Author Archives: Vancityfoodtrucks

Experience as an online Publisher

As an online publisher for the first time I have come to realize many things as to having an online presence. To be a successful publisher, there are various aspects to take in to consideration. Before taking publication 101 at Simon Fraser University, I have always thought that a publishers main tasks was to write, write and write some more. Although a lot of what being a publisher requires is writing, I have come to realize how much design, engagement and statistics also come into play. All of these aspects work together for one to have a successful online presence.

My online presence was based through a WordPress blog and Instagram. I mainly focused on food and reviewed it for other readers who would be interested in trying something new. I targeted all of my content towards people in Vancouver, in hopes that they would visit the places I’ve posted about. After reviewing some of my statistics through instagram, most of my followers and engagements do come from people who are from Vancouver. Prior to creating this blog and online presence, I wanted to keep my tone on both platforms the same. Learning from other food bloggers I follow, I’ve noticed that having the persona of a friend and using a playful tone works the best. As I am giving food suggestions, to me, it feels like I am talking to my audience casually which allows for comments and feedback that opens to conversation.

The value I intend to give my audience is simple. I try my best to give honest reviews and answer any questions they have. Aside from the audience who come to my blog/instagram for food suggestions, I tag all the food stall owners into my posts. To my surprise, many of them responded back and appreciated the shoutout.

Accounts following my Instagram after posting a food review

Some of the food places who have an Instagram account even followed me back and reposted my pictures. To me, this was a success in the return of value for all three parties — me, my audience, and the food stall owners. Many of them also commented on my posts which increases my engagement. Other readers also comment and some even let me know that they would give my suggestions a try one day. This has influenced me to keep posting as when I see actual feedback from my targeted audience I know my blog is working!

Through comments, I get to express myself and use my online presence as an advantage. The fact that I do not put my identity out to the public allows me to be more expressive with myself. As psychologist John Suler termed the “online disinhibition effect”, he states that as you shed your identity, the usual constraints on your behaviour go too (Konnikova, 2013, para. 2). Although my anonymity allows me to fully express myself, I do not abuse this power. It encourages me to create a sense of community and be more proactive, whereas in real life I am more timid and worry about standing as an individual. Anonymity certainly boosts a certain kind of creative thinking for me as to other people. (Konnikova, 2013, para. 3). This allowed me to comment on other food blogger’s posts and start to make connections online.

One thing I would like to work on is to be more consistent. In the beginning of the term, I was more focused on the blog and uploaded more consistently. While I was doing this, I noticed a jump in followers, engagements and impressions. More people were visiting my blog/Instagram and it was at the peak. Though I tried to pick up my consistency again, it was hard to get back to my peak. I was not sure why this was the case, but I assumed it was because of the algorithm from Instagram. After trying to get back to higher engagements, I started to comment on other blogger’s content and my engagements started to increase as well.

Beginning profile visits vs. profile visits during inconsistent posting

Aside from all the numbers and back-end statistics, I also tried to focus on the aesthetics of my blog/Instagram account. “Good designs are intuitive”  (Kaptelinin, n.d., para. 2), so I tired to make my blog as easy to navigate as possible for my audience. “Great, intuitive designs are those that allow us directly, and correctly, to see what we can do with a thing”  (Kaptelinin, n.d., para. 7). The human attention span when landing on a website is 7 seconds (Bowshier, 2017, para. 1), — that is shorter than a goldfish’s attention span of 9 seconds! Because of this, I tried to use effective affordance strategies on my blog. As Norman, director of The Design Lab at University of California would say, affordances provide strong clues to the operation of things (Norman, 1988). I made sure all my buttons on my blog look like they were clickable and that all my in-text links were underlined. The user will know what to do just by looking: no picture, label, or instruction will be needed to tell them what to click on. (Norman, 1988).

For the Instagram aesthetics, I tried my best to edit the pictures so they look extra appetizing. As mentioned above, some of the pictures have also been featured on the food place’s official instagram pages. I made sure to keep my blog and Instagram as a whole unit by linking my blog in the description, and adding Instagram icons on my WordPress blog. My online presence with this blog has been fun, it was definitely cool to meet new people online. I was able to share my experience while gaining insight from others as well. Past the end of this course, I hope to continue my food blog journey and keep my engagements stable by being more consistent and proactive as a publisher and audience to my peers.

word count: (975)


Bowshier, L. (2017). You have 7 seconds: Grab website Visitor’s Attention in Moments. Tribute Media. Retrieved from

Hambil, J. ( 2016). How to Talk to Strangers. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

Kaptelinin, V. (n.d). The Encyclopedia of Human-Cimputer Interaction, 2nd Ed. Interaction Design Foundation. Retrieved from

Norman, Donald A. (1988): The Psychology of Everyday Things. New York, Basic Books

Self-Assessment 5%

I would give myself an overall score of 4.5/5 for my self assessment. As I learned how to present myself on the online space, I got better as the semester went on. I learned how to engage with my audience through instagram and even made a few connections with official accounts. I have also been featured on their accounts and gotten recognition from them. As to my statistics, I personally think throughout these 3 months, I did get some views (mainly on my Instagram rather than my website). Though there were not many visiting users, it is a start. I would like to continue my journey as a food blogger on instagram but maybe not on an actual website. Another aspect I would like to work on would be to be more consistent. Although I finished the posts in the end and created the content for my food posts, the consistent posts would have kept my statistics higher and kept me relevant. I’ve taken a lot from this course and the guest speakers really open up my perspective on their personal professions. My post and online presence was uniformed throughout the semester and I believe my use of another platform (Instagram) really enhanced my blog. I tried to be more personable and gave off a friendlier vibe to start conversation. People have left comments and even complimented my posts. This has been a great experience, and I am glad everything ran smoothly!

