Author Archives: Gurjap Sahota

The Journey of Creating JaapsFilm

JaapsFilm is a blog dedicated to the unheard stories behind film photos. It was derived from PUB 101 where I got the opportunity to create my own publishing domain on WordPress.’Publication of Self in Everyday Life 101′ has been a wonderful experience for me. It has been a source of creativity and opportunity where my ideas flourished. My blog is based on a diverse range of interests and passions such as photography, storytelling combined with my lifestyle. I knew I wanted to make my blog personal in order to connect with my audience at a profound level. JaapsFilm was developed with the plan in mind to create a blog that I would personally want to read and be interested in. Looking back, I vividly remember the anxiety I had at the beginning of the semester from the uncertainty about the future of JaapsFilm. I was so worried about the big picture that the process of creating JaapsFilm became overwhelming. My experience as an online publisher has definitely been a constant learning experience but I can say that JaapsFilm has bought my visions and ideas to life.

I’ve always been passionate about taking film pictures from a young age and I’m grateful that I finally had a space to share my work with others. JaapsFilm is all about engaging my viewers with informative yet enthralling content while personalizing each blog post because after all, my website is a lifestyle blog. The core focus was to create a space where everyone is welcomed despite their age, race, gender identity, etc. My design and editorial decisions have been heavily based on my perception of my imagined audience. I tried to make everything super accessible but primarily, my goal has always been to capture the attention of my audience with breathtaking photos. In an effort to cultivate my digital garden of different ideas, interests, and passions that I had learned throughout my life I knew that I needed to provide original content.

My idea of publication has profusely evolved from what it was at the beginning of the semester. Originally, I had thought online publishers create content and share it online which I was not wrong about however, there is so much more to online publishing than that. Online publishers need to take into account numerous factors before producing original content. These factors will be subsequently discussed as you proceed in the essay. Additionally, I had learned that my creative process was linked to Tanya Basu’s week four reading, “Digital gardens let you grow your own little bit of the internet” (Basu, 2020).

Creating an online presence and expanding it is a difficult task. In order to do this, it is crucial to plan strategies, build a social media presence, and most importantly develop an audience base. To be quite frank, I am still not where I had envisioned to be in terms of reaching my targeted audience online. However, I was able to identify who my public is and I believe that is the first step in establishing a strong audience presence. This was done through google analytics, connecting with my viewers, using social media, and producing content that intrigued my viewers. Through google analytics, I was able to find insight into my viewer’s usage, behavior, background, and that has assisted me in improving the experience of my visitors. Knowing the exact number of visitors on my site, where they are coming from, which device they are using has been critical for Jaapsfilm (Akhtar, 2020). As of now, I know through google analytics that my audience is primarily from Canada, 63% are returning to view my site, an average viewers session on my site lasts for about four minutes, etc. Moreover, when my viewers comment on my posts I am able to connect with them on a deeper level and I then use that information to produce better content. These comments help me adapt to the needs, wants, and understand the reactions of my audience which has significantly aided me in staying relevant. Recently, I had added social media outlets such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook to my site after learning that in order to generate the maximum amount of engagement, a story must reach consumers across all the devices and platforms they use (Heyes, 2019). On the other hand, my imagined public has been individuals who are interested in the stories I share about the photos I have taken. Since I truly believe that a single photo has the ability to ignite a powerful emotion that can make one feel connected to the moment that was captured.

The ultimate purpose of JaapsFilm is to give something of value to my readers to hold on to. I believe that could be accomplished if one is truly passionate about something. In my case, I deliver value to my readers through photography as I create a space for my readers to build a connection with a past moment despite them being present in that specific instance or not.

Looking forward, I want to significantly expand my social media presence on various platforms. I want to take JaapsFilm to the next level and work towards my big goal which is to give my audience valuable content. I believe trusting the process and moving forward one step at a time will lead me to my envisioned digital garden. After all, digital gardens are adjusted and modified on a regular basis to reflect growth and learning (Basu, 2020).


