SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is a tool websites use to optimize the content on their pages to move their pages to the top of google search results. This is an incredibly important factor for businesses that rely on people searching for their business through google. A recent study in the article “15 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO” stated that around 50% of users click on the first three organic links on the first page.
Regarding my site, I feel SEO is not as important as using google analytics, as I mentioned in my previous process post. This is because I’m not “selling” a particular product, and when you search my name on google, the first four links are already related to my social media pages and this website which is likely due to the uniqueness of my name.
During the in-class demonstration on google analytics, I was skeptical about whether it would be helpful for my website as this website will solely be used as my portfolio. With that being said, the more we got into the google analytics demonstration, the more I thought of valuable scenarios that I could use to optimize my portfolio.
First and foremost, Google Analytics provides valuable insights into the performance of my website. I can track important metrics such as the number of visitors to my site, how long they stay, and which pages are the most popular. By analyzing this information, I can identify areas that need improvement and create content that resonates with my audience. For instance, if visitors leave my site quickly after visiting a particular page, I can investigate why this might happen and make changes to improve the user experience.
Furthermore, Google Analytics helps me track the traffic sources to my site. This means I can see where my visitors are coming from, such as through organic search, social media, or direct links. By understanding which channels drive the most traffic to my site, I can focus my efforts on the most effective ones, such as optimizing my SEO and user experience for those pages.
As a UX Designer, I know it’s crucial to ensure that my site is optimized for the devices and browsers my audience uses. Google Analytics provides insights into the devices and browsers visitors use to access my site. For example, if I notice that a significant percentage of my visitors are accessing my site on mobile devices, I can prioritize making my site mobile-friendly.
Hopefully, I will be able to effectively use analytics to boost my portfolio’s performance and land a job quickly in the fields I wish to work in.
Makenna Gardner’s personal blog is a platform where she shares her personal life and interests with her readers. Although the target audience of her site is not explicitly stated, it can be inferred from her content that it is aimed at people interested in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle-related topics.
One of the main issues with Makenna’s site is the lack of SEO implementation. As the article “15 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO” mentions, optimizing a website for search engines can help attract a larger audience. Therefore, Makenna could benefit significantly from implementing SEO strategies on her blog.
One of the most straightforward changes Makenna can make is optimizing her site’s navigation. Currently, the menus on her site are cluttered and confusing, making it difficult for readers to find the content they are looking for. By restructuring her menus with clear and concise labels, Makenna can make her site more user-friendly and increase the chances of her content being discovered by search engines.
Another way Makenna can improve her SEO is by adding more visual content to her blog when she writes about beauty products or shares her thoughts. Adding relevant images and videos can increase engagement and improve the quality of her content. Additionally, by including keywords in the alt tags and captions of these visuals, she can help search engines understand the context of her content and improve its visibility in search results.
Finally, Makenna Gardner’s blog can potentially attract a larger audience if she implements some SEO strategies. By optimizing her site’s navigation, adding more visual content, and using relevant keywords, Makenna can improve the user experience of her site and increase its visibility on search engines.
Text has become a complex concept in the digital age, as our understanding of intellectual property has shifted in favour of openness. The rise of the internet and social media has challenged traditional notions of ownership and control, with sharing, remixing, and repurposing becoming the norm. This has raised questions about what constitutes text, who owns it, and who has the right to claim ownership.
The article “Is the Internet Changing How We Talk About Slang Words?” highlights how the internet has changed how we perceive language. Historically, slang was associated with marginalized groups and viewed as a sign of low education or poor social status. However, with the rise of the internet and social media, slang has become more mainstream and widely used, and many slang words and phrases are now used across different social classes and cultures.
Slang words and phrases are a language that is constantly evolving and changing, often created by a community of people rather than by a single author or publisher. While some people may claim ownership over a particular slang term or phrase, the reality is that slang is often shared and spread freely among different communities and cultures. With social media and online communities, slang words and phrases can spread quickly and become part of the mainstream lexicon in days or weeks, raising important questions about ownership and control.
