I don’t have comments enabled for most of my blog posts.
At first, it was because the first few posts I created weren’t aimed at receiving commentary—they were just to set up the premise of my blog. I have two thoughts about this now:
If I open up comments on my blog posts, this blog space can become an active community space where I interact with my audience.
If I don’t open comments on my blog posts, this blog will serve as an informational hub, but to connect with my audience, I definitely should have other platforms where there is open communication.
With the latter thought in mind, my post last week on how I might incorporate transmedia storytelling seems like the most ideal situation for my audience. However, in “The Psychology of Online Comments,” Maria Konnikova states that moving from a single blog post to larger environments on social media “often produce less than desirable effects, including a diffusion of responsibility: you feel less accountable for your own actions, and become more likely to engage in amoral behavior” (Konnikova, 2013).
It’s an assumption, but I don’t think Pokémon GO players spend all of their time commenting on blogs—they probably come here for what they need and take off to where they normally spend their time online, so it’s possible that turning off blog comments isn’t the sole cause of such “amoral behaviour” on a broader social platform.
The thought of opening up to commentary in a community I’m technically responsible for is quite daunting, and feels different than if I’m a business responding to potential customers. WordPress has the ability to let you approve comments before they are shown under a blog post, and most social media platforms have comment filtering functions to ensure that certain words and phrases you won’t allow will not show in your comment section. However, limiting comments too intensively can also negatively affect the comment section. As mentioned in the article, removing comments can lower your audience’s willingness to engage with your content, which will affect whether they share it with others (Konnikova, 2013).
With all of this in mind, I’ve come up with short list of community guidelines for my blog:
Is it respectful? Even if you disagree with somebody, they should be treated with respect. Avoid using derogatory language and dishing out personal attacks.
Absolutely no hate speech allowed. This is a community where everybody is welcome, so discrimination, hatred, and violence against individuals or groups of people for any reason is not tolerated.
Are you trolling? Please do not post comments with the sole purpose of provoking others in the community.
Do not promote your own products or services, or post irrelevant links.
Please have fun! This is an open environment where fellow Pokémon GO Trainers should feel safe to interact with each other, no matter how little or often they play.
Does it make sense to integrate transmedia storytelling for Spinning with Stufful?
When reading “Pokemon as Transmedia Storytelling,” I found it interesting to observe how the world of Pokémon extended past an animated series and became a massive franchise, complete with card games, handheld games, and mobile games. With Pokémon Sleep set to launch this summer, and my current Pokémon GO antics, the show I used to watch as a child is truly beginning to merge effortlessly into my everyday life.
When I try to draw parallels to my blog, and how transmedia storytelling could be integrated to that sort of effect, I can only really think about repurposing content onto different social media platforms. Henry Jenkins explains in “Transmedia Storytelling 101” that in transmedia storytelling, “there is no one single source or ur-text where one can turn to gain all of the information needed to comprehend [the universe]” (Jenkins, 2007). That means that my audience might come to my blog for one type of content, and related additional content might be on my TikTok page, and so forth.
In that sense, I could see this happening in very subtle ways. While I haven’t taken care at all to post on my Twitter account, my audience could receive bits and pieces of my everyday gameplay as it happens through there, instead of waiting for me to write a lengthy blog post. That would be one realistic and easy way to stay connected with my audience while giving them a glimpse of the person behind the blog. Additionally, TikTok could be another reasonable place to incorporate transmedia, since games are a visual experience. Content from the blog can be previewed to reach a broader audience, and TikTok is an entirely different medium that opens up opportunities for short-form, bite-sized content that isn’t suitable for Twitter.
This week, I visited lifestyle and travel blog, Angie in Canada. So, keep reading to find out more about this week’s blog!
This is Angie and her blog, ‘Angie in Canada’
Angie in Canadais a lifestyle and travel blog created by Angie, an exchange student from Hong Kong. Her journey in Canada began two years ago. Ever since touching down, she has had the opportunity to visit some great places, eat delicious foods, and try new seasonal activities in Vancouver, BC—all of which you can read more about on her blog.
