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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.


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.”


My online publishing reflection, how to become a popular blogger?

To be honest, it is really grateful for me to have such amazing chance to become a blogger and online publisher in this semester, I have learned many valuable things from PUB 101, which taught me how to use WordPress and elaborated my online presence. For a long time, I have had a big passion on moments recording, writing is definitely one of my hobbies as well as photographing, but this was my first time to practice blogging in totally English, thus everything is fresh and exciting. In recent years, except the social media, blogging has become one of the most popular ways of communicating and sharing information, in this platform, people can talk about their interests, write about their life experiences or publish their thoughts subjectively in a more detailed way.  As Tara mentioned that: “the discursive spaces of the blog as critical to the activity of trading cultural and social capital and, importantly, shaping expressions of emerging identity” (Tara, 2010), after our exploration of the world of blog during this course, I realized that blog is not only a great self-promotion tool to help you address and communicate with your audience but also a channel to make benefits.  Also, the design and content of the blog are significant for attracting viewers, software like Google Analytics will help blogger to know their audience, running a blog is not an easy work that I thought before, the fact is plenty of things you need to make effort on.

Bloggers today are writing a blog for various reasons; some of them have their own story to tell, others may do the business to promote their own products. My blog was created for sharing my traveling stories and experiences with the world, which also included the introduction of my selective tips and cuisine. This is defiantly a valuable blog for supporting people who love traveling and gives them the best tips, besides, my blog is also very welcoming those who like beautiful traveling photos.

Design is also a key for a popular blog, my blog is mainly focused on the visuals and I believed that the atmosphere of the blog will change viewers’ emotion and feeling, this is the power of color-as the symbol of eye-catching. In the beginning, I designed this blog to present lively and fun, which showed an optimistic theme that uplifts readers rather than a traditional travel blog. But after I read some of my peers’ reviews, I knew that the original design might be too intense as a blog aesthetic, thus I took their advice and spent much time adjusting in order to match my blog content and online identity. Finally, I chose to design my blog in a pink background that creates a lovely atmosphere which is quite appealing in a more simplistic style. Moreover, viewers can various breathtaking travel photos in this blog, as Gertz states that: “The art direc­tion isn’t a sub­sti­tu­tion for the con­tent, but it begs us to dive in and get dirty. The cov­er gives us a hint about what’s inside, and teas­es out our emo­tion, beg­ging us to read the rest” (Gertz, 2015), those pictures not only decorate the blog but also guide visitors into a reading world.

Google Analytics is an effective tool that helps nowadays’ bloggers, advertisers and marketers to analyze their online target audiences and adjust website content into the best results. Originally, I imagine my target audience group consisting mostly of girls who like travel and delicacy between the ages of 18 and 25, but according to the data which shows on Google Analytics, the age group is expanded broadly that beyond my imagination because the primary audiences are 25-34, and even include the elderly in 65. What really surprised me is that the data show 54.15% of my audience is male, but 45.85% are female. Pod claims that Data is big business, most of us accepted the idea that digital data equals money (Pod, 2016). Google Analytics creates a new chance for me to know the internet and data trails deeply, which gives me a clear idea of who my audiences are, how they behave and help me to improve my website and expand my marketing.

Furthermore, incorporating transmedia into the blog will contribute to connect your blog to the relevant audience and boost your traffic. In my own view, Instagram is a great online channel for me to attract the audience, according to my google analytics I knew that many readers of my blog come from my Instagram, visitors can drill deeper into the expanding world of their followed bloggers through these transmedia platforms. In addition, the rising global phenomenon of online harassment and online shaming needs to be noticed by all internet users, everyone should control their actions towards and reject online shaming appearing, thus I decided to set up some community guidelines for my blog to prevent horrible comments or shaming happening.

Overall speaking, after reviewing my whole semester’s experience as an online publisher, I have a deeper understanding of blogs rather far than before. As the semester comes to the end, it’s really hard to say goodbye, thus I decide to continue blogging after this course and keep recording my travel footsteps, which helps me to improve my writing and record all the beautiful moments in a journey. Additionally, the photos on Instagram will still be updated, Vlog may be coming soon in the future and I hope to attract more audiences to my blog ideally. Furthermore, marketing is another goal of my future plan, making some money from my favorite thing is literally a great experience. Regardless of what the future is going to be, I will insist to work on it and become a better online publisher. Blogger has taken over the world, but want to become a successful and fantastic popular blogger still needs much effort than we think. Lastly, I would say that this is the end of my PUB 101 class, but it’s just the start of my blog.


