Tag Archives: pub 101

Essay 2

When I was 17 years old, I started my first blog. I have always had a passion for writing but never had an outlet to do so. When I started university, I finally found my way to sharing my art. It started with writing an article for SFU’s newspaper, The Peak, to finding my voice in Her Campus at SFU.

The truth is, I have been waiting 3 years to make it into this Publishing 101 course. I felt like it would be the start of something new for me and finally make me feel like I have a platform for my words to be read. And it did.

I have always known I want create a publication that feels like a safe place for people to turn to and generally keep them entertained. I had a few goals going into creating this blog: Writing in the dark under the stars. Navigating life, Discovering New Music, Discussing Pop Culture, and Showcasing Other’s Talent. I have leaned towards lifestyle, music, personal stories, and serious themes. By serious, I mean talking about taboo topics people may not see often. I have a 3 part series planned for a future post that discuss the question, “will we ever truly know who anyone is?.” answering the question, digging into wondering if we will ever know who we truly are, and ending with finding yourself amidst all of this.  

One example was the article I have written about “Intersectionality.” It follows the story of Jennifer Harris being removed from her university basketball team due to the fact she is a person of colour and over the assumption she is gay. It is a story that is the perfect example of intersectionality that not many people seem to know about. I plan to learn more about these stories and inform my readers of them in the future. I also plan to talk more about life and the acceptance of some things not going the way we plan often.

Overall, I would say that I have created my publication in, as Amanda wrote in her peer review, a digital diary type of experience. It is about life, the ins and outs of the world, and genuinely enjoying what life throws at us. It would imagine my audience is for people of all ages, but I can also see it being catered towards people still finding themselves and looking for someone who relates to their situations.

Through my articles about a hair care routine, nostalgia on the past, lessons I have learned through my teenage years, and even my album reviews, I would say that I am addressing my imagined and real audience through captivating posts. I always made sure that I include an “aesthetic” so to speak photo and ensure my paragraphs are separated and easy to read.

My design includes large squares of photos that summarize the story I am about to tell. Thanks to my first peer reviewer, Maggie, suggested I change my background image to something that does not let the words get lost in it. That suggestion helped shape the way I see my blog and the way that it presents itself.

I take pride in the content I produce. I make sure to write about topics I enjoy and that I know other people will enjoy. I plan to produce more content that is challenging yet entertaining. Informative is more like it. The content I have provided thus far is more lifestyle based. I want to take a turn and make this blog be reflective of my 20’s. I am 20 years old and already feel like I have been through more than enough to keep me going for awhile. I personally enjoy story times, so I would like to incorporate more.

Google Analytics was really useful in terms of figuring out what I needed to do in order to boost my views. It was interesting to learn about the details of Google Analytics, such as bounce rate, and felt like it gave me that push to create the content I want to. I mainly kept my articles to this class and my friends. My friends have provided me with so many positive comments and thoughts. They genuinely enjoyed reading my posts, or so they say. It was not until I went into the analytics and tried to figure out how to boost my engagement and views. I finally took the plunge and posted the link to my article in my Instagram bio and gained 37 new viewers. I learned that people will read my posts when I promote them and they are most active in the mid- afternoon and early evening. This feature helped me gain the motivation I needed to carry on with my blog and reach as many people as I can.

Reflecting back to when I started this blog and writing in general, I have always been afraid to share my work. It reminded me of the article by John Suler that discusses the “You Can’t See Me (Invisibility)” section of our online disinhibition. I always hid in the behind my screen, as he explains “in many online environments other people cannot see you.” (Suler, 2015, par. 6). It is easy to hide who you are through your posts, but I have always made my posts personal, making it near impossible to hide my identity.

I find it ironic as I am afraid for some people to discover my work and read it. I believe moving forward, I need to understand that if I want to make it as a content creator and for the future of this blog, I need to start sharing my work. There really is nothing to lose if people I know start finding out about this blog. I am proud of what I post and would not post it if I felt like I did not want it associated with me.

Overall, my goal for this blog is to keep posting content I love and continue to expand my writing. I am very happy that I was able to get into this course. All of the lessons I have learned in lecture and from the guest speakers are areas of writing and producing content I never would have known about if I did not take this course. There is so much more to creating a blog than it seems on the outside. The analytics, incorporating transmedia channels, collaboration, marketing, and the list goes on. I will take every lesson I have learned in this class and move forward with this blog. I cannot wait to look back on this blog at the end of my university career and see where I am now.

May I continue writing and expanding my work through the creation of this blog and carry these lessons from Publishing 101 with me through these starlight adventures.

References:

Cook, Emily. (2017). Emcookxo.wordpress.com. Former Blog. Retrieved from: https://emcookxo.wordpress.com/.

Cook, Emily. (2019). Starlight-adventures.com. WordPress Blog. Retrieved from: starlight-adventures.com

McCrae, Amanda. (2019). Peer Review #3. Peer Review Blog Entry. WordPress. Retrieved from: http://www.amandasadventures.ca/academic/peer-review-3/

SFU, Her Campus. (2018). Emily Cook | Her Campus. Online Magazine. Retrieved from: https://www.hercampus.com/user

Suler, John. (2004). “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Retrieved from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

Su, Maggie. (2019). Peer Review #1. Peer Review Blog Entry. WordPress. Retrieved from: http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/peer-review_1/. http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/peer-review_1/.


