Author Archives: The Wonders of Reading

Peer Review #2

Link to Poet Posits: Lisa’s blog: http://poetposits.com/

Lisa, you’ve created a wonderful space, and I loved the main page I was taken to when I clicked onto your blog. I love the classic colour and organized tabs at the top of the page. I get a very powerful vibe from it immediately. I also really like that you have a contact section, for anyone with questions or who wants to reach you.

A couple things I noticed on the main page is that there is a space for a logo, but there hasn’t been one placed there yet. There is also a watermark on the photo, behind the text “Where Poetry Meets Blackness”. Other than these things, I really like how the image takes up most of this space, and the description line is also really well done.

As I continue on your blog, the colours changed, and I really like the bright pink colour as well. I like that the sidebar has an about section and a contact section. It’s also nice to see your photo there, so that I, as an audience member, am able to connect your blog to who you are. I found that when I clicked on process posts and poems, it takes me to a list of posts that are in the “uncategorized” category. Something you could possibly do to adjust this so that it only shows process posts or poems in those sections, is creating separate categories for each section.

I really like how the poem on your blog has the title at the top, as a photo. It looks bold, and really stands out, which I love. I really loved this poem, and loved how strong it is. It is so important to have poetry and art like this, and it was really great to read. The comment section at the bottom of each post is also nice because it shows viewers that they are welcome to engage with you on your posts.

You’ve created your own personal cyberinfrastructure, and it is nice to see how you have made this space your own by adding photos, an about section, and contact page. The colours on your blog make me feel welcome, and make me want to continue exploring your blog. Overall, I really enjoyed viewing your blog. I am a big fan of poetry, and can’t wait to read what else you post in the future!

Imagined Audiences

When I began this blog, I imagined writing for an audience who loves reading and wants to discover new books. Since I write about a lot of young adult books, and know a lot of adults who read these books as well, I imagine my audience to be around the ages of 17-30. As a result of this imagined audience, I made design choices in order to make my blog simple, easy to navigate, and clear. Often times, people in those age groups are very busy with other things they need to do, it is important to make an organized space where these people can find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Since this is a space for book lovers, I try to include a lot of posts about books I am reading or have read. I also added photos of books on the side panel, to add to the overall design.

Personally, when I visit a website, I look for websites that are simple and/or have aspects that I can easily navigate. For me, this is because I spend a lot of time doing work or getting things done, so it is nice to be able to sit down, rest, and go through my favourite website without taking too much time. After long days, it is especially nice to visit a welcoming website, with aesthetically pleasing colours. As a result of this, I chose a theme which gave each post a different coloured category title. I enjoyed adding sections of bright colours, and tried to add them wherever I could. One of the biggest aspects of my blog that I chose for this audience group was to attempt to make my blog applicable to any age group or anyone interested in reading. This includes young people, middle aged people, students, and anyone who reads different genres from me. I like to open my blog up to anyone who shares a love of reading, and I do that through my reading posts.

Oct. 21 Reading Update

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well!

This month has been going well, in terms of reading and in general. I am currently reading Serpent & Dove, but it is taking me a little bit longer than I thought it would because I’ve been really busy lately. So far, I am loving the story and characters though! I can’t wait to continue reading it, and finding out what happens next! These next couple weeks, before October ends, my goal is to finish Serpent & Dove, and also start/finish Watching You by Lisa Jewell. Since this is the month of Halloween I’ve been trying to read spooky books, and it’s been nice to catch up on some mystery stories. Next month I will be trying to finish reading a couple of series, and also read a couple standalone books.

I’ll be posting a TBR (To Be Read) list for November soon! At the beginning of each month I like to create a TBR list with about 5 books, and throughout the month I try to pick books from that list to read. Sometimes I add books as the month goes on or I change my list a little bit. I also don’t usually read all of the books on my TBR during a month, because there’s not enough time to read them all sometimes, but whichever books I don’t read, I sometimes transfer over to the next month’s TBR. That will be coming at the end of next week or at the beginning of November!

