Find out why “I’m Angy” and why you should “No Talk Me” this week on my new week wrecker post!
Web development is constantly evolving and no longer requires one to be an expert coder or even familiar with computer science. Presently, there are a wide variety of services and applications that make creating a website notably more accessible. Through much trial and error my blog “Lore of the World” or LOTW was made. It is a blog that aims to build upon all sorts of stories from literature and cultural beliefs. The demographic is fairly open but skews towards an audience between the ages of sixteen and older. As I chose to keep it within the classroom for now, the current public are primarily those in their twenties. I imagine my public; as mentioned by Matthew Stadler in “Finding Your Audience in the 21st Century”, to be people who have similar interests already and those who have yet to discover topics like folklore. Stadler explains that a “publication is the creation of a public…created by deliberate acts”. Even for websites that prevent users from commenting, creating, or interacting in a noticeable way, that is very much an act which creates a specific public. While users for LOTW cannot make their own posts, they have the option to comment and add to the discussion. Ideally, feedback and a distinct relationship will be created as it continues to grow and evolve. That said, it is difficult to create something that you enjoy creating for yourself while also capturing public attention. Too easily can one fall into either a project for self-satisfaction and frustrate their audience, or have their persona change entirely which may potentially alienate the original audience.
Upon reflection, there is an apparent difference when comparing my original expectations to the current status of my blog. Genevieve Gignac’s peer review is an excellent representation of both the positives and faults of my blog that I am aware of. I have found her input to be very helpful. Likely due to the minimal content outside of course material, Google Analytics revealed that there was not a considerable amount of traffic. Understandably, users currently spend the majority of their time on both the Home and Introduction pages respectively because these pages have the most content. Additionally, I kept my articles and advertisements about my blog to this class which also accounts for the low numbers. I am continuing to work on many of the suggestions she has made such as removing some widgets. Another example is creating a site logo and integrating more of my own art. While I have found many difficulties passing on the ideas for my blog from my head unto the screen, I have confidence in my artistic abilities. As the semester continued, I questioned why I chose not to pursue an art blog instead. Ultimately, I came to understand that my attention was split between a subject I find interesting to discuss casually, and one that is more appropriate for a traditional publication such as a book considering the scope of what I originally tried to accomplish. As I will have much more time coming this spring, I am aiming to completely restructure my blog. The darker theme will be similar, but I hope to improve the user interface and experience. In order to increase traffic to the blog, it is a must to create a more active social media presence. For the current iteration of LOTW, however, I prefer to keep it as a hobby rather than concern myself with popularity. This course allows us to also focus on future endeavors. For instance, I plan to convert it into an art blog.
Initially I felt that publication was primarily content focused. Although I still believe this to be true, online presence goes beyond merely posting regularly and having basic social media links. I chose to forgo additional social links for several reasons. The first was a lack of confidence towards constantly updating pages like an Instagram. This is something I would change once there is more content. The second of which is my lack of experience with web design. As it is my first attempt, the smaller audience within the class allows me additional freedom to change and experiment. Most importantly, anonymity helps to create a more mysterious atmosphere that compliments my blog theme. Contemporary publication require content creators to “carefully craft the way we appear…behave, and…the way we are perceived by others” (Max). This is a key idea for those who intend to monetize their content, services, or their persona. Even a silent or relatively removed persona affects the entire atmosphere. The less a content creator interjects, the more users can build an identity for the website themselves. An example of such includes forums such as Reddit, Tumblr, and 4chan. Even if the moderators are present, their interactions with users are generally minimal. As a result, the content is unanimously user generated despite content control remaining with the moderators. This in itself is a method to draw users. Just as “our identities are constructions that we tinker with as we go” websites also evolve over time based on their user base (Max). Gignac mentions how LOTW “is not meant to create an online persona but more like an “online world” that other users can engage with and learn from”. She is correct with her assumption, and a “fascinating fantasy land” is what I had hoped to create for individuals such as herself who have no initial interest in folklore or fantastical literature. Anonymity is important to me for both logistical reasons and as a way to allow LOTW to develop alongside its public.
