Peer Review #3

Peer Reviewing: Tiffany Wong

Reviewed by: Crystal Zhang

Website URL: http://balancedbadass.ca/

Tiffany’s website is called Balanced Badass. Just from the title, I can’t exactly tell what her blog is about, but the images and the way she presented her home page is enough for me to want to read on and discover more.

The first thing I did was to try and dig more about the website itself and what it’s about. So I went to her Menu and clicked on “about me”. However, I got the message “Non-existent changeset UUID.” several times, so I’m not really sure whether it’s something on my end or whether she didn’t update it that part of her blog.

There are two main aspects in her blog: her journey to recovering and sharing her lifestyle with her audiences in a blog style after her recovery. However, as we continue discovering some of her articles, we realize that it’s about body image and her experiences of it, as well as routines she may follow to have to keep up somehow. I was genuinely interested in her blog because it’s also something I’ve struggled with, so just that, already intrigued me to continue reading. Through this, I believe her blog can attract INTENDED AUDIENCE who may struggle with the same issues and would love some help by learning about her experiences. I believe that this site may be more popular with female audiences, and with the layout being more feminine, that females are indeed the target market.

From the previous peer preview, it’s been mentioned that maybe she can have an intro page that explains what the blog might be about. But as mentioned above, that page didn’t pop up for me. It was also suggested that she could include a “contact” me section so that her audience can feel more connected to her. However, I do not see that. But, she’s pinned her personal Instagram, Pinterest and Spotify on the top left corner, which can also serve as a way for her audience to reach her if needed.

I think she did an outstanding job at picking the right images to capture audience attention- an image goes with every blog and some are aesthetically pleasing, while others may be more risqué. But those are all to capture the eyes. I also enjoy the way she writes and layouts her posts; caption and some information underneath. However, I think some posts can be longer.

The website as a whole is worthwhile to read and discover more; awesome job!

Peer Review #2

Peer Reviewing: Celine Kurniawan

Reviewed by: Crystal Zhang

Website URL https://celineshyggehub.com/

Celine’s website is called Hygge Hub- An Indonesian Food Catering Service.

I am genuinely amazed by Celine’s web design. Right as you enter, you’re welcomed with a mouth-watering picture of Indonesian food. It helps capture the reader’s attention and makes you want to continue reading and discovering what more there could be.

In her menu, she attached a site trailer, in which I thought I was extremely cool. It was a video she filmed expressing some highlights of her website. It was short and simple, but with adequate information that would make audiences want to go check out what she was talking about. However, I thought that maybe the video could have been part of the “HOME” page instead of its own page. It’s like an introduction to her page, which would’ve been fair to put on the home page. On her home page, she has a beautiful layout that shows a wide range of blogs, but there’s also no description of her site. As a reader who new to her page, I would like to know what the site is about instead of having to dig around myself and assume based on the titles of her blogs that are listed on the very first page. But overall, I love the aestic of the first page, and how she layered her blog posts.

However, I must also stress the name of the blog. When I first read “An Indonesian Food Catering Service”, I was sort of confused on what the site is specifically about. Do I just order from here? However, it’s when I read on that I understood there’s more than just that; there are actual posts about different people/food she recommends.

Since peer review 1, I think Celine was able to take the critique and improve on her site’s overall consistency- because as I mentioned, the food images really did capture my attention. She definitely also improved

Overall, I really enjoy the whole vibe of the website!

Peer Review #1

Peer Reviewing: Carol Lam

Reviewed by: Crystal Zhang

Website URL: http://nihon-shoku.comr /

Carol’s website is of her Japanese foodie adventures.

The layout is simple. There are pictures of food she wants to talk about and had a little description box. If it entices you, you can click continue reading and it’ll take you in to a page that further introduces the item. I really liker her home page layout as it gives a simple and clean feeling. Her pictures are also really appealing to the eye and captures attention for sure. The little descriptions she has gives little snippets to readers and hence, they can make the decision of weather to move on or not.

She also had sub categories on her page, respectively, “eat with me”, “travel with me”, and “learn with me”. I think it’s amazing to have sub categories as it’s more organized. However, I feel as if her “eat with me” and “learn with me” categories sort of overlap each other. As a reader, I get confused because so far, it seems as though her “learn with me” items are more so researches she’s done rather than her own experience. That is why I genuinely enjoy her “eat with me” category section as I’m reading more about her experiences, which is what her blog seems to be catering towards.