The internet is changing how we broadly talk about slang words and language. Slang is no longer seen as a sign of low education or poor social status but as a vibrant and dynamic part of our language. The internet has opened up new possibilities for creating and sharing language, and we must embrace these changes.
Fake News, Social Media, Digital Literacy, and Critical Thinking
This week, I took a little break from creating my website and focused on other coursework to which I needed to divert more attention. That being said, we got some exciting topics to talk about in our posiel readings this week that I wanted to touch on.
These things have been at the heart of discussion since the presidential election of Barack Obama and the infamous Donald Trump. In today’s world, the spread of fake news through social media has become increasingly concerning. As a society, we must prioritize digital literacy and critical thinking skills to combat dissemination of false information.
James Bridle’s article “Something Wrong on the Internet” highlights how easily fake news can spread on social media platforms. He discusses the dangers of unmoderated content, which often leads to the proliferation of radical and harmful ideas. Acknowledging that the internet is not a neutral space and social media platforms are not built to prioritize truth or accuracy is crucial. We must develop digital literacy skills to evaluate sources and verify the credibility of information.
Mike Caulfield’s article “Yes, Digital Literacy. But which one?” emphasizes that not all digital literacy is created equal. We must prioritize critical digital literacy, which focuses on the skills necessary to evaluate sources critically and identify fake news. It is crucial to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources, to understand how information is created and circulated, and to be able to identify bias and misinformation.
The recent case of Peiyue Wu’s article, “She Spent a Decade Writing Fake Russian History. Wikipedia Just Noticed,” highlights the need for increased vigilance and awareness regarding the information we consume. The fact that false information existed for over a decade on one of the world’s largest online encyclopedias is a wake-up call for all of us. We must become active participants in the information ecosystem, using critical thinking skills and digital literacy to evaluate sources and verify the accuracy of information.
We must address the spread of fake news on social media platforms through increased digital literacy and critical thinking skills. We must understand the dangers of unmoderated content, prioritize critical digital literacy, and remain vigilant regarding the information we consume. By doing so, we can combat the dissemination of false information and contribute to a more informed and responsible society.
As a designer it’s always start any new project by researching and analyzing other great designers’ websites to gain a good understanding of how they create a unique and personalized space. One website that caught my eye was Todor Dimov’s portfolio website, which I found on Awwwards.com.
What I love about Dimov’s website is the use of a minimalist color palette with clear san-serif fonts. These design elements guide the user through the site seamlessly. The homepage greets the user with a gigantic title of Digital Designer, which immediately grabs the user’s attention and sets the tone for the rest of the site.
The navigation is straightforward and easy to use, which is a testament to the attention to detail paid to the design. As discussed in the design lecture by Mauve Page, the spacing between elements “feels” really comfortable, making the user want to stay on the page and explore further.
One aspect of the website that I wanted to comment on is the change in hover states when looking at the projects section. When hovering over a project, a large image relating to the project appears as a preview. While I think this is an excellent idea, one thing that I find frustrating is that the content behind the image is illegible, causing me to repeatedly hover and unhover over the project.
To remedy this, I recommend making the image slightly smaller or slightly transparent to allow the text to still be read while hovering over the project menu. This would improve the user experience significantly, making the website even more user-friendly.
As a designer, my goal is always to create a unique and personalized website that evokes a sense of originality. After finishing this class, I look forward to implementing cool hovers and scrolls to create a personalized space that reflects my unique style and design sensibilities.
As a designer, I know the importance of having a strong portfolio that showcases my skills and experiences. Over the years, I have tried different approaches to present my work, but I have found that case studies are the most effective way to communicate the value of my designs.
