Author Archives: Ashley

If I had all the time in the world… what would I do?

If I had all the time in the world, what would I do? 

I took a nap the other day—or what was supposed to be a nap—and woke up half a day later more refreshed than ever. 

That was probably more sleep than I had gotten int he past two months. 

But if I had all the time in the world, what would I do with it? 

Maybe, let’s narrow it down to a day—all the time in the day. 

1: Sleep 

Sleep could not be more valuable than now, but I know that I’ll need it even more 10 years from now. As a student, I could care less about my sleep. Like, yes I care about it a lot, but there’s not much I can do when I have a semester’s worth of assignments due in the next week or so. 

Plus I have to keep up with work and everything beyond school and work without completely botching it all. So for the time-being, I could care less about my sleep. It’s 12:53 AM and counting and I don’t have time to sleep. 

2: Travel 

Travelling is one of those long-term goals that I don’t need to fulfil right away, but I can definitely dream. 

If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be Europe. Just Europe. All of it. Don’t make me pick and choose specific countries because I cannot handle decision-making and this will only stress me out more than I already am. This is a discussion for years from now. 

Anyway, I don’t know if it’s the food, architecture, or aesthetic—it’s probably all three and more—but something about Europe just seems like a beautiful place to visit. Something about the landmarks, cobblestoned city roads, and European food just screams ‘chef’s kiss.’ 

3: Explore the city 

Now you might think that ‘explore the city’ and ‘travel’ are kind of the same thing… but they aren’t. Travel is a broad-scale, long-term goal-type of adventure. But explore the city is like a mini, everyday-type of adventure that I can easily manage on almost any given day. No need for advanced planning and extreme saving. Open mind and comfy shoes required, and that’s it. 

Though what would I explore? You name it: food spots, landmarks, places I’ve passed by a million times but have never actually stopped to see, you get the gist. 

4: Hobbies 

Whenever someone asks me what hobbies I have, I panic because I never know what to say. I am so busy with school, work, and everything else on top of that to the point where I don’t have time to get into traditional ‘hobbies.’ I have time to write papers, work, listen to music, transit place-to-place, and that is pretty much it. 

BUT with all the time in the day, I could probably relax and paint, read a book or two, try playing an instrument, or learn to origami-fold all my old homework because why not?

5: Spend time with friends and family 

As much as I hate to say this (especially because my parents think this too), I think I spend more time out at school and studying than I do at home with family. That’s just what the job responsibilities entail but it is just sad. I cannot even imagine being a full-time student working full-time at the same time. To the people who can do that, bravo. 

If I had all the time in the day, I’d meet up with friends who I haven’t seen in months—maybe go to dinner, go shopping, or just sit and chat in a café; watch movies with my family; take a group trip somewhere; the possibilities are endless. 

6: Alone Time 

Lastly, I couldn’t forget to have some time for myself. Take a break from my phone; go on a walk first thing in the morning; paint my nails; read a book; bake a cake; clean my room; enjoy a movie; watch a sunset; or just sit in the comfort of my own presence without a worry. 

I could add lots more to this list, but I can’t get too ahead of myself. There’s too much for me to get done right now, but in the meantime, I can always dream.  

Process Post #12: Questions, comments, concerns? How about a comment?

Comments. You can find or hear them almost anywhere.

Under your posts on Instagram; under that YouTube video you watched a couple days ago; from the hairstylist you see every few months; or behind your back and you may not even know.

Now those are just comments in general, but I’m here to look at online comments in particular.

The realities of the Comment section

While the Comment section of a social media post or blog are there for readers and viewers to express their thoughts and opinions, they aren’t always the safest places to be on the internet.

Depending on your platform and audience, these types of spaces can fill with aggression and mockery, anonymity and false information, and more (Konnikova, 2023).

Konnikova (2023) notes that this may have to do with the “online disinhibition effect” that John Suler coined and that I’ve brought up in conversation before. It’s that feeling of being able to say and do anything like nobody is watching because nobody knows who you are. Your identity is hidden by the shields of the internet, you could say.

At the same time, anonymity must be credited for its ability to encourage participation. Instead of fearing uniqueness and difference, commentors feel a sense of community. There is little to no fear in speaking one’s mind and the opportunities for creative thinking are practically endless.

