Mini Assignment 5

Weekly Website Management Breakdown

I have created this pie chart based on how much time I weekly spent on developing my online self (mainly my website). I must say that it varies depending on the week. I just looked at the time spent throughout all the course weeks and calculated the mean, which you can see on my chart. 

The four important elements here are:

  1. Content creation – my blog posts: writing reviews, creating book lists and reading tips & hacks. 
  2. Engagement and Social Media: it didn’t take much time in the very beginning but since I added TikTok posting to that platform took a little more time than expected, as I’m trying to be consistent with my posts for them to make it to the FYP. 
  3. Visuals: imagery chosen for the website & videos for the TikTok. 
  4. Website maintenance: changes I added to my website in general, updating and installing plugins, choice of the theme and managing the software overall. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul

I have been gatekeeping these books for a while now but they should get the recognition they deserve!

“Chicken Soup for the Soul” created by Jack Canfield is a book that is not talked about enough. And guilt pressures me now as I remembered it only while creating two previous posts on reading slumps. I cannot believe that I missed this one and I’m about to recover myself.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a series of books where every single one is dedicated to one specific theme. Each book has a similar opening: “Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 stories about…” and the topic. As you might have guessed it’s not some ordinary series, it truly is a magical one. All of their books contain 101 stories, but not fictional, real-life, personal ones! Thousands of people from all over the world send their stories to the publishers, which later on are carefully chosen for the new novel. Some of them are sad, some of them are happy, some are amusing and others are scary, but every single one with no doubt teaches you an important lesson. You get overly emotional, you sob, you laugh, you learn. It motivates you and inspires you. People share their most beloved, secret stories with millions of readers. It’s like making a hundred and hundreds of pen friends!

Remember when I said that “All the Flowers in Paris” is the only book that made me cry?

I lied. This one did too. Not once, and not twice, but dozens of times. And I’m so glad that one day I was introduced to this series. And now I want to introduce you all to them.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Chicken Soup for The Soul: 101 stories about happiness
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners: 101 Inspirational Stories of Energy, Endurance, and Endorphins
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic: 101 Holiday Tales of Inspiration, Love, and Wonder
  • Chicken Soup for The Soul: 101 motivational stories

Please check out this book, read it once and believe me you will get addicted.

Post 9

In regards to this week’s process post prompt I would say that there has been a number of discussions, even articles written by scholars, which raised the topic as two sides of the coin issue. But yet many creators use analytics in building their platforms, which sort of is explained as a necessity for them. 

But the advantages of analytics for content creators must be carefully balanced against user privacy and data traces issues. In fact, analytics solutions give producers really useful information that helps them better understand audience behavior, optimize their content strategy, and increase engagement. material providers and their consumers can both gain from this data-driven approach, which can improve the caliber and relevancy of material.

On the other hand, the converse creates legitimate worries about user privacy. Constant data collecting, frequently without awareness or consent, can be intrusive and raise concerns about how much personal data is collected across internet platforms. It can be uncomfortable for users to know that they are being monitored everywhere they go online, and it raises concerns about where to draw the line between collecting data for improvement and protecting people’s privacy. 

As technology develops further, maintaining a balance becomes more and more important. It entails putting user privacy and transparency first while yet making use of analytics’ advantages for content creation. To address these issues, it is essential to implement clear data privacy policies, offer opt-out options, and guarantee ethical data management procedures.

In the end, building a reliable and moral online community requires finding a balance between using analytics to improve content and upholding individuals’ right to privacy. Which is a very complicated thing for sure. But for content production to progress and user privacy rights to be safeguarded, platforms, creators, and regulators must work together to strike this balance.

Reading slump: why they happen and why you shouldn’t feel bad?

In addition to my previous post about books that might get you out of the reading slump, let’s talk about the actual burnout a little more. Falling into a reading slump is a common experience and can happen for various reasons. It’s essential not to feel bad about it and instead approach it with understanding and patience. Here’s why it can happen and why it’s okay not to feel guilty about it:

Reasons for a Reading Slump:

  1. Burnout or Overwhelm: Sometimes, life gets hectic, and our mental and emotional energies are consumed by other priorities, leaving little room for leisure reading. (like exams season or work overload)
  2. Lack of Connection with Books: You might have picked up books that don’t resonate with you or fail to capture your interest, making it challenging to engage with them. (I heard a lot of people saying that your brain will feel uneasy if you don’t finish the book. Don’t listen to that, stop reading if you don’t feel like it)
  3. Pressure or Expectations: If you feel pressured to read a certain number of books or specific genres, it can create stress, leading to a loss of enjoyment in reading.
  4. Stress or Emotional State: During stressful or emotionally heavy periods, focusing on reading can be challenging as your mind may not be in the right space for it.

