Tag Archives: Peer Review

Peer review 3

For my third peer review, I am going to read Rain Mutlu’s blog small steps in a big world

This blog is about traveling and photo sharing, Rain has loved freezing moments to keep them forever and she would be more than happy to share those memories with her audiences, she mentioned that she decided to create this travel blog where she talks about what kind of feelings the places she went to trigger in her and what kind of feelings they might awake in you. I believed this is a romantic idea that will create a bond with readers and express the emotion together through reading blogs.

Speaking of website design, this blog holds simple aesthetic with white and black, author decorates some visual pictures in each post, because it is a travel blog, so I would recommend adding more travel photo to replace other types of pictures, otherwise the online identity is not clear and may leads this website looks like a business or personal blog without certain theme. The scroll bar on the homepage as one of the first things viewers see when they go to her website is a good design that Rain can utilized to capture audiences’ attention, it is an important part to create interest and convey the blog’s identity in a clearer way, thus beautiful travel image is needed. Besides, the menu and category widget, which are very helpful to help her viewers choose what they want to read. Generally, more vivid designs for travel blogs may help increase the participation between the author and audiences, as it would make the reader more interested in this blog.

Moving to blog content, her blog posts are very interesting and I really enjoyed reading her travel experience. Compared to other travel blogs, this one is a little bit different, it focuses on emotional expression rather than traveling itself. In a recent blog, Rain said she wanted to focus on small and unpopular places in certain locations rather than traveling around the world and briefly talk about the must-seen-places, she shares many Vancouver spots, because this is a travel blog, it is better to write about other places rather than local, otherwise the blog theme needs to be more focused. Also, the featured image on the blog post needs more charming, which will attract more audiences to read the content and help her to increase the target audience, otherwise it makes them feel confused about the blog content. A few changes would make these posts even better, the typeface she will use also can be more unique in the future.

For marketability to their intended audience group, I think to create a specific theme and adding more attracting travel elements or design will help her to create a more unique and interesting blog, which become easier to market with a more specific group of readers. By the way, the automatic pop-up window is really disturbing for audiences so I do not suggest to install this. When I was reading a post intently, this window made me feel really annoyed and want to quit this website. Personally, showing Instagram photos on the homepage will help to increase awareness for this blog and bring traction. Some adjustment will attract more fans and prepare for Rain’s future blog marketing and digital monetization.

Overall speaking, Rain’s traveling blog is relatively different than other travel blogs, I will continue to read the website for new posts in the upcoming weeks and hope to see more interesting things!

who can reject a dreamy trip to Italy?

some of my photo collection, hope everyone likes it!

Peer Review #3: Food With Anita

This week, I got to review the marketability of Anita’s blog Food With Anita. It seems like her target audience are people who are unfamiliar or are interested in what to eat in Vancouver and Richmond.

Anita wanted the layout of the blog to be “[simple] so each post could be easily noticed,” I think she did that well with clear page naming in the navigation, and on every page. The blog is further simplified with the use of a mainly black and white palette, with a secondary colour of light blue. However, the overly simplistic layout doesn’t reflect the colourful and enthusiastic attitude Anita has towards food. The simple layout provides an opportunity for Anita to use her vibrant food images to entice readers. I noticed only the first few blogs have feature images of the food she reviews, that would be very helpful for readers in determining whether they would want to read further about the restaurant. Especially if they are new to the area, it would be easier for them to scan through the images to first find what type of food they are interested in, instead of having to read each post.

Home page of the blog.

Anita also has very beautiful food images, and should use them more often! I especially like the grid layout on the ‘Home’ page, I can easily see what type of food she blogs about. From there, I already want to click to read further about them. Unfortunately, they are not linked to their respectful posts. If it’s possible, linking readers directly from the home page can generate more engagement and ease of use.




Anita’s food posts are succinct, with clear headings to break up each section of text. She describes the location of the restaurant and even tips on how to get there and parking. Her personal review of the quality of the food could help long-term readers determine Anita’s tastes in comparison to theirs; thus building a strong relationship of trust. The menus are also included so readers can figure out if the place is within their budget, without having to search elsewhere.

Anita ends her posts linking her Instagram account that’s under the same name. This is a great way to drive traffic towards that platform, since that’s been active for more than a year prior to her blog. Anita could also link her blog on her Instagram account to drive her more long-term readers to her blog, where there are more detailed content than on Instagram.

The placement of her social media icon is odd at the top left corner of the navigation bar, because that’s where people would usually find the site’s logo. The clickable area is also very small. Since Instagram plays a big role with Anita’s online food presence, it should be placed somewhere more prominent. I would suggest having a sticky Instagram widget on the side bar. So readers can get a glimpse into the content of her Instagram, and be enticed into engaging with that platform. Furthermore, Anita can increase the shareability of the posts for readers who are exploring the city with other people, by including share buttons. By having content accessible outside of the website, it increases visibility and can increase website traffic.

Peer Review #3

This week, I will be reviewing Carol’s blog, Nihon Shoku. Another food blog that I am excited to explore!

Content

Looking at Carol’s content, I was overall really pleased and excited by it. She does a great job at being informative but keeping the content interesting. She includes nice, appealing photos to each of her blog posts which really caught my attention. The photos that she includes, especially from the restaurants that she visits, could act as great marketing material for the mentioned restaurants.

I would suggest that she consider maybe including some point-form versions of what she is trying to say (either at the beginning or the end of each blog post) or maybe she could bold some of the key words in her posts. I think that the while the paragraphs that she includes in her posts are informative and interesting, it may make it easier for impatient readers to understand what she is trying to say by pointing out the key topics. It may be nice to conclude her posts about the different restaurants with a rating system so that readers can understand her overall opinion of each place without needing to read the entire post.

I would also recommend that she try linking the restaurants’ websites or social media pages to the blog posts that she writes about them. It may make it more reader-friendly for people who decide they would like to actually visit the restaurant.

Design

Overall, the design theme that Carol has chosen is easy to navigate and coherent. The simplistic design looks nice and clean when you first navigate to the site. I particularly like the logo that she has created for her site because it is quite cute and definitely depicts what the blog is all about.

I would suggest that she also add something else to the home page that will make the reader think more about Japanese food. Right now it is simplistic, which is nice and easy for navigation purposes, but she could maybe add a header image or some interesting widgets. Perhaps, it may be a good idea to change up the header navigation menu to separate “Restaurants” and “Food Intro” out from the “Blog” category. For her particular site, I don’t really think it is necessary to have a “Blog” page because all her posts exist on the homepage anyway. It may also fit better with her theme for the first thing users read in the header to be “Restaurants” and “Food Intros” instead of only “Blog” and “Posiel”.

Marketability

Overall, I really like Carol’s blog concept. It is super interesting for people who may be looking to get into Japanese cuisine, or even for people who are travelling to Japan and looking for some great restaurants to check out. I think there is a lot of potential for her to get involved with the restaurants that she mentions and receive compensation for advertising their business to her readers. I am excited to read more posts from Carol’s site.

Peer Review #3

STYLExVeronica

I have gotten the privilege of reviewing Veronica’s blog ‘Veronicaaarstad’. At first glance, I can tell that this blog is a fashion blog and more so catered towards girls. I get that vibe because of the colours used on the home page (pinks & white).

It is very easy to navigate around because there are tabs for everything and you can easily find her posts when you go onto a page. I really enjoy how the about me page is simple but you still learn a lot about her. You get to understand why she decided to make this her blog and how she became interested in this topic.

I really like how her socials are linked at the very top and they are bolded so it is super easy to notice them and want to click on them. The home page of the site definitely makes me more inclined to want to read more because everything is so well put together and it is all organized super nicely.

She has put her site together very nicely because I feel like right when you click into the site, you know exactly what you are about to read because of the design of it. I would say she has made a brand for herself because the whole idea of her blog is reviewing jewellery from Stella and dot. If a jewellery brand was to find her blog they would be super interested to see if she would want to review their product. If I was super interested in Stella and dot jewellery I would definitely keep up with this blog to see all the new products, new trends and what she thinks of the product.

