This week, I revisited Ryn’s blog, titled The Stars, Too. Her about page describes the website as “an amateur journalistic blog … wherein the author offers their analysis of shows from different performing arts mediums, as well as the industry as a whole.” To me, this description is a perfect and accurate encapsulation of the blog.
After looking through the posts that have been made since the last time I visited the site, as well as prior, Ryn is doing a great job of sticking to the theme of her content that she self-described. Clearly, the intended audience is those who appreciate the fine arts.
It would be reasonably accurate to argue that her blog is a digital garden. Tanya Basu elaborates on this notion, explaining “that they can grow and change, and that various pages on the same topic can coexist” (Basu, 2020). Ryn does just this – while she has a specific niche, she talks about various topics that fall under said niche, such as ballet and theatre. However, her website is a personal-enough space where she can share her own music. Therefore, not only is her blog a digital garden in itself, but she also includes her singing, which ties into the ethos of individuality, a crucial part of digital gardens.
In my previous review, I mentioned that Ryn could benefit from including other personal things in her blog since her about page only said a little about the author. At the same time, I acknowledge the importance of controlling one’s online identity and data, which is crucial when having your own space on the internet and more clearly explained in the article The Web We Need To Give Students. I think incorporating her music is a great way to create more personability and helps create a connection between the reader and the author; music is a deeply personal thing. She also has a poetry piece that I really enjoyed reading. It is about ballet, so it ties into one of her blog’s topics; again, it is personal and depicts a series of emotions.
It is clear that the intended audience is lovers of the performing arts, and every post on The Stars, Too has been published with intention. The theatre and ballet posts provide a comprehensive look into the performances, and the personal aspects, such as her poem and song cover, still tie into the main focuses. Therefore if the reader is on the website to look at a ballet review, they won’t be disinterested in the poetry because it is still about the same topic. This also means that the author will connect with the reader through personal aspects.
References: Audrey Watters. 2015. “The Web We Need to Give to Students”
Basu, Tanya. September 5, 2020. “Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet” MIT Technology Review.
This house is slowly collapsing on itself ever since you’ve been gone; life has been a whirlwind of lost time. The departure of you has created a void within me. I have realized that I’m more fragile than I once thought I was after you left me impairable by your destruction. I could never understand how such deep penetrating sorrow can drill into my brittle bones without puncturing the walls of my lungs, how my chest can be full of love and sorrow all at the same time to bear it all.
Time slowly escapes me; the only evidence of lost time is tainted behind my sullen eyes and the dark shadows beneath them where the ghost of you haunts me. I can feel misery slowly spreading itself inside of me, the heaviness of sadness weighing on my chest, remorse tugging on my shoulder blades, a seething longing building up in my throat of things left unsaid. A darkness has loomed over me, gradually spreading into my chest like a fatal poison bringing me closer to death second by second. A self-inflicted death, I don’t think I could ever stop loving you as your presence wraps around me like a second skin. Maybe love has always been a fleeting nature of a tender dying matter that could never be kept for too long.
The day you left, something shifted inside of me. I started tearing down the wallpaper in our bedroom and repainted it as if it could undo all the memories that were held within the walls. Sweet nothings scattered across the floorboards, I tore them apart one by one, hoping that your voice inside my head would ease away. I took down photographs of us, but your image lives permanently on the walls of my mind. I changed the sheets, but your scent has engulfed the entire house. I took the batteries out of the clocks because time has ceased to exist ever since you chose to abandon me. All that remains is the emptiness that has settled inside of me of all the things I’ve lost and loved.
“networked publics are both the “space constructed through networked technologies” and the imagined collective that emerges as a result of the intersection of people, technology, and practice … [T]hey allow people to gather for social, cultural and civic purposes, and they help people connect with a world beyond their close friends and family” (Renninger, 2015).
