Tag Archives: blogging

Week 12 – Diving into the Deep End of Comments

The comments section can be a nasty place.

We learned early on about the online disinhibition effect, which implies that anonymity may allow one to shed their usual restraints or integrity. This means that you may say something you wouldn’t normally or engage in a conversation you would usually avoid because no one actually knows who you are.

This is easily facilitated throughout comment sections that allow people to post anonymously. An article from the New Yorker discusses how comments are often uncivil because there are no consequences for your words. Posting anonymously allows you to say whatever you want and then hide away and pretend it never happened.

“Without the traditional trappings of personal communication, like non-verbal cues, context, and tone, comments can become overly impersonal and cold.”

Maria Konnikova

This article also notes that anonymity is not always bad, but it can promote engagement, risk taking and creativity. Konnikova discusses how people may be more likely to participate in a conversation.

Another article posted by the Guardian talked about who faces the most abuse online. This article showed data revealing that women, people of faith, or members of the LGBTQ+ community received the most abusive comments.

I have often left comments on friend’s posts, or community events, but I often leave this section alone because of all the hate and abuse that can occur. It hurts my heart to see the words people post when they are protected by the anonymity of their computer screen.

But can these interactions be turned into something good?

We watched a Ted Talk in class from Dylan Marron that showed how negative comments could be turned into positive interactions. He has received tons of internet hate from the videos he has created, and he decided that he would call them to try and regain the humanity behind their comment.

A lot of these phone calls went really well, and Marron was able to prompt commentors to think before they post. The most impactful thing he said was that empathy is not endorsement. We can disagree with someone but still try and understand their viewpoint.

“Empathy is not endorsement.”

Dylan Marron

This is so needed today. There is so much hate and division between people with different political or cultural views.

Empathy allows us to extend understanding to the people around us.

Empathy allows us to realize that we all have different upbringings, relationships with our parents, and histories of abuse.

Empathy allows us to see the human in the person before us and take a moment to understand before jumping into hate.

There are people behind every post. Extend empathy before posting cruel messages or a critical comments.

Enjoy the sunshine today friends 😊

Mini Assignment #6 – Gif

Friends! We’re almost at the end of the semester!!

Online school has been a roller coaster. There have definitely been fun moments, but I think we’ll all be feeling a bit of relief once we can finally close our computers and get ready for Christmas.

One day at a time.

Week 11 – Time for a COVID style rant.

It’s time for a COVID style rant.

I have been trying to maintain positivity throughout the semester and see the benefits that have only happened because of this pandemic, but really, everything has sucked just a little bit more than usual.

Last week I was starting to feel particularly drained from school, life, and being stuck at home. On Wednesday I was called into work in person, which was surprisingly so wonderful! I had not realized how much I was missing casual interaction with people until I saw my coworkers and was instantly in a better mood.

I am extraverted, which means I replenish my energy by being around people, but I did not realize how true this was until we had our second lockdown and I noticed myself getting more and more tired and sad. I couldn’t identify what was going on until I had some work interactions and I felt energy again!

How strange is it that now talking to strangers is almost frowned upon, and having people over is banned. This is such a contrast to the start of our semester where we discussed the mental health benefits of talking to strangers and filling your day with small positive moments.

I have really appreciated this class, but I miss classmates.

I have loved the creative outlet of blogging, but I miss personal feedback.

I have learned through zoom calls, but I miss the easy interactions of being in a classroom.

Needless to say it’s been a challenging semester, but a growing one nonetheless. I am so looking forward to the time when we can talk about having to stay six feet apart from each other as just a distant memory.

Peer Review #3 – A Blog for Life Livers

I love this blog!

A Blog for Life Livers is written by Hope Stewart, an adventurer and life liver, sharing her stories of childhood joy and new experiences. Hope writes beautifully about enjoying the life around you and being present in every moment. She uses pictures and poems to portray her feelings and emotions from each adventure, with occasional videos showing small moments that she wants to remember.

This is blog that leaves you feeling refreshed, optimistic, and in wonder. Check out a Blog for Life Livers here.

Organization

Hope’s homepage is set with pictures and bold fonts that capture the viewer on first glance. As you scroll through, you’ll see some images that capture the vibe of this website and set the tone for all of her blog posts. There is also a welcome message at the bottom of the page that invites you to consider your own life and how you might create new adventures.

So come in and stay awhile, as each page has been placed here for you: to draw inspiration for your next adventure, to help you conquer fear, to help you seize each day, and to learn to fully immerse yourself in moments both wild and calm.

The top menu is well organized and gives the viewer easy access to the media they are looking for. The media gallery highlights Hope’s videos and photos and immerse the viewer into an adventure of their own. Browsing through Hope’s media makes me feel as though I get to experience a little bit of her adventure as well!

Marketability

This blog presents many beautiful original images that capture the vision of Hope’s website. Creating prints or postcards of these images could be a great way to allow your audience to participate in the stories while supporting your writing! Post cards would be an especially unique product you could sell that represent the slow-ness of handwriting a letter and enjoying every moment.

Check out Hope’s media gallery here.

Another way to market your website could be to partner with tourism companies in encouraging more travelers to come visit their area. Your video of Hornby island captures moments that feel whimsical and magical and could definitely inspire more people to visit those places! One suggestion would be contacting small island communities like Bowen Island, Gibsons, or Lund and offering to make them a video showcasing the best part of their city! This could be a great way to travel, gain more content for your website and generate revenue.

This website is beautifully simple and refreshingly organized, so I would hesitate to incorporate ads that may hinder the viewer experience given that this blog is very experience driven. One possibility for ad revenue could be to partner with related companies to promote products that relate to your blog postings.

