When I decided to enroll in PUB 101, I did not know what I was getting myself into. I figured I spend enough time on social media and news outlet websites to have a general understanding of the process. I quickly realized I was wrong and thought I might be in over my head; I didn’t know anything about creating a website or how I could write a blog week in and out. When deciding on what my blog would be about, I quickly panicked as I once again had no clue what I could write about, especially in the admits of a pandemic; I contemplated dropping the class due to this challenge. When I realized I could write about something I already follow and enjoy staying in the loop with, I quickly purchased the URL, tksports.ca, which I regret as I did not have a name for the site yet.
I figured I would create a site for those who like to follow various sports but do not care for all the extras; I made it for those wanting a quick recap. When Sports Recap was born, the site was created with the casual viewer in mind. Yet, I did not like the site to be limited to just the casual viewer; therefore, I decided to go more in-depth on specific posts such as the Super Bowl blog post. When creating the site, I did not think of Sports Recap becoming a public for individuals, yet when reading through Danah Boyd’s book, the idea of what public I have created came to me. I imagined the public that I made allowed sports viewers to come and visit. This public may not be found in their homes due to individuals not sharing the same interests (Boyd 2014). Through this public, individuals would find connections and build a network where they can share views on different topics revolving around the various sports, which would create another public (Boyd 2014). The importance of this public being created would be that it allows individuals to learn how to respond and understand each other when they have different opinions (Boyd 2014). This could be highlighted when users discuss their views on a suspension, goal call, or trades; users can use the public created for them and the public they made themselves.
Throughout the website, many affordances can be found for individuals to gain a better viewing experience. Through design, individuals can discover a simplistic approach that translates to the site’s theme catering to the casual viewer of sports; these individuals most likely will not care for a ticker of scores found on other sites. Sports Recap has arrows and links and visibly clickable posts due to the underlining and colour changing of the font when hovering over. These two things are described as affordances, also referred to as clues for the user to attract their attention to these other posts and pages (Norman 1988 as cited in Kapetlinin n.d.) Through editorial edits such as including enticing photos and headlines, I created headlines that gain the user to click on the page. Making similar headlines to more prominent news outlets is beneficial as it may rank higher within the search query, following what the more significant news outlets post may be viewed as copying. But those who do not may damage their chance of the site growing, as this being seen to others as a missed opportunity (Gertz 2015). Addressing the audience through content can be done by involving the reader; this was done by asking if fans are interested in a particular player or team. I kept the content simple for the viewer; this allows a reader to pick up the article and understand without stats to understand what is going on.
The content I posted throughout the semester I believed to be beneficial to someone who may follow sports but not super close. A reader could look at the site and see what the most significant news article was out of the week out of the three professional sports; later on, individuals would be able to use the site for sports resources. Using Monster Insights, I could not gain that valuable of information regarding the users on my site, as I would often accidentally visit my site not logged in as an admin. This would skew the number of visitors significantly, and those who were visiting the site would not leave comments limiting my knowledge to who is visiting.
Looking back at my publication for the semester, I realized how quickly the site evolved from the primary site it once was. I added features and more attention-grabbing pictures as I got more comfortable with the WordPress program. I noticed myself becoming more creative with my blog posts as I geared it toward trying to get the reader to comment and express how they feel about the article’s topic. My online self goals will be to be more aware of what I post on my Instagram as this is my main social media outlet in terms of photos and captions. I may continue to blog as a hobby as sports are my passion, yet I have no set plan on creating a more prominent online presence.
Boyd, Danah. 2014 “Searching for a public of their own.” It’s Complicated. pp 213-227
Gertz, Travis. 2015. “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” July 2015. Available from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines
Kaptelinin, Victor. “Affordances.” The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/affordances