Author Archives: Reace

Process Post 11 – Community Guidelines

If you haven’t already done so, you can examine my angle on the democracy of social media here. I feel this is a great starting point for understanding the foundation for which I value social media, online content and the ways in which people and groups interact with what is published online. Through interpreting these views, one can perhaps understand my vision of an online community, which as suggested by Ryan Holmes, founder of Hootsuite, is a viable vehicle for democracy and how we should be ‘tapping social media for good.’ You can read Holmes’ article on Venture Beat here.

With the positivity of online usership said, there is of course a cloud of shaming, bullying, trolling and demoralization. Mark Shrayber (2016) discusses hate crime here in the context of Leslie Jones’ (Ghostbusters, Saturday Night Live) experience with having her personal site maliciously hacked. Do community guidelines mitigate these actions? Certainly not. People break rules, ignore laws and evade ethics on a daily basis online and in-person, so in developing expectations, can we actually expect to prevent wrongdoing? As Konnikova (2013) suggests in the New Yorker, the anonymity of commenting online provides a safe, but confident place for threatening civility. However, she also notes that people tend to devalue anonymous comments, which researchers at the University of Wisconsin (2013) reiterate here.

So, arguments litter every angle of each side of the fence; do you make guidelines, will they be adhered to, do you screen comments and are you hypocritical if in fact you limit engagement on your site when you’re preaching the asylum-esque quality of the Internet? In looking at the course resources, as well as exploring the Internet for guidelines that support a positive and inclusive community online, I have found the most suitable and relatable for me to reflect those of Book Riot, which you can see here. I appreciate these guidelines because they are clear, concise and current. They are inclusive, well-articulated and are relatively easy to understand and follow. They are fair.

However, when do we, as a democratic society, say why do we need a list of guidelines? The Golden Rule is dated, which you can read about here in Peter Economy’s proposal for the ‘Platinum Rule,’ but are we over-complicating the desire to just be good people? I’m not saying it’s right, but if rules are meant to be broken, are we better off not listing them but instead having the trust and confidence in humanity that we can be good, and that when we’re not, we lose the privilege to take advantage of that which democracy provides? What if websites emblemized the notion of acting in a manner that expects people to“ be kind.” That’s it; be kind. Appreciate the content and accept different views, but contribute, as opposed to degrade, and as such, you will adhere to kindness. If someone hates, I feel they will do exactly that, so in establishing guidelines, am I inviting the trolls? When one walks into a coffee shop, is there a sign indicating how to behave? There are no guidelines, but a social contract that suggests kindness.

So, do I need to be explicit in generating and sharing guidelines for this blog, or can I assume goodness? Or, do I expect the unexpected and create some guidelines that protect liability and govern what occurs? For now, I’m going to gamble on humanity and hope for kindness, until of course a literal laying down of the law is warranted…

Process Post 10 – Transmedia

“Transmedia stories are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories” (Kevin Britteny Lauren, 2013).

I had no idea what ‘transmedia’ meant before enrolling and subsequently engaging in this course. However, this does not mean I wasn’t participating in it as both creator and consumer. In fact, when reflecting on the media in which I was utilizing throughout childhood and today, much of what interested and continues to tap my mind is a product of transmedia storytelling. We like, follow, buy and crave stories, and through various mediums and ways in which our interests interact, these only become more appealing, compelling and addicting.

Similar to Lauren’s (2013) post about the transmedia-ness of Pokemon, which you can read here if my last link did not tempt you; various forms of involvement within the ‘story’ enthralled me from the likes of ‘Batman,’ ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Star Wars.’ I was not just watching a cartoon or playing with an action figure, I was interacting with video games, seeing movies, watching YouTube videos, mesmerized by commercials, wearing clothes and playing board games that encapsulated the worlds, characters and stories of each interest. For an in-depth exploration of transmedia storytelling in the context of Star Wars, read this article about Suzanne Scott’s course at the University of Texas, Austin.

