Process Post #11: Community Guidelines

I am not a fan of the wishy-washy. Grey areas are not for me, my friends. I know, very Dawn à la Waitress of me. 

And while I get that we’re all big kids here, I think that it might be time for some rules. In saying so, I present to you: Moods & Mixtapes’ Community Guidelines.

THE SNIPPET

Moods & Mixtapes is a safe, creative space where we can share our go-to songs and reoccurring feels. We love jamming with you, so please help us to maintain the quality of the blog! Let’s work together and remember to be a little kinder to one another (and avoid any noise complaints). 

THE FULL ALBUM

  • We get it, we all have different tastes. But if you must disagree, do it intelligently. 
    • Having differing opinions does not justify offensive comments. If you wouldn’t say it face-to-face, don’t say it online. 
  • Absolutely no hate speech. 
    • Any comments attacking groups or other users will not be tolerated and will be removed immediately. Moods & Mixtapes is a space that welcomes anyone and everyone. 
  • If you feel offended by another user’s contribution or have noticed any distasteful comments, please report them to erica@moodsandmixtapes.com 
  • Listen to Aretha, show some RESPECT. 
  • If reposting or making mention to any of the cover art, blog posts, or playlists, this website, moodsandmixtapes.com, or @moodsandmixtapes on Spotify must be tagged. 
  • In need of a certain mix or want to see a certain track featured? Feel free to email requests to erica@moodsandmixtapes.com!

BUT, WHY?

Short, sweet, and hopefully manageable. I chose these guidelines because this blog is a way for me to express myself and give a bit of a sneak peek into who I am. At the end of the day, I want visitors to have the same experience. Although, for this to happen, we need to be aware of the users (virtually) around us. After all, a spoonful of respect and kindness helps the comment section go down smoothly. That’s how it goes, right? 

BUT, HOW?

When it comes to finding these rules a home, I’m planning on either adding them onto the About page or creating a new section of its own in the menubar. Either way, we’re in the clear and out of the grey. 

Now that this business is taken care of, let’s get to listening!

Play when…you’re feeling yourself

mmHMM, I see you! Smiling, sassy, living your best life. 

Maybe you’ve got your favourite feel-good outfit on, are having the greatest good hair day of all good hair days, (and/) or have just caught a glimpse of yourself in the hallway mirror and let me tell you—you’ve got it so flaunt it!

Ain’t there no shame in any of it. That’s right, so go ahead and check yourself out again because this is the type of energy that you deserve to feel every day. 

Sound on & strut. 

Process Post #10 | Community Guidelines

Our Community Guidelines

1. Mutual Respect in the Comments: Comments are welcomed, but please do not attack one another with hateful comments. I encourage all honest, and insightful comments from everyone, but please remember think twice before posting ate hate speech. 

2. Do not post unwarranted personal information of business owners: Please share your own experiences with the businesses that I mention in the posts, but unrelated hateful or discriminatory comments directed at business owners, and personal information of business owners will not be tolerated. Personal information including address, and contact information will be deleted

3. Blogs are opinions: Please remember that my recommendations are based on my own experiences, preferences, and opinions, what I may view as positive may be different from what you view as positive. Please explore my recommendations with that in mind. 
 
4. Information provided are subject to changes: All information I post, including facts about promotional deals, product information, prices, and business offerings, are correct to the best of my knowledge at the time I make the posting. That being said, this information may have been changed right after I posted, so please do further research on businesses you are curious about. 

For Our Community

I wanted to make these guidelines to promote a judge-free, discriminate-free place for everyone to communicate. I want to open the comments section up so a dialogue within our community can exist. I encourage everyone to share their thoughts and contribute to the conversation. That being said, I highly advise against hateful comments. I will promote free and open conversation so I will not delete many comments, but lets please try to keep our community honest. That being said, the only comments that WILL be deleted, are comments that state any personal information of business owners, employees of businesses, or any instances that may put someone in danger. All other discussions, whether postive or negative, I believe will contribute to the open discussion, and I will not delete. 

Please also keep in mind that I am an independent, amateur blogger, and my blog posts are based on my own opinions and any information I provide is subject to change. While I highly encourage you all to go out and experience my recommendations, I recommend a wide range of businesses, so some may not be for you. Similarly, if you go out to experience my recommendations, please remember that any information I give off product/service offering, prices, or any information of any kind is based on my own knowledge at the time of the blog’s posting date. That means that information may not be up to date, and may have changed. 

These guidelines are necessary for this blog because I want to encourage an open and honest conversation within our community. I also want to be upfront and authentic about my recommendations.

Implementation

I posted my community guidelines directly on my home page, and in my “About Me” page so people can easily find and read it. I also monitor my comments section, a notification is sent each time someone comments, so I can quickly identify when comments do not follow the guidelines. 

Essay #2 | The Journey of Navigating Vancouver

With Nix Navigates Vancouver, my goal was to create a community of people within Vancouver to share interesting finds around the city. Initially, I knew I wanted to highlight local businesses and entrepreneurs, but I didn’t know which route my blog would go in. While creating a roadmap for my website, I saw that most of my recommendations fits into three broad categories that summarized by overall interests; experiences, food, and shopping. With the theme of spending differently, and buying locally, I wanted to share unique local businesses that others might not know about. Before I move on, I want to quickly highlight some posts that features very cool local businesses. “2 Places to Shop That isn’t an Ordinary Supermarket” is a blog where I talk about two small independent grocery stores that are sustainable and promotes waste-free shopping. In the post “Unique Private Dinners with Independent Chefs,” I recommend two amazing chefs here in Vancouver that will actually come to your house and cook for you.

I aim for my website to appear more personal compared to other Vancouver related news outlets, so every post is written in my voice based on my own interests. The goal is that my audience can recognize I was the sole writer of my website, rather than a team of marketers in the city. This would hopefully translate into the content being more authentic and valuable for readers. Being authentic and connecting with people I like are two points that works to achieve success (Thorn, 2012). Since this blog, first and foremost, is a blog made for a class, the audience I’ve been envisioning from the start has been my classmates. Through the weeks, I began to view my website as an actual publication rather than a semester-long assignment and perceived my audience to be something bigger than just our publication class.

I picture my audience to be other young individuals in Vancouver who were also curious about what our city has to offer. Specifically, I wrote for counter publics of people who are interested in sustainability, promotes health and fitness, enjoys exploring, likes travelling, and loves to eat. I value I hope to provide are insightful and relevant recommendations that people are interested in. My mission is that people go out and tries my recommendations, and genuinely enjoys it. On the other hand, I also hope to bring value to local businesses by promoting and increasing awareness of their offerings on my platform. Though my personal experiences with these businesses, I hope I can bring insight into my website’s community.

To address my audience, I incorporate a lot of visual and design elements into my blog posts. I try to lay out my blogs in an engaging way that retains reader’s interest. For every business that I recommend, I try to include pictures and links to their social media. At the start of the semester, my blog posts were very minimal because I just used the standard format that WordPress provided for posts. After a couple weeks, I became more comfortable experimenting with WordPress plug-in’s and made my blogs more creative.