It is this contemporary online space which allows one to connect with a wide variety of people and who all express their own opinions or ideas. Ideally, a blog allows for the author to express their viewpoints, opinions, or creative works. It is crucial to consider who one’s audience is. Depending on the preferences of the creator, they may or may not decide outsider attention is important. As technology evolves and becomes more accessible to people of every type of background, competency, and expertise. Whether it is solely through my own incompetency or something else, it is clear there is a large deficit between my ability to create a certain aesthetic on paper and actually implementing that aesthetics in a functional manner for a website. Developing a user-friendly cyber infrastructure demands a lot of time. Even with the many tutorials and services available, it is a daunting task to someone like myself. Despite this, I did manage to create an outline and learn some of the basics. While disappointing, it allows me to reflect on where these deficits come from and critically think about what can be done in the future. While I am uncertain about continuing my blog as it currently is, I do intend to take the skills I have learned and implement them for future projects.
- Stadler, Matthew. “What Is Publication? A Talk by Matthew Stadler.” Publication Studio, 11 Sept. 2010, https://vimeo.com/14888791.
- Max, J. 2015. “The Publication of Self.”
- Gignac, Genevieve. “Peer Review #1.” Genevieve-Gignac, 28 Sept. 2019, http://genevieve-gignac.com/posiel/peer-review-1/.
- Dijck, José van. “‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn.” (2013).
a supernatural being belonging to the spiritual traditions of Algonquian-speaking First Nations in North America.
Depending on the many First Nations that speak an Algonquian language, including the Abenaki, Siksika, Mi’kmaq, Algonquin, Ojibwe and Innu, the spelling and pronunciation of the word “windigo” differs. Wendigo, wheetigo, windikouk, wi’ntsigo, wi’tigo and wittikka are all alternative versions of the same term. Other names, such as atchen, chenoo and kewok, are also commonly used to refer to the windigo.
According to most Algonquian oral traditions, a wendigo is a cannibalistic monster that preys on the weak and socially disconnected. In most versions of the legend, a human becomes a wendigo after his or her spirit is corrupted by greed or extreme conditions such as hunger and cold. In others, humans become wendigos when possessed by a prowling spirit during a moment of mental or emotional weakness.
Origin and History:
The wendigo legend existed in Algonquian oral history for many centuries, long before Europeans arrived in North America. Stories have circulated on the Western frontier in the 1800s, among Plains First Nations peoples and employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). Some HBC traders’ records describe encounters with Indigenous spiritual leaders claiming to descend into “fits” of religious passion. Indigenous peoples often accused these people of being wendigos; HBC traders sometimes described them as mad. In some cases, community members or relatives of the accused killed the suspected wendigo as a precaution. In one example, three men killed Cree spiritual leader Abishabis after he became greedy and killed a First Nations family — which led others to believe that he was a wendigo.
1. Legends of the wendigo coinside with the beliefs, social structures, and traditions of the people who tell these stories. For some, it serve as a reminder about what can happen when individuals are left outside of the community.
Extreme hunger, cold, and isolation were ever-present and threatening facts of life for many First Nations people living in the northern boreal forests. In fact, most wendigo stories begin with an individual or small group trapped in the cold wilderness without food for an extended period. Wendigos were said to kill lonely travelers or a transform into a member of a group before eventually killing other humans it encountered.
2. Greed and resource sharing.
Human survival often depended on communal cooperation. Any individual who refused to share local resources, especially in times of great deprivation, would be a social pariah.
3. The injustices that Indigenous peoples have faced in Canada.
A more contemporary symbol which encompasses the historical pain from residential schools, the restriction of rights in the Indian Act, the Sixties Scoop and similar policies. Armand Ruffo’s film, A Windigo Tale (2010), for example, uses the monster to tell a story about the inter-generational trauma of residential schools. For some Indigenous persons, the wendigo represents the forces of colonization.