Today, it only takes a second to recognize the success of Marvel movies as a product of transmedia integration. These films, as well as everything else from Stance socks to video games, are transmedia juggernauts, all of which impact us at the deepest neurological level. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Australia posts an interesting article here that examines the cognitive science behind our infatuation with media and how transmedia arouses neurons. In 2019 and assuredly beyond, transmedia storytelling has and will continue to expand – apps, VR, Blogs and whatever gaming platform arises from the brains of Silicon Valley. However, the fresh technologies of the 21st Century did not spawn the idea of transmedia, as Henry Jenkins, attests, our brains have long been exposed and satiated by the integrated and complex worlds created by multiple media. In fact, Jenkins suggests that transmedia started making strides in the 1930s with Tarzan Adventures, which was interestingly during the Great Depression. Perhaps Jane was not the only person saved by Tarzan…

In terms of ReRouted, transmedia integration seems like a logical step and initiative. I feel this because the nature of the blog is to read as a story; therefore, the complexities, characters and interwoven environments and ponderings fare well to be exposed through other mediums and platforms. Because my technical skills are somewhat limited, I have to consider the ways in which I can enhance transmedia integration on this blog. I have yet to give careful consideration for this, but the addition of a vlog via YouTube, perhaps some storyboard sketches or various one page infographics depicting the blog’s content or message. In terms of audience, I’m wanting to capture more people, and for me, the challenge will be grasping the likes of non-athletes or people who really aren’t interested in hearing ‘some jock’ blab about football. It will be important to discuss change in general; identity, life, situation, environment, etc. To accomplish this, I need to present the story from different angles or mediums that conjure interest from others.

Transmedia options provide a different lens in which to explore my content and overall theme. ReRouted is a story, and with that, there are various ways in which to tell it. One year ago, Shannon Emmerson posted an article about great transmedia examples, with The Matrix series of films being a quintessential standard. Like the movie reflects in its complex direction, the more angles you have to view something, the more intrigue is developed, questions are asked and in the blogosphere, visitors one receives. Therefore, more channels of accessibility and variety in exploring ReRouted from various perspectives is valuable and the reason why I need to utilize transmedia.

Process Post 9 – Data Trails

As, Suzanne Norman (2015) reflects, “so much for the data trap.” In the Bezosphere of 2019, data governs decisions, policies and movements, but as everyday web civilians, what does our trail mean? How do we contribute to analytics, and as such, how does our online behavior dictate what we see, what is created and how, as bloggers, we design, re-design and promote what we post and share?

In the past month, Google Analytics has shown that ReRouted has had 28 users, 63 sessions, 28.57% bounce rate and an average of 5 minutes and 58 seconds spent on the site. This bounce rate is considerable, particularly now, as it’s significance was discussed in tutorial, and I hope to believe its due to my content and not just family members and friends reading a couple pages of this blog. The average length of a session seems to match the length of a post or two. So, it makes sense having these two analytics do ‘well’ in terms of an amature blog.

As noted by the Pod Academy (2016), our blissful lack of awareness in leaving breadcrumbs of ourselves online is something we’re not entirely aware of, and unlike brick and mortar libraries and bookstores, what we touch is counted, assessed and re-presented to us as marketing chameleons. Our blogs then, become digital shapeshifters; responding to what is required in order to elicit activity and move users towards content that generates data we like to see. The question is, does Google utilize analytics as a kind resource for bloggers and developers alike, or is it a self-serving service that gives them access to ours, as well as our readers’ information? Moreover, does this matter?

Here, Brian Mac Namee (2016) suggests that yes, we leave data trails everywhere we go, but this is the world we live in, and like other things we have come to accept, we must forge ahead and understand that there are consequences of convenience. Further, he argues that data trails do not equate to a dystopian now, but rather, these are algorithm breakthroughs that are exciting from the perspective of science. On Apparel, Venkat Viswanathan (2017) agrees, but from a consumer perspective; we are leaving an identifiable residue of activity that teaches us about consumption, impulsivity and behavior. Is this ethical? I’m not certain I am the right person to suggest either side of the fence, but in living within a digital world that targets my interests, shares my data and influences what I see, I offer my implied consent.