Akhtar, A. (2020, December 8). How Does Google Analytics Work? Complete Beginners Guide [Updated]. MonsterInsights.

Basu, T. (2020, September 3). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review.

Heyes, S. (2019b, November 13). Transmedia Storytelling & Digital Marketing – 8MS Blog. 8 Million Stories (8MS).,why%20transmedia%20storytelling %20is%20important.

Zenmedia_Admin. (2020, October 16). The Importance of Connecting With Your Audience in Marketing. Zen Media.,in%20order%20to%20stay%20. relevant.

My Site’s Community Guidelines

Process Post #12

The community guidelines for my blog site aren’t going to be much different from the guidelines on other online platforms. It is important for me to respect the views of my audience and vice versa. Jaapsfilm’s community guidelines strive to create a safe and fun space for all. It is expected that these guidelines are being followed by everyone. With that being said here are my community guidelines:

Respect other’s viewpoints
Respect the privacy and personal details on this site Do not defame others Do not plagiarize No hateful, unlawful, abusive, vulgar, racist, sexist, threatful, etc comments Communicate politely and respectfully. Always be thoughtful of others Treat others online as you would treat them in real life

I believe that the guidelines above are suitable for my blog site. The guidelines that I have created are not anything unknown or completely different from the basics. I had looked over at Instagram and facebook’s community guidelines for inspiration and direction before creating my own. They are just simple courtesy rules on how one should behave especially in public. They aim to create a safe online space for all individuals while giving my viewer the freedom to express their opinion. Now comes the question of how will these community guidelines be implemented? I will create a special section in my menu bar on my site in the coming weeks to access these guidelines. This way my viewer will be aware of the rules and regulations of my site.


The Instagram Team. (2021). Facebook – Meld je aan of registreer je. Facebook.

3 Things I Do When I Feel Like Giving Up

Blog Post #12

I am sure we’ve all felt like giving up at one point or another in life. If I had to describe what giving up feels like in a few words I’d say it is when in a specific moment you think you can’t do something any longer because you are mentally and physically exhausted. The photo above is of a hike that I did with my friends this past summer and I can say that numerous times during this hike I had thoughts about giving up and going back to my car. I am going to share a few tips and tricks that I use when I feel like quitting.

Most of the time if I can win the mental battle that I fight with myself before giving up I can find a way to succeed. There are a few strategies that I have learned over the years to overcome failure. I will be sharing three main startegies today.

(1) Distract yourself with something

Usually, when I go for runs and feel like giving up I distract myself with thoughts, future events, the things I am going to do after my run to direct my attention elsewhere. So that I don’t have time to say “I am tired”, “I give up”, “I want to stop.” I have been using this strategy not only for running but also for when I’m doing other everyday tasks.

(2) Envision your goals

When you are able to envision your goals it becomes easier to reach the finish line. For example, I make to-do lists when I’m feeling unmotivated to finish a task. Personally, the reward of finishing tasks for me is when I get to cross off everything from my to-do list. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and achievement which keeps me going.

(3) Find your role model

This one is a big one for me and has positively influenced my actions. Role models are pivotal for self-development as they create a standard to strive for (Fayyaz, 2018). A role model can be anyone who you look up to, inspires you, and encourages you to do better.


Fayyaz, N. (2018, September 29). Why role models are important. DAWN.COM., the%20most%20of%20our%20life.&text=Role%20models%20are%20a%20must, for%20or%20compare%20ourselves%20with.

3 Reasons Why You Should Go Watch A Sunset

Blog post #11

I absolutely love watching sunsets it’s one of my all-time favorite things to do. I try to go to the beach at least once a week to reconnect with nature and feel rejuvenated. Sometimes it gets hard especially during an intense week of school but then I just have to decide what is more important. Is it studying or watching a breathtaking sunset view and it gets pretty easy to decide from there onwards. Just kidding.

Today I will be sharing three reasons why you should go watch a sunset:

(1) You get to go outside!