I found Google Analytics to be a great tool in viewing who my readers are, when they visit my website, and which types of posts gets the most visit. Since I want to make meaningful recommendations that my readers actually care about, the fact I consider to be most useful in Google Analytics would be seeing what pages my viewers visit. From this information, I can see that my posts “3 Vacations You Do Not Have to Fly to” and “2 Places to Shop That isn’t an Ordinary Supermarket” are the most popular. I can shift future posts towards topics that are similar to what is currently popular on my page.

I previously mentioned that with this website, I wanted to create a place where a community of like-minded people can come, engage with one another, share ideas, and communicate. For this reason, I provide and comments section in every post’s, and on my home page. I want this blog to be bigger than just myself, where others can share their recommendations or provide their own experiences to places that I recommend. Either at the beginning or the end of every blog post, I ensure to encourage readers to join the conversation in the comment sections. Allowing comments also motivates me to share real recommendations, because it would hurt my entire blog if I recommend something that everyone else has a negative experience with. With comments, there may be the occasional unexpected negative interactions that occur. Although it is an extra step to monitor my very quiet comment section for anything offensive, misleading, or hateful, I find keeping a comment section if more beneficial than hurtful. Writings and posts are actually enriched by the responses so I never did I consider disabling my comment section just to avoid the very small group of trolls and haters (Gardiner et al., 2016).

At the beginning of the term, I thought publications done in blog form on a website was only made by professional teams of educated writers. For ordinary amateur writers like me, I thought the only place I could create on online presence and share my ideas was through social media platforms. I now understand that, making a website is accessible to everyone. In a time where everything is becoming digital, I found it useful to learn tools and software such as WordPress, and Google Analytics.

Through this publication course, I learned a lot about how to establish an online presence. My experience writing the blog has been enjoyable, as I was able to write on topics I am genuinely interested in. However, regarding the future of this blog, I think this week will be the last week that Nix Navigates Vancouver will be updated. Through the semester, I learned that maintaining a blog, with weekly insightful posts, is very time consuming. I will still use everything I learned in this class and translate it into all of my future endeavours. I am active on my social media accounts, and this is where I will use the skills I developed on speaking to an audience. Social media is a stage for self-expression, communication, and self-promotion and is essentially where we create and display an online identity of our actual self (Dijck, 2013). This class will help me establish a presence on my social media platforms. Further, I am a student in marketing and entrepreneurship so I definitely see myself using the online skills that I developed while creating this website. That being said, thank you to the few of you who have been coming back to my website every week to see what I have to recommend and share. Thank you for being a part of this community. Let’s continue to explore the city and support small local businesses!

References

Gardiner, B., Mansfield, M., Anderson I., Holder, J., Louter, D., & Ulmanu, M. The dark side of Guardian comments. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/12/the-dark-side-of-guardian-comments

Thorn, J. (2012, November 4). Make Your Thing. Transom. Retrieved from https://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/

Van Dijck, J. (2013, March 14). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, 35(2). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443712468605

The Wendigo: A Man-eater

a supernatural being belonging to the spiritual traditions of Algonquian-speaking First Nations in North America. 

Names:
Depending on the many First Nations that speak an Algonquian language, including the AbenakiSiksikaMi’kmaqAlgonquinOjibwe and Innu, the spelling and pronunciation of the word “windigo” differs. Wendigo, wheetigo, windikouk, wi’ntsigo, wi’tigo and wittikka are all alternative versions of the same term. Other names, such as atchen, chenoo and kewok, are also commonly used to refer to the windigo.

In Legend:
According to most Algonquian oral traditions, a wendigo is a cannibalistic monster that preys on the weak and socially disconnected. In most versions of the legend, a human becomes a wendigo after his or her spirit is corrupted by greed or extreme conditions such as hunger and cold. In others, humans become wendigos when possessed by a prowling spirit during a moment of mental or emotional weakness.

Origin and History:
The wendigo legend existed in Algonquian oral history for many centuries, long before Europeans arrived in North America.  Stories have circulated on the Western frontier in the 1800s, among Plains First Nations peoples and employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). Some HBC traders’ records describe encounters with Indigenous spiritual leaders claiming to descend into “fits” of religious passion. Indigenous peoples often accused these people of being wendigos; HBC traders sometimes described them as mad. In some cases, community members or relatives of the accused killed the suspected wendigo as a precaution. In one example, three men killed Cree spiritual leader Abishabis after he became greedy and killed a First Nations family — which led others to believe that he was a wendigo.

Symbolism:
1. Legends of the wendigo coinside with the beliefs, social structures, and traditions of the people who tell these stories. For some, it serve as a reminder about what can happen when individuals are left outside of the community.
Extreme hunger, cold, and isolation were ever-present and threatening facts of life for many First Nations people living in the northern boreal forests. In fact, most wendigo stories begin with an individual or small group trapped in the cold wilderness without food for an extended period. Wendigos were said to kill lonely travelers or a transform into a member of a group before eventually killing other humans it encountered.

2. Greed and resource sharing.
Human survival often depended on communal cooperation. Any individual who refused to share local resources, especially in times of great deprivation, would be a social pariah.

3. The injustices that Indigenous peoples have faced in Canada.
A more contemporary symbol which encompasses the historical pain from residential schools, the restriction of rights in the Indian Act, the Sixties Scoop and similar policies. Armand Ruffo’s film, A Windigo Tale (2010), for example, uses the monster to tell a story about the inter-generational trauma of residential schools. For some Indigenous persons, the wendigo represents the forces of colonization.

posiel | Essay #2

At the beginning of this semester, I had minimal to no knowledge about blogging. Nihon Shoku is the first blog that I built, and also the blog that discovered my interest in online-publication. 

Nihon Shoku is an online food blog that introduces the history and manner of Japanese cuisines, and my experiences visiting restaurants in Japan. I started by choosing a theme, a name, a website domain and settling with the platform WordPress. After building the base, I started compiling weekly posts, designing the website, creating social media account and keeping track of readers. 

During the whole blogging process, I was doubtful about my chosen theme. I am always passionate about Japanese food, and I wish to use my passion to promote this culture to other readers. However, I was not sure if I am on the right path until I read the article by Jesse Thorn. He used Chris Hardwick as an example to prove how following one’s passion can be a significant part of a creator (Thorn, 2012). He mentioned that the audience can tell the true side and real passion of the creator. With his advice, I became confident with the blog’s theme. I have always been interested in history, origins and manners of different cuisines, especially Japanese dishes. Embedding such strong interest in my blog posts, it can help visitors to feel my enthusiasm and a true passion for this topic. This is an influential factor and advantage to the blog since it helps to communicate my online presence of a Japanese food mania.