Community Guidelines

I think my guidelines are pretty similar to bookriot’s guidelines 

“To support these goals, the following rules will be enforced. Users can be banned on the first offense for any of the following behaviors:

  • Name-calling, insulting, or otherwise attacking a contributor or another site user.
  • Posting irrelevant, abusive, or otherwise inappropriate content or comments.
  • Posting comments that question or denigrate the value of marginalized voices.
  • Posting self-promotional content.”

I would also include — guidelines which state:

  1. no reposting material/photos without proper credits
  2. do not impersonate someone else and comment/interact with account
  3. help report any unacceptable behaviour when present


These will be regulated by me and hopefully with the help of my followers. Users who do not follow guidelines will be warned and then blocked if no changes are implemented.

Transmedia Integration

I took advantage of Instagram to spread out my media. Because my blog/content focused on food related topics I realized it was very image based. So I thought to myself, what better platform than to use Instagram to help promote my blog!

Most of the reviews are based on my WordPress blog, but I do like to give sneak previews on Instagram. I make use of my posts and Instagram stories to hint my follows that a full review will be ‘coming soon’. This helped with engagement and I get to spread out my content through 3 different ways. 1. Instagram post 2. Instagram Story 3. WordPress blog

Flow i intended my audience to go from: Instagram post –> view story –> visit blog for full review

Anticipated Visits

Here are some places I plan to visit, but have not tried yet! Let me know if there are any here that you have been to and how you feel about their food.

I can’t wait!

The Chick Pea food truck: I have always wanted to try this place, it looks really healthy but so tasty at the same time…. fun fact: I did not know hummus was made of chickpeas for the LONGEST time.

The Frying Pan food truck: Of course there is another fried chicken craving…. But this has been really popular on Instagram and I definitely want to give it a try.

The Praguery food truck: This one has been LONG over due. I always walk by this but never get it because I already stuffed myself with too much food before dessert. Such a perfect festive munch especially for Christmas




Last China feature! Dimsum…who can say no to that.

Meatballs + Broccoli — tender and mixed with a lot of vegetables

Soup dumplings — some of them were lacking soup, but the ones that had soup were so juicy!

Spareribs — the softest meat I have ever had

Steamed buns with egg yolk — Perfectly round buns with the salty egg yolk that runs out after every bite

Sponge cake — made layer by layer, interesting texture but very moist

Durian custards — Alot of people do not like durian, but I loooooove durian. This pastry was not that strong and the outside crunch created a good texture. The oil that fried the crust was a bit old though

Overall rating:

Aesthetics: 5/5
Taste: 4/5
Price: Under $25 of everything in picture

Location: Taishan — not sure what name of restaurant was

Dirt Baked Chicken [CHINA EDITION]

So I made a trip down to Guangzhou, China Mid-November and this had to be my favourite dish. I know this is not in Vancouver, but if you guys ever travel down there you NEED to give this a try.

We also god sweet potatoes (look how purple they are!!) — very soft and very creamy not dry at all. It complemented well with the oily chicken and the starch soaked up most of the grease.

Aesthetics: 5/5
Taste: 4/5
Price: (((forgot cause I did not pay 🙂 )) — probably less than $1



So this was how people baked their chickens back in the day when ovens did not exist. They would dig a hole in the ground and then bake it for 4-5 hours. This is probably not foodsafe in Canada, but trust me it was soooo good. I have never had such tender chicken in my life! Be sure to wear gloves and eat it with your hands for the full experience!

It is wrapped in tin foil which contacts the dirt and then leaves to keep the chicken juices in place. Be sanitary and enjoyyyyy!


Aesthetics: 5/5 — looks messy but thats the traditional way
Taste: 5/5 — can I give this a 6/5 ?
Price: Also not sure but probably less than $12 for a WHOLE chicken


The #1 thing that surprised me about the analytics or engagements was from Instagram. I was really surprised that some accounts reposted my pictures and followed me back. Some well-known food places even followed me first like Tacofino, Buro coffee, Clickdishes, Ebisu, etc.


Above: Reel Mac and Cheese and Crab Park Chowdery followed me back and also reposted my image which helped with my engagement as well because they also tagged me in their post.

When I hit my peak, I had around 120-150 people visit my account per week. My posts generally averaged around 30-50 likes. I was also glad that most of my viewers were from Vancouver (on both my WordPress blog and Instagram because that was my intended audience from the beginning.

As for my blog, many of them were new visitors — so one thing I would like to work on is to increase the % of my returning visitors and hopefully create a better connection with them. My peak on my WordPress blog was in the month of October with 39 unique users and 117 page views in total!

Another thing I would like to improve after looking at my statistics on Google Analytics would be the bounce rate.

I would like to try and have my audience stay on my page longer instead of clicking away so fast.