Tag Archives: pub101

Sources of Happiness

Snow in Cantonese: 雪 [syut3]

It was the last day of Blackcomb and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola yesterday, so my family friend took us to the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola which I was two minutes late and missed it last time.

Some people dressed up as bunnies or unicorns jumpsuits, some children even added bunnies’ ears to their helmet to celebrate Easter. I managed to take a lot of photos of people smiling which makes me happy too. It’s heartwarming to see so many smiley faces that I don’t get to see so often in Hong Kong.

  • Showing her daughter how wonderful the nature is

Check out the other photos I took at Whistler here!

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Marine Wildlife at Stanley Park

Sea lion in Cantonese: 海[hoi2] 獅[si1]

Stanley Park is the place I would always want to go whenever the sun comes out. It’s my third time visiting Stanley Park since my arrival in December (fourth time in total because I paid a visit a few years ago). The first time I came for the sea wall, the second time I came for the cherry blossoms and the third time I came to show my father around.

It’s a sunny day and 420, I cannot think of other places to visit when downtown is filled with the smell of weed. Originally I wanted to show my father the cherry blossoms in Stanley Park so he can take photos, unfortunately, most of them have wilted already. I guessed the best time to visit was two weeks ago when all the flowers were in full bloom.

It was a bit disappointing not seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom, so we just casually walked around the park and enjoyed the sunshine. While my father was taking photos of two ducks on the sea, I spotted a black smooth surface floating above the water and quickly dived again. We waited for several minutes and it appeared again. I immediately took some photos. Guess what is it?

It’s a sea lion!!!!!!

I have never seen a wild one before, I hope we’ll get to see more of them during our trip to Tofino in 4 days time! Let the travel marathon begin!

Click here for more photos taken today!

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Cherry Blossom!

Cherry blossoms in Cantonese: 櫻[jing1] 花[faa1]

It has been raining all week except for Wednesday, so I went to Stanley Park to look for cherry blossoms! It wasn’t as pretty as I thought it’d be because when I see the photos on Instagram, they look very pink, but when I see them in real life, it is much whiter than what I saw on Instagram (looks like people have photoshopped too much!)

I was a bit disappointed, to be honest, so instead of taking pictures of the cherry blossoms, I took pictures of people who are taking photos of the cherry blossoms. At first, I noticed a lady who was sitting under the tree smiling. I took a photo of her. She later started walking around and I noticed that I accidentally took quite a lot of pictures of her, so I thought it’d be polite to send her the photos. It was my first time to walk to a stranger and tell her I secretly took pictures of her. Imagine if someone walks to you and says things like this… Luckily, she was very friendly and was happy that I took photos for her! She has never been a model and has people take photos for her because she never knows how to pose, which I have the same struggle. So I kept chatting with her while I press the shutter in order to capture her most natural look.

I am so happy that she likes my photos and I can make her feel special and confident! Maybe I should do that more often when I secretly took photos of strangers, that could be one way of making friends. Who knows?

More photos that I took on Weds here!

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Process Post 11: Online Shaming

In Week 11’s class, we discussed online comments and online shaming, featuring Justine Sacco’s twitter post. It read: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” It went outrageous on the internet after her flight took off to Cape Town.

When we comment online, we usually don’t think much before posting. Unlike person-to-person dialogues, it doesn’t require immediate reaction. You can think about the perfect response or how to defend. It is unfortunate for Justine that she doesn’t even have the chance to defend herself as she was on a flight when her post spread like fire on Twitter. Her life was torn immediately; she lost her job, online shamed by other users. People who retweeted barely know Justine in person, but they can ruin her life in just several seconds with a click on the internet. This is how powerful social media can be.

We are afraid to make comments in real life, worrying that it may hurt the person’s feeling, not knowing what to react to others’ criticisms. However, when you see other users posting similar comments like yours in the online community, you feel like your opinion is backed. You can also post anonymously which seems you don’t have to take that much responsibility. Therefore, netizens teamed up and created a hashtag – #HasJustineLandedYet and online shamed Justine’s reckless tweet.

