For my last process post, I will be reflecting on our current Covid situation and how the semester has gone. Since this is my last semester, I have spent most of it figuring out what I am going to do post graduation in a pandemic world. The last few semesters have been hard and to be honest, I am sick and tired of zoom and the lack of human contact. Group projects are extremely difficult as it is hard to get a hold of individuals when not everyone is visiting the same classroom every week. Classes themselves are also difficult as many professors have switched to asynchronous teaching methods and implemented online modules. As an SFU student who wasn’t expecting to take all his courses online, I am thoroughly exhausted with trying to stay on top of things and keep on track. This quarantine has taken a toll on many individuals. Some more than others as there has been a huge divide on opinions and thoughts. It almost seems as if the pandemic has caused all the crazies to come out of the woodwork. This was a good course to take in a pandemic because of our weekly current events chats. It really helps people see what is going on in the world and with a pandemic happening, it is never a dull moment. I am glad that school is almost over, and that we will be in a post pandemic world soon. Hopefully, we can all do our parts to minimize the damage and come out stronger than ever.
For my process post 10 I will be creating a community guideline.
Welcome to the Weekly Build community! This is a safe space to discuss renovation downfalls, successes, tips and tricks.
We want everyone to be part of our community and have their voice heard.
We want your feedback and aim to respond to your comments as soon as possible. While we moderate this community, we welcome open discussion.
To enjoy our community, we ask that when you post, you keep in mind the following:
- We don’t allow defamatory, indecent, offensive, profane, discriminatory, misleading, unlawful or threatening comments.
- Please do not attack people personally for their ideas or comments. Abuse will not be tolerated.
- Spamming, or posting promotional material is not permitted unless it is applicable to the site content.
- We will delete inappropriate comments at our discretion and block any repeat offenders. We will remove content that is fraudulent, deceptive or misleading.
- Respect that others in the community have different life experiences and may have a different perspective to yours. Different viewpoints are always encouraged.
- Our community is a public place. Don’t post personal information that you would not be sharing with a stranger. We recommend that you don’t post any information that may identify you or anyone else, such as your address, email address or phone number.
I believe that since this site is one that is sure to garner many different types of readers with many different opinions, having an extremely strict guideline will not be helpful. With these guideline, I would also need to monitor the comments regularly and delete any bots or trolls.
Transmedia content is crucial when it comes to promotion and audience capture. By having content on various platforms and in various ways, one can increase their exposure and gain more audiences. The content on my site is fairly visual and many users may benefit from seeing the processes in video form. Although I did not record very much content while I was doing these projects, it may have been smart to start a tik tok channel with these postings. I think peoples’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter so social media is a great tool where people can see small snippets of things and decided whether or not they want to explore the content in more depth. The information contained on the site could also be refined and turned into a how to book for dummies in DIY renovations. This could be another form of media that users can consume and refer back to. Since print is usually easier to navigate and more permanent, having a how to book made in this respect can help consumers who actually want to try the projects I have done. All in all, I think the most logical expansion for my site would be to branch out into a tik tok channel. Although I do not have any content to post, I could explore this should I take on another project. DIY channels are thriving and tik tok is constantly growing. If this growth continues, I could see many brands hiring tik tok experts to enhance their marketing portfolio.
In this week’s process post, I will be talking about the features of google analytics, why its helpful, what harm it can cause. Google analytics is a powerful tool that can explain to its users what they site’s performance is like and how they can improve their sites for their target audiences. In my case for example, I noticed that my site has a fairly high bounce rate which could indicate that people are visiting the site by accident, or the site is too difficult to navigate, or they are visiting the site in hopes for something the site is not delivering. Google analytics also provides insight on visitor demographic and region. This can help one determine whether the site should be more desktop oriented, or mobile oriented. From my use of Google analytics demographic function, I learned that my largest demographic was the 25-34 range. This is useful information, as if I wanted to monetize the site, I would be including things and brands that want to target this demographic that have interests in the content that I am posting. However, this is not to say that Google analytics is all good. Although Google presents the information in a manner that is fairly private and secure, being a user and leaving behind a trail of breadcrumbs can be mildly concerning. Even if the information is anonymous, there is still a huge amount of data that Google has about you that you may not even know they have. While useful for content creators and website managers, this information must be used carefully and in good faith.