- No harassment
- No solicitation of any kind
- Illegal materials or promotions are not tolerated
- Constructive criticism matters
I took my general idea for the website from other creepy-pasta esque websites such as Lorepodcast.com. Lore primarily features an excellent podcast. If you’re interested in the topic of cryptids, I highly recommend it.
– I understand my meatier posts can be quite wordy, and that is likely a problem which stems from my own bias.
– I think the darker theme looks nice. It sets the mood and is an easy way to visually indicate what kind of website it is
– As you may have noticed, I try to keep myself relatively anonymous
– In regards to the first Peer Review of my website, I certainly am trying to implement some of the suggestions. The main concern being content, but also a few edits
Today I am reviewing Lucas’s art blog Krowmeat Does Art. I have previously been to his site before and find his aesthetic somewhat amusing. It is a mixture of creepy meets purposely gaudy. The colour story of his blog consists of a saturated dark blue and a very bright yellow. This coincides with his general art style which is also primarily made with glowing primary colours, heavy line art, and graphic novel inspired as illustrated below:
Along with the artwork he has currently posted in his blog, he also has linked an instagram which showcases other artwork as well as a twitter account. He has an “About” page which gives further insight about who he is as a creator and what his online persona is like. In some of his posts, Lucas muses about his art process and other artists he gains inspiration from.
Lucas’s blog is fairly easy to navigate. It has different categories that separate class posts from general posts and art posts, and also includes a nice menu tab on the upper left corner. There are some grammatical errors present in posts, however, said posts are exceedingly casual in tone. Thus, I find no issue with that. Again addressing the blog’s aesthetic, but it is possible he may alienate potential viewers. It is definitely an aesthetic chosen for the author rather than his audience, however, I understand it and I do not feel he needs to change it considering his blog is aimed at a more casual rather than professional crowd. Content wise there is not much to add. Lucas is clearly updating regularly, and has a decent amount of artwork and posts on his blog in addition to his social media pages.
As a former art student myself, it is nice to take a slightly deeper dive into another’s process and aesthetic. If I was to add a bit of wisdom I received from my own art professors, I would recommend also having a more business professional website or social media contact if Lucas wishes to monetize or sell his skills in the future. It is a very difficult thing as an artist to accept that sometimes you have to sacrifice your own tastes a bit and make a compromise in order to get your foot in the door so to speak. That said, I am certainly not saying he should or has to follow this advice. I am merely pointing out that the art world is a fickle mistress. Overall, it is a good blog and I look forward to more posts from him.
For this Peer Review assignment, I will be reviewing Mehtab’s blog, Vancity Exotics. It aims to “create a clean, minimalist, and futuristic website” about cars and car culture. As of right now, there appears to be little implementation regarding this specific topic. In “Process Post #2”, Mehtab expresses that this is, in part, due to his busy schedule. He also feels frustrated regarding the aesthetics of his website. Personally, I feel he has accomplished a fairly nice and clean looking website. Granted, I completely understand his frustration. The only aesthetic issues I see involve the inconsistency with the banner text-type as illustrated below:
I do not feel this is more than a nit-pick, however, I felt it should be noted. The simpler text type on the bottom image I feel is a better fit in comparison to the fancier one above. Particularly due to Mehtab’s statement that he wants something that feels “minimalist” and “futuristic” is accomplished on a rudimentary level. The black, white, and grey colour story is nice and easy to read. As for user interface improvements, either having a tab bar or set categories would be useful. Currently, most posts appears to be listed under the sole category “uncategorized”. This makes it a bit difficult to navigate between posts related to the website’s topic versus process posts or assignments from class. Not all of his posts are under this category as well, which makes navigation a tad more cumbersome. Content wise, as stated before, is somewhat bare and I would suggest adding an introduction page to really emphasize what he enjoys and knows about cars and car culture. As of right now, the only thing that shows his audience what his website is about are the header and “Process Post #5”. In terms of an “online self” being created on this blog, there is not much. I believe Mehtab wants to keep his identity somewhat anonymous for the time being. Overall, taking a look at a peer’s blog was a great way to see how students express themselves in different ways with the same tool set. I think it is an inspiring thing to see, even with personal struggles.