This begs the question; are we aware of what we are contributing to; this murky pool of data? If we apply the concept of implied consent, can our understanding suggest to the omnipotent social creators like Google, that we accept all ramifications of dropping data behind us for the collection and interpretation of others? Alternatively, what factors jeopardize implied consent, such as age, ability, demographic, disability, etc? Do people really know what they’re getting themselves into, and if they do, is it too late for them to wash the trail behind them?

Is our information public? This question has been of contentious debate, which you can read about here, but in consideration of our understanding of the Internet as a public space, we should, as we would in a mall or library, be aware that our activity is not private. Education and awareness is fundamental in providing society the tools, or at least the knowledge, that our actions are observable, and while less pervasive, our purchases have always been recorded. So, are Google and Amazon the culprits of this contention, or is it capitalism in general? We are quick to blame technology, but like a race to the finish, we’re always pointing fingers at whomever crosses the line first.

Peer Review – 3

This week, I am reviewing Megan’s blog, the Kindness Lifestyle, a space created for reflecting, sharing and discovering the ways in which people can spread kindness throughout their daily encounters and lives. As we’ve continued to move through the reviews of others’ creations, as well as my own, I’ve found it helpful to compartmentalize my observations and ideas into subtopics as follows; design, function, content and overall impression. For this review, I will adopt and utilize this framework from a marketing perspective.


Upon immediate landing on Megan’s homepage, the Kindness Lifestyle is captivating and peaceful. Prior to delving into this review, I must admit, Megan’s blog has been an inspiration from the commencement of this course and I have been impressed with her ability to take challenging and polarizing issues like veganism and God and present them in a manner that is approachable and balanced.

I feel that Megan achieves this sense of equilibrium and inclusion via subtle, simple and controlled elements of design directed at user experience that Maria Popova in Bleymaier’s (2013) article suggests is in her readers’ best interests. The soft spectrum of colors highlights a feel of authentic and genuine kindness, with a simple and elegant font that softens each issue. The blog is not a confrontational ‘in your face’ place, but rather an ecosystem of food for thinking that begins to unravel enlightened perspectives. I feel that this degree of openness and neutrality supports the blogs bounce rate, which was discussed in the guest lecture by Monique Sherrett, which is elaborated on here.

I appreciate Megan’s logo; it is creative, welcoming, and without words, does an excellent job of reflecting what her blog is about; being kind. I like that this, as well as the color scheme is carried throughout each page, as it allows for easy navigation and access to content. In terms of font, I really like the titles “welcome” and “things to read,” as these have a personalized feel that evokes a feeling that Megan writes this blog for you. The photography on this blog is relevant and playful, reminding me of the first week’s reading by Craig Mod, “How I got My Attention Back,” where he notes, “the quieter my mind became, and the deeper I went into my own work, the more I realized how my always-on, always-connected state had rendered me largely useless” (2017). Megan’s blog reinforces this consciousness of being in the present, which for me, is helpful and contributive to wanting to be kind.

I would consider one element of change in terms of design that could very well be a personal preference; however, I feel that under “Things to Read” on the main page, I would like to see the pictures posted at the same level. While I sometimes enjoy the contrast of things being off-centered, it throws me off here, and gives me the slight, yet incorrect perspective that the right side, Academics, is of greater value.


I truly appreciate the functional aspect of this blog, as it is easy to navigate, flows nicely across the page and is rather intuitive. There is an element of predictability in how it looks and feels, which leaves the content to present itself as refreshing and novel. Items are easy to locate, and with the content space carrying through the larger images on the page, the writing is locatable and takes centre stage as you scroll.

I appreciate the drop down menu on “academics” and unlike some blogs, this feels organic, not forced, which reiterates the overall feel of the site. Likewise, the predictable nature of functional aspects of the blog, such as the title, easily get you to where you wish go. I would prefer for the word, “blog” to be an actual link, because it takes a little more accuracy to hit “have a read,” but overall, it’s excellent.


