It has been a run for me to build website within less than four months. Confusion has been in my mind for the first two weeks of my Publishing course; I had to decide whom I am speaking to, what I would be able to share and how. Four-month of building online infrastructure is short; it is like taking shots that contain the essence of knowledge, which I would have to absorb quick enough to apply to my site. The very article, The strange & curious tale of the lost true hermit, by Michael Finkel strikes me with “…With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant…” (2014). I realized that how important one has to find his/ hers identity through content sharing and technical skills.
To start with online audience, I built up my About page where I pictured my initial thought on what my blog posts would generate. Working in the cyberspace, I experienced self-talking; ‘Should I put this sketch first, or never?’ comes up frequently. The online disinhibition effect by John Suler explains how we act differently online, compared to face-to-face conversation. For instance, we are invisible and we could delay responses. As a result, some could be more open, true, or aggressive online. I have been always a shy and honest person, and it is still challenging to address something personal into interesting and valuable content to which the audience could relate. So, instead of sharing personal life, I choose to share bits of myself to the world through sketching. I always imagine holding sort of small artist talks to all urban sketchers, painters and all. I chose the easy way out to avoid over-sharing. Although emotions and thoughts are meant to share with others, vision tells the stories mostly, I think.
I gathered relevant information while sketching as much as I could to improve my content along with sketches. For instance, organization like Urban Sketchers is growing steadily with all artists they gather locally and internationally. Others like Brain pickings are all fantastic models that affect my future development of site. Artists have to organize a way that is concise to summarize their projects that appeal other inspiration. Through visualizing their data of daily life by construction of symbols, two designers open the door of self-exploration to the world (Popova, 2015). Facebook page setup, YouTube channel and Twitter are all my primary outreach tools and strings to the world. I am proud of myself that I have discovered these templates to present myself properly.
Then, it comes to self-monitoring. The Google Analytics allows me to see what I have earned from hard work. All those terms such as page views, sessions, bounce rate were thrown to us one day. We get to explore, and come up with questions to the tutorials and lectures. Numbers is all I could say in the beginning, but now I know about those definitions and how I could reflect on graphs. For instance, one person comes to my site, and leaves immediately without interacting with other pages. This would give 100% bounce rate (not a good example, but it will do). I saw my improvements; bounce rate got lower; sessions increased; duration increased. Tutorial assignments, especially, trigger my passion about video recoding. Hardly do I take videos. Abruptly, I am loving it. Uncertainty is inevitable. Dark Social: We have the whole history of the web wrong by Alexix C. Madrigal shows how secured sources would contribute to the site with dramatic force that we could ever predict (2012). I would never know this without taking this course, although I did not care much until now. I look forward to read graphs properly, and put uncertainty aside for alternative explanation.
Cyberspace is the opportunity to learn, share and care. This the last lesson I want to mention here. We live in a constant stream of future where people fill it with present bits of ourselves (Bridle, 2010). It is true and untrue. It may seem no sense picturing the future that is ‘present’ (now, right here). It is beyond imagination; that is why Bridle hands out this term. Piles of piles of invisible papers are compressed into the ‘future’ that is becoming convincing. It becomes a muddy pond where many of us do not even realize we are already in it. All we could do just make sorts of waves on the surface. I care sharing my sketches of Vancouver around the world, and I care posting my pictures and images to tell the day of mine. Therefore, I encourage myself to connect with others online, creating potential tribes where artists could lead and educate future generation. Unlike old times, one (company, organization, group etc) will not be effective by pushing out messages alone; we need to build the connections among tribes that care about sharing (Godin, 2009). The power is unimaginable.
Once again, my current publishing has made a splash onto my face; it surprised me that I could build a website that I have always wanted. My classmates and I have been sprinting to the end, beyond through the finish line. I will continue to explore our present future. We would never know how big the painting would be (or is now), but I am sure it would be go beyond the presumed frame.
Bridle, J. (2010, October 25). Network realism: William Gibson and new forms of fiction. Retrieved from http://booktwo.org/notebook/network-realism/
Finkel, M. (2014, September). The strange & curious tale of the last true hermit. GQ magazine, News & Politics. Retrieved from http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201409/the-last-true-hermit?currentPage=1
Godin, S. (2009). The tribes we lead. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_on_the_tribes_we_lead#t-481098
Madrigal C, A. (2012, October 12). Dark social: we have the whole history of the web wrong. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/10/dark-social-we-have-the-whole-history-of-the-web-wrong/263523/
Popova, M. (2015, March 19). Dear Data: Two Designers Visualize the Mundane Details of Daily Life in Magical Illustrated Postcards Mailed Across the Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/19/dear-data-giorgia-lupi-stefanie-posavec/
Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. The psychology of cyberspace, 7 (321-326). Retrieved from http://users.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/disinhibit.html