An example of this could be with the Mushroom Hunting Blog post. You could reach out to companies that offer classes or books on how to identify mushrooms and then collect revenue based on how may clicks from your blog lead to theirs.

A similar example could be with your Mindfulness and Yoga post. This post links to Yoga Youtubers and workout routines, which could potentially be business partners and generate revenue for your website!

Overall, this is a beautiful website that creates freshness and relief in a busy and confused world. Check out a Blog for Life Livers to enjoy nature, mindfulness, and stealing moments as presented by Hope Stewart.

Stealing moments helps you realize that you are the master of your own time and that you have more control over your own happiness than it may feel. It helps you look for little silver linings in the smallest of things and encourages gratitude and mindfulness.”

Vol. 12: Essay 2

Being an online publisher has been nothing but a journey. I had to dig deep into my knowledge and mind, find the treasures of ground-breaking posts, and slaying the bad ideas that come at me when writing. The digital revolution, in how easy it is to present ourselves online, opens a world of possibility. In my experience, I started to find my online presence through what I wear: fashion. Fashion to me is a form of art, in that you can communicate it through pictures, words, and having this “physical thing” on your body.

But why care about fashion when it is deemed materialistic? Is that not shallow? According to Jenni Avins, Quartz’ global lifestyle correspondent who has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Style.com and various others, she explains how why caring about fashion does not make one shallow. I read this article about a year ago, and one of the main reasons I decided to go with clothes. She describes how fashion may be hard to follow, but if you focus on clothing and what communication it provides, it’s a different matter.

In a sense, Avins described how clothes represented deep meanings such as identity, a story, and “as a piece of the globalized economy” (Avins, 2018) We are all part of the fashion movement right now, in 2018, and what is worn today might not be worn in a few years. Whether we like it or not, we are part of this history, and to it has been astounding to think of it like that. My public that I had imagined was the Millennial male who adored street fashion, but, my public was anyone who wears clothing in general. They do not particularly have to agree with my style or start to own anything I suggest, but they can admire and view what it is like to dress in 2018 through my lens.

The most important thing to understand in branding is your audience. Building an online presence is much like building a brand, especially for those who delve into fashion blogging. In building a business, your brand “is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business—both the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t” (Shopify, n.d.). This is particularly the same for building an online presence of a blog, and I feel that people usually forget this factor. You have to view your blog in its entirety: the design, the layout, the way people navigate. Every little point matters, down to the font you decided to use because it is how people are interacting with you without saying anything. You are giving them almost something I would call “digital touchpoints” for them.

So how can you deal with this? In previous posts, I feel that consistency is key to building an online presence. You need to make sure every little detail is consistent with what you are trying to pursue. If you, for example, want to give off the vibe that you are bright and bubbly, it has to reflect well on your design, the words you use, and the pictures you provide. For me, it was easy to saw what my brand in fashion was, but it was a different story to translate it online. One of the things I had to learn is that I needed to “position myself apart from competitors,” almost if I were to competed with them (Shopify, n.d.). Having this mindset really helped me develop my blog in that I needed to provide what is different about myself and showcase that online as well.

This is when the development of my online presence started to manifest—when I was trying to got noticed as much as possible. I personally used social media to my advantage, as I used Instagram already to develop a following through not only friends but other people who have a similar style. According to Ramsay, who runs Blog Tyrant to share blogging, SEO and email marketing strategies, he analyzed several fashion blogs and found that while good content is vitally important, he explains that “it’s your colleagues and readers and the relationships that you have with them that will make you famous (R., 2018).”

My network, which is comprised of mostly my friends, have been pivotal in my success of growing an online following. Before even starting my online blog, a lot of them were already nagging me to start one and have stated that I should did one. With this motivation from them, I knew that once I started, I already had supporters. For me, to even have 10 supporters, is a lot. If I were able to have 10 life-long supporters, I already knew that they would play a huge role in shaping my reach as they were advocates already for me. Yes, they were my friends, but it paid off having supporters; I can’t ever thank them enough for their trust in me.

Looking back, I think there were many instances where my thoughts have changed. I started off thinking “this would be easy and fun” to “alright, I need to plan what I’m going to do next.” Though it became a job, it was fun in that I had an outlet to just be me in the most creative way possible. However, I guess in a sense that could also be a double-edged sword, in that I could not bear to be boring or mundane and had to put this image on all the time.

I really fell in love with the design aspects of my blog, making it unique, navigating through every detail possible until I was satisfied. I became picky. However, I felt that this contributed to producing my online presence. If everything on my blog was a choice I had to make, then I know I am creating an authentic and unique presence. As the semester ends, I think this was my biggest takeaway. Be picky, because that’s when you really find out more about yourself and what it means to have an online presence.

In conclusion, I must address whether or not I feel successful in reaching my audience. To answer this as concisely as possible, I feel that I did in terms of reaching people. Though I’ll never know if I converted anyone into buying clothing pieces that I would buy, I’m sure I was able to provide content that people liked to see and were able to show myself in the best way possible. In terms of continuing this blog, I definitely plan to as time goes on, and will continue to keep reiterating as my creative mind continues to grow, change, and adapt.

Sources:

Avins, J. (2014, December 15). Why caring about style doesn’t make you shallow. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://qz.com/259024/why-caring-about-style-doesnt-make-you-shallow/

How to Build Your Own Brand From Scratch in 7 Steps. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.shopify.ca/blog/how-to-build-a-brand

R. (2018, January 14). How to Start a Fashion Blog and Make it Famous. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.blogtyrant.com/start-a-fashion-blog/