Why Not to Feel Bad About It:

  1. It’s Normal: Reading slumps are a natural part of being a reader. They come and go, and almost every reader experiences them at some point. 
  2. Self-Compassion: Putting pressure on yourself to read can cause a slump. Being kind to yourself and accepting that it’s okay to take a break from reading can help you get back faster. 
  3. Rediscovery: Slumps can lead to rediscovering your love for reading in different ways. It’s an opportunity to explore new genres, formats, or even take a break and come back to reading when you feel more inspired.
  4. Reading Should Be Enjoyable: Remember that reading is meant to be enjoyable, not a chore. Don’t do it because you have to or because everybody does. If you’re not enjoying a book or reading in general at the moment, it’s perfectly fine to take a step back.
  5. It’s Temporary: Slumps don’t last forever. You will find your way back to reading when the time is right. Meanwhile, engaging in other hobbies or activities can be just as fulfilling.

Feeling guilty about a reading slump only adds unnecessary stress. Take it as a natural phase, and when the time is right, you’ll naturally gravitate back to the joy of reading.

Most importantly don’t compare yourself to others. These all not only apply to the books I present on my website but the academics materials too!

Mini assignment 4

For this mini assignment I created a video (meme, sound) as a remix ,and in order to connect to the theme of my website I incorporated the Shatter Me (series) characters in it. If you haven’t read these dystopian fiction novel by Tahereh Mafi yet I encourage you to do so , if you have though you will understand the idea behind the sound chosen and the characters’ placement:)

P.s. Defy Me

Top 10 books to fight Reading Slump

Fell into the reading slump? No worries, happened to the best of us! You know what might help? Not quitting reading and throwing your books away!  but this list of easy read suggestions which will put you back on track! Let’s dive in:

  1. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams: A hilarious science fiction tale filled with absurdity that makes a light, and entertaining read.
  2. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: A famous classic that explores themes through a simple yet profound story about a young prince’s journey across the universe. (When I was young I thought it was a fairytale, and maybe it is, read it and tell me what you think:)
  3. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho: A compelling and philosophical story about following your dreams and destiny, wrapped in an adventurous narrative which makes the story more exciting.
  4. “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah: A memoir that combines humour and heart, offering insights into Noah’s rocky upbringing or his ‘difficult’ life during the apartheid era. (Sounds difficult but start reading and you might actually be invested)
  5. “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur: A collection of poetry that delves into themes of love, loss, trauma, and healing, with powerful and concise verse.

*This one is absolutely golden, so sweet, interesting and motivational. And overall most of the poetry books are easy to read. 

  1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens: A blend of mystery and coming-of-age set in the marshes of North Carolina, offering a realistic portrayal of a natural world and a compelling story.
  2. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon: A unique and touching novel narrated by a teenage boy with Asperger’s syndrome, embarking on a quest to solve a neighborhood mystery.

If you have your recommendations of the books that helped you with fighting the reading slump feel free to comment on them below!

Post 8

This week we talked a lot about copyright and Artificial intelligence. I particularly thought a lot about the question raised about AI ‘working’ without human involvement being granted copyright protection. Since human thought processes are the source of creativity and uniqueness, copyright protection is generally granted to works generated by humans in many legal systems. But because of developments in AI and machine learning, AI systems are now able to produce content on their own that is creatively or uniquely original.

The question of whether AI-generated works should be credited to the AI or its creators or if they belong in the public domain is up for disagreement.  Some contend that removing copyright protection from content produced by AI could discourage investment in and innovation within AI technology, hence reducing their capacity to produce unique and valuable content. 

However, on the other hand, opponents of assigning copyright to works produced by artificial intelligence argue that creativity is naturally human and that copyright is essentially a human notion. Giving AI the ability to own copyrights could lead to discussions about accountability, ownership, and the ethical implications of giving non-human creatures the power to create. I loved the discussion this question raised. I would definitely look more into it, never yet have I found a question without having any contradictions.

