Baby stays educated
Beebee and Jimmy making friends in PUB101!
Beebee and Jimmy making friends in PUB101!
I mean really, in a world of everyone, who is anyone?
The jellylift admin is just a fraction of my personality, and really, “jellylift admin” is a personality and character of its own. While it carries reflections of me, it is not wholly me. If I were actually this chaotic and unhinged and manic all the time I would be extremely concerned (unless I already definitely am like this, and to think that I’m not only emphasizes my delusional personality). The fact that this is just a character highlights precisely the wonders and dangers of the online world. We can be anybody we want to, which is both awesome and kind of terrifying. There is a lot of talk and discussion of being our authentic selves online, which is funny considering that at the dawn of the internet, we were all trying to hide ourselves online as much as possible. When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have my name or pictures of my face anywhere online, and my parents were incredibly strict about it. In the 8th grade, when I graduated middle school, everyone was posting photos from the Grade 8 Dance, and my friends were posting stickers over my face of pictures I was in, because I simply could not have any part of me online. As the digital sphere has grown, anonymity has become harder and harder to attain, requiring individuals to go to greater lengths to smooth out their digital footprints, and clean up their breadcrumbs.
One part of this week’s discussion on the POSIEL site is:
“what about our private, domestic, inner selves? Where do they exist in a pervasively networked world?”
I thought this was an incredibly interesting and thought-provoking question to wrap up the semester with. Is there even space for our authentic selves? First of all, so few people actually have a solid grasp on their identities and authentic selves, as people tend to craft different personas in different contexts – work, school, certain friends groups, from person to person. Second of all, I want to address a piece of the question itself.
I recently watched a piece called Over and Over that was created by an SFU theater student, and performed by a very talented group of first years in the theatre program. It was a sort of contemporary performance-art type of piece, addressing the ‘bedroom self’ and uncovering the different parts of who we are, alone in our bedroom. It had a drag rock-n-roll aesthetic, with my key takeaways being themes of self-love, depression and self-destruction, acceptance, and pure euphoria – among other things. Our private, domestic inner selves made me reflect on this piece, and the way this art form was used to convey that version of the self. But that’s not entirely my point of bringing it up.
The audience was very strictly directed not to take photos or videos, as it was prohibited and being professionally documented by a crew of people specifically for the SFU archives. Yet, I caught people secretly recording parts of the show, and even caught one of my friends taking some videos. Later as I was doom scrolling through Instagram, I observed how my friend had then posted that video to her story along with some pictures.
Ironic, don’t you think? A play about the private, secret, hidden inner self, posted on Instagram!
When you think about it, our inner private selves, so long as we are connected, can’t exactly stay hidden. We repost a funny meme, and that reveals a piece of our humour. We post an opinion or a comment, and that reveals a piece of our mind. We post a photo of ourselves, and whether it is staged or not, that still reveals a piece of us.
I guess my point is that maybe our domestic inner selves cannot exist within the “pervasively networked world,” but must remain in a separate, disconnected universe.
Like our bedroom.
I’ll make this short and sweet!
Truly, what else needs to be said? Micky you were such a fantastic TA this semester, and even if you have no clue who I am because I barely speak and interact with anyone in this course I just want you to know how much I appreciate you <3
You’re such a funny girly pop and you always say something to make me giggle in lectures and tutorials. I think you’re super cool and always loved how engaged you were with the course content. You are very approachable and if it weren’t for my superiority complex inhibiting me from swallowing my pride and asking for help, I definitely would be asking lots of questions and coming to you for web assistance. But just know that you create a very fun and comfortable environment for us students! But…
I simply have to say thank you for bringing me to my wife, Melissa.
It was through our Peer Review pairing that you brought us, 2 Jellycat-loving fools, together. For years, I’ve yearned for a Jellycat wife and thanks to you, I can finally call her Mine <3
Keep your eyes peeled for not just a wedding invite, but a Maid of Honour request 😉
This is a term I had never heard of before, but after some reading and inquiring, it began to paint a picture of something I had definitely seen before. The idea of using multiple media platforms to expand on and tell one story in different forms is a concept that we’re unknowingly so used to, that giving it a name – transmedia storytelling – doesn’t even ring a bell.
We’ve all seen multiple iterations of the content we love: books that have movies and games and clothing lines, games that have movies and toys, toys that have shows and games, shows that have amusement park rides and stores… I could truly go on.