Creating and implementing guidelines for commenting

To mitigate these potential issues, it would be good to create a set of guidelines for commenters and their commenting.

If I made a list for Two A.M. Thoughts, I’d make sure to include things like being respectful of others and their comments; keeping comments relevant to the post; using appropriate and clean language; and have fun with the discussion.

These guidelines are likely something you’ve read or seen before many times, but they are things that I would hope to see in the comment sections of my site too. They are values, if you want to call them those, that I uphold when I comment. So, it would be great to see that reciprocated.

In terms of implementing them, I would most likely create a page on my site dedicated to community guidelines. However, I wouldn’t expect every visitor to read that page before getting around to their commenting. Perhaps a disclaimer above comment forms with a link to the community guidelines page may do the job. Ultimately, it will have to be something moderated and reiterated until commentors catch on.


Konnikova, M. (2013, October 23). The psychology of online comments. The New Yorker.

It’s time to take a walk

It’s time for me to take a walk, a long, long walk. I just need to get out of the house, enjoy the weather that spring has to offer, and relax for a moment.

Seriously though, when was the last time you left the house to just walk? Wait—when was the last time I left my house to just take a walk?!

Bring me back 10 years and I would have said that this is the most plain and boring thing I could do as a person to have fun… but what do you honestly expect a kid to say? 

Whatever. The times have changed, and I know better now. 

When I find myself sitting at my desk all day on my laptop, anything sounds better than working. Cleaning my room sounds like more fun than working. Putting together IKEA furniture is more enticing than working. Anything but. 

But it has been a hot minute since I’ve taken some time for myself to enjoy the simplicity of the outdoors and the scenery of my neighbourhood. It sure sounds cheesy, but like I said: anything sounds better than working. 

I can just imagine how peaceful it would be. The sun would be rising over the houses across the street first thing in the morning. The air is cool but not cold—a comfortable cool. Once I get my earbuds in and a good playlist going, I’m all set. 

Depending on where I walk, I can see the mountains in the distance or smell the scent of fresh laundry fill the air. In the evenings, I can even catch a peek of the sun setting on the opposite side of my street or see the city lights glow in the distance. 

Not going to lie, this sounds like something I would have written in language arts class back in elementary school. The imagery is really coming together in my head but putting it all into words is a different subject. 

Anyway, the point is that I could really use a walk. Now you might be wondering, why don’t I just stop writing and get walking already?! Well, I should remind you that I’m writing this very early in the morning and the light of day is nowhere to be seen. 

On top of that, it’s late-March/early-April when I’m writing this, so the weather is the worst it could possibly be right now. No, it’s not snowing so I can’t complain, but rain and clouds are not any better. 

Give it another month and it’ll be nice and sunny out. For now, a good imagination will suffice. 

Also, let this be a good reminder for everyone to take a break from everything and relax. You deserve it. 

Process Post #11: Two A.M. Thoughts takes on social media?

Transmedia storytelling is a “process” as Henry Jenkins (as cited in, 2013) would call it. It’s a process in which elements of content—in his example, a fiction—are spread across a variety of channels and platforms. The goal? To create a “coordinated” experience for the audience.

This process works beyond storytelling as well. For instance, it could be integrated into our online publications and more. You may have seen examples of this integration online before and may not know it.

Transmedia integration IRL

Say you come across a YouTube video. You might then find a clip of it on TikTok as a way to promote the full-length video. It may be a montage of certain snippets of the full video or a short clip. You might also see that same TikTok on Instagram in the form of a Reel. That TikTok content could also be posted on Facebook as a video post. Same content, different platform, and they all bring you to the main video on YouTube.

Now, that may not have been the best illustration of transmedia integration, but that is the essence of it. It’s one piece of content that is deconstructed and reconstructed as needed to suit the preferences of other platforms so that it can be shared across a variety of channels. Together, they function to create that ‘coordinated’ viewing experience that I mentioned earlier.

Imagining integration across channels

If I were to integrate Two A.M. Thoughts across multiple media, where would I begin?

Something to keep in mind before I dig into that is that Two A.M. Thoughts is a blog with a lot of text-heavy content. This isn’t a YouTube channel with video content, so integrating my content onto a platform like TikTok might not be ideal. It’s definitely doable, but there are other ways we can approach this too.