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Starlight Adventures: Community Guidelines

Community Guidelines for starlight-adventures.com

The goals of starlight-adventures.com are to assist readers and contributors to maintain a safe space and an entertaining environment. I want to create connections that are mutually beneficial to both parties and promote collaborative involvement and opportunities.  

In order to achieve these goals, it is important for all of us truly create this safe space with our shared interests by following these guidelines:

Guidelines

  • Treat others online as you would treat them in real life
  • Be tolerant towards other’s view points and respectfully disagree when opinions do not align
  • respect the privacy of those sharing
  • communicate with courtesy and respect

Do not

  • make personal attacks on those contributing 
  • post prejudiced comments or profanity
  • avoid: name calling

Others

  • Stay on topic: keep all discussions relevant to what is posted 
  • If you see something, say something in a respectful manner
  • Always strive to be as supportive as possible in every discussion or post shared
  • No self promotion unless discussed otherwise 

This is overall a safe space and platform for those to share their opinions and new ideas that could be beneficial to us all. 

If needing to discuss any of these guidelines or wanting to contribute an idea, please contact me here. 

Featured Image Reference: My personal account on Canva designed by me

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Let’s Start Integrating!

After my recent process post focusing on my Google Analytics, I noticed how lost my visits are. They were decent, but not as a high as I know it could be.

View count from March 12-18

I decided to just take the shot and promote my blog to my Instagram followers. And it made all the difference.

View count from March 19-25 after promoting articles on my Instagram Story

I had gained 37 new users over the span of a week.

Using social media platforms can really impact how much of a following one has and how many views we are able to reach

Something I think I need to take note of is: consistency.

The reasons why people gain a steady following and consistent views is because of how often we post and how much content we produce and promote. 

I want to start posting more frequently. Whether that be posting more articles or posting more on social media, I feel that this will help me gain more readers. 

I want to start incorporating Instagram in terms of promoting my articles on my story so then people can easily access them through the link in my bio. I am more interactive on Instagram with my followers so perhaps posting photos related to my posts can help as well. 

Utilizing hashtags on Twitter can help me relate and reach more audiences. I want to start posting my articles on Twitter that have to do with music so then people who have fan accounts for certain artists will read them and hopefully provide feedback and support. 

Twitter is very versatile and I believe this platform has the most room for growth and I plan to focus on these trends and post more. Perhaps tagging who the articles may feature can help as well. 

The one transmedia channel I need to integrate is Facebook. I have way too many family members on there and do not want them reading all of my articles. I feel like there will come a time where I will start promoting them on there. I think I will share this  blog when the course ends to show off all my work I have done through this semester.

I also had an idea to promote my blog on groups I am part of on Facebook. 

Overall, my main issue is my insecurity. I feel like people may judge my work and not truly support me. But honestly, that is just part of life.

I want to be a content creator so I need to get over this fear to get anywhere. 

I plan to work towards integrating more social media platforms to promote my work and even collaborate with some others. 

If all goes to plan, look out for me on your social media platforms sometime soon!

Featured Image Reference: @Keti_98 on weheartit.com

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Accepting Change: Meet Bean

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I heard a little bell around 3 A.M.

I walked into my kitchen and was greeted by my new furry friend. 

On March 11th, I was sick in bed and was sleeping away. My phone started to ring and it was my mom, who I obviously had to answer.

She texted me a photo of a 7 month old tabby cat that needed a new home. “Bean” was the name. 

She asked me if I thought she was “cute.” I said “yes,” thinking it was just a casual question. 

“Should we get her?” was the next. 

I was very hesitant about the decision and cried for several hours later next to our cat, Scarlett.

Almost 3 years ago, I lost my beautiful cat, Rainbow. We had her since I was 2 years old and she was our absolute pride  and joy, the best television watching pal, and had so much love to give everyone.

During our time with Rainbow, we also got another cat, Scarlett.

Rainbow always made sure to show Scar who the boss is. Scarlett is a less affectionate cat but jumped right on my lap when I had to say my last goodbye to Rainbow.

Since then, Scarlett and I have become closer. We formed a bond when I came back from New York and I was very scared to let another cat come into our life. 

I was afraid to let my memory of Rainbow fade and have a new “replacement” of her. 

I came home after a long Tuesday and was about to meet Bean for the first time.

My life changed for the good.

What was once hesitation is now pure happiness. 

I learned that Rainbow will never be replaced and I am blessed to have those memories with her to hold on to forever. To reflect back on. Those will never change.

Only a week later, Bean has acted like a therapy cat to me. Between her cuddles, noises, excitement to see me… she gives me so much that I was missing.

I am writing this in the middle of the night just filled with love. In fact, I am currently refereeing a fight Scarlett is trying to start with Bean.

All of the hard times I face and tough days, she helps heal them. Pet’s really do cure all.

Scarlett is not a fan of Bean (yet) and it has been very hard to accept. 

I know the time will come when they get used to each other.

But for now, I appreciate both of their love.

And for the first time…

I am thankful for this change. 

Featured Image Reference: @BlueBittyMoon on weheartit

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What I Learned As A Teenager

On September 2nd of 2018, I had to say goodbye to my teenage years and hello to my twenties. I personally feel like my teenage years ended when my mom cancelled my Seventeen Magazine subscription. It was a weird feeling to not have my age end with “teen” anymore. It feels bittersweet. I also find it weird that this is the decade I will have to truly become an adult. I have no idea what these years will hold but that makes me excited. I may move across the country, land my dream career, could potentially get married, see my friends have kids, and all things in between. Yikes.