Going outside has amazing mental and physical health benefits some including lower blood pressure, stress reduction, decreased cancer risk, boost in mental health, etc (Loria, 2018). So, this is a win-win situation, you get to watch the sun go down and there are remarkable health benfits that come along with doing so.

(2) You will feel more energized

There is something about that time of day that just feels so magical. I truly believe that it is one of the most beautiful parts of a day. All the different colors in the sky, the clouds, birds in the air, the golden hour lighting give me so much positive energy to take home.

(3) Helps you build an appreciation for mother nature

Nature is an incredible natural phenomenon. Seeing the beauty of nature first-hand makes you want to protect it from getting destroyed by big corporations. As the global temperature rise, there is a major threat to the environment. So, the more we appreciate mother nature the stronger will the urge to protect it become.


Loria, K. (2018, April 22). Being outside can improve memory, fight depression, and lower blood pressure — here are 12 science-backed reasons to spend more time outdoors. Business Insider Nederland.,bathing%22%20to%20 improve%20your%20health.

Are you content?

Blog post #10

I took this photo in early 2020 before the lockdown in Canada on my trip to India. My favorite part about traveling is definitely meeting new people. Although most of the time the interactions I have with people are very short but the impact is always long-lasting.

My family and I were visiting historical Gurdwaras in Punjab which is a state in India. As we were walking to the Gurdwara I saw this crippled man who had the biggest smile on his face. I saw a few teacups around him which meant he was being fed and others were helping him out. We gave him some money and in return, he folded his hands to show his gratitude. This photo captures the beautiful smile on his face expressing his appreciation.

Sometimes we have everything we need but still can’t find a moment of peace and appreciation. We always want the next best thing, better than the last thing and the cycle never ends. By doing this we forget to live in the present moment and lack gratitude. When I said that the moments I share with strangers are short but the impact lasts for a tremendous amount of time I meant that I always find something to reflect on in my own life which contributes to positive change. Contentment is about peaceful satisfaction, it is when you are grateful for what you have and where you are in life, rather than wishing things were different (Beard, 2019).

I am grateful for all the interactions I have with amazing people when I travel to places. What are you grateful for?


Beard, C. (2019, December 27). 7 Ways To Feel Content With Your Life Right Now. The Blissful Mind.

Incorporating More Transmedia Integration

Process Post #11

This week I will be talking about my plan to incorporate more transmedia in my blog site. This will include producing content for various outlets for my blog. Many content creators use platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter to reach more audiences. It is of utmost importance to note that, in order to generate the maximum amount of engagement, a story must reach consumers across all the devices and platforms they use (Heyes, 2019).

In today’s day and age, transmedia integration is crucial as it “forces people to tell stories with as much gusto as they can muster, using images, videos, animated GIFs, cinemagraphs, sounds, maps, and words” (Heyes, 2019, para.9). For a while now, I have been planning on turning my photography Instagram account into a platform for Jaapsfilm. This will work as both platforms are photography related and the content I post on 5jab_ is very much relevant to Jaapsfilm. I want to start off by posting more content on my 5jab_ accounts Instagram page and then I will slowly expand my audience base by hopping on Tik Tok, Twitter, and Pinterest. Gaining more audience is not an overnight job, it takes time and patience. I need to be consistent with producing content for my Instagram account and blog site!

For an audience that expects to be entertained at all times, online engagement is becoming increasingly difficult (Heyes, 2019). The best strategy for achieving that engagement might be to tell good stories that are genuine, factual, and elicit emotion (Heyes, 2019).


Heyes, S. (2019, November 13). Transmedia Storytelling & Digital Marketing – 8MS Blog. 8 Million Stories (8MS).

Reflecting on Peer Review #3

Process Post #10

I want to start off by thanking Tiana Paltiel for the insight she has provided on my website. Peer reviews are always helpful in understanding things in a different light and assist in incorporating varying perspectives to my blog site.

Firstly, I would like to clarify a misunderstanding that I came across in Tiana’s Peer Review. The No Text Needed mini assignment has pictures of the Sikh Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and is not of an Indian wedding. It is easy for someone who is unfamiliar with Sikhi and the Punjabi culture to mistakenly misidentify. The mini assignment also did not require any text so I couldn’t elucidate or get in to more depth about the film shots. However, I thought I’d be only right to adress this misunderstanding.

