Process Post Week #1 – Stranger Encounter
My most recent stranger encounter(s) have mostly been, oddly enough, on the skytrain to and from work. I’m not going to count the numerous times I’m out downtown on a weekend and my friends and I will somehow end up in a bizarre conversation with some of the less desirables of the city.
The most interesting one I had was a couple months ago, when I was just minding my own business playing a game on my phone. All of a sudden, a middle aged man leaned over and commented how the graphics were amazing. I have an iPhone XS Max, so in reality, anything on it would look good. I looked back at him and told him that it was the most current iPhone model, and that due to how expensive it was, I would expect it to look nice, as a joke of course. He then proceeded to show his phone, and it was the Samsung S10, which was a very good phone too. We had a little conversation about technology, specifically about Apple versus Android.
Once the technology conversation slowed down a bit, he asked where I was headed too. Assuming it was just harmless small talk, I continued the conversation, saying that I was headed to work. He said that he too was on his way to work, and all of a sudden, started to go on a rant about how hard it was to be a business owner. Being curious, I asked what his “business” was, in which he quite figuratively and literally, danced around the question like he was auditioning for Dancing with the stars. I commended him for his effort, and asked him for the name of his business. He told me it was “World Financial Group”.
The moment I heard the name of this company, I knew something was not right. He then proceeds to ask me what I do for a living. I reply by telling him that I work at CIBC under financial services, which is also a very broad answer seeing as I would obviously work in this department because it’s a bank. He tries to poach more details from me but I don’t say much. I reply with the typical Beedie kid reply of “Let’s just connect on Linkedin”, which we do.
When I get in to work, the first thing I look up is “World Financial Group Vancouver” on Google. Long behold, multiple reddit posts surface berating this company. Here is one in particular:
It seemed clear that the obvious answer was to ghost this individual. However, when he called me a couple days later to book an interview with me, I gave into the temptation and kindly told him to F*** off and that what he was doing was unethical. He started to question my intelligence saying that I rely solely on what people saying on the internet, which I found funny as he was trying so desperately to defend his pyramid scheme.
How it differed from online interactions:
Online interactions are never as real. As much as I hated this experience, it was still real. I always valued that more than online interactions as I genuinely dislike how everything is so centralized on the internet nowadays, even as a millennial. I feel as though a lot of online interactions are simply fake.
I’ve “slid into those DMs” before, and I’ve gotten to know someone very well via this method of communication countless times. But every time I meet them in person for the first time, they’re always a little different. I attribute this to the fact that the conversation(s) we’ve had were not real. Yes, we may be texting, but generally speaking it’s not the same. This is why I much rather meet someone in person first, get to know them, then continue to communicate on the online world.
I mean, nowadays, we have dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, which is crazy to think about sometimes because if these are “dating apps”, then why are we trying to manufacture something that is real with something that isn’t real.
With that being said, I believe that the way the world is going, online interactions will only continue to diminish the need for real, face to face, human contact and interactions.
Process Post Week #2
The installation and setup work was quite difficult for me. I had to go on YouTube to look up a tutorial on WordPress. I’ve never made a website before, so I was completely in the dark. After the first couple of videos I watched, I was able to find a theme I could work off of. I wanted a modern touch to my website, but also a simplistic one too. For my home page, I decided to put a video of Apex Legends, one of my favorite video games, in the backdrop because right away, people can distinguish what my website would be about, a video game centralized website, the theme I decided upon from my vision board. I’ve even put the “learn more” button under it so that if people are confused, they can be immediately redirected to my about page to learn what my vision board for the website is. As for the other pages, I’ve added some basic photos that are geared towards video games, such as an Xbox controller, to further add to the theme. In the coming weeks, I’ll add more to further enhance the theme on my website.
Process Post Week #3
After reading “How I Got My Attention Back” by Craig Mod, I found that I resonated the most with Mod’s use of his cellphone for gaming the most. I am an avid gamer, both at home and outside, especially since I commute so much to work and school. Mod specifically mentions Clash of Clans and how he was fully hooked and that he had to put time and dedication in. This is the same for the games I play too, such as Motorsport Manager, where I overlook a racing team as they progress through the ranks. Similar to Clash of Clans, the game requires a lot of dedication. This time could probably be better used, hence why I now opt to read the daily newspaper on the sky train to work.