Other than the theme, defining a target audience is also helpful as it provides editorial guidance. Potential audiences that I imagined are English readers of the western culture who want to receive reliable information about Japanese food culture. I specifically emphasized on English readers because I primarily use sources that are written in Japanese. I want to bring less accessible content to my readers and also build an authentic atmosphere for the blog. Also, targeting individuals of western culture has prompted me to translate and explain Japanese terms from the perspective of this group of readers. I compare Japanese food to common western recipes aiming to help readers understand better. 

This potential audience group has proven by Google analytics to be matched with the demographics of actual audiences. All visitors are English readers and more than 80% are located in Canada and the US. This suggested that most of them are English readers who are familiar with western culture. Google also hinted me to put more effort into the computer website layout since more than two-thirds of the users browse from a laptop. Google analytics has helped me to understand my market since I have not received any comments from any readers yet.

Another group of audience that I targeted are individuals who wish to get reliable information. As the research from the Data & Society Research Institute (Marwick & Lewis, 2017) has indicated, around two-thirds of Americans do not trust mass media. This statistic has largely impacted my choice of sources since I would like to build a trust relationship between me and my readers. I want to build a resourceful blog with accurate knowledge that audiences can trust. Hence, I cross-check uncertain information on organizations’ websites, official company blogs or newspaper articles before referencing them in blog posts. Hyperlinks of the source are attached to keywords to show credit and prove, and hopefully, to increase the validity of the blog. I would like to brand this blog as a place full of solid Japanese cuisine knowledge tailored for English readers from western culture.

On the other hand, besides bringing knowledge to readers, I also wish to provide some promotion value to Japanese food culture. Each article is completed by thorough research along with numerous revisions on the writing. Composing articles of research and learning outcomes of a food item can possibly raise attention and increase the chance for readers to try out the documented food. Appetizing images and vivid descriptions are also used for the same purpose in creating an opportunity to promote this culture.

All in all, building this blog has given me a comprehensive learning experience of building an online personality. I learned that online publishing is not only about writing, but also marketing, design and market analysis. I will develop my blog further if it can bring my financial benefits, which according to Vauhini Vara (2015), I have to expand the blog. I will need to entertain readers of a larger population, generate revenue from them, then use the profit to build on my own big project of investigating on food history. This financial goal will take a longer time to be completed, but I will definitely keep trying. 

Reference

Jesse Thorn. 2012. “Make Your Thing.” http://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/

Marwick, Alice and Lewis, Rebecca. 2017. “Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online“. Datasociety.net. 

Vauhini Vara. 2015. “Survival Strategies for Local Journalism”,  https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/survival-strategies-for-local-journalism

Essay 2 – Creating My Blog

The following is my final essay for PUB101. The essay highlights my experience creating this blog and the decisions and changes I made throughout the process. You can read the essay below or download the PDF above for a more legible read.

The blog I created this semester is entitled “Melissa Hudson”. The website is a professional portfolio that showcases my work as a stylist and content creator. My website is divided into three sections “Editorial”, “Styling”, and “Posiel”. The Editorial section displays my work in graphic design and artistic directing. The Styling section shows my work in fashion styling and the inspiration behind my work. The Posiel section holds all of my work for PUB101 that is not directly related to the other themes of my blog. I created this blog to be used as a professional portfolio in my career outside of school. Thus, the posts I create are all portfolio pieces or pieces that allow viewers insight into who I am as an artist. The content is all directed to my desired field of interest and presents the blog as a representation of my brand (myself as an artist). Through the creation of this blog, I have been branding myself as a professional and therefore, my blog is intended for potential employers and admirers of my work.

My imagined audience is potential employers who are working in the fashion and art industries as well as young creatives who enjoy viewing the work of other young artists. This can be seen through my artist statement on the opening page which informs reader who I am an as artist and as a person and what my personal niche is in the industry. I have created my website so that my audience can easily navigate my work and sift through my content based on what appeals to them. This can also be seen in the design of my website as I have designed it to be very minimalistic so that the work stands out. In addition, the colour scheme (black, white, and a low opacity pink) is reflective of myself and my brand. The colour scheme is chic, fashionable, and simplistic yet bold.

My audience is also addressed through my content as the majority of my posts are accompanied by a work statement where I state the purpose of the piece, what it was created for, what my inspirations were, and why I took the direction that I did. This information is important for potential employers in understanding the work I have done and for what reasons. Other young artists are being addressed as the featured images I use as transmedia representations of my work are very artistic and true to my brand. Thus, I am catching their artistic eye through the use of this creative imagery.

I believe that I provide value to the fashion/art community as I am my own individual, with unique experiences, tastes, and interests. Therefore, nothing I do will be identical to the work of another artist. My websites value is not monetary, but it is valuable in networking. Not only can I use it to promote myself as an artist, but my audience can use my work as inspiration. They can use my Styling section as fashion inspiration/ advice, and they can contact me to collaborate or to hire me for a job. Thus, the value in my website derives from its ability to act as a driver for connections or inspiration.

My website is a portfolio intended to help with employment after I graduate in my field of interest. Since I am still a student, I have not yet been employed in my field, therefore, I do not have any professional work to showcase. In order to overcome this, I did quite a bit of research on things to include in portfolio’s when entering the workforce after graduation. An article on The Muse website argued  that “Having something to show off—even if it wasn’t for an actual company or client—will still be powerful in representing your abilities” (Frost, N.d). Frost’s argument suggests that creating ‘mock’ pieces based on the type of work you want to do strengthens your portfolio. Thus, in my portfolio I have created and will continue to create ‘mock’ pieces of the type of work I hope to do. In addition, building up my online presence shows potential employers dedication to my intended line of work. This is suggested by John DiScala in the following quote about having a professional online presence; “By having one, you’re differentiating yourself and showing colleagues and potential employers that you’re dedicated to what you do. Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself either. […]Use the tools you have available to be the most engaging” (DiScala, 2019).  DiScala’s quote highlights the importance in distringuishing yourself within your industry in order to stand out. He suggests that by creating a digital portfolio you are one step above the competition who do not have one.

When I first created a blog at the beginning of the semester, I had a completely different theme (Sustainable Design). However, after a few weeks I realized that this was not a good topic for me to choose for a blog. Even though I was very interested and passionate about the topic, I felt as though I had nothing to contribute to the current sphere of information regarding the topic. As I am a full-time student who is not currently working in a creative field, discovering anything new to contribute to the field was too time consuming and I did not feel motivated to do so. After much consideration I decided to change my website to a professional portfolio and fashion/design blog. As soon as I did so I found that I was much more motivated to create content and develop my website as it could potentially benefit me in my future career.