Megan’s writing is elegant, honest, insightful and contemplative, which for me is what I wish to see on a blog. In class, Trevor Battye discussed the importance of providing a blog that is unique, as in a saturated online world with opinions, photos and articles, being one of a kind or at least, one of a few helps to generate the marketing potential of oneself. ‘Detailed’ looks at some of these unique blogs here. For Megan, her topic is extremely timely, as in the age of cyberbullying and Trumped-up racism, stereotyping and hate, a little kindness is a fresh and needed concept. I particularly enjoy her blog on Emoto, which you can digest here, as well as this candid writing she did on Dr. Brene Brown.

Megan’s content is memorable, and because it’s so unique, it could benefit from some greater hashtagging. I think that there is some specific language being employed, so highlighting this with hashtags would be beneficial for readers and marketing the true depth of her content. For instance, “Emoto” would be a good start.


Megan’s blog is a fascinating expose on being kind. One would think that this is not necessarily something that needs to be blogged about, but when you consider the relevance and importance of such actions and attitudes, a blog is important, engaging and actually quite useful in finding inner and outwards happiness. From a marketing perspective, Megan provides an excellent product; it is consistent, novel, engaging, easy to understand and negates an instant departure through providing stunning images and inquisitive writing.

Process Post 8 – …

For this week’s Process Post, there is not a definite prompt; however, there is certainly work to be done and reflect upon on this blog. I am still incorporating images into the weekly blog posts through determining their best placement, as well as which ones are most-suited to the topic, while also adhering to the theme of change. This has proven to be more difficult than anticipated, as the original images I selected just didn’t maintain the integrity of the site or what I wished for it to evoke in readers – now viewers.

This change, from reader to viewer is what I am looking for. I want people to engage with the language, but I also want people to browse. I tend to write a lot – I have a lot to share, but I am aware that not everyone wishes to flow in my streams of consciousness and may not wish to delve into everything I have to say. My blog is about me, but the content has to be open to interpretation as well as manageable to read, understand, agree with and at times, rebut. Publishing is putting something out there for everyone to see, with everyone being those who read, don’t read, like and dislike what you have to share. Images then, support, drive home, bolster and conjure ideas, feelings, opinions and of course, criticisms. An image beholds an image, one in which I have tried to build through the aesthetic and content of this blog. We market ourselves through this content, and in looking at the consumer, it is important to envision their own perceptions; how does my image market me and what I write? Take a look at the American Marketing Associations beliefs here on how a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Another component of this blog that I am trying to build is the usability and consistency. People tend to purchase the same magazines and newspapers, as well as visit the same YouTube Channels and Blogs not just for the content, but also because they feel like home or an every morning cup of coffee. This always makes me think, is it the taste or the routine that is comforting? When someone becomes accustomed to what they view, they appreciate the familiarity. There can be subtle changes in color or placement of things, but the crux of these media is that there is a recipe, and those who indulge, know exactly what, how much, where and when to eat.

In following the rabbit hole of the Internet (read this for some somewhat eerily fascinating stories of Internet stumble-upons), which started on the Posiel site in this week’s readings, I came across Byline, a crowdfunded newspaper magazine where people fund the content of various writers. I truly appreciate the idea and think it is novel and timely in its development; however, there are two things I don’t appreciate it. First, which connects to my previous paragraph, it’s very inconsistent. It reminds me of shopping online at a store like ASOS where there are so many different styles and types of fashion, that you end up overwhelmed, dazed and confused. Second, there are no advertisements. I know what you’re thinking… But I personally enjoy advertisements because I like evaluating them and dissecting how they, if at all (and they usually do), reflect who I am. I am intrigued by the psychology of marketing and I also like the break; why must I read an entire article about starvation in North Korea without a saunter into the sidebars of new Nikes? Sure, I get the irony of this and I am being somewhat facetious, but I like the contrast as much as the relevance. Since the beginning of print, advertisements have driven publication, so should we eliminate them, or view them as part of the publication process? This brings us back to blogging; successful blogs, which for argument here is measured by visitorship, is are ones that have advertisements. One may argue that books, in their traditional sense, do not include ads, but phrases like, “try these other great reads from Harper Collins” refute this…