To make my case studies stand out, I have taken inspiration from the concept of digital gardens, which was brought to my attention through Tanya Basu’s article in MIT Technology Review. Digital gardens are like personal blogs where you can share your thoughts, ideas, and creations in a non-linear and interconnected way. They are a space to cultivate your little bit of the internet and engage with others in meaningful conversations.
I love the idea of creating a digital garden for my portfolio because it allows me to showcase not only the final outcome of my projects but also the process and thinking behind them. Instead of just presenting a finished product, I can take my audience on a journey and show them how I arrived at my design solutions.
To create my digital garden portfolio, I started by selecting my best project and defining the key problems I solved with my designs. Then, I organized my content into different sections which are categorized by the weeks to give the viewer an easy way to navigate my process.
I also include images, videos, and interactive elements to make my case studies more engaging and memorable. Finally, I make sure to link my case studies together and cross-reference them when relevant so that my audience can explore my portfolio in a non-linear way and discover the connections between my projects.
This week, I embarked on the exciting journey of rebuilding my website to showcase design work and create a professional portfolio. As a fourth-year design student, I will graduate in April and look to enter the video game industry, where I can apply my design, art direction, and usability knowledgeto create engaging gaming experiences.
To achieve this goal, I have shifted my website’s target audience to people who work in the gaming industry. To make sure that my website appeals to this audience, there are a few key things I need to focus on. Firstly, I need to highlight relevant projects and experiences I have had in the gaming industry, as well as projects that demonstrate my ability to create gaming-related content. Secondly, it’s essential to use industry-specific terminology to demonstrate my understanding of the gaming industry and ability to communicate effectively with potential employers. Lastly, I need to showcase my passion for gaming by incorporating specific gaming themes and topics into my website’s content.
In my design process, I enjoy working physically and creatively, which includes physical prototyping, sketching, group brainstorming sessions, and public art displays. However, these types of work can be challenging to showcase digitally. As Kalev Leetaru discusses in his Forbes article, “In A Digital World, Are We Losing Sight Of Our Undigitized Past?” I recognize the importance of showcasing my overall process and work in a digital platform to potential employers. Therefore, finding creative ways to showcase these elements digitally will be crucial to presenting myself as a well-rounded and capable designer.
Overall, building a portfolio website targeted toward the gaming industry is a challenging but rewarding task that will allow me to showcase my skills and interests in design. By incorporating industry-specific terminology, highlighting relevant projects, and creatively showcasing my design process, my website will appeal to potential employers in the gaming industry.
Navigating the Complexities of Social Media: The Rise of News Consumption and the Battle Against Misinformation
The rise of social media has fundamentally changed the way we consume news. According to a 2021 report by the Pew Research Center, about 48% of US adults say they get news from social media often or sometimes, with Facebook and Twitter being the most commonly used platforms for news and Instagram not far behind(Walker & Matsa, 2021). While some criticize social media as a source of misinformation and disinformation, it can be a valuable tool for staying informed when used responsibly and in conjunction with other sources.
One of the most significant examples of the power of social media in news dissemination came during the 2008 US presidential election when Barack Obama’s campaign used platforms like Facebook and Twitter to mobilize supporters and spread their message (Carlisle & Patton, 2013, p.883). Since then, social media has become integral to political campaigning, with candidates and parties using it to reach voters, share their positions, and fundraise.
However, as social media has grown in importance, so has the spread of misinformation and disinformation. In 2015, nearly 50% of all online traffic on high-profile social media platforms was driven by bots. These bots posted and re-posted false stories and conspiracy theories that drove them to go viral, reaching millions and potentially influencing their beliefs and actions. (Wooley et al., 2016, para. 12). This problem has been compounded by the fact that many people now get their news primarily through social media rather than traditional news sources (Walker & Matsa, 2021).
So, how can we combat the spread of lies and harmful information without becoming overly censorious? Better digital literacy and critical thinking education are essential. People must be taught how to evaluate sources, fact-check information, and recognize bias. A 2016 Stanford History Education Group study assessed students’ capacity to discern the reliability of the information that overwhelms young people’s digital devices(Wineburg et al., 2016). The study found that out of the 7,804 student responses, a significant number lacked the necessary skills to evaluate information online and could not differentiate between credible and unreliable sources.
