An in-depth review of Lucid Dreamer – a peer’s blog!
First and foremost, shoutout to Kathy, the Lucid Dreamer Admin! I know you’re lurking 😉
the first impression
As I opened Lucid Dreamer, the first thing that caught my eye was the very organized layout, and aesthetically-pleasing colours. The dark green in the background image of the trees feels satisfying with the green header and footer, the green accessibility tag, and splashes of green font. The theme chosen lays out the newest posts right on the front page, and is very simple to navigate as a first-time viewer. No maze, no frantic page-searching, everything presents itself right before you. The online persona of “Lucid Dreamer” is clearly established, and upon a visit to the About page, there’s no confusion around the objective of this blog and the kind of “online self” (Suler, 2004) which the Admin chooses to assume. Suler (2004) discusses the idea of our identities being like constellations, offering that personality is “an intrapsychic field containing clusters or constellations of emotion, memory, and thinking that are interconnected with certain environments” (Suler, 2004). He offers that this model explains “identity experimentation… and other subtle shifts in personality expression” (Suler, 2004) in an online space, which is something interesting I observed about the Lucid Dreamer page. The admin uses the blog as an online platform to express herself authentically while simultaneously taking on a certain role of the Dreamteller. Reading about how the admin’s favourite colour is green is a fun piece of trivia to discover, especially after observing that the themes and colours revolve around green. In establishing her online self and online identity, the admin uses a fun balance of authentic self-expression and expanding on her own imagination, creating a very unique persona as the Lucid Dreamer.
An aspect of Lucid Dreamer that really sat with me was entirely just the concept of documenting lucid dreams. I don’t think I have ever stumbled upon a site like this before, or any content creator who openly discusses dreams that they have had. Lucid dreaming is not a very common or frequent occurrence, therefore, the fact that the admin lucid dreams often enough to produce weekly content about it is very gripping and attention-grabbing. Sharing your dreams – stories that unfold only in your mind which could be a reflection of your inner thoughts and experiences – puts you in a vulnerable position, offering a unique sort of connection between the admin and her audience. Campbell (2009) discusses the importance of students and youth having a digital space for self-expression and how doing so helps them to “shape their own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium.” I believe there is an aspect of introspection involved in documenting one’s own dreams, and I think the admin is putting herself in the perfect space to be able to reflect and respond to her own imagination.
In addition, the admin provides a lot of detail about these dreams, and dreams up some awesome things! Thank you, Admin! Very cool!
After a deep dive into Lucid Dreamer, I noticed a couple things which didn’t feel quite right. There were some grammar and spelling mistakes, which kind of take you out of the experience of living in the dream with the admin.
In terms of design, I think there is very little room for improvement. I think the theme could benefit from a sort of hazy, dreamlike aesthetic to fit with the concept, but I believe the current theme to be a great reflection of the admin and her interests, requiring no substantial modifications.
I love how Lucid Dreamer does not rely on relatability to have potential for interesting and interactive content. She is not trying to appeal to a certain public (Warner, 2002), as her dreams are stories – something which any reader can indulge in and take something away from. There is a manga and game recommendation section, which can recruit perhaps new readers, or existing manga fans.
That being said, something that left me a little confused was in fact, the emphasis on manga and game recommendations. There is no content on the page yet about either of these subjects, and the domain name seems strangely disconnected from the blog. It took a little bit of exploring for me to realize what the blog is actually about. In addition, the blog seems to be lacking in content. As of right now, there are only 2 out of 4 process posts, 2 content posts, as well as none of the mini-assignments. The admin does not feel connected with her blog, and it does not feel like it is getting lots of love and attention and updates.
In terms of content, I thoroughly enjoyed the attention to detail captured in the documentation of each dream! I think that placing an emphasis on storytelling and adopting a more narrative and descriptive voice could really bring life to the re-telling of these dreams.
I look forward to seeing the development of this site as the admin publishes more posts, giving depth and fullness to the blog!