Personally, I have appeared offline from social media in shorts stints already in the past few months. More specifically, I don’t delete my accounts, but I simply delete the apps from my phone. The reason I’ve done this from time to time is because I sometimes feel insecure seeing the lifestyle of my peers and celebrities. I have a lot of friends on social media, and so I see a lot of stories and posts. It’s often things like travelling, partying or couples doing stuff together that I see. Sometimes, seeing all of that just makes me feel like I’m not doing much with my life. So, I just delete my social media and stay away from it for a while, until I’m ready to come back. I’ve done fine without it, as usually my social media purging stints will last about 2-3 weeks. I survive just fine because I still watch Youtube videos and play video games. Additionally, real life interactions help too because they feel more genuine. One thing I’m surprised Mod didn’t mention was how a lot of people tend to put a front on their social medias, pretending to portray themselves as someone they aren’t. This is another detail that makes me appreciate social media less nowadays, as more and more people do this, and it quite honestly is rather annoying. I recently just deleted my social media apps again, maybe this time, I can push it to a month of being offline.
The way I decided to map out my website was to split the PUB 101 assignments up. One section will contain my weekly work, which includes the process prompts and blogs. Another section will include my assignments, both main and mini, such as my essays and the meme from week 2. Lastly, I will have a section devoted to peer reviews so that my peers can more easily access this area to see the constructive feedback I’ve given. Below, I’ve posted a screenshot of the overlay of my website. I’ve decided to go with YouTube as my main avenue of marketing my website because I have the biggest outreach there. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are important, but I would utilize Facebook as a page where I post whenever I have a new blog or video, Instagram would be used for a personal basis and I would post a story whenever a new blog or video was up, and Twitter would be the same but I would interact with fans more on here via tweets. I have a YouTube channel set up already from a couple of years back where I posted some gameplay commentary. In my ideal world, I would have my YouTube channel be more of a general gaming channel, like “Drift0r”, where I may focus on one game or two during its initial release but will also broaden out to other topics in the gaming world. I would then put my website in the description and promote it, mentioning that if my fans want to see my blogs, they can feel free to do so in addition to watching my videos. Below is a link to my YouTube channel.
Process post Week #5 – Website & Mauve Page
The website I will talk about is Reddit. I recently started to use Reddit a few months ago, and it has become one of my most used sites.
What worked for me on this site is the fact that the interface is very simple, especially on Mobile. This makes it far easier to find sub Reddits to join and follow to have discussions, unlike Facebook pages where there can be many of the same pages, especially buy and sell groups or TV shows. Being very much into video games, I follow many sub reddits for the games which I play, so it’s crucial to be able to easily find just one big discussion group as opposed to seeing a few of the same groups clumped together and figuring out which one to actually join. Secondly, I especially like how I have my regular feed for the sub Reddits I follow, and can toggle to the popular feed with a simple swipe to explore posts from other sub Reddits too. I don’t use Reddit on the computer, because I feel that on the computer, Reddit looks rather cluttered. I’ll touch more on this later. Lastly, I like the anonymity aspect of Reddit. The design of the website makes you feel a lot safer because you can be a lot more anonymous than on most other sites by not having to put personal information up. For other sites like Facebook, you would have to because it is a social media platform one uses to communicate with others. Reddit almost sites on the forum of social media, because it can browsed through just like Facebook, and is also a discussion forum, which I feel compliments each other very well in terms of its design because it gives the user the choice of being more open or anonymous, although most people are anonymous.
What doesn’t work for me is Reddit on the computer, as previously mentioned. It seems cluttered and I generally don’t like the experience when browsing on a computer because everything seems to be out of place and it’s easier for me to miss something, I may find interesting. Additionally, the direct messaging feature isn’t that great either. The interface feels a bit outdated and it’s generally a bit of a hassle to access your inbox. It’s a minor tweak, but I feel that it could go a long way. I feel it’s like this because Reddit is not a platform for direct messaging, but this way, it takes quite a bit longer for me to share something with a friend if I want to send them a link to a post, for example. Lastly, they should add a tagging feature, just like on every other social media platform out there. As for now, you can only do this by downloading an external add on for your desktop. These are just some minor design details, but I feel the implementation of them could help greatly boost the usability of Reddit in general for its users.