Renninger (2015) highlights, “SNSs are not inherently good at fostering whatever kind of communication one wants to engage in at any given moment”. I can attest to this as I find reaching new audiences and readers incredibly hard. I have read thousands of ways to attract readers and have been doing the work by posting consistently (once a week on Medium/Thought Catalogue). I had a few loyal readers who would comment on my pieces, and I am ever so grateful for them, but my stats were falling short of where I wanted to be. Looking at stats can be toxic and depressing, so I wouldn’t say I like to do it often, but knowing which pieces people gravitate to the most is helpful. The four affordances of SNSs are “persistence (posts are recorded and archived), replicability (content is easily duplicated), scalability (visibility of posts is great), and searchability” (Renninger, 2015). Out of the four, I execute persistence and scalability fairly well by posting on a schedule and having aesthetic visuals to match the piece I wrote.
To incorporate more transmedia within my blog and to engage my audience, I can create Tik Tok account dedicated to my weekly content pieces of poetry/prose where I do weekly readings. In addition, I can create exclusive content on Tik Tok before it launches on my blog to encourage my followers to follow my journey on Tik Tok since it is such a big app with a broader audience and the ability to get more views. Further, I can create another Tik Tok account dedicated to book reviews on the creative process to generate a conversation and exchange book recommendations that could be featured on my blog. I can also make an Instagram account and easily transfer the Toks to Instagram reels to gain more views and help solidify my audience.
References: Renninger, B. J. (2014). “where I can be myself … where I can speak my mind” : Networked counterpublics in a polymedia environment. New Media & Society, 17(9), 1513–1529. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814530095
Reflecting on my site, my purpose is to create a safe and welcoming community. Therefore, to keep that statement I have come up with reasonable guidelines for users on my site to follow.
The list is as follows:
– Refrain from hateful/negative comments
– Consider appropriateness (my site is for all ages)
– To respect and support others
– Plagiarize of any work is not accepted
– If you want to borrow any content from KeptCollexion, you must ask for permission and acknowledge the original author.
– Don’t forget to share this space with your friends and grow the KeptCollexion community.
I think that the guidelines mentioned above are necessary as it moves the direction in where I want my site to go and how I want users to interact with each other.
We all know that the internet can be a dark place. In “The Psychology of Online Comments,” it stated that many users on the internet post anonymously and freely (Konnikova, M. 2013). This gives freedom to anyone to say anything online which can cause harm in some cases like online bullying. But it also stated that removing comments doesn’t really create a solution towards anything as it affects the way how people can connect, and takes away the motivation to build a community (Konnikova, M. 2013). Like how the article mentioned removing comments, I still want my audience to speak freely and share their thoughts as it drives engagement. Although, with that privilege comes limitations. I want KeptCollexion to provide a safe and positive space for users to share things they love, and I plan to keep it that way.
I plan to implement such actions by adding a small section on my site displaying the guidelines or publishing the text beneath my “about me” paragraph.
– Eliza (aka Peanut)
Konnikova, M. (2013, October 23). The psychology of online comments. The New Yorker. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from
Recently, I have discovered the secret to achieving voluminous hair styles in a healthy, heat free way. That’s right, we’re going back to the 1960’s and pulling out the hair rollers!! I always knew of the hair roller technique, but the process seemed too difficult and time consuming so I never gave it a try until recently. I always relied on heat powered tools like a curling iron or a straightener when I felt like changing up my hair style or dressing up, but now that I know how to use these plastic rollers, it will be my go-to method! As we know, applying heat onto your hair regularly is very damaging and can greatly impact your hair health over time. Plastic hair curlers are the perfect way to reduce the possibility of harming your hair, as well as achieve what I think are better styling results!
There are several ways you can style your hair curlers depending on the sort of look you are going for. For example, if you are going for a more voluminous movie star look, you will want to place the curlers in when your hair is about 80-90% dry, and start by placing the roller on top of the section of hair you’re curling, followed by rolling the curler upwards (leaving them in for about 30-40 minutes). If you are going for a look where you want the ends of your hair to curl inwards and towards your face (perfect for face framers and layered haircuts!), you will want the curlers to be rolled downwards. To achieve this, you will want to place the roller under the piece of hair you have sectioned out instead of on top, and roll it towards your head from there. Again, you will want to do this when your hair is about 80-90% dry, and leave the rollers in for about 30-40 minutes. To get the best results, you may want to roll sections of your hair in different directions, using both of the methods described above. I am definitely still learning and practicing how to master the use of these rollers, so instead of me providing a tutorial I suggest you take a look at TikTok as that is where I have discovered these different techniques so far! If you are not on TikTok, there are plenty of step-by-step tutorials on Youtube as well that are just as helpful!
