Reflecting on my Time Spent as an Online Publisher
PUB101 has been an enriching experience to say the least, upon initial enrolment I was unsure as to what this particular field of study would ensue. After attending just one class, it was clear that the skills developed in this program would prove quite relevant to the demands of the current information and knowledge society. The article “Content Creation and Flipped Learning: a necessary pairing for education in the new millennium” offers insightful critique as to how flipped learning has revolutionized education practices for newer generations. Publishing 101 has played a crucial role in relation to flip learning through the curriculum requirement of having students create their own cyberinfrastructure. It has been during this experience that I as a student have become more digitally competent through the influence of this innovative methodology of teaching.
Moreover, the publication I have created is in the form of a personalized blog that acts as a self served journal to address my experiences with mental health struggles as both a student and part time labourer; in addition to how I cope with moments of mental distress through bonding moments with my pet cat. Initially, I contemplated playing it safe and building a lifestyle blog that showcases my passions for music, fashion, and healthy living. Upon further reflection, I did not want to conform to the safety of stability. Erving Goffman conceptualized how individuals perform in order to project a desirable image (Bullingham & Vasconcelos, 2013). This is indeed the case with various social media accounts of mine. While there are facets of embellishment portrayed on my socials, I do believe these accounts are an accurate representation of who I am for the most part. That being said, there is the subconscious part which wishes to post only the thriving moments in order to project a given identity (Bullingham & Vasconcelos, 2013). With that in mind, I decided to go a different route. Inspired by female artist Doja Cat who fully projects both her glamorized and authentic self all over social media; I found comfort in the decision to document the more intimate and unraveled parts of my life.
Considering I had been bestowed the power to maintain control over my own cyberinfrastructure it felt safe to shatter that distance between the performer and audience (Bullingham & Vasconcelos, 2013) as it no longer felt necessary to conceal the offline-self. With the use of Google Analytics and WordPress stats it does not seem that my site has taken off, which is what I anticipated for such an entry level project. That being said, the imagined public are fellow students struggling with the same stress inducers as myself, in hopes to offer a space of unity and safety. Students are often pressured by many dimensions of responsibility as they approach young adult life, especially those who live extremely independent lives in all aspects. The persona employed is meant to purely be human. Oftentimes, social structures require people to never falter and continue pushing forward. As much as I encourage proactivity, it is also important to embrace moments of weakness in order to find a balance. Which is where pleasantpawws.com has allowed me to embrace my moments of weakness while finding healthy ways of coping. The design and structure of this web space is meant to be simple yet inviting with the use of neutral tones and wholesome imagery. The content itself follows a pattern of addressing a weekly challenge I faced as a student, and how various moments were spent with my cat Luka, who induced peace of mind and kept me moving forward. An overall theme I liked to reinforce is taking a step back when life becomes overwhelming by finding sanity in simplicity.
Ultimately, the most compelling part of creating one’s own web space has been its role as a space for independents (Noorda, 2019). The independent ability to facilitate, design, and construe content offered a real sense of liberation. Especially considering how monitored, framed, and socially structured public cyberinfrastructures’ are. Ironic how the public space is so heavily manipulated by the ruling class, whoever that may be, as it is constantly subject to change in this day and age. Prior to the educational experience of PUB 101 my knowledge of publication practices was limited. Having gained the knowledge and experience I have now, I feel more equipped to live amidst this highly digitized era. While I do still stand by my newly found goals of representing a more authentic online-self, it seems that a reform in content is necessary. I would like to continue blogging but as a personal hobby to elaborate all my interests. Coming up with weekly content for such a personal blog has been tiresome, as it was often hard to determine what was appropriate and inappropriate to share in such an open space. Even with the goal of authenticity, one must not stretch too far as unfortunate as it is, what is posted publicly can cause more harm than good if taken out of context. Which is why if I continue to pursue blogging, I would reevaluate the theme and content of what I post.
A special thank you to my TA and Professor for an illuminating semester.
Bullingham, L., Vasconcelos, A. (2013). ‘The presentation of self in the … – journals.sagepub.com. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0165551512470051?casa_token=G_ZxwRBoHT0AAAAA%3AcCfotdn2Uy_smbZpmnaXKB9ULp9SMILPjo5z-k4MjjB6c59dMZnDjs9ecXsI1TirtOE38VqBAQ
Lopez, B., et al. (2019). Web.s.ebscohost.com. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://web.s.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=09760245&AN=139734438&h=PTuiHG%2fv3MBssxcR%2biflYa%2fR%2f9YYrWyDRZN1iqyEmM4ePUhc8i2cnyGvNG4F8lAh0F1t0v%2fuHKP6hzNuSDKjVw%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d09760245%26AN%3d139734438
Noorda, R. (2019, June 18). The discourse and value of being an independent publisher – mémoires du livre / studies in book culture. Érudit. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/memoires/2019-v10-n2-memoires04677/1060971ar/