I would say I have had the “typical” teenage experience. I experienced a lot of “firsts” from first “date” to first “heartbreak” (lol), skipped school to go to McDonalds, went on midnight drives and adventures with friends, sent those risky texts, had a room full of J-14 posters, went through a black eyeliner phase, spent summers at the lake and in my backyard with my best friends, turned the legal drinking age, had a Twitter fan account for various celebrities (which I have been forced to use because Twitter locked me out of my original account), and just truly lived my best life.

It has definitely been years of exploring, loving, and learning. One thing I am proud of is through all of this transition is that I have not lost myself. Being a teenager can be a really hard and a confusing experience. You don’t really know yourself and are trying to find out while juggling life.

I can proudly say I am still the Taylor Swift Loving, Concert Obsessed, Lost and Insecure, Sushi and Starbucks Loving, basic white girl you all know! I have dreams of living in a big city with my dream job and having a lowkey Hannah Montana life raising a family in the countryside. I want to open my own agency and potentially start my own magazine. I never would have thought my love for all things pop culture could lead me to this whole field. I hope to travel the world doing what I love and continue to live my best life. I hope one day I make an impact on someone’s life for the better.

Now, on a serious note, I decided to make this post to reflect on what I have learned and experienced through the years of being a teenager. Whenever I post something, I hope it helps someone in someway.

I hope you take something away from this post that could benefit you, help you from not making the same mistakes I have, blackmail me, realize you are not alone, anything.

Now, I present you the journey I have experienced as a quirky and relatable teen!

Take A Chance On Life

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Something I have learned is to give everything a try, even if it may turn out really bad.

I regret skipping out on a job interview when I was 15 because I was too nervous to go. I could have started gaining experience and breaking out of my shell earlier on, but my mental health is alwaysgoing to be more important. Thankfully I have come around and am not afraid of taking chances.

I wish I didn’t care SO much about what people thought about me growing up. I would not want to wear certain things, dye my hair, and many other things because I thought people would secretly think it was weird.

Here is my first story: I decided to be a wild pre-teen and add blonde streaks to my hair in the 6th grade. People definitely thought it was weird, even telling me it looked like “Halloween.” I kept that hair till grade 9. I think people were just so used to seeing me as the same person all their life that me doing something drastic threw them all off. I also used to have a unibrow, that someone “kindly” pointed out to me in elementary. I tried to fix it myself in my mom’s bathroom and ended up shaving off half my eyebrow before my softball windup party. Honestly, I am blessed with the thick Italian gene brows that people strive for these days, so I should have embraced it. It wasn’t until last summer that I truly realized I need to put MYSELF first. Wear the clothes you want, cut your hair, love who you love, and all the things.

I am so thankful that I got over my freshman year of university shy self and joined a sorority sophomore year. It has brought me a community of support and I do not think I would be enjoying the whole university and life as an adult experience without them. I am currently very content in where my life is at right now. I am happy I can say that.

I am so for the whole “shooting your shot” mentality when it comes to dating and anything. I mean… it has failed for me every time I have tried but it is still worth a try! Slide in their DMs, ask for their number, apply to that job, just do it! I see all of this as, what is the worst that can happen? Rejection sucks but the sooner you try the quicker you can get over it and move onto the next. You will learn if you are wasting time that you could be putting into something better.

Balancing The Obstacles

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I have dealt with a lot growing up. Some things I am not comfortable sharing. One thing I have learned is to take a step back and pinpointing what is important.

One ongoing obstacle that I am slowly feeling ready to open up about is my problem with my body and eating. Ever since I can remember, I have always had a hard time loving the way I looked and allowing myself to eat certain things. It is still something I deal with today, but I have learned it is okay and will take time to find a balance. It was hard discovering social media at such an early age and seeing all of these perceptions of what the expected body is and the look you need to have. Social media has changed the perception of my body. It is really hard to look past all of it and love who I am, but I make sure to remember I am doing the best I can and not feeling too guilty about how I may not be “living up to the idea image.”

Balancing my studies and social life has been awkward. I definitely found myself living a more social life this past fall semester and having my grades slip. I have such FOMO and do not want to remember my university years missing out on things I won’t be able to do in a few years because I have to do a reading. This upcoming year, I am going to make sure I find a balance and use my planner efficiently. I will find ways to allow myself to have a social life but making sure I maybe do a page or so of an essay before then. I blame my high school for making me a major procrastinator.

I think it is hard to help people find a balance, because we all have our own priorities. Knowing what is important in your life and letting yourself be wild can take time to balance. Education and mental health is important.

Take Risks, live in the moment (“My parents live in Ohio.” I had to), set goals, and take control of your life.

The One Where I Cried In A Club

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Now, probably the most *tea* filled part of this post and adventure during my teenage years that I just needed to add because it was just… so dramatic.

A little disclaimer- You know I love you, but I kindly ask you to not message me questioning who these stories are about. (If you know, please do not leak it HAHA). Although part of what I do is producing content on the internet, I do have a private life and a lot that I do not share. You know I am always down for a conspiracy, but I share what I feel comfortable with and have (hopefully) moved on from the situations and would not like to relive them. But, as always, I have a lot of saved tea to spill for some future endeavours… so I will share all eventually (in detail), but for now, this is the only cup filled.

