by me also being part of the publishing team in my club. As the editor of SFU LYFE, a personal and professional development platform for students, I have to make sure the articles my blog writers submit are suitable for the SFU LYFE audience. If they are and do have a takeaway of some form, perfect. But if they don’t and lack a takeaway or the message is lost in the wording of it, I have to be strict in helping sort that out before the article is published.

Looking forward beyond PUB101, I plan to continue blogging and writing. And though I don’t plan on taking PUB201 since I don’t need it for my publishing minor requirements (but we’ll see), I for one will continue to write eternally until the end of time. I also have another secret blog which I won’t disclose the name of here, and I plan to pick up where I left off on that. I kinda stopped posting stuff to that blog in June of this year, and I want to use what I’ve learned in this class and see where that goes.

Adios!
—Milton


Basu, T. (2020, September 03). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/

Nguyen, M. (2020, October 06). What to Write About When You’re Not an Expert in Anything. Retrieved from https://medium.com/illumination-curated/what-to-write-about-when-youre-not-an-expert-in-anything-a414572972e7

Parker, T. (2019, May 05). YouTube quietly removes “Broadcast Yourself” motto from its official blog. Retrieved from https://reclaimthenet.org/youtube-removes-broadcast-yourself-motto/

Essay #2: Self-Reflection

My Goal I joined Publication 101 to learn more about how to market myself online. As a business student who hopes to concentrate in marketing, I thought this class would be a great way for me to learn. This class had no boundaries or strict guidelines, I was given the freedom to do whatever I […]

self assessment.

Over the course of the semester, PUB 101 has given me the opportunity to grow and take the first step towards beginning a dream of mine.

I finally began my fashion blog.

All I needed was a little push.

And deadlines.

Of course, the deadlines and the worry about grades helped in making this come to life.

I attended every lecture and every tutorial throughout the course. I listened, I took notes, and though it may take a little more time to get there, I learned so very much about how to successfully publish myself online. I have done the readings for the course and made attempts to apply what I have learned.

I have fallen behind on posting before, saved too many drafts instead of publishing them, and due to unforeseen circumstances (my poor camera!), have not been able to continue taking photos for my posts. Let’s hope Christmas brings nice things!

And I was quiet.

I’ve always been a quiet person. I’ve always been a quiet student. I don’t like to draw attention to myself and being able to hide behind a screen has made it even easier to blend into the background. I could’ve been more active and participated. At times, I wanted to, but it takes a little more courage, especially when most of the class also has their cameras off.

But that is my truth.

Overall, I would give myself a B or a B-.

Guidelines and Balance: Monitoring an Online Community

Week 12 Process Post

In a digital world, the comment section of any online space can look like a war zone. It has become increasingly easy to hide behind the security of ones screen and launch negative comments like virtual rounds of an automatic rifle.

Creating an open online space also means an open space for the darker side of the internet in regards to online comments, shaming, and negative feedback on a publishers content.

In the article “The Psychology of Online Comments” by Maria Konnikova, it is explained how numerous websites have created community guidelines by removing the comment section. Although the anonymous space of the internet plays can key role in creativity, it can also lend a hand to concepts such as the online disinhibition effect and the diffusion of responsibility and encourage un-civil behaviour (Konnikova, 2013).

Personally, I have not yet had an experience with “trolls” or negative online comments (which could be due to the fact that my blog is basically unseen by the public eye). However, in the case that I do blow up as an online blogging internet sensation, I have outlined below a couple of my own community guidelines for my own website:

  1. Regulate the comment section: comb through the comments to remove any overly negative, rude, or inappropriate comments that take away from the general “vibe” of the site. AKA, keep things happy, inclusive, and fun. Life is hard enough and I don’t need something as silly as the comments section of my website to promote anger and hate.
  2. Create a sense of balance (for myself and my readers): Although it can be easy to only focus on combing out negativity, I also want to make a point of responding to positive comments and highlighting little pieces of encouragement and joy that has been created within my online space,. This could be done by making a “community sunshine patch” page that works to highlight the more “sunny” portions of my online community. For instance, I could repost testimonials regarding positive feedback on this page such as “I tried this recipe and my family loved it!!!”, or “I started a daily stretching routine and I finally feel like I’ve claimed a space for zen in my own mind”. Another thing that I could do with this “community sunshine patch” page would be to screenshot and highlight positive interactions between commenters to encourage others to engage with one another and make an online family (awwww).
  3. Display a set of descriptive community guidelines on the homepage of my website that clearly states that this page will not tolerate any slandering or hate towards others, gender, age, abilities, viewpoints on topics, race, or religion. Basically telling commenters to be open minded, respectful, and kind.