We even see this on a smaller, strictly digital scale, such as blogs that have corresponding social media platforms. It’s honestly pretty common nowadays, and anyone who’s trying to be someone typically has their name plastered across an Instagram, Youtube, Tiktok, their own website, and probably more that I haven’t got the energy to dig up right now. In fact, to pull a quote directly from this week’s reading,
Which I think perfectly depicts the state of content creation across the… well… across everything, I guess. More than anything, transmedia storytelling keeps you from being confined by the form rules and structural boundaries set by one platform. I was discussing this with a fellow PUB101 student, and he mentioned how on his Instagram, he wouldn’t be able to do projects like his Mini-Assignment #3, and on his blog, he wouldn’t be able to upload his more “low-key creative endeavours.” In fact, he talks all about it in his process post, and I’m not trying to mooch off his content so I’ll cut the talk of his work right here.
Circling back, the idea here is that in an ‘era of collective intelligence,’ we are offered this incredible luxury of transmedia storytelling that only continues to expand with the boundless wonders of the entire digital sphere.
But I know what you’re here for.
you’re here for a bigger and better Jellylift!
Why on earth would I title this post “Jellylift Can Only Get Bigger and Better” if I wasn’t planning to bigger and to better Jellylift? All this talk of transmedia storytelling, and yet how am *I* going to implement it you ask?
Well, hear me out.
If you’ve been following Jellylift at all, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling to keep up with lifting content. With the way I tend to post and share, I’ve simply found that the nature of a blog is better suited for the type of content I’m sharing about Jellycats. And so, I suppose it’s time to let the (Jelly)cat out of the bag, and admit that I’ve been keeping a secret.
A very BIG secret.
Jellylift, unbeknownst to you all, is not actually confined to this blog. There is an extension of the blog, @bulkabani, where you can find all the lifting content your little heart desires. Why keep it hidden you ask? Refer to my discussion of my gatekeeping tendencies in Physique Update #1, and you’ll find everything you need to know.
@bulkabani works to tell the same whimsical story that Jellylift does, but with more of a focus on weightlifting. Content in the forms of reels and shitposts is better suited for Instagram than this blog, which is what you find across @bulkabani and is a prime example of how Jellylift is going to transition into transmedia storytelling.
In a perfect world, @bulkabani is not a private account, and is open to be shared with the world just the same way that Jellylift is. But go easy on me, okay? We aren’t there yet.
In an even more perfect world, @bulkabani would not only be an extension of the Jellylift blog, but also of a Jellylift Instagram – which does not actually exist yet. As much as being glued to social media causes me actual physical pain, I would be lying if I didn’t say I absolutely love Instagram as a platform. Over on @bulkabani you get lifting memes, constant physique updates, PR clips, and more! And so the goofy tone that is carried across Jellylift would translate perfectly into Instagram.
And would only make Jellylift bigger and that much better.
One of my favourite topics of discussion in this course is publics and audiences, something of which I have addressed in two different process posts – Jellylift Needs A Facelift and Knock Knock… Who’s There?
I loooooooove attention, so thinking and reflecting on how people view me, how to get more people to view me, appealing to certain people in pursuit of some sort of validation… man I just eat that sh*t up!
In last week’s tutorial we discussed the difference in use of apps by different generations, with Spotify and Instagram being the most used apps for Gen Z. I thought “huh that’s funny, I wonder what my most used apps are,” and proceeded to check and confirm that they were in fact also Instagram and Spotify. Instagram is my primary means of communication and I probably only spend a total of 3 minutes a day without music playing so I honestly wasn’t surprised at this information.
When I linked this idea to my audience and how my target audience is definitely Gen Z, the discussion of most used apps made me think about how I have previously addressed music and Spotify on jellylift. Such as in my NOISE IN YOUR F**KING EARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! post, where I very briefly debated linking my Spotify to jellylift. I have always liked the idea of using music as a means of connecting with an audience, and enjoy getting new music from people I follow on Instagram. This ranges from people I follow posting songs on their stories, to fitness influencers uploading playlist links to their favourite music to lift to. In terms of audience growth and improving user experience – something Hollingsworth (2018) addresses as a means of implementing SEO to your site – adding Spotify would be a perfect method of recruiting more engagement. Not only would it enhance the quality of my content, but it also helps to grow and expand my audience, giving the user’s a call to action and a way of personally interacting with my site aside from simply reading my posts. It also adds an element of likeability. Because really, what does my blog mean to other people? Why should they stay updated with it? What are they getting out of jellylift?
As I have discussed before, most of my posts and my content is for myself and my own enjoyment, in my own digital garden (Basu, 2020). It’s all my humor, my writing style, my interests, my everything. Why should anything I have to say mean anything to anyone else?