I highly recommend using the plastic hair rollers that I have been mentioning throughout this post so far, rather than other options such as velcro hair rollers. This is especially true when you are just learning how to put in the rollers properly and getting the hang of things.
When I got my first set of rollers, I had thought I had done my research properly and purchased velcro rollers as many websites and content creators recommended this kind. I was hesitant because I just envisioned my hair getting stuck in the velcro and it being a mess, and that vision soon became a reality. Not all of the rollers got stuck in my hair, but the few that did were a pain and just caused me to go into a state of panic because there was no way I wanted to cut out a big chunk of my hair! After about 30 minutes I was able to get them out, losing a bit of hair in the process, and boycotted those rollers for months until I gained the desire to try them out again. I figured that since it was my first time using the rollers I must have put a few of them in the wrong way and hence the mess I was left with, but the same thing happened the second time I tried them out. So, I concluded that my hair type is not suitable for the velcro rollers and went back on Amazon to try and find some all-plastic ones. After a bit of searching, I found some really good plastic rollers that came with a covering to help hold them in place, and these were game changing! They are super easy to use, and I have never had them get stuck in my hair. The rollers have also allowed for me to achieve the voluminous movie star hairstyle that I desired, and with a bit more practice I think I’ll be able to perfect it! Here’s what the plastic rollers look like…
The last tip that I will mention is that curling your hair before you put in the rollers can help you achieve a very voluminous look that is harder to achieve with just the use of the rollers. I have tried both ways and like the results, so I suggest trying out each method to see which you prefer! Of course, not applying any heat to your hair and just using the rollers on their own is the healthier option for your hair, but once in a while you may want to curl your hair before hand. Make sure to use heat protectant! That is one way you can help keep your hair healthy and protected from the heat of your curling iron or straightener! If you are going to curl your hair before applying the rollers, stick to using the large size rollers to prevent your hair curls from becoming super tight (unless this is what you would like to achieve of course!). Just remember, the smaller the hair roller, the tighter and more bouncy the curl in your hair will be.
That’s all for this issue of Exploring Style! Have fun testing out your hair rollers, and watch how they can make your hairstyle elevate your look!
“I believe there’s something special about the atmosphere of a cafe that fosters creativity and focus.” Albert Einstein Hi there, welcome back to another photo log! Studying can be boring most of the time and Read More
For my last peer review of the semester, I had the pleasure of taking a look at Maren’s site MindfulNous, which you can find here: https://mindfulnous.com definitely go and check it out! Through this review, I will be analyzing the content and design of Maren’s website, as well as the intended audience and marketability of the site. Let’s get started!
Marketability and Intended Audience Group
Just by reading the name “MindfulNous”, I was inclined to believe that the overall theme of this website was going to be around mindfulness, well-being, and self-awareness. I also could infer that the intended audience was anyone who was looking for clarity within themselves, as well as guidance and practices that will help them become more mindful and present. After reading through the content and becoming familiar with the site, my first impression was pretty much spot on! The overall look of the site is very fun as it includes lots of colour and a creative signature logo, so it welcomes a wide age range audience. Based on the content, I would say that more specifically all stages of adults, ranging from younger to older, could resonate with this site and fully understand and appreciate the context of the content the most. As discussed in the early weeks of our class in Micheal Warner’s journal article, Publics and Counterpublics, Maren has created her own public with MindfulNous within the broader public of meditation/mindfulness, and she has done a great job at doing so!
A feature that Maren has incorporated into her site that I haven’t even touched on for my website personally, is advertising. When you are on MindfulNous, you can find advertisements located on the sidebar of the website, along the bottom of the page, and in the occasional pop-up. As we read On Advertising – Maria Popova, by Tom Bleymair, opinions on advertisements being a part of websites are both negative and positive (2013). As a visitor of a website, it can be annoying to be bombarded with various pop-up ads when you are trying to read an article or navigate the site. This is not the case for MindfulNous I will note, as the advertisements on the site do not disrupt the users visit/experience! On the other hand from the perspective of an author/blogger, ads on their websites can be used to aid and drive traffic to their affiliate marketing links, which have the ability to be highly profitable. Overall, I think the incorporation of advertisements onto Maren’s site has definitely increased MindfulNous’ marketability, and I admire her for taking this step in advancing her website!
