Before taking this course, I never thought I would create a website for myself or more than that, studying publishing is a totally new experience to me. Throughout the past semester, I had a chance to shape my own online publication and grew my own public. I am glad that took the course.
At the beginning, I was struggling a lot as an online publisher since I have never experience WordPress. I had to practice to brush up on my WordPress skills. In my high school years, I expressed myself on only visual platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr. Therefore, managing a website that is mostly based on written materials is very new to me. Maintaining requires a lot of work and time on creating content that attracts readers. Most of the time, it is challenging for me to put my ideas into words and create an impact on the audience since writing is one of my weaknesses. However, this lack of creation does not stop me from thriving as a publisher. I will just write what is on my mind and be creative on the design of the web since “content on the web is not king” (Gertz, 2015).
It did not take much time for me to decide what my site would be about. Cooking and food are my all-time favourite topics, so I decided to create a cooking site after just a few minutes. Moreover, I had been wanting to make YouTube videos about cooking for a couple of years now. This site would be a good start for me to maybe own a YouTube channel in the future. Being born and raised in Vietnam, I got familiar with Asian food and gained a decent amount of knowledge about most Asian countries’ cuisine, especially Japan, Korea, and China. The three years that I stay in Canada also teach me a lot about Western cuisine. Considering all the knowledge that I got on culinary in general, I decided the main cooking theme of my web to be Asian cuisine with a touch of Western-style. Because all the recipes posted are easy on ingredients and do not require too much cooking skill, it would be no problem for everyone to follow using their own kitchen. Besides, I would also write blogs about Asian culture around the kitchen and Asian cooking methods to increase engagement with the readers.
During this pandemic time, I notice that a lot of people are having a hard time finding fun things to do while spending their days in isolation. And because we all stay at home, cooking becomes a crucial part of our life. My main targeted audience here are college students who live alone and young people that do not live with their families. These people tend to avoid cooking before the pandemic as they are busy with work and study. Therefore, my site would be a great source for them to learn more about Asian cuisine as well as feasible cooking recipes. I believe the way I designed my web would attract this group of readers as it is eye-catching and create the feel of youth.
My online publication is only focused on the website, which is small. Hence, there is not much data for me to collect and analyze. I was hesitant to spread my channel to other social platforms like Facebook or Instagram because I was still unsure of my ability to develop the web if I have too much on hand to handle. With little insight statistics, it is difficult for me to tell if I was able to reach my intended audience in some aspects. This will be a motivation for me to keep developing my site to see if any trends occur.
Although I have never put my public self out online before and still lack a lot of publishing skills, I would try my best to grow my online self and keep blogging even after this course. Before this semester, I know nothing about publishing as it is a brand-new concept to me. Now that the course is coming to an end, I feel grateful and appreciative of all the opportunities and what I have learned about my publication of self. One of the lessons that I learned is that attention is the foundation of the public. “Because a public exists only by virtue of address, it must predicate some degree of attention” of its members (Warner, 2002)
Gertz, T. (2015). How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse. Retrieved 7 December 2020, from https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines
Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics. Quarterly Journal Of Speech, 88(4), 413-425.