I then start to reflect my online behaviour. I think I’ve never online shamed anyone because I rarely comment on any social media platform. I know how fast words can spread on the internet and I didn’t want to online shame anyone or be online shamed, so I’ve always been kind of passive when coming to online activities. I am afraid to voice out any opinion online because I’m afraid people against my stance would judge me. I think the online community would only be more harmonious if people can learn how to respect others’ opinions even if they’re against you. Also, online users should think twice before making a comment, the impact could be more viral than you think.

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Essay 2: Not the end!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:



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Product of the Month

The product of the month that I have chosen is fashion related instead of beauty related. If you guys haven’t read my other ‘Product of the Month’ posts then let me give you a short explanation. This is an area where I share my favourite product of the month that I have been wearing or trying out. All of the products I have chosen so far have been beauty related so now I’m going to show you guys a fashion favourite for March.

This months product is the ‘Levi Ribcage Straight Jeans’. These jeans are some of my favourites for many reasons. They are very comfortable and they fit very true to size. They haven’t stretched out on me yet and I’m not sure they will. The bow on them makes this jean super different because I’ve never seen a pair of jeans with a denim bow attached, but the good thing about these jeans is if you aren’t into the bow, it is also detachable. I love these jeans because they are long enough and aren’t cropped looking at me. I am tall enough for normal lengthed jeans to look cropped on me and it is one of the most annoying things.

Hope you guys like these jeans and find them comfortable. Definitely go and try them!

xx

End of PUB101

As the spring semester comes to an end, so does PUB101. I am very glad that I decided to take this class and I would recommend it to anyone. I have learnt so much about how to create something that I am super interested in. I had always wanted to create something that had to do with something that I enjoyed. It has shown me that I am able to create content and that I can actually get views. I have decided that I am going to try to keep my blog running once PUB101 is over because I am interested in blogging and I want to keep it up.

Hope you guys have all enjoyed reading so far!

xx

Essay #2

This term in PUB101 has changed the way I have looked at publishing. I have never been someone who has had a blog, let alone posting every week for it. This blog has definitely opened up my thinking because I never would have thought I was going to have a blog at this time of my life. I also never thought I would enjoy creating blog posts every week. In the beginning of this process I knew I wanted to create something that I would take pleasure in writing about. I also thought if I was to read a blog, what type of blog would I want to read about.  During this spring semester I have taken both PUB101 and PUB201 and I choose to write about different subjects for each course. For PUB101 I chose to write about fashion and lifestyle and for PUB201 I chose to write about beauty. I have been very invested in my blog and making sure all my blog posts have been my best work I could produce and making sure that I am posting something that people will enjoy reading. Since I have chosen to write about fashion and lifestyle for PUB101, I am going to focus on those two categories during this essay.

I have created a fashion and lifestyle blog called ‘Beauty Blondie.” I chose to use these categories for my blog because I have always been interested in fashion and lifestyle. I have always been someone who wants to show people new things I have discovered or show off an outfit that I really enjoyed wearing or new items that I found and became obsessed with. Since I was in grade 7 I have always been into fashion and watching peoples YouTube videos whether it be fashion or lifestyle type vlogs. During these times it was mostly YouTube videos, but then these youtubers started to create blogs. They were pretty much the same concept of their videos, but instead they were typed and put into words. I wanted to create something like that but I never really did anything about it until I started in PUB101. I created ‘Beauty Blondie’ for people who enjoy fashion and lifestyle type blogs. I wanted people to enjoy what they were reading and wanted them to learn new ideas and tips from my writing. Anybody is welcome to visiting my blog no matter what gender or age you are, but my blog is more directed towards teenagers because I am dealing with myself mostly and I am 18. An 18 year old’s style and interest are very different then someone who is in their 40’s. I wanted people to gain something new after reading my blog and coming back to keep learning. I try to give my audience what they want but I don’t have that many people coming to my site yet so nobody is complaining or asking for certain type of posts. One thing I do to try to keep my followers happy is to just keep posting things that work with fashion and lifestyle so people don’t get annoyed if I post something that has nothing to do with “Beauty Blondie.” Once I get around 50 more followers on my blogs Instagram account I will start doing polls to see what people are interested in and what they want to read about. I would love  if people started to leave comments on my blog posts on what they want read next and I would be happy to honour that.

