Author Archives: Kobe

Mini-Assignment #6: Transform Your Live Photos into GIFs

Preface

As part of the class that I am taking which has resulted in the creation of the website you are viewing, I must complete some mini-assignments.

This post is one of those mini-assignments.

The instructions for this mini-assignment were “make a GIF.”

Recalling a GIF From Grade Nine

I am in my fourth year of university now, which means that grade nine was over six years ago, but I distinctly recall a GIF that I made in my grade nine information technology class. 

The GIF was a cartoon character running and unfortunately, I no longer have access to it.

I mention this because it is the only other time I have been required to create a GIF as part of a class.

The GIF I Made Today

GIF is really not a term that comes to mind often. So when I saw the term the first item that came to my mind was Apple’s live photos.

I recognized that these two types of media were very similar and wondered if there was a way to turn a live photo into a GIF, so I googled it and learned that there indeed is! (Here is a link to the resource I used to turn one of my live photos into a GIF).

So, here is the GIF that I ended up making:

My dad and I at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

This GIF was made from a photo of my dad and me at the Seattle Mariner’s first playoff game in Seattle since 2001. 

I really cherish this photo, as one of the ushers at the game saw us and asked us if we wanted him to take a photo for us. It was an excellent example of generosity and the photo itself ended up being really nice.

I will always remember this game and if you want to learn more about my experience at the game, here is a link to a video where I reflect on it.

An Additional Note

It should also be noted that turning your live photos into GIFs certainly does sacrifice quality. However, there is a certain aesthetic to the graininess that makes the GIF appealing to look at.

Regarding Various Channels and Media

In this post, I explore how to choose a medium for your message and the importance of using channels to distribute your message to your audience.


Choosing Your Medium

“Types of media”

Upon googling “types of media”, you will discover that definitions and descriptions of types of media that exist in the world vary significantly from source to source.

Just look at this section that was the second item to show up on my google search:

Google search results depicting text that says

People also ask
What are 10 types of media?
What are 4 types of media?
What are the 7 forms of media?
What are the 3 media types?

After reviewing the various types described in these search results, I realized that boxing and organizing types is unnecessary.

Media, after all, is just the plural form of the noun medium which Oxford Languages defines as “an agency or means of doing something.”

After all,

The medium is the message

Marshall McCluhan

In other words, you must craft your own form of media to communicate your message.

Crafting Your Own Form of Media

To craft your own form of media, I recommend you examine three elements, the message itself, yourself as the messenger, and your audience as the recipient.

To review these elements ask questions such as:

  • In what ways could I share this message?
  • How does this message want to be shared?
  • What is the broader purpose of this message I am sending?
  • How have others previously communicated a message like this? Could they have done it better?
  • Are there conventions for messages such as this? Are they ideal?
  • How can I make this message uniquely my own?
  • If I could do anything to share this message how would I share it?
  • What am I capable of doing to communicate this message?
  • How can I compromise between my own ability and my ideal for sending this message?
  • How does the audience want to receive this message?
  • What do I want the audience to do upon receiving this message?
  • How is the audience capable of receiving this message?

After asking questions like these (note that you are most certainly not limited to these or required to answer all of these), choose your medium. Then take action to craft it.

Selecting Channels

What a Channel Is

When I hear the term “channels”, I immediately think of television channels. Although those are most certainly types of channels, the type of channels we are looking at here is broader.

Here, we are going to define channels as paths that we can use to enable our content to reach our audience.

Channels themselves are too media, however, they are different than the form of media described above in that we are going to be using them to direct our audience to our message, whereas previously we were using our medium to direct our message to our audience.

The purpose of channels is reaching our audience so they can connect with our message.

Choosing Channels

To choose channels, we need to answer the question “what is the best way to get our audience to reach our content?”

Sometimes, the best channel is by talking directly to people and asking them to interact with our content. Other times it is best to simply let the content exist and be found by others.

Channels again come down to the sender, the receiver, and the message. Examining these three elements will allow you to choose the best channel for your content.