I also really like how she included multiple pictures in her posts because I think it is important for her to show the reader the product she is testing out. Some of the pictures in each post are Veronica wearing the product, one thing I would like to see more of, are pictures of her wearing more of the products because then the viewer can see what the product looks like on someone. To me, I find this very important because people like to see someone wearing a product in day to day life and not just on a model from the website. If they see it in action, then they get a real idea of how it would look on them and then they might be more inclined to buying the product.

Another thing I think Veronica should do is have ads on her blog. I think this is a good idea because she could get jewellers and fashion designers to have their ads appear on her page.

To conclude I really enjoyed browsing Veronica’s page and definitely think you guys should check it out!

Thank you for reading!!

xx

PEER REVIEW No.3: Eats and Feats

After a long semester of hard work, Eats and Feats has produced a useful series of food and location reviews for Vancouverites looking for adventure. The title is so terrifically catchy while the subtitle–”explore Vancouver, BC”––does a nice job of orienting any passerbys as to the overall thematics.


“I genuinely believe Vancouver has so many things to offer, delicious food, amazing events and gorgeous sceneries and I love to explore so I decided on that. I wanted to write a blog that would help people see what there is to do here because there is never a shortage of things.”

–– Eats and Feats author Helen writing about her purpose

Let us jump into the review below, which will gradually unpack the visuals, written word, and overall premise of my classmate’s great blog.

THE VISUAL STRUCTURE

HOMEPAGE
Underneath the horizontal menu bar, Helen has good combination of three main visual elements (the title and then two featured posts), which align with the suggestions proposed during our guest lecture by Mauve Pagé. The featured posts are well-selected as some of the blog’s finest, with bright and attractive imagery of food. Not only do those pictures attract the eye, they also activate viewer engagement given their “clickability” (scroll function). So, as a visual element, these featured reviews seem to be integral to the website’s immersive capacity and accessibility, while also being foundational to the website’s success as a whole system––specifically if we consider encouraging desirable outcomes for page traffic and bounce rate, which were outlined as important factors to growing a business according to our other guest lecturer by marketing expert Monique Sherett.

SIDEBAR
In addition to what has already been mentioned, I would like to commend Helen on the use of her sidebar which really encourages readers to conveniently explore other posts from the blog. Not only does she include a juicy little glimpse of her longer About Me, there are many links (in the form of both tags and titles) which make navigation from one page to the next a lot smoother than in other websites I have seen (including my own).

PHOTOS
Also, I would be remise not to highlight the extremely comprehensive and necessary use of food and site photography. Particularly when it comes to images of meals, Helen is careful to crop and angle her photos, and ensure that other factors like contrast are tweaked so that all the relevant textures and colours are accurately conveyed. This plays a crucial role for the viewer as they imagine themselves interacting with what is described, and the images are always well arranged so as to perfectly complement the written descriptions.

While there is always some room for improvement that could be considered, namely in the form of customizing the visuals, the visual structure of the site mostly serves the viewer quite favourably.

THE WRITTEN WORD

TECHNICALITIES
Although the grammar is not completely consistent throughout the blog, Helen’s careful use of descriptive language really illuminates the scenes she describes and does a good job to pique viewers’ interest.

FORMATTING
The immediate impression is that Helen has an excellent sense of paragraph structure and dispersion, something that I struggle with personally. She is thorough when including important information such as location, menus, and pricing, although I would suggest potentially bolding, italicizing, or adding icons to these areas for “skimmability”.

PREMISE
I have to respect that Helen has committed to creating a positive “public sphere”, if we can recall Nancy Fraser’s description of this term coined by Habermas. She gets to the point while impressively weaving in a tone of warmth and welcome for her readers.

Given some of the sinister things we have read about the internet this semester, I think we can all agree that websites with more upbeat attitudes, such as Eats and Feats, are probably needed in the larger scheme of things. Importantly, from a strategic standpoint, this could potentially help Helen achieve some form of monetization either through sponsorships or the kinds of affiliate ads debated by Tom Bleymaier in his article titled On Advertising –– Maria Popova.

However, Helen’s “favourites” will have more value if they are allowed to shine through comparison and contrast. By this I mean to suggest that introducing some experiences that are more negative could potentially suggest more credibility in the minds of Eats and Feats’ readers, and potentially even contribute some playful humour.

THE OVERALL CONTENT + Suggestions

In a city often critiqued for a supposed lack of activities and cultural opportunities, Helen is clever to centre her blog around dispelling this mischaracterization about Vancouver––one blog post at a time. It is a solid initial premise and one that can also serve her well in the long term.

This foundation works well because it allows Helen to better tailor her content towards a specific audience, very much in line with . In short, the blog knows it It is a solid initial premise and one that can also serve her well in the long term.

WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE?
With that said, going forward I would encourage her to ponder the following questions: What makes this content well-suited to the blogging format? What knowledge is imparted that distinguishes my posts from Yelp reviews or a “foodstagram”? By brainstorming some answers to these questions, I can envision an exciting future in which Helen leans further into her own unique opinions and investigates new possibilities for content.

A FRESH TAKE
Beyond the food/activity review structure (which seems to be the blog’s “bread and butter”), investigating other thematic pathways could present exciting avenues for readers to live vicariously though the author. For example, potential premises for engaging content might include replicating favourite restaurant dishes at home, trying out intimidating new activities like paddleboarding around English Bay, or chronicling a week of eating out on a relatable budget. Of course, it is perfectly okay if the author dislikes those specific suggestions: The point is that there is still somewhat of a need for Eats and Feats to distinguish itself as a unique voice amongst all the noise. I am simply suggesting that one way to “stand out from the crowd” would be by diversifying the scope of subject matter by incorporating an element of risk or challenge into future posts.

Granted, we must keep in mind that is always easier said than done! And, in fairness, Helen has made some subtle disclaimers that she views this website as a first step into navigating herself within the digital landscape. Thus, the everyday casualness to her tone is a natural and understandable extension of such a context.

SUMMARY
All of this is only to say that I would encourage Helen to really go for it. Perhaps she wants to lean more into the diary-like lens of everyday adventures or perhaps her angle will be to illuminate the underrated underbelly of Vancity: Either way, she is already off to a solid, well-reasoned start, complete with enticing imagery and relevant information. Well done, Eats and Feats––I hope you continue your blog after our course wraps up so that I know what adventures I can explore during those long summer days!

Check out her extremely generous review of my blog here.

The post PEER REVIEW No.3: Eats and Feats appeared first on Messy Musings.

Peer Review 3 – The Honest Skincare Guide

If you’re interested in skincare or new to skincare and wish to get honest product reviews and recommendations, tobi’s routine is the place for you.

Design and content

Tobi uses the Savona Theme which has a minimalistic and chic design. I like that she uses a simple design where there aren’t many distractions, my focus goes directly to her content when I clicked onto her website. There are plenty of white spaces to balance out the heavier focus. It’s comfortable to browse through her website, not only because her content is interesting, but there’s also a unity of design present on her website. The colours she used on her website is mainly black and white, even for the photos she picked, they are all in white backgrounds. This makes the whole blog looks harmonic and clean due to the consistency of colour. The only colours that appeared on the website are the photos of the beauty products. This allows the content to stand out and it’s the first thing that catches my attention when I read through her blog.

Tobi’s blog is user-friendly. She clearly listed out the categories in her main menu, which is very accessible for users. There are search, recent posts, recent comments, archives and categories on the sidebar. I could easily navigate and search for a particular post.

Content

Tobi always includes an excerpt, so readers will know what the post is mainly about before clicking into it. Reading through her posts, she always includes some skincare tips and her experiences, it makes readers feel relatable. I like that there are three related posts on the bottom of each post which I think can make the website more engaging and attract readers to stay longer on the website.

