I have created a blog using wordpress that allows me to express my love of baking and all things sweet. Baking is a hobby and passion of mine that I find easy to discuss, share and talk about. This is why I found it fitting for this blogging assignment. The reason why I chose WordPress is because I found it easy to use the blog looks more like a web site than a blog. I am a current user of Google+, but I found that WordPress had a lot easier to follow set up features. Web 2.0 is allowing blogs like this one to be created so easily and being able to share links so efficiently and make my blog look so individual is testament to this continuously improving technology. Also referred to as ‘social media’ (Bennett, 2012).
I chose this current theme as it is simple to read, the majority of the content is in the middle of the page running down, and the links are neatly off to one side in a column, separating them but still making them visible from each added post and page. The colour scheme was chosen to match my header picture and I used the web site http://www.colourlovers.com/, where I was able to play around with patterns and colours to find the right one for my blog. Presentation is really important to me and that is why, I have only used top quality, clear looking photos for my blog. I have found in the past, food pages with bad photography are a turn off and, as people ‘eat with their eyes’ the pictures should be nothing short of perfect.
I spent a lot of time signing up to a lot of Web 2.0 web site during the first few weeks of this unit and narrowed these down to my 3 favourites. For my 3 contributing nodes I have chosen: Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest. However I also have a link to a baking recipe sharing site that I have a profile with called http://www.bakespace.com, which is an American site, but a great reference web page for people who love to bake as much as I do. I chose Twitter because of its popularity and community feel, and also because it is very easy to search for like minded twitter users using the hashtag symbol. As O’Reilly and Milstein point out, Twitter leads to lightweight but meaningful connection. Twitter is easy to use and more people take time to look at the tweets as there is not a lot of ‘spam-like’ advertising to filter through. I have chosen Flickr as a central node, as I found it to be the easiest photo sharing web site to use. Flickr is an easy to use site, it allows you to upload a lot of photos for free and they can be categorised into sets. Flickr is not the most ‘social’ of sites, but it is the easiest for storage use. I like the way WordPress has allowed me to display my Flickr feed on the left side of my blog, making it easy for people to click the link and explore further. Pinterest is my third chosen node and has been one of my favourite discoveries so far. It’s a great web site that you can spend hours on, filtering through pictures and ‘repinning’ your favourites to your account without needing permission to use them. The great thing about this site is that people are online discovering amazing pictures and sharing them with everyone with no restrictions. Pinterest reminds me of an online ‘inspiration board’ which I think is a fantastic idea. My Pinterest account is linked to the side of my blog using a button, and the instructions to add the button are on the Pinterest site and are very simple to follow. Twitter is a great site to use as it has a highly recognisable logo that people will see straight away, Flickr allows me to have my pictures automatically run down the side of my blog and the Pinterest button has a nice ‘vintage’ look to it, which goes well with the overall theme to my blog.
In my last unit, Internet Design, I had to create a web site that reflected an interest of mine and build it from the ground up. My web site was definitely colourful and had great pictures but it was very time consuming just to get the basic code written and the site active. What I really enjoyed about this unit and learning about Web 2.0 was how easy I found it to create my ‘online identity’ without much limitation. I have always been wary of how to represent myself online or in a blog, what it would look like and even if I would want to share it with people I knew. I didn’t think I could simply create a blog that reflected me, who I am and how I see myself. Web 2.0 and WordPress has allowed me to do this without a lot of doubt. I found learning about self representation and the Internet interesting and the lengths people may go to remain anonymous and then the openness of some opinionated people who aren’t scared to say exactly what’s on their minds. I find myself somewhere in the middle, but I definitely do want to be proud of my web presence and share my creativity with like-minded people. Qian and Scott (2007) stated in their study: In general, people who do not use any personally identifying visual elements on a blog should have a stronger sense of anonymity than those using some sort of identifying image. I find this very interesting and also true. When I was writing in the ‘about’ page of my blog, I hesitated before finalising and publishing the text. I was wondering if I was rambling on about myself too much or even if it wasn’t enough. As Serfaty explains, (as cited in Qian and Scott, 2007) personal blogs are self-representational writing and are essentially online diaries, blogs are definitely a personal representation of ones self and therefor this justifies feelings of uncertainty and indecision. With caution and conscientiousness in mind, my blog has been published and is a clear and honest representation of my love for baking and appreciation for fellow bakers and the extremely delectable work that they do.
Bennett, S. (2012). Implementing Web 2.0 technologies in higher education: A collective case study. Computers & education, 59(2), 524-534.
O’Reilly, O’Reilly, T., & Milstein, S. (2009). The Twitter Book.
Qian, H., & Scott, C. R. (2007). Anonymity and Self-Disclosure on Weblogs. Journal of Computer- Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1428-1451. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00380.x