Inspired by one of my favourite content creators, Katy Bellotte, she wrote a post on her blog thekatyproject.com titled Almost-Lovers, and it basically talked about all of the boys she has had “things” with that could have potentially been lovers, but of course, has ended the same as they all do. Ghosting, second choices, ignoring you at parties, and all things inbetween. Every person has left us with a moment they cannot take away. After recently listening to her podcast (Thick & Thin), I have decided to share the first time I truly felt a “heartbreak.” A.k.a I discovered I do have a heart and can feel things. Crazy!

Well, this is not the story I am telling (mainly because I forgot why) but in the first grade something happened with my “crush” and all I remember is laying on my parents bed, faced up at the ceiling, and aching inside. I really wish I knew why but that was the first time I FELT heartbreak. How random. ANYWAYS, this is my more grown up story of the time I cried in the club over someone who I thought felt the same way I did. (Narrator- we still do not know if they did, but that is besides the point. At the time, I assume THEY DID NOT).

A month or so before I was literally the “I don’t know why I’m crying in the club right now” meme, I met someone who I instantly felt a connection to. I ignored the feeling at first because I haven’t experienced that feeling in years. Since then, I still haven’t. It wasn’t until a few people came up to me a week later telling me they noticed it too and asked me about it.

I do not trust anyone these days. Even the thought of them being interested was not enough to make me BRAVE and talk to them more. Little did I know what was going to happen in the months to follow.

I pushed the feeling aside and ignored it. I was not going to go through another ninth grade dance watching my crush sway with my friend to “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 and having a single tear roll down my cheek. CLASSIC. My best friend still makes fun of me for it TO THIS DAY and we decided to make a playlist of all the songs I have cried to. (You’re Welcome.).

ANYWAYS.

My friends event was coming up and I was really excited to see everyone again and go out. The day before, this person messaged me asking if I was busy that day. I will never forget seeing “ This person is typing…” for the first time since we met and feeling like I was in some Taylor Swift song.

Of course I was busy that day, so I told them but we had a plan to meet up later on and just say hello. 

I was not comfortable going out alone, so my friend was going to come with me but got sick and did not stay long at the club and at this point I was already drinking and there was no way I could have gone.

I was messaging them throughout the night and it was going really well. But, here is the downfall: When I was in the club, I told them I couldn’t leave because I was, well, not functioning, and did not want to leave my friends. They were trying to find ways to see me but ultimately it was just not going to happen. I could feel something coming.

All I remember reading was “Okay. Whatever.” and I was SHOOK. It felt like everything that could have potentially happened was destroyed and they had given up on me. I thought I ruined something that could have grown.

My friend that was with me messaging them was like, “are you okay?”. I say “yes”, as tears are streaming down my face. If I have learned anything these years it is that I have MASTERED hiding my crying. There have been so many times I have been in the car or in public bawling and no one notices. Maybe no one cares about me but I like to think I mastered the art of hiding my emotions.

Through the loud music, people dancing, friends giving me the classic “You are so much better! He’s not worth it” pep talks, I felt an overwhelming about of emotions I have never experienced.

It was later when I got home (after finally finding a taxi. @Vancouver, why is it so hard?) I realized it was the beginning of what was going to be a new found feeling I have never experienced before.

I sat on my bathroom floor like the dramatic teenager I was and cried to “Getaway Car” and “New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift. Random song selections, I know. I laugh at it now but at the time I was so sad! Tragic.

I ultimately got up and continued to live my best life because I had to go to work in a few hours. But since that moment, I have seen this person here and there. The feelings are not as strong, but something has stayed consistent and has worn off. I have seen people in between these times, but I have not found anything close to the feeling I found. And that is okay. I looked at this as being thankful I even found a feeling worth holding onto and know it is out there somewhere.

So moral of the story is: Feelings are weird and I am not a fan. I have definitely grown a lot since that moment and thank this summer for giving me the time to realize my worth and learn. The Emily at that moment thought this was the end of something special, but today I know there is so much more to experience and it is not worth the tears. I can now say I will not settle or fight for anything I feel is not reciprocated. I know love is out there and time has been my bff.

Even though this was a dramatic experience with an awkward ending (a story for another day), I thank this person for helping me realize my worth and discover this feeling. As Katy said:

“He or she was not just a failed attempt at what you will eventually have with someone else. Every potential relationship is either love, or a lesson. Don’t look at it any other way.”

Like, Realizing Things

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I guess ultimately I can say that it is WILD how nothing truly matters.

Everything I cried about, was worried for, and thought I would never get over, eventually wore off. I think I have just become numb to everything that used to bother me and I am kind of glad.

Of course, there are some things I do need to worry about. I will worry about them when the time comes and continue to just live in the now.

Life is hard. Being a teenager was hard. Trying to find your place in this world and living instead of just existing has taken some time but I am happy with where I am at.

A Special Note

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I just wanted to say thank you to my family, friends, sisters, mentors, teachers, and everyone who has played a part in getting me to where I am today. I am so lucky!

I Am Left With This

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  • I am a firm believer of dress like you are okay with that outfit being your ghost outfit for the rest of your life
  • Elle Woods is my queen
  • Appreciate your family
  • Laughter is the best medicine
  • School work is not worth the cost of your family
  • It is okay not to know what you want to do in life
  • Order your favorite dessert
  • Send that text
  • Be unapologetically yourself
  • Quality over quantity
  • Surround yourself with the best people you can grow with and conquer life with
  • Give everyone a chance
  • I will be on a reality show one day
  • Be confident
  • LIVE
  • Spend all your money on concert tickets
  • Remind people how much you care for them

In my 20’s, I am not letting anything hold me back. I am taking this time to be unapologetically myself and live the best life I can for me.