All in all, Angie hopes to share her experiences in Canada—particularly in Vancouver and at SFU—with her audience, taking them along on her personal journey.
Imagining Angie’s audience
Just from reading Angie’s introductory post titled, ‘Hello everyone!’, I’m immediately drawn into who Angie is and who her audience is: university and other exchange students alike who are exploring Canada one day at a time. Though I will say, seeing that this is a lifestyle and travel blog, I wouldn’t limit her audience to that specific demographic just yet. Rather, this blog would be great for lifestyle and travel enthusiasts like Angie. But anyway, let’s take a closer look at Angie in Canada.
Content—a casual and colloquial conversation
Something I noticed in each and every blog post on Angie in Canada is the casual and colloquial writing style used by Angie. I appreciate that as a reader because not only did the topics in each post intrigue me, but I felt like part of the author’s thoughts and conversations.
This writing technique reminds me of Suler’s ‘online disinhibition effect’—that feeling we have in cyberspace where we say, act, and do as if nobody is watching—in that what Angie has written thus far is a reflection of her personal values.
The theme and design of Angie in Canada tie everything together. Right when you land on Angie’s website, you’re greeted with a personalized heading and clean design.
The navigation bar is tidy and categorized by topic. However, I think the link to Angie’s ‘About’ page could be moved from the top-right corner of the screen to the navigation bar so that all her pages are all in one place.
Other than that, I appreciate the addition of photos in each post to compliment the text content. For instance, in Angie’s ‘VanDusen Botanical Garden’ travel post, the text content is followed by a photo gallery that provides us a visualizer of her experiences.
One more little detail that caught my attention and gives Angie’s website more personality is the integration of a Spotify badge in the right-hand-side menu. The badge features Spotify’s ‘Chill Hits’ playlist and updates regularly with tunes that you can listen to while reading Angie in Canada. It not only encourages interactions on her site, but it makes for a great reading experience.
If Angie hasn’t had a chance already, I’d recommend looking into how else she can boost her SEO. Having a good SEO is great for builds user engagement, site credibility and trust, and user experience. Hollingsworth covers this in more detail in his 2021 article, ’15 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO.’
The UI (User Interface)
On the other hand, the UI—user interface—of a website highlights visual aspects.
Something that stood out to me was the use of negative, or white, space. While sometimes white space can be too overwhelming and other times nonexistent on websites, Angie in Canada gives us an easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate design with an even balance between text and image content and negative space.
Even more so, the font colour contrast against the white space plus the sans-serif typography used across Angie in Canada allows for an easy reading experience on the eyes.
When you take all these different elements into account, you get a good sense of the image and brand that Angie is promoting—her brand. As Gertz (2015) notes, the pattern that these elements forms becomes its own “trademark.”
My final thoughts on Angie in Canada
In terms of overall marketability, I feel that Angie definitely knows her audience and has done an exceptional job at catering her content to them. Like a performer has a crowd of fans at their show, Angie has her own public made up of individuals who share similar interests as her and as each other.
Each post is consistent with the theme of her blog—travel and lifestyle—and doesn’t fail to engage her readers with curated photo galleries for each of her experiences shared. I think Angie has done an amazing job building her personal cyberinfrastructure, and she has lots of room to continue developing it through her blog.
So excited to continue reading Angie’s content, and I encourage you to check out Angie in Canadaas well!
For my final peer review, I looked at Mercy’s blog, MindMediaRes, which is a website that analyzes media through personality theory, as stated in the tagline. In his about page, he explains that he’s been interested in psychology his whole life, and when he got into personality theory, he found the competitiveness of the community extremely toxic. Therefore, with his blog, he wants to create a space where he can safely write about his opinions and invite others to share theirs too.
Who is the Target Audience?
Through exploring Mercy’s content, it becomes clear that his target audience is composed of personality theory enthusiasts, or more specifically, personality theory enthusiasts who are interested in how it manifests itself in media.