Due to this change, I found myself thinking more critically about my tone of voice and language in my content as I want to present myself as professional but still youthful and creative. I found myself critically thinking about who my intended audience was (primarily potential employers) and how I would want them to perceive me. This altered the kind of content I posted. Originally, I had intended to only post my work and nothing about myself besides a short artist description. However, after doing some research on e-portfolios I realized that allowing employers to get to know myself a little bit is extremely beneficial. This can be seen in Frost’s article as she states “While your past work is a critical aspect when someone’s thinking about working with you, it’s important to remember that said person isn’t looking to hire your work, but the person who made it” (Frost, N.d). Erin Greenawald also comments on a digital portfolios ability to help you brand and market yourself in the following quote; “As anyone who has contemplated shifting career gears knows, your resume is a great way to show off your past experiences, but it doesn’t always portray the future self you want hiring managers to see. On a personal website, however, the brand you put out to the world is totally up to you. You can use it to show who you are, not just what you’ve done” (Greenawald, N.d). Therefore, I will continue to create content that expresses who I am as an individual, outside of my work as an artist.

Going forward I would like to continue maintaining my site as a professional portfolio. However, I think I will remove the ‘weekly blog’ aspect and manage the site as solely a digital resume with posts only containing portfolio pieces.  However, based on my research I can see that it is beneficial to create blog posts once in a while that are focused on who I am and my individual perspectives. This will help my ‘brand’ myself as an artist to employers and distinguish myself from other artists in the industry. I also plan to move my website to a different website builder (Wix) so that I can personalize and customize the site more thoroughly. Overall, I know that maintaining this website and continuing to develop my ‘brand’ and style through design, editorial, content, and tone will benefit me in my professional career.

Works Cited

DiScala, J. (2019, February 21). 5 Ways to Create a Professional Online Presence. Retrieved November 24, 2019, from https://www.inc.com/john-discala/5-ways-to-create-a-professional-online-presence.html.

Frost, A. (2015, July 6). How to Build a Portfolio That’ll Make Everyone Want to Hire You. Retrieved November 24, 2019, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-secrets-to-building-a-portfolio-thatll-make-everyone-want-to-hire-you.

Greenawald, E. (2014, July 23). How My Personal Website Helped Me Land My Dream Job. Retrieved November 24, 2019, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-my-personal-website-helped-me-land-my-dream-job.

Assorted Mini Melon Pan Box? YES! @ef and be Bakehouse

Melon Pan メロンパン is a classic type of sweet bun originated from Japan. I grew up eating quite a lot of melon buns back in Hong Kong but I never had some that were as fine as those from “ef and be Bakehouse”. Maybe it’s because the buns from this shop are produced by an authentic Japanese!

The Japanese sweet bread actually has nothing to do with melon, they are named “melon-pans” because they’re made to look like melons; with the iconic cookie crust topping.

The bakehouse runs mainly on a pick up/delivery basis, they also do pop-ups in cafes during weekends, eaters can easily order their pans (which means bread in Japanese!) from their website.

Since I really wanted to try more flavors with my very limited quota for calories, I ordered their assorted mini melon pan box that includes a mini size of 6 small buns, all with different tastes. And I absolutely loved all of them, the bread was so fresh, the crusts were crispy and rich in each of its respective flavors. My top favorites are the Matcha Pan (the green one) and Kinako Pan (the golden tanned one), as I’m originally a huge fan of matcha and kinako hahaha).

The shop currently only delivers to Vancouver, Burnaby, New West, Port Moody & Coquitlam, with a delivery fee of $5. But for orders more than $50, they would offer free delivery!

This box of sweet treat had definitely made my day and I’m sure that every person with slightly a sweet tooth or favoritism towards baking goods would love them.

Assorted Mini Melon Pan Box - 6 pcs

CAD $14.00

Matcha x 1- Original x 1- Kinako x 1- Chocolate x 1- Lemon Poppy Seed x 1- Black Sesame x 1

Ratings: 9.5/10

Website: https://www.efnbe.com/

Pick-Up Location: A6 – 5279 Still Creek Ave, Burnaby, BC, V5C 5V1, Canada

Community Guidelines

My blog posts are mostly based on my own experiences, so I’m interested in hearing how others’ experiences may differ from mine. Comments are automatically open on posts to create a more enjoyable experience and for more people to engage with the topic (Konnikova, 2013).To facilitate these discussion on the topics of my blogs, my community guidelines are:

  1. All comments are welcome and encouraged. Commenter’s first and last names will appear for easier identification and follow-up on threads.
  2. Keep comments relevant and read what others have said before posting the same thing.
  3. Commenters must be thoughtful and respectful of others’ opinions even though they are different from their own.
  4. Comments are moderated and will be closed if they violate any of these guidelines.



Sources:

Konnikova, M. (2013, October 23). The Psychology of Online Comments. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-psychology-of-online-comments.

Ketchup: Glass vs. Squeeze Bottle

The more common squeeze bottle is what’s in most household nowadays. But once in while we will go out to restaurants and see the original glass bottle being used. You could say the glass bottle design feels more premium and stands out among the abundance of other squeeze bottles on the market. But aesthetics aside, which one is more usable?

Glass Bottle
The original glass bottle bears a slim silhouette with a small twist cap. According to Heinz, the best way to get ketchup out of the glass bottle is to tilt at 45 degrees, and tap on the ’57’ on the bottleneck.Most people don’t know this trick, and end up spending 5 minutes shaking and smacking the bottom of the bottle just to get a few drops, then a big clump comes out just when you think you’ve shaken out enough.

via GIPHY

Squeeze Bottle
The squeeze bottle features a wider and flatter design, with an indent on each side for users to better grasp the bottle when squeezing. Ketchup is dispensed through he flip top screw cap.It’s more child-friendly in that the cap is easier to open, and the bottle won’t shatter if dropped. The amount of product that comes out can also be controlled by the user.

Conclusion

This topic of glass vs. squeeze bottle is an ongoing discussion. From a purely usability point of view, the squeeze bottle is more user friendly, but ultimately the choice if up to the preferences of the homeowner. However, some do say they prefer seeing the more sleek glass bottle at higher end restaurants, and others at retro diners perhaps for their nostalgic process of getting the ketchup out.

View a reddit thread on this topic.

Essay 2: Myself As A Publisher

My blog is meant to be a platform which I share my experiences with music. It is my personal blog that I am using as an extension of myself and sharing with others the way certain songs or artists impact me. I believe that music is something very personal and is an extension of one’s personality. Therefore, most of my efforts with this blog has gone into creating something authentic and that I can proudly say I own (Thorn, 2012). 

“It’s well known that people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldn’t ordinarily say or do in the face-to-face world. They loosen up, feel more uninhibited, express themselves moreopenly ” (Suler, 2004). I share my experiences and explain why it makes me feel the way it does, and if I can’t explain it, I don’t try to because there’s a reason it can’t be placed into words. I think my blog might be helpful in terms of helping people express their own opinions. As an introvert, I prefer to keep to myself, and this course has allowed me to open up and share a comfortable amount of myself, through a medium that utilities the experiences and feelings of others. Thus, because this blog is meant to be more personal, I write using my own voice rather than through a formal tone. My goal is to connect with an audience that face the same issue as I do expressing myself. The changes I made to my blog were to mediate this. I followed a design structure similar to my personal style as a designer, and I voiced my content in such a way that stayed true to how I felt about the music I was listening to. Although my audience base is rather small, I am addressing them through authenticity. To interact with my audience, I mainly use audio, mainly the songs I want to highlight, and sometimes accompany it with visuals. 

