Essay #2

This semester has been a wild ride from start to finish. We saw highest of highs, but oh did we see the lowest of lows. Creating this website has not been an easy task. Blogging was always something I wanted to get into, but never something I found myself being able to bring to fruition. COVID-19 changed everything for me. I was suddenly given so much time to do the things I had been putting off. I finally started reading books again, I started painting again, and I finally started the blog I had always dreamed of starting. I originally had started my own online publication via Wix.com. They had great tools, and their site was easy to navigate. However, the domain was not what I had wanted, and I hadn’t really figured out exactly who I wanted to be online. I had no sense of brand identity, and barely any ideas for content. But I had my foot in the door and I truly believe that is what allowed me to grow and learn so much this semester.

            This website is really just about me. The things that interest me, the things that inspire me, and the things I hope that might interest others like me. This blog allowed me to more deeply discover my own interests, to understand my own identity and my cultural tastes (Chittenden, 2010). I am passionate about health and wellness, and although I am still on the journey myself of fully understanding my body and what it needs, I think it’s helpful for others, but also myself. Health and wellness are about much more than just working out and eating right, it is also so important to pay attention also to emotional and mental wellbeing. I want to travel the world someday, and obviously the world is at a standstill in that area, one day I know it will happen. As for the lifestyle aspect of my site, it is kind of categorized by all the things that don’t fit into the other categories. Fashion, daily life, music, film, trying new cocktails and discovering new restaurants.

I imagine that my public is people just like me, as I tend to gravitate towards others like me. As I’ve written in a few blog posts, specifically in “The Next Emma Chamberlain?” I discussed the figures who are inspiring and interesting to me, however I suppose my content could be for anyone. It’s not by any means being gatekept, and it was created for anyone who might seem to care. The audience I imaged however turned out to be very different from what it actually is. After analyzing my Google Analytics, my audience turned out to be very different than I expected. I was expecting women, age 18-24 to be the main readers of my blog, but as it turns out, I actually have a higher percentage of men visiting my site. 55% of my viewers are men, and 45% of them are women, and the age category is higher in 24-33 than it is 18-24 which is rather unexpected as I am only 20 myself. This was very unexpected and went completely against the public I had imagined for myself.

            My website is pretty neutral, and essentially everything I write about could potentially be applied to anyone, so addressing my audience could just stay the way it was. The design aspects of my site are all things that I love, from the colours to the widgets. After reviewing more of my analytics, I discovered that some of the areas of interest for my audience are not things that I usually talk about on my site. The top two interest areas were sports and electronics, which is pretty far reaching for what my site is about. However, I grew up playing a ton of sports, and health and wellness are areas of my website, so I definitely could see a few sports related blog posts coming. I love watching football and baseball, and I still play soccer and softball so these could be areas that may be of interest for some of my audience. As for the other area, I mentioned in my “So Many Socials, Not So Social” blog post that I wanted to start being more active on my YouTube, and I would certainly need a camera to begin. So maybe a blog post or two about the process of starting my channel, and the decisions of choosing a camera to buy.

            My views on publication has changed dramatically since the term start. I thought that my content had to be perfectly laid out, with lots of images and links, but I’ve really learned that it can be whatever I want it to be. I realized that this is my own publication, my own personal online self, and I am not perfect, so why should my website be. Basu wrote, “what you write about is not a fossilized bit of commentary for a blog post. When you learn more, you add to it” (2020). This is so relevant for me as I have learned so much not only about myself, but I’ve learned so much that I want to share with others. Looking forward, my goals for this website is to continue to post content. While it may not be as frequent as it was while I was in PUB 101, I don’t want to just stop posting because the class has ended. Running a blog is something I wanted to do for a long time, and it would seem rather counterproductive to just stop now. I am enrolled in PUB 201 next semester, so hopefully that will give me another excuse to continue posting and continuing to grow my online self. My dad has always said, that there’s no time like the present, and Jesse Thorn said, “you will never accomplish anything unless you start making stuff now” (2012). So, here’s me, making stuff. I hope you stick around.

xx Savannah

References

Basu, T. (2020, September 03). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/

Chittenden, T. (2012, July 08). Digital dressing up: Modelling female teen identity in the discursive spaces of the fashion blogosphere. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676260903520902

Thorn, J. (2012, November 04). Make Your Thing. Retrieved from https://transom.org/2012/jesse-thorn-make-your-thing/

Image from: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/211809988713276759/