Media and Channels

To choose your form of media and your form of channel, you need to examine the sender, the audience, and the message.

In examining these items, you will discover a distinct medium you need to create to embody your message and channels you can use to spread your message to your audience.

Communication is an art form. Practicing and iterating on messaging is the best way to improve.

References

McCluhan, M. (1964). The medium is the message. https://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/mcluhan.mediummessage.pdf

Regarding Generosity & Content Marketing

Regarding Generosity & Content Marketing

Last week, a class I am in, Publication of Self In Everyday Life, had a guest speaker named Steve Pratt. 

Steve has an extensive history in the publishing field, He most notably founded a company called Pacific Content which was recently acquired by the Canadian telecommunications giant Rogers. He is now moving on to develop his own consultancy for creatives titled The Creativity Business.

During class, Steve did a presentation where he provided an overview of what it takes to build a creative-based business. 

After viewing Steve’s presentation two particular points stuck with me:

  • Generosity is critical to making the world a better place
  • Content marketing is perhaps the best way to build your own brand

Why Generosity is Critical

In my own life, I have traditionally defined virtuous acts as acts which are good for the sake of good. 

In viewing Steve’s presentation I realized demonstrating generosity by taking generous action, is perhaps the purest form of a virtuous act. 

Steve described generosity as giving, without expecting anything back in return. A definition that aligns with my own definition of virtue. 

If we all gave without expecting anything in return the world would most certainly be a better place. If we all thought a little bit more about being generous, perhaps more hardship could be overcome and more social problems around the glove could be solved.

The trait of generosity is now one I know I will embody moving forward.

The Power of Content Marketing

When Steve was presenting, he talked about many of the amazing brands such as Apple, Slack, Spotify, and more that he got to work with as a part of Pacific Content. The whole time I was incredibly curious as to how Pacific Content was able to acquire these pretentious clients, so as soon as I got the chance to ask I did.

Steve’s reply was simple and something along the lines of “we made content.”

Steve explained that simply having content on the internet that showed Pacific Content knew what they were doing when it came to podcasts led to these companies approaching them.

The irony is that the content explained how to do what their business did. They explained how to do they job they could provide, yet people paid them to do the job anyways. 

To me, this seemed backward. I had believed if you have a secret formula, you typically do not want to let others know what that secret formula is. 

What I now know, is that no, you are not only telling others how to do your job, you are showing that you know what you are talking about.

The content marketing created by Pacific Content was incredibly powerful, because clients realized they could help them create great content because of the evidence that Pacific Content provided with their content marketing.

Conclusion

Generosity and content marketing. Two simple concepts are incredibly powerful. 

Two concepts, that will make my life and the world a little better.

Peer Review #3: Examining Abysmal Guides

Peer Review #3: Examining Abysmal Guides

Context

This website was created for a class at Simon Fraser University titled Publication of Self in Everyday Life. In this class, we are developing our own digital identities and assisting our classmates in doing the same. This is the third and final of these reviews. 

In this review, I will provide my evaluation of the site AbysmalGuides.com in regard to its intended target audience.

The Target Audience and Content Strategy of Abysmal Guides

The author of Absymal Guides provides a description of their target audience and content strategy in their post titled My Ideal Audience

In this post, they describe their ideal audience and the content they are creating targeted at this audience. Their ideal audience is beginners or new players of the game Genshin Impact. They then go on to explain that they will be creating posts that help introduce players to the game, as well as some posts describing some deeper nuances which will require the basic information knowledge they provide in their other posts.

Abysmal Guides has developed a clear and concise target audience and an appropriate content strategy to approach this audience. 

While this target audience is concise, I do believe that it would be worthwhile for the author to further empathize with their target audience. With this information, they could further explore the demographics, psychographics, and behaviours they believe this group has to better create content suited to this audience. It is worth noting, that this is an analysis they may have done but not published on their site.

Examining the Content of Abysmal Guides

Abysmal Guides’ Landing Page

When an individual arrives at Abysmal Guides, they are greeted by text explaining the site’s purpose and a background image from the game Genshin Impact. 

