Tag Archives: blog design

To Infinity and Beyond: The Future of Spilling the Royaltea

After twelve weeks of non-stop posting, PUB 101 has come to an end. But that doesn’t mean that Spilling the Royaltea has run out of potential, so here’s the plan for what’s to come.

To the Future

Over the course of these twelve weeks, I’ve really developed a love for blogging. I get to write about things that interest me without having to worry whether it would work well for an essay or whether it would be enough to get me a good grade. And having the opportunity to do things that I’d never get to do in other academic contexts, like using slang, or contractions, or starting my sentences with “so” and “and” has been so refreshing. I get the space to publish my own thoughts without thinking about what my prof will think with every word I write. So for all the above reasons and many more, I will be continuing with Spilling the Royaltea after the end of PUB 101.

In continuing my writing process, I’ll definitely keep writing posts for my hot takes, ranked, and news categories. In particular, the news category will have tons to talk about in the coming weeks, with King Charles’s coronation coming up in May. All in all, I’ll keep challenging my audience to think differently about issues and not always take for granted what they read or hear in the mainstream. And if they want light and fluffy, they’ll still have that too in the form of the “ranked” category and “Fashion, FAST!” segment.

I also want to bring back my “the chronicles of Harry and Meghan” category. Since I won’t be taking any courses in the summer, I’ll have plenty of time to watch the documentary and read the memoir, and I’m sure I’ll have lots to say about both.

And I might even create a few new categories too, like a “hot topics” category. I’ve noticed that when writing my hot takes, there are some things that I haven’t really made a final decision on, like whether the monarchy should be abolished and whether we should be worried that Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will end up like Prince Harry. So maybe in this section, I could discuss both sides of the argument and invite readers to weigh in too.

Even More Web Design Improvements

Of course, I still want to work on my website design skills. I might even take off the training wheels and redesign Spilling the Royaltea without a template, like Gertz suggests. Now that I know the basics of WordPress, I think it’s time to branch off and try to do things my own way instead. There are still a bunch of elements I’d like to change, but my template is preventing me from actually making these changes.

For example, when readers click on one of the categories on the menu bar, I want them to see little previews of several different posts instead of the big featured image being the first thing they see. I also never got around to making a logo, which I think is one of the most important parts of website branding. So I will definitely get to that too.

Example from "melatonin gone missing" of the post previews I would like to include on my website. Features short previews of each post with a small featured image.
Example from “melatonin-gone-missing.com” of the post previews I would like to include on my website

Overall, these changes will culminate in realizing the ultimate potential of my personal cyberinfrastructure, which will represent me and me only. And, since the site will no longer feature PUB 101 content, I can focus solely on royal family content. I might even consider archiving the PUB 101 section and making my site a fully-functioning royal family gossip site with no affiliations to SFU.

Community Guidelines

I also hope that in my future content, people start interacting more with my content, so with this comes the responsibility of creating community guidelines to ensure that Spilling the Royaltea remains a safe and uplifting community for royal family followers.

The four pillars I’ve developed for Spilling the Royaltea include respect, tolerance, openness, and togetherness. These four aspects relate most strongly to the comment section, which can end up pretty nasty if not carefully regulated. Konnikova even writes that the magazine, Popular Science decided to ban comments because of the “culture of aggression and mockery” it can cause. So that’s why I want readers to be respectful of each other when commenting, tolerant of others’ opinions and ideas, open to listening to and learning from different perspectives, and feel a sense of togetherness and community for learning and sharing.

And to protect both myself from seeing any hate comments (which, thankfully, I haven’t received yet), I’ll be regulating my comment section from those “anonymous” users who think it’s so easy to hide behind a screen and comment mean things just because it’s harder to identify them, like Konnikova describes. I’ll approve of comments as they come, and hopefully, this will keep things safe, inclusive, and welcoming on Spilling the Royaltea, which is all I could ask for as a website owner.

Here’s to the last process post and to a new chapter of Spilling the Royaltea. Olivia, signing out.