Works Cited: Konnikova, Maria. 2013. “The Psychology of Online Comments”. http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-psychology-of-online-comments

Trans-media Integration

Week 11 Process Post

This week, I am reflecting upon ways that I have integrated different forms of media within the content of my website in order to make it eye catching and interactive for readers and page visitors. At the beginning of the semester, my plan was to integrate different channels of media into my blog such as photos, videos, music, references to alternate websites such as Pinterest, and links to alternate pages such as sites for recipes and additional readings. By doing so, I aimed to create different levels of story telling that added to the general theme of a “life well lived” hoping to layer content that applied to all areas of life, to best fit the idea of “A Blog for Life Livers”. Much like how Henry Jenkins explains Transmedia Storytelling in his article “Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Principles of Transmedia Storytelling (Well, Two Actually, Five More on Friday)”, I worked to integrate different channels of media into my website in such a way that accounted for the idea that “each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story” (Jenkins, 2009). Although Jenkins’ article mainly refers to Transmedia integration in relation to multiverses and fan fiction, I believe that this concept still applies to my website and the creation of my blog as I looked to use multiple channels of media integration within my site to “enhance engagement and expand ones understanding (Jenkins, 2009) and help readers dive deeper into a life well lived.

Works cited:

Henry Jenkins. “The Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Principles of Transmedia Storytelling (Well, Two Actually. Five More on Friday).” Henry Jenkins, Henry Jenkins, 12 Dec. 2009, henryjenkins.org/2009/12/the_revenge_of_the_origami_uni.html. 

Week 12: Trolling and Wrap up thoughts

This week was our last ‘learning lecture’. The last one where we actually learn something, the next lecture will be our final lecture where we go through each other’s blogs and share our experiences.

This week was about trolling and cyber-bullying. 

Frankly, I’m a bit biased when it comes to trolling and bullying. I’m all for it as long as it doesn’t involve me. Now I’m going to expand on that before it gets misinterpreted.

Bullying large media personalities or corporations who are mean and all round terrible is not something I feel too bad about. For example, people have relentlessly bullied and trolled the Trump campaign and Rudi Gulliani on social media for all the dumb things they do. While I agree that they are human and probably have feelings too, I don’t feel so bad for them getting trolled.

When United Airlines dragged that doctor off the flight, I joined in with the tweet storm making memes at United Airlines. Even though the poor social media coordinator had nothing to do with it. And that’s where I stand with it. My limitations. I love being part of a movement or bullying those who deserve it as long as my view aligns. Its mob mentality personified.

But the problem arises when someone bullies someone I don’t agree with. For example people were quick to cancel Sasha Obama for saying the n-word (even though she’s black?), and Kevin Hart for making homophobic comments 10 years ago even though he denounced his earlier comments and has moved past them. There was a twitter storm, there was outrage, but I didn’t agree with it.

And that’s the thing with trolling and bullying. I think we all like it as long as we aren’t the victim of it. We love to see Trump being trolled, or Juliani get memed. But as soon as the target shifts, we are uncomfortable. With trolling, either you have to like all of it, or none of it.

That’s why I’ve kept comments on my website. I recognize that there will be mean comments and there will be rude things said. And I’d like to say that I have thick skin and that it won’t affect me but realistically, it will. If someone left me a comment saying the yellow was ugly there is a fair chance that by next week my blog would be blue.

While I am not Trump or United Airline, I have decided to put myself into the public spotlight and I must unfortunately bear the heat that comes with being in it. Luckily my views aren’t too controversial, and I’m not that big so it’s a lot harder for me to get hate. But it does make you think: is it worth being a big blogger if you have to neuter your views at risk of outrage?