When mapping out jellylift I didn’t really have a plan to reach a certain audience. The whole process felt more like a personal passion project. After looking at my analytics and reflecting on the fact that jellylift is actually reaching people from PUB101 and other sources (like who the f**k in Russia managed to find jellylift?) has started to make me hyper aware of what I post. I started out with the intention of logging my weightlifting progress here, and yet I haven’t posted a single one of my lifts – likely a result of that hyper-awareness of knowing that people are watching.
Knowing people are watching are both what fuels and inhibits my blog.
Trying to expand the marketability of jellylift is an endless whirlwind of questions:
Do I need more lifting content? Should I change the design of my page? There’s not enough pictures is there? I should add more pictures, people like pictures. My site doesn’t fit the typical style of a blog… should I make it more user friendly?
I discuss this more in-depth in my Jellylift Needs A Facelift process post, and how the worries of making jellylift more user friendly could potentially steal from my original objective of keeping jellylift minimal and unique
my brilliant idea for the future of PUB101
To continue with conversation of audience growth, an idea I had at the start of that course that has become increasingly more relevant throughout is collaboration. What better way to grow your audience than recruiting someone else’s? I offered this as feedback for the course, but I figured I would expand here.
A fun idea for a mini-assignment would be to collaborate with a peer who has similar (or entirely opposite) blog content as you, and work together to publish any sort of creative, collaborative post. A fun example of this is a peer’s blog, dripowensonline, who’s most recent process post addresses the release of the DrainPerDoodads. He includes a short interview with his collaborative partner, drainpercapita, and briefly discusses some of his recent creative works.
Because of this, now all of dripowensonline’s audience is going to rush over to check out who and what drainpercapita is. The DrainPerCapita Ecosystem is on the upswing!
While drainpercapita is not enrolled in PUB101, I think a concept like this involving the inclusion of a peer’s content in a collaborative context would be an exceptional addition to not only the course, but all of our websites.
Unlike the peer reviews, this assignment would require some sort of interpersonal collaboration, giving the opportunity to PUB students to make connections with each other and meet new people. For example, imagine if I were to collaborate with another student who has interests in weightlifting. We could swap workout programs for a day, then post a review about each other’s routine. This isn’t a perfect example, but gives a general idea of how a collaborative process could work.
It can promote audience growth, user engagement, and best of all… it would be a hell of a lot of fun.
Jellylift is back with another peer review! First and foremost, as we do things here, big shout out to the Melatonin Gone Missing admin, Melissa.
Hey Melissa! I don’t know if you recall, but we actually did multiple group projects together in LING 100 last Spring… perhaps you’ve forgotten but I still hold it dear to me… and what a treat it was to see that I get to review your site! So hold onto your socks while I dish out a proper jellylift-style peer review of Melatonin Gone Missing!
To start, 5 stars on the catchy name for the site. “Melatonin Gone Missing” has such a fun rhythm to it, and it just rolls off your tongue with the help of alliteration and a sort of swing that just makes sense.
Before I dive into the objective of this review, which is evaluating Melatonin Gone Missing’s audience, I need to first address Melissa’s Application of Design Principles process post.
Holy f**king sh*t, Melissa.
I don’t think it is possible to fully understand the way my eyeballs popped out of my skull when I saw that Melissa reviewed the Jellycat website. As someone who never closes the Jellycat tab in her browser, seeing three Bashful Bunnies plastered across the thumbnail for Melissa’s process post felt like love at first sight. I was beyond ecstatic to discover that Melissa is even subscribed to their email newsletter – a true Jellycat Connoisseur. My first thought was “Melissa is definitely my target audience,” especially after browsing her site and seeing how similarly we view our sites – a digital garden for ourselves rather than an outreaching public.
so… who is your audience, anyway?
One of my first reactions to melatonin gone missing was how the site feels like the inside of a teenage girl’s brain. There’s Taylor Swift fangirl posts, book reviews, movie talk, hobby posts – a smorgasbord of Melissa’s mind. Melatonin gone missing feels like a safe space for young women who need to take solace in simple little pleasures. Kind of like the safety of a gossip corner – it’s not particularly profound by any means, but it’s cozy and fun and relatable. Melissa discusses her own opinions of her audience in her Imaginary Audiences process post, which reflects her ideas of her publics and counterpublics (Warner, 2022). Her blog calls on a specific personality type, as people who like Taylor Swift typically fall into the same category as people who enjoy reading romance novels – an idea which she addresses in her post. It’s universally inviting while also appealing to a niche group. You can hang out on Melissa’s blog whether you’re a Swiftie or not! The nature of her content feels very #justgirlythings. Just a fun romanticized life of all things girly pop!