Gertz, T. (2015). “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” Retrieved from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Pod, A. ( 2016). “Digital breadcrumbs: The data trail we leave behind us.” Retrieved from: http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/

Tara, C. (2010). “Digital dressing up: modelling female teen identity in the discursive spaces of the fashion blogosphere.” Journal of Youth Studies. Retrieved from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676260903520902

Essay 2: PUB101 Experience

Before I began using a blog, I decided to create a business Instagram, and started to upload #100daysofmakep, were I acquired some online presence. Then I had the opportunity to take PUB101, and I was not expecting to create a blog when Suzanne announced that we were allowed to use any topic, my head was spinning, and I was thinking of the topic that I could talk about. But I decided to write about something that I am passionate about, makeup. As Jesse Thorn enlist, the best way to success is to follow your passion, and it becomes thriving, and you enjoy it.

At the beginning I disagree with the topic I chose, I felt ashamed of it, especially after the speed date, I liked the topic that other of my peers chose, so I started to doubt my decision until I read an observation that Stephanie made about my blog “own it.” Since then I started to fall in love with my topic again, and then it when I decided to create a different path on my website, I wanted to create a blog where I address makeup differently from my social media, I wanted to create a space where I encouraged people to learn about makeup and be critical about the products that they consume.

When I started to write, I felt like my writing could influence someone to discover why am I passionate about makeup. As a communication student, I must write long argumentative papers about any topic that may be a concern to society, but I felt like my writing was a “waste product (Glass, 2015),” as those papers are not going to be available to the public. I always liked discussion and influence perspectives from my readers, Erin Glass encourage students to create a voice to unleash to the public, and that is the reason I create the section “Storytelling,” this space is to create awareness of consumer choices or a critique to influencers. And it feels empowering to be able to educate and have a conversation with people.

Looking at Google Analytics and see how my audience behaves was strange and new for me. In the beginning, I thought that my audience was going to be mostly feminine and at the age of 15-30. But checking into my statistics, it showed something I was not expecting, I have a more male audience with 54% of views, and most of their hobbies include sports and nature. After learning this new data, I decided that I had to make some editorial changes. These changes include writing style and image incorporation.

I had to be aware of my writing style because I tend to be short but not explanatory enough. So I decided to be as throughout possible. Some of my peer reviews mentioned that the information posted on my blog was clear and concise, as Keveren and Eric reviewed my blog and mentioned that the information helped them understand what makeup is. But I receive some critics from them; they recommended me to use more images, as it could help a more visual topic greatly. So, after I decided that I cannot create a blog only based on text, Hossein Derakhshan, in the article The Web We Have to Say,he concerns that users prefer to read less, and images/videos are more important to capture an audience. And that was something I missed on my post at the beginning; so after looking for photos, but then I had another concern, copyright. Going into lecture and listening to Jon Festiger talking about citing and giving credit to the authors and what content can be used and what content we cannot use. After that, I incorporated a lot of images but always giving credit to the author and linking the website/author that I took the picture from.

In summary, creating my website and being responsible for maintaining it was a tiresome project, but in the end, I must say that was an enjoyable experience. I am proud of the content of my website, especially my storytelling section, because I can have a conversation with my readers and share information that could be helpful and remind them to be more critical about the products that they consume. After reading Jesse Thorne’s article, I came to realize that it is the importance of being proud of your passion and share it with the world. Reading Hossein Derakhshan, I realize that we must keep this form of art alive and encourage more people to write and join into this community. And after taking PUB 101, I realize the impact that we create within the online world, and I have decided to keep on writing and updating my blog until I get tired or my subscription expires.

Derakhashan, H. (2015, July 14) The Web We Have to Save. Retrieved from https://medium.com/matter/the-web-we-have-to-save-2eb1fe15a426.

Glass, E. (2015, December 11) Why we need Social Paper. Retrieved from https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/papers/45249/.

Thorn, J. (2012, April 11) Make your thing: 12 point program for absolutely, positively 1000% no-fail guaranteed success. Retrieved from https://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/.

Essay 2: Not the end!

Last April, I have created my first website with Wix.com. It serves as a portfolio to showcase my photography work to others, especially to the employers when I am applying for jobs. I did not intend to write and post other content on the website because I feel self-conscious when people read what I wrote.

I haven’t updated the website for months as I was too busy at school. But when I receive my acceptance letter as an exchange student in SFU, I thought it’ll be a great opportunity to reactivate my website to post so I can document my journey in Canada. I am glad that I took PUB101, which “forces” me to post on a regular basis. It was frustrating at first when we have so much freedom in this course and I was still adjusting to the new learning environment here, jet lag and everything. I remember I couldn’t think of a name for my domain until I was unpacking my clothes from my luggage, then I realised how many stripes clothes I have. That’s how lilyinstripes was born.

It took me a whole night to complete the setup of the blog, from purchasing the domain and picking the theme that best matches my content. As these 12 weeks progresses, I am proud of the content I created and the positive feedbacks that I received from peers and friends from around the world.  It has resulted in a reduction in bounce rate to 61.67% and an increase in session duration to 2 minutes 13 seconds compared to the last 30 days. Google Analytics is by far one of the most useful and important tools that I’ve mastered in this course. The analytics provides me with insights to create intriguing content that will allow users to stay longer on my blog.

