Final Thoughts and Reflections

My university experience has been full of ups and downs, but after taking a year off, PUB101 has been an amazing way to jump back into school. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into this class. I had a feeling that it would include some sort of content creation based on the course description, but other than that I went into this blind. That being said, I was so pleasantly surprised. This is the first course that I have taken that has allowed me to express myself and my ideas so freely. I also loved how challenging it was though. I learned so much about WordPress, the types of content I like to create and consume, the way I like to write, and also how to step out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed PUB101 so much that I have already declared into the Print and Digital Publishing minor!

Before taking this class, I was always so anxious about sharing any of my work with anybody, but having a class full of people who are learning and creating at the same pace as me gave me a level of confidence in my site that I never expected. I have shared my site with so many people and have received so much positive feedback, which always feels great. As I mentioned in a previous post, I plan on transitioning this site over to other social media platforms so that I can continue to develop my short-form video creation skills and build my audience on a platform that I am more familiar with.

To anyone who is interested in taking this course in the future, Suzanne and Christina have been phenomenal instructors. Suzanne creates really engaging lectures, her energy makes it super easy to feel comfortable participating in class, and it’s clear that she cares about improving the education system for all of us. Christina brought a lot of knowledge about both the course and the publishing industry, and she has been approachable and understanding throughout the semester.

I Really Enjoy Short-Form Video Content

At the beginning of the course, I was certain that I wouldn’t post any videos. I had never used any video editing software, and I didn’t take a lot of videos in general, so it didn’t seem realistic to me, but my mind changed after we had to submit a mini assignment without any text. I made a reel-style video and really enjoyed it. It was super simple and the editing is far from perfect, but I enjoyed the process a lot. I made 2 or 3 other videos after that, and they are some of my favourite content on my site.

If I could go back and change anything, I would have turned “Fueling Your Twenties” into a TikTok or Instagram, and I would have focused on developing short-form video content. I used Capcut to make all of the videos, and I think I’m going to continue learning how to use all the features of the app so that I can make higher quality videos.

Rather than continuing with my posts on this site, after the class is over I plan to move all of my content to a social media site, most likely Tiktok. I am going to turn all of the posts that I have so far into some sort of video. Fitness content is huge on social media, and I can totally see myself building a bigger audience there than I can with this site. I also think I would find a lot more enjoyment in posting on social media, as I really enjoy consuming fitness content on social media.

Peer Review 3

Radu’s site “Radds Games” reviews indie video games. The site’s design is really cool. The live graphics on the homepage capture the essence of a video game, and the bold colours and fonts really enhance that vibe. My only recommendation for the site’s design and layout is to add some additional categories to the menu so it is easier to navigate between the blog posts and the PUB101 content. 

When completing these peer reviews, I find it really helpful to read all of my peer’s process posts to develop a better understanding of their vision. Unfortunately, Radu only has 1 process post on his site, and I couldn’t use it as a resource for this review. With that being said, it’s pretty clear that Radu set out to create a site that appeals to other people who appreciate gaming as he uses a lot of vocabulary that is pretty unique to the gaming community. What I enjoy about the content, even though I am not into video games, is how thorough every review is. I was really able to gain a good understanding of each game just through Radu’s commentary. We are already in week 11 though, so Radu is behind in his content as he only has 6 posts. 

The reading from week 10, “State of Mobile,” really helped me to come up with some ways that Radu could increase the marketability of his site. The reading provided some examples of how different types of video games appeal to different demographic groups. I think that Radu could use this to inform some of his content. Radu could tailor his content towards his target demographic, whether older versus younger age groups or female versus male, by reviewing the types of games that appeal to that specific demographic. Additionally, I think that Radu could grow his site by linking it to other social media sites. Based on the little bit I know about video games, a lot of people who play video games enjoy doing so online with their friends, so it would be fitting for Radu to start a discord server where the site’s audience can come together and play the games that he has reviewed. This would allow Radu to directly interact with his audience and build a community. In the same vein, Radu could livestream his gameplay for his audience and do real-time reviews. 

Overall, Radu’s site lacks some content, but the content that is available is high-quality and clearly tailored to a specific audience, and the design is simple but effective. To increase the marketability of his site, Radu could narrow down his target audience and review games that appeal to that group, as well as expanding his site to other social media platforms. 