Fattal explains that counterpublics are publics who oppose dominant discourses, and I think that Mercy’s target audience fits this explanation perfectly. Personality theory is a way of explaining the mind that isn’t rooted in science, which is the dominant discourse in our society in terms of psychology. By catering to this audience, (or counterpublic) of personality theory enthusiasts, Mercy successfully creates a public and generates discourse in a welcoming environment.
At the same time, Mercy makes it obvious that his intended audience is also himself. Basu explains that the creation of digital gardens is different than simply making a blog because it involves talking about niche interests and focuses on learning and growth, instead of growing large audiences.
In alignment with the concept of a digital garden, Mercy creates an environment dedicated to growth and the telling of his own thoughts and ideas, explained on his about page. He states that “this blog is based on my own thoughts, feelings, and ideas” and also emphasizes that he’s trying to learn more and is open to hearing other people’s opinions too. So with the digital garden in mind, he’s also marketing to himself, but for the purpose of this review, I’ll be focusing on the marketability of the counterpublic of personality theory enthusiasts (which he is a part of anyways).
Writing for an Audience
Looking at the content on Mercy’s blog, it becomes obvious that his content posts specifically cater to his target audience of personality theory enthusiasts who also enjoy media. Each content post focuses on an aspect of personality theory, either cognitive functions or the enneagram. Using these aspects of personality theory, Mercy analyzes different media, such as movies and shows. For example, his most recent content post surrounds the character, Trina from the 1992 musical, Falsettos. He analyzes Trina’s enneagram type through the songs she sings throughout the musical.
Mercy’s content also caters to all levels of personality theory enthusiasts, from beginners to experts, which increases the marketability of his website to a wider audience. This is evident through Mercy’s first two content posts, where he explains the two aspects of personality theory he tackles in his blog: cognitive functions and the enneagram. These explanations provide a solid framework from which beginner personality theory enthusiasts can start building their knowledge.
It is also obvious that Mercy’s blog content is more intellectually advanced. This is not only shown through the blog’s subject matter, but in the way the posts are written. The academic tone of the blog makes the content more exclusive, but I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. Hollenbaughexplains that when creating content, writers need to present themselves based on their imagined audiences. In this case, the imagined audience would be personality theory enthusiasts, who are assumed to be more intellectually inclined in the first place, just based on the academic subject matter. Take the first sentence in Mercy’s post, “Untangling Morality in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along” Blog as an example:
“Character archetypes have a fairly predictable lifespan of solidifying themselves in pop culture, going through subversions, and subsequently creating new archetypes based on those subversions over the course of many years.”
The vocabulary used in this sentence makes the blog content more exclusive in nature, making it difficult for a younger audience of children, per se, to understand the posts. Nonetheless, the language caters well to the target audience, who, judging by their interest in personality theory, is already intellectually advanced and can understand the vocabulary used in the blog.
Diving into Design
Judging by the blog’s target audience of personality theory enthusiasts and the content in each of the posts, I think that in terms of design, this makes for a more intellectual, serious, straightforward feel to the blog. Mercy uses elements that help maintain this aesthetic that align well with Mauvé Page’s suggestions for blog design. For example, the typeface personality works well with the more serious, intellectual aesthetic of the blog. It is clean, simple, and legible, and makes sure the g’s and q’s don’t mix up, and all those kinds of things.
More generally, some other effective design elements include the fact that there is a good contrast between the black and white shades, making the writing clear and legible and adding to the “seriousness” of the blog aesthetic. The design is also very cohesive, with a limited amount of colour and one consistent font used throughout the blog.
Mercy’s website is also accessible, which makes it inclusive to everyone within his target audience. In alignment with Gaines’s explanation of the four principles of accessibility, Mercy’s blog is particularly perceivable. For example, he includes an accessibility plug in and all his hyperlinks are underlined, making them different from the rest of the content and reducing the need to look for them.
Mercy uses a theme from Alx for his blog. While this template is effective in organizing his posts and laying out all the content in a logical way, Gertzwarns against using templates because they are often standardized and can take the personality away from websites. Therefore, I would suggest that Mercy thinks about building his website from scratch so that it reflects him and his audience better.