Her professional self shows her love for food and is clearly passionate about sharing with her audiences.  I personally see it as free advertisement for the food places she’s visited. One thing I’d like to point out is, not only does she describe the food she ate, but as you click into the “continue” reading section, she describes the entire atmosphere of the restaurant and gives a little background of the restaurant as well. This gives her readers a more well-rounded experience and feels as if they can rely on it as a source of trustworthiness.

In Carol’s “learn with me” category, although I’ve had mixed feelings with it because it doesn’t seem to align with her description of her blog, but I appreciate that she had different sub headings on each page. The subheadings are interesting and a great way to capture the attention of readers.

Maybe she can state clearly what the blog is about. She mentions in her heading that it’s to welcome others to her Japanese food adventures, so that’s what I expected. Maybe it’s just an interpretation on myself, as the reader’s end, but because her heading is short right now, I don’t think it hurts to add on a few more words, to explain how she also discovers new food related to the Japanese culture and digs deeper into that aspect of it.

Overall, great vibe and loving the website!

Process Post # 10

Second week in and I’m finally getting used to settling down- spending most of my time at home. For someone who’s in school full time while juggling two jobs, this is a lot of excess that I’m not very used to. I tell myself that I’m lucky to be able to stay safe in the comfort of my own home. Days are becoming longer and slowly starting to blend, but work and school work still needs to be done, so it takes up a good chunk of my time. In the first week of staying home, I found my mood to fluctuate from good to bad just constantly, as if I didn’t even know who I was. My level of energy was circulating from “I’m mad” to “we’ll get through this together”.

Despite this being quite the roller coaster ride and having many feelings of fear for the unknown, everyone is going through the same thing, and the beauty of it is being able to reconnect with old friends and just checking up on each other. It’s so important to remember to use this time and check up on some of your friends-even the ones who are constantly smiling, because we all need a little care and love in our lives.

In relations to our class content, how is this pandemic effecting companies and how are these brands responding? Many smaller businesses are forced to close down and aren’t financially stable. There’s only so much they can do. However, there are bigger companies that are donating money to help make masks for front line workers, or even celebrities helping pay laid off staff members for a period of time. My cousin for example, has a restaurant in Seattle and they’re making different dishes for different hospitals everyday. I’m positive all of them come from the kindness of their own heart, but it definitely helps building a brand name and putting their company names out there.

Process Post #9

A website’s SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization is when a website shows up as one of the first links on the first page through a search engine. This process is generated through keywords. Let’s take a popular YouTuber, LaurDIY for example. With over 9 million subscribers on YouTube and 5 million followers on Instagram, we know that she is somewhat popular. When you type “LaurDIY” into google search engines, many of her videos pop up, followed by her YouTube channel, Instagram, her online shop, twitter, her Wikipedia page and Facebook page- ALL ON THE FIRST PAGE. This is practically a dream for those who are just starting out to building their brand, because web traffic is generally more popular on the first page. I read somewhere a long time ago that people generally don’t click past the first three pages if they’re looking for a site. So LaurDIY’s page is in the right place, generating exactly where she wants her brand to be. I remember following her when she had less than 1 million subscribers and when typing in her name didn’t generate as many results yet. Overall, this really shows the importance of optimizing keywords and how it helps with brand building.

Progress Post #8

Wow what a week! Everything has been happening so quickly, all within a couple of days. It’s scary. It’s scary because we don’t know what’s next to happen and human brains are are wired to be afraid of not knowing what is ahead of them. Look at us at this moment just sitting at home because all with in these few days, schools are closed until further notice, non-essential businesses are closed, everyone needs to social distance. So here I am, working on my post at home!

This week’s lecture was posted online so it’s easier to keep track of all the major points. It centred around marketing and how doing so properly can generate monetary income, also known as monetization. It’s generally an action one takes to “make an asset profitable”. It’s a money making strategy that works and both parties- both the YouTubers themselves and the sponsors take advantage of said opportunity. Let’s take YouTube into account, as I believe it was one of the very first sites that went into the practice of monetization. Essentially, it starts with sponsors looking for YouTubers who post consistently and has a decent subscriber following. The sponsors’ will provide ads that is placed in the YouTuber’s video in between certain time stamps. The more views the ad achieves, the more the YouTuber gets paid. Besides this, YouTubers can also partner with sponsors by explicitly introducing a product to their subscribers in their videos, or start their own brand and promote in videos. The Partner Program enables both content to be reviewed so content gets promotes accordingly.

