Tag Archives: Posiel Volumes

Vol. 12: Essay 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

 

Vol. 11: Process Post

“Upload to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter”

This is the heart now of what people think promotion and marketing is all about. But is it really just posting on these websites? Does it require no skill, practice, or even knowledge to do these well?

I think nowadays what discerns a social media marketer and an amateur is their ability to get substantial reach. There are many methods in ways to get more views to your post, but it takes skill and knowledge to drive engagement. Being not in the realm of marketing at all in terms of my concentration (Accounting and Finance), I always found myself wondering how hard it is to make it big in the marketing world. To be a marketing consultant.. you have to be really, really good at it. It’s too hard nowadays to be a high-paying successful digital marketer, not unless you’re basically “god-tier” in all of marketing.

What I value in social media marketing is the thought process that people go through to do so. When people pay attention to the wording, how it will look like, who is the audience, and a million other variables, it makes me see how purposeful they are being. However, this more often than not, does not lead to greater reach of engagement. And so, I admire the resilience that these marketers have.

This brings me to say how the different social media mediums differ in terms of how people read information off of these. Yes, they all could have the same audience, but now there is an even added layer of complexity of how we read information on different mediums.

For Facebook, it’s usually a “click-bait” strategy, or the like. I know it sounds wrong, but that’s how specific articles or ads get my attention. I also notice the fact that it’s super hard to do this, because I am easy wary of fraud or not credible sources, so to get me interested and dig deeper, something’s gotta pop and pop with credibility.

For Twitter, you got to be short and sweet. This is where memes dominate on another level–everyone’s commenting on each others’ tweets, trying to one up them, or making it more funny. I would say humour works best on Twitter to get people’s attention, along with conciseness. We’re here to read short and sweet things, and one that makes us laugh!

For Instagram, it’s pretty obvious that visuals need to be used. I haven’t found that text does much of the dirty work to reel me in. This, in itself, is also very tricky since there is so much content on Instagram. The focus here is not just on wording alone anymore, but about how a picture is supposed to encapsulate 100+ word characters with a single shot. That’s pretty hard, but at least you know this is the focus for this medium.

All in all, whatever you choose to do in terms of social media, be purposeful in what it looks like on each medium. Even though you are attracting, or can be, a particular niche, it does not mean that they absorb information, words, or pictures the same on each medium.

’till next time, homies!

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!

Vol. 9: Process Post

Copyright – “the sole right to reproduce the work in any material.”

What I was immediately fascinated by, about the definition, is that it does not say ownership. As a current business student, concepts like copyright, ownership, patents are all so important. We learn time and time again that patents are a crucial concept in the way businesses run; they need patents in order to continue to innovate.

So how does this translate into the fashion industry? As a current fashion blogger, I’ve definitely paid attention to the concept of how designer’s are protected. But then again, I always knew that designs were never copyrighted or protected. It’s also interesting to find that no one will ever do it like the other, even though they technically can. A copy is never the same as the original, or nowadays, a copy does not look like any other copy.

Every store, brand, retail brings its own creative take to a particular trend. Let’s say flared black jeans are the new trend. It’s actually interesting to see that there are so many selections of these out there, and that they’re actually all quite different in some way. For me, I actually never buy into brand name, and I think there is a huge distinction between brand name and design.

Inherently, there does exit a total difference: brands/logos can be patented but ultimately, designs can not be. This is interesting as it opposes the notion that people need patents in order to innovate or continue to be creative in the industry. It is because FOR the fact that people can copy your designs, you must continue to innovate, and you don’t want to copy because trends come and go. Fashion is essentially revolutionizing the way we think we ought to be creative: we ultimately don’t do unless we get true recognition or protection for it.

Back to my point about the distinction between brand name and design, I ultimately buy the design. I found that it just so happens that the brand name offers the exact design of the garment that I wanted. It’s not the fact that I, as well, go for more expensive brands. I am someone who loves a good deal–so I’m not looking to buy expensive clothing to flex. It just so happens that these brands have intricate designs, which I care about, about a specific garment. For example, I want oversized pants. But, I care about how much it is oversized, how it looks, it fits, and if ultimately if it was designed differently then others. There is much to say about the fact that niche and small designers have the HUGE incentive to be innovative. As consumers, we want to be creative as much as possible, and we want to stand out. For me personally, I don’t want to be exactly like anyone in terms of my style. This means, I have the same kind of mindset as those smaller and niche clothing retailers and designers. I put more value in it, so this reflects in their price points as well.