According to Patel (2019), bounce rate refers to the “bounce” that someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. As of the statistics by Google Benchmarks 2017, the bounce rate in the arts & entertainment industry is 58.69% (Ritwick, 2018), which is three per cent below mine. I will continue to post when the semester ends, aiming to reach through this three per cent difference by including more engaging content. When I look at the pages that my users most frequently visit, I notice that more people visit the photography page rather than the portfolio page. I think they may have expected to see more of my photography work under “photography” while I put them under “portfolio”. To avoid confusion, I will remove the photography category and use portfolio instead, so people can easily access to my photos.

When I started my first blog, I asked myself “How should I differ from other travel or photography blogs?” I knew exchange or studying abroad may seem interesting to my audiences, so I thought it’ll be a good idea to share Hong Kong culture to my Canadian friends and also allow my family and friends in Hong Kong to know what I’ve been up to in Canada. Tobi Cheung, one of the classmates who did a peer review on my blog said the Cantonese characters and pronunciations in each blog posts adds a personal touch and connection to my audience (Cheung, 2019)[, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve. Even though Cantonese is not a very common language to most Westerners, I hope to connect with my audiences by showing Hong Kong’s language so my users can understand my background and the place where I grow up in better. I see language as a way to connect with others. I realise most Westerners cannot tell the difference between Hong Kong and China (that’s the most frequently asked question by Uber and taxi drivers), we share similar language, similar characters but they are not the SAME. Therefore, I’ve decided to always include a Chinese keyword in traditional Chinese characters and its Cantonese pronunciation, so it tells more about what’s special about Hong Kong. As Adam wrote in the peer review, “One of humanity’s defining features is its ability to communicate with language.” (Schmidt, 2019). I hope my audience can get an overview and know more about Cantonese and Hong Kong culture when they read through my blog posts.

Looking back at the blog posts I’ve written, I realized how much I’ve grown and experienced in the past couple of months. First time blogging, first time studying abroad, first time skiing, first time seeing aurora and of course, my first solo trips. I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and experienced so many new things here! I will keep on posting when the semester finishes. I will be doing lots of travelling before I head back to Hong Kong, hopefully, there’ll be more photos coming up! Also, stay tuned to my blog if you’re interested in my life in Hong Kong! The support from all of you is the greatest motivation to keep my blog running.

This is by far the most rewarding class I’ve taken in university. Thank you all for making the first half of 2019 extra special and memorable!


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Essay 2_ Not the end, but a new beginning.

Everyone has his or her dream job, so do I. When I first gain the access to the online platforms, I was amazed by the beauty bloggers and YouTubers. Undoubtedly, being a social influencer such as beauty blogger and YouTuber has become my dream job. In the past, I always thought that these online social influencers are the “easy profitable jobs.” To emphasize, they can make money very easily just by writing posts and filming videos via the internet. However, I totally change these stereotype on social influencers when I start writing my personal blog. In other words, I know now that being a blogger is not as simple as it seems. Today, I will discuss my personal experience of being a startup blogger.

First of all, the progress from 0 to 100 is extremely difficult, especially as an new blogger. To emphasize, blogging is not the hardest part for me throughout this experience. Creating a website from bare bone, for example creating menus, categories ,and tags, is a challenge for me as I am not as tech-savvy as the other people. However, once I persevere, it is a joyride from then on. In this case, let’s start with my original intention and goal of my blog. Before creating the blog, I am already familiar with buying and trying many different types of beauty products. Also, I really like to share my personal reviews of these products with my family and friends. As a result, beauty products are the main focused topic that I would like to share with my audiences. In these circumstances, “Maggie Loves to Share” is the first slogan that pops up in my mind when I start my personal blog. Hence, I set this line of sentence on the top of my website. In my opinion, this slogan not only clearly express my desire to share but also easy understood by my audiences. In addition, I choose pink as the main colour for my website. With this design, just like Emma- my peer reviewing partner states, the baby pink accent that I used represents a very charming appearance which is clear that my website is very girly and attractive (Emma, 2019.) Following on the setting and design of my personal website, I hope that my audiences are able to have a better understanding of products that they interested after reading my reviews and sharing information that I have provided throughout my posts. Moreover, to attract more readers and to find out more interesting topics are my first challenge. There are thousands of beauty bloggers around the world; yet, I have to figure out ways to stand out from the cloud. At this point, I decide to apply the concepts of “know [my] audiences” and “[build] the connection” that I have learned from the publishing class. Linking back to these process posts that I wrote within this semester, I believe that my family and friends are my main readers. In the case, I then ask them to help me to develop the connections to other younger females who may also like my blog. Thus, I have more chances to create diverse topics for my readers from these connections.

