I always wanted to have a blog or some form of documentation in my life but I never knew how. PUB 101 was also a class that I have been wanting to take for a few semesters but I was never able to get in due to the popularity and waitlist that this course withholds. When I finally got in this semester, I was so excited to start a journey of not only documenting a period of my life but as well as learning all the skills to build an online presence and make it into my own!
This blog was initially to document my family and I’s journey throughout the pandemic as business owners as the restaurant industry has been hit extremely hard since March of this year. I wanted to do this so that I would have something to look back on when hopefully, one day this pandemic is over. However, this blog has slowly turned into not only just current experiences but I have found enjoyment in writing about past experiences and I was surprised at how many of the course contents were applicable. I am not sure how much value or influence I have added to others but my hopes for this was to show awareness for small businesses and how anyone can support them during the pandemic. Every little bit counts!
Along with all the technical skills that I have learned from this course, I have also been hit with realization of the factors that make up what kind of space the internet is today. Some of the topics that stood out to me most during this semester were: fake news, copyright, monetization, and transmedia.
In week 7, we learned about fake news and the circulation behind it and I slowly realized that fake reviews could be written just like any fake news report. In my experience, it is common that one may exaggerate the issue when slightly discontent with an experience regarding a restaurant, especially when they are hungry and eager to eat their food. One small slip up could stir up a bunch of emotions and cause a blowout. Lewis & Marwick (2017) discuss how trustworthy media really is and how manipulation may be used to someones advantage. Being the daughter of a long time restaurant owner, I have heard countless stories of toxic restaurant relationships in which one party is discontent with what is going on, resulting in spread of inaccurate information online, ultimately leading to manipulation of others. Luckily, my family and I have never experienced that personally.
The next week, we went on to learn about copyright. It’s actually a coincidence because the day after that lecture, I was at work and noticed a bunch of the photos of our food on the delivery app Fantuan, was switched and not the original ones that we submitted. I called the customer service line and was told “it’s fine, as long as the food looks similar”. I responded with “no, we cannot use photos that were taken by someone else without crediting them, which is not possible on a delivery platform”, and they were very unhappy with me.
Monetization was also a topic that I found to be very eye opening. I was about 14 or 15 when “YouTubers” became a thing and influencers who were made money off social media starting becoming very big. Vara (2015) writes about how Steven T, Jones, an editor, started a kickstarter to continue his love for journalism “by letting people give online contributions to help fund…” (Vara, 2015) the window for reporting and writing. In terms of integrating ads into this blog itself, a peer suggested ideas such as pairing with local businesses to benefit both parties (Atwal, 2020). However, Atwal (2020) later recommended that monetization may not be fit for my blog as it is already one big advertisement for my family business alone and any other advertisements may harm the business which I strongly agree with.
Finally, the last topic that stood out strongly to me was transmedia and how we can incorporate multiple forms of media and how diverse it can be! Kevinbrittenylauren.wordpress.com (2013) discusses how Pokemon has developed into such a big corporation with many types of media, ranging from TV shows and video games, all the way to stuffed animals and even theme stores! By doing so, this company has been able to stay in the spotlight for many years and continue to be a relevant part of not only kids but adults’ lives as well! After learning about transmedia, it made me think about how I would want to incorporate different types of media to advertise my parents’ business.
This class has ultimately taught me so much in such a short amount of time and it has made me want to discover and learn more about the publishing industry. I didn’t think I would want to continue blogging after this semester due to my busy schedule but now, I wouldn’t mind putting aside some time for this blog. There is so much to discover in this industry and I am planning on taking PUB 201 to further my knowledge. I am so excited!
Atwal, J. “Peer Review Three”, Don’t Ruin My Mood. Retrieved from: http://dontruinmymood.com/pub101-assignments/peer-review-three/
Kevinbrittenylauren.wordpress.com. 2013. “Pokemon as transmedia storytelling. https://kevinbrittenylauren.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/pokemon-as-transmedia-storytelling/
Marwick, Alice and Lewis, Rebecca. 2017. “Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online“. Datasociety.net.
Vauhini Vara. 2015. “Survival Strategies for Local Journalism”, https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/survival-strategies-for-local-journalism