Other than that we have a number of assignments due next week, the main one is an essay which I am (ironically) doing on AI topic, the mini assignment and two weekly posts. I’ll be focusing mostly on the essay as it was mentioned as an essential here, but I already have an idea for the remix (the mini assignment four) which will be a video (and sort of a meme and books combination) I’ll see how it would look like and probably brainstorm some other ideas to.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote

This is the last book from our cozy fall reads list that I’ll be covering, expect more books within a different perspective. If you want to see the full list make sure to check out my cozy fall reads list.

For this week, as a perfect closure I chose “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote. 

I strongly recommend this book for everyone who likes to dig deeper and uncover the man character more. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a classic that invites readers into the vibrant world of New York City’s social scene in the 1940s. At its heart is Holly Golightly, a young and elusive woman whose elegance attracts those around her. The novella is told through the eyes of an unnamed narrator who becomes entranced by Holly’s charm and unconventional lifestyle.

Here I might say that this book did not make it to my favorite’s list. I still recommend it for you my dear readers as I believe everyone reading it from their own perspective might find something new for themselves. I am not saying that I hated it but I am not saying that I enjoyed it either. 

So as you might already anticipate this review will differ from my previous ones. 

Light, I would even say windy, Holly Golightly flutters through her life within the pages of this book. She lives out of suitcases, tries not to get attached to anything or anyone. She runs away from any hint of “sedentariness”. Even from an ordinary cat. But people are attracted to it and I might add there are reasons for her behavior. A difficult childhood and the need to find ways to survive early (are major ones). Hence the marriage at the age of 14, and the provision of dubious services, including, transmitting the “weather forecast” to prison. Which later comes out sideways for Holly…

But let’s drop that and continue  (no spoilers as I promised!)

Holly literally flutters through life, looking for her place. She charms and manipulates people and as you might connect the dots the only thing she cares about is herself. She just can’t live by the unwritten laws of society and can’t find her place in life. 

There is also a symbolic meaning in the name that she chose. After all, she refused to take the name that was given to her at birth, Lulamae. Instead she took – Holiday which by obviously means a day of festivity. As wherever she goes there is always a party around her and amounts of people wanting to be in her vicinity. It also appeared for me that with her name “Holiday” she is compensating for something that was missing from her life.  As for her surname, even though she has inherited it from her husband, the translation also adds a sense of symbolism to her character which means: going to the light. So Holly travels to the ‘light’ that only she can see. As she has a dream, and her dream’s name is – Tiffany. 

I really don’t want to spoil it for you as I am sure you heard a lot about this book (or movie) and are willing to explore it yourself! I would like to chat about it even more if you have different thoughts on it, feel free to comment under this post. 

Enjoy your reading!

Post 7

This week one of my classmates was making a presentation about writing, called “Make Your Writing Your Own” (as far as I can remember). And she shared a lot of excellent tips. I took a creative writing class once a couple of years back, not offered by SFU, just an online course I found through a website like ‘Coursera’. And one of the two points that really caught my attention from this in-class presentation is ‘write what you would want to read’.

Seeing yourself in the reader’s shoes as a writer provides a valuable framework for creating information that has an effect on your audience. Think of the characteristics that capture you in a review: sincerity, engaging stories, in-depth research, and a strong feeling of passion. Incorporate your own sincere responses and thoughts into your writing, just as you would as a reader looking for real and reliable evaluations. Examine reviews that grab your attention and apply those aspects to your own writing: clear language, a range of viewpoints, and a mix of emotions that draw readers in from the first word. To accommodate a wide range of reader tastes, aim for usefulness and various genres. It is similar to making investments because it is usually a first suggestion – investing in the companies which products you use yourself.

Moving on to a second point which is to keep your ‘notebooks’ nearby. And this is kind of similar to journaling. Whether it’s a physical notebook, a digital notepad, or a voice recorder, having a tool on hand to quickly ‘pen’ down thoughts, concepts, or inspirations is so important. Ideas habitually appear at unexpected moments—while reading, walking, or even during conversations. By writing them down right away you are making sure that they won’t be lost or forgotten, who knows you might need those for later. Applying this method creates a supply of raw material, enabling authors to use their imagination and transform temporary concepts into fully formed, influential works. 

I use this concept in particular not only in journaling but also while writing book reviews. Sometimes a thought about the book may hit you while reading the other, which could be an interesting point to unravel while writing a review, so it’s important to capture them at the moment.

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