Furthermore, most importantly, there are many new lessons that I have learned since I start my personal blog. Significantly, in my opinion, Google Analytics is the most useful tool that I learned when I start writing blog. Even though I have never used Google Analytics before, being the online publisher, this new tool has helped me easily track various datas about my blog. In this circumstance, Google Analytics gives me the overview of my audiences’ reactions towards to my website. For instance, I personally think that bounce rate that is calculated on Google Analytics is one of the most important data that I should track. According to Shivar, bounce rate represents the number of people who land on a page of your site… and then immediately leave (2018.) Although Shivar has also mentioned not too focused on the numbers, from my understanding, the lower bounce rate tend to present the better performance for a startup blogger. To indicate, as an new online publisher, I want my audiences to stay longer on my website to explore around. In other word, the less people immediately leave my website, the more sense of accomplishment I will get. Myself as an example, the bounce rate has dropped from 56.25% to 50% via the last two weeks. From this outcome, I believe that there are more people actually spend time on visiting my blog. Additionally, Google Analytics has also informed its users about what page their audiences visit the most. With this valuable information, I can easily recognize what topics I should share with my audiences more in the future. For example, my “What’s in my causal bag?” recently has the highest views throughout my blog. Following on the result, I have created the collection of “What’s in My Bag?” on my website to attract more audiences. Despite of bounce rate and page views, Google Analytics eventually has delivered useful functions to the online publishers. Therefore, I will continuing to use this tool to improve my blog.

Ultimately, I really treasure that I finally have chance to achieve my dream-being a blogger. Looking back to the past thirteen weeks, I would conclude that it really required a lot of effort to be an online influencer from my experience. To emphasize, writing a perfect blog requires tons of time to complete it. In my case, it is really hard to come up different and creative topics to share with my audiences. Afterwards, I have to choose the best way to present my posts. However, the most difficult challenge that I have faced is my writing skills. I am not a professional English writer; thus, sometimes I am afraid that my readers will not continuously visiting my blog because of constant grammatical error. Although there are many challenges occurred since I start my first blog, I am proud of what i have done so far. I have never imagined that I am able to upload posts weekly not even to mention in my second language. Lastly, if you ask me: “will you continue to blog?” I would say, YES! Yet, I will consider to blog in my first language so I can express myself more comfortably and confidently. In short, “Maggie Loves to Share” is my first milestone in my online publishing life. I hope and I am looking forward for my next milestone.

Finally, I would like to thank Suzanne and Ellen for the wonderful semester. Also, much appreciation goes to my peer review partners- Emily, Helen and Emma for the very helpful feedbacks and insight on my posts. Most importantly, I thank my audiences for visiting my blog. I really appreciate for everything that you have done for me. Thank you!


Adams, E. (2019, March 14). Sharing Is Caring. Retrieved from http://emmasworkingonit.com/assignments/sharing-is-caring/

Shivar, N. (2018, September 28). What is Bounce Rate & How should you use it?. Retrieved from https://www.shivarweb.com/1168/what-is-the-bounce-rate-and-why-you-should-care/

Su, M. (2019, February 25). Process Post_6 Know your audiences. Retrieved from http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/process-post_6-know-your-audiences/

Su, M. (2019, March 11). Process Post_8 Connection. Retrieved from http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/process-post_8-connection/

Essay 2 – Experiences as an Online Publisher

I have always had an online presence, whether it was through a Facebook or Instagram account, there is no denying that I have been publishing my life online for quite some time. Upon reading about this class, Publications 101, it occurred to me that I have never written a blog or created my own public website. As much online activity and experience that I perceived to have had, it was apparent that understanding how to create, design, and write for a website was lacking. So, my interest was peaked and my creativity was sparked to expand my experience of being an online publisher.

As Erin Glass notes, “Let students, not the Edtech industry, debate and determine the emerging design of the space which will carry their voice…let them reimagine for the full possibility of speech.” (2015). Glass’ comment rings true to my approach and understanding of the class as it provided me with an opportunity to carry my own voice and reimagine the possibilities of public discourse. Instead of being in a strictly academic writing environment, the process of building and designing our personal blogs pushed our creative abilities and offered us a means to stray from common educational pedagogy. Furthermore, as discussed by Audrey Watters, the ability to have our own domain gave us the agency in what we want to publish for our site and online self and how we want to do so. We can demonstrate our learning “beyond the classroom walls.” (Watters 2015) and be able to have a better position in controlling our work, data, and self (Watters 2015).