I could imagine her (un)ironically posting something like this:
Despite Melissa’s blog being a reflection of herself and therefore inviting in similar individuals, it’s still pretty clear that a huge part of her work is directed towards the PUB101 audience. Even in her content posts, she uses a very structured and somewhat formal tone, which sort of takes away from the whole ‘this is my own unique cyberspace’ thing. She expresses in her Imaginary Audiences post that she intends for her viewers to appreciate the “casual, conversational tone that carries throughout [her] blog,” yet this “conversational” tone still feels very controlled in a way that she knows it’s being read and evaluated. With that said, this isn’t a critique of that tone, but rather just an observation. It also isn’t universally applicable to her posts, such as her “about me” page which is quite informal
content, design, and marketability
When addressing Melissa’s marketability in terms of content and design, the two play wonderfully together in order to reach her desired audience. It has a “2am thoughts” vibe with the dark blue and soft, rounded text. The energy of Melissa’s content is sort of chaotic and unhinged, which pairs nicely with the very organized and easily manageable web design. You get exactly what you expect on melatonin gone missing – Melissa’s brain digitized! Her blog is beautifully laid out, one of the best I’ve seen across the PUB101 sites, and is not only incredibly organized but also super easy to manage and follow. For an audience such as young Gen Z girls who have little patience, this web design is perfect. You know where to go, and after a few visits to the site, I know it like the back of my hand. Hollingsworth (2018) discusses the importance of having this “clean, effective user experience” as an element of implementing SEO on your website. Melissa achieves this perfectly, without sacrificing quality.
Despite the topics for her posts being all over the place, they are all somehow perfectly intertwined. There is no specific objective for melatonin gone missing other than showing little pieces of Melissa, in which her target audience is able to see reflections of themselves in her content.
a job well done!
Overall, I think that the aesthetically-pleasing layout and relatability of melatonin gone missing are its key selling features. Melissa does an excellent job of reaching her target audience and making her content accessible and open to her desired public. As Hollingsworth (2018) puts it, “customers know what they want,” and so does Melissa, and Melatonin Gone Missing most certainly delivers.
The podcast transcription assigned for reading this week opens with a little story about someone named Amanda, leaving behind a little trail of digital breadcrumbs. Little bits of information about ourselves that rather than holding, we let them fall out and drop behind us. And so, to this discussion of breadcrumbs, I raise to you the WHOLE GODDAMN LOAF.
With all the breadcrumbs we leave behind – location, apps used, bank cards attached to our accounts which is all digital – you can piece it all together to uncover mountains of personal information – where we live, our personal interests, how in contact (or not in contact) we are with friends and family. Anyone with access to this kind of information could without a doubt uproot our entire lives and absolutely ruin us.
You put all these breadcrumbs together and you get the loaf – a hearty chunk of personal information that when picked up after you, hardly belongs to you anymore.
And when it’s no longer in your hands, who knows what someone else could do with your loaf?? Eat it?? Break it apart and give it to other people?? Sell it?? Eat some of it and break some of it and sell some of it?? The possibilities for the downfall of your loaf are endless.
Weird analogies aside, this podcast discusses the blissful ignorance of leaving these breadcrumbs behind while raising the question of whether we should be worried about this unawareness. To answer that question, I would say that more than ever we NEED to be aware of this information.
Something I have always found interesting is how people don’t care if their personal information is being leaked, as long as they don’t know about it or it doesn’t inconvenience them. Out of sight out of mind, until suddenly there’s random charges on their credit card or they can’t get into their email or their Spotify password was changed by someone in South Africa and since they’ve been ignorantly living on auto-pilot and don’t have access to the email attached to the Spotify account they can’t go back in and change it. And no, that is not a personal experience (yes it is).
We’ve long left the era of “don’t show your face on the internet” and have reached a point where dozens of apps literally require location services, and we will even willingly share our location with friends and family. Or even complete f**king strangers! Exhibit A: Tinder. Isn’t there something mildly concerning about that? We even tag ourselves at locations. If you go for brunch at the Coquitlam Grill on a Sunday morning, and post it on your Instagram story, your 782 followers know EXACTLY where you are at that EXACT time, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg above all the information we don’t actively throw out. We’ve grown so accustomed to it that, as the podcast says, we are living “blissfully unaware,” demonstrated by all the questionnaires with results of uncertainty around the nature of their data trails.