MindfulNous appears as if it has been around for a long time (and I mean that in the best way possible!). From plenty of well thought out and interesting content, to a design layout that incorporates every feature you would expect to see on a long-time professional blog/website, Maren has done an excellent job developing her website throughout the semester and I very much admire her for that! What I like the most about the design aspect of Maren’s website is the use of colour throughout the entire home page and in each of her pages as well as posts. As we learned earlier in the semester from a guest speaker we had in class, MauvéPage, sometimes the use of too much colour can be overwhelming and distracting for viewers. However, MindfulNous uses a balanced and effective colour scheme that enhances the overall design of the website. For instance, Instead of having a white background like most websites do, Maren decided to have a very light beige, almost pale yellow background that distinguishes the navigation bar/menu from the content of the page, and makes the entirety of the site visually easy to comprehend and follow.
On the theme of colour, integrating coloured text into blog post titles was also a very effective design technique as it ties back to the blog’s logo that we see at the top of the page. I also noticed that each category uses a certain colour for the related post titles, which I thought was a really nice touch! One thing that I noticed however, is that the yellow titles in the “Mindfulness” category bring out the background colour of the page, which slightly reduces the immediate visibility of the post titles as they do not stick out quite like the green titles under the “Philosophy” category do for example. A suggestion for this may be to make the post titles a darker shade of yellow if possible, but overall if that is not an option the current yellow text should not have much of an impact on viewers. Like I stated earlier, Maren has done a fantastic job developing her site, so in order to try and provide any constructive feedback I’ll have to get into the very specific, minor details!
Each content post on MindfulNous is well thought out, informative, easy to read, and inspiring. Maren has done a great job keeping up with both her original posts and PUB 101 assignments, which has kept a steady flow of content throughout the site. One of my favourite sections on Maren’s blog is her “About” page. Here, I gained an idea of Maren’s inspiration behind MindfulNous as well as who she is as a person, which allowed for me as a visitor of her site to see the website from a more personal and meaningful perspective. I especially like the four pictures and categories at the end of her “About Me” introduction, that enlightened me that Maren’s favourite activity is swimming, her favourite food is a smoothie bowl (good choice!), and that one day she would like to visit Costa Rica! This short list of personal facts was a really nice touch!
What I really like about Maren’s posts is that almost all of them have a feature image or some visual to go along with the content. After reading through all of the posts on this website, I felt inspired and reminded to stop and take the time to relax and look after myself. I felt this way especially after reading the Mindfulness vs Mindlessness post. This post reminded me the importance of appreciating and living in the moment, and how much peace doing so can bring you. As a student it is so easy to become hyper fixated on school work and the various stresses that come along with doing so, so this was a good reminder for me to practice being more present amongst all the chaos. Something that I also really like in regards to content, is that Maren has incorporated her studies into her website by adding a “Philosophy” category. The posts in this category differ from the rest of the content and main themes of mindfulness and well-being, but still fit nicely within the website not only because Maren is studying philosophy, but because philosophy itself often explores reason, wonder, and awareness; which appears to align with some of the characteristics and values of the site.
One recommendation I would make is not so much directed to the posts themselves, but to include a short blurb at the top of each category’s page that describes what the main goal of the category is, as well as what type of content you can expect to find there. I have been working on incorporating this into the category pages on my site as well, and find that it adds a lot of clarity and enhances navigation for users!
Overall, I am a huge fan of MindfulNous! I very much admire how much Maren has been able to develop her website throughout the semester, and was definitely inspired to incorporate some more features onto my own site! As far as the content, I think that MindfulNous can act as a good reminder for us all to incorporate more mindfulness into our lives, and I highly recommend that you check it out! Here is a link to the mindfulness content!: https://mindfulnous.com/category/mindfulness/
Bleymaier, T. (2013). On Advertising – Maria Popvova.
