Essay #2

My experience as an online publisher was great. I have really enjoyed being able to create, and publish my thoughts and to share that with my online audiences. In the short time of this semester, I was able to develop not only an interest in doing this, but a love for it.

I really liked the opportunity and the freedom that this website gave me. I was able to design, and create posts to make it what I wanted. This website has also helped me in creating and expanding my online presence. I have tried to connect my social media’s and this website in hopes to create a more interconnected network of what and who Lauren Mason is.

I also liked how in this class, all of our assignments were also posted. In the article by Erin Glass, she speaks about “Social Paper” and why it is important. I agree that it is so important. The online world has become such a big part of our everyday lives as citizens. She says that student writing “never has a chance to shine, or rather, to attract an authentic public.” I could not agree with this more. We as students spend hours and hours working on papers and assignments that only our Professor or TA will read. I think that having a space for that work to be shared and circulated is so important. Glass also talks about the disconnect from intellectual activity and life, and I do not like that. I think that that disconnect is not the best thing for our society, and that intellectual activity should be intertwined with everyday life. We should be able to share what silly things our friends did yesterday along with the thought-provoking paper we just wrote for our class. She ends with saying that “a public must not die every semester” and I could not agree more. Thankfully, in this class, my work does see the light of day; it reaches more than just my Professor and TA, it has the potential to reach the whole world. This is so exciting for me! This website has limitless potential, and it all depends on me as a content creator to capitalize on that potential. A daunting but challenging task that excites me. My website can be an online public sphere that allows for intellectual activity, thought provoking and cultural discussion.

My website is all about wrestling. Wrestling tournaments, gear, mindset, and so much more. I wanted it to be a space for everyone. My public is, as this article puts it, a relation among strangers, may of my readers don’t know each other directly, but I hoped that the people who read my posts can be interested in it. No matter if they are just learning or know a lot about wrestling, I want it to be a place where people can connect and discuss. My posts are all centered around some aspect of wrestling and in each one, I offer some insights on that topic. I try to keep each post fairly neutral, and encourage people to comment their thoughts and options on the subject. I think my website offers a unique look into the wrestling world, and helps to spark interest to discuss it further.

The wrestling world is relatively small compared to other sports such as football, and the people who are in it are very close. Within that world, there are many different opinions and views, and I think that that is one of the things that makes it so great. Wrestling very versatile and it is a sport that anyone can do, and so the wrestling world is something that everyone can be a part of. The diversity that exists there is what helps to make it so great. I have tried to offer a diverse range of posts with room for those diverse opinions to exist. I think that this website is a great space for that discussion, and I hope as I continue to write posts that this space can expand and help both wrestlers, wrestling fans new and old to participate in discussion.

I have also learned a lot about my website and my audience through Google Analytics. Using Google Analytics has also been such an interesting experience. I have found it very useful in seeing who comes and how they come to my website. It was cool to see the opposite side of what I have been doing online, the behind-the-scenes of my own online use. I have been learning a lot lately about data and social media/online use, so being able to see this in action. Through Analytics, I can see which posts are the most popular, and which days are the most active. The affordances of Google Analytics allow me to see my audience. There are so many possibilities that my website allows for, and I have tried to take advantage of them; things like audience commentary, and linking it to the rest of the online network, and so much more. This article talks about how design offers certain affordances, and I have tried to do that. I have tried to design my website in a straightforward way to make it easy to understand and engage with, along with being easy to navigate through. The article says that great designs are “those that allow us directly, and correctly, to see what we can do with a thing.” This is what I want direct and clear ways to talk about what we as a wrestling community can do with a certain topic.

Through the website, I have enabled comments on my posts. I have received a few comments from viewers on posts, and also those viewers have also commented on other viewers comments. This interaction between users was cool to see. My audience not only interacting with my posts, but with others who are viewing my posts as well. This has influenced me to create more thought provoking posts in order to get my audience to interact with the post and each other as well. I have tried to create a space for interaction and discussion of wrestling things, and it seems, to a certain extent that it is happening! It did take some time, and effort thought.

At first, I was just kind of writing whatever I felt, and now I am thinking more about what my viewers would like to see. I have noticed the shift in myself, and it is really cool to see. I have turned my mentality from “this is what I am thinking right now” to “how can I create something that will be interesting to my audience”? I also think that visualizing my audience has made it easier to connect when comments come. I have also noticed that writing comes easier the more I do it. As I have written over the semester, I have over 30 posts on my website, and I will say, 1-5 or even 1-10 were much harder to write than the last few. I got into a flow and sort of just went. I wrote in a slightly informal style, because I wanted it to be both easily understood and like it was more like speaking with a friend than reading an article.