I could, for instance, use platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase quotes or snippets of my posts. These would act as a teaser or preview for the full-length post which would be linked in the Instagram bio or Facebook profile.

Between Instagram and Facebook, I prefer using Instagram, and I think that my audience would too. I could probably also use a platform like Twitter to promote by posts with quotes and snippets, but Twitter is not much my forte or niche.

With more time, trends, and research, I can find alternative ways of integrating my content across different media, but these ideas are a good start.

References (2013, November 21). Pokemon as Transmedia storytelling

Peer Review #3: Stop by ‘Angie in Canada’

This week, I visited lifestyle and travel blog, Angie in Canada. So, keep reading to find out more about this week’s blog!

Angie in Canada / Home page

This is Angie and her blog, ‘Angie in Canada’

Angie in Canada is a lifestyle and travel blog created by Angie, an exchange student from Hong Kong. Her journey in Canada began two years ago. Ever since touching down, she has had the opportunity to visit some great places, eat delicious foods, and try new seasonal activities in Vancouver, BC—all of which you can read more about on her blog.

All in all, Angie hopes to share her experiences in Canada—particularly in Vancouver and at SFU—with her audience, taking them along on her personal journey.

Imagining Angie’s audience

Angie in Canada / Hello everyone!

Just from reading Angie’s introductory post titled, ‘Hello everyone!’, I’m immediately drawn into who Angie is and who her audience is: university and other exchange students alike who are exploring Canada one day at a time. Though I will say, seeing that this is a lifestyle and travel blog, I wouldn’t limit her audience to that specific demographic just yet. Rather, this blog would be great for lifestyle and travel enthusiasts like Angie. But anyway, let’s take a closer look at Angie in Canada.

Content—a casual and colloquial conversation

Something I noticed in each and every blog post on Angie in Canada is the casual and colloquial writing style used by Angie. I appreciate that as a reader because not only did the topics in each post intrigue me, but I felt like part of the author’s thoughts and conversations.

This writing technique reminds me of Suler’s ‘online disinhibition effect’—that feeling we have in cyberspace where we say, act, and do as if nobody is watching—in that what Angie has written thus far is a reflection of her personal values.

The UX (User Experience)

The UX—user experience—of a website covers functional aspects.

The theme and design of Angie in Canada tie everything together. Right when you land on Angie’s website, you’re greeted with a personalized heading and clean design.

Angie in Canada website header and navigation bar

The navigation bar is tidy and categorized by topic. However, I think the link to Angie’s ‘About’ page could be moved from the top-right corner of the screen to the navigation bar so that all her pages are all in one place.

Other than that, I appreciate the addition of photos in each post to compliment the text content. For instance, in Angie’s ‘VanDusen Botanical Garden’ travel post, the text content is followed by a photo gallery that provides us a visualizer of her experiences.

Angie in Canada / VanDusen Botanical Garden

One more little detail that caught my attention and gives Angie’s website more personality is the integration of a Spotify badge in the right-hand-side menu. The badge features Spotify’s ‘Chill Hits’ playlist and updates regularly with tunes that you can listen to while reading Angie in Canada. It not only encourages interactions on her site, but it makes for a great reading experience.

Angie in Canada Spotify playlist integration

If Angie hasn’t had a chance already, I’d recommend looking into how else she can boost her SEO. Having a good SEO is great for builds user engagement, site credibility and trust, and user experience. Hollingsworth covers this in more detail in his 2021 article, ’15 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO.’

The UI (User Interface)

On the other hand, the UI—user interface—of a website highlights visual aspects.  

Something that stood out to me was the use of negative, or white, space. While sometimes white space can be too overwhelming and other times nonexistent on websites, Angie in Canada gives us an easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate design with an even balance between text and image content and negative space.

Even more so, the font colour contrast against the white space plus the sans-serif typography used across Angie in Canada allows for an easy reading experience on the eyes.

When you take all these different elements into account, you get a good sense of the image and brand that Angie is promoting—her brand. As Gertz (2015) notes, the pattern that these elements forms becomes its own “trademark.”