Additionally, social media platforms have a responsibility to police their content and remove blatantly false or harmful posts. Some platforms have taken steps to combat misinformation, such as Instagram’s policy of labelling posts that contain misleading information and making false content harder to find(Meta, n.d.). Although this is a decent solution, I have seen accounts and posts not posting false articles be hit with Instagram moderation in the form of suspensions and shadow banning. Shadow banning is where the account is made harder to find on the platform. However, Twitter Inc. recently introduced a new feature called “Community Notes,” which allows community contributors to leave notes on a tweet (Twitter Inc., n.d.). If enough contributors vote on the information as helpful, it will be publicly shown on the tweet. These notes cannot be edited by anyone working at Twitter. If the account holder believes the note is incorrect, they must go through a review to have it removed. This feature has proven helpful for individuals like me who rely on social media platforms for news. However, despite this development, there is still much work to be done to tackle the issue of misinformation and disinformation on social media.
Despite these challenges, social media can still be a valuable news source when used responsibly. For example, I follow independent news sources on Instagram, such as @atlas.news3 and @realnewsnobullshit. These accounts are run purely by donations and are not beholden to any particular agenda or corporate interest. I have found their reporting to be balanced and unbiased, and I appreciate their commitment to transparency and factual accuracy.
Of course, my experience is just one example, and it is essential to recognize that not all social media news sources are created equal. That is why individuals must evaluate sources critically and use multiple sources to get a complete picture. According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2020, many people use social media and traditional media sources for news, and those who rely on traditional media sources are generally more knowledgeable about the topics. However, those who rely on social media are not consistently misinformed (Newman et al., 2020, p. 14).
In conclusion, social media can be a valuable news source when used responsibly and with other sources. While the spread of misinformation and disinformation is a genuine concern, it is possible to combat it through better digital literacy, critical thinking education, and responsible content curation by social media platforms. By staying informed and vigilant, we can navigate the complexities of social media and make informed decisions about the information we consume.
Atlas News (@atlas.news3) • Instagram photos and videos. (n.d.). Instagram. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from https://www.instagram.com/atlas.news3/?hl=en
Carlisle, J. E., & Patton, R. C. (2013). Is Social Media Changing How We Understand Political Engagement? An Analysis of Facebook and the 2008 Presidential Election. Political Research Quarterly, 66(4), 883-895. Sage Journals. https://doi-org.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/10.1177/1065912913482758
Meta. (n.d.). How is Instagram addressing false information? Instagram Help Center. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from https://help.instagram.com/2109682462659451
Newman, N., Fletcher, R., Schulz, A., Andi, S., & Nielsen, R. K. (2020). SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE CRISIS. Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2020. https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-06/DNR_2020_FINAL.pdf
Real News, Not Bullshit (@realnewsnobullshit) • Instagram photos and videos. (n.d.). Instagram. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from https://www.instagram.com/realnewsnobullshit/
Twitter Inc. (n.d.). About Community Notes on Twitter | Twitter Help. Twitter Help Center. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/community-notes
Walker, M., & Matsa, K. E. (2021, September 20). News Consumption Across Social Media in 2021. Pew Research Center. Retrieved March 9, 2023, from https://www.pewresearch.org/journalism/2021/09/20/news-consumption-across-social-media-in-2021/
Wineburg, S., McGrew, S., Breakstone, J., & Ortega, T. (2016). Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning. Stanford Digital Repository. http://purl.stanford.edu/fv751yt5934.
Wooley, C, S., Howard, & N, P. (2016, 10 12). Political Communication, Computational Propaganda, and Autonomous Agents: Introduction. International journal of communication, 10. https://par.nsf.gov/servlets/purl/10021331