Our everything ends up everywhere, and I would argue that we have reached a point where without taking critical action, it is inevitable. So how far do we need to take our digital awareness? Should we be living in paranoia? Are we beyond salvation?
But more than anything…
How inconvenient are we willing to let our lives be in order to protect our personal information?
Content is a word that gets thrown around like crazy, and over time has developed a million different meanings and interpretations. Good vs. bad content, content creation, the concept of certain experiences as content.
A friend of mine is one of those people where random sh*t just happens to her all the time. When I first met her, I immediately noted how one of the most fascinating and intriguing things about her is all the arbitrary and incredibly entertaining stories she has to tell, and above all, what a fantastic storyteller she is. She would recount times when strangers on the street would engage with her in funny ways, interesting people she has met, fun things that she has seen – it felt like I could just sit there and listen to her tell her stories for hours and never get bored. A joke started between our little friend group that despite all this weird sh*t happening to her, it makes for good content. She’ll go out and try new things even if it’s scary, because no matter the outcome, it will make for good content, which she could then share with others as a means of connecting with them. And so when reflecting on this week’s discussion, a defining question hit me.
If you put it in the context of that friend, anytime she tells her stories, we are consuming her “content”, the same way we would consume any sort of traditional content found in media. About a week ago, I was retelling the events of a detailed and complicated dream I had to a friend, and when I got to “and bam, I woke up”, he just goes “Holy shit. Well that was some great storytelling on your part,” to which I realize that even our f**king dreams can be content if you paint it out that way. We can’t escape it!
Building off that, this train of thought of content as storytelling leads me to one of the readings from this week, “What Football Will Look Like in the Future” or else known as Jon Bois’ 17776. A friend shared the link to this piece with me months ago, and when I first opened it and realized it was something significantly more profound and stimulating than what it appeared to be, I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to mindlessly scroll through. I told myself I would check it out later, when I had the time to thoughtfully take it in. Inevitably, I completely forgot about it. The same friend is in PUB101, and when he told me it was one of the readings, I immediately knew I was going to hop on it for this week’s discussion.
Jon Bois’ 17776 is described as a “multimedia narrative” and uses some irregular and nonconformist methods to tell a gripping and entertaining story. To produce content. The format and distinctive storytelling of this piece is exactly what makes it unique. To have this story written out as a book, in a picture or just on a plain webpage would take away its impact, arguably altering the nature and objective of the content as a whole. It’s not like anything I’ve really seen before, and while I haven’t made it all the way through, it’s definitely some of the more interesting and stimulating content I have come across in my years of consuming.
I’m going to be honest, 90% of the time I’m too wrapped up in my own secluded little bubble of mainstream content that I rather infrequently come across unique stuff that is actually entertaining and not mind numbing. 100% of the reason why I deleted Tiktok a day after installing it is because of all the brain frying content being published. Anyone will post anything, knowing it will get them views, and that someone is consuming it. Then Instagram Reels became a thing, and with Instagram Messaging as my primary means of communication, it was already too late for me. I was in too deep.
On the topic of meaningless content, one thing that continues to puzzle me is the career path of “content creators.” With a word as vast as “content,” it forces you to question what the he** a content creator even is and what it means. You could consider producers, photographers, artists, or authors as “content creators,” and yet so are all the Tiktok thirst trappers and fashion influencers. I recall about 6 months ago, I was doom-scrolling Snapchat discover (don’t come at me, I know it sucks) losing brain cells as I tapped through a Snap influencer’s Q&A story. In it, one of the main questions that popped up was “what do you even do? like, do you have a job?” to which the influencer often replied with something along the lines of “i’m a content creator <3 I like taking pictures and videos and so I make stuff for you guys and post it!”
WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗
Pain. Actual, physical pain. To think that this genre (typically conventionally attractive women who post a lot of selfies) has such a huge demographic to the point where you can be paid for it is absolutely mind blowing. We live in an era where all content is monetizable content, whether it’s good or bad because regardless, someone is going to consume it. Am I just a hater? Probably. Are these people valid in their line of work? Probably. Am I marginally jealous that simply ‘making content’ is rolling in the dough? Yeah… probably. I think we all are, at least a little bit.
Circling back from the whirlwind of a tangent that was this process post, it’s rather interesting to see the ways in which content comes in different forms. Jon Bois’ 17776 is a perfect example of this, contrasted against Snap influencers, which only goes to show how the possibilities for storytelling are endless.
No matter what, there’s always going to be an audience for content, because without one, who would we tell our stories to?