As someone who isn’t too public on social media, it amazes me how a platform that was once used to showcase interest in film making and the creatives, is now an advertising and money-making platform.

Process Post #7

Donations, subscriptions, equity crowdfunding and lending are all different types of “crowdfunding“. It’s the process in which a business can fund money to support said project by raising money via a huge crowd of people.

One method of crowdfunding that I’m personally more aware of is the Patreon on YouTube. As I follow many YouTube channels, and has been a long dedicated fan, I’m aware that many OG channels still post quality content over quality. Because of this, they don’t have as many new subscribers as YouTube will generally recommend more popular or trending YouTubers, which cause them to have less sponsors because of less exposure. Therefore, they have Patreon pages in which followers can choose to contribute a certain amount each month. Depending on the amount you choose to pay, one gets different perks, and the more you contribute, the more perks you get. You can think of it like a subscription. If you choose to contribute $5 a month, you may get the first view to pre-released videos, versus if you contribute $50 dollars a month, you can get the first view to videos, VIP tickets to fan meet and greets, discounts on merchandise etc.

The Fight After Dinner

Before we start, quick question! Who pays for the bill when you go out to eat with a group of your friends? A fair and normal answer would be splitting the bill or paying for your own portion. However, that’s not how one rolls in the Chinese community. When my parents and I go out for dinner with another Asian family in Canada, and whenever I visit China, there’s always the fight after dinner. No, not an MMA fight, but a fight for the bill.

Before the actual dinner is finished, you’ll witness one side of the family secretly going up to pay, or asking the waitress to prepare the bill so that they can pay for it. In any case, if the other side catches you, they’ll run at the speed of light and snatch the bill out your hands. Hence, the rest of the family and even restaurant, will enjoy a 5 minute match of MMA-Chinese fmailies fighting for the bill version; believe me, it gets verbal, even physical sometimes.

However it’ll always end up with one side expressing their gratitude, “Aiya, why you gotta be so crazy and fight to pay? Thank you LA, I pay next time. Don’t fight next time.” Trust me, when one party says they’ll pay next time. They mean it.

Why, you my ask, would one fight for the entire bill instead of enjoying a free meal? In Chinese culture, if you’re dining with someone in the same generation, you fight for the bill as a way to show “face”. This signifies generosity and consideration for others. It shows you appreciate their friendship and companionship and that it’s greater than the value of money. However, it’s also part of our culture that we reciprocate over time, so if you lost the bill this time, be sure to fight your ass off for it the next time. Other wise, you’ll probably hear your name in mutual friend groups associated with “frugal” the next time round.

In situations of seniority, when I dine out with my grandparents or even aunties and uncles, it is expected for the elder to pay most or all of the time. Once one makes enough money, or has a career that can support their everyday lives, then they can start “fighting for the bill” too. Keep in mind that fighting too much if your family can be like showing off against the respected elder person. However, I see it as something more symbolic, something I would do once in a while; think of it as a child treating a parent to a meal or a mini vacation. It comes from good intention as a token of gratitude for taking care of me and a simple thank you.

To say the least, in the Chinese culture, we believe in maintaining our relationships based upon continued, mutual reciprocity and we express by “the Fight After Dinner”

Money Saving Hacks

In Chinese, there’s a phrase we regularly use: 俭是一种美德. It roughly translates to “working hard to save is a virtue” or similar to the quote: The love of economy is the root of all virtue. I keep this in mind because it’s the way I was brought up. As my parents were immigrants to Canada over 25 years ago, they came here with very little money with little education. They basically started from $0 and had to work their way up by working a ridiculous amount of hours 7 days a week. After years and years of hard, dedicated work and frugal ways of living, despite not being super rich, I can say we are in the upper middle class and I don’t have to double think before making purchases anymore.

Sometimes I think back, and realize that I’ve only known my parents for who they were as my parents; forgetting that they had a life, a childhood, an upbringing of their own, their own experiences growing up. I’ve only known my dad to be frugal, and my mom to save every single penny she had for my brother and myself. As a child, I’ve never ridden in a brand new car. In my 20 years of being alive, my parents have only owned two cars, both of which they got for second hand, and can use for 10+ years. The family car we drive now; an Acura MDX 2004 model that we purchased second hand in 2009. A car that is sturdy and doesn’t cost too much for maintenance, and can get us from destination A to B. Believe me when I say that car has been through with us through thick and thin. I see my dad driving that car even after I have kids.