Audience

Tobi’s blog is a place for people who are interested in skin care and are looking for honest reviews. She shares good recommendations for products that are suitable for young girls and don’t have specific skin concerns. There are plenty of beauty bloggers out there but I think what Tobi did to stand out from the crowd is that she includes her first-hand experiences and reviews for her audiences.

Many of the beauty reviews on YouTube are usually sponsored content, viewers thus don’t know whether the products are really that worthy or are that just for the sake of earning money, as many influences nowadays rely on ad revenue to keep their blogs/channels going. In one of the weekly readings – The Toast Is Toast: Literary Humor Site Shuts Down Over Ad Revenue Woes by Shelby Carpenter, she mentioned that online revenues have a huge impact on both big and small sites. Using ads is one of the common ways for websites to reach their target audiences. Reading the ad-free tobi’s routine, I know that all her content are truthful and reliable. When influencers nowadays rely on ad revenue for a living, they do not enjoy the autonomy that Tobi enjoys, where she can write about anything she likes.

Last week, we had Monique Sherrett from Boxcar Media TBC sharing about marketing, monetisation, audience and analytics. She talks about the SMART objectives and the customer journey.  I will share about my customer journey as a visitor to Tobi’s blog.

  1. Awareness – I know about this site because of PUB101. I think it would be great if Tobi can include her social links on the blog as well, such as Instagram and Facebook. I think it will increase the site traffic if she includes her website in any of her social networks. I’m sure people are interested in beauty product reviews!
  2. Engagement – There aren’t many comments on her blog posts but I can feel that Tobi is working hard to connect with her audiences. She uses “I” and “you” quite often in her blog post, like in the What’s exfoliating, she reminds audiences about the cautions of using scrubs. The way she writes make readers feel like we’re close to her, even if we don’t really know her in person. I think this is a good way to interact and bring her readers closer to her life and style.
  3. Retention – I definitely had a great first experience and I will definitely return to this website in the future. Keep it up! 🙂

Overall, it is a website worth visiting and I look forward to seeing more beauty tips from Tobi!

The post Peer Review 3 – The Honest Skincare Guide appeared first on lily in stripes.

Peer Review_3

For the final peer review, I was assigned to review Emma’s personal blog. When I first open up Emma’s blog, I am impressed by her design. I really like what Emma do with her website. For example, in my opinion, the grey background color mixes well with the black texts- a smart choice to present her blog. Even though it seems quite simple to go with this combination of color, I can easily and comfortably enjoy reading Emma’s literatures. In this circumstance, compare to blogs that have color contrast that is uncomfortable to human eyes, Emma has made the great color design choice for her audiences. In addition, the other good design that I adore from Emma’s blog is the well organized and structured categories. Throughout Emma’s blog, I can easily navigate through the main menus- assignments, writing and poems that Emma wish to present to her readers. With these well organized menus, surely I can tell that Emma’s intended audiences will be people who love to read and write different types of literatures. Similarly to the colour theme of Emma’s blog, the majority of the titles Emma sets are simple BUT strong and meaningful. From these simple BUT strong themes, they reflect the personalities of Emma. Just like Emma states in her “about me” page, she wishes that her readers can understand the person behind the posts. From my point of view, the short introduction tells me that the contents are created solely by Emma and represented Emma herself- “Simple but Strong and Meaningful.” At this point, as Emma’s reader I would really like to read more about her posts once I see these “simple BUT strong” titles. For instance, the poem “confidence is key” have my attention right away when I see it. As expected, I am touched by Emma’s poem that “I wish I had as much confidence as the men who know they won’t be held accountable for their actions.” Through looking at Emma’s posts, personally, I definitely believe that Emma has the potential to attract more readers in the future. To emphasize, myself unfortunately is not a big fan of reading, especially not the literatures that are written in English. Nonetheless, Emma’s posts have the charm can draw my attention to go on reading her writings. In the circumstance, I think that Emma’s blog also has the personality to fascinate people who are not interested in reading. Ultimately, I would say that it is my pleasure to review Emma’s blog this week. I really enjoy reading her literatures and I will definitely keep following her writings in the future! Lastly, I would like to thank Emma for her review of my blog as well, really appreciate it!

Thank you for reading, if you are a big fan of reading different literatures, check out Emma’s blog, here!

Peer Review – 3

This week, I am reviewing Megan’s blog, the Kindness Lifestyle, a space created for reflecting, sharing and discovering the ways in which people can spread kindness throughout their daily encounters and lives. As we’ve continued to move through the reviews of others’ creations, as well as my own, I’ve found it helpful to compartmentalize my observations and ideas into subtopics as follows; design, function, content and overall impression. For this review, I will adopt and utilize this framework from a marketing perspective.

Design:

Upon immediate landing on Megan’s homepage, the Kindness Lifestyle is captivating and peaceful. Prior to delving into this review, I must admit, Megan’s blog has been an inspiration from the commencement of this course and I have been impressed with her ability to take challenging and polarizing issues like veganism and God and present them in a manner that is approachable and balanced.

I feel that Megan achieves this sense of equilibrium and inclusion via subtle, simple and controlled elements of design directed at user experience that Maria Popova in Bleymaier’s (2013) article suggests is in her readers’ best interests. The soft spectrum of colors highlights a feel of authentic and genuine kindness, with a simple and elegant font that softens each issue. The blog is not a confrontational ‘in your face’ place, but rather an ecosystem of food for thinking that begins to unravel enlightened perspectives. I feel that this degree of openness and neutrality supports the blogs bounce rate, which was discussed in the guest lecture by Monique Sherrett, which is elaborated on here.

I appreciate Megan’s logo; it is creative, welcoming, and without words, does an excellent job of reflecting what her blog is about; being kind. I like that this, as well as the color scheme is carried throughout each page, as it allows for easy navigation and access to content. In terms of font, I really like the titles “welcome” and “things to read,” as these have a personalized feel that evokes a feeling that Megan writes this blog for you. The photography on this blog is relevant and playful, reminding me of the first week’s reading by Craig Mod, “How I got My Attention Back,” where he notes, “the quieter my mind became, and the deeper I went into my own work, the more I realized how my always-on, always-connected state had rendered me largely useless” (2017). Megan’s blog reinforces this consciousness of being in the present, which for me, is helpful and contributive to wanting to be kind.

I would consider one element of change in terms of design that could very well be a personal preference; however, I feel that under “Things to Read” on the main page, I would like to see the pictures posted at the same level. While I sometimes enjoy the contrast of things being off-centered, it throws me off here, and gives me the slight, yet incorrect perspective that the right side, Academics, is of greater value.

Function:

I truly appreciate the functional aspect of this blog, as it is easy to navigate, flows nicely across the page and is rather intuitive. There is an element of predictability in how it looks and feels, which leaves the content to present itself as refreshing and novel. Items are easy to locate, and with the content space carrying through the larger images on the page, the writing is locatable and takes centre stage as you scroll.

I appreciate the drop down menu on “academics” and unlike some blogs, this feels organic, not forced, which reiterates the overall feel of the site. Likewise, the predictable nature of functional aspects of the blog, such as the title, easily get you to where you wish go. I would prefer for the word, “blog” to be an actual link, because it takes a little more accuracy to hit “have a read,” but overall, it’s excellent.

Content:

Megan’s writing is elegant, honest, insightful and contemplative, which for me is what I wish to see on a blog. In class, Trevor Battye discussed the importance of providing a blog that is unique, as in a saturated online world with opinions, photos and articles, being one of a kind or at least, one of a few helps to generate the marketing potential of oneself. ‘Detailed’ looks at some of these unique blogs here. For Megan, her topic is extremely timely, as in the age of cyberbullying and Trumped-up racism, stereotyping and hate, a little kindness is a fresh and needed concept. I particularly enjoy her blog on Emoto, which you can digest here, as well as this candid writing she did on Dr. Brene Brown.