Campbell, G. (2009). A personal cyberinfrastructure. EDUCAUSE Review44(5), 58. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure

Gertz, T. (2015, July 10). How to sur­vive the dig­i­tal apocalypse. Louder Than Ten. https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines

Konnikova, M. (2013). The psychology of online comments. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-psychology-of-online-comments

Wong, O. (2023). Hot takes. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/hot-takes/

Wong, O. (2023). Ranked. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/ranked/

Wong, O. (2023). News. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/news/


Disney. (n.d.). [Buzz Lightyear] [Image]. https://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/is-buzz-lightyear-named-after-buzz-aldrin/

Mini Assignment 5: Create an Infographic

Infographic summarizing Spilling the Royaltea's online self (described below)

This infographic summarizes the most important aspects related to Spilling the Royaltea. These include the site’s tagline, navigation, community guidelines, and goals. At the beginning of the semester, I created a diagram explaining the site’s navigation, but a lot has changed since then. Therefore, using this infographic, I was able to reflect on these changes and create a more representative navigation scheme showing where I am now. In creating this infographic, I also reflected on some of the community guidelines I would like to enforce on my site, including respect, tolerance, openness, and connectedness. Finally, I set out three goals for my site, which includes the more measurable, numerical goal of posting 2-3 times each week, and the more ideological goals of challenging readers and fostering open conversation.


Wong, O. (2023, January 28). Blog design part 2: Mapping it out. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/process-posts/blog-design-part-2-mapping-it-out/

Blog Design Part 4: Summing it Up

Spilling the Royaltea has gone through quite the journey throughout eleven weeks of consistent posting. As my process posts come to an end, it’s time for one last blog design update as the fourth and final installment of the blog design process post series.

Additions and Deletions

At Spilling the Royaltea’s inception, I created a category called “the chronicles of Harry and Meghan” with the hopes of writing documentary and book reviews. At this time, Prince Harry’s book, which took the media by storm had just been released, and Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary had come out just a few months prior. They were a huge topic of discussion all over the news, social media, and just about everywhere else, and this was basically my motivation for creating the blog.

However, as the semester went on, I found it extremely difficult to get documentary episodes in, or find the time to sit down with a book that wasn’t an academic journal or textbook. Therefore, as the other categories started filling up, “the chronicles of Harry and Meghan” stayed empty for over half the semester.

Because I didn’t see myself having the time to watch the documentary or read the book, I decided to switch this category to a “ranked” one. The ranked category is exactly how it sounds: it ranks all things related to the royal family. I created this section because sometimes, I need to be shallow and fluffy. My “hot takes” and “news” sections are usually more critical and thought-provoking in nature. They involve topics like racism, sexism, sexual assault, and much more. While these topics are what I want to shine a light on the most, many royal family followers (including myself) enjoy some lighthearted material from time to time.

Preview of blog post in "ranked" section, called "Fashion, FAST! Kate Middleton's 5 Best Outfits of 2023 So Far"
Preview of a blog post in my new “ranked” section

Therefore, this “ranked” category discusses some other things that weigh a little lighter on readers’ chests, like fashion, or Prince Louis’s antics, or even just an informative post on the late Queen’s grandchildren, who always steal the spotlight at any event featuring the royals. It also includes a Fashion, FAST! segment, which featured quick hot takes on royal fashion decisions.

I felt a little disappointed that I was unable to watch the documentary or read the memoir, especially because these two pieces were the main motivators in the creation of my blog. But at the end of the day, Spilling the Royaltea as a digital garden is supposed to represent me and my interests. This means that I have the room to make changes when things don’t work and learn new things from these changes. So creating the “ranked” category to add a different perspective on the site wasn’t a bad thing at all. It just allowed me to share another side of myself with my audience and it worked out pretty well, in my opinion.


Aside from “the chronicles of Harry and Meghan” which turned into “ranked,” the other sections on Spilling the Royaltea stayed the same. “Hot takes” provided opinion pieces that aren’t really broadcast in the mainstream, like the fact that Princess Charlotte has all the characteristics to become the future Queen, or the fact that the royal family is a racist institution that needs to do better. Further, “news” followed the things that were in the mainstream, but provided critical takes on it, like the fact that royal titles recently changed for a bunch of royal family members, but not Lady Louise due to sexist, patriarchal protocols. 

And of course, my predetermined PUB 101 content and categories remained pretty much the same throughout the semester, with the simple addition of the “essay” sub-category, for, well, my essay.

Revisiting my Audience

At the beginning of my blogging journey, I imagined my audience and wrote content directed to it, as suggested by Hollenbaugh. I envisioned my audience as royal family followers. These were not necessarily people who loved them, but also included the people who love to hate them.

This meant that I was going to try to write content that didn’t purposefully portray a pro- or anti-royal family stance. Instead, I was just going to try to write about my own opinions, and I don’t think this could be even more true after eleven weeks.