Page, M. (2023). Design. Lecture 6. The Publication of Self in Everyday Life. Simon Fraser University.
n the article called “Where I can be myself … where I can speak my mind”: Networked counter-publics in a polymedia environment” by Bryce J Renninger. It goes on about how the public can be formed by social media. Publics are a group of people who are interested in a specific topic or idea, and on social networking sites (SNSs) publics and counter-publics could be formed very easily. The article goes on about how the public has been forming on SNSs, and one example of a public is the Asexual community. The Asexual community has been online for a while, and “…it was not until then that an asexual identity, named as such, came to be defined and codified.” (Renninger, 2014). The internet is a great place to grow, expand, and jumpstart ideas and communities since it can be accessed from most devices in the modern world. Since the internet, there have been many social sites and chatting sites, one site that has grown greatly is a site called “Discord”. “Discord is a voice, video, and text chat app that’s used by tens of millions of people ages 13+ to talk and hang out with their communities and friends.” (Citron, 2015). Discord is a chatting platform, much like WhatsApp and telegram. Though notice how it is marketed towards a younger audience, which means the trends and topics which will be more popular will be different from other popular platforms. In the “discover” tab where people can join public open server chatrooms, Gaming servers such as Minecraft, and Roblox is one of the most joined. Offline vs online communities have very different properties, online is more accessible and anonymous, while in-person can be more engaging. Though everyone has their own opinion of which is a more effective one for engagement or accessibility
Renninger, B. J. (2014). “where I can be myself … where I can speak my mind” : Networked counterpublics in a polymedia environment. New Media & Society, 17(9), 1513–1529. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814530095
Citron, J. (2015). What is discord: A guide for parents and educators. What is Discord | A Guide for Parents and Educators. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from https://discord.com/safety/360044149331-what-is-discord
Today I was getting frustrated with the lack of accessibility that I had with customizing my website’s appearance. There was no way I could edit the colours of some parts of my website, so I decided to use ChatGBT to help with the CSS code to edit the appearance.
It took some playing around with but eventually, this made it possible for me to edit the colour and the opacity of my menu colour:
This was so useful and helpful, and I will definitely use it more to play around with the appearance of my blog so that I can have exactly what I want even with the limitations that the themes place.
You might ask, why weightlifting? I’m here to tell you the mental and physical health benefits of weightlifting, and why you should try it, just in time for the summer!
Weightlifting feels good! If you’re consistent, you’ll see results fairly quickly, and it is a good confidence booster. When you find something you’re passionate about and good at, it builds confidence. When you work on yourself, and it pays off, that also builds confidence.
Improves Physical Strength
As you lift consistently heavy, you will build physical strength. It allows you to perform other daily tasks as well, while also pushing yourself every time you’re in the gym. When you apply progressive overload, whether it be increasing the reps or weights, this improves your physical strength.
Improves Heart Health and Bone Strength
Studies show that weightlifting has many health benefits such as improving your heart health and bone strength. A study from Harvard demonstrated that 30-60 minutes of weightlifting had a 10-20% lower risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. It can also decrease your blood pressure, and cholesterol, and improve blood circulation, according to Healthline.
Additionally, weightlifting is great for bone development, as it tells your body to essentially rebuild your bones to be stronger when you lift. It also reduces the risk of fractures and whatnot.
When you consistently lift weights, some long-term benefits include:
Improve cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure
Ultimately, weightlifting has many positive outcomes, and speaking from personal experience, everyone should try weightlifting. Other forms of exercise however include jogging, hiking, pilates, yoga, or cycling. Until next time, contact me for more!
For this peer review, I was delighted to find out I would be looking at Antalya’s blog, cleverly called Jellylift, for a couple reasons: 1) I’ve worked with Antalya in previous courses– she’s lovely!, and 2) I am also a hardcore Jellycat fanatic. I mean, what better way to spend (way too much of) your adult money on stuffed animals? (See my prized possession on the Indigo website.) So, when prompted about how Jellylift markets to their intended audience, I immediately think “well… that’s me!” Before getting into the marketability portion of this peer review, I’m first going to dig further into Antalya’s intended audience.
Who (else) Is the Intended Audience?
