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. https://www.monsterinsights.com/how-does-google-analytics-work-beginners-guide/
Basu, T. (2020, September 3). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/
Heyes, S. (2019b, November 13). Transmedia Storytelling & Digital Marketing – 8MS Blog. 8 Million Stories (8MS). https://8ms.com/blog/transmedia-storytelling-importance-digital-marketing/#:%7E:text=In%20order%20to%20generate%20the,why%20transmedia%20storytelling %20is%20important.
Zenmedia_Admin. (2020, October 16). The Importance of Connecting With Your Audience in Marketing. Zen Media. https://zenmedia.com/blog/the-importance-of-connecting-with-your-audience-in-marketing/#:%7E:text=Connecting%20to%20your%20audience%20will,in%20order%20to%20stay%20. relevant.