Tag Archives: PUB 201

Peer review 3 – Smile Host Dream

Smile Host Dream homepage header screenshot

For my third peer review, I had the opportunity to look at Melvin’s website called Smile Host Dream. Right off the bat, I really love the aesthetic and style of his blog and I love that he’s using his website to share a passion of his which is creating and editing documentaries, stop motion animation, and machinima. As a viewer and reader, I also really appreciate that his mission and explanation for his website is on his homepage and that I don’t need to scroll to far to find it. He has a very specific niche and a very clear purpose for his page, which I think it great!

At the moment, as a viewer I feel that his website is more of a personal blog than a business with a business strategy and plan. However, I think Smile Host Dream has great potential with growing his page and potentially monetization. Although I am not a part of his target audience, I do think that people would be inclined to engage with his call to actions. Specifically, his call to action on his homepage that suggests his reader to comment on his videos and engage with them! I think that it’s really inviting and that it would make someone who enjoys the content he posts write him comments and keep up to date with his content.

To showcase his productions he has linked the video thumbnail to the full video on his YouTube channel, and I really like that he did that because it could possibly allow him to gain more traction to his YouTube channel from his website. On the other hand, I think that Melvin could definitely leverage social media platforms by posting shorter versions of his videos in order to get his audience interested in watching his full creations on YouTube and also learning more about his production process on his website. In terms of monetization, I think that his website would be great with Google Ads and that it could be a main source of income for him if he developed his page into a business. Melvin’s YouTube channel also has monetization potential if he continues to develop it further and post videos more consistently.

One key suggestion from Melvin’s second peer review was to link his social accounts to his website for cross-promotion and to encourage more growth for his website and his brand overall. Melvin does have his YouTube channel and videos links throughout his page, which I really think is a key asset for his content! However, having social media accounts created specifically for his brand to promote his videos on platforms like Instagram and TikTok would definitely allow him to further grow his brand and treat it more like a business. Overall, I’m really loving Melvin’s style and the direction he’s heading with his page!

Press release – I’ve added my current skincare favourites to my homepage!

a shelf full of skincare

As you may already know, I have a whole section on my blog dedicated to my skincare product favs at the moment. HOWEVER. I try so many new products on the regular and therefore I always have new favourites that I’m loving and using constantly. So I thought it would only be fitting to include a little image carousel with all of my current favourite skincare products at the moment! I’m super excited about this because I want you all to know my favs and to keep them top of mind if you want to try some new products or if you’re looking for better ones. This little list of mine will allow you to do so in a quick and easy way!

This is something I’ll also keep up to date constantly as well. And since I mentioned that I have new fav products pretty often, I’ll be adding and subtracting to this image carousel every week to keep it fresh and relevant <3 ALSO by clicking on an image, you’ll be able to see the product and to purchase it if you’re interested in trying it! I’m so happy and excited about this new addition to my website and I’m looking forward to hearing your guys’ feedback about it as well!

Chat soon,

xx Marilyn

Peer review #2

TMYLIFE home page banner

The website I had the opportunity to review for my second peer review is TMYLIFE by Nicole Tam! Nicole’s website is a blog created to write about her day-to-day life while sharing her personal thoughts on various topics and interests. Most of her blog posts are based on challenges or things she’s doing or going through, which I really love. Her blog feels super relatable, comfortable, and open because of the tone and language she uses in her posts. Being around the same age as Nicole and going through similar situations and challenges in life and reading through her posts make me feel that I’m not alone. Her blog definitely gives off big sister or best friend energy and I think because of that her website has the potential to be liked by many people similar to me! A lot of people nowadays want to be consuming content online that feels relatable, and I think Nicole’s blog definitely gives that feeling. 

Nicole’s first peer review mainly highlighted and complimented the aesthetic, style, and design of her blog, and I think that she’s done a great job at continuing to thrive in this area of her brand. I really love the different headings she has been posting within, “A Day in a Life” and “T Time!”, and I love the style of her blog posts and the format she’s been following in each of her posts. However, one suggestion I have is to create a PUB 201 category as well for all PUB 201 related posts. As a viewer, I’m not sure where I can find these posts and I think having a dedicated category for that content would be really helpful. Another suggestion I have is to add some of the content she has in her “About” section to her home page. Being on the TMYLIFE home page as a viewer, I wonder what about the purpose, value, and reason of the website so I think having a blurb to highlight the individual or personal aspect of the website would be helpful! Also, adding the mission statement to the home page somehow would be beneficial for the audience to keep them wanting more. 