The text that immediately grabs the audience’s attention is a large “Welcome to Abysmal Guides”, after viewing this text the audience likely then goes on to view a caption saying “Just another blog about Genshin Impact guides”.  I love the large welcome as it does make me feel welcome, but am a bit thrown off by the caption as it does not assert that this site is the place I need to be. I believe that using stronger language and saying something like “The Genshin Impact Blog for Beginners”, would confirm for the audience that they are on the correct website would improve the site.

The landing page then goes on to explain the two purposes of the site, the fact that it exists as a guide for Genshin Impact beginners and that it was created for a class. This context is something I am sure the audience appreciates as it depicts transparency and lends credibility to the site’s information.

Following this, the audience can then see a few recent posts on the site with clear categories above titles ensuring the audience viewing the site can get to the posts they need to see.

Posts

In examining the content of AbysmalGuides.com, I began by viewing the post Things to Know Before Starting Genshin Impact. This post is well-structured and easy to read, very appropriate for this site’s target audience. Reading it gave me a good overview of the game and has enabled me to an understanding that I did not previously have.

Next, I wanted to view a character page as the author described these types of posts as ones that could be viewed and understood only after gaining a basic understanding of the game, so I viewed the post Venti Character Build. This post is again well structured, providing an overview of the character then diving in to specific attributes of the character.

Conclusion Regarding Content

Abysmal Guides is well written. The content fits the audience very well, and the author has accomplished what they set out to do in their initial post. I am greatly appreciative of this and enjoyed viewing the site.

Affordances on Abysmal Guides

Affordances are defined as action possibilities provided to the actor by the environment. They are critical to making the uses of an item immediately obvious (Kaptelinin, n.d.). In evaluating Abysmal Guides’ design I examined the site through the lens of affordances.

Affordances That Make Sense

  • The menu bar on the top, provides an immediate easy way for users who know what they are looking for on the site to find what they are looking for.
  • The sidebar on the side of the screen has many good elements which make navigation of the site much easier.
  • The headers found on public posts make Abysmal Guides, guides easy to navigate. This is greatly appreciated and useful for the users as it minimizes the amount of time they need to spend on the page to find what they are looking for.

Affordances That Could Be Improved

  • Author title – Currently, all the posts are authored by “Admin”, changing the name of this poster might be worth exploring, though the title Admin does lend the posts some credibility.
  • Category colours – The categories above the post titles are coloured which makes the site much more visually intriguing, but these colours do not mean anything as they are randomly assigned which makes them confusing. If different colours went with different types of categories, it would be useful and intuitive.

Affordances That Could Be Added

  • An easy way to access the post Things to Know Before Starting Genshin Impact, immediately after arriving on the site would be a nice touch and fitting for the site’s target audience.
  • Headers could be added to the posts created for the course. They are currently on the posts for Genshin Impact which makes them easily navigable and it would be nice if the author carried these ideas over to their other posts.

Conclusion – Abysmal Guides Successfully Targets a Niche

Abysmal Guides does a fantastic job targeting their content at a niche. The site is functional and easy to use, providing users with a positive experience.

In the article Embracing the Power of Niches, Steve Pratt (2020) explains that targeting a niche can allow a content creator to reach audiences that others have not yet realized, and I believe that this site has done a fantastic job implementing this principle. This is evident in the fact that several of the posts on the site have comments from users thanking the author for the information they provide (for example, on the post Things to Know Before Starting Genshin Impact).

I greatly look forward to seeing what Abysmal Guide develops into in the future and thoroughly enjoyed evaluating the site.

References

Kaptelinin, V. (n.d.). Affordances. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, Chapter 44. Interaction Design Foundation. ​​https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/affordances 

Pratt, S. (2022). Embracing the power of niches. The Creativity Business. https://creativitybusiness.substack.com/p/embracing-the-power-of-niches 

Mini-Assignment #5: My Online Self

Mini-Assignment #5: My Online Self

Preface

As part of the class that I am taking which has resulted in the creation of the website you are viewing, I must complete some mini-assignments. 

This post is one of those mini-assignments. 