Week 11: Andrew McLuhan

Alright so today was definitely an interesting class. If you have taken a communications class at SFU or have simply walked by the faculty, all you hear about is Karl Marx and Marshall McLuhan. 

So imagine my surprise when our guest lecturer announces he’s the child of Karl Marx. Just kidding! He was actually the grandson of Marshall McLuhan. Which was the equivalent of meeting an academic celebrity. Just like his grandfather he was very well spoken and articulate.

He spoke to us about the “medium is the message” and McLuhan’s philosophy and views. 

McLuhan was definitely an academic rockstar. He was on TV well before it was acceptable for academics to be on TV, he was open with his ideas and he explained them well. The medium is the message touches upon the idea that form is more important than the content.

Here’s an example. When the TV first came out, people thought wow the message is what is playing on the TV. It will revolutionize communication. But the TV revolutionized more than just communication. It impacted interior design, status symbols, and urban design. 

You might be wondering; how?

Well, before the TV, houses were centered around a fireplace. Now, they are centered around a TV. Since a TV was this new invention, not everyone could afford it making it a status symbol for those who could. Before a TV, people had to live closer to downtown to be able to get information and stay updated with people. After the TV came into the picture, you no longer were no longer limited to live in urban areas to stay connected. People were limited solely based on employment. 

We’re seeing this shift happen today. With the pandemic and people working from home, we are seeing a shift in urban density. Why would you live in an expensive studio downtown when you could live in a cushy mansion near the suburbs? The medium is the message. The idea that the form, not its content has a greater impact on society. 

In the modern context we see how Zoom has made learning limitless. We are no longer limited geographically to get an education. Time zone’s mean nothing for classes as they are prerecorded. In future, this could also mean that people are no longer limited financially to get an education either.

What has been communicated, means nothing compared to what it was communicated with. What has had greater change on history, all the letters ever written or the invention of paper and email? McLuhan was an absolute genius and to watch his grandson follow in his footsteps of becoming an academic was equally inspiring. 

In terms of how McLuhan’s teaching relates to my website, it doesn’t directly. But I shouldn’t be asking what I should be changing about my website, but discover what the website has changed about me. I have become a slightly more expressive person, and I think I have now gained some web-design skills (as long as there’s a theme available).

Quasi GIF

Mini Assignment 6

Fall down 10 times but get up 11 right??

Here is a quasi-GIF that wears two hats: one that passes as a never ending short video loop that normally constitutes a GIF due to the amount of times I fall over and over again. And secondly, I hope this video inspires you to try- regardless of how many times you may fall down in the process.

Week 10: Maybe I should have focused on the backend.

Think week was an exciting one. We learnt about SEO. I have always heard about SEO and the benefits of it but i never really knew how it works. Until this week.

Basically you have to allow Google to access various parts of your websites and it decides where you rank (based on how well optimised your website is).

Interestingly enough, I paid 0 attention to SEO on my website. I never knew how time consuming it was. It’s certainly an investment, and a good one at that but I’m just not sure if I need it. The topics of my blogs aren’t things that people search for, and if someone is looking up ‘Amaansworld’ there’s a high chance they know me and will likely find the website. 

That being said, the SEO on my website currently is very poor. There’s like 8 different posts search results before anything related to my website comes up. I am on page 1 of google which i guess is good news. But I didn’t expect to be so far  down. There’s a lot of Amaansworlds’ out there apparently. 

I think as I will keep blogging more and updating the content, and UI of this website the SEO will organically get better. But if it doesn’t improve in 3 months of new blogs and website changes, I will start working on the SEO on the backend.

Week 9: Advertising Money

This week we had a pleasant surprise in class. Trevor, my professor for PUB456 was a guest lecturer for our class today. Of course he gets the most interesting topic about raising money. 

Trevor made good points about how blogs can be monetized or at least leveraged for free stuff. It made me reflect on my niche and made me realise that if I had picked something other than a diary entry I would have been able to make some good money. Had this been a food blog or a hotel review blog, I think I would have enjoyed some of the leverage that comes with that. 