*All photos are my own*

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Who Is Following Me?

After being rejected by GoogleAdsense (I am okay, I feel like it is because I have Adblock on so it will be something I need to fix in the future), I have been very interested in searching my own Google Analytics to view the audience I am reaching. 

Amanda pointed out that my blog has an aesthetic to it that posting a bunch of ads in places that are meant to be open would ruin the image I have created. I definitely am more of a sponsored post person where I would rather review or promote something through a post than have ads all over my blog. Anyways, that is besides the point.

I decided to look at my Google Analytics for the first time since beginning my Pub 101 journey and see who is following me.

The first piece of information that came up was this graph explaining my bounce rate, the amount of users that have visited my site in the last week, and how long people tend to spend on my site.

I have a pretty high bounce rate, ranking in at 36.36%. Ellen just explained that this is actually really good as it means people are clicking on my work and click off. Which sounds bad but it means I am getting views! They are single page clicks and lands on my browser.

I personally have only posted a select few articles on my Instagram. I do have a pretty reasonable following, so I don’t understand why I don’t just post articles. I have the link to my website in my bio and have received quite a few clicks from it.

The duration time is pretty high as well, but I feel it is just from my peer reviewers.

A majority of my viewers are from Canada and the United States which sounds right. Even 1 from Spain! I had one from Ireland once but I believe it was my friend who is studying abroad there right now.

People tend to be active on my account during mid day and later at night. That is sort of the theme here… late night posting.

My home page gets the post views and my most recent posting on Nostalgia has received quite a few clicks.

I find it interesting that most of my sessions come from a desktop computer (and have gone down.) I believe this can change once I start promoting my articles on social media.

This chart helps me see when my users return to my blog and how consistent they have been. It seems high on days I post but not on days I don’t. I could change this by uploading maybe 3 times a week periodically rather than 1-2?

It is wild to me that we can leave our digital footprints so easily and trace them back with no problem. I find it interesting how people can be use this data to stay in tune with how their websites or businesses are progressing.

I would say I have thrown in the towel with my footprints in regards to how I only look at things I need to or want to. I am very careful with the websites and areas of the internet that I use and search for. I would say this would be “throwing in the towel.”

Overall, it was interesting to search my analytics and see what I need to improve on.

I want to try posting more than 2 times a week and see where it takes me… so, stay tuned!

All Images provided by my personal Google Analytics account.

Featured Image Reference: @ZshulesZ  on weheartit.com

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Peer Review #3: amandasadventures.ca

First off, I would like to start off with my apology that this Peer Review #3 is posted late. I have been fighting a throat, ear, and skull infection the past 2 weeks. It has been hard to stay awake and focus on school work but I am here now for Amanda’s peer review!

Amanda’s home page is very welcoming. The title “Amanda’s Adventures” with the pale pink background and photo collage adds a beautiful start to the adventure we are about to have on her blog. 

As she writes in a personal journal style, I believe her intended audience would be friends, family, classmates, and people who generally like to follow along with others lives and lear new things. Like me!

Audrey Watters states: “Having one’s own domain means that students have much more say over what they present to the world, in terms of their public profiles, professional portfolios, and digital identities. Students have control over the look and feel of their own sites, including what’s shared publicly.” (Watters, 2015). 

This quote reflects with Amanda as she envisions her audience. Amanda is presenting her true authentic self through her posts and creating a digital identity that her viewers will see. She shares personal stories that can resonate with others. 

Amanda definitely does not have the “You Don’t Know Me” effect in “The Online Disinhibition” John Suler describes. Amanda makes it clear who she is to her audience and opens herself up to them.

Some of Amanda’s tags include “adventure”, “democratic”, “awareness”, and “SFU.” These are great navigations when exploring her blog and finding exactly what we may be looking for. 

This was all I have learned based on her home page alone. So let’s dive into her pages!

Her about me is also very welcoming as she lets her audience know she is an English major and potential REM minor. This relates back to my review of how her audience may potentially be other students looking for others to go through this journey of university. 

A few of her hobbies include reading, writing, and listening to music and she also emphasis’ her passion to travel. These could reach a wider audience as the travel community is huge and people of all age groups are interested in music and reading. 

“Follow me on my journey as I experience the ordinary, extraordinary and everything in between.”  

I clicked on her article “Reflecting on a Year Gone By” and felt connected to her passion for travel. This feels like a true travel journal and could be marketed as such.

Her article “Girls Night Out!” and “Why Tuesday’s Are My Favourite Day” are so wholesome and reminded me a lot of what my former blog was all about and the adventures my friends and I had in the 11th and 12th grade. The simpler times, before university took over our lives. 

I believe her marketing to her audience would include, as mentioned earlier, people interested in more personal and travel posts. If she posts pictures on her Instagram relating to her traveling posts, I feel she could get a lot of traffic from there!

She linked her Instagram and icons below to find her on social media and e-mail which helps when connecting to her audience.

I noticed through her loading page, the pink and purple stripe that sways back and forth, occasionally caused pages to load slower on a mobile device. Using the lab computers worked fine! I believe this was made with Elementor and potentially can be the cause; which is common. Overall, it adds a cute and friendly look! Just potentially changing something in terms of loading speed could help but that is only a minor critique. 

