Category Archives: Class

Project Review

Objective:
Taken straight from my project proposal, “There is a obesity epidemic in the U.S. and in order for fix this Americans need to become more knowledgeable about nutrition. My goal is to inform people about how to make healthier decision and the tricks food producers use as marketing tactics, as well as promote cooking at home.”

Medium:
I chose a blog because I really like the way that some “internet personalities” are able to create communities through their blogs. The whole set of wikis kind of turned me off because I was not a fan of how they are set up. When I was trying to make a new page it took me like a hour, and let me tell you I am very technology literate and have no problem working with new programs but something about wikis had my mind drawing a blank. The way WordPress has a text box set up with all the links I need is comforting.  Furthermore the whole concept of a wiki page always being under construction is not my style at all. It just doesn’t work for me to publish unfinished work.

What I did:
Looking back at my archives I did a lot of posts. At first my goal was to do two long posts of about 800 words and one other smaller one that would be on a popular topic like a new ad or something. For my informative posts I use a style of writing that reminds me of what I would do if I was writing an article. I spend a good amount of time looking at other recent articles and research about the topic, use those articles to find the key information and then bring that all together to create one comprehensive blog posts. Through my post I then link back to the articles that I used as references, for example this post on drinking your calories.  I think it is very important I use trustworthy sources for my information.  That way my readers can go look at more information and verify what I am saying in my posts.

I wanted to post more about marketing techniques that food producers use.  The issue I had with this is that new products or advertisements only come out so often, because of this I could not assume that there was going to be a new topic for me to write about each week.

There was times when I needed to restructure the way that I was working.  During April I started posting four times a week because I was not getting the length that I wanted so I compensated by posting more often.  I feel like posting often is a good way to direct traffic to your blog and is very important in the initial creation of a blog.

What went not so well?
This wasn’t an issue per se but I found while I was gaining traffic on my blog that I should disclose that I am not a registered dietitian. For each post I spend about two or three hours becoming knowledgeable about a topic, post the important information I have learned, and then share links in order for readers to find out more information themselves.  I find myself staying away from some topics and trying to be purely informative about the nutrition posts because I would never want to influence someone to make damaging decisions.

Did I accomplish my objective?
I choose the topics I write about because I want to inform people so that they can live a happy, healthy life. In my objective it may seem I focusing on overweight and obesity issue but that is because being overweight leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes 2, and some cancers which can all be prevented by living a healthy life. Therefore I simply want to share information about how important it is to have a healthy diet and how you really are what you eat. A cool quote from my project proposal:

“I want to unmask the processed foods industry and help people make better decisions about the products they are consuming.”

Based on that quote I feel like my blog has done this and is continuing to inform people about their food purchasing decision.

Findings?
Partially through this blog I discovered that my true passion is food psychology. I remember this moment like ti was just yesterday. I was, like I am now, sitting at Cantabria looking for topics online through some of my usual sources. Because of my thesis topic also being about food, if you haven’t noticed its my favorite thing, I am familiar with this area of study and have read multiple research papers and articles in this field. One of the major players in this filed, Dr. Brian Wansink, tweeted about research he had conducted about chocolate milk in schools. While reading that article I was strangle fascinated with their findings, partially fueled by coffee, but never the less I was have a great time reading about why schools shouldn’t ban chocolate milk. We are all nerds about something but I feel like my is a partially small niche.

I definitely got better at writing posts as time went on. At first I would struggle to hit 800 words but in my last post I was able to get more than 700 words about whole wheat. Who know so much could be said about whole wheat/whole grain foods?  It is extremely important to be passionate about what you are blogging about because you spend hours and hours during the week researching topic and then writing about those topics.  So because of this you better really like what your are blogging about otherwise you will get bored and burnt out real quick.

 

 

summary

 

Future?
Initially had in-visioned making a space that is open for dialogues.  In my proposal I said, “blog is the perfect medium for my project because it allow me to be more personal with the readers, hopefully create a community, and allow for open communication through comments.”  So far I haven’t received many comments on my posts.  Maybe the people looking at my blog are just lurkers? I would like to look at information on how to connect with your readers.  I would like to learn more about the analytics that WordPress uses in order to find out what type of posts receive the most traffic.

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Weekly Review

Things went pretty well this week.  In honor of my thesis, and that being the only thing on my mind, I posted two posts about my nerdy passion, food psychology.  This was kind of cheating for me because I had already done plenty of research on the topics but I still spent on a few hours on them reworking things to make it stylized for a blog.  Not that it’s obvious or anything but I have a few opinions on food marketing and how it is affecting the health of consumers.  Another not so obvious thing, I’m pretty quiet but if you feel like letting me talk your ear off for an hour just ask my opinion on low-fat.