Looking back, prior to and during the beginning of the course, I believed publication was content alignment with visual identity, simply because of print/digital media publication. I believed that the content itself needed to be rich and deep, and the visual identity needed to reflect that intensity. Creating an online presence is part of my academics and going into this course, I felt confident in my ability to create a brand identity for a company. Because of this, I wanted to challenge myself, and created this blog to help create my own online presence and see how it differs from creating a branding and identity for a company/group/collective. This course has helped me understand the importance of quickly establishing an ethos and pathos for an audience to base your content off of.  

This course helped deliver methodologies in establishing oneself in a digital landscape and why online presences matter. Rather than just being synonymous to media, publishing is more about information’s integration as part of technology and its effects on non-digitized documents. As we enter a new era of significant technological advancements,  “the world around us is increasingly mediated by screens and our understanding of it defined by digital information, we are rapidly losing touch with our undigitized past, left adrift in an ever-changing ephemeral world of bits and bytes without our physical past to anchor us” (Leetaru, 2017).

Moving forward, as a design student interested in branding and identity, this course has taught me the steps beyond establishing an ethos and pathos, and how to develop interpersonal relations through an online presence. I believe this course has taught us how to stay true to our individuality and our values, but also expressive about how the content of others can assist self-reflection.

REFERENCES:

Leetaru, Kalev. (September 29, 2017). In a Digital World, Are We Losing Sight of Our Undigitized Past?

Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326.

Jesse Thorn. 2012. “Make Your Thing.”

Hitting Rewind: An Essay

And with a blink of an eye (and bottomless coffee cups and innumerable sleepless nights), we have reached the last week of the semester. Thank God. And while I’m just about ready to pack up and move on to celebrating the holidays, we cannot go without spending some time to reminisce on this little piece of the internet that came into being a mere seventy-seven days ago. It just wouldn’t be right. I’m sentimental like that.

BACK TO DECEMBER SEPTEMBER

Going back to the very beginning, about four months ago when I was thinking about what I wanted to blog about—what I loved enough to talk about every week—I was stumped. With a capital S. Was it food? Fashion? Evening television? (No, I have not yet fully surrendered to streaming services, believe it or not.) After all, if I was going to share a piece of myself online or, as Suler (2004) would say, “disinhibit” myself, what would make it worth my while? 

And then, it hit me. 

And by “hit me”, I mean that my brother caught me in a moment of pure desperation and suggested that I write about the topic of many of our text conversations and dinner table exchanges. Music.

WE’RE JUST ORDINARY PEOPLE

As I discussed in “Process Post #5: And You Are…?”, I didn’t necessarily create Moods & Mixtapes with a certain demographic, music taste, or Myers-Briggs archetype in mind.

Considerably, the who of the blog was not of my concern when I was starting up this site. Rather, it was the why. In other words, this blog was made so that I could share my love of music and its ability to sound better, hit harder, and grab you by the freakin’ feels whenever you are experiencing a certain mood or are within a particular context. With this in mind, it did not matter to me who was reading the blog. Just being able to know that someone else could experience this sensation too, was more than enough. (I’ll try to stop with the sappy stuff now.)

Moreover, if someone were to ask me who my public is, I would say (without glancing at my analytics) that I have no idea. In saying so, Moods & Mixtapes serves a kind of public that Warner (2002) introduces in “Publics and Counterpublics”. It is a public “that comes into being only in relation to texts and their circulation” (para. 3). Thus, my public came into existence purely because of two reasons: (1) people visit this website and (2) people enjoy having a soundtrack to complement their sentiments. And man, are they my kind of people.

FEAST YOUR EYES

After reading just about any of my Process Posts, it will become quite clear that design was throwing me for a loop. But in my defence, how could it not? There were typefaces and margins and text colours and everything in-between that needed to be dealt with. In hindsight, I probably should have made everything into digital bite-sized pieces instead of trying to attack all of these components all at once, which is exactly what Mod (2014) advises against when it comes to publishing: “Believe me when I say, if you think about [all the details] before you start, you will never start. The rabbit hole is deep.” (para. 10). Undoubtedly, I am now a believer.

Frankly, the reason why the design was so crucial is that, to me, visuals and aesthetics are key. No one is going to want to read a blog post on a site that isn’t pleasing to the eye. I mean, I know I wouldn’t, so this reasoning was the basis of all of my design and structural changes around here. 

Yet, despite all of the tweaks and alterations, one design element stayed the same—blog cover photos. Throwing it back to September, I was set on making sure that each blog post would have a feature photo made by yours truly. Reason being, I found the pop of colour to highly compliment the black and white theme of the site, and I’m all for a fashion statement. Also, creating these images is one of my favourite parts of putting up a post! I would like to think that I am not the only one who enjoys them, as my previous peer reviews made mention of them as well. Validation is always nice, right?

STATS ON STATS

Not to fall into the clutches of what Gertz (2015) labels as “metrics-obsessed pseudo-science” (para. 18), but there is something to be said about the wonder that is Google Analytics. From just a few clicks, I can see how many people visited the site, what posts they interacted with, and how long they hung around for. And as my audience is purely imagined, analytics has helped to give a virtual face to Moods & Mixtapes visitors. By extension, helping me to refine my content. It’s a way of finding out how to “give the people what they want” as they say. 

Interestingly, Google Analytics has time and time again reminded me to never underestimate the power and ubiquity of the Internet. Notably, without the program, I would have never known that I have users reaching my content outside of my city. Getting traffic from the US, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, the UAE?! That’s absolutely WILD.

So, wherever you’re this reading from, thank you for being here!

HARDER THAN IT LOOKS

My perspective on publication has undeniably changed since the beginning of the term and it is due to this truth: blogging is hard. As much as we love to give bloggers and influencers a hard time, there is a lot more to this than what meets the eye. There is plenty to deal with—from keeping up with your numbers (analyzing them, improving them, figuring out what factors got you these results), coming up with new content, and finding ways to consistently roll out quality content without getting boring. Trust me, it does not come easy. 

BLOG LONG AND PROSPER

Having said that, regardless of all the crises and headaches that came with developing this online space, I would like to think that Moods & Mixtapes will continue past this semester. After all, this is a piece of myself that I’m proud to share! This blog, a product of “new technology” as Renner (2019) coins it, has “allowed [myself] to produce a narrative of [my] li[fe], to choose what to remember and what to contribute” (para. 4). In relation, this space has become an extension of who I am, and it would hurt to just pack it up and throw it into the back of the closet, so to speak. In other words, expect more moods and more mixtapes in the near future!

So here’s to the past seventy-seven days! Time for a jam sesh. 