But if straying from a template is too much at the moment (which I completely understand as it’s also the reason why I’m still using one), I would suggest that Mercy creates a consistent identity and brand for his blog that caters well to his target audience of personality theory enthusiasts. This might be the “serious, intellectual, straightforward” feel that I talked about earlier, or any other kind of mood Mercy wants to create.
Subtle customizations that reflect aspects related to personality theory might be a good idea. For example, this might include creating a homepage, that, instead of simply featuring previews of posts, hosts a post carousel with pictures related to the content featuring aspects of personality theory. It might also involve playing around with more colours to convey a certain aesthetic if he sees fit.
Branding the site a little more strategically through design elements would create a clear mood and atmosphere for the audience, which, aside from the content, pulls viewers into the experience and shows them what the blog is about even before they read any of the posts.
All in all, I really appreciate the passion that Mercy puts into his blog. It’s clear that aside from being a school assignment, personality theory is something that he is truly interested in. His posts go above and beyond the course requirements and include in-depth, comprehensive explanations, thorough application of theory to case studies, and even several sources for readers to learn more. Because of this and so much more, I really hope that he continues working on this blog after the course is over and I will definitely stay updated so I can keep learning about personality theory!
In State of Mobile 2022, Data.ai reports that each user spent on average 4.8 hours on their phones, which is one-third of the time we typically are awake. Reflecting on my own device usage, my screen time averaged about 10 hours and 50 minutes across all of my devices in the last week alone. Of course, this covers more than just my phone—so a more realistic look that I’m able to access is my social media usage, which has solely been on my phone. Just yesterday, I was guilty of being on TikTok for 9 hours and 7 minutes, which is so wild.
As somebody who clearly spends an unhealthy amount of time on social media, I believe SEO is crucial to reaching the customers, readers, subscribers, and users you want—whether you’re an individual or a business. Whoever your intended audience is, SEO is a force that captures leads towards what you are putting out in the digital world. In “15 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO,” it states that SEO can boost the effectiveness of the user experience of a website, and can drive trust and credibility in an online space (Hollingsworth, 2021). Over time, trust and credibility can be built with consistent care for SEO, to keep brands relevant and more easily discoverable. When we better understand how our own audience is trying to find us and meet them where they are, we’ve already created a trail that they can start to follow.
SEO doesn’t just cover websites either—for example, Instagram users heavily rely on hashtags to extend the reach of their posts beyond those who already follow them. By making sure they use the right hashtags, users can reach more people who find their content relevant. When I used to post for a small Instagram shop I was running with my friend, a decent amount of time was spent testing combinations of hashtags, from ones that had less than 10,000 posts to ones that had over 300,000 posts in them, to see how popular and lesser-known hashtags would affect our post reach. The analytics we reflected on in our Professional account each week helped us see which posts were doing well, which hashtags were associated with it, and where our audience was coming from, so we could continue to target those people.
It’s not easy to build an audience from the ground up, but with consistent effort and reflection, it’s definitely possible. However, in our heavily saturated digital world, I’ve observed that it takes zeroing in on a niche, as well as being insanely active on multiple platforms, to really see growth. With the need for a considerable amount of effort, the communities that last online are likely founded on passion rather than a fleeting need to go viral.
This website has gone through a lot of changes since September. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to share my work on a blog since I feel that I best express myself through writing. However, I had never created a website before, so I had to learn quickly. It has taken me a lot of research to figure out everything from changing fonts to using plugins, but I am finally satisfied with what I have.
Masked Retail has been my way of sharing my personal experiences working in a retail environment during the time of Covid-19. Since I started working in retail 2 ½ years ago, I noticed that I would leave every shift with a new story to tell. Through blogging, I have been able to unload some of my frustrations by sharing stories that combine the difficult parts of retail and the pandemic. There is a lot of misinformation that is spread by people who don’t believe in the pandemic or think that wearing a mask represents relinquishing freedom. Masked Retail is my way of countering that illogical narrative by supporting scientific evidence with real experiences in the hopes that people become more conscientious about the way they behave during this time.