Speaking of rabbit holes, you can see that this Process Post has dug deep in a field in which it didn’t start, but in reflecting on how to build my blog to appeal to others, it’s important to know that what one likes is not necessarily liked by the other, and in creating design, it’s valuable to make it comfortable. I am a fan of Hygge [hoo-gah] design, which you can read about straight from it’s Danish source here, and in knowing it, I like how it’s predictable (like I hope my site is), but comforting with a pop of flair, color and juxtaposition. So, in evaluating, reevaluating and of course, publishing, it’s my hope that ReRouted is a place where people stop, stay a while and return.

Process Post 7 – Feedback

Peer reviews are daunting. Completing a review for someone else is difficult, especially when you’re not necessarily an expert on the content (blogging), or when you, yourself have a blog that will receive a review in return… in exchange for a grade. They are also challenging to read when you’re under scrutiny; will they like what I have to say? What will they think about my photos? Will the content of my writing be clear, offensive, engaging or just plainly boring? I feel this is one of the issues we face as bloggers (I’m calling myself a blogger now, apparently); personalizing a space to reflect yourself and your interests, then publishing it for the universe to troll, critique and destroy. Blogging is simple, but it is not easy. What you post, share or reveal is vulnerable to what others think, and what others think can be as destructive, like Cyberhate, which you can read about here,  as it is liberating, enjoyable and of course, democratic (see a variety of #Posiel posts debating this). I argue for.

For the latest review I received, I was delighted to attain significant positive feedback from Jill’s Book Blog, which you can access here, but also some constructive feedback that will greatly benefit ReRouted. In being transparent, of course I take delight in reading her humbling feedback, but I truly value her primary suggestion that images/photos within the posts would better serve the overall layout and theme of the blog, as well as make the reading more approachable and intriguing. With this in mind, the process in which I encountered this week was incorporating photos directly into the blog and process posts, which involved consideration of suitability for the post and aesthetics.

Because much of the photography on my blog is of myself, I wanted to balance the images with ones that are less personalized, but still reflective of the content and overall theme of my experience of change. I feel that my blog is very personal, so in seeking greater balance, I am enhancing relatability and hopefully broadening the appeal of my content by doing this. I have done a lot of thinking about how my writing is interpreted by others, but have neglected the idea for how images can or haven’t been doing the same. Brown University has a fascinating presentation on why people perceive text differently, which made me think, perhaps my text isn’t what I think, and if so, or even if it is, how do photos support either conclusion?

In consideration of images, I wanted to be cognizant of colour, size and focusing on finding relatively simple images that support the writing as opposed to detracting from it. Likewise, I wanted the images to be a part of the writing itself, so as the image itself can offer some greater context or meaning of the conversation. I want the image to be an anchor in the post that organically reveals some of the content. I feel this is important because for many readers, busy ones especially, as well as keyboard warriors on the prowl, photos provide a quick glimpse into what’s new, relevant and a part of my thoughts and life. I also took some of Jill’s advice in having the layout of images reflect that of the landing page; like an advent calendar, which is what I was kind of going for from the conception of this blog. Notorious blogger, Neil Patel has some great insights on selecting images which you can read here. Additionally, Shout Me Loud outlines several reasons why including images on your blog is valuable, which you can also see here.

There is still some general tidying-up that needs to be done to enhance upload speeds, function and layout. I have been working on paper to come up with something a bit more user-friendly and hope to make these changes soon. I’m hoping to implement some more major edits soon, as I would like the blog to be a little more polished. That said, Jill’s comments regarding her appreciation for the content and the theme or feel of the blog is reassuring that I’m on the right track… for some people at least. For others, they can go here for entertainment value.