References

Gertz, T. (2015). Design machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse. Retrieved from https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines 

Mod, C. (2014). Let’s talk about margins. Retrieved from https://medium.com/message/lets-talk-about-margins-14646574c385 

Renner, N. (2019). How social media shapes our identity. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/how-social-media-shapes-our-identity 

Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. CybserPsychology & Behaviour, 7, 321-326. Retrieved from http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html 

Warner, M. (2002). Publics and counterpublics. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425. Retrieved from http://knowledgepublic.pbworks.com/f/warnerPubCounterP.pdf 

Essay 2

Cr. whatoliviadid.com

At the start of the semester,  I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of content that I’ll have to publish online since this is my first time blogging. The word “publishing” had a serious connotation to me and I used to picture the mundane imagery of book publishers doing monotonous editing work at print companies. As I get to learn how to put up content online with WordPress, I realized publishing is a lot less stressful from what I used to think. Blogging on Half Milk and Sugar has allowed me to establish my online self as a friendly individual and create content that I am genuinely interested in. 

I originally created Half Milk and Sugar to blog about cafes reviews so I could justify my unhealthy obsession with sweet drinks and dessert. After a few consecutive weeks of blogging, I realized caffeine and sugar don’t just satisfy my sweet cravings but they also keep me awake and alive throughout the week. With the amount of workload I have for taking 14 credits this semester, visiting and trying out a new cafe each week is a great way to treat myself. These sweet delights have slowly become my motivation to work, how I boost concentration during work, and how I derive relaxation from work.

What I want to share on Half Milk and Sugar is not only ratings for food but also the experience that I enjoyed. This is why I started to develop more content that describes the interior of the places I went. Cakes and drinks may be finished within a few bites or sips, but the spatial enjoyment of a place lasts. As someone who is enthralled by how the ambiance and design can promote a specific vibe for the cafe, I took the effort to research the rationale behind each interior design of the restaurants and strive to share information that goes beyond ordinary food commentary. 

Targeting young audience that also derive pleasure from cafe experiences, I named my blog “Half Milk and Sugar” to make it sound like something you’d say when you order at a cafe. This helps me set a fun and conversational tone for my individual online self. To attract more audience on my site, I set up an Instagram account, linked my blog in the biography and posted photos of my food reviews where I use hashtags and tagged the restaurant location. By diversifying the platforms I use to publish my content and incorporating lofi cafe beats into my reviews, my bounce rate for these sites have decreased by 20%. 

Looking from my Google Analytics, I learnt that most of my audience are other students from Canada. Although the geographic location expanded to Asia and even Europe after I started writing reviews on popular Asian desserts, the number of visitors from other foreign countries was still under 10. Knowing that there are already copious food bloggers with a large following on Instagram, I kept asking myself why would people want to follow my new account instead of looking at popular foodie pages like Dished Vancouver that’s already on the platform? 

I felt quite out of place at that time and I even set my Instagram account to private to test out and reflect on what’s the best way to market my content. Gertz (2015) has however pointed out that we should stop chasing these superficial numbers of following. His words enlightened me to start thinking how I should treat my content and design to reflect my subtle personality instead. He raises an important point that the content we publish should speak to the few people who can identify with our personalities and interests because this is the only audience that matters. His inspiring advice reminded me why I created Half Milk and Sugar in the first place and pushed me forward to continue with my publishing work. 

Reflecting on this struggle I had during the blogging process, I think I was restricting my role of a publisher as every other foodie. Thorn (2012) argues in his article that “rather than defining yourself by the medium you create, define yourself by what you offer to your audience.” By sharing honest reviews and offering quiet cafe suggestions for doing work, I am inviting a group of audience from my local community in Canada that resonates with my busy college experience to find comfort and motivation in desserts. Even though I can’t be physically there to support these audience, I think I am providing a kind of spiritual support to them by encouraging them to treat themselves better after a long week of class. 

As Van Djik (2013) argues in his article, there is a noticeable change occurred in the organization and architecture of social media platforms where the centre of gravity have shifted from connectedness to connectivity. This suggests that millennials are more concerned about the actual numbers of ‘friending’, ‘liking’, ‘connecting’ and ‘following’ instead of the intimacy of relationships on social media platforms. I realized I should not be blinded by these numbers and focus on delivering relatable and useful content for my audience instead. I’m really thankful that my partners for my peer reviews gave me insightful and in-depth comments for improving the usability of my site. For example, I really took their advice and categorized all my content to just ‘posiel’ and ‘reviews’ blog posts so that it is easier to navigate content and enhance the user-experience for my audience.  

I believe this is not the end of my blogging journey. From designing the minimalist theme for my blog to uploading weekly cafes reviews, Half Milk and Sugar sparked my interest in publishing content that I am passionate about. I would definitely continue my dessert reviews on my Instagram and I hope to reach more audience that also rely on sugar and caffeine as their fuel so that we can all celebrate our sweet cravings here together.

References:
Gertz, Travis. 2015. “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” July 2015. Available from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Thorn, J. (2012, November 4). Make Your Thing. Transom. Retrieved from https://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/

Van Dijck, J. (2013, March 14). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture & Society, 35(2). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443712468605

How to spend a week in Lijiang? Enjoy your life in this Poetic old city in Yunnan

Lijiang is a romantic and prosperity old city in the northwest of Yunnan province near the Dali, it is the UNESCO Heritage Site and famous for the Old Town of Lijiang and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. This old city is every Chinese poet’s dream to live and write, every Chinese want to find love and meet the right person in this city. Today, when skyscrapers have seeped in throughout the entire world, but there remains something old, mythical and beautiful in this land, and I would say that Lijiang is the cherished old memory of China, this city represents the eternal ancient culture and romantic love.

Dayan-The Old Town of Lijiang

Dayan old town is the historical center of Lijiang City, which has a history going back more than 1,000 years. When you walk into this old town, which means you are walking into an ancient historical picture of the plateau. The ancient Naxi houses on the old street are surrounded by mountains and rivers, scattered and chic; the clear and transparent stream flows down the ancient bridge; the clear and bottomless river and the dust is not stained; The Yulong Snow Mountain in the distance towered into the clouds, standing tall and handsome. It such a beautiful town that attract billions of travelers from around the world visit, many students meet at this place and travel together, people come here to embrace nature and the love, this land is such a gift from the earth, It is the dream and happiness in my life, try to spend 4-5 days in this old town and feel the wonderful life in Lijiang!

Waterwheel
Flowers eveywhere
Stream flowing
Ancient Naxi houses

The night in Dayan old town is also gorgeous when darkness has fallen and lights are on, we can see the sparking lights in a myriad of houses. The crowds flowed down the street, every seat in restaurants is taken by people, everywhere hung with red lanterns and decorations, which gives this town up and down a bustling and lively atmosphere.

Lijiang at night
Have fun in front of the restaurant

LOCAL FOOD

Speaking of the local cuisine, the most famous one is Yunnan rice noodle, or we called the”cross-the-bridge rice noodle” which and has up to 30 tasty ingredients include the meat and vegetables, you can find the most authentic rice noodle in Lijiang! Moreover, I really recommend Lijiang Baba, which is a golden crisp and sweet local flour snack. For dinner or lunch pleasure, the Naxi Barbecue is the best choice for tourists, Naxi barbecue is a traditional dish in local with the main ingredient of pork belly, which can make for soup as well.