In terms of social media channels and posting, I can see that Nicole has her Instagram and Pinterest linked which I think makes sense for the purpose of her website! I think it would also be great to make the social icons a bit bigger for her audience to recognize and know that she has social media platforms that they can follow her on for more content! Overall, I really love Nicole’s blog and aesthetic, and I think she has a lot of potential to expand her website more on social media and to gain a larger audience. 

Peer Review 3

For this last peer review of PUB201, I would like to discuss Gracie’s website, “Sincerely, Gracie“. First of all, from the web title, I assumed her blog would be where she shares her journals and stories, as it gives off a friendly and warm vibe. With her tagline as “My Photos & My Thoughts”, it proves that my guess was close. From what she wrote on the front page, it appears that she is a writer and photographer from Vancouver, BC.

Gracie’s home page. Source: http://sincerelygracie.com/

The Content

There are five main pages featured on her home page menu: Amusing, Photo Diary, Digital Portfolio, PUB 201, and Contact. I find the Musings page quite interesting. It is not a bad idea to have a separate page for the comment section since the audience may share their thoughts on more general inquiries than the fixed topics within her content. So far, all of her content is in the form of images, and they are all gathered in the Digital portfolio section.

The Design and Layout

The website’s theme is a bit plain with the two main colours of blue and mostly white. So far, this choice of design and layout has yet to convincingly represent her branding as a writer and photographer. The layout leaves too much white space on her pages. I really like that she made good use of her photographs. However, more description is needed to connect with the audience, and I would absolutely love to read more about her story.


As for Gracie’s home page, I think that she should write more about her brand’s story, how she found her passion for photography, and maybe talk a little about her plan to develop the website. Throughout the course, Gracie shared that her brand’s mission is “To convey inspiring stories, experiences, and messages through photographs”. However, with a lack of information on her brand’s backstory, this mission may not be fully conveyed to the audience. It would be better for her brand if she included the statement at the end of her about section. Also, instead of having a separate page for contact information, she could create a sidebar widget that includes links to her social media. This not only gives the audience a broader view of her social platforms but also acts as a filler for white spaces on her site.

A website with a unique layout and colour palette is very important to make your brand stand out and reach more viewers. What Gracie could do to improve her visual presentation is reflect on her brand to find a suitable yet outstanding theme and try out different colour combinations that catch people’s eyes. One more thing I would like to suggest to improve her portfolio is that she can sort her work into different sections. From what I see, her portfolio now looks like a photo dumpster with no specifications. I think maybe adding titles and descriptions to each group of images would be a good way to communicate with the audience.


Overall, I like the branding idea of “Sincerely, Gracie”. It would be perfect if Gracie spent more time exploring some of the plugins to upgrade the web design. That way, her brand would attract more viewers. I hope to see more written content on her website soon, as I am curious about her as a writer.

Good luck Gracie!

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Looking Forward: Process Post #11

Today was our last PUB201 class, and to be honest I’m a bit sad. Publishing classes are always a fun and a highlight of my semesters — I mean today in our online lecture we started playing pictionary, what other class would that happen in?!

But alas, as it is the last class that does beg the question: where do we go from here?

for me, I’m looking forward to continuing this blog. Especially in a time like this I think not only those who pop in and read my posts need this — but so do I. It’s been so much fun to post different reviews, lists, and everything in between this past semester and I’m looking forward to continue to do so!

However, in the upcoming weeks I do have exams. And if I can’t focus on studying when I’m freakishly busy with work — how on earth am I going to be able focus when I literally have all the time in the world!? So, that being said, I will most likely be able to get back up and running some time after the 20th of April (my last exam).

I look forward to posting all the reviews (mainly books because literally every single new movie has been pushed back to the end of the year or 2021 🙁 ) While also using all the knowledge I have gained from this course. Including SEO, Google Analytics, and everything in between. I also look forward to taking more Publishing courses in the future, and most likely sticking a shiny Publishing minor alongside my English Major.

P.S — Thank you Suzanne and William!

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Motivation: Process Post #10

The other day I was talking to my friend over FaceTime. I said to her, “my TA wants us to post a response to the overall discussion question and then a another response to someone else in the class — I don’t have time for that!” To which she replied, “actually Emma, you literally have all the time.”