Initially, I used this website to rant about how inconsiderate some customers are. After a few weeks, I started to recognize that my peers would be reading my posts and wanted to ensure that the content I provided would be useful to them. I started adding posts that offered advice, such as my post, “When Should I Shop?- Covid Holiday Edition” to help my readers stay safe (Masked Retail, 2020). Other than my peers, my imagined audience comes from a younger demographic looking to learn more about consumerism during the pandemic. Using Google Analytics, I came to the conclusion that the members of my audience are young (under 30 for the most part), which supports the idea that my audience is made up of people who may be experiencing similar things in their work environments. Through Google Analytics, I learned that while there are a lot of bots out there (I assume that I don’t have legitimate readers in China), there are people outside of this class who have viewed my work, including some legitimate viewers from the USA. I’ve learned that most of my audience comes to my page between 10am and 4pm between Tuesday and Friday, which gave me the idea of posting primarily during those days and times. I have also learned that linking back to my other posts when blogging keeps people on my site for longer, as they are inclined to click a link and see where it takes them.
In terms of editorial, I address my audience by being clear about the purposes of this site and by considering their thoughts and feelings when writing my posts. I am constantly aware of the fact that people will view this site, so I ensure that I make things as easy as possible for them. For example, I write all my posts in Microsoft Word so that I can spell-check my work prior to posting. The design of my site is centred around usability. To make my site easy for everybody to use, I use a grid layout for my posts, which includes a picture and an excerpt of the post. As the article “Should the Block Editor Have a Grid System?” points out, grid layouts are great for creating a clean, visually appealing page (Tadlock, 2020). I wanted something that was simple but structured, so this was a good choice for me. The menu and my posts are easy to access, and I have created ways for the audience to interact with me and the site. For instance, I have a contact page, I allow comments on posts, and I use a plugin to allow users to share my posts on social media. By doing so, I encourage my audience to get involved with Masked Retail. As described in the article, “Why We Need Social Paper”, a good public will create space for discourse that can continue even as the audience changes (Glass, 2015). Hopefully, I will have time to keep blogging even when the semester ends, and in doing so I will encourage new types of discourse with my ever-evolving audience. Overall, my content addresses the audience by answering questions that I would ask someone in my position.
I feel like the value Masked Retail provides is insight. Not many people get the opportunity to share their work experiences with the internet, and I am glad that I get to show what working in retail is like from all angles. I try to make relatable content and empathize with how people may be reacting to what is happening in the world. There are things included in my blog that I would never have thought about before I started working in retail. For example, I used to be shy and would never ask for or accept help from a retail employee. Looking back, I know that I had nothing to be afraid of, and I am more conscientious now with how I approach and treat retail workers when I am the customer. I hope that this blog does a similar thing for my readers by providing industry knowledge and tips for success during the time of Covid-19.
So far, I have not received any comments on my posts, so I cannot say that comments have really influenced me. Based on the article, “The Psychology of Online Comments”, I think that if I were to receive hate via an anonymous comment, I wouldn’t be too hurt (Konnikova, 2013) and I would simply delete the comment. Even if an anonymous comment were positive, I doubt I would be very affected because the sentiment of the comment seems less real without a name or face attached to it. Comments that are attached to a name would have a bigger impact on me, whether that be good or bad.
Prior to this class, I had a very outdated perception of what publication was. All that I really considered was book publication and notable companies. I never would have imagined that I could run my own publication from my computer! Now, I see that there are so many ways to be a publisher, and that there is no correct way that it must be done. Though the semester is ending soon, I am optimistic that I will continue to blog. This pandemic and my job are not going away anytime soon, so I am sure that I will have plenty of material to draw upon. Years from now, I would love to be able to look back at my posts and remember who I was and what I experienced in 2020. Ultimately, my hope is that even once the topic of Covid-19 is no longer relevant, I will be able to use the knowledge and skills learned in this course to establish some other online presence.