Megan’s content is memorable, and because it’s so unique, it could benefit from some greater hashtagging. I think that there is some specific language being employed, so highlighting this with hashtags would be beneficial for readers and marketing the true depth of her content. For instance, “Emoto” would be a good start.

Overall:

Megan’s blog is a fascinating expose on being kind. One would think that this is not necessarily something that needs to be blogged about, but when you consider the relevance and importance of such actions and attitudes, a blog is important, engaging and actually quite useful in finding inner and outwards happiness. From a marketing perspective, Megan provides an excellent product; it is consistent, novel, engaging, easy to understand and negates an instant departure through providing stunning images and inquisitive writing.

Peer Review #3

This week, I had the pleasure to visit Jill’s Book Blog.Jill's Book Blog Homepage

Jill’s Book Blog — Adventures of Accessible Reading, as it states quite clearly in the title tag, is all about books. Reading through Jillian’s blog, I learnt so much about her and her favourite thing to do EVER — Reading!! In 2018, she read 96 books in 365, which is so crazily impressive. Jill’s Book Blog at the moment features three categories: Book Reviews, Accessible Reading and Posiel. From the type of content that Jillian has been constantly posted, i think the intended audience of the blog are book lovers like Jillian herself. People who would be frequent visitors of Jill’s blog are people who love reading, who also love to learn more about certain books and how others think of them. And since most of the books that have been reviewed are mostly fictions, romance, thrillers, etc, I figure the demographic of Jill’s blog are the demographic of these books, which are mostly teens to young adults and young professional, predominately female. And lastly, in most of the post, Jillian’s tone of voice seems quite lighthearted, excited, and playful most of the time, which also leads me to believe that the age of the intended audience of Jill’s Book Blog are around 17 to 30.

In my opinion, Jillian has done a great job in terms of keeping her audience engaged with her constant and high-quality content. The design of her website is fairly simple. There is quite a lot of white space, which is a great thing, since it makes the blog seems way less cluttered. On that note, the fact that there are not too many menu options also makes the blog seems less overwhelming. When I visit Jill’s website, I always find myself feeling calm and collected. And a lot of that has to do with the timeless design that Jillian has chosen. One thing that I do wish Jill’s blog could improve itself on, would be the homepage. At the moment, when users of its site opens the homepage for the first time, it has all of the most recent posts on one page, positioned vertically, and it causes the homepage to be quite long. Since most of the audience of Jill’s blog are around our age, I think it would nice to make the homepage slightly shorter with more directions to the posts. In that way, her audience could find what they want a bit easier, and it would decrease the bounce rate of her site. Another thing that I think could be improved would be finding some way to break up some of the text-heavy content. Since it is a mostly text-based site, it would be nice to see some more breaks in between paragraphs, it could be by highlightin certain quotes, adding images, or just adding simple lines and subheading, in order to keep her audience even more engaged with her content.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed Jill’s Book Blog, and I am excited to see where this blog would develop and process in the future.

The post Peer Review #3 appeared first on Heyy, Jessie.

Process Post 7 – Feedback

Peer reviews are daunting. Completing a review for someone else is difficult, especially when you’re not necessarily an expert on the content (blogging), or when you, yourself have a blog that will receive a review in return… in exchange for a grade. They are also challenging to read when you’re under scrutiny; will they like what I have to say? What will they think about my photos? Will the content of my writing be clear, offensive, engaging or just plainly boring? I feel this is one of the issues we face as bloggers (I’m calling myself a blogger now, apparently); personalizing a space to reflect yourself and your interests, then publishing it for the universe to troll, critique and destroy. Blogging is simple, but it is not easy. What you post, share or reveal is vulnerable to what others think, and what others think can be as destructive, like Cyberhate, which you can read about here,  as it is liberating, enjoyable and of course, democratic (see a variety of #Posiel posts debating this). I argue for.

For the latest review I received, I was delighted to attain significant positive feedback from Jill’s Book Blog, which you can access here, but also some constructive feedback that will greatly benefit ReRouted. In being transparent, of course I take delight in reading her humbling feedback, but I truly value her primary suggestion that images/photos within the posts would better serve the overall layout and theme of the blog, as well as make the reading more approachable and intriguing. With this in mind, the process in which I encountered this week was incorporating photos directly into the blog and process posts, which involved consideration of suitability for the post and aesthetics.

Because much of the photography on my blog is of myself, I wanted to balance the images with ones that are less personalized, but still reflective of the content and overall theme of my experience of change. I feel that my blog is very personal, so in seeking greater balance, I am enhancing relatability and hopefully broadening the appeal of my content by doing this. I have done a lot of thinking about how my writing is interpreted by others, but have neglected the idea for how images can or haven’t been doing the same. Brown University has a fascinating presentation on why people perceive text differently, which made me think, perhaps my text isn’t what I think, and if so, or even if it is, how do photos support either conclusion?

In consideration of images, I wanted to be cognizant of colour, size and focusing on finding relatively simple images that support the writing as opposed to detracting from it. Likewise, I wanted the images to be a part of the writing itself, so as the image itself can offer some greater context or meaning of the conversation. I want the image to be an anchor in the post that organically reveals some of the content. I feel this is important because for many readers, busy ones especially, as well as keyboard warriors on the prowl, photos provide a quick glimpse into what’s new, relevant and a part of my thoughts and life. I also took some of Jill’s advice in having the layout of images reflect that of the landing page; like an advent calendar, which is what I was kind of going for from the conception of this blog. Notorious blogger, Neil Patel has some great insights on selecting images which you can read here. Additionally, Shout Me Loud outlines several reasons why including images on your blog is valuable, which you can also see here.

There is still some general tidying-up that needs to be done to enhance upload speeds, function and layout. I have been working on paper to come up with something a bit more user-friendly and hope to make these changes soon. I’m hoping to implement some more major edits soon, as I would like the blog to be a little more polished. That said, Jill’s comments regarding her appreciation for the content and the theme or feel of the blog is reassuring that I’m on the right track… for some people at least. For others, they can go here for entertainment value.

I want to extend a kind thanks to Jill for providing such a positive and helpful review; I only hope that I offered her even half the same in return. As many people as blogs reach, the act of blogging can actually be quite lonely. You are trying to build a community, but the vacuum in which you do so is a cyclone within yourself and your own interests. Your reach is far in terms of potential, but you’re in isolation, behind a screen, sharing what it is that you find shareable. This in and of itself is intimidating – here you are, in front of the world, one in which can judge you without repercussion, offering your thoughts, feelings and fears. The blogosphere is yuge, but like the universe, there are many constellations and systems to discover, view and get lost in.

Peer Review – 2

I had the pleasure of peer reviewing Jill’s Book Blog, which you can find here. From the onset, this is an engaging site, as it explores accessible reading, an aspect of publishing that the majority of the population is somewhat unfamiliar. Jill’s Book Blog is completely transparent; the creator offers insights and perspectives on the development and design of a blog through an access aide. As Jill articulates here, there are certain challenges one faces when visually impaired, with design in particular being an understandable barrier. As I am not overly committed to reading books, especially during undergraduate where we do have a high quota of readings, I was, at first thought, somewhat uninterested in the content of this blog; however, in exploring the pages and being introduced to the works under review, an appreciation was established and is hopefully reflected in this review.  Here, I have divided my review by examining the content, design and overall impression.

I find book reviews challenging. To take a relatively long piece of writing and condense it into a concise and engaging review is difficult, so I feel that Jill’s Book Blog tackles an ambitious topic, especially for a weekly update. Likewise, in attempting to reach her goal of 96 books in 365 days, time is of the essence, and here, she does this well. I find the writing to be clear, effective and brief, and despite this, she negates jeopardizing the offering of a polished summary and well-written opinion about the book. There are some minor grammatical errors that are revealed through missing commas and dashes, as well as some repetition, but overall the posts are strong and any wordiness can be reflective of the vernacular a blog can sometimes evoke. I appreciate Jill’s sentiment that “I feel like I have become stuck in the formal, uninventive, dry essay/assignment writing and organizing we have to do in University, that I perhaps lost my creativity and imagination,” and understand how the concept of blogging for a course is refreshing. One post that I found highly entertaining was this interview with Batman.  Using a strong sense of humor, playful language and clear objective of interpreting a novel through Bruce Wayne’s understanding of crime, Jill effectively entices the reader to explore the content afforded throughout her blog. I would like to see this extended with more links to other reviews or related-sites.