I wanted to showcase these aspects of online publishing, as described by Glass and Watters, and highlight my creation of publication based on a distinct subject and design that I care about. I wanted to use this opportunity to carry a voice and reimagine the full possibilities of online discourse. This was done through my intentions of creating my blog as a public platform that brings attention to important issues of race, gender, and sexuality – all of which can be hard to publicly address offline. As described by Lori Hubbard from Chron, and Monique Sherrett from Boxcar Media, having a target audience is key in developing effective communication strategies as well as providing content that users can appreciate. The public that I envisioned for my blog were young individuals and groups of people who appreciate the arts. More importantly, I created this blog for the marginalized; I created it for those within the LGBTQ+ community, people of colour, and for those who want to learn, understand, and challenge the rigid social constructs set in place within society.

As noted by Michael Warner (2002) and Nancy Fraser (1990), the concept of the “public sphere” and what we consider to be public is often skewed – representing the “bourgeois society” and European “public concerns” and “common interests” (Fraser 1990 p. 58). This is where the concept of “counterpublics” arises in that I have created an online space that aligns with the notion where “members of subordinated social groups invent and circulate counter-discourses” (Fraser 1990 p. 67). I argue that this is a key feature for my blog and something that is possible due to the rise of public engagement through the Internet. This concept has become of value for me and hopefully for others, as it does not entail a focus on monetary value and simply falls down to challenging hegemony and the problematic and systemic social norms. Here, There hopes to bring people together and to highlight marginalized voices.

Apart from the overall concept of the blog, how I addressed my audience through the editorial design, and content, also aligns with my initial intentions for the creation of the site. What I kept in mind for the name, Here, There, was a mixture of simplicity and minimalism intertwined with a contemporary feel. However, l still wanted to be able to evoke emotions and meaning. I wanted to encompass the idea that voices will be heard from here and there and that there is no boundary as to who gets to be a part of this blog or who gets to be a part of society. Moving onto the design of the blog, again I wanted to create a space that was simplistic and contemporary with artistic elements to capture an audience of young, artistically driven individuals. I wanted to use soft colours and shapes that were inspired by contemporary designs, brands, and websites, such as Bouquet from Montreal, Poketo from the United States, and the website Them. I also wanted to capture the attention of a younger demographic recognizing that moving into the future, these are the people who will be leading society. The design of the hands for the header image supported my intentions of a contemporary and artistic theme. In addition, providing a visual element that connects to my message of coming together and connecting. With the implementation of music playlists, I also enhanced the ways in which I wanted to speak to an artistic audience. Pairing this with my blog objective, the playlists also speak to marginalized groups and for those who have a desire to challenge their understanding of certain norms set in place within society. Lastly, the content itself is directly related to what I aimed for in terms of my online self and publication and for whom this space would be for. By focusing my content on issues directly relating to race, gender, and sexuality, I hope that I can both connect individuals from afar whilst highlighting the importance of diversity.

Moving onto the data of our publication, the info gathered from Google Analytics was quite interesting. The presentation from Monique Sherrett from Boxcar Media was an eye-opening lesson on how to analyze our analytics and what to look out for. Keeping in mind the four aspects of analytics: awareness, engagement, conversion, and retention, it was possible to see how my audience and the public were interacting with my blog. However, since I did not share my blog widely, the awareness and engagement for my site were marginal. The views of my site did come in waves with periods of no activity at all and some moments with a spike in activity. This was most likely due to certain moments during the course when it was asked of us to look through our sites. The majority of users to my site were returning visitors, with the average duration and retention on my blog just a few minutes, around one to three minutes. In some ways, I wish I continued to update my blog more frequently in order to feel comfortable promoting it through other platforms, which in return would allow me to see more activity and data from users.

Throughout my time in Publications 101, my experience of creating online content has expanded. Although I always maintained a certain identity online by carefully managing my aesthetics and posts of my public profiles, such as Instagram, doing so on a blog proved to be quite different. I have not had experience with WordPress prior to this class, so, understanding the technical aspects were both challenging and rewarding, but also highly educational. Integrating my own voice and personality and publishing this through my site changed my perspective in that it is not an easy feat – it takes time, effort, and a clear understanding of the self and your goals to have it work well.

Beyond this course, I imagine my goals as an online publisher will continue to be the same. As an individual who has created an online self for a few years, the blog has helped to enrich my practice and experience of developing content online. This blog has sparked inspiration to continue to create an online presence and self that can challenge the norms of society, but it has also reminded me to be proactive in listening to diverse narratives online and offline. Currently, I am undecided if I will continue the blog as my schedule has been fairly tight. Continuing Here, There may be of a challenge, but because of its significant and meaningful topic (not just to myself, but hopefully for others as well), I believe that it will have importance towards the overall public discourse. Possibly, when I do have more time, pursuing the blog can be beneficial not just as a space to share knowledge and thoughts, but also as a rewarding opportunity to engage and have a public voice has been made possible through the Internet.