Going on from here, I think I will continue to write!

I have really enjoyed this process, and the freedom it holds. I really liked the freedom especially. I like that I can write about whatever wrestling topic that comes to mind. I have written about quite a few things, but there is still so much more to write about. I really like to ask questions, and dig deeper into and find unique approaches to certain topics, and I want to continue to do so. I also like the opportunity creating content on my website gives me. Since I want to be a sports broadcaster, it allows me to get some experience in creating and publishing content about a sport for others to view. l will continue to do so, and hopefully one day make a career out of it, however that may present itself.

Olympic Trials

The year 2020.

What’s the first you think of when you hear that?

A new decade. The Presidential Election.

Did the Olympics come to mind? If you are an athlete, it probably did.

As 2019 comes to an end, and 2020 comes closer, a lot of athletes have their eyes set on the Olympics. Even though they will be held in the summer, they are closer than they seem.

In our practice room, we have both Canadians and Americans competing and training to make Olympic Teams.

The Canadians have their Olympic Trials in 2 weeks! December 7-8th! So soon! They are currently in their prep for the competition, and will begin their taper in the coming days.

The Americans have their Olympic Trials April 3-4! So a little later on. They are currently training for tournaments that qualify for the Trials.

There are good and bad aspects of having the Trials tournaments when they have them. Having them in December allows for athletes to have ample time to get ready for the Olympics and to get mentally and physically prepared for the tournament. Having them in April allows for the excitement to be fresh in the Olympian’s mind. However, having the trials in December is not ideal because it is pretty early in the season and quite soon after the World Championships which were in September. Having them in April is not ideal because it is pretty late in the season, only 4 months before the Olympics take place.

No matter when they are, the Trials are incredibly important. The Olympic Trials tournament is the tournament that decides who the Olympian will be from each athletes respective countries. It is an incredible honor to represent your country in the Olympic Games. A feat not many get to do.

There are 3 teams wrestlers can make. Men and Women’s Freestyle, and Men’s Greco. For the women, there are only 6 weight classes; 50, 53, 57, 62, 68, and 76 kilograms. Six! Only six women get to compete in the Olympics for the entire country.

Many athletes have dreamt of going to the Olympics since they were little, and the Trials are the first step to the realization of that dream.

So as 2020 creeps up, the Olympics do as well.

It’s going to be a big year, and a great competition, but first, the Trials.

The Wrestling Room

A place of pain,

A place of comfort,

The wrestling room is a paradoxical place. It represents strength and vulnerability. Competition and cooperation.

For many wrestlers, their wrestling room is a type of home. They know it, the routine, and people who are associated with it, and they feel comfortable there. On the contrary, it is also an uncomfortable place. It is where wrestlers have to move out of their comfort zone and to try new things. Where they often fail over and over again to eventually become better.

Many friendships are formed in a wrestling room; there’s just something about suffering, working hard and accomplishing something with people that creates a bond like no other. Some of my best friends have been made in a wrestling room (or in multiple wrestling rooms). The camaraderie of wrestling is unlike any I have ever seen before. There forms a brother or sisterhood between people, and you know that your people have your back.

It is a place of failure but also a place of improvement. Practices are hard, and often require a lot of trying over and over again. You have to put your moves to the test, and most of the time they don’t work on the first try, or the second… but maybe on the 102nd try. As they do work in the wrestling room, people are broken, but champions are made.

Long days and nights are often accompanied with wrestling. Coming early to practice, or staying later after to get better. The wrestling room lays wait for wrestlers to come take advantage of being on the mat. Competitions and tournaments are all day events, and so those long days are a time to show what you have been doing in your long practice days.

It is a place of respect. Respect of your coaches, your teammates, the mats, and respect of yourself. In our wrestling room, we listen to our coaches, do what they say, and shake their hands after practice. You respect your teammates, even if you don’t like them; part of that respect means not going easy on them, and being a good partner. Helping them when they need it, and lifting them up when necessary. You respect your opponents and their coaches. You both are trying to be the best, and you need to recognize and respect that. You respect the mats and other equipment that is needed for the sport. And you respect yourself. You hold your head high, keep your composure, and work hard to reach your potential.