My final thoughts on Angie in Canada

In terms of overall marketability, I feel that Angie definitely knows her audience and has done an exceptional job at catering her content to them. Like a performer has a crowd of fans at their show, Angie has her own public made up of individuals who share similar interests as her and as each other.

Each post is consistent with the theme of her blog—travel and lifestyle—and doesn’t fail to engage her readers with curated photo galleries for each of her experiences shared. I think Angie has done an amazing job building her personal cyberinfrastructure, and she has lots of room to continue developing it through her blog.

So excited to continue reading Angie’s content, and I encourage you to check out Angie in Canada as well!


Gertz, T. (2015, July 10). How to survive the digital Apocalypse. Louder Than Ten.

Process Post #10: SEO 101: The basics

SEO is one of those fancy-sounding acronyms I keep hearing about, but I don’t know much about what it is. Yes, I know it stans for search engine optimization… but what does that mean? Well, I’m going to find out.

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a means of understanding and reaching your audience. Not only is it a practical tool that can improve a website’s searchability and visibility, but it’s a cost-effective one too (Hollingsworth, 2021).

Hollingsworth (2021) goes on to outline 15 different reasons we need SEO, including that organic searches are the main source of website traffic and that SEO builds trust and credibility.

While this is all great and insightful information, what does it mean for me and Two A.M. Thoughts? How can I boost my website’s SEO?

Three ways to boost SEO

Natural links. One way to boost my SEO is to include natural links throughout my content. These aren’t links that are paid for, monetized, or tracked in anyway. Rather, they are links that are there to reference other content, websites, or sources. Links are something I include in my posts regularly, but a majority of them are external links that take readers to outside sources and websites. One thing I’d definitely like to work on is linking and referencing more of my own blog posts in my content—internal links.

Analytics data. Website analytics are another way to boost SEO. Particularly, they help us track users’ behaviours so that we can adapt our site and content to suit their needs. Analytics are something I have set up, but I could sure spend more time looking into them to help cater Two A.M. Thoughts a little more.

Positive user experience.  A positive user experience can change everything for your site. Being able to offer users with the information they’re looking for in as few clicks as possible can make your site stand out from others alike, notes Hollingsworth (2021).

Takeaways of search engine optimization

SEO is an essential for all websites. There are so many more ways to boost it than the ones I’ve listed above, but those are just a start. Some things to keep in mind are that SEO is the key to long-term success. It’s a cost-effective and quantifiable gateway to new opportunities, so it doesn’t hurt to start adapting your SEO today.


Hollingsworth, S. (2021, August 9). 15 reasons why your business absolutely needs SEO. Search Engine Journal.

Process Post #9: Yum, digital breadcrumbs

For content creators, you could say that analytics are the key to knowing and growing your audience. But for the audience? Well, that’s a different subject.

For audience members, analytics means that our every movement, action, and choice is tracked. Pod Academy (2016) notes that most, if not all, the applications we use require our location information. We “willingly” give up our location for social media, digital payments, and more. We’re tracked by security cameras and the cookies on our browser. Scary, right?

What is a digital trail?

Something to think about is what is a digital trail?

A digital trail, according to Dr. Elisa Oreglia (as cited in Pod Academy, 2016), is made up of the remnants—breadcrumbs, you could call them—that you leave behind when engaging with the digital world. You may not mean to leave a trail behind, but it is just something that comes with the territory.

Anytime you use your phone, your computer, your credit or debit card, or anything that has a chip and is traceable, you are sprinkling your breadcrumbs around. But why do or should we care about breadcrumbs?

Why care about breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs are the reason your Pinterest feed suggests to you everything that you love and find aesthetically pleasing; they’re the reason why your TikTok For You Page is catered so well to your interests and likes; the reason why most random (yet perfectly-suited) ads can predict our next purchases; and so on.

Beyond this, companies and whoever else has access to our information can find out our political preferences, financials, and other private data.

A great question for us to consider now is, what’s happens next? Will our trails helps or harm us as we move into the future?

It might not be something we can avoid, but it’s something we can consider the next time we pick up our phones and other devices. For those of us (me) using applications like Google Analytics to track our website’s audience, think about the information you have in your hands. It’s more than you know.


Pod Academy. (2016, May 3). Digital breadcrumbs: The data trail we leave behind us