As for my personal website design, our guest speaker, Mauve Page, got me to really think about a few factors when looking at my website. These include balance, rhythm, proportion, contrast and unity. I’ve since went back to my own website to see if there is a good balance going on, which I think there is as I haven’t cluttered my website. Rhythm is an ongoing thing and I hope to maintain it throughout the semester. Proportions are something I may need to touch up on, such as playing with my fonts, although I like what I currently have. I think the contrast on my home page is the best out of all my pages, because the way the font is and how the video in the background is integrated highlights my website title really well. Lastly, as for unity, I’m still trying to figure out how to make each page somewhat identical to have an overall constant theme. As of now, my home page, about and contact page are far superior because it has the best overall flow and themes in my opinion.
Page also mentioned a website called mattkersley.com/responsive to see how fast our blog loads and how it looks on different devices. I found that on mobile, it tends to take longer to load my website because my home page contains a video in the background. I’m going to keep it this way still because I think it’s worth the tradeoff for my overall website and blog theme.
Page then discussed what UX and UI were. UX encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. UI generally refers to the visual elements of a product or experience, the look and feel, the presentation and interactivity of the product. It’s crucial that not only the design of the website looks visually appealing, but it also has to be practical. This got me thinking about the tweaks I can make to allow my audience to better navigate my website.
I thoroughly enjoyed Page guest lecture today, and I will surely implement what she has taught us into my own website!
Process post Week #6 – My Audience
The audience I have been imagining thus far is those of avid gamers like myself, who like to read not only about video games, but also want to know about the business side of the gaming world. I already anticipate that most gamers, like myself, like to read about and watch videos about the games they’ve played, but when we talk about the business side of things, it sparks a whole different conversation. Therefore, my goal is to resonate with my audience by not only giving fair and objective reviews of the game, but also discussing the companies business models and give a final verdict on how I feel these two factors affect the overall game and company behind it. Hopefully, my audience will be able to relate to what I talk about it in my posts and can further add to the discussion.
For my layout, I’ve gone with a homepage with a video in the background of Apex Legends, what once was my favourite game, so that my audience will know right from the beginning, what my website is geared towards to. This is something rather uncommon, at least from what I’ve seen, so I feel as my home page is what separates me from your typical gaming blog. For my blog section, I added a photo of an Xbox One controller to father add to the details of my website. Within the blogs, I made sure to talk about numbers in some way shape or form to better illustrate the business side. As I’ve said, my audience shouldn’t just be gamers, but also gamers who are keen on seeing what big name companies are doing to their consumers. I don’t have excel spreadsheets, but rather, I will more than often input a picture illustrating the game’s online store for micro transactions so my audience is able to follow what I am trying to say. Apart from that, everything else is pretty standardized because those aren’t a part of my weekly discussion blogs. I have essentially tried to distinguish one half of my site as being my blog side, and the other side being for school.
Process post Week #7 – Responding to the Peer Reviews
After having read Marissa’s review on my website, there were a couple of things that stood out to me which I knew I had to change immediately.
Firstly, she mentioned that my home page had pulled her in, and she even watched the whole video in the background of my home page! I’m glad this was the case as I put a lot of thought to the home page as the first impression is always the most important. As for the other aspects of my home page, she mentioned that the “Learn More” tab I have on my home page should redirect her to the content itself as opposed to the “About” page, which I would kindly have to disagree, as my vision for the website is all there and I don’t think the reader would understand what my website was truly about if they went straight to my articles. She also mentioned that my home video was too short, as when it ended, it become a typical Youtube prompt suggesting other videos. This was a great catch, as I thought it was going to be playing in a loop. I have since fixed this issue by shortening the loops, so the video doesn’t get to the point where the recommended videos come up. Lastly, she said the quote on the bottom of the home page added no value, which I agree with, and have also removed. The original idea behind this was just to add a bit of spice and eeriness to my website, because this quote came from one of my favourite games, “Bioshock”, I thought it would be cool. These were the design elements that I changed for this week.
In terms of the blog page, she suggested that I could edit the way the blocks were, such as removing the solid colors. To me, I like it this way as it’s more organized, rather than having a mix of different colors on the page. It would get fairly messy if I did this, and I have tried this before. She also said that my blogs were a bit lengthy and I could add some more photos to help better guide the reader when I talk about the business models of these companies from a reader’s standpoint. I have since gone back and shortened my blog posts a bit and added more photos. I know I do sometimes tend to write on and on, but going forward, I will be more attentive to ensuring my blog posts aren’t too long and will better illustrate the business model. I even have had my friends read my articles on games they’ve never played to see if they understand what I am talking about when discussing the business model, and they’ve said that they do, but that it is a bit lengthy. The general consensus is that my posts are too lengthy, so this is a thing I have changed a bit now and will continually focus on over the semester.