This was a moment when I really noticed the way that this change in pace has affected my motivation to complete school work. I literally have no excuses. I’m not going into work right now, so my usual excuse of having to teach kids dance from 3-6 Thursday through Sunday isn’t going to work when i’m not up to date with the many tasks I know i’m behind on. And I literally have all the resources I need in order to be the successful — ie: working computer, internet, food in a kitchen — and I’m very lucky for that. However, I did realize the other day (while trying to write I long paper in approximately 48 hours) that I have the most uncomfortable desk chair and will likely need to upgrade before my summer courses begin or my back WILL begin to resemble a cave man’s.

But anyways, I’m hoping that in the summer I will be able to motivate myself to keep up to date with my classes. I think (and i HOPE) it will be easier due mainly to the fact that those classes are always going to be online. What was most difficult these past few weeks was not just doing classes online, but the abrupt switch to online. I felt like I got whiplash going from a 3 hour lecture on film history to a short recorded lecture that my professor sent out.

So that being said, I’m hopeful for the coming months. And I hope that this all starts to settle down soon. Because if there’s one thing that’s not helping — it’s everyone freaking out.

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Imagine: Process Post #9

I’m not too sure if everyone has seen this, but last week actress Gal Gadot posted this video to her Instagram account. And it caused quite an uproar. I could see the sentiment behind it, but all in all I think it’s pretty cringey. Most people just asking: “what’s the point?” There was no charity attached to it, which could’ve to possibly encouraged people to donate to those in need — but it was instead a bunch of celebrities awkwardly singing Imagine by John Lennon horribly off key. Although, what it did do was make me interested in looking to see what different celebrities have been doing online. Not only trying to brighten people’s days, but helping charities as well. And two of the main things that stood out to me were: living room concerts and late night talk show hosts.

Living Room Concerts

“living room concerts” are simply celebrities (usually singers) posting videos on Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, or through live stream services where they perform different songs. While I’m not sure who did the first one ever, John Legend was one of the first big celebrities to do it. Doing an Instagram Live along with his wife Chrissy Teigan and their children. What’s interesting about this is that when John posted the video to his Instagram, he used the hashtag #togetherathome, tagged fellow musicians to do the same, as well as included links to the WHO (World Heath Organization) and this website. And what the website shows is a way in which they are getting different musicians to come together and encourage people to stay home — all through music.

Similarly I’ve been seeing videos on various different Broadway themed sites. As some of you might know, all of Broadway has shut down due to the virus. Thus resulting in thousands of Broadway performers (and those who work behind the scenes) without work. Sn Broadway.com’s youtube channel, they’ve been done a live show hosted by Rosie O’Donnell with numerous broadway guests — all to raise money for The Actor’s Fund! Similarly, Broadway World has been posting videos on their website and Instagram page of various Broadway performers doing living room concerts. And another one of my favourite things has been Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has been asking his Twitter followers to send songs they want him to play on the piano — all while sat in front of his beautiful and giant Cats oil painting! (another awesome charity is Broadway Cares, known for the Aid’s fun they regularly raise money for when shows are happening!!)

Late Night Talk Show Hosts

Now I’ll admit, one of my guilty pleasures is watching late night talk shows. I don’t watch them all the time, but I really enjoy some bits of Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon’s shows. And in this quarantine I’ve actually been tuning into Jimmy Fallon’s Youtube channel quite regularly, because he’s been doing The Tonight Show: Home Edition for the past few weeks. I believe Jimmy Kimmel was actually the first talk show host to do this, but I genuinely enjoy the way that Fallon has been running his show from home. He has his wife film (as well as not laugh at a single one of his jokes), and his two young daughters often steal the show — with an inability to listen to him, and the youngest always ending up climbing all over him. What I also really enjoy about Jimmy Fallon’s show is that they’ve been highlighting various charities throughout the episodes (on the first episode alone they have already raised over $53,000 dollars for Feeding America). So I think he’s done a really good job of not only continuing to entertain people, but bring awareness of what’s going on. [Seth Meyers, Conan, James Corden, & Stephen Colbert have also been doing at home episodes of their talk shows]

I think there’s quite a difference between the video Gal Gadot posted, and the one’s I’ve included here. I get what she was most likely going for, but it definitely didn’t have the same affect as these celebrities, who are coming together to bring awareness to not only the virus, but bringing help to those who have been affect most — all while continuing to do what they do best and entertain the general public.