During this process of creating my blog I started to use google analytics and it was very helpful to learn about my audience. Google analytics informed me about my audience for my blog which was super interesting to learn about. I could see that around 62.96% of people who were visiting my blog were from the United States and 33.33% are from Canada. I was also surprised when I saw I had one visitor from the UK which is interesting because you don’t think about people from Europe visiting your blog. Google analytics is a super good tool to have because you can cater towards the people seeing your posts. If a majority of people from a certain country are seeing your blog then you could post about things that they can access where they live so they can relate to you and they would most likely come back to the blog. I am also able to see the percentage of people who are returning to the blog and people who are new. This is a good feature to have because then you can understand how many people are coming back out of the amount of people who have viewed the blog. One of my favourite parts about google analytics is that you can see which posts have gotten the most views and which ones people are not looking at. This is a good feature because it shows me what people enjoy reading and what they didn’t like. I wanted to use google analytics because I wanted to see who was interested in reading my blog and where it was the most popular. I also believed that have google analytics would influence me and what I posted because I was able to see which posts were the most popular and I could cater my future posts towards the analytics. I was also just curious to see where the people who visited my blog were from and how they came across my blog. I have learnt a lot from google analytics and very glad that I had downloaded it.

I had many ideas about what publication was before I started this class and since January I have learnt so much about it. When I first came into PUB101 I thought it was going to be about me writing blog posts, but with no help from the professors. During the classes I have learned so many tips and tricks about publication and things that helped me in the long run with my blog. Some of the tips that have stuck with me a lot are tagging people & companies if I am talking about them in a post (week 2), how to design my blog properly so people will be engaged (week 5), who my audience is and how to expand my audience (week 6) and how using social media will help my blog grow no matter what (week 7). Some of my goal are to use my socials a lot more then I have been. I want to use Instagram to promote my blog a lot more and to get more people to view my blog. My main goal is to keep my blog running as long as I possibly can and to keep creating whatever I want. I am really grateful that I was given the opportunity to post about whatever I want without anybody telling me what I am allowed and not allowed to do.

In conclusion PUB101 has taught me so much when it comes to the publication of one’s self and it will help me when I continue the blog without having the class to lean back on. This class has shown me how to appeal to a certain audience and that I can post anything and because I am passionate about the blog, it will always be something I will want to do. I will be keeping up my blog for as long as I can and I am very excited to see where it will take me in the future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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

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

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


Process Post_11 Online Shaming

People often think that the internet has provided lots of advantages for their daily purposes. However, in my opinion, the issues of cyberbullying occur more and more often within the current society. This week, we are assigned to watch a TED Talk, “When online shaming goes too far,” by Jon Ronson. Throughout the presentation, Ronson uses a real story on Twitter to represent how cyberbullying can actually affect one’s life. To illustrate, Justine Sacco who unintentionally posts the funny little acerbic joke- “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” on Twitter. Sacco was just a PR woman from New York with 170 Twitter followers before making this post; however, all the sudden she was targeted on the cyberspace. Afterwards, people who saw and share Sacco’s post tend to start making jokes-very despicable ones at her. In this case, even her job and her employers were as well affected by this cyberbullying. In addition, according to Jon, [Justine Sacco] was Googled 1,220,000 times. Also, Google made somewhere between 120,000 dollars and 468,000 dollars from Justine’s annihilation (Ronson, 2015.) In other words, Sacco’s life was changed in a really bad way just because of this unintentional joke. Nonetheless, people who shame Sacco behind their electronic devices got nothing. At this point, even though Sacco should look before she leap the acerbic joke online, people should also think from different point view before they make the comments. As we know, there are more and more people take others’ comments very serious on the internet. In this circumstance, these sharp comments sometimes will cause the tragedy that cannot be undone. To indicate, there are many celebrities tend to be mental illness after reading the comments on social media. For example, Cindy Yang, one of the social influencer in Taiwan who suicided in 2015 because of cyberbullying. After understanding of these two cases- Sacco and Yang, I personally believe that cyberbullying does significantly affect human’s life. Therefore, people should really think deeply before taking these “shaming actions” towards each other via the internet since they do not know when these actions will lead to the unrecoverable tragedies. In short, cyberbullying no doubt is one of the serious problem that needs to be solved in this generation.