A staircase is a crucial component in any home that has more than one story and it serves more than just the purpose of transporting a person from one level to the next. The railing must be able to prevent someone from falling over, the design should match the theme of the home, and one must consider the future when furniture or appliances need to be moved. In my design, I was stuck with putting the staircase in the middle of the living room as the structure of the house would be too expensive to change and there was no reasonable area the staircase could be moved to. With this in mind, I tried my best to make the railing nonintrusive, and blend into its surroundings. The problem with this was that the species of wood that was used must be light enough to be stained into a colour that matches its surroundings. This was no easy task as the curvature of the staircase required the railings to be made in separate strips then glued to form the same curve. What ended up happening was creating 200 individual strips of wood that were formed, clamped, then glue to become the shape of the staircase. Once this was done, the spindles were attached. The amount of time, effort, and care that went into creating this staircase and railing system was so not worth the minute increase in aesthetic function. If I were to do this again, I would keep the old railing and just paint them a new colour. Should anyone be considering redoing a staircase, I would say weigh all other alternatives before carrying through with this task.
If you have ever painted anything, you must have noticed that different colours cover different colours to a varying degree. This is not always obvious as people typically think darker bolder colours cover duller colours better but that is not always the case. I had the task of painting some doors and I chose to do it with a sprayer for a better finish and consistency. First, make sure you label the doors. Not all doors in a house are the same size nor do they swing in the same direction. This is crucial to aid in the ease of installation in the future. Next, make sure that there is enough room for air to move in the space you are working in. Water based paints dry fast however, they also release a lot of moisture. Lastly, make sure you pick a high hiding colour. Colours with tints of red, purple, or yellow are horrible at coverage. Typically, for any interior surface going a similar or close shade in the same tone family, two coats are more than enough to cover anything. However, I was using cloud white by Benjamin Moore, which has a slight yellow tint. This caused me to do 6 coats and even then, it wasn’t 100% perfect. When choosing colours, make sure to ask the paint store to add a few drops of black to enhance coverage. The small amount of tint won’t be noticeable in the final product but will make a world in difference when it comes to hiding ability.
Hanging a chandelier is always a daunting task. Between trying to not drop the chandelier, to not falling off the ladder, it seems to be something that is never safe. I don’t know why but it seems that chandeliers are never a good idea. They are always big and heavy, and the only place they fit in is somewhere that is very high off the ground and often without access. Since our railings were removed in preparation for the flooring and new railings, I decided to install the chandelier. Since the light was going in a place that would be difficult to access, I decided to install it in a room with easy access so that I can make sure that the light was working properly. After installing and testing the piece, I had the task of figuring out how to access the electrical box where the light was supposed to go. Since I didn’t have any scaffolding, I took two pieces of lumber that we had yet to use, and a couple of planks of vinyl flooring, and away I went with my task. I have never realized how much stability dimensional lumber does not have when it is on edge. Having done this, I will say to anyone that is interested in doing something in a dangerous manner to save time, don’t. It is not worth the risk and getting hurt would delay your project far more than the time it takes to go out and get scaffolding. The final point is, always test things before installation and completion, and go the extra mile for safety and security.
Since attending my first PUB 101 class, my view on publishing has been greatly expanded. Gone are my thoughts of if you write it someone will read it. After watching Julie and Julia, my expectation of blogging was that it would be easy and if you create a blog, there will be readers out there who want to read you content. That was a very mistaken view.
Since attending all the classes and reading the readings, I’ve come to realize, that competition is fierce in the online space. One’s site must be concise, targeted, and well designed. Never would I have though that “white space is just as important as user flow” (Gertz, 2015) This really shows how important it is to chose and audience and design a site that is targeted and valuable to readers.
When I created my publications, it was designed to be a lifestyle blog. I never thought that this would become a digital garden like the one described in the MIT paper. I was expecting it to be almost like a diary of what I do on a weekly basis and it somehow morphed into a construction blog. This was the point where I realized that my life was being overrun by my home construction projects. At this point, I changed the name of the blog, the layout, and the design. This plays into the idea of the digital garden because the whole idea of a digital garden is that it can “grow and change, and that various pages on the same topic can coexist” (Basu, 2020). I kept the design simple, easy to navigate, and clear of any crazy design elements. This is due to my imagined audience of people who are homeowners or DIY doers who are looking for people who have been crazy enough to tackle their own renovation projects. I designed my site to be a place where users can see what mistakes I’ve made, and what mistakes they shouldn’t make. I’ve included a vast majority of my lessons learned in the blog and mistakes made. I believe that once people see what I have done and how I’ve messed up, they do not make the same mistakes I do, or at the very least, they know what they are getting into before anything starts. What I have learned from my site thus far, is that a majority of my visitors are in the 25-35 age group, most of them are returning visitors, and there is a high bounce rate. I think this may be due to the overcrowded nature of the home page, but my theme does not allow me to reduce the clutter. Although the bounce rate may be high, I think I am succeeding in capturing my target audience. The age group is in line with what I was expecting as these are the people newly stepping into home ownership and making changes to their homes.