From the name “Jellylift” and also the About page, it is very clear that this blog is dedicated to two things and two things only: weightlifting and Jellycats. Side note: I have to add to the pre-existing compliment pile for this super awesome juxtaposition– it’s super awesome. Individually, both weightlifting and Jellycats have their own passionate counterpublics, a term discussed by Michael Warner. So, it seems that these groups make up Antalya’s intended audience.
I know that the gym community, both online and in real life spheres, is quite a tight-knit and supportive counterpublic, usually circulating discourse around tips on form, advice on the best pre-workouts, flexing their personal bests, etc. (Is it painfully obvious that I’m absolutely NOT a member of this counterpublic?) On the other hand, the Jellycat counterpublic is bonded through obsessing over and collecting the cutest, softest plushes on the planet. Check out the Jellycat website to see for yourself.
So, Jellylift is clearly a hub for members of both of these counterpublics to enjoy. However, by combining the two comically different interests, Antalya may be single-handedly creating a whole third counterpublic through Jellylift– a counterpublic consisting of those who love to sweat and pump major iron AND embrace their inner child with cuddly toys.
I’ve talked a lot about these people who surely would love Jellylift, but how exactly does Jellylift market to them to solidify this love?
Marketability Through Content and Design
I have determined that both the weightlifting and Jellycat counterpublics are part of Antalya’s intended audience, but this is not to say that you have to be a part of both / Antalya’s up-and-coming third counterpublic to be a Jellylift enjoyer. Take me, for example, who a) would rather die than step into a public gym, but b) has no problem dropping $40 on a hand-sized stuffed cauliflower with legs, and c) loves Jellylift. Antalya does a great job of balancing content about both interests– check out her content categories for Lifting and Jellycats– while keeping them separate enough for pure lifters and Jellycat lovers to enjoy one and not the other. This is important as it opens the door for more (regular) site visitors– I’m not sure the same effect would be achieved if Antalya’s content posts each featured an integration of both interests.
Additionally, the overall ironic and casual tone used across Jellylift makes the content clearly suitable for Antalya’s audience, or at least a subsection of them. She talks about how Jellycat lovers and weightlifters could be generalized into a “youth” demographic in her process post Knock Knock… Who’s There? Antalya’s style of writing definitely sells to this demographic perfectly, as the language she uses is very Gen-Z-friendly, with dry humour, lowercase titles, and expletives used (tastefully and quirkily) in every post.
Jellylift’s blog design also contributes to supporting its marketability to these intended audiences. At first glance, the pastel text against the rich chocolate brown background is definitely not a conventional website colour palette, but it is undeniably aesthetically pleasing to the youthful eye. Jellylift is also very easy to navigate with the clearly-labelled menu, systematically organized and categorized posts, and use of tags. Although Antalya loves to use a fun title for her posts– such as “What the F**k is Content?”– all her posts can easily be located, and are additionally very readable and scannable due to her use of headers and links. All of these elements, according to our PUB 101 Week 10 lecture material, are ingredients for good SEO. And, according to Sam Hollingsworth, having a good SEO is extremely beneficial for marketability. He further explains how site performance suffers if these elements are missing, but Antalya’s got it covered.
Overall, Antalya’s content and design of Jellylift is all noticeably intentional and carefully executed, which evidently pays off in its marketability as well as user-satisfaction (cite: me). I can’t wait to keep up with Jellylift and see what Antalya has up her sleeve for the rest of the semester!
Bonus Content: A Short Response to Antalya’s Peer Review
If you aren’t Antalya, this peer review post ends here. Thanks for reading! If you ARE Antalya, keep scrolling.
Hi Antalya! I enjoyed your peer review for my blog so much I just had to respond to it here. Thank you for the kind words, I truly am so flattered that someone I admire so much academically and personally likes melatonin gone missing! I am obsessed with the justgirlythings posts you pulled for me, truly thank you so much. melatonin gone missing feels so seen. Keep your eyes peeled for when those make their appearance on the blog.
Me and you after our peer reviews:
Hollingsworth, S. (2021, August 9). 15 reasons why your business absolutely needs seo. Search Engine Journal. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/why-seo-is-important-for-business/248101/#close
Norman, S. (2023). Data and SEO [PowerPoint Slides]. Department of Publishing, Simon Fraser University.
Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425.