Unfortunately as a blog with an extremely limited target audience in an even more obscure niche the only real sponsors I could get would be Audible, Skillshare, or Betterhelp. 

Those guys have way better and bigger options than me for advertising. Plus because I don’t really talk about any products I can’t really put up affiliate links.

We did touch upon an interesting idea though. The idea of integrity. Since most of the advertisers who would want to advertise on my blogs would be running ads they weren’t allowed to run elsewhere, would I be okay with that? I mean do I really want to have an ad for dick pills playing on the side for a few cents each month? This was an easy “no”. But a few hundred extra dollars each month? It becomes a maybe. 

For now I want my website to be free of advertising so that I can maintain some level of free expression. Plus because of the size of my website I won’t really be getting a lot of money from ads anyway. 

Week 8: Copyright

So we just had an interesting lecture about copyright and blogging today. The lecturer, Jon Festinger is a copyright lawyer which was pretty neat. It definitely got me thinking about some of the pictures I’ve been using on my website.

Luckily for me all the pictures I’ve been using are either my own, or free to use for non-commercial purposes. I’m also using free-to-use online tools such as Canva and Unsplashed for some of the media requirements of my website. But I have noticed that if this was a larger blog I do run the risk of being sued for copyright infringements. Some of the videos I have made have background music I sourced from unknown websites, some of the icons and pictures I have used have been downloaded from websites I forgot to source. I think moving forward I will have to be a lot more diligent with my design choices and ensure I am linking and citing appropriately, and not just in my essays.

As for website updates, there aren’t any major overhauls. Since the set-up of the new theme and the colour scheme + header, I haven’t had to do too much work. I’ve just been working on writing content. It was pretty interesting to consider how I have so much power in the space of publishing where I can now put out content that can reach hundreds of people if I want to. Especially when just a few generations ago only some held the authority to publish work and have it reach the mainstream.

Week 7: Canva is underrated

GOD BLESS THE CREATOR OF CANVA. I needed a new header because I actually could and decided to use Canva to make a new header. Canva is seriously underrated. I was able to make this new header and change up the entire colour scheme of my website in just a few minutes. Next, I decided to add a featured image for my blogs. I had to download an extension that allows me to hide my feature image in my blogs but have it show as a thumbnail for the blog menu.

Some of the feedback from the previous peer reviews spoke about how I should organize the blogs all on one page rather than clicking to go to another page like I had last time. 

I’m happy to report that the new theme has fixed even that major issue. 

The blog colour scheme is now yellow because I feel that yellow has a nice playful connotation which is what I want the website to have. It was really tricky picking the right shade of yellow because if it’s a little lighter or darker it starts to look really aggressive or pick up a dirty urine-like hue. Luckily I was able to get the right shade, I used this online colour picker tool to copy the colour hex-code from another yellow image.

Week 6: Starting from scratch

Alright so I gave in and changed the theme. It was a tough decision because I really wanted to continue with the existing theme but it is just too restricting for me.

So this new theme that I’m using called signify is making my life a bit easier as it does everything I want it to. Except change the font. For some reason I cannot figure out for the life of me how to change this font.

On another note, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to what my target audience might be and what kind of content I should be putting out. I know this isn’t the best audience but I genuinely think it’s just my friends and family. This website is sort of like a diary for me as opposed to a project I want to commodify, which is probably why the content fluctuates from what is going on in my day to what is going on in the world. 

My next steps for the website is to have a nice banner that compliments the theme, change the colour scheme to avoid clashes, and figure out a way to fix the font.

Process Post (Week 12)

Community guidelines are crucial in terms of operating a blog or a site in the online space. The uses of comment section is the perfect example for setting up a guideline for audiences to take into consideration while having to use the feature. For example, I have decided to adapt and create guidelines specifically for the uses of the comment section; 1: Do not use foul or offensive language, 2: Please use respective tone and language, and 3: Do not use any racial or discriminative language. Community guidelines give general sense of rules that audiences would have to follow, that will enhance the quality and prevent hatred messages from being distributed within the blog or in any online space.