Analytics and SEO Sounds Like a Foreign Language

For class today we had to complete two online courses about Google Analytics. Honestly, I completed both of the courses but I struggled to follow along. I have always struggled with collecting and interpreting data and this week’s material is no different. I really want to better understand this stuff though, so I am going to share the things that I did learn this week so that I can come back to this post as I learn more to fill in any gaps.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. From what I understood from this article, SEO is a way to increase your site’s visibility and expand your audience. The goal is to make your site easy to find through a search engine which can improve the site’s performance, whether that be through sales, engagement, etc.

Analytics are a way to understand what is working on your site, as well as what isn’t working, based on data like site traffic and demographic information. Sites like Google Analytics make this more convenient by putting it all in one place. The reports that Google Analytics creates for you will vary based on your objectives and your role.

I started to get really lost when the course talked about tags and dimensions and metrics.

I have the Google Analytics plug-in installed in WordPress, and I try to check-in every few days to how much traffic my site has had. Other than that, the features of the plug-in go totally over my head.

Reflecting on My Week 7 Presentation

In week 7 I did a presentation for the class about habits to practice to get more comfortable with writing. Presenting is not something I am very comfortable with at all, but at the beginning of the semester, I promised myself that I would do things to get out of my comfort zone. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the presentation went! The class made me feel welcome, they engaged with my presentation, and I even received a few compliments afterwards, which obviously felt super great and increased my confidence. I have felt my confidence about my site slowly increasing as the weeks go on, which has made me feel more comfortable posting videos and photos to my site, and I feel like I am more comfortable writing in my own voice. I have even started to consider starting an instagram to go along with my site, which is something that I have always been too scared to do.

My presentation slides and the transcript I prepared for myself are attached to this post so that my classmates can refer back to it if they wish!

The Role of Critical Thinking, News Literacy, and Social Media Literacy in the Consumption of Mainstream News Through Social Media Sites Among Adolescents

In recent years there has been an increase in the reliance on social media sites as mainstream news sources, especially among adolescents and young adults (Ku et al., 2019). For example, Matsa (2022) and Liedke and Gottfried (2022) found that in 2022, 10% of Americans turned to TikTok for news, compared to 3% in 2020, with individuals under 30 years old being the most likely to get their news from the app. Not only has there been an increase in the use of social media sites for news consumption, but social media sites have been identified by many adolescents as their preferred news source (Ku et al., 2019). Additionally, research has shown that many Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 trust news that is shared on social media as much as, or more than, they trust news from national news broadcasters (Liedke & Gottfried, 2022). The increased use of social media as a source of news raises concerns as to whether the information is presented accurately to the consumer, as well as whether consumers can accurately assess the legitimacy and reliability of the information presented to them (Ku et al., 2019; Tian, 2022).

Social media sites use algorithms to determine what content users like and dislike. While these algorithms aim to keep the consumer entertained, they play a detrimental role in disseminating mainstream news (Ku et al., 2019). The algorithms note what content consumers are most likely to engage with, and they present the consumer with similar types of content (Ku et al., 2019). In the context of mainstream news, this is concerning, as these algorithms can create situations where consumers are exposed to news that is biased, one-sided, or in line with their existing views, which challenges the consumer’s ability to think critically about the media in front of them (Ku et al., 2019) Additionally, Tian (2022) found that relying on social media sites for news can lead to burnout in which adolescents become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of news available to them across the various social media platforms. In turn, adolescents become less likely to engage meaningfully with mainstream news.

Despite these concerns, social media sites allow adolescents to actively participate in discussions about mainstream news. As such, rather than limiting access to social media among adolescents, they must be regularly taught critical thinking skills. While the current education system tends to discuss these skills already, it would be beneficial to include social media-specific critical thinking skills in the curriculum for all ages. Ku et al. (2019) found that adolescents are generally able to understand the content, context, and political leanings of the news that they come across on social media, while they struggle to evaluate the legitimacy of the sources that the news relies upon. Additionally, adolescents who actively seek out news, as well as those who understand social media algorithms tend to display stronger critical thinking skills than adolescents who do not (Ku et al., 2019) As such, the curriculum surrounding critical thinking should place particular focus on the evaluation of sources. On top of critical thinking skills, adolescents should be taught news literacy skills to prevent the burnout associated with the massive amount of news that is always available to them (Tian, 2022). News literacy includes the ability to critically assess the material that is presented, as well as an understanding of the tactics that different news sources may use to spread their message (Vraga & Tully, 2021). Finally, adolescents must be taught a basic understanding of the mechanics of social media sites. An understanding of social media algorithms, and more specifically, how their interactions with social media content impact the types of content that they will see on their pages in the future would better equip adolescents with the necessary skills to critically evaluate the news that is presented to them (Tian, 2022)