In terms of thinking about how my view of publication has changed, I never thought about how blogs could be monetized. I had always had an idea of sites having blogs to improve their SEO performance and what not, however, using blogs the other way for ads and links was not something I had considered. I am not a frequent reader of blogs, nor have I ever written any pieces, so I was not familiar with the idea of ads and blogs. However, since reading the Tumblr advertising paper, I noticed that not only have I read blogs, I have also fallen for the affiliate marketing in these blogs. I read food recipes all the time and when these sites link to ingredients or cookware, I almost always go to the store looking for these items as I do not cook often and I do not know what can be substituted and what tools are unnecessary. I find this form of advertising to be more effective, because not only do I not feel like I am being marketed to, display ads can created the connotation of the site not putting “the reader’s best interests first” (Bleymaier, 2013). With the teachings in this course, I feel like I am more aware of the internets uses and how businesses can monetize sites and exploit readers. I am more cautious of how I use the internet and I will think twice before making purchases or decisions. My blog will come to an end with the course, as I finish the course I am also coming to completion on my project. I will not have any new content to write about and I believe I am not the type of person who is cut out for blog writing.
- Basu, Tanya. September, 5 2020. “Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet” MIT Technology Review.
- Tom Bleymaier. 2013. On Advertising – Maria Popvova
- Gertz, Travis. 2015. “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” July 2015. Available from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines
For my project I chose to install automated blinds by Hunter Douglas. This decision was made to increase blind longevity, convenience, and smart home capabilities. Blinds usually fail quickly due to user error. From pulling too hard, too fast, or the wrong way, strings fray, fabrics fail, and blinds ultimately do not last as long as they should. As this project was designed with longevity and convenience in mind, I decided to use automate blinds. These are battery powered and do not require any electrical work, and the hub runs on WIFI allowing me to use if this then that, on anything in the house. These blinds also integrate two blinds into one by having a blackout layer and a room darkening layer.
For this week’s peer review, I will be reviewing Cinema Gum. Cinema Gum is a site dedicated to discussing movies outside the parameters of traditional review. The site is colourful, well laid out, and contains content that I believe would be quite interesting to marketers. To start, with the site being a site dedicated to movies, people could see the benefit of linking to various streaming services off the site. This can help the site monetize its reviews by allowing individuals to either sign up for sites such as Netflix or Apple tv or reminding individuals that their choice of streaming service is well made. Further, with many of the movies containing a plot which is sure to instill thought, these movies are sure to cause some thought in the reader. Perhaps after reading the reviews, the user may suddenly have a craving for something that was mentioned in the review or movie. I know when I watched Happy Gilmore, I had a strange desire to play golf. It is instances like such that can allow the site to monetize its reviews. Cinema gum could link out to sites that are relevant to its reviews, then this would allow its readers to purchase readily and easily what they already crave. This isn’t limited to items such as golf clubs but also foods such as spaghetti. People often have cravings for certain foods seen in movies when it always looks so good on screen. Further, they site could always have a visual ad for microwave popcorn. Since popcorn is often associated with movies, a movie review site would generally benefit from an ad for a product people will eat while watching the movies reviewed. A company like Orville Redenbacher could see a steady stream of clicks through this site. With each movie, I am also certain that there will still be merchandise offered by each of the producers. For instance, Jaws has a great cult following and there is surely to be tons of Jaws memorabilia. Cinema Gum could monetize this by taking a portion of each merchandise sale made through its website. Lastly, Cinema Gum’s alternative yet aesthetically pleasing appearance could attract a certain type of visitor. As pointed out in the blog title, Cinema Gym is a nontraditional movie review site. The appearance reminds me of a Kitsilano vibe and cinema gum might consider advertising for brands such as Patagonia, or stores like 8th & Main. These brands seem like they would have a good fit with Cinema Gum and a similar target demographic.