Essay #1

Sonya Johal

Professor Norman

PUB 101

20 October 2020

Democratic Discussions and News on Instagram

            The process of checking news has changed as societies have progressed over time. Years ago, people were dependent on newspapers, and would look forward to reading the paper in the mornings. That slowly changed to becoming dependent on news channels and listening to updates on television. Over the last few years, news has evolved further, and people now use social media as a news source, as well. One of the main social network platforms that is used as a news source is Instagram. Instagram has many ways of spreading news, through live streams, their stories feature, and posts. It allows for discussions among people, in a democratic way, and also opens conversations about recent news. Instagram has become a central news source for many people, and functions as a useful, democratic space to receive news and converse about it with others around the world.

            Instagram allows for everyone, with an account, to have equal rights to view any public content. Users also have the ability to create content as they wish, allowing for them to share news with others, share links to news stories, and share what they think about any topic. As a part of this democracy, people are able to respond to posts, stories, or other information that someone shares. This results in opening many conversations about news and the world’s current events. One main reason people are attracted to Instagram as a news source is the convenience, and the ability to post something quickly or in real time (Vazquez-Herrero et al. 2). The visual aspect attracts viewers as well, along with short captions or videos (“Instagram ‘will overtake Twitter’”). This adds to the viewer experience of reading news stories due to being able to read a news story quickly and then continue on doing something else. People have taken these features on Instagram and used them to spread important information about necessary topics. One example of this is how people have used this platform to carry forward social justice movements. This includes Black Lives Matter, as users share information about shootings, protests, and share links for where to donate. Instagram not only allows for people to share and spread information, but also to share their own stories. When someone experiences something personally, they are able to share their story immediately with the world through an Instagram post, story, or live video.

            This social media platform operates with millions of users around the world. Instagram allows for people around the world to connect and speak to each other about important topics. This removes the limitation of people not being able to reach wide demographics. While this is a very beneficial feature, Instagram often filters what is seen on people’s home feeds. This means that, due to the algorithm, Instagram shows people posts that are similar to other posts they like or often view. This leads to echo chambers, which are spaces where people view stories that confirm what they believe or agree with (Bishop). While this appears to be a barrier in receiving different types of news, there are several alternative ways for people to find news on Instagram. A few different ways people discover news are through people they follow who share stories, by searching hashtags, and by following influential accounts which share important information. These influential accounts may include news channel accounts, celebrities, critics, or journalists.

            While Instagram has many benefits and positive aspects as a news source, there are also issues concerning it. For many people, accuracy is a concern due to viewing news stories that are not accurate or objective (Shearer and Matsa). While it is beneficial for people to have quick access in order to share news stories, there may be important information that is not included or information that someone heard wrong. People appreciate being able to read news on this social platform, but often times it is important to check if the source is trusted and confirm what is heard. Instagram users have quick access to any information they wish to find, and they have the option to respond to it, in any way they wish. Although this is true, there have been cases when a user is censored for an opinion they hold or words they use. In this case, Instagram limits what someone can say about something, and users must respond using different words or in an alternative way.

            Although there are several concerns and issues surrounding Instagram’s quality as a news source and democratic space, Instagram functions as a convenient community space for many people. It operates as an area where people can discuss events and situations that are important to them. People often have different opinions than one another, but that is part of having important conversations with multiple perspectives, as opposed to having one single perspective on a situation. Instagram continues to evolve and create more opportunities for people to use it as a space where they can interact with stories about current events. As it continues to build and become greater, people continue to turn to it in order as a source, to receive real time information.

Works Cited

Bishop, Katie. “Why Are Millennials and Gen Z Turning to Instagram as a News Source?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 27 July 2020, www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/jul/27/instagram-news-source-social-media.

Shearer, Elisa, and Katerina Eva Matsa. “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2018.” Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, 27 Aug. 2020, www.journalism.org/2018/09/10/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2018/.

Vázquez-Herrero, Jorge, et al. “Ephemeral Journalism: News Distribution Through Instagram Stories.” Social Media + Society, vol. 5, no. 4, 2019, doi:10.1177/2056305119888657.

“Instagram ‘Will Overtake Twitter as a News Source’.” BBC News, BBC, 15 June 2020, www.bbc.com/news/technology-53050959.