The last few years have seen a drastic increase in the use of social media as a source of mainstream news, especially among adolescents (Liedke & Gottfried, n.d.; Matsa, 2022). While this allows adolescents to be active participants in discourse about mainstream news stories, concerns have been raised as to whether social media sites accurately present and share information with their audience, as well as whether adolescents are prepared to critically assess the information that is presented to them (Ku et al., 2019; Tian, 2022). To maximize the benefits and minimize the risks associated with the consumption of news through social media, education for adolescents about critical thinking, news literacy, and social media literacy should be included in the curriculum in schools (Ku et al., 2019; Tian, 2022; Vraga & Tully, 2021).


Ku, K. Y. L., Kong, Q., Song, Y., Deng, L., Kang, Y., & Hu, A. (2019). What predicts adolescents’ critical thinking about real-life news? The roles of social media news consumption and news media literacy. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 33, 100570.

Liedke, J., & Gottfried, J. (2022). U.S. adults under 30 now trust information from social media almost as much as from national news outlets. Pew Research Center. Retrieved November 9, 2023, from

Matsa, K. E. (2022). More Americans are getting news on TikTok, bucking the trend on other social media sites. Pew Research Center. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from

Tian, Q. (2022). Impact of Social Media News Overload on Social Media News Avoidance and Filtering: Moderating Effect of Media Literacy. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 862626.

Vraga, E. K., & Tully, M. (2021). News literacy, social media behaviors, and skepticism toward information on social media. Information, Communication & Society, 24(2), 150–166.


I put off working on my website accessibility until this week because I thought that it was going to be way more difficult than it was. I did some reflecting on this and realized that just because I am privileged enough to not have any unique accessibility needs, it is unfair for me to make my audience wait for their needs to be met just because I think it is going to be an inconvenience for me.

I installed the One Click Accessibility plug-in and the WP Accessibility plug-in, which did most of the work for me. There is now a button on the side of my site where users can change various settings to make the website more accessible which is awesome. Additionally, I added alt-text to my photos. I need to consult with Christina or Suzanne about the text I have created because I am not totally sure if it is correct, but at least there is something there now. I also need to figure out how to add alt-text to my header image, because I am not prompted to do so anywhere in WordPress. I am going to spend some time this week looking into what needs to be done to make videos on my site more accessible, as I have a few posted already.

Peer Review 2

Julia’s Digital Diary is an online collection of her varied interests, ranging from books and music to food and fun activities. In the “About” section, Julia explains to her audience that she wants her blog to be where she can talk about all her interests in one place. The home page of the site is designed to look like a notebook. The different shades of pink in the header are striking, and they remind me of diaries that I had as a younger girl, which creates a sense of nostalgia! 

Julia’s site exhibits great balance. There are photos of varied sizes across the site that create visually appealing asymmetry. In addition, the photos used across the site, like the photo of Julia in the sidebar, create a nice contrast that makes her posts pop. I also think the site has accomplished a good sense of unity, as the font, colours, and style are uniform and consistent across the entire site. I thought it was great that the site’s theme carried over to Instagram as well. 

The site is easy to navigate, with clear menu categories and post titles. As I was navigating through her site, though, I noticed that when you click on the “Blog” section, you are directed to a blank page. To fix this issue, Julia may have to edit her posts so that they are included on the blog category landing page. Additionally, it appears as though Julia is still working on a lot of her content, as there are a few posts that have titles and photos, but no content. 

I enjoy the content that is up so far on the site. As someone who is also into books and music, I love hearing other people’s opinions on these topics. Julia’s writing style makes you feel like you are having a conversation with her, which is entertaining and relatable. When reading her post about “Nook,” I noticed that she mentioned a previous post she had written about another restaurant and included a very clear link back to that post, which is super smart. Additionally, I appreciated the seamless integration of her Spotify playlist in her “for life music” post. 

I think that Julia would benefit from reading the assigned article from week 7 by Travis Gertz. In this article, Gertz discusses ways in which site administrators and designers can learn from editorial-style designers. I think this design style would translate well to Julia’s site, as it almost reads like a magazine. Overall, the design and layout of Julia’s site are visually appealing and easy to navigate, and her content is super fun to read. 

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