Process post_10 Multi-channel Marketing

Choosing and applying the best marketing strategy is the most important concept to introduce a product into the market. However, living in this “improved technology” generation, single channel marketing is no longer the best and only marketing strategy anymore. This week in class, we have Darren and Sarah from Capulet Communication to discuss about the importance of multi-channel marketing with us. Personally, I believe that the multi-channel marketing strategy does successfully help a company to bring its brand and product to its customers.

Myself as an example, I voluntarily work in my brother’s company to help them to hold the concerts- mainly singers from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in Vancouver. Yet, although there are many Asians in Vancouver, actually the tickets are really hard to sell if we do not apply the multi-channel strategy. To indicate, we have to apply different marketing strategy towards different targeting customers. For instance, we have to place many posters in different areas to inform about our shows; such as Asian markets and restaurants for people who do not usually use the internet and schools that have more younger Asians who might be interested in the concerts. Also, social media significantly are the main channels for us to promote the shows. For example, Instagram and Facebook help us to spread out the propagandas via the internet. To illustrate, whoever see our posts on the social media will share the information to their family and friends and so on. As the result, there will be more and more people know about our shows. Moreover, the one-by-one conversation is the most required service that we have provided to our customers. In this case, it is not only easier for our customers but also for ourselves to answer the questions regard to the concerts. Therefore, throughout these multiple channels to promote the concerts, we have successfully nailed the SOLD OUT show.

Ultimately, I have more understood the importance of the multi-channel marketing strategy after rethinking the process of holding the concerts. According to Darren and Sarah, if we want to favourably reach different audiences, achieve different marketing goals, we have to tell [our] story in different ways. In short, these multi-channels really help many companies to promote their businesses in this new improved technology generation.

Process Post 10 – Risky is safe, safe is risky

This week we had Darren and Sarah from Capulet Communications to share about affordable marketing in a multi-channel universe with us in class.

I worked in a PR agency as an intern for five months last summer. I mainly had to do clippings for our clients, mainly luxury hotels and resorts. I scan newspapers, magazines and screenshot online articles, social media posts when they got coverages. I realise that almost all our clients have several social media platforms to publicise themselves, mostly Instagram and WeChat (for the Chinese market). Part of my job includes helping the clients to look for influencers that match their brand images, and I realise that most of them are active on multiple social media platforms to develop their online self. Most influencers are active on Instagram as a platform to interact with their fans and audiences, while they use websites or YouTube channels as a relatively passive platform to allow audiences to know more about their work and private life. This is indeed a great way to increase its traffic.

There are a growing number of brands who rely on social media to expand their influences and reach a greater variety of audiences, even for reputable hotels who have a long history of development. They use attractive images, usually instagrammable spots in the hotels, and uses short captions to attract people’s attention. People now prefer bite-sized information rather than wordy passages, it is challenging for the PR to bring out the distinctive features and hotels’ selling points by just a few sentences when drafting for captions. There is so much information online and everyone can place ads, thanks to Google and Facebook. PR must, therefore, develop a gimmick or something authentic that creates discussion in our society.

If marketers and PR only stick with safe options, they would always be mediocre. Darren shared a quote today in class – “Risky is safe, safe is risky.” This not only applies to marketing, but also to our lives. We should take a step forward to leave our comfort zones, make bold moves and risky decisions to stand out from the crowd.