Masked Glass, E. (2015, December 11). Why We Need Social Paper. CUNY Academic Commons. Retrieved from https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/papers/45249/
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
Masked Retail. (2020, November 10). When Should I Shop? – Covid Holiday Edition [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://maskedretail.com/blog/when-should-i-shop-covid-holiday-edition/
Tadlock, J. (2020, April 27). Should the Block Editor Have a Grid System? WordPress Tavern. Retrieved from https://wptavern.com/should-the-block-editor-have-a-grid-system
“Transmedia stories are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories” (Kevin Britteny Lauren, 2013).
I had no idea what ‘transmedia’ meant before enrolling and subsequently engaging in this course. However, this does not mean I wasn’t participating in it as both creator and consumer. In fact, when reflecting on the media in which I was utilizing throughout childhood and today, much of what interested and continues to tap my mind is a product of transmedia storytelling. We like, follow, buy and crave stories, and through various mediums and ways in which our interests interact, these only become more appealing, compelling and addicting.
Similar to Lauren’s (2013) post about the transmedia-ness of Pokemon, which you can read here if my last link did not tempt you; various forms of involvement within the ‘story’ enthralled me from the likes of ‘Batman,’ ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Star Wars.’ I was not just watching a cartoon or playing with an action figure, I was interacting with video games, seeing movies, watching YouTube videos, mesmerized by commercials, wearing clothes and playing board games that encapsulated the worlds, characters and stories of each interest. For an in-depth exploration of transmedia storytelling in the context of Star Wars, read this article about Suzanne Scott’s course at the University of Texas, Austin.
Today, it only takes a second to recognize the success of Marvel movies as a product of transmedia integration. These films, as well as everything else from Stance socks to video games, are transmedia juggernauts, all of which impact us at the deepest neurological level. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Australia posts an interesting article here that examines the cognitive science behind our infatuation with media and how transmedia arouses neurons. In 2019 and assuredly beyond, transmedia storytelling has and will continue to expand – apps, VR, Blogs and whatever gaming platform arises from the brains of Silicon Valley. However, the fresh technologies of the 21st Century did not spawn the idea of transmedia, as Henry Jenkins, attests, our brains have long been exposed and satiated by the integrated and complex worlds created by multiple media. In fact, Jenkins suggests that transmedia started making strides in the 1930s with Tarzan Adventures, which was interestingly during the Great Depression. Perhaps Jane was not the only person saved by Tarzan…
In terms of ReRouted, transmedia integration seems like a logical step and initiative. I feel this because the nature of the blog is to read as a story; therefore, the complexities, characters and interwoven environments and ponderings fare well to be exposed through other mediums and platforms. Because my technical skills are somewhat limited, I have to consider the ways in which I can enhance transmedia integration on this blog. I have yet to give careful consideration for this, but the addition of a vlog via YouTube, perhaps some storyboard sketches or various one page infographics depicting the blog’s content or message. In terms of audience, I’m wanting to capture more people, and for me, the challenge will be grasping the likes of non-athletes or people who really aren’t interested in hearing ‘some jock’ blab about football. It will be important to discuss change in general; identity, life, situation, environment, etc. To accomplish this, I need to present the story from different angles or mediums that conjure interest from others.
Transmedia options provide a different lens in which to explore my content and overall theme. ReRouted is a story, and with that, there are various ways in which to tell it. One year ago, Shannon Emmerson posted an article about great transmedia examples, with The Matrix series of films being a quintessential standard. Like the movie reflects in its complex direction, the more angles you have to view something, the more intrigue is developed, questions are asked and in the blogosphere, visitors one receives. Therefore, more channels of accessibility and variety in exploring ReRouted from various perspectives is valuable and the reason why I need to utilize transmedia.
In last week’s lecture, we learnt about analytics, audiences and marketing. It was very interesting for me to see how the numbers in analytics translate into the audience online engagement to our website.
Looking at my blog’s google analytics, I notice that Monday and Tuesday seem to be the peak of traffic. And I think that definitely has something to do with the fact that our lecture is on Tuesday, and I tend to upload all my new posts on Monday night or Tuesday. The bounce rate of my blog is around 51%. People averagely spend around 5 min on my site. From what we learnt in lecture, the lower the bounce rate, the better. Because that means people are actually taking time reading my blog. That is definitely something I could improve on.