Everyone’s also been talking about a “capsule wardrobe” to withstand time. I’ll probably talk about this in a future post, but for now I will simply say it is probably too hard to do so if you are someone who admires new trends all the time. It’s weird to see how my mind has been so different than 3 years ago about choosing clothing–this means too that I experience trends in my lifetime, and possibly it wasn’t due to the fact that the world of fashion has been changing.

I am excited, and will continue to be excited, for new designs to come!

’till net time, homies!

Vol. 8: Process Post

The internet is too important. Important for jobs, for me, for life.. I wonder how life would be without it. But, I never want to imagine that ever.

We were asked last week what we do with our last hour of internet. Though some of us did the usual “download all my music, photos, files,” etc., I realized I cared more about how it connected me to people. It was seemingly a lot of the reasons why I still keep in contact with a lot of my friends or people that mattered in my life. If it weren’t for the internet, how could I really keep in contact on an almost real time basis with my friends and family who live across the world?

I also was never the person to collect everyone’s numbers, either. And I have had multiple instances where I needed to contact someone and I didn’t have their number. If it weren’t for the magical internet, I would have never been able to have contact them. So what would I do in my last hour of the Internet? Go through the people that I contact with all the time online and don’t have their contact saved on my phone.

Let’s not forget how much I love to online shop (this blog is all about my fashion style, of course!). There are always tabs left on my Chrome of clothes that I found on online shops that I wish to purchase, but did not bite the bullet just yet. This time, I would bite the bullet for all the last things I wanted, because most of the times the clothes I buy are only available through online distribution. Isn’t it fascinating how much I need the internet to keep up with my style, though essentially, there is no Internet needed to wear clothing? The way it has revolutionized what we do, how we interact with others, how we shop, and how we learn is explore is so crazy that it almost frightens me. If we evolved this fast, just imagine what the internet and being connected to others through the “web” really means.

Though this will probably be mostly touched by my essay, we even get our news from the online world. Millennials such as myself aren’t looking on the television for our news; we’re looking online. We care about what our friends are sharing, what they care about, what they’re talking about it. We live in a world where our network, online, is powerful.

This leads me into another interesting point of how much power we have due to the Internet. Nowadays, restaurants and food places are under very tight scrutiny due to the way customers can last out at any second. We all make mistakes, I know, but one could cost you your entire business. And what’s scary is the fact that we can have the power to do that with a single post after feeling that we didn’t receive “the perfect service” or “was wrong.” I understand sometimes that the restaurant owners could actually be at fault, but most of the time, it is just a misunderstanding. It’s hard to forgive at first, but a lot of times, it’s even harder to forget.

’till next time, homies!

Vol. 7: Essay 1

In an ever increasingly digital world, news, such as how people digest the news and what news is available, has evolved significantly from the morning paper at your doorstep. It is no new fact that news delivered through paper to everyone’s doorstep has decreased year over year in daily circulation in North America alone, causing a significant shift towards digital mediums. The evolution has caused a seemingly divide for Millennials and other generations, as they continue to resort to mediums such as social media for awareness of the world on their mobile devices. As the delivery of news and important events continue to adapt to new technologies and consumer habits, one must consider this information is now received and where important age groups, such as Millennials, are digesting this content.

Some researchers even find that Millennials’ awareness is narrow and that their discovery of significant events is almost accidental and passive, suggesting that the pre-digital generation were more interested in news and events (Media Insight Project, 2015). However, according to a quantitative and qualitative study conducted by the Media Insight Project on 1,045 Millennials (ages 18-34) within different parts of the US, 85% of Millennials agree that keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important to them. This opposes the notion by some researchers that believe this generation is generally apathetic towards issues and events unless it is the most important news. Though Millennials do agree that keeping up with the news is something that they do think about, the question is where this content is consumed.

The figure below showcases the division between younger generations and older generations on their main source to obtain news in Q1 2017, based on a survey of over 70k news consumers from 36 different countries (Dunn, 2017). The sources vary significantly as the age groups get older, showcasing this division graphically and suggesting the every increasingly important for news to be disseminated and created online—there is an increasing trend in terms of how digital people become as the age groups are younger. Furthermore, it also showcases the unpopular choices of radio and print across all ages.