For this assignment, we were asked to create an infographic summarizing our online selves.

What I created is below!

The Infographic

infographic about my website.

Regarding Monetization: What Can and Should Be Monetized?

Regarding Monetization: What Can and Should Be Monetized?

Did you know you can monetize a wedding?

Many weddings involve large gatherings of people. Those people are an audience, who are all likely to share some similar interests.

Marketers want to capture large audiences with similar interests and they do so by paying for advertisements.

To monetize your wedding, you can sell promotional space to advertisers.

Weddings are expensive so recouping costs by any means possible just makes sense.

Monetize your life

Today, there are opportunities to monetize everywhere.

You can do things such as:

  • Leverage your network of friends and sell them products you believe would improve their lives.
  • Make above-average content about your everyday life and get sponsored.
  • Write a blog like this one and run advertisements.

Now, just because you can monetize everything, should you?

Deciding what to monetize

While it is simple enough to live life in a manner to maximize profits (this is what corporations do), it is not typically the way that most people desire to live their lives. 

However, although maximizing profits may not be directly what we want, we can take lessons from corporations and implement them in our own lives.

When faced with the choice of monetization, I think the following:

  1. What are the costs of monetizing this (social, financial, environmental, etc)?
  2. What are the benefits of monetizing this (social, financial, environmental, etc)?
  3. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
  4. If yes, is this something I am comfortable monetizing and will not regret in five years?
  5. If yes, go ahead and monetize.

Choosing whether to monetize or not, really comes down to a cost-benefit analysis and a review of one’s own feelings in regard to the item you are thinking about monetizing. 

Conclusion

Always look for creative ways to monetize your life. Your and your friend’s attention and time are valuable, so allow others to pay for it. Have a system to decide what is worth paying for and what is not.

How Social Media Can Promote Democracy

How Social Media Can Promote Democracy

Preface

As of 2022, there are almost 35 million social media users in Canada. 

In 2018, there were less than 25 million (Dixon, 2022). 

A difference of around 10 million or 40% in just five years.

When beginning to research social media and democracy, I was under the impression that most believed social media is poor for democracy. I did find many recent articles that make the argument “social media is negatively impacting or threatening democracy.” Here are a few articles that make that argument:

However, what I was surprised to find was that a lot of articles did not make that argument. Most determined that social media is not good or bad for democracy, but more of a neutral force with pros and cons. Here are a few articles that come to that conclusion:

While exploring the goodness of social media for democracy is a worthy endeavour, it is one that has been pursued many times and resulted in the articles above. The reality is that social media is going nowhere, the fact that 10 million more users have joined social media in Canada since 2018 proves that. So, even if we were to research the impact of social media on democracy and come to the conclusion that it is bad, we would gain nothing. Rather than explore whether social media is good or bad, here I will explore how social media can actually be used to sustain and promote a healthy democracy. 

Defining a Model

Democracy

Democracy means “rule by the people” (Froomkin, 2022).  This means that power is distributed among the masses so that decisions are made in a manner through which the people approve. Throughout history, it has been fundamental to converging toward a just and equitable society

Social Media

“The term social media refers to a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through virtual networks and communities.” (Dollarhide, 2022). This definition includes platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but it also includes non-centralized media too such as news sites and personal blogs (like this one). 

The Interaction of Social Media and Democracy

Democracy is heavily reliant on the flow of information, as information is what allows people to form views and base their actions in a logical manner. Social media is a technology that accelerates the transportation of information. Resultantly, one might immediately think that social media may allow for democracy to thrive.

Issues With The Model

Centralization – Social Media Platform Incentives Are At Odds With Society (Business)

Today there is an incredible wealth of information available online, and unfortunately, we all only have so much attention to give. Centralized social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Snapchat, all have business models that rely on our attention. Their primary way of earning money is by selling our attention to advertisers by giving them the ability to use the platforms as advertisement media (Mintzer, 2020). An unfortunate truth is that as a result of this, is that the platforms end up promoting content that is likely to send us into outrage because outrage creates engagement and keeps us on social media (Hathaway, 2021). 