Another interesting thing that have come up in my analytics is where my audiences are located. Most of my audience are from United States, and the second most are from Canada. In the ranking of city, most of the visitor of my websites are from Vancouver, which is not surprising. But the second city in ranking is New York, which makes me quite happy since it is my favourite city in the whole world. I also get a few random users visiting from Spain, Belgium, Brazil, etc. It is exciting to think how someone across the world are visiting my blog. Another part of the demographic of my audience that has surprised me is the fact that there are more users are in the age of 25-34 than the ones in the age of 18-24. Since I fall in the category of 18-24, I’ve assumed that would be my audience’s demographic as well, but apparently it’s not the case.
I also notice that posiel.com of course is my main referral. But ever since I added my website address onto my own Instagram account bio, I’ve noticed an increase of incoming traffic from Instagram. In the future, I will definitely try and promote my blog posts on my social a bit more often, in order to drive up the traffic. I also get analytic report from my Instagram account since it is a business account. And it is very interesting to compare my website statistics with my Instagram’s.
In my opinion, these analytic statistics are so important because it helps us to understand our audience better, so that we could tailor the content better to our intended audience. But at the same time, it is quite a scary thing thinking about how every step we take on the internet every second is recorded and analyzed by others.
Jill’s Book Blog — Adventures of Accessible Reading, as it states quite clearly in the title tag, is all about books. Reading through Jillian’s blog, I learnt so much about her and her favourite thing to do EVER — Reading!! In 2018, she read 96 books in 365, which is so crazily impressive. Jill’s Book Blog at the moment features three categories: Book Reviews, Accessible Reading and Posiel. From the type of content that Jillian has been constantly posted, i think the intended audience of the blog are book lovers like Jillian herself. People who would be frequent visitors of Jill’s blog are people who love reading, who also love to learn more about certain books and how others think of them. And since most of the books that have been reviewed are mostly fictions, romance, thrillers, etc, I figure the demographic of Jill’s blog are the demographic of these books, which are mostly teens to young adults and young professional, predominately female. And lastly, in most of the post, Jillian’s tone of voice seems quite lighthearted, excited, and playful most of the time, which also leads me to believe that the age of the intended audience of Jill’s Book Blog are around 17 to 30.
In my opinion, Jillian has done a great job in terms of keeping her audience engaged with her constant and high-quality content. The design of her website is fairly simple. There is quite a lot of white space, which is a great thing, since it makes the blog seems way less cluttered. On that note, the fact that there are not too many menu options also makes the blog seems less overwhelming. When I visit Jill’s website, I always find myself feeling calm and collected. And a lot of that has to do with the timeless design that Jillian has chosen. One thing that I do wish Jill’s blog could improve itself on, would be the homepage. At the moment, when users of its site opens the homepage for the first time, it has all of the most recent posts on one page, positioned vertically, and it causes the homepage to be quite long. Since most of the audience of Jill’s blog are around our age, I think it would nice to make the homepage slightly shorter with more directions to the posts. In that way, her audience could find what they want a bit easier, and it would decrease the bounce rate of her site. Another thing that I think could be improved would be finding some way to break up some of the text-heavy content. Since it is a mostly text-based site, it would be nice to see some more breaks in between paragraphs, it could be by highlightin certain quotes, adding images, or just adding simple lines and subheading, in order to keep her audience even more engaged with her content.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed Jill’s Book Blog, and I am excited to see where this blog would develop and process in the future.
When was the last time you tried something for the first time?
The first time I heard someone ask me this was two years ago, at the Tough Mudder start line, minutes before the race started. For those who don’t know what this race is, Tough Mudder is a 12 mile obstacle race that was originally designed to test mental and physical strength. Of the 25 obstacles, some include crawling under barbed wire, running through live electric wires, submerging yourself in a pool of ice water, climbing over walls, hanging from monkey bars, and much, much more.