Moreover, Tiana suggested that I should link out to sites more often. I had also realized that I had not been doing that actively. That is why I have been recently doing that with the newer content that I have been creating. Still, I think it is worth it to go back and link out more sources in previous posts. I will be doing that sometime this week! Tiana also suggested that I should link out the camera I use and additional information about it. Coincidentally, I had already put together a post except I need to wait on some pieces of information to be confirmed before I could release it. All of these ideas are awesome recommendations that are positively contributing to my digital garden. Thank you so much, Tiana!


Wikipedia contributors. (2021d, April 2). Guru Granth Sahib. Wikipedia.

The things we take for granted

Blog post #9

This photograph was captured on my trip to India in March 2020. I believe that every picture has its own story and that everybody interprets it differently. When I look at this picture above, I could personally only think of two ways that one could possibly look at it. The first being, a picture of a little girl holding balloons, and the second being, of a little girl selling balloons. Now you may wonder which one of these two possibilities is true.

Sadly, this picture is of a little who can’t be more than 10 years old selling balloons to people. When I took this picture I didn’t really think about anything at all. All I saw was a cute little girl holding balloons and I thought I’d take her photo. Once I had taken her photo I immediately searched for my family who was ahead of me at that moment so ran to catch up with them. Reflecting back at this moment, I wish I had bought all of her balloons and treated her with some ice cream because she definitely deserves it. I wish I had talked to her, bought her new clothes, listened to her story, met her family. I wish I didn’t carry this regret of not doing anything to help her with me every time I looked at this photo.

I’m glad about one thing for sure though. This little girl is only a few steps away from Sri Harmandir Sahib also known as the Golden Temple which is also the world’s largest free kitchen. This free kitchen is also known as Langar in the Sikh faith. Langar is served not only at the Golden temple but at every Sikh Gurdwara around the world. It is completely free of cost and Sikhs do not discriminate against any religion, caste, gender, economic status, or ethnicity (“Langar (Sikhism)”, 2021). So, knowing that this little girl will never sleep on an empty stomach is comforting.

I will forever be grateful for the privileged life that I live. I am able to go to school and get an education which many children like this little girl don’t receive. It breaks my heart to see her working at such a young age. I hope that one day in the near future I get a chance to go back to Sri Harmandir Sahib so I can find this little girl and pay for her education.


Devashrayee, N. R. A. R. (2017, April 11). Inside the World’s Largest Free Kitchen. Vice.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 1). Langar (Sikhism). Wikipedia.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, March 31). Golden Temple. Wikipedia.

Inside the Minds of Content Creator

Process Post #9

As Susan mentioned, knowing how your readers behave on your website can assist you with creating the best content, posting at the right time, and in my opinion, the most important factor: establishing the correct engagement strategies. Analytics (Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.) is a precious tool that expands your audience base but on the other hand, it can leave data trails everywhere you go online. That is one reason out of the many why being a content creator is not an easy job.

Speaking personally, I use Google Analytics on my blog site and it has proven to be extremely helpful. The information provided by Google Analytics helps me strategically plan out my next moves. My favorite part about it is discovering things about the visitors who view my site. For example, a lot of my visitors are from Germany so I am planning to talk about the farmer’s protest in Germany. There are two reasons for this, the first being I want my site to be the voice of the voiceless, and bring attention to important issues. The second reason is, the German farmer’s protest will be relevant to my viewers as some of them reside in Germany.

At times it can get a little concerning knowing that I am leaving a digital footprint everywhere I go online. Especially, knowing that information travels fast and is often taken out of context (Hickey, 2013). That is why I always double-check my sources but overall, being mindful and aware of the content I post online is crucial to me!


Hickey, C. (2013, May 23). Post author: Chelsea Hickey. Social Media Club.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021a, March 29). Google Analytics. Wikipedia.