I like the design of this blog; it is simple, clear, focused and easy to navigate. I can’t really relate to the challenges in creating and maintaining the design via an access aide, but I can certainly appreciate the effort that was made to vocalize the desired outcomes. I like the black border, which in most cases I do not, but here it reflects the pages of a book. I am also fond of the number of tags for each post, as for me, when creators attribute too many tags, the page starts to look cluttered. There are two things I would like to see considered for alteration. First, I think that Jill has two important tag-lines for her blog; “Adventures of Accessible Reading” and “96 Books in 365 Days;” however, the latter is difficult to locate, and for me, is one of the interesting aspects of the blog. I would prefer to see it alongside “Adventures of Accessible Reading.” Also, I am not entirely fond of the main image of the lagoon and book waterfall. I appreciate the creativity of the books being employed as an abundant fall, but the image is somewhat unclear and too low of quality. I am also less enthusiastic about the type of image; I feel that the natural wonder-like photo does not really reflect the types of books being reviewed. This is of course, personal preference, but for me, I would like to see something different.

Overall, I like this blog. I found it incredibly approachable and accessible (pardon the pun), and unlike some opinion-based blogs, I feel that I truly learned something, or became interested in learning more about accessible reading. In fact, I would value further links to other resources outside of just the book, not just about the book itself, but how accessible reading is made available. I don’t need to read more about accessibility on this blog, but resources that are vetted by someone with a visual impairment would be interesting. Likewise, more links in general would be intriguing; I would like to know who Jill agrees with, disagrees with or what other books the focal one could be related to. One could also link to where to find the book, which I like about this book blog found here.

Jill’s Book Blog is a well-developed and organized site that provides visitors with approachable and strong synopses of various books. With some minor edits and slight alterations to some design aspects, this blog is very appealing and worth revisiting – for 96 days.

PEER REVIEW No.2: Aylin Gis’ Blog

Examining the design of a fashion & lifestyle website.

This week, we will be taking a look at my lovely classmate’s blog, Aylin Gis. Named after the author herself, this website covers a variety of topics––from fashion trends, to product reviews, to lifestyle photography––all seamlessly unified under her personal identity and brand! My task will be to identify her stylistic choices and offer feedback as to whether these decisions either advance or detract from her content overall. For clarity, I have gathered my thoughts into three sections; atmosphere, imagery, authorial presence, and formatting.

A view of the homepage.


1. ATMOSPHERE

Aylin has chosen a refreshingly minimalistic, crisp look for her website. This is a strong decision that makes every subsequent visual element much more prominent, therefore presenting both opportunities and challenges. The overall impression is fairly light and airy thanks to the choices in typeface; thin sans serifs that are appropriately modern without being too trendy and an excellent initial decision for this blog. Because the text is always black on white, the only colour on the page comes from the images (more on those later) which certainly draws the eye towards the content, encouraging us to click. These are all important aspects to the overall look of the website that do function well to establish the perfect mood for us to enter into Aylin’s content.

However, I would love to see a bigger impact from Aylin’s homepage. Besides the title, there is no establishing focal point for readers to grab onto, and as we learned from Mauve Pagé’s guest lecture, this makes things a bit disorienting. So, a more dramatic and unifying element is necessary; both to more immediately convey a sense of uniqueness and to distinguish the homepage from subsequent pages.

Seeing as Aylin has a passion for photography, the natural solution to this focal point problem would be to introduce a website-wide area for banner imagery. If we take a look at Aylin’s theme, Kale, this can be easily accomplished by selecting some featured posts with strong imagery to be highlighted. Luckily, Aylin has a variety of photography posted already and this is the perfect opportunity to highlight past efforts and ensure that these posts don’t get lost. Assuming these are original images (it is unclear), I think this seascape, these barnyard outfits, and this flat-lay would be perfect stars.

In sum, it is clear that Aylin has the right mood in mind but she should consider making a stronger impression by introducing a focal point to convey a unique sense of place, which is lacking at present.

2. IMAGERY

As mentioned earlier, Aylin is clearly well-tuned to the nuances of images, I suspect in a manner that is akin to Tara Chittenden’s explanation of “aesthetic socialisation” whereby bloggers utilize the right visual codes to convey their familiarity with culturally significant trends. In selecting the thumbnail imagery for her posts, Aylin expertly utilizes photo curation and filtration techniques to convey a desired impression to her viewers. It seems these images are fairly consistent in that they are distinctly feminine, approachable, and a tad romantic––all qualities that work well to enhance the written content. In sum, Aylin’s confident selection of both stock and personal pictures is an important foundation to her website’s success given that she has chosen an otherwise sparse layout.

On the whole, Aylin’s colourful thumbnails jump from the page, sparkling like enticing little jewels, all lined up in rows. This orderly appearance, whereby all the posts appear as the same size on the homepage, could be slightly better maintained by making sure all the thumbnails are always properly cropped and scaled to be the exact same size. This inconsistency unfortunately appears repeatedly on this blog. While that may seem a minor adjustment, it is an important consideration when using a minimalistic layout.

Which one is Aylin? After clicking into the posts, I am pretty sure
that is her on the bottom left (the others are stock imagery).


3. AUTHORIAL PRESENCE
(via visuals to enhance brand)

These chosen images (above) seem to indicate that Aylin wants to integrate a sense of personhood into the visual vocabulary of the website. I feel the often personal perspective to Aylin’s content is not yet fully reflected in the visuals: There is perhaps a disconnect between the title of my classmate’s blog, Aylin Gis, and the fact that viewer’s don’t have a clear sense of who she is. (It is fine that Aylin seems to be a bit camera shy in her poses, but I find this puzzling because Aylin Gis has previously stated her affection for another fashion blogger, Aylin Koeing, whose coy positioning of face and body is the great uniting factor of that aspirational blog.)

After all, recognition brings familiarity and a sense of legitimacy that I think could be useful here; differentiating from stock imagery would also be key if Aylin is interested in partnering with brands or building up a fanbase. (Chittenden refers to this ideal position as “prosumer”––a hybrid of consumer and producer that acknowledges the monetization of blogs, whereby imagery is a key player in that success.) In brief, I would encourage Aylin to produce more original imagery of products, everyday life, and herself, whenever possible. In prior posts, when she has had the time, I better understood the future potential and look of Aylin’s blog.

There is one simple thing that can be done right away to enhance the personal aspect: I would encourage Aylin to make the About Me a more prominent visual element. She already has a brief About Me page, along with its charming picture, which could communicate a sense of orientation and permanency by being positioned into the right side of the blog (again possible according to the Kale theme demo). This would also add a sense of balance to the front page and is much more do-able than designing a logo.

3. FORMATTING

The trouble with formatting is that it can be very tricky to achieve good-looking text using WordPress. However, by looking back to the beginning of the semester as compared to now, I can see that Aylin is doing a great deal of necessary experimenting to appropriately improve the legibility of her text.

In the beginning, the text was very small with unappealing proportions and little spacing, but Aylin’s latest posts have enormously improved by increasing the type size. Her site is legible across devices as well. One small improvement that could be made is by increasing the spacing between text paragraphs and images. As you can see below, Aylin is careful to create wonderful spacing between images themselves (right) but her text could use some breathing room and a better proportion between line length and image width (left).



