So today is my birthday …

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… again for the 22nd time. And I am excited for this year. Not only am I graduating from Adv Graphic Design, and entering the vortex of industry and employment—I am most excited that this is an even age year.

To me, it seems as though the even years are better than the odd years. This is strictly my own bias due to my life experiences, though as you read further, I think there might be some (f)actual sense to this.

Let’s go backwards:

Age 21: I grew up. I stepped out of my dependance on my parents, got a loan, got an apartment, gained new bills, bought groceries, did dishes without the help of a dishwasher. Big things, though it was a phase of awkward growing pains and floundering.

Age 19: You’re no longer 18; the romance of being able to buy alcohol, attend certain venues, and vote has worn off. This was also the year where I pumped gas, trying to be responsible and earn money for post-secondary, as all my close friends were travelling europe and living abroad. Shitty.

Age 17: Not quite 18 but sooo close. You’re the top of the social heap as a senior in high school, and think you’re the shit (what a joke). Friends stagger into adulthood, though not all are of age, and not everyone can go to the bar and celebrate.

Age 15: Zits, and drama of being fifteen year old girl. I actually can’t remember what happened when I was fifteen. Except zits.

Age 13: First year as a teenager, and where I went to school, the first year entering the high school. The intimidation, the awkwardness, the transition from being on top of the heap at the elementary, to the lowest of lows in the high school is psychologically detrimental.

Age 11: I won’t go any further than this. All I have to say for age eleven is that this is the year where puberty sets in, and all the kids at school are smelly and have yet to learn hygiene. This is the year I transitioned out of wearing tomboy clothes to a more feminine attire my mom wanted for so long.

In conclusion, I find that as I grew up, the even years were so much better than the odd years. Now that I am an adult, my hope is that every year will be awesome, that there won’t be such a noticeable difference in the quality of odd and even ages.

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My Social Media Policy

Using an already created template (see below) this post defines how I will conduct myself through Social Media use.

Content credit goes to Melanie McBride, and also this webpage.

1. Connecting: New Followers

When I have new followers on any of my Social Media (SM) outlets, I would assume that they have taking the time to follow me because they either know me, or have similar interests. I don’t expect them to give me an introduction, if I am interested in them, I’ll check them out.

2. Follow, add, friending

I am not one to follow or friend an individual on SM simply because they have followed me first. This especially applies if they are merely an acquaintance, or a stranger. I will follow people if I find them/ their content interesting.

3. Privacy, boundaries and safety

When connecting/conversing over SM I tend to only private message. Such as in Facebook, I don’t feel as though my conversations and comments need to pop up in others’ news feeds, so I opt for private connecting. This especially applies to people I am trying to network with—people from the industry. Though, if I am responding to someone’s posts, or giving a compliment, I feel that it is alright to post in a way that other people can see and comment as well.

4. Signal to noise

[Do you have any strong feelings about the kind of social media experience you seek (or don’t)? For example, do you have a problem with people using RSS in their Twitter? Do you get annoyed by multiple status updates? Make that clear here (so people aren’t surprised when you unfollow them – or vice versa)]

5. Personal data and sharing

I believe strongly that what is posted (in public) on SM is meant to be shared, though with this, credit should be given to the original poster. For example: the other week one of my friends messaged me saying that a Winnipeg tourist blog was using one of my Instagram photos, though without crediting me. I got upset, and I contacted them (in an admittedly snarky way).

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Unfortunately, the situation transpired to be more complicated than necessary, and it resulted in the post being taken down, and a discussion with the author of the blog.

What upset me most is that this professional journalistic blog failed to hold themselves to the (albeit, unwritten) etiquette of SM, took what was not theirs, and attempted at passing it at their own without giving credit to the original author.

6. My networking needs and uses

Different SM outlets are used differently from each other. Such as, my Linkedin account is strictly professional, and useful for a networking and career purpose. This is not a place to share my new favourite goat picture with my friends—that would be appropriate in Facebook. Facebook is a more casual communication tool, useful to connect and share information, and articles with friends and family. Twitter is my source of news—it is my personally curated feed of world and local news, and topics which interest me, such as the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, and local design studios. Finally, Instagram is my most personal SM outlet. Here is where I share personal moments and achievements hoping to share and gain attention from my peers, friends and family. I am a very visual person, and appreciate a visual story more than written and verbal, and I love to communicate to those I care about through my Instagram photos.

In which I discuss curating a museum blog

The thing with blogs is that they are created to curate information, and that the curators (whether an average joe or jane, or an employee of a professional enterprise) are people who like to write, and sometimes too much. For me, an excessively written blog is tedious and turns me off from spending my time with it. Similar to exhibits in museums—I feel that to make a successful exhibit (whether a blog or museum exposition) it needs to be designed cleanly with a lot of space, and the information given simplified, direct, though complete.

One example of where a museum blog site fails at being effective, is the British Museum blog. In my opinion, it’s like a punch to the face. I don’t know where to look, the information is overwhelming, I don’t know how to find anything, and frankly, I don’t care. A few seconds in and I’ve clicked away from this mind and eye-boggling blog.

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In contrast, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) blog site, strategically titled “What’s On” cleanly showcases current and past articles while owning the clean branding of the rest of the WAG’s site. It is simple, navigable, and keeps me on the page and interested in clicking around.Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 6.08.07 PM

In conclusion, maintaining branding, adding white space, and keeping information clean will produce a successful blog—and that information-diarrhea on a site will kill it.