However, comparing to now, my brother and I both saved up enough to buy ourselves a new car each. It’s funny how my parents disagreed when I wanted to buy a second hand car; they told me that for safety reasons and easy maintenance, to just get a brand new car so I don’t have to worry. This puts into perspective in two ways 1) parents wanting the best for their children if conditions are met 2) after 30+ years of being frugal growing up, they finally opened up a little to money spending.

Another strong memory I have is my mom’s shopping habits. She never followed clout or went for the latest trends. I remember one year when we went on a road trip to Seattle, it was her only time contemplating whether she should buy an LV bag that she’s been wanting for the longest time. After persuading her that she works super hard and that it’s okay to reward herself, she eventually made the purchase, which was like a nail hammered into her heart. But up until now, 10+ years later, it’s still the only bag she uses.

Growing up, we barely ate out at restaurants. We are a family of four and with just about $60-$80, we can feed the entire family at a Chinese restaurant with 3 dishes, a soup and white rice. Whereas going to a fancy restaurant, a dish on its own can easily be 24 bucks without filling our bellies. Asians are all about being full for less. But moral of the story is to just STAY HOME AND COOK.

My dad also seems to have a certificate in everything; he fixes everything at home by himself. From our car, to the stove, the washing machine, the sink, name it and he can fix it. We haven’t spent a dime on asking someone to help us fix anything in our class- like NEVER. Come to think of it, my parents paid off mortgages for 3 properties in a couple of years. We always say, if it wasn’t for my brother and me, my parents could retire and live a happy life. But really, it’s all thanks to the beauty of being frugal.

Reflecting back, I’ve always been mindful about my money. I never bought anything without second though. I would even ask myself, how long did my parents have to work so I can get this? Sometimes, it’ll be something as little as a $12 t-shirt. I’ve been working and saving since I was 14, and I would be able to make a down payment on a house if I really wanted to. That may sound liek a weird flex, but I’m actually really proud of myself..:D However, there’s that mentality that makes me want to go YOLO. I’ve realized that the older I get, the more I spend lavishly without thinking. Sometimes, it feels as if I’ve forgotten what my parents have taught me about the beauty of saving money growing up. Reflecting on my upbringing with the previous generation and even the generation after myself, there’s a difference in mentality while maintaining some cultural practices we’ve been raised with. Most Asian parents’ goals are for their children to be able to afford buying their own homes; follow their philosophy, don’t buy random things! Their list of random and unnecessary things can cover up the entire pacific ocean, no jokes.

However, the beauty of this is that most Asian families knows it. Unless you were “born with a golden key in your mouth”- a common phrase used to express rich Asians that don’t understand the value of money, you have to go through this to understand the value of hard work, and it’s actually a beauty in our cultural practices.

Naturally, we price compare, without double thought. It’s ingrained into us growing up. We even buy things that may not have the best quality to save money. And after writing all this, despite not being the richest, I want to do my best to treat my parents (HOWEVER, keep in mind you might get lectured because they would want you to save money and buy a house instead.)

It’s funny, because before I started writing this article, I actually intended to share some hacks Asian parents saved money in their little house holds that others may find funny. Hence the title “Money Saving Hacks”. Funnily enough, I started reflecting back on my own upbringing with my parents, and comparing it to the generation of people I grew up with and how we’ve become based on how we were raised. It was a nice little reflection to remind myself how blessed I am for having a roof over my head, that I don’t struggle to put food on my plate, that I have a solid education, and with loving parents. Hence, to stay true to the original concept of this article, I will share a with you a few #funforlaugh Money Saving Hacks with you. Feel free to comment if you think of any that I may have missed. Enjoy!

#not turning on the AC until you’re about to have a heart stroke or the heater until everyone is freezing their toes off

#using newspaper to clean glass

#using rice as glue

#using soy sauce to soothe your burn instead of going to the doctor

#bring your own drinks to restaurants

#bargain until you can’t no more..

#stop spending money on shots..or pregame if you really got to go out

#avoid western restaurants

#eat at buffets

#using plastics to cover up your electronics so they stay new and clean

#buying clothes extra large so you can grow into (now obviously, this only applies to kids before hitting puberty)