Overall, as demonstrated through our above discussion of her visual choices, Aylin clearly has a great aesthetic sensibility! I have every confidence that this will help her navigate future design decisions with clarity. With that said, there are a lot of easily-accessible customization options for her theme that have yet to be explored. My hope is that she will implement some of my suggestions, with the primary goal being a more impactful and considered representation of her content. Although there is certainly room for improvement, we can see that Aylin has already taken it upon herself to steadily improve the look of her digital space.

I look forward to seeing Aylin’s body of content grow by the end of the semester. Please have a look at her review of this website, which offered up some tremendously insightful suggestions. (Thank you, Aylin!)


Peer Review 3: Taking Life by the Love Handles

For my peer review, I am reviewing Jenella’s blog titled Taking Life by the Love Handles.

A quick glance of her homepage, I know why she chooses this theme. The pink tones and colorful photos of food are welcoming. The white is a nice contrast to highlight her blog content and it helps accentuate the colors of her photos. It’s appealing and easy on the eyes. It compels me to read more!

As you scroll down her homepage, her social media pages are easily available. To me, this is showing that she markets her personality with her blog. They go hand in hand and I believe she includes her own ‘self’ into her content. Where she eats tells something a little bit more about herself.

Food is the center of her brand, and she makes it clear. On her About page, she explains why she loves food and why it’s important to her. This idea and how she presents it is creating a space where she expresses herself and why she writes about food. She even addresses this when she shares her personal experience on doing something other than food on her Food and Friends blog.

These ideas are present and explained danah boyd’s It’s Complicated where she writes about the feeling of togetherness and through networked publics, communities can be connected through technology. For Jenella, she is creating this blog of togetherness. Almost all her times eating out are with friends! She shares her physical experiences through this network and her other channels.

She does a great job showcasing this physical space too. With her social media presence and her appealing photos, she is spreading wide on multiple channels. The pictures serve as a tangible step to a purely networked space. As seen in the Youtube stars’ trend on publishing books,  it’s good to have a balance of online and offline content. Her blog posts have a balance of media and text. It’s a bonus that she takes great photos!

I do want to suggest a way to have these ideas better presented in her blog. I feel that she has a lot to say, and it doesn’t have to sacrifice the content she already writes.

Hot Ones on Youtube

Hot Ones is one of my favorite web series because it brings a fresh take on interviews; eating very spicy wings and talking. What I want to highlight for Jenella’s blog is the fact that some guests do a great job conversing about the wings and about their careers well that it becomes an interview for both. Alton Brown comes to mind. Each restaurant she goes to does not necessarily need a ‘deep’ or ‘introspective’ conversation with her friends, but I see her as being part of the content too. I’m curious to see why she chooses this restaurant or what is exciting or familiar about this restaurant? These elements would give more ‘food’ to the readers about who she is and exemplify the reasons she loves the food.

Process Post 9 (Our Analytics)

This was an interesting week for a process post as we had to focus on the analytics of our website and the data collected. I never had an opportunity to create something where I would be able to look at a detailed analysis of user data. My experience with analytics has only been with my Instagram account, but I was unaware of the amount of information that could be accessed through Google Analytics. Unfortunately, because I have not promoted my site very much (as I was unaware coming into this class that we were going to be working with analytics) the data for my blog was marginal. This did make it a little more challenging to work with.

Audience data (Sept 23 – Nov 11)

Since I have not had experience working with Google Analytics, I must admit that it is quite overwhelming and complex to understand. Luckily, with Monique Sherrett’s presentation, some clarification was made in regards to Google Analytics. However, I will definitely have to continue to take some additional time navigating the site and understanding the data in order to fully grasp what I am looking at. Nevertheless, there was still information that provided insight as to how my audience was interacting with Here, There.

Looking at the basics of what is shown (from the start of syncing Google Analytics to the week of this Process Post), it is apparent that visitors to my site came in waves. I was not surprised by this as it was most likely due to certain moments within the course when we were to edit, observe or look at our peer’s sites. The audience overview shows that most users are new with only a few returning visitors. One aspect that I was most surprised by was seeing that a few users came from outside of Canada, such as the United States and even as far as India; I had to question how people found the blog when it was not publicly advertised.

More detail of users and visitors to site (Sept 23 – Nov 11)

Looking at the acquisitions, what surprised me was the average session duration at around 8:12, which was much longer than I expected. In addition, after adding goals for my conversions (having visitors enter my site), it was apparent that I was meeting them, which is also something that I did not expect given that I was not able to frequently update my blog as much as I intended.

Acquisitions of site (Sept 28 – Nov 11).

Seeing that most users and visitors landed and spent most of the time on the homepage, ways that I could change my online publication is making sure that the homepage is visually appealing and captivating. It would also be important to make sure the content on the homepage will have users continue to navigate and explore my blog, instead of leaving. Overall, having the ability to look at the analytics for my site was an eye-opening experience into how our work can create certain outcomes. It would be interesting to publish and share my blog throughout more media outlets in order to obtain more data and further insight into my audience and visitor engagement.

Peer Review #3

In the peer review 3, this time I am going to review Joanne Kim website- Joanne Noella. Joanne’s blog is a lifestyle blog, shares her own experience with people. She shares different a variety of content to viewers, from daily saving advice to fashion and health. Many interesting though blended into her lifestyle blog. When I first clicked on the blog, there are a big clean heading media along with the white colour background, it created a clean and soft atmosphere to the blog. On the menu bar, there are eight different categories. It is a clearly separate different section in the blog which could increase the usability to navigate reader to their content. The blog overall produce a young and energetic style to the reader and it is matching up the theme of the blog, a 18 years old school girl lifestyle blog. 

Joanne’s blog is a teenagers lifestyle blog, the target audience of this blog should be around 15 – 23 years old adolescent who is sharing the similar lifestyle and experience. The reason for me choosing intended audience around 15 – 23, because the style of the blog is on teenagers style, from the fashion to the saving advice, all the problems Joanne listed will more likely appear at the age between 15- 23 age group. People who are facing the same problem will more likely to surf the blog to seek advice and help.

This is an interesting blog to take a glance and search for some interesting topic, however, I think the blog is low on marketability. Although the blog contains many different topics and ideas, the blog is not specific enough in one field. To marketing a blog or anything, it is crucial to set up a niche and focus on what you are targeting to market the product. There are too many fields in the same blog, for instance, some posts on the blog are about money saving, some posts are about health and workout exercise, and some posts about personal life and fashion. A wide range of topic no doubt could expand the market, but it will also decrease the marketability. Banner Ads could be one of the solutions for the blog, but it could raise the profit quite and die down in a hot minute. The Toast blog went down is an example. The Toast had no specific mission statement for the blog. They use different ads try to boost up the sale but it did not succeed. The marketing style leads The Toast couldn’t make enough money and struggle to keep it afloat. The same problem is happening in Joanne’s blog. 

To increase the marketability, Joanne’s blog needs to restrict the area of her work. It is not necessary to cut down most of the topic but try to maintain in certain field. For example, try to focus on what teenagers interested the most, like fashion and workout. Combine the money saving and personal experience into those two primary object. It will help to set up a niche and make the blog marketable. 

Peer Review #3

Welcome to the third and final peer review for Publications 101!

For this peer review, we were asked to focus on audiences and channels and analyze our peer’s marketability of the blog to their intended audience group. For this review, I was paired with Lil Waldegger’s blog, Keeping Up with Recipes. To give a brief breakdown of the blog, Lil focuses on “trying out new and trending recipes”, whether it’s a microwaveable mug recipe or a trending recipe that’s not worth all the hype. As Monique Sherrett from Boxcar Media discussed, two major things to think about when marketing your site or business includes your objectives and understanding who your intended audience is. Keeping Up with Recipes looks to have both of these key ideas – an objective and a clear target audience.