Lastly, Marissa mentioned that my “Assignments” page and “Peer Reviews” page were different than the other pages in that, it was hard to read. I know this is this case, and I have more or less tweaked my assignments page. I’m not sure how this happened, but it seemed that the theme I am working might have had a glitch when I was trying to edit these two pages, causing them to be completely erased and making me have to start from scratch. At least now, for my assignments page, I have now formatted it a little better and have tried to make it easier to read. My intention here was to make these two pages very simple anyway, because since these pages are for school, I didn’t need it be following the “gaming” theme of my website. Marissa also briefly mentions my YouTube channel and that I should promote it on my “About” page as well. I’ve since done this because initially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have the two intercross, but after the Mini Assignment #3, where we had to create a story, I was inspired to revive my old YouTube gaming channel and will cross promote it with my website!
Process Post Week #9 – Data Analytics
In my opinion, I’m fine with having some data trails because I enjoy having a personalized feeling whenever I browse my social media or the internet in general. It does get annoying sometimes when I see the same ads over and over again because I may have clicked on one item while browsing on Amazon, but I think there are more benefits to having this feature as opposed to not because I have sometimes discovered things I ended up buying to fulfill both my needs and wants. I do think, however, that these companies who hold our data and information should be under heavy control and moderation so that the risk of it being hacked is diminished and so that the companies cannot use this information for other purposes. In a way, I think it’s a modern and cheeky way of sending us “spam mails”, but in the form of advertisements. These companies bid against each other to pay Google so that they can have their “spam mails” or “ads” displayed to us.
Personally, I wouldn’t say I have thrown in the towel because I’m pretty conscious with what I put online and what not. But I’ve accepted the fact that these big companies spend millions of dollars to acquire us as their customers, so it’s not surprise anymore that even if I do the slightest thing on the internet, that it’ll come back to me in some way shape or form. Most commonly the Amazon ads example I mentioned above. It’s just the way that these companies function now to yield every last bit of profits. However, for personal information on social media, companies like Facebook and Instagram should be held more accountable when they get “hacked” and personal information is taken. We instill our trust in them and although nothing may ever be perfect, I feel strongly that it should be highly regulated by the government, specifically when it comes to Facebook potentially selling this information to companies, not so much the hacking part because I feel that’s always a possibility. We should also just be more careful with what we put online nowadays too because anything we put on the internet is permanent nowadays.
Process post Week #11 – Transmedia
The channels I will focus on for my Transmedia strategy will be primarily between YouTube and my website. I feel that this is a perfect balance because while my YouTube channel can offer commentaries and gameplay videos, some of my audience may prefer to read my thoughts instead of watching a video. I follow a YouTuber named “Doug Demuro” who reviews cars on his YouTube channel, but also promotes his own website where he writes written reviews. This is more or less what I have been trying to do throughout the course, as my gaming channel is where I’ve posted some of assignments already.
I plan on utilizing social media platforms too, but I don’t think I can use these other channels as effectively as YouTube and my personal website. I would use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote my channel and blog whenever I had new content. I would do this either through an actual post and through the story features of all platforms.
All in all, I believe that in order to maximize my Transmedia strategy, I have to provide constant data on my YouTube channel and blog so that my social media outlets can be active too because I will then have a reason to post on those channels.
Process post Week #12 – Community Guidelines
- Report any harmful or any suspicious activity
- Uphold respect amongst fellow blog readers when commenting
- Enjoy my content!
- No verbal abuse or hate speech
- No unauthorized or unsolicited advertising or spam
- No unlawful acts
- No discussion about any unlawful acts (ie: Drugs)
- No selling of items or scams
- Don’t invade each other’s privacy
- Removal of comments that have violated the guidelines and:
- 1st time ban of 1 day (24 hours)
- 2nd time ban of 1 week
- 3rd time ban of 1 month
- 4th time ban is a permanent ban on your account
- Removal of comments that have violated the guidelines and:
These guidelines are very basic and I feel that they suit my website because I ultimately just want people to be able to engage with each other without any sort of harsh consequences. Hence, why it takes 4 bans in order to be banned from my website permanently too. I will reinforce these rules through my own moderation for the most part, but if I could, I would hire a moderator to check through everything once or twice a day to ensure my website looks fine.