The wrestling room is so many things depending on who you ask. A place of learning, of strength, of hard work.

For me, it is all of those things… it is home.

Community Guidelines

I am a big fan of the Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. I like to be treated well, and in turn I try to treat others well too.

In that sense, I try to be kind, respect others, and to be fair, whether that is in real life or online. I think that the online world is a reflection of real life, and so, online users should behave in a similar way that they do in the real world.

Guidelines are great. I think that knowing what is expected is a good thing. Having clear standards and upholding them can be a very good thing. When I am aware of how I am supposed to act, I think it helps me to stay in check, and I am better all around.

I think of my website as a community. a community of online users that reads, discusses, and interacts. The community of Lolo’s Lowdown.

Some community Guidelines for my website would be respect other users. It is ok to have different options, and beliefs, however, that does not make one person better than the other. Since I am the primary content creator, I do not think I will have a problem with much of what is posted, but the comments posted by others should be respectful and not rude or condescending. Commentary should be respectful in language as well, name calling, profanity, and vulgar language will not be tolerated.

These standards are the ones that I will uphold on my website, and they may be subject to change as time goes on. As for now, my website is primarily a one way type channel; me to my viewers, (However, viewers can comment and interact) so I don’t think I will have to do much moderating, but if necessary I will.

The community guidelines of Lolo’s Lowdown are important to me, and act as standards to help keep this platform positive, informative, and something that people want to keep coming back to visit.

Mentality

The wrestling mentality…

Something that is often talked about in the wrestling world. But what is it actually?

It’s encompasses so many things, and yet is so different for everyone.

Ask any wrestler, and they will say different things, but the wrestling mentality is widely recognized at what keeps you going in this difficult sport.

There are so many things that a wrestler needs to do, and often times they are not so enjoyable. Characteristics like hard work, and integrity are relied on, but of the many values a wrestler needs, the main concept that stands out would be discipline.

Discipline encompasses so many aspects of wrestling.

In your nutrition in order to stay at your specific weight class. Having discipline to eat right, control bodily cravings, and fluid intake. Especially in practice, to do the moves correctly, and to be on time, to work hard. Having the discipline to do extra conditioning when needed. In competitions, often times, at a tournament, you are either a little banged up, or haven’t wrestled at your best, but you have to be disciplined to keep going.

This discipline is constantly relied on, and often there are two aspects that are focused on in the wrestling mentality.

Practice mindset and Competition mindset.

There are some who are “practicers”. They have a specific mindset and they love to practice, they enjoy working hard, and putting in the work before competition. They go all out and leave it all there day after day. They like the work, the preparations, the grind that comes before the competition.

Then there are some who are the “competers”. They live for the competition. They love every opportunity they get to show their skills and compete. To have all the eyes on them, the pressure, and the raw conflict that is wrestling.

Having this mindset is what helps to make wrestlers great.

One of the greats and as some would see as the father of the North American mindset started with Dan Gable. He can be seen as one of the founding fathers of wrestling in the United States. One of his famous statements was “Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” This is because wrestling is hard. Practice, competition, everything. It’s tough.

Wrestling is not a sport that you can “fake it til you make it” Nothing is given to you. You have to put in the work. As once was said, “You don’t deserve anything, you earn everything.” This requires discipline, and a specific mentality that a lot of wrestlers have.

So though I can not define what the mentality of a wrestler is, and can tell you this. There is just something about wrestlers that is different than other people.

It’s what keeps us coming back day after day and loving it.

Infographic of Me

 Create an infographic that summarizes your online self.

I am so many things, but here are just a few:

I am a very loving and trusting person, and I consider many a ‘friend’. Along with that, I am very social; I will talk your ear off if you let me. I love to ask questions, and to know the ‘why’ behind things. I am very loud and enjoy discussing topics at length. I love to hang out with my friends, and I would for sure consider myself an extrovert.

I am a high performance athlete. I am a wrestler at Simon Fraser University. I have placed high at many national tournaments, and I am a 2020 Olympic Hopeful.

I am spontaneous and adventurous. I am definitely a dare devil. Sky diving, cliff jumping, dirt biking, I’m all in! I love doing things that make me feel alive. Though I am very organized, I love doing things spur of the moments.