Overall, my general impression of Amanda’s blog is that it reminded me a lot of why I started writing. I have to admit, I have been in a very big creative block lately and have not felt inspired to write. This blog was like a breath of fresh air and I cannot wait to continue reading in the future! And fangirl over Ariana Grande together!

♡♡♡

Audrey Watters. 2015. “The Web We Need to Give to Students.” https://medium.com/bright/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713#.4d7j8rs6x

Suler, John. 2004. “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Available from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html

Featured Image Reference: Tumblr User

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Week 8: Remixing and Choosing

So for the mini assignment this week was about remixing something. At first I was very interested in the smartphone trends. For example, Tik Tok is gaining popularity over here in North America where you can post a video of yourself acting or lipsyncing to a song and someone can add onto yours or remix it. I thought that would be a great idea to do a remix, but it would just be copying someone else.

But just a few days ago, my girlfriend was in an elevator when these 2 dogs were interacting with each other. The Shiba Inu in the picture was very affectionate to the other dog, and the dog was quite hesitant. We exchanged a few edits back and forth then that gave me the inspiration to make my own.

While it was focused primarily on what I feel in studying, I guess I should give some background too. The courses that I’m taking in my last semester are heavily involved in technology. Sending in assignments, writing emails, and writing blogs. Mixed in with what I have to check for things I bought, my work schedule, updates on graduation, etc. it becomes exhausting. The Shiba Inu is representative of that. And I, kind of just taking it. I’m not claiming my remix to be deep, but a better context to how it fits overall!

Essay 2: Reflecting as A Blogger

When reflecting on my own blog, I see a stark difference on what I expected and what the course has taught me. In the beginning, I had an innocent idea of blogs. It’s an online space to express yourself and connect with people who have the same ideas. I still keep that idea when I write on my blog. However, throughout the course, I have changed my perspectives because I am more conscious on how it affects cultures, individuals, and workers. As ‘neutral’ as my content is, I don’t feel ‘safe’ because I am vulnerable with my content. Anybody can find my information and turn it against me or misuse my words to feed their own narratives. I want to explore this ‘fear’ and how the course has made me more careful about what I post and what I share online. It doesn’t necessarily discourage me from using the internet and social media. But my awareness has allowed me to be more appreciative of the people who create ‘controversial’ content that can endanger them or the people around them just because one person on the internet does not agree with it. My goal is to express my self-awareness in an active role. It’s not enough that I consume media writing about someone’s demise to the pitchforks of the internet. I want to be aware of that in my daily conversation online and offline.

Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis writes about media manipulation and the dissemination of disinformation online (2017). They discuss the events revolving around Wikileaks’ distribution of the hacked emails of John Podesta, Hilary Clinton’s campaign chairman (Marwick & Lewis, 2017, p. 2). Users from the message board 4chan quickly spread misinformation about the emails and how subcultural groups such as the alt-right groups who have given this scandal greater media attention than Trump’s own allegations (Marwick & Lewis, 2017, p.2). These groups leverage their online presence and take advantage of the ‘vulnerabilities in the news’ and increase the coverage of their messages (Marwick & Lewis, 2017, p.3). This topical example has impacted U.S. politics today and in my opinion, gave voice to the hateful and divisive groups in America. I am reflective of how this affects my own online presence. It’s good to be knowledgeable and aware of the power of these groups, and I want to be more conscious about that in my own online interactions. In my blog, I speak about productivity and the impacts of smartphones on our day to day lives. I address the conflict between our attachment to our phones and this growing dependency to it. I think part of this conversation that I learned from the course is also the responsibility of the user. I cannot mindlessly use my devices and ignore what exists in the same spaces I connect in. I try to have ‘conscious’ content and express that throughout my blog.

Mike Caulfield writes a thought provoking piece on Digital Literacy and what we should follow (2016). What I found relevant to my reflection is his example of the Tree Octopus. These digital literacy acronyms and rules that are commonly shared to schools are useless in determining what is real or fake on the internet (Caulfield, 2016). The tree octopus is a fake cephalopod with a fake creature page that shows it has evolved into an amphibian and survives on land (Caulfield, 2016). What Caulfield found was they did not distinguish this by using acronyms to detect fake news, but just by knowing and learning that it’s impossible (2016). This leads to his proposal that to be digitally literate, you must know the web (Caulfield, 2016). What I think he means by this is that we must be aware and critical online as we are in our day to day lives. There are going to be groups and individuals who will misguide users because they don’t know anything better. Dissemination will be used for political gain or to harm minorities. I want to continue practicing these conscious ideas online. My blog is as vulnerable as anyone else’s. But I try my best to learn more and carry that knowledge with me.

I am reminded of UCL’s social media discoveries and why it’s important to be conscious of how it is affecting our day to day lives (2018). Discovery #12 writes that social media has a profound impact on gender relations (2018). This is a small example on this bigger picture of bettering myself in the online space. They find that users have benefits in using real or fake accounts to express sensitive topics and coming out against heteronormative relationships (UCL, 2018). Even though I am still cautious of my own personal information, I think there will be ways in which I can express myself. Knowledge and discussion will better me as a blog writer or an internet user. While I still carry this fear, I want to play an active role and this course helped me prepare for it.