Fraser, N. (1990). Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy. Social Text, (25/26), 56-80. doi:10.2307/466240

Hubbard, L. (2018). Why is Identifying the Target Market so Important to a Company? Chron. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/identifying-target-market-important-company-76792.html

Glass, E. (2015). Why We Need Social Paper. CUNY Academic Commons. Retrieved from https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/papers/45249/

Sherrett, M. (2018). Publications 101: Marketing, Media, and Analytics. Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre. Lecture.

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

Watters, A. (2015). The Web We Need to Give to Students. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/bright/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

Essay #2

Throughout my months in Publication 101, I learned so many new tips and tricks, and as a result my website got better while I gained more knowledge. So many components go into creating a website, and I had no clue what it was like maintaining an up to date website. I do have a fair amount of publishing background as I’ve created two yearbooks in highschool, but this was a lot different as it was all online. I can admit I am not the strongest writer, so when I first found out how much I would have to write each week it was a bit daunting and I wondered how I would fair. However, I found out that when writing about something you are really passionate about, such as college football, it makes it really easy to write and more fun.


When first got my website and I was deciding on what wordpress theme to choose for my blog, it was super difficult to decide which one to choose. There were literally thousands to choose from and it took a long time to find the right one. In the end I decided to go with one of the most basic themes called Aakriti Personal Blog, since I wanted my blog to focus mainly on the content and not have the theme distract the reader from my writing. I eventually introduced some color into my website after getting the suggestion from Jennifer’s peer review of my website. I then turned my website a neon yellow color. I choose a very unique color because I wanted to make my website stand out as I’ve never seen any website use yellow as their background and it helps set my website apart from all others and makes it distinct. One thing I did learn about the process while creating a website is that you must have a really good theme that allows you to manipulate it. The biggest regret of my website was actually the choice of theme. If I were to start over and make a new website, I would not use this theme again. I was very constricted on what changes I could make and I didn’t like how the sidebar was tucked away behind a three bar line on the top right which you had to click to get to the CFB standings and the archives. I wanted the standings to be on the homepage going down right hand side, but was not able to do that as I didn’t choose the right theme to get that. Overall, the theme I choose wasn’t right for me, but for the time it did its job and made my website very clean.


For the actual content I was producing, I looked to get inspiration from the leading producers in college football news. ESPN, Bleacher Report and theScore are just 3 of the biggest companies that write about college football. I used the general layout from Bleacher Reports articles on mine as I thought it might give my website more credibility if it resembles a well known sports writing website. These big companies didn’t get this big on luck so they must be doing something right so I decided to take a page out of their books. I also took suggestions from peer reviews to help improve my website. I implemented many great suggestions from Tessa’s peer review of my website. I switched the name of the author writing the posts from “admin”, to my name to make it more personal. I started using hyperlinks to make my posts look more professional Furthermore, I spread out the writing in to multiple paragraphs instead of just one long paragraph to make it easier to read. Getting suggestions for my website through peer reviews helped improve my website and every suggestion I really thankful for. Going forward, if I was to continue my blog I would want to figure out how to put videos directly in my posts so readers won’t have to click away in order to watch the video I am referencing. In the end, very happy about how my posts turned out and the way they looked in the end.


When I had to consider my audience for what I was writing about I had to do some research on who I was writing for. What I learned was that I was writing for all demographics. College football reaches over such a wide spectrum of people and after reading an article by nielsen.com on the reach of college football, I finally realized how big college football actually is. I learned that over  155 million Americans watch college football and it is split 50-50 by gender which makes college football a massive market. Also all ethnicities are shown to watch college football which really shows it covers everywhere in America. With this new knowledge, I had to make sure that what I was writing was very neutral and it wasn’t to difficult or to easy to read so it could appeal to everyone. Also if anyone has read many of my articles you might notice it follows the basic pattern of talking about the best teams in the nation. This is done with a purpose because typically the best teams are the most popular and have the biggest fan bases. For example, I would rather write about Ohio State, who has the #1 fan base of 3,167,263 than Maryland whos fan base is 474,059, according to a report done from the New York Times on where the fans lie. I want to attract as many people to my blog as I can and talking about the big teams was a tactic I used in order to get people here. This didn’t really work as my website had minimal viewership and almost no one went on my website. Hopefully, if I were to continue writing on my blog viewership would go up as that is one of my major goals of this website.


Having a blog and talking about something I’m passionate about each week has been an amazing experience and it was super fun. Going forward I will probably not keep posting on my blog as the college football season ends in just over a month and once its over there is almost nothing to talk about. I had a really fun time writing about topics I’m interested in and I might want to do something like this again next season. Likely I will not use a blog next season but rather I will create an Instagram account to post on, which will be a lot easier for me. What I learned most from this course is that I really enjoy creating content and whether it is on Instagram or a website I will try to always keep publishing something.