I am a very optimistic person as well. I believe that most people are good, and that there is always a positive side to whatever happens to you. I think that we are here to experience joy and help others to do the same. Just because it’s raining, down’t mean you can’t have a ‘sunny’ attitude. (That was so cheesy)

I am very detail-oriented, I think it’s that little things that make up the biggest difference. The little things on physical, emotional and mental side. I notice the little things, shoes, hair pins, nail polish color.

I am a media manager. I love media. Of all kinds! I want to be a sports broadcaster or to be in sports media/media management as a career. I love the many intricate levels and aspects that come with looking at the media. There are so many nuanced things that are often overlooked or not recognized, and when they are brought to light, it unfolds so much. Media is a whole new world that is just being discovered, and constantly changing in the environment of the internet.

That’s just a little bit about me!

Analytics

There are two sides to the coin of digital analytics.

I think that the idea of someone watching me as I scroll through Instagram or as I search something in Google is a little unnerving. The fact that all my personal preferences, and data are being collected and then sold to companies is kind of crazy.

But however, I do continue to use my social media platforms even with that knowledge. And I really enjoy the fact that I can do all that free of charge.

With the introduction of Google Analytics to my website, and by using it, I am able to be on the other side of that coin. I get to see who comes to my website, how they get there, how long they stay, and so much more. On the other side of the coin, I am collecting (on a small scale) people’s data for my benefit. I use analytics because I want to get more traffic here on my website.

I have been learning about this concept in a lot of my classes lately, and it has been very interesting to see how social media (and other) companies collect and then sell my data to advertising companies.

Part of it worries me. That I am seen as a commodity, being targeted and analyzed constantly.

Now that I am on the other side of the coin, I can see why it is necessary, and very helpful. This is such a new concept that has never really been experienced or observed very much since it is so brand new.

Part of it is perfect. The fact that I receive ads just based off my preferences and what I like makes things easier.

Now, as a content creator, I like to see the data and preferences of my viewers so that I can more fully cater to their wants. However, as a viewer I have mixed feelings. I kind of don’t like it that these companies have my information without my consent. But I do like it when I see something that I like, or something that I am interested in.

Though there are two sides to this coin, it is not all black and white, there is so much gray area in which we as content creators and viewers reside.

For now, I will continue to use social media and willingly offer up my data, and on the flip side, I will continue using analytics to see what I can do to make my website the best it can be.

Integration of MEdia

Interconnectedness is important in the online world we live in, and often makes media better.

How often do you find yourself reading something online, and then you click on something which takes you to another link, a social media platform, and next thing you know you are looking at the owner of your favorite clothing company’s new dog he just bought…?

So when asked to make a plan for incorporating more transmedia integration into my online publication. I didn’t even know where to start.

But I am going to start small.

I use social media everyday. I often find myself scrolling through Instagram of Facebook when I am bored, or winding down from a long day. And I know I am not the only one who spends almost 2 hours per day looking through the latest on my newsfeed. So I thought, why not integrate the two. This website with my social media platforms.

By doing that, I will not only help my followers and friends on my social media platforms to find my website, but I will also help my website readers get to know me more. I post a lot of my personal life on my social medias, and by integrating the two, I can help to merge these two worlds. The personal and the professional. (Or more accurately semi-professional)

So, follow along! Keep reading my posts. But get to know me! Check out my Instagram and Facebook pages! I can’t wait to start this, and I will definitely be posting more about it as time goes on!

Peer Review #3

For this Peer Review, I reviewed Maggie Chen.

Her website is called “Illustration of Everyday Life”. It is all about drawing, and is beautiful and simple. I have really enjoyed it. Maggie also explores the connection of visualizing feelings, for example in this post, she talks about how she just wasn’t feeling it, and the only visual shows how she is feeling is scribbles. I love that, it is so raw and beautiful. The way that she can put emotions into art.

Maggie’s website is easy to read, and fun as well. Her audience is everyone! She speaks very informally, almost as if she is taking to her friends. So we as her audience become her friends. Her posts are simple, and she explores many different styles of drawing; some look like they are colored pencil drawings, some look like markers, and some are even digital.

My favorite post of hers I think would be this one. It is called “Craving For…”. It is simply an ice cream cone. So cute and well done, and who isn’t craving ice cream? I know I always am!

The only thing is that Maggie’s website is very linear. There is not much connection with it and other things online. I would suggest that she adds in some links, or social media, etc. To do this would help her to leave more visible “breadcrumbs” throughout her blog, and then with the rest of the online world. It would help to make a better digital presence, and I think increase the amount of traction on her website.

All in all, a great website with good content. I like it!