References

Caulfield, M. (December 19, 2016). Yes, digital literacy. But which one? Hapgood. Accessed on November 26, 2018. Retrieved from https://hapgood.us/2016/12/19/yes-digital-literacy-but-which-one/.

Marwick, A. & Lewis, R. (2017). Media manipulation and disinformation online. Data & Society. Accessed on November 26, 2018. Retrieved from http://posiel.com/outline/full-semester-outline/.

UCL (2018). Social media can have a profound impact through gender relations, sometimes through using fake accounts. University College London. Accessed on November 26, 2018. Retrieved from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/why-we-post/discoveries/12-social-media-can-have-a-profound-impact-on-gender-relations-sometimes-through-using-fake-accounts.

PROCESS POST: Community guidelines (week 12)

Street Stories’ Community Guidelines

Street Stories is a place where the stories of vulnerable people living in Surrey and people involved with NightShift can be shared. In consideration of this, I will not tolerate any comments that are not respectful towards NightShift and those that they serve. Disrespectful comments that contain racism, sexism, or any explicit hatefulness will be deleted. In addition, these rules will be put in place to uphold the standard of respect desired on Street Stories. People who comment the following will be banned from commenting:

  • Name-calling, insulting, or attacking someone mentioned in a blog post, NightShift, or another site user
  • Posting inappropriate or abusive comments
  • Posting comments that question or devalue the voices of vulnerable people

These guidelines were inspired by Book Riot’s guidelines.

PROCESS POST: Class response (week 11)

This process post will be a response to the guest speaker we had in class named Darren Barefoot, who works with Capulet Communications. This was my favourite guest speaker we had this semester. Darren’s work reflects a lot of what I want to do in the future, which is marketing and communications for non-profit organizations. What compelled me most about Darren’s talk was when he spoke about Heartbeats and Remarkables. Heartbeats can be defined by the core operations of marketing within an organization. For example, every year NightShift does a fundraising gala and that is a Heartbeat of who they are and how they draw attention to their organizations. Another thing Darren talked about was Remarkables. Remarkables are campaigns that are out of the ordinary. They can look like PR stunts, gimmicks, pop-up events, or unique fundraising mechanisms.

For a good portion of the class we talked about Remarkables and different ones that Capulet has been involved with over the years. My favourite type of Remarkable campaigns Darren spoke about were volunteer activations. These types of campaigns generally call for high threshold volunteerism. An example he gave was when a cancer agency worked with a hair salon to create a new haircut that inspired people to cut their hair for cancer. Although it is a big ask for people to cut their hair, it is a remarkable marketing tactic that people will remember.

I am so grateful that Darren spoke with our class! I learned a lot from him and I will definitely be looking at Capulet’s website to learn from the way they do things and check out their featured Remarkables.

PUB 101- Essay 2

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Before I get a chance to understand publishing, I thought it was merely publishing a book, sell it to somewhere, people read it and done. I never thought about the actual work and story behind every process until I get a chance to started writing my blog, publishing my work and sharing content to the audience. In the past 12 weeks, fortunately, I have an opportunity to experience how is it to be an online publisher. It might I need to overrate my self, online publisher, but I did have a chance to understand more details regarding editorial, design, marketing and content. After the brief online publisher career, I realized that publish good content. A successful model is much more complicated than I imagine. There are so much more than I could imagine before, lots of affording and work behind every process.


In this semester, I get a chance to experience to open my blog lift for live. I created my blog and shared my idea and through to other people. I created a fitness-focused blog to share my workout ideas and recommendation to other people so as to motivate people who are new to workout or want to know more about it. Everything started from sketching on my sketchbook, I drew the outline of the blog, considered the focus of the content and what was my purpose of creating a blog. Throughout the semester, I constantly change and improve my blog editorial concept, design layout and content. At first, I was using a big cover picture with a link at the middle. I thought that was a good idea that matches the current trend of blog design until I read Travis Gertz “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” In the article, Travis explained that all the webpage design are the same right now. All of them are sharing the same elements, and he asked a question to the audience “Without the logos, could you tell which companies own which screenshots?”(Gertz, 2015, para 7). I realized that If I put my page in one of the design, I could not tell which website is mine. Travis indicated that digital design is a human assembly line, designers are like a designer machine, they use the same elements over and over again to fulfill the trend of the world. As a design student, it was a wakeup call of mine. Therefore, I started to search other themes on the template. Although I can not do much configure on the webpage, I tried to find the theme that produces a different atmosphere but meanwhile match up with my theme. I ended up using the theme right now which is a slideshow post along with posts content below.


Besides the design elements, editorial and content design are also crucial in online publishing. Choose of words and tones are essential to content design, what do you want to build up the relationship. Friendly? Inform? Alternatively, Educate? Based on the tone we choose, the blog purpose may shift. In my blog, I decided to use a relatively friendly tone to my audience, and I intended to share my personal experience rather than teach them how to do it. I wanted to shorten the distance between me and the audience. Befriend with them rather than be a teacher of them.


Marketing strategies are one of the parts that I feel interested the most. From Shelby Carpenter essay “The Toast Is Toast: Literary Humor Site Shuts Down Over Ad Revenue Woes,” it gave me a brief concept of the current online publishing industry. Absorb the failure of the Toast, and I understand that as a publisher, it is necessary to set up the mission statement and ensure the niche of the topic. It will be challenging if the purpose is unclear throughout the publishing process. Also, proper marketing is crucial in a successfulness of business. In other words, you need to make sure your company earn money and make a balance in your business, increase the sustainability of the publishing of the business. In peer review 3, Joanna Kim gave me some ideas about what should I do to make my blog profitable. She points out that my blog should more closely relate to my training. She suggested that I should post a blog about my transformation to let the audience pay close attention to me so as to increase the publicity.