Before entering the site, what caught my attention was the name of the blog, Keeping Up with Recipes, as it reminded me of the popular television series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I am not entirely sure if this was intentional, but I would argue that this name would catch the attention and do well with a younger demographic who understands the nuances of popular culture. Additionally, the name of the blog also speaks to the current information overload of the online environment – trying to keep up with all the trending and shared recipes definitely poses a problem, but Lil is here to help that. So, users who are both interested in cooking and recipes, plus active users of the Internet seems to be an appropriate audience. In some ways, this blog makes me think the Buzzfeed’s popular posts on trending recipes and sites like, Tasty, all which have that “millennial” audience appeal.

Keeping Up With Recipes Homepage

In regards to the layout of the blog, the intended audience that I also envision for Keeping Up with Recipes are individuals who appreciate a contemporary and minimalistic lifestyle. The header image and the images chosen for Lil’s posts align quite well in evoking a feeling of simplicity and modernity. I myself find the aesthetics of this homepage appealing and it feels like Lil understands what her blog’s objective is and the aesthetic she is aiming for.

After viewing more of Lil’s posts, it is clear that my initial understanding of her intended audience rings true. All the posts and recipes are kept quite simple and to the point, which can help especially in this digital age of skim reading. Alongside each post, there is a meme that relates to the discussed topic, which further exemplifies the younger, more online-centric audience who are familiar with popular media and trends. As Karina Tama from Forbes notes, “memes are engaging to all audiences, especially millennials.”, which is why  I feel that Lil’s implementation of memes adds a more entertaining, youthful, and unique value to the site, whilst drawing attention and engagement from meme-lovers alike.

Take a look at some of the entertaining and relatable memes provided by Lil:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, Lil’s blog, Keeping Up With Recipes, has a marketable element to it, especially towards the younger generation of meme-lovers. Although, apart from the memes, Lil seems to understand other aspects of her targeted audience of those who appreciate simplicity and minimalism. The content of the blog speaks to the current generation of people who enjoy internet trends and keeping life simple and easy. As Travis Gertz explains, designing from the heart is important and being able to speak to a specific audience creates a personality for your blog or business. I can see that Lil has put thought into her target audience and thus, her design and content of her site brings out her personality.

Peer Review #3: Closet Affair

Hey Y’all! I am back here today with my third and final peer review! You ready? Here it goes.

http://miaericci.com

So today we take a look at Closet Affair (http://miaericci.com) written by Mia is the type of blog I always wished I could write. It is so cool! Your front home page is very girly and cute which definitely gives off the fashion blog archetype although some of the design elements that have been implemented, such as the background, can seem a bit busy to some BUT, let me just say personally, I LOVE the background with the “gucci cat” despite it’s repetitively. I think it speaks to Mia’s personality as well as the type of brand she wants to emulate in her blog persona. In her blog, she seems like “cool” just comes naturally to her which especially in fashion will definitely attract the type of audience she is trying to receive. I really like how all her personal blog posts include a picture of her outfits (which are all incredibly amazing!) with a short description of the items and why she chose to put them together.

One of her posts that I thought was interesting was the one about Bella Hadid. (http://miaericci.com/looks-2/beautiful-bella-3/) I like that Mia is sharing her own personal style but she also takes the time to tell her readers where that inspiration comes from, giving them additional information of who she is as a person as well as a clothing enthusiast. I think it would be cool to do weekly reviews perhaps of a look Bella sorted on the red carpet or out and about and then showing how she would pull inspiration from it.

I also find the inspiration page a good addition to the blog adding another dimension to simply posting about outfits she has worn, although the tab didn’t seem to include any information so moving forward I would definitely suggest adding more content to that page. (http://miaericci.com/inspiration/)

I think Mia, much like myself, is writing this blog to show her true authentic self and it is very much perceived through this blog. I believe that a lot of times in fashion, bloggers will try to cater to a certain audience for followings and what not but I believe that Mia’s unapologetic authenticity is what will attract her demographic. Considering this, I still do think that Mia should keep in mind what she would like her audience to be if she wishes to grow her site.

Just a last little thing, I love your Instagram! (ya…I stalked you a little) I think it is super cohesive with the type of persona/brand you are building on your blog. I think you should for sure somehow advertise your posts on your Instagram or link your Instagram in some future blog posts about outfit ideas etc., I think it would add an additional space where you could actively interact with your readers.

Overall, great blog I really enjoyed reading it and hopefully now with your guidance will be able to somewhat better dress myself.

Sincerely,

Awkward Girl.

The post Peer Review #3: Closet Affair appeared first on Awkward Girl .

PEER REVIEW #3: Adventurous Adventures of an Adventurer

The first look Tyrell’s blog impressed me immediately with the well shot video as a header. The other thing that stands out about his blog is the amazing photography. Just scrolling through his blog, causes a feeling of wanderlust.

Content

So far, the blog only has 3 entries, while the rest are title and have a photo, but no text (besides “Coming Soon”). I would recommend finishing the blog post before posting, so that readers aren’t disappointed by the lack of content when they click the photo. I enjoy the inspiring tone these posts are written in. The writing encourages the reader to experience new adventures as he has. The photos harmonize with the text to bring an exciting experience. However, I did find some grammatical errors and tense mistakes. Fixing those errors would result in a smoother flow in the writing, thus creating a better experience for the audience. Lastly, the maps at the bottom of every post is a great addition! This is something I’ve wanted to implicate as well (although I’m still having trouble figuring out how). It shows the reader exactly where Tyrell had his adventure, so that they can experience for themselves!

Design

Overall design of the theme is simple and straight forward. Of course, the website is responsive, and works at all browser sizes. Surprisingly, the website loads quickly despite the high-resolution photos and video. The theme hasn’t been customized very much; the fonts are theme fonts and the colours are the basics. Aesthetic wise, it isn’t a big issue; the design does have unity. However, it’s good to stand out from other blog designs, especially if he were to monetize. There aren’t any widgets or sidebar, which I think is a good idea to add, especially for social media outlets, like Instagram feed. The proportioning is good, because the photos are large and attractive. I think that Tyrell’s photos are the most important aspect of his blog, since he’s a photographer.  

Marketability

There currently aren’t any ads present on the blog. Perhaps Tyrell doesn’t want to ruin the aesthetics of his blog by adding advertisements. If he were to monetize, I would suggest adding features and customizations to make the blog more unique, and promote his social media channels more. In addition, his about page explains that he is a freelance photographer. I like how his about page is essentially a resume, which makes it easy for employers or potential clients to view his portfolio. as well as his credentials.

Vol. 10: Peer Review #3

Howdy!

This week, I will be reviewing Teresa’s blog: teresahanulseo.com. I want to be clear from the beginning, as per usual, that I will be examining her content as well as visual design. In light of this, it would be best to start off by trying to describe the audience persona she has envisioned for her blog.

Already from the homepage of her blog, I feel that I can quickly try to identify the type of audience it is for. Her blog title, “The Confusing, Jumbled Life of Teresa Hanul Seo” already denotes that her blog is intended for a more young, fun, and lighthearted audience. Right away, humour is present within her blog, denoting one should view this without taking anything too seriously. If I were to give an ideal demographic audience, I would say that it would be roughly between the ages of 15-20, either male or female, and closely tied to attributes of Millennials.

Right away, I’m presented with a humourous picture of Childish Gambino. I would say that in terms of designwise, it seems out-of-place, but it ties the theme of her blog together in the beginning. The one thing it does correct is that it entices me to want to see other things for a possible laugh or smile. The colours used are vibrant pops of red and yellow, yet are on the softer side to ease the eyes. I’m glad she didn’t use overly vibrant colours or I would’ve commented on it. Her text is also a different colour, and gives a nice contract to everything. I would say the tagline under her title is a little hard to read, and possibly reworking the title a bit could have it feel more balanced.

The red pop of her menu bar struck out at me too much in the beginning, but once I realized some text inside her blog was the same colour, it was now consistent with the rest of her blog. I would say maybe now the blue of her title might be out of place–I personally find 3 colours that are very different from each other hard to handle. But, nonetheless, the carefree nature of her blog might say otherwise.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Teresa also has a calendar at the bottom of every page in her blog. Though the it is nicely presented, I found it kind of off-putting since there was no real use for it–we can quickly view the calendar from our mobile devices or laptop.