Initially I was only going to do one post about my thesis topic, which quickly escalated to being very long so I broke it down into sections.  First I started out with some history about processed food in order to provide some background and understanding of why things are the way they are now.  Then I moved onto the marketing of processed foods and how that affects consumers purchasing decisions.  After that I introduced the theory the “Health Halo” effect.  This post brings everything all together and looks at how processed food and the marketing of it affects us psychology when we consume these products.  To end the week on a lighter note I did a post on hummus because it is delicious and I missed doing posts about food.

4/23 Process Food Through the Years
4/25 Marketers Use Words to Influence the Way You Think About Food
4/25 “Health Halo” Effect
4/28 Hummus, the New Nutrient Rich Spread

I am the only nerd out there that is so interested in food psychology.  Speaking of nerding out I have to highlight this post I did two ago about chocolate milk, Banning Chocolate Milk Doesn’t Have Outcomes Parents Hope For.  This new study was pretty interesting and I had a fabulous time reading it while sipping on some coffee in Cantabria with my laptop that’s so old it sounds like a small vacuum when the fan runs.

Studio Tours

  • I was first drawn to Katie’s project because I felt like I could gain knowledge from her posts.  Many people have disabilities and I know that I have a lack of understanding about many disabilities when they should be something I am more aware.  Blogs are a great space to share knowledge and Katie used her blog well to do that.  Katie pointed out that every 1 in 4 people has a mental illness, so it safe to assume that we all know someone with one.  With so many people living with mental illnesses it would be good for society to be more aware and understanding of how mental illnesses affect those who have one as others.  I really like the additional media that she adds like images and videos.  By talking about the disability and the sharing the story of well known celebrity Katie is able to relate to the reader and emphasizes her point that disabilities don’t need to hold people back.

 

  • Movies play a role in society they are frequently apart of our lives.  Personally I love learning about new things. Jennifers project interested me because I would like to know more about movies like the score, types of shots, and so on.  Her blog has many topics that cover everything movie related including actors, directors, movie reviews, animation and more.  I like the informative way in which she writes.  The blog itself is very engaging and easy to navigate.  Overall I enjoy Jennifer’s blog and find the topics that she writes about to be quite interesting.

 

  • For Ambers project on alternative fashion it seems fitting that shes uses a wiki since the content is informative and describes the various types of fashions and this also allows others to contribute.  Her page is to be used as a source of information and I think she executes this well. I had seen the style lolita before and never had really thought much about it besides it being a Japanese style.  It was cool learning about why people started doing it and how others use it her in America.  Fashion is such an integral part of how we express ourselves, by learning about where trends came from and what they mean to the people that take part in them we can learn more about that person.  Amber’s wiki page was very well put together and I enjoyed the videos she used.

 

Weekly Review

I felt very good about the project two weeks about, but last week was kinda tough.  I was determined to post four times, which I did so that’s a win.  For some odd reason last week was just off for me.  I pushed through by posting drafts so that I was always posting things, and then go back to them to later and expand the post.  What gave me the most trouble this week was that I just couldn’t sit and write.  Additionally I didn’t feel invested in the topics I was writing about which probably was the source of my issues.  What I would do differently would be work on the post in shorter segments of time, and give myself time to reflect on what I’ve written before adding more to it and posting.  Post this past week include:

4/8 Chipotle Focuses on Promoting High Quality of Fast Food
4/10 Microwaving Food
4/13 What Benefits does Organic Food Offer?
4/13 The Many Forms of a Oat

Weekly Review

This week went really well.  In order to make things easier on myself I have been compiling a list of topics on my phone whenever I have ideas for future posts.  This has been working pretty well and I have avoided that awful moment when you need to write a post but have no inspiration for a topic. The posts I did this past week consist of:

4/06 Coconut Water Wha’ts So Good About It?
4/05 Nuts, Far More Than a Tasty Snack
4/03 Smell has a Major Impact on Taste and Our Purchase
4/02 Drinking Your Calories Absentmindedly Leads to Weight Gain

Considering my experience in writing posts such as these I feel very proud of the posts I have created during this project.  I tend to write these as if I were writing and article.  I look at multiple sources, preferably ones from within a year, analyze the information and bring it all together in my own way.  For one post it takes me at least a few hours and based on that I think I’m doing good work and I pleased with the end product.

This past week there wasn’t any new advertisements to make posts about.  In order to find recent topics about advertising I have been using ad-week as my main news provider.  Ad-week is nice because they have this handy dandy food & beverage section.  Other advertising/marketing magazines I have looked into so far just don’t have the type of content I’m looking for.  So the only trouble I have come across is that sometimes there just isn’t any pop news about new ads.

Additionally I have learned that I need to make an effort to present all sides of the story, like with the coconut water story.  I shouldn’t just dismiss it as a product because no health benefits has been verified, it still is beneficial for hydrating and if someone likes the taste it is a great alternative to other sugar sweetened beverages.

I will continue to move forward in a similar manner with my posts.  Maybe I will try to do a post from one of my categories that isn’t used as much to add variety to my blog.