Yunnan rice noodle

Mu Fu Mansion

There is a saying in Lijiang, you can’t know Lijiang without going to Mufu, Lijiang was under the rule of the Mu family native chieftains during the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. Today, Mufu become this most well-known tourist attraction where attracts tourists from worldwide and lets them visit the glorious history palace, and also a splendid architectural art garden. By the way, remember to bring the student ID or senior citizen pass, which can have a discount on the tickets.

cof
Mufu Mansion
Ancient Chinese Pavilion
Ancient corridor

Blue moon valley

Blue Moon Valley, which located the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the god mountain of the hearts of the Naxi people. The water in this lake is from the ancient ice and snow that originated from the snow mountain glaciers melted down the cliffs, and then converged into mountains and streams. Eventually, crystal clear and sweet rivers formed in the deep valleys upstream of the Blue Moon Valley. The water consists of white limestone thus looks extremely pure. On sunny days, the color of the water is blue, and the valley is crescent-shaped. From a distance, it looks like a blue moon inlaid at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, thus locals called it ‘Blue Moon Valley’.

Jade Dragon snow mountain

I took many amazing photos with my sister here, we also saw many couples took their marriage photos here, they believe they will get the bless from snow god. Notice that the water in the lake really cold, so do not play water in a long time, due to that the water in Blue Moon Valley has copper ions in the water, so you cannot drink it although it looks pretty.

happy
Love

-IT IS BETTER TO SEE SOMETHING ONCE THAN TO HEAR ABOUT IT A THOUSAND TIMES-

-BEAUTIFUL YUNNAN IS YOUR NEXT DESTINATION-

posiel | Process Post: Community Guideline

Blogs, social media platforms and numerous new article websites allow readers to post comments as an encouragement for interaction between readers and writers. However, this engagement between the two parties can sometimes turn into online violence. As the Guardian mentioned how female writers receive more blocked comments then males and the New Yorker wrote about how anonymity promoted hate comments, the comment section is a really sensitive part of a website. As a result, I decided to set up some community guidelines for the blog Nihon Shoku and hope we can all respect one another.

Community Guidelines

These guidelines are made to protect users of the blog from cyberbullying and verbal violence. It is not to control the use of comments, but solely to set up a base to avoid contradictory comments.

1) No racism, sexism and any kind of discrimination comments should be allowed.
As the administrator of this blog, I approve each comment one by one in order to filter out unsuitable comments. Any hate comments that hold a discriminative viewpoint will be removed.

2) Unrelated comments including advertisements and inappropriate content will be deleted.
Marketers are always creative and passionate about grabbing all the chance to promote their clients. However, I would like the blog to be focused on foods and cuisines without interruption from other unrelated materials. Hence, advertisement and inappropriate (including adult or hatred) content will be deleted.

3) Be respectful and be nice 🙂
Please respect other users of the blog and rethink before sending out a comment. Be empathetic and put a little more care into other people’s feelings.

4) Try not to waste any food!
As the Japanese have a phrase called “mottainai(勿体ない)”, which means “what a waste”, please finish all the food if it is in good condition! Do not waste food! This does not only benefit the environment but also shows your respect for the food producers.

Just the Beginning

It’s been a whirlwind of a semester! As I spend more time at SFU, they seem to get shorter and shorter. I remember in my very first class here- which happened to be CMNS 110, Daniel Ahadi said that “it would be Christmas in mere minutes,” and he was right. 

From start to finish, this blog has been a space for me to express how I feel inside and out as I continue to venture farther and farther into Vancouver’s creative industry. I’ve participated in fourteen shoots, created three major Youtube videos, and walked in a local fashion show. In these past thirteen weeks I haven’t thought much about what I’ve been doing as it’s been a regular routine since July. Although I’ve slowed down rapidly since the weather hasn’t been as permitting, I still feel fully engulfed in the creative industry. With that being said, I was able to open up about some of my personal struggles I’ve faced while trying to break into the industry. This platform gave me an open space to talk about how I feel well beyond a photo. When I first started this blog, I didn’t consider myself a model but now I feel like I’ve definitely earned that title. Even though it was never something I wanted to do, I’m out here every other week standing in front of a camera. I am so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful, creative people I’ve met along the way who have pushed me to create content beyond my wildest dreams. As I’ve gotten older, there definitely have been times where I’ve questioned if being a content creative is where I want to invest the rest of my life. There are times when I’ve asked myself if this dream is just a dream. And there are also times where I’ve pushed all those doubtful feelings aside and just done what I’ve always done best, which is to entertain. 

@778co
@lostportrait
@arjayneyra

For a solid couple of weeks, I struggled to pump out content. Especially during the peak season of papers and unpredictable weather, my creative gears have been getting quite locked up. As you may have noticed, I added another menu option to my site. As I started building up a digital portfolio, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was absolutely insane and completely gratifying to see how many different things I’ve been so lucky to be apart of. Not only have I had the pleasure of working with different brands and companies as a model, but I’ve been able to meet and make connections with those on the team who have inspired me to keep creating and do what I love. Sometimes it’s hard to see the impact you’ve made until you finally take a step back to enjoy all you’ve done. 

I understand that yes there are times I push too hard, and there are times when I prioritize my creative life before other important parts of my life, but I’m still learning. Since day one, if I wanted something in life- and I wanted it bad enough, I knew that no matter what it was, I would go to the ends of the Earth to go get it. No matter how much I’ve always wanted to create, I’ve had my doubts- mostly because I wonder if it’s a stable career path, if I’m getting too old, and if I’m relevant enough…The only thing standing in front of me and my creative life is and always will be myself. It’s a personal problem, but what can I say? The first step is admitting. I’ve seen an exponential amount of growth within myself and that has been mirrored in the content I’ve made.

I know I’ve always worried about graduating SFU with all but a piece of paper in my hand- but I know for a fact, that if I actually want this life for myself as much as I say I do- when I walk by the AQ pond and stare down at my reflection, I’ll have far more to my name than just that piece of paper. Most people would think that graduating university would be the end of a chapter, but for me, it’ll just be the beginning.

Bento | Lunch box

Bento (弁当) is a single person portion lunch or dinner box usually packed from home or bought as a takeaway meal, which is basically any lunch box. It can be found all over the world, but Japan, in particular, has expanded this boxed meal culture massively.

Modern bento

Origin

Jubako

Bento was not popularized until 1600 since ancient Japanese only eat two meals per day. As the concept of eating three meals a day developed, the need for a lunch box bento became necessary. Farmers used to bring multilayer jubako with onigiri (rice balls), pickled vegetables and tableware to work and share it with other workers during lunch breaks. From 1800 onwards, bento was not only made for workers but also special occasions like cherry-blossom viewing and long cruise ship or train trips.