Echo Chambers (Individuals)

In his article The problem of living inside echo chambers, Thi Nguyen defines echo chambers as spaces where insiders come to distrust individuals on the outside. The result of this is that insiders start to believe everything those around them say, and begin to refuse to believe anything else outside of their bubble. People are exposed to ideas outside of their echo chamber, but unfortunately, others within their echo chamber do not trust these ideas, and as a result, they follow and refuse to trust those on the outside (Thi Nguyen, 2019). 

Fake News and Censorship (Politics)

A couple of issues that have been at the forefront of social media in the past few years are fake news and censorship. In recent times and especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, centralized social media platforms have become increasingly concerned with what people can and can not say on the internet and this has resulted in frustration across partisan lines. The left argues that not enough disinformation is being stopped and the right argues that facts are being censored from the public. Unfortunately, it really does appear that social media companies are making up rules regarding content moderation on the fly and this is heavily concerning for the future of free speech and spread of fake news (Oremus, 2022).

What To Do

What You Should Do

The unfortunate truth is that platform-based social media problems are unlikely to dissolve themselves quickly. According to the Pew Research Center, “experts are evenly split on whether the coming decade will see a reduction in false and misleading narrative online” (Anderson & Raine, 2022). The good news is that we as individuals have the ability to make choices for ourselves.

What we must do as individuals is be conscious of these issues on social media. When browsing information online, ensure that you are approaching it neutrally and look at multiple sides to the same issue so you can form your own opinion on the matter. Approach all information with the understanding that it might be false, even if it aligns with your own views.

What Government Should Do

Through policy, governments have the power to apply pressure on social media companies to make changes to their platforms. 

This is a difficult path for governments to go down, however, as political parties making decisions regarding what information can be shared is something that people should be skeptical of.

However, this is a bipartisan issue and government can target business models instead of content moderation. Perhaps there is some hope that government can intervene and force social media companies to change their business models (Zubrow, 2022).  

What Social Media Companies Should Do

Social media companies can explore alternative business models that align their interests with those of society. Sara Brown at MIT recommends social media companies explore ideas such as subscription models, identity verification, pay for content models, and giving users control over data (Brown, 2021). 

Social media companies should realize their obligation to society goes beyond making profits because their actions have incredibly broad implications for society. 

How This Makes Social Media More Democratic

Making social media more democratic requires collective action. Individuals need to become more aware of social medias flaws, government needs to implement policy, and social media companies need to adapt. If this occurs, social media will be a more democratic space, as it will become one in which healthy discourse is encouraged; as opposed to the current environment in which there is discourse, except neither side really listens to the other.

References

Anderson, J. & Raine, L. (2022). The future of truth and misinformation online. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/10/19/the-future-of-truth-and-misinformation-online/ 

Brown, S. (2021). The case for new social media business models. 

Dixon, S. (2022). Number of social network users in Canada from 2018 to 2027. Statista. https://www-statista-com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/statistics/260710/number-of-social-network-users-in-canada/ 

Dollarhide, M. (2021). Social Media: Definition, Effects, and List of Top Apps. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/social-media.asp 

Hathaway, B. (2021). ‘Likes’ and ‘shares’ teach people to express more outrage online. YaleNews. https://news.yale.edu/2021/08/13/likes-and-shares-teach-people-express-more-outrage-online 

Froomkin, D. (2022). Democracy. Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/democracy/Democratic-institutions

Mintzer, A. (2020). Paying attention: the attention economy. Berkeley Economic Review. https://econreview.berkeley.edu/paying-attention-the-attention-economy/ 

Oremus, W. (2022). How social media ‘censorship’ became a front line in the culture war. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/10/09/social-media-content-moderation/ 

Thi Nguyen, C. (2019). The problem of living inside echo chambers. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/the-problem-of-living-inside-echo-chambers-110486 

Zubrow, K. (2022). Social media ethicist says regulation goes beyond moderating content. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/social-media-ethicist-tristan-harris-government-regulation-60-minutes-overtime-2022-11-06/

Regarding the Content of KobeSam.ca

Regarding the Content of KobeSam.ca

What Makes for Great Content

Great content puts the audience in a better place than they were prior to engaging with the content.