Looking back the semester, I learned many concepts from the course. It expanded my vision, publishing is not only in paperback and e-book, but the online trend is also taking over the publishing industry. Online publishing and marketing is the new benchmark in the publishing industry. No doubt printed publishing is still playing an important role in publishing, but the trend of online publishing is also arising.

Week 12: Online Shaming

In our second to the last week, we got to watch Jon Ronson’s TED talk When online shaming goes too far. He gave plenty examples of people who got affected by people who take the original post’s context or message out of proportion. The talk was compelling because it’s telling of how mob mentality can be dangerous in social media. I’ve seen many examples where even sharing from one account to another already leads to problems. It can ruin people’s lives. This is the world we live in. Information feels infinite and we take these small, consumable tidbits of information and blow it out. Jon Ronson did a great job presenting the helplessness that these people feel. Justine Sacco intended to mimic Americans who were ignorant of Africa as a whole and tweeted this:

In context, it makes sense. It makes sense to her friends and the people who know her but once it was shared by strangers, she was part of a social media crucifixion. They were ready to see what happens to her when she gets off the plane. She received the most unbelievable hate speech despite not knowing who she is. Her life has changed because people held on to this small piece of the Internet and created their own narrative. Online shaming reveals the human nature of being a part of something, but for the wrong reasons.

Week 11: Remarkables

Darren  Barefoot from Capulet Communications accompanied by Sarah came into our class and talked about remarkables. For those who are unaware like I was, Capulet explains it well: Remarkables are high impact digital marketing campaigns meant to attract attention. These are the campaigns you remember even if you are not the target audience. These are the campaigns that stand out because they can easily take a simple idea and turn its head to be memorable. What I appreciate most about this presentation was that it gave context to how impactful it can be. Despite it being rooted in capital and business, the messages and content can easily transcend that.

For example, the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice provides pediatric palliative care to families across British Columbia. This can be a stressful and depressing place for everyone because it’s taking care of very sick children and making their end a bit easier. Capulet did a fantastic remarkable where they created a blanket fort with a complete library and toys for the kids to play just for the afternoon. This gave such a positive environment for everyone involved. For a grim place, they turned it to a place where they can be happy in.

It’s a great example in how it reaches multiple channels and then getting their messages across through these. The local news channels started covering it. They were posting in social media. It is posted on different blogs. Different people and networks are talking about and that’s powerful. They don’t have to be vested in the hospice or the people who are involved, but a remarkable can transcend the oversaturation of media content felt by many online users. There’s enough “feel good” on the internet but there’s also too many depressing topics and articles. Remarkables can leave an impact and be spoken above these.

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.

Week 10: Internet For All

I remember seeing the Internet.org advertisements on the bus stops. They were everywhere. It was a call to have internet for all. I remember the ad wanted to give voice to areas that didn’t have internet. It wanted to connect the great minds and make it an equal field for the passionate ones. Until I read Mike Elgan’s The surprising truth about Facebook’s Internet.org for the class this week that I was reminded of that advertisement and, knowing Facebook’s reputation, I’m not surprised to find out the truth.

Internet.org, instead of connecting people with harder access of the internet, is actually just bringing in more people to sign up to their platform. They’re not interested in connecting people. They’re interested in the data that’s being surrendered. Now called Free Basics, Facebook targets countries that charge internet by the minute. They also take these users away and put them in Facebook’s own servers as a way to ‘save data usage’. They keep the users in Facebook in disguise of connecting them because they want to take complete control of their internet use and box them in using Facebook services. I like the metaphor that Elgan uses. It’s like giving a poor person a free sesame seed and claiming credit for giving them a free Big Mac.

This is important to speak about because these are multi billion dollar companies playing with user information. There’s no reason to fully trust these companies because they’re in for the business. If they claim some altruistic interest, it’s probably going to earn them money. Social networks have been controlled by capital and it will continue to take advantage of our use if we don’t question it. When I read this article, I consciously forgot the good and hope I felt when I saw the advertisement. I needed to be critical and realize that the ad played on my emotions and feel goodness. It just wanted to take my information. And by being critical and aware, I remember the ad for what it is, not what it was selling to me.

PROCESS POST: Create a goal (week 10)

There’s not much traffic coming through to my blog, so I’m not sure how much weight the statistics that are offered by Google Analytics hold in terms of seeing how my content is being received. From what I can see, my bounce rate is sitting well at just over 26%, and the bulk of my page views (39.08%) sit with my homepage.

I created a goal for my blog conversions called “Time Spent.” I found it kind of funny to make a goal, considering I basically get no traffic to my site. But, maybe one day this goal will be put to good use. I wanted to focus my goal on the duration of time spent on my site because I want to know that people are taking the time to actually read my posts. I set the goal for 3 minutes, because I figured that is a good amount of time for someone to navigate my site, find a post, and read it. Currently, the average amount of time people spend on a page on my site is just over 2 minutes. Although it’s nice to imagine people staying on my site for longer, I am content to start out with the goal of keeping people on my site long enough to read one post. As I get more established with my blog, I would hope that people would engage with my content and explore my posts for longer.  

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.