The most important thing for me when writing my blog was making sure I didn’t become the right-wing, conservative Daily Mail, who endlessly supports the royal family and endlessly hates Meghan. So I included some more Daily Mail-type content, like the fact that Archie and Lilibet shouldn’t use royal titles, but not because I just wanted to hate on Meghan. I actually thought they shouldn’t use their royal titles. But I also included some pro-Harry and Meghan content, like my second mini assignment, written from the perspective of Princess Diana, who defends Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from the monarchy.

Excerpt of blog post "Piping Hot Take: Archie and Lilibet Shouldn't Use Royal Titles"
Excerpt of my blog post, “Piping Hot Take: Archie and Lilibet Shouldn’t Use Royal Titles” which takes a critical stance against Prince Harry and Meghan
Excerpt of blog post "Mini Assignment 2: Love, Princess Diana - Messages from Heaven"
Excerpt of “Mini Assignment 2: Love, Princess Diana – Messages from Heaven” which supports Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from royal duties

The Future of Spilling the Royaltea: Transmedia Integration?

This week, we learned about transmedia integration, or repurposing our blog content for multiple platforms. Renniger explains that certain social networking sites are especially suited toward addressing counterpublics. Aspects of certain platforms help communicate messages that deviate from the mainstream, or the dominant “public.”

Spilling the Royaltea could be considered a counterpublic of royal family followers who are more objective (i.e. both critical and supportive) in their stance, which is a pretty uncommon thing. Therefore, I could move more of my content on TikTok, where small creators with minimal reach can most easily become popular. I could make videos using small segments and keywords from my articles and create slideshow-type TikToks, which help tell a story. Or I could narrate stories while pictures and videos show up behind me using the green-screen effect.

I could also move to Twitter and post short previews of my posts, and then link my blog so that readers could learn more. Or I could create longer-form versions of my TikToks and post them on YouTube, or even post my TikToks on YouTube shorts. The possibilities are endless.


Basu, T. (2020, September 5). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/

Hollenbaugh, E. E. (2021). Self-presentation in social media: Review and research opportunities. Review of Communication Research9, 80–98. https://doi.org/10.12840/ISSN.2255-4165.027

Renninger, B. J. (2015). “Where I can be myself … where I can speak my mind” : Networked counterpublics in a polymedia environment. New Media & Society17(9), 1513–1529. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814530095

Wong, O. (2023). Essay. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/essay/

Wong, O. (2023). Hot takes. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/hot-takes/

Wong, O. (2023). Love, Princess Diana – Messages from heaven. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/pub-101/mini-assignment-2-love-princess-diana-messages-from-heaven/

Wong, O. (2023). Piping hot take: Archie and Lilibet shouldn’t use royal titles. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/hot-takes/piping-hot-take-archie-and-lilibet-shouldnt-use-royal-titles/

Wong, O. (2023). Ranked. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/ranked/

Wong, O. (2023). News. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/news/

Peer Review 3: MindMediaRes

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).

MindMediaRes's "about page," showing his construction of a digital garden
Mercy’s “about” page, detailing the construction of his digital garden

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. Hollenbaugh explains 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.

Excerpt of a post from MindMediaRes, showing effective use of typography to convey the blog's aesthetic
Excerpt of a post from MindMediaRes, showing effective use of typography to convey the blog’s aesthetic

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.

Design Suggestions

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, Gertz warns 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!


Basu, T. (2020, September 5). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/

Fattal, A. (2018). Encyclopedia entry — Counterpublic. UC San Diego. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/73t260cm

Gaines, H. [UXDX]. (2022, January 27). The four principles of accessibility [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUxx_sq2QdY

Gertz, T. (2015, July 10). How to sur­vive the dig­i­tal apocalypse. Louder Than Ten. https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines

Hollenbaugh, E. E. (2021). Self-presentation in social media: Review and research opportunities. Review of Communication Research9, 80–98. https://doi.org/10.12840/ISSN.2255-4165.027

La Bossiere, M. (2023). About. MindMediaRes. https://mindmediares.com/about/

La Bossiere, M. (2023, January 24). The cognitive functions explained. MindMediaRes. https://mindmediares.com/the-cognitive-functions-explained/

La Bossiere, M. (2023, January 30). The enneagram explained. MindMediaRes. https://mindmediares.com/the-enneagram-explained-introduction/

La Bossiere, M. (2023, March 32). Untangling morality in Dr. Horrible’s sing-along blog. MediaMediaRes. https://mindmediares.com/untangling-morality-in-dr-horribles-sing-along-blog/

La Bossiere, M. (2023, March 22). Trina from Falsettos (2016) is a clear 6w7. MindMediaRes. https://mindmediares.com/trina-from-falsettos-2016-is-a-clear-6w7/