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Essay 2: Online Publishing in Practice (A Reflective Essay)

Simon Fraser University’s course Publication of Self in Everyday Life provides an opportunity for students to explore what it means to be an online publisher and encourages students to create a place on the internet to write about their interests. I have been a movie fanatic for years, but I had never considered making a blog. I assumed no one was interested in hearing my thoughts, and also saw no benefit in making a website that may only have one viewer (presumably myself). As I began creating content, learning more about design, and thinking about online audiences, my fear of screaming into the void subsided. Even if I have a low number of readers, I discovered that my blog had other value. I discovered this blog could act as a portfolio (demonstrating my design and writing capabilities), and this blog could act as an inventory (a personal space for me to keep track of all the wonderful and horrible movies I watch). I see benefits beyond readership. The POSIEL course offered at SFU expanded my understanding of what it means to be an online publisher by forcing me to consider audience, design, and confidence in the online world.

In order to create a target audience, I considered my own experience with cinema and the quality of information I can relay to readers. My imagined audience is average movie-goers, ages eighteen to twenty-five, who are interested in film but are not professionals working in the field. I focused on the “average” movie-goer because I have no formal education or training in cinematography; I am an average movie-goer myself. I watch more movies than many people my age because I work at my local cinema, but I am a fanatic not a professional. I also targeted this audience because I find critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes to be more critical than user reviews. The more positive user reviews suggest average movie-goers are more optimistic about the films they are seeing, and I wanted to contribute to this positive outlook on movies.

The professional yet personal design of my blog is an attempt to better attract my desired audience. Mauvé Page suggested that rhythm “helps create predictability and order in your design,” and rhythm can be achieved through repetition of elements (Page). All of my movie reviews have the movie poster, movie name, a brief comment on the film, and a score (displayed as a percentage). The articles also have a repetitious feel by having the written review followed by the movie trailer. Mauvé also suggested people respond well to faces (Page), so I included an image of myself on my “About” page that seems friendly and approachable (and also indirectly tells my viewers I am around the same age as them). I also used contrast to make my homepage exciting and unique to me. Contrast can be achieved through colour, texture, size, and shapes (Page). My header image is the largest item on the page, and I used vibrant colours to make this image stand out further. Based on my Google Analytics, I can tell my readership is quite small and mostly comes from people in our class. On a positive note, the people in our class are a part of my target audience, so my imagined audience is my current audience.

One of the greatest challenges I encountered throughout this entire process was gaining confidence in my work. In high school, I won several creative writing contests within the school but few people read my pieces. Putting both my movie reviews and academic posts online made me feel vulnerable. There are real studies that show the severity of online harassment: “A Pew Research Center survey published two years ago found that 70% of 18-to-24-year-olds who use the Internet had experienced harassment, and 26% of women that age said they’d been stalked online” (Stein). It was nerve-racking posting a picture of myself on my “About” page along with posts that express my thoughts and emotions (especially in my process posts). I did not want to reveal my age or gender. Fortunately, I have only received one comment on my website and it was positive. To my surprise, a user commented on the post I felt most self-conscious about making public: my essay. My first and only comment was as follows: “Only wanna tell that this is very useful, thanks for taking your time to write this.” The comment surprised me because I thought no one would be interested in reading my essay. This single comment managed to increase my confidence and make me reflect more seriously about why I am afraid of posting my academic writing online. Erin Glass’ article “Why We Need Social Paper” looks critically at academic writing and asks readers to consider “what we learn about the practical power of speech when we practice speaking to nobody” (Glass). Glass emphasizes that “a public must not die every semester” (Glass), but that is exactly what happens as students simply hand in papers and never look at them again. As an English major, I have written many thoughtful essays about literature that may be of interest to my peers or others studying the novel under analysis, but those essays cannot benefit anyone if they remain a buried file on my laptop.

After spending many hours working on the design and content on my blog, I have no desire to stop writing. I finally feel like the design is complete and I can focus on just writing posts. I hope to expand on my blog to include more television shows and special features posts (which will likely include a “Best Holiday Movies” post shortly). At the beginning of the semester, I felt overwhelmed, frustrated and confused, but now I finally see the value of having this space of my own. Audrey Watters discusses the importance for students to have a “domain of one’s own” in her article “The Web We Need to Give Students.” Watters explains how personalized domains provide students with an opportunity to “build their own digital portfolio” (Watters). My blog is a piece of academic work I can take with me and continue to explore. It is a piece of my academic work that demonstrates my passion, writing, and understanding of design more thoroughly than any other essay or project I have created in the past four years. Online publishing does not necessarily require writing for a large public; online publishing can simply be a way of discussing your passions, demonstrating your knowledge, or creating something that is of interest to you.