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Mini Assignment 6 – GIF!

via GIPHY

It’s almost the end of the semester and I’m trying to get myself together. Wipe my tears, take a deep breath and continue on my term papers. Hang in there guys, just several more weeks to go!! (This semester goes faster than I expected!)

p.s. One of my friends always says I’m good at picking gifs when texting, so I’m really excited when I get to make my own gif for the assignment! Can’t wait to send it to my friends!

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Fashion favs for spring

FINALLY. SPRING IS HERE. We are finally able to dress for warm weather without being too cold. I have some fashion favourites when it comes to spring fashion and I’ve been waiting to talk about it.

A t-shirt dress is a must. It is super easy to just throw on and pair with any jacket and any type of shoe. You can pick up these type of dresses in many colours so it looks like you are wearing something different each time. They are also super comfortable to wear.

The next item I think is a must to have in your closet for the spring and summer time is a pair of white pants. White pants are a staple because they look fresh and bright! You can pair them with any coloured shirt and pretty much any type of shoe.

I believe that it is crucial to have a skirt in your collection. Plaid skirts have become very popular again (even if your not in private school) and they are super cute to dress up, or dress down.

The last item that I am going to share is a long silk dress. I think these types of dresses are so cute because you can make them super dressy or super casual. They are very pretty on anyone and they look perfect for an occasion.

Hope you guys like some of these items and check them out online! You will find many more items like them on the Aritzia website. Thanks for reading!

xx

PEER REVIEW No.3: Eats and Feats

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


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

–– Eats and Feats author Helen writing about her purpose

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

THE VISUAL STRUCTURE

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

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

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

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

THE WRITTEN WORD

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

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

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

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

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

THE OVERALL CONTENT + Suggestions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out her extremely generous review of my blog here.

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

Peer Review 3 – The Honest Skincare Guide

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

Design and content

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

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

Content

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

Audience

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

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

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

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

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

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

Process Post_9 SMART Goals

It is the 9th week since I have developed my personal blog, “Maggie Loves to Share.”  However, I notice that being a blogger is not that simple as I thought. Indeed, as a blogger, I understand that there are many things that I still need to learn in order to improve my blog. From the last nine weeks, I have gradually understood some important sources that I need to take care of as a “startup blogger.” To illustrate, from the previous process posts, “know your audiences” and “connection,” I understand that it is important to know my readers more if I want to attract more readers. At this point, I have to observe what kind of topics my readers would like to see more through my blog. Also, maintaining the connections between my audiences and myself is another important process needed to focus on. In other words, I have to link with my audiences through building up different connections. However, despite of knowing my audiences more and building more connections, setting up the SMART goals is also another important concept that I need to do for my blog.

This week in class, we have the guest speaker, Monique Sherrett to discuss the importance of setting up the SMART Goals for our personal blogs. The SMART Goals are described as follow:

S– Specific – setting up the specific target to hit; Benchmark or starting point is clear.

M– Measurable – a metric (target) that can be tracked.

A– Actionable and Achievable – it is possible to improve based on this action.

R– Relevant and Realistic – based on the history of performance, this is a reasonable goal.

T– Time-based – timeframe; how much time is required to reach the target.

Although I have learned the concept of SMART Goals from other classes, actually I have never thought about setting up a smart goal from the blogger’s point of view. In this circumstance, I decided to set up a smart goal that I can achieve in the short-term period for my personal blog. My smart goal will be described as follow:

S– create more criterias to attract different audiences.

M– looking for different interesting topics that my readers would like to read.

A– asking for different suggestions from my current audiences (eg,. My family and friends)

R– it is possible have the weekly or monthly meeting with my recent audiences to discuss about how my blog can be improved.

T– this smart goal plan can be runned for the short-term period (eg,. 2, 3 or 6 months goal)

Throughout this smart goal plan, I believe that I can attract more audiences from different perspectives. Ultimately, I would like to thank Monique to bring up the idea of smart goals in class. In my opinion, I think setting up the smart goals is no doubt a really important process to improve my blog.

Peer Review_3

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

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