I know what you’re thinking: why would anybody put themselves through that?! I was thinking that too, until I used that fear as fuel to gain a sense of ownership and control. In 2017 I wanted to challenge myself to do something I thought I would never be able to do. For a long time, Tough Mudder was it: I hate cold water (with a passion), I’m not the biggest fan of heights, and I didn’t think I’d be physically able to complete this treacherous course. Despite all of this, I managed to rope my friends into completing it with me in. And not once – but twice – with plans of doing it again in the summer of 2019.
Be not afraid of discomfort. If you can’t put yourself in a situation where you are uncomfortable, then you will never grow. You will never change. You’ll never learn.
Realistically, my current audience is the small circle of family and friends who relentlessly support me (hi mom!). Ideally, this following will expand to an audience that doesn’t know me personally, yet is still drawn to the content and photographs of this blog. The dream would be for this blog to flourish internationally, growing a community of fellow travellers and adventurers. I want this blog to encourage people to share a desire to get outdoors and try new things; I aspire for these images to inspire the love for travel, adventure, and the outdoors; I hope motivate people into embracing the unknown and challenges. This will take time, no doubt, but I am excited at the opportunity for potential.
Before knowing the “transmedia”, I was already critically aware of the importance of having not just a cohesive online brand, but one that cross-promoted itself. Before starting djalexrose.com (and still now), Instagram was my primary social media platform. I had always promoted my Soundcloud using the business website function and by posting previews of songs, however, now the connection is deeper. My Instagram and Snapchats focus primarily on “story” function engagement with polls, event promotions, and exclusive media.
My Facebook and Twitter are both quite neglected, being automated to post content whenever I upload to Youtube and Soundcloud. I’ve heard from colleagues that Facebook has a much stronger ROI on advertisements than Instagram (which I recently tried) so I’ll be investing more into that platform soon. As of now, neither one has exclusive content.
Soundcloud has shifted to have only my best musical content. From originals to bootlegs to remixes, Soundcloud houses all the tracks that make it Spotify and ones that can’t clear copyright but are still strong releases. It also includes links to all my other social media platforms.
Youtube is the king of my content strategy. It’s home to weekly vlogs, 30-80 minute mixes, exclusive mashups, and much more. As you can see, djalexrose.com remains a focal point being included in my banner.
The final service I’ll mention is ArtistUnion, a download-gate service that exchanges downloads of your music for specified actions. In my case, I require my audience follows my Soundcloud and like and reposts the song they wish to download.
Let’s start off with my User Overview. We will look at my data since the website’s inception in January, including February 20 – March 10th whose data was lost due to a tracking code issue. My traffic is relatively low and consistent. According to 21 Handshake, my type of site has an average bounce rate of 70-90%. Compared to this benchmark, my bounce rate is very good at 38.44%, however, my low amount of users makes most of my analytics insubstantial. The biggest thing I’ve taken from this section is to remove my Youtube videos from my site as session durations are too short for them to be relevant.
Next up: some technology-related data. Most of my users are in the Apple ecosystem and use Google Chrome like myself. Not much to say here other than I may consider implementing an Apple Music widget as well, seeing as my music is hosted there as well as Spotify.
Now for geography. The website follows my Instagram and Soundcloud analytics in that I am predominantly popular in the United States and Canada. Interestingly, the website maintains my popularity from Spotify which is concentrated in Latin America, especially Chile and Brazil. This is most likely due to name confusion with Latin artist Alex Rose (the reason my name is spelt “alex rose”).
How about discovery? Well, there’s a pretty even split between Direct, Social, and Referral here. Most of my social traffic comes from Instagram (my primary social media for engaging my audience) and I’ve also seen a lot of traffic from my peers’ websites referring users to me. I should continue focusing on my Instagram as a traffic source and expand my collaboration to ensure more referrals. Finally, I plan to improve my SEO to see my organic search improve.
Finally, pageviews broke down by page. No surprise that my homepage would have the most traffic. It’s also comforting to see that my shows page, where my audience can purchase tickets and RSVP to events, is second most popular. Shows are a growing form of revenue for me so this is a welcome insight. Unfortunately, my blog doesn’t appear to get much attention. Most of my blog content can be found directly on my Youtube, but moving forward I plan to have exclusive blog content focused on SEO friendly tutorial content.