Review of Project

For my project I decided to continue blogging about food, nutrition, and marketing of food products.  My goal is for this blog to be informative and to inspire others to make healthy decisions and become more knowledgeable about the products they consume.  So far I did two posts about nutrition and one on marketing:

3/26 What’s the Deal With Fat?

3/28 New Chips Ahoy Ads Appeal to Kids?

3/30 Eggs: Why the Yolk is Good and the Breakfast Sandwich Trend

I enjoy doing research on the nutrition topics.

I enjoy the marketing posts the most because I can use my knowledge of consumer behavior, which fascinates me, to analyze how marketers are advertising their products.  Through my posts I would explain what they are trying to accomplish through their advertisements and how they manipulate our minds.  The trouble with marketing posts is that I would like to do them on recent ads and I can not assume that there will always be new sources of content in a timely manner.  However, I could do some research articles about the practices of advertising.

The trouble that I ran into was that I am really trying to push myself to write posts that are at-least 750 words.  In order to do this I look at multiple articles and try to fully cover each topic as much as I can.  The marketing posts will be relatively short and I will use them stay active on my blog while working on the longer posts on the side.

 

Weekly Review

The world of wikis.  I feel like there is still so much about wiki culture that I haven’t learned.  Like why would someone work in thread mode instead of document?  Someone please clue me in, still a little hazy about the double lines.  For our assignment I added content to Social Determinism and Digital Culture Divide.  Luckily for me I had already started working on social determinism so this week I was able to expand on it.  I’m very intrigued by the theories of whether we shape technology or technology shapes us.  This week I focused on learning about determinism and social theories.

Side note, since I’m attempting to move up in the world and get a job after graduation I decided to include my blog on my resume, particularly since I’m a Marketing Communications major and we’re all about web.  On my blog I created a special online portfolio tab which I found to be very easy to do and useful.

Weekly Review

This week I started contributing to wikis, or doing what I thought was contributing to wikis.  I’m not quite exactly sure what it means to contribute to a wikis.  So far what I have been doing is looking at information on such topic and then writing a summary in my own view.  Basically like writing a mini paper.  I’ve been working on this page.

I’m looking forward to learning more about wikis. So far I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to gain much insight because I was down in the cities during class last week at a career fair, yay future, gah.  Class tomorrow I’m sure will be insightful.

Weekly Review

I am comfortable saying I have the concept for wikis down and how they are beneficial.  The video was the most helpful in explaining the processes of a wiki.  Wikis aren’t very good at describe themselves because it is in their nature to link to many other things, so there is usually not one page that covers everything you need to know. All About Wikis

As far as actually working with a wiki I think that there is a lot to learn.  Like many things it has its own little world and I will have to learn the new lingo and practices of things.  The best way to learn this is to immerse yourself, so I will learn as I start to contribute to wikis this upcoming week.

It’s been kinda sad not writing posts as often.   I thoroughly enjoy writing on the topics that I have and there has been some ideas for new posts but because it is no longer an assignment, they fall to waste-side and other priorities move up the list.  Perhaps I should look into posting twice a week or something in-order to stay connected with my blog.

All About Wikis

The name “Wiki” was inspired by the Hawaiian word wiki or wiki-wiki, which means “quick” and is often used as a term for taxis and airport shuttles.

What makes wikis work:

  • collaboration
  • community
  • links

Wikis at their core are all about a collaborative movement to provide information on topics that can be viewed and edited by anyone who visits the wiki.

“A wiki is nothing but a collection of Web pages interconnected with each other through internal links” – How Wikis Work.

The openness of wikis turns many people off from them.  They think the web is a big bad place where people will mess with the text of your wikis and edit it negatively but this isn’t necessarily true.  When learning about wikis I thought of how much simpler a wiki would be for communicating with classmates rather than a Facebook obnoxious message.  Out of all the web pages in the world, I doubt any trollers would go out of their way to mess with some college kids wiki about their next class assignment.

Does a wikis possibility of being altered make it unreliable?  Well not necessarily.  The key thing that makes a wiki work is its community.  Contributors to a page can use tools to in a way moderate pages for vandals, dummies, and spammers.  The community, the web sites regular visitors, work collaboratively to edit pages and create well-written articles.

“Changes to a wiki will with be accepted, altered, or rejected by the community.  In that way, pages on Wikipedia are expanding and changing all the time.”  Wikis Wikis work because of the community of people who contribute to it and make it successful.

Why they don’t work

  • revisions
  • accurateness
  • reliability

Not everyone is a expert in a topic, even though they think they are and these people could revise text and make it incorrect.  But this is a double egged sword, just as someone could change the information to make it wrong other community members can make the information accurate.  Or at least we think it is accurate, there is no actual stamp of approval on a wiki that insures us that the information is reliable.

Working with wikis

For my future work with wikis I found these Wiki Social Norms to be helpful.  Always be respectful.  I’m best at learning hands on so once we start contribute to wikis I will become more informed about thread mode and document mode.