I want to extend a kind thanks to Jill for providing such a positive and helpful review; I only hope that I offered her even half the same in return. As many people as blogs reach, the act of blogging can actually be quite lonely. You are trying to build a community, but the vacuum in which you do so is a cyclone within yourself and your own interests. Your reach is far in terms of potential, but you’re in isolation, behind a screen, sharing what it is that you find shareable. This in and of itself is intimidating – here you are, in front of the world, one in which can judge you without repercussion, offering your thoughts, feelings and fears. The blogosphere is yuge, but like the universe, there are many constellations and systems to discover, view and get lost in.

Peer Review – 2

I had the pleasure of peer reviewing Jill’s Book Blog, which you can find here. From the onset, this is an engaging site, as it explores accessible reading, an aspect of publishing that the majority of the population is somewhat unfamiliar. Jill’s Book Blog is completely transparent; the creator offers insights and perspectives on the development and design of a blog through an access aide. As Jill articulates here, there are certain challenges one faces when visually impaired, with design in particular being an understandable barrier. As I am not overly committed to reading books, especially during undergraduate where we do have a high quota of readings, I was, at first thought, somewhat uninterested in the content of this blog; however, in exploring the pages and being introduced to the works under review, an appreciation was established and is hopefully reflected in this review.  Here, I have divided my review by examining the content, design and overall impression.

I find book reviews challenging. To take a relatively long piece of writing and condense it into a concise and engaging review is difficult, so I feel that Jill’s Book Blog tackles an ambitious topic, especially for a weekly update. Likewise, in attempting to reach her goal of 96 books in 365 days, time is of the essence, and here, she does this well. I find the writing to be clear, effective and brief, and despite this, she negates jeopardizing the offering of a polished summary and well-written opinion about the book. There are some minor grammatical errors that are revealed through missing commas and dashes, as well as some repetition, but overall the posts are strong and any wordiness can be reflective of the vernacular a blog can sometimes evoke. I appreciate Jill’s sentiment that “I feel like I have become stuck in the formal, uninventive, dry essay/assignment writing and organizing we have to do in University, that I perhaps lost my creativity and imagination,” and understand how the concept of blogging for a course is refreshing. One post that I found highly entertaining was this interview with Batman.  Using a strong sense of humor, playful language and clear objective of interpreting a novel through Bruce Wayne’s understanding of crime, Jill effectively entices the reader to explore the content afforded throughout her blog. I would like to see this extended with more links to other reviews or related-sites.

I like the design of this blog; it is simple, clear, focused and easy to navigate. I can’t really relate to the challenges in creating and maintaining the design via an access aide, but I can certainly appreciate the effort that was made to vocalize the desired outcomes. I like the black border, which in most cases I do not, but here it reflects the pages of a book. I am also fond of the number of tags for each post, as for me, when creators attribute too many tags, the page starts to look cluttered. There are two things I would like to see considered for alteration. First, I think that Jill has two important tag-lines for her blog; “Adventures of Accessible Reading” and “96 Books in 365 Days;” however, the latter is difficult to locate, and for me, is one of the interesting aspects of the blog. I would prefer to see it alongside “Adventures of Accessible Reading.” Also, I am not entirely fond of the main image of the lagoon and book waterfall. I appreciate the creativity of the books being employed as an abundant fall, but the image is somewhat unclear and too low of quality. I am also less enthusiastic about the type of image; I feel that the natural wonder-like photo does not really reflect the types of books being reviewed. This is of course, personal preference, but for me, I would like to see something different.

Overall, I like this blog. I found it incredibly approachable and accessible (pardon the pun), and unlike some opinion-based blogs, I feel that I truly learned something, or became interested in learning more about accessible reading. In fact, I would value further links to other resources outside of just the book, not just about the book itself, but how accessible reading is made available. I don’t need to read more about accessibility on this blog, but resources that are vetted by someone with a visual impairment would be interesting. Likewise, more links in general would be intriguing; I would like to know who Jill agrees with, disagrees with or what other books the focal one could be related to. One could also link to where to find the book, which I like about this book blog found here.

Jill’s Book Blog is a well-developed and organized site that provides visitors with approachable and strong synopses of various books. With some minor edits and slight alterations to some design aspects, this blog is very appealing and worth revisiting – for 96 days.