Before enrolling in this class I have always thought about publication and the online space. I thought I knew a lot about content creation and publication as a whole. However after the first few lectures I began thinking to myself what is publication, and the response that shaped my thoughts about publication the most was the talk done by Matthew Sadler. Stadler (2010) defined Publication as the “shaping and creation of a public and the creation of central ideas from artists and writers.” This definition helped me shape my ideas for my blog throughout the term. I now had a vision of creating a central public around the ideas of video game creation since I am very passionate and knowledgeable on the subject. This essay will be about the journey I took to bring my vision, and blog about game development and design and bringing it to life.
After the first week of classes I instantly knew I wanted to create a minimalist blog about video game design. I knew I wanted to create a heavy focus on branding and consistency between all my posts and create the perfect digital garden. (Basu, 2020) Digital gardens are niche interests websites that explore a variety of topics within a certain niche. (Basu, 2020) I knew I wanted to create the perfect curated content for new game designers who are looking for tips to start out. Therefore in a couple weeks after the first lecture I made a strict design document which I would follow within my website. This design document would help me create the perfect digital garden for my audience to roam freely and ingest all the content I provide to them. I wanted to create value to my audience by providing them a deep digital garden that will show tips on all aspects of game design. This will help my audience of newly starting game designers who don’t know where to start.
The design of my website was a minimalistic design which had simplicity at its main core. I then added pixel art to further emphasize the simplistic design and create a coherent and consistent website. I feel this was the right choice since it allowed me to focus on the content I was providing to my audience. It also made for an intuitive design and an ease of access for my audience which was exactly what I was going for. As Victor Kaptelinin states in his book about good design is that “intuitive design is good design.” He also states that affordance comes from intuitive design and that we should strive to create intuitive designed products. (Kaptelinin, 2012) Therefore I wanted to create an intuitive design for my website so my audience can easily find my content. I created a clean interface with easy navigation and kept everything in order. My intuitive design was also praised in my peer review through the term since many of my peers enjoyed my minimalistic intuitive design route. However, my peers did mention that my site was lacking in professionalism and was a bit too bare. I did address these issues in week seven and fixed the issues my peers pointed out to me. This helped me create a truly coherent website that my audience and myself would enjoy.
Unfortunately my website did not gain many visitors and most of my visits were from myself or my classmates. It was quite discouraging, however it did make me want to focus more on SEO for my latest posts. Since most traffic comes from online search engines the best way to obtain visitors would be through properly done SEO. (Hollingsworth, 2018). Therefore after week 10 I put a focus on SEO friendly content. Unfortunately due to my lack of visitors I also had no comments appear on my site. Once again this was extremely discouraging to me since I wanted to create a community where people can share ideas. Even though it was discouraging at first I stayed motivated to write quality content in hopes to curate a community that I can interact with. I did this by looking at what pages were most visited in my analytics and copied that style of writing into my future posts. This is because I was determined to create a public and community of my own within my digital garden. This thinking allowed me to still create quality content and push my site higher in search engines.
Overall, my publication journey has been quite pleasant since I learned a lot about digital spaces and the creations of publics. My view of publication has been altered since I now view websites as little gardens where people gather to share ideas and content within each other. This happens all over the web like when we share memes on Instagram or news stories between friends. Looking forward my goals would be to deepen my understanding of publication and the branding aspect of publication. I want to know how to carve out my own little space in the online world through the successful branding of my website or through other forms of media. Therefore, the continuation of this blog is extremely appealing to me since I was starting to explore the SEO aspect of content creation. I also feel once I get a good sense of branding I will be able to create the successful blog I had envisioned at the start of this term. To expand my online presence I was looking at other media channels I can move my ideas to. The most appealing one was YouTube since I feel my style of content can thrive there. Therefore, it’s up to me to use the ideas and tools I was taught throughout this course to create the perfect digital garden of my own.
Basu, Tanya. September, 5 2020. “Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet” MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from: https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/
Kaptelinin, V. (2012, September 20). Affordances. Retrieved from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/affordances
Matthew Stadler. 2010. “What is Publication?” Talk from the Richard Hugo House’s writer’s conference, Seattle, WA. May 21, 2010. Retrieved from: http://vimeo.com/14888791
Hollingsworth, S. (2018, April 17). 12 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO. Retrieved from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/why-seo-is-important-for-business/248101/#close