Teresa’s about section already sparks her style of writing for her audience. It’s very conversational, and I find it warming. Her ability to be this loud helps me realize how much she can be that dependable friend, or the main character in those tween movies we adore. This is her voice, and I find it quite powerful!

Though the design is sleek on different pages, I find that it is not creative enough for the intended “feel” she was going for. Maybe Teresa ought to put pictures in posts too, to at least bring some colour to her text.

I can’t say too much about her content, as none of it resides outside of pub101 posts or peer reviews, but I will say if she did post any content, I wish for her to include the quirkiness she has in her language, some colour to denote the fun and silly atmosphere, and to be creative! Overall, I find that she was able to pinpoint her audience well with her design and whatever content she has on there, but I am rooting for her to include more and post more for her audience!

’till next time, homies!

Peer Review #3- Honestlynaomi

First Impressions

This week, I’ll be reviewing Naomi’s blog, honestlynaomi.com, with a focus on marketability. My first impression of Naomi’s site is that it is clean, elegant, and easy to navigate. Naomi has implemented a pop of colour in her logo, as well as a personal tagline that reads “daily doses of my lifestyle and pop culture, with a little sarcasm mixed in.” As a reader, I immediately know that this will be a personal and lifestyle blog, and I can decide whether I would like to explore further based on this initial information.

Logo and tagline of honestlynaomi.com
Audience

I think that Naomi’s blog will attract females in their late teens to mid-twenties, especially those who are interested in fashion, food, travel, and the post-secondary experience. I like how Naomi has explicitly outlined her target audience on her “About” page, which reads “if you love fashion, food, and travel you’ll feel right at home here.” Through this statement, Naomi recognizes that “a public is self-organized… it exists by virtue of being addressed” (Michael Warner, 2010, p. 413). By addressing her audience in both the “About” page and in the sidebar, Naomi has effectively acknowledged and welcomed her audience.

 

Sidebar widget on honestlynaomi.com
Marketability

Naomi’s site is a personal and lifestyle blog; therefore, the marketability of the site rests on Naomi herself. I think she has done a great job in this area – she has a descriptive “About” page, a sidebar featuring a personal message and photo, and a customized logo. I think that the personal photograph in the sidebar is a nice touch that humanizes Naomi and allows her audience to put a face to her posts. In “How To Survive the Digital Apocalypse”, Travis Gertz (2015) raises concerns that we have designed ourselves into a corner by being reliant on design choices created by machines. By customizing her logo, sidebar, and theme, Naomi has addressed the concern that “originality is risky” (Gertz, 2015).

I suggest that Naomi post content more frequently and consistently, especially if she is looking to monetize her blog in the future. This would increase the amount of traffic on her blog as well as show potential sponsors that she is dedicated to her site.

Content 

Naomi’s blog currently features two posts. So far, Naomi’s posts have explored her personal life and food. These topics are broad enough that they will appeal to a range of individuals including her target audience. In order to increase readership in the future, I suggest that Naomi monitor her Google Analytics after posting some more content. This will allow her to determine which posts receive the most traffic. In turn, she can tailor her content to reflect what her audience is interacting with the most.

Layout and Site Structure

The menu consists of four major categories: “Life”, “Food”, “Fashion and Beauty”, and “Travel”. One suggestion I have is to reduce the number of categories until more content has been posted. I suggest removing the “Travel” category because it does not feature any posts, and I think that most users navigate away from websites once they reach an empty category or a broken link. By removing unnecessary categories, Naomi can enhance user flow within her blog. In turn, Naomi will enhance the marketability of her site by keeping users on her blog for longer periods of time.

Blank “Travel” category

As a reader, I was a bit confused by the “Fashion and Beauty” category – it consists of a few images of clothing and make-up, but the images are not accompanied by any text or description. This can be easily addressed by incorporating these images into a text post and providing links to the products. As a result, Naomi would increase the content on her blog, as well as provide potential opportunities for affiliate marketing.

Social Media

At this point, Naomi has not integrated any forms of social media onto her site. I would recommend incorporating at least one social media platform using the widget feature. In “Publics and Counter-Publics”, Michael Warner (2002) posits that “no single text can create a public… nor can a single voice, a single genre, or a single medium” (p. 420). By incorporating social media widgets onto his site, Naomi would interact with her audience through various mediums in order to contribute to the “reflexive circulation of discourse” that is required of a public (Warner,  2002, p. 420).

Design

I think that Naomi has done a great job designing her site with her target audience in mind. Naomi’s audience likely consists of young females who are students or hold part-time jobs. This is an audience that does not want to exert too much time or energy navigating a website. Naomi’s blog is great in this regard – the design is clean, there is minimal unnecessary content, and the blog is easy to navigate. One minor suggestion I have is to clean up the “About” page by removing the comment box. The comment box creates a lot of unnecessary clutter and throws off the visual equilibrium of the page.

Conclusion

Overall, I enjoyed reading Naomi’s posts and I think that she is off to a great start. One thing that stood out to me was how Naomi directly addresses her audience in her “About” section and in the sidebar. As a reader, this acknowledgement made me welcomed and appreciated. There are a few minor changes that can be made to the menu and “About” page, but this can be done fairly quickly. I look forward to reading more of Naomi’s content in the future!

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Peer Review: The Book Less Travelled

This week I have the pleasure of reviewing Ashley’s blog The Book Less Travelled. Her blog is all about Fantasy literature, full of reviews, author spotlights and fun reading challenges like the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. One of the first things I looked at for this review was Ashley’s social media accounts. From the content […]

Peer Review 2

My second peer review is dedicated to Nipun Tiwari, their website and internet enterprise, “Media, Popular Culture and Politics,” which can be visited here.
The strength of this website’s layout lies in its simplicity; a dark grey background presents an authoritative backdrop for posts, which appear in a concise, linear pattern on the front page, written in a readable, yet no-nonsense font. The website’s coherent structure allows for the content of the posts to be the main focus.

Though the posts present topical issues and opinions supported by detailed analysis, perhaps the website would be enhanced if more was known about the author. It’s understandable that a level of professionalism can be attained through distancing personal life from work, but in attempting to sell your personal analysis as a brand, selling yourself is also required. One way this can be done is through storytelling (Sherrett, 2012). By creating an About page for yourself, Sherrett states this will help your business “build understanding [and] emotional connections” (2012) between yourself and your audience. Since it is easier to monetize people you know and understand, this can be an advantageous asset. On Sherrett’s page, she has a fun fact about herself at the bottom, it is short, but it conveys humour and a personality reader’s believe they can connect too. This gains trust without any fanfare convincing readers you’re a good person.

Another way we’ve disscussed in lecture is through social media. Tod Maffin presented on the idea that it’s one of the best ways to get in touch with your audience. There are no links to any social media sites on the website, but Twitter or Facebook already have young demographics who are interested in the topics you mainly post about, so half the battle is already won! Though I don’t see any specifics of a monetizing plan on the site, posting your articles into those groups could gather an audience that would be monetizable through a possible subscription to your page, or merchandise for your brand.

The advantages of a social media presence and About page is a more engaged audience, as well as an audience that can connect to your work on a personal level, who will be more likely to repost and comment on posts out of loyalty to a brand they feel represents their personal interests.

It might be easier to create consistent social media content for specific online communities if you posted about a narrower number of topics, or mentioned in your sub-heading the kinds of posts you like to make. This would also make monetizing easier down the road, if you wanted to pick specific movie related advertisements to display along the sides of your page. There are many around topics of movies and the controversies that stem from actors and the industry, if that was designated as your website’s main goal it would be easier to generate traffic, define your purpose, and sell yourself at the presentation we have to give at the end.

This website’s content is strong and incredibly interesting, it deserves a dedicated audience to match.