The word bento can also be found in an early Japanese-Portuguese dictionary, which described bento as a tool box-like structure with food that is made for carrying around.

Fun Fact

One of the most famous bento combinations was “Moku no uchi bento”, which translates to bento for behind the curtains. This name is referring to door curtains of theatres in the past, as this bento was made for theatre visitors, performers and staff. Common items included in the bento were 10 onigiri, mushrooms, fish cakes, tofu, taro, egg and grilled konjac. “Moku no uchi bento” nowadays has evolved drastically, and this name describes any lunch box with rice and 6 or more different sides.

Traditional Moku no uchi bento

Bento Accessories

A bento lunch box can be prepared with a simple transparent plastic box from Walmart and disposable tableware. But for a more appealing presentation, there are multiple accessories that are very common in Japan.

Bento box with muffin cups and cute toothpicks

1) Bento box, bento band and lunch bag.
The above three items are the most commonly used accessories. A two-layer bento box tied up with a stylized elastic band and carried around within a trendy looking lunch bag.

2) Muffin cups, toothpicks and sauce box.
These are used to separate different items and decorate the inside of a bento box. Toothpicks are usually cute decorations like flowers, animals or even tiny hands of a character.


The idea of bento has brought convenience to many of us during a full-day school or work, and also long hour transportations. It definitely made up a significant part of the Japanese food culture. So don’t forget to try out a bento box during your next visit to Japan!

Does Colour Really Matter?

YES! Colour’s dennote different meanings and feelings. Colours are also associated with various things based on peoples experience with them. For example, red and Green mean Christmas, whereas Black and Orange mean Halloween. Pink and Yellow are for Spring because of the flowers and dark colours are for fall and winter to mimic the weather. People have developed countless associations for colours, therefore, colour totally matters in fashion. I have created an example to demonstrate what I am talking about using a photoshop on an image of myself taken this summer.

The image on the left is the original image (which you may have seen in another blog post). I am wearing a yellow dress with black open toe heels, and a black purse with a beaded handle. I wore this look to an outdoor wedding in July. The wedding attire called for “casual dress”. I being desperate for any occasion to wear a fancy dress too, overdressed a little for this wedding (but not for a typical wedding). I chose a the dress because it felt summery, elegant, and romantic and I chose the accessories to add a slightly bold statement to the look.

The image on the right is the photoshopped version. I chose to use a colour palette that is completely wrong for this event and season. The colour palette I chose (red and green) denote winter, specifically Christmas. The look seems so bizarre given that I am clearly outdoors on a nice summer day. Perhaps if I were in a different setting this look wouldn’t seem so out of place. I find it funny that since I changed the colour of the bag to a shade of dark green, the bag almost appears to be made of velvet, which is absolutely a winter textile. Perhaps that is because my mind is relying on the visual cues to piece things together.

All in all, this simple example shows how colour completely changes the look and the message the look sends to viewers.

dark side of the comments

As we have discussed in class this week, comments on the internet can be harmful from time to time for instance Leslie Jones‘ or Justine Sacco’s cases. Due to the disinhibition effect especially because of the anonymity, dissociative imagination and invisibility people may say or do things that they would not try doing in real […]

Essay #2

              During the semester, I learned a lot about my publication style as well as the value that my blog content can potentially add to readers. When I initially explored the idea of blog content creation, I knew that I had to pick a topic that I was passionate about and experienced in. I wanted to write about and publish a topic that I think about daily because of my own interest (and not something that I will find dreadful to think about). I decided to write about my passion for minimalistic fashion style, which is derived from my interest in neutral tones from my own fashion preferences. My blog is created for those in high school to college students as well as those who have recently entered the working field. It’s easy for students to fall into the repetitive school work pattern and lose interest in pursuing their own personal style. In an article by Tara Chittenden, the author states that, “Fashion provides a key source of empowerment for teens, offering a range of material and symbolic resources from which they can create identities” (Chittenden, 2009). I went through a difficult phase growing up while trying to find my perfect medium for fashion and style, and I’ve made many wrong purchases that did not stand the test of time and eventually get tossed to the back of the closet. I hope that by sharing my inspirations and ideas, I can help teens and adolescents discover their own style as well.

              While creating content, I did not immediately choose the right design and use of space for my blog. A few lectures ago, we had a few guest speakers come in to talk to us about the importance of font usage as well as white space. I found that while the use of fairy light images accurately portrayed the theme of a, “everything sweet and cozy”, which is my blog name, it did not accurately represent the true intent of my blog: fashion. After further feedback from peers, I decided to re-do my webpage and re-designed the layout as well. This time, I left more white space and kept the colors light and neutral. This theme matches my style content, which is meant to be minimalistic. If I were to continue to expand my blog and monetize the content, I would consider making sponsored content and reviews. In recent years, “companies have begun to realize the benefits of using blogs as a marketing tool, as they are a targeted and inexpensive way to get publicity and reach potential consumers” (Halvorsen and Hoffman, 2013). Although YouTube remains the most popular platform for marketing and advertisements, blog reviews may seem more genuine due to the lack of over-exaggerated language and expressions.

              I decided to open the comment function on my blog posts for any individuals who wish to express their opinions on my content. I think that it’s important for content (especially writing) to be critiqued and openly discussed. In order to improve and enhance my content, I would like to receive constructive criticism. However, I do have worries regarding unfiltered comment sections. During one of our early lectures, we discussed the psychology of cyberspace. Online, “people have the opportunity to separate their actions from their real-world and identity [and] they feel less vulnerable about opening up” (Suler, 2004). This can be both positive and negative. On the positive side, you can evoke true feelings and thoughts out of the commenter as they do not feel threatened by potential judgment. For those who are shy, they can choose to use the anonymity function to their advantage and voice their own opinions. On the flip side, the individual can choose to post malicious comments that are not constructive in nature. Without the accountability of face-to-face encounters, people may take advantage of the opportunity to become “internet trolls” and unleash negativity.

              This blog is not only a place for me to inspire other people, but it’s also a place where I can explore my creative side. Being a Business major student concentrating in Accounting, I have found that I lost a great number of my interests to yield to school and co-op work. By writing the weekly blogs, I began to re-open my eyes to activities that inspire creativity within me. I hope that I can inspire others to find themselves as well. To many, fashion is vain and materialistic. To me and many others, it is a form of self-expression and discovery. We are all visual beings, and we make many assumptions based on an individual’s appearance. We should take advantage of this feature instead of avoiding it and embrace the impact fashion has on our identity and self-discovery.

References:

Suler, J. (2004). The Online Disinhibition Effect. Retrieved from: http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

Chittenden, T. (2009, June 22). Digital dressing up: modelling female teen identity in the discursive space of the fashion blogosphere. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676260903520902

Halvorsen, K and Hoffmann, J. (2013, Jan 21). Can fashion blogs function as a marketing tool to influence consumer behavior? Evidence from Norway. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20932685.2013.790707