It does this by providing the audience with some form of value. Content typically does this with information. Information can take many forms, a few examples include stories, statistics, and testimonials. 

As the sole writer for KobeSam.ca, I do firmly believe that KobeSam.ca’s content provides value to its audience. In speaking to others about my writing, they all have told me that they have come away from my articles thinking about the concepts and ideas that I have presented. It is worth noting, however, that they may just say that to me; for they might think it awkward to tell me my content sucks to my face.

What the Content of KobeSam.ca Has Been Thus Far

Media

So far, KobeSam.ca has simply been a blog. Every post that I have shared has primarily been text-based (except for one video I was required to do for an assignment). Moving forward on this site, I would like to make better use of the various media that the internet allows for and may explore different formats such as podcasts or vlogs. 

Topics

A majority of the posts on this site have been created for the class posiel.com. In posts made for this class, I have shared my distinct business background-based interpretation of concepts we have learned in the class.

I have also been creating some posts that are focused on learning new business topics relative to entrepreneurship. This semester I am a part of a club in which I am learning to do Shark Tank / Dragons Den style pitch presentations and have been trying my best to share what I have learned with the readers of this site. Unfortunately, this area of my site is not as well developed as I would like and is certainly an area I need to improve moving forward.

In a few brief posts I have also discussed lifestyle, this is another underdeveloped area of my site that can be greatly improved moving forward.

The Content KobeSam.ca Needs Moving Forward

When creating this site I envisioned four main categories of content: entrepreneurship, lifestyle, leadership, and academia. Thus far, academia is the most developed aspect of this site and the leadership category is no longer even a part of the menu on the site. 

The different types of content to create were based around areas I was interested in studying this semester and the lack of content in certain areas shows that I have not been learning about those areas as much as I would like to.

Moving forward, it will be essential to develop extensive content on entrepreneurship, lifestyle, and leadership, while continuing to share different things that I have learned in academia.


I will also work on exploring additional media formats such as podcasts and vlogs. 

What KobeSam.ca is today is a good start, but moving forward KobeSam.ca has a lot of room for improvement and will constantly improve.

Mini-Assignment #4: Remix Something

Mini-Assignment #4: Remix Something

Preface

As part of the class that I am taking which has resulted in the creation of the website you are viewing, I must complete some mini-assignments. 

This post is one of those mini-assignments. 

The instructions for this mini-assignment were straightforward and to the point. They simply said

“Remix something”

This post is the culmination of this prompt.

It is widely claimed that Pablo Picasso said “good artists borrow, and great artists steal”; here is my attempt at stealing great art to create my own.

What I Am Remixing

Remix means “mix again”.

Mix means to combine or put together.

For this assignment, I have made the decision that I am going to create an album cover that represents Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus. The two items I am combining are album covers (pieces of art I absolutely love) and my school (a place that I absolutely love). ]

Album covers are often used to provide a basic overview of the messaging an album is describing in its music, but in this case, I will be using it to provide a basic overview of SFU Burnaby Campus.

The Result

(background photo by Ujjwal Arora, taken from Unsplash.com)

Understanding the Design

The Centerpiece “🏔 + 📚 = 🎓

The equation at the centre of the cover was created to represent the typical student experience at Simon Fraser University.

The mountain representing Burnaby Mountain (where SFU Burnaby Campus is located), the books representing the classes students take, and the graduation cap representing graduation (the outcome of attending Simon Fraser University for most students).

The Background

Behind the centrepiece, is a background. This background is an image of the Academic Quadrangle building at Simon Fraser University Burnaby Campus. It is dimmed to create contrast with the centrepiece, and blurred to represent how quickly my time at Simon Fraser University seems to be going by.

The Simon Fraser University Logo

I placed the logo where one may often see a parental advisory logo on albums. This was done intentionally to fill that space and to explain where this image is, Simon Fraser University or simply SFU.