Figure: Main Source of News by Age Group in Q1 2017

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-millennials-vs-baby-boomers-get-news-chart-2017-6

According to the survey, around 64% of people ages 18-24 and 58% of people ages 25-34 use online (including social media) as their main source of how they get their news. Even with social media alone, 33% and 21% of these age groups respectively turn to places where they connect with friends to receive information. TV still dominates for the older generations, with 45-51% of people ages 45 and above using this medium as their main source.

Social media continues to play an enormous role in how Millennials learn about the world. Facebook, the nearly ubiquitous part of Millennials lives and most used social networking site, is not the only medium Millennials use for news as on average, those surveyed from Media Insight Project obtain news from three different social media platforms (Media Insight Project, 2015). These include YouTube, Instagram, and places of active involvement such as Reddit. As noted as being more passive, the consumption of news and information is woven into daily lives of social interaction and connection—they’re not always actively searching, but always connected and mobile. Also, not only are they looking at one article on a subject, but they are digging deeper and use search engines to learn more about the issue at hand (Media Insight Project, 2015).

Within the realm of digital news, mobile is becoming the preferred device. The portion of Americans who have ever gotten their news on a mobile device has risen from 54% in 2013 to 72% in 2016, suggesting that these digital users are on the go, do not have a lot of time and want to experience life (Eva Masta & Lu, 2016). There is even a shift towards a preference of receiving news from a mobile device over the desktop computer or laptop. Among people who receive their news from both places, 56% prefer mobile device to get news (Eva Masta & Lu, 2016).

Because of the multitasking functionality of mobile devices, many question whether news content will prevail as the audience is more apt to digesting news quickly and dipping in and out. However, through a study of online reader behaviour by Pew Research Center researchers on the details of 117 million anonymized, complete cellphone interactions with 74,840 articles from 30 news websites, the analysis found that despite the smaller screen and the multitasking abilities, consumers do spend more time on average with long-form news articles than with short-form. The length of long-forms tends to not deter most users away. Between the two forms, the total engaged time with articles of 1,000 words or longer averages about two times the time of short-form stories: 123 seconds compared with 57, and this is consistent across time of day and the pathway taken to get to the article (Mitchell, Stocking, & Eva Masta, 2016).

A typical journey of how I obtained an interesting news piece, such as the recent announcement of in the increase in minimum wage in British Columbia. Similar to the different studies and research findings mentioned above, I found myself stumbling upon this information through Facebook, scrolling down my personal news feed on my iPhone as I was commuting to school. It felt almost accidental, but it was the talk of the day as it sparked enormous controversy on not only online publications, but amongst my friends on social media. The voice of my friends and who I am connected online seems stronger than ever—and though I knew I would have probably found this out through word-of-mouth, it surprised me how much news that will directly affect me in my own province can reach me easily without having to search for it. After I saw the article about the news was shared from a friend, it was not difficult to pull me in to read the full-page article. I was easily interested in why this is happening, when it is happening, and how it happened in the first place. Now, I believe that social media plays a key role in the delivery of the most interesting, impeding, and important news to Millennials.

As the digital evolution continues to progress within the aspect of news, events, and information, it is important for companies within this space that curate and disseminate content to integrate these trends, to monetize on digital users. As users are continually on the go and stumble upon news, the real hurdle of credibility remains, and how easily news can be distorted quicker than a day. For digital users, this means that cross-referencing and fact-checking with multiple sources is key to obtaining credible information, alongside the credibility of the author or news creator. For content creators and news publishers, this age requires the use of social media to diffuse information and to use social connections and interactions of people to share and educate others on important news and events. It is important to understand where the delivery of news is ultimately evolving towards to understand what content should be then produced and how it should be received.

Sources:

Dunn, J. (2017, June 26). How Millennials vs Baby Boomers Get Their News. Retrieved from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-millennials-vs-baby-boomers-get-news-chart-2017-6

Eva Masta, K., & Lu, K. (2016, September 14). 10 facts about the changing digital news landscape. Retrieved from Fact Tank: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/14/facts-about-the-changing-digital-news-landscape/

Mitchell, A., Stocking, G., & Eva Masta, K. (2016, May 5). Long-Form Reading Shows Signs of Life in Our Mobile News World. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: Journalism & Media: http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/05/long-form-reading-shows-signs-of-life-in-our-mobile-news-world/

Project, M. I. (2015, March 16). How Millennials Get News: Inside the habits of America’s first digital generation. Retrieved from American Press Institute: https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/millennials-news/