Works cited

Essay Two – Blog Reflection

At the beginning of the semester when I was deciding on the topic for my blog, I was torn between travelling and hockey. I asked myself a fundamental question – why? Although I grew up like every other kid playing street hockey and buying and trading hockey cards with my friends, I always wanted a place to express my ideas and opinions and receive feedback and suggestions from like-minded people. Since I constantly found myself being approached by others for an opinion on what’s going on with different teams, players and hockey, in general, I decided to choose hockey over travelling. I did not want to limit myself to a specific team as I planned to discuss a variety of aspects within the sport. Also, I tried to avoid the potential for any issues similar to that of Matt Shea’s where some of his subscribers felt neglected when he was posting content that was “different.” However, I narrowed the primary focus of my blog to three aspects in particular. They are outlined below in my infographic.

I created this blog hoping that it would act as a non-political platform for hockey fans to connect. I planned to accomplish this by writing weekly posts about a variety of relevant topics in the hockey world to encourage readership. I anticipated that it would encourage hockey fans to discuss and debate opposing views openly. I intended to accomplish this by encouraging fans to share their thoughts and opinions at the end of each post and hoped to spark a conversation between them.

I imagined my public to be a sports-centric audience with a particular interest in hockey; this further branched into general sports/hockey fans, fans of specific teams, analysts, hockey players, fans of the NHL video game series and my friends and family. I have confirmed that my imagined audience is also my real audience by analyzing my followers on social media and by using Google Analytics. A primary example is Zach Boychuk who is a retired NHLer that follows me on Twitter.

My audience has strongly influenced my editorial decisions as I have tailored my content for them, while attempting to obtain additional exposure by writing about different aspects of the game. For instance, I have written about the video game NHL 19 and its Hockey Ultimate Team mode. I have also written about the San Jose Sharks, but recently I analyzed the local Vancouver Canucks from multiple angles including management and specific players. I believe that writing from these different angles will assist in developing new audiences while continuing to engage current readers. After receiving comments from Suzanne and my peers regarding my posts I have been adding to a long list of content to write about. These comments get me thinking and usually inspires me with some topics to write about in the future. I have spent the past six weeks rebuilding the Montreal Canadiens, as Suzanne requested, and recently led them to their first Stanley Cup since 1993 in the simulation.

Furthermore, I have catered my design decisions for my audience. I created a cool vibe to represent the atmosphere at a hockey game by using a shade of blue throughout my blog. I used light grey as the background colour to represent a sheet of ice. The header features clipart representing hockey so that readers know what to anticipate on my blog. To create familiarity for my audience, I used colours that are featured in the NHL’s logo in designing my website name. To ensure that my content was easily accessible, I made sure that my theme would enable me to add a featured image with the title and a brief excerpt with a read more and leave a comment button. This reels readers in and encourages them to engage with the content and comments from others. The sidebar adds to the accessibility as it conveniently links to my social media while showing viewers the most recent posts and comments, so they can quickly get caught up on what has been posted since their last visit.

The central value proposition of my blog is that I provide a unique perspective on different aspects of hockey for my public; this is similar to Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner. I have received comments that are what John Suler (n.d.) describes as “solipsistic introjection.” Many hockey fans follow Don Cherry, and some have suggested that they assign a similar voice and image to my content. Moreover, in the future when my readership increases, I may consider creating value for hockey equipment companies by reviewing their products. While this is something to consider companies may be anticipating a positive review whereas my opinion may be the complete opposite. However, if I were to go this route, I would also feature affiliate marketing by providing readers with links to purchase the equipment.

Google Analytics showed that most of my audience is situated in the lower mainland, however, one reader is from Poland. I am hoping to expand readership globally by growing my brand on social media. Surprisingly, I also have more new visitors compared to returning visitors. I believe that this will be beneficial as I continue to grow my blog, but, of course, I hope that these new visitors will return in the future. Again, analytics will assist in this regard. The ability to track which pages are viewed the most is very helpful as it shows me what viewers are reading and which content I should be publishing more or less of. Also, due to the ability to track browsers, operating systems, devices, and their screen resolutions I will now be able to optimize my blog for these specific viewers. The user flow report provided me with an overview of how users navigate my blog – where they go first, what they do next and where they drop off. Understanding these elements will be beneficial to potentially re-organize my content. If viewers are flocking to a particular order when they view content, I believe that this could be a sign to re-order my blog to their convenience. In doing so, I will have to avoid “chasing a robotic approach to a human connection” as per Travis Gertz (2015).

Lastly, I will be continuing my blog past this semester and plan on elaborating my online presence by posting my written content on YouTube as a video. In doing so, I will link back to my blog so that viewers have multiple options to receive my content. I also plan on being more active on my social media channels during hockey games as I have found my audience to be active during these times. This will enable “new members to join as the old fade away” as mentioned by Erin Glass (2015).


Gertz, T. (2015, July 15). Design machines. Retrieved from https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines
Glass, E. (2015, December 11). Why we need Social Paper. Retrieved from https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/papers/45249/
Suler, J. (n.d.). The Online Disinhibition Effect. Retrieved from http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html