Essay #2 |
As Pub 101 comes to an end, I have been reflecting on the things I have learnt, the things I have tried and all the trials and errors I’ve done. Through PUB 101: The Publication of Self in Everyday Life, I was given the opportunity and incentive to create my very own blog, which is the first step I took towards creating my own publication. It is the act of creating something to communicate with the public, and that is exactly what I wanted my blog to do. I wanted to create something I enjoyed communicating about, something that I was interested in. After contemplating long and hard, I realized I’ve always wanted to try creating a food blog, and that is exactly what I did. “Helengoeswhere” is a collection of experiences, whether dining at the many amazing restaurants or visiting the beautiful places Vancouver has to offer, it was a diary of my experiences and thoughts, but shared towards the public. I wanted to share what spectacular things Vancouver has here because I believe there is never a shortage, and there is no such thing is “I have nothing to do” here, and that is exactly who my blog is for, who my audience is. It is for the people who want to explore and try out new things, people that don’t know what to do but just need a little nudge in the right direction with enough information.
Reflecting back, I was very nervous to put my name on my blog because everything I did would be connected to me, personally. I was afraid of people judging my words, my opinions, my thoughts, and my creation. But what I write about is my honest opinion, what I write is the positivity I want to share towards my audience. As John Suler termed “The Online Disinhibition Effect,” he talks about the phenomenon and how it can take of factors of dissociative anonymity, invisibility, and others. I wanted to conceal my identity, to not have the eyes on me and my every word and action, afraid of judgement and full of insecurity. But more days went on and I learned about what publication really is, how I can succeed, how I can create a successful and safe blog, I realized that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my work and that making myself known would better benefit my own blog by giving it personality and personal connection.
From learning through our peer reviews, I really appreciated Rowina’s review on my blog. Even as a dear friend, she was able to give me constructive criticism and feedback to better improve my blog. By taking in these points, I am able to make my blog more consistent, through design, content and editorial. Even adding Google Analytics has heavily improved my understanding of my audience and how my content should be shared. From going from 50 views to almost 2000 views, I have an understanding of where my audience comes from, if they connect from my affiliated Instagram links, or they see me on search engines and other fellow peers blog. I definitely look up to her blog, as she provides many great aspects and content that I love reading, check her blog out here.
Through all the course readings, I have learned about public spheres, personal cyberinfrastructures, editing, designing, publics, content, audience, channels and how to navigate myself through the social waters. I enjoyed all of the guest speakers because they provided us with real-life examples, tips and their own experiences in creating their own platform. It really gave me insight towards how the things we post, the things we say can have an effect, whether be believe it too or not.
If there’s one thing I can’t quite seem to be satisfied with, is my own theme. Even from all the peer reviews and countless WordPress themes to choose from, I find it quite challenging to be pleased and content with it. When Mauve Page came in and was our guest speaker, she taught us some design guidelines and tips to help us create a visually and user-friendly interface. I changed my major theme about three times this term, mixing it up, playing with different amounts of columns, feature images, carousels and font. Creating a food and adventure blog means that your images need to be decent, it needs to make sure the food looks edible and it should really capture the aspects of the location and space. This can be challenging for many reasons, one, it feels very awkward taking food pictures; two, not all lighting is the best lighting; and three, certain circumstances make it impossible to take the photographs we want to. For this reason, I wanted to make sure my theme highlighted the few photos and made my content pop. By following some of Mauve’s guidelines, like incorporating white space, and using my peer reviewer, Maggie‘s advice on tags, I took my blog to the next level. Two weeks before the term ended, as PUB 101 would too, I was finally pleased with the way my website looked. Even though my theme may look different, my goals are still the same. It is to deliver good content that even my online self would enjoy reading, that it would make their day or future event better because they’ve found a new favourite restaurant or hike.
I’ve been contemplating whether I should continue this blog and as each day goes by, I get more and more immersed in what I can present, what I can share and what I love to do, explore. Helengoeswhere will be a continuation after PUB 101 completes because the things I have learned are invaluable and I want to continue to learn and grow alongside. Eats and Feats
Chan, R. (2019). Delving Into A Taste of Vancouver
Page, M. (2019). Mauve Page
Su, M. (2019). Peer Review #2
Suler, J. (2014). The Online Disinhibition Effect