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The Power of FaceTime: Process Post #8

I’m an introvert. And so, I’m someone who usually prefers time to myself. So, if i’m being honest, self-isolating hasn’t been the most difficult thing for me to do. However, as the weeks go by, I have begun to get restless. As much as introverted people enjoy their time alone — that does not mean that we are all recluse. Some of the things I have enjoyed doing during my self-isolation is reading and watching movies, but I’ve also been FaceTiming my friends and family. I think I’ve used the FaceTime app on my phone more in the past couple week than I have in the however many years I’ve had an Apple device! (like 8 years?)

I live at home with my parents, but I have three older brothers who live with their significant others. Two of them live in Vancouver, while the eldest and his wife live in Toronto with my baby niece. And so, in order to talk to one another regularly, we’ve been having makeshift family dinners in order to connect with one another during quarantine (at about 3pm because of the Toronto/Vancouver time difference and because my niece eats at 6’clock). In some ways I would actually say that the virus is bringing us closer, as ironic as it might sound. I see the two brothers who live in Vancouver quite often — but I’m definitely not able to talk to the oldest as often. Although, through the power of the internet, we’re all able to check in on one another and make sure everyone is doing well — and it’s of course awesome to see my baby niece walking and “talking” (she has about two words in her vocabulary “light” and “hi”).

Alongside my family, I’ve been trying to stay in touch with my friends as well. One of my best friends and I would always meet up at SFU on Wednesdays, during a break we both had between classes. And so, even though we’re not in school, we’ve been facetiming at the same time! It’s not only nice to see my friend, but it still feels like I’m maintaining a part of my old routine.

So while I’m doing a lot of reading and watching a lot of movies, I’ll be honest and say that those are things I would always do during my free time. So, during this time, I’m also trying to keep in touch with those around me — and I’d suggest you all do the same!

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A Spoonful of Vanilla Helps the Medicine Go Down! Peer Review #3

For my third (and final!) peer review I am going to be looking at the blog of Christina from A Spoonful of Vanilla

A Spoonful of Vanilla is a blog filled with recipes everyone and anyone can try at home — giving us recipes that are also vegan and gluten free ones too! With a simplistic and minimal theme, what really stands out and draws you in are the photos. The baked goods she makes stand out against the white background and almost beg you to try and make them yourself. And while each photo is of a different baked good — they all fit together cohesively to push the aesthetic of her blog as a whole. And that is seen even more so when you look at her instagram — made easily accessible through both the side bar and icon in the upper left corner. Her Instagram is filled with just as many photos of delicious looking treats. Baking is inherently visual, and so I think instagram is a great social media app to use alongside the blog. Because If you see a photo of a delicious looking cake on instagram, and the caption says: “there’s a simple recipe for this in the link in my bio” — I’m going to click the link! I also think this minimalistic theme makes it look very professional and clean — two things you definitely want from a baker!

One of my favourite features of this blog is that on each recipe you can easily adjust the serving size — which would make it about 100% easier to double or halve the recipe if you wanted to. And if you’ve tried to halve a recipe, you would probably know that it’s not as easy as it may seem! Each recipe also clearly shows the amount of servings it will make, the difficulty of the recipe, prep time, baking time, and then the complete time in which it will take you to complete the recipe! I really appreciate that this is at the top of the recipe — because it helps to know right away if you even have time to make something, or if it is easy enough for an amateur like me to do! 

Alongside her recipes Christina also sells her baked goods. This is easily noted by her “orders & pricing” tab at the top of her blog. And she clearly states that she works in a peanut-free kitchen— which is great. However, this feels much more like a blog — with a business on the side. Rather than a baking business — with a blog on the side. A suggestion I have is altering the bio on the right sidebar. And perhaps saying “I’m a baked based out of Vancouver, BC etc etc.” Which I think would put the business aspect front and centre! I also think adding an about me page could similarly help and make the site feel more personable — thus making customers feel like they know who’s making their cookies!

Other than that Christina has an extremely cohesive blog. It is clear that it’s about baking, and the mix of visuals and text are perfectly balanced. One of my hobbies I’ve begun to adopt in the last few weeks of quarantine is baking, so I’m hoping to try some of Christina’s recipes soon! 

you can find a spoonful of vanilla and Christina’s recipes here

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