Text Remediation: Humor

Remediated by: Estrella, Karl, Cassy, Katy

Anthropologist Mary Douglas (1991) examines the very thin line sepa- rating a joke from an insult: a joke expresses something a community is ready to hear; an insult expresses something it doesn’t want to consider. Thus, recognizing a joke involves exchanging judgments about the world and defining oneself either with or against others. Content creators can endear themselves to a particular audience by showing they understand its sensibilities and can alienate themselves by miscalculating that audience’s sensibilities. Humor is not simply a matter of taste: it is a vehicle by which people articulate and validate their relationships with those with whom they share the joke.

Consider a breakout advertising success from 2010: Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign. Launched in February by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, the television commercials feature Isaiah Mustafa as Old Spice Guy, “a handsome but somewhat inscrutable figure who engaged in random acts of manliness”: “the man your man could smell like” (Potter 2010). 

Promising to transform customers simply through their use of the product, the spots draw on some of advertising’s own clichés and cultural touchstones. It parodies not only the pitchman but also the commercially manufactured ideal man—all “chiseled torso and ridicu- lously self-assured tone” (Edwards 2010). Old Spice has employed such techniques multiple times in the past. For instance, a commercial in2007 showed how the product could grow chest hair instantly (a feat its competitor in the side-by-side comparison couldn’t manage). This manliness made it the ideal choice for “real man situations, like basket- ball, recon, and frenching.” A 2008 spot featured a spokesman sliding around the entirety of a baseball diamond while he promoted Old Spice as the “bare-knuckle, straight-on tackle, heavyweight deodorant that gives the best game, set, and match, high-stepping, sudden-death, double-overtime performance in the pit fight against odor.” By 2009, the product was shown as the deodorant of choice for the winners of manly competitions such as arm wrestling, the karate chopping of concrete blocks, and chainsaw carving. In the latter case, the Old Spice deodorized winner carved his own block of wood into a chain- saw, and he then used it to carve his competitor’s block of wood into a sculpture, all before the other guy could start his saw. Old Spice has long experimented with parodying the advertising industry’s construction of masculinity.

For the impressions minded, by September 2010, the original Old Spice Guy spot had received in excess of 25 million views on YouTube, while the Old Spice channel showcasing all the campaign’s videos received about 94 million views. At that time, the brand had acquired more than 90,000 Twitter followers and more than 675,000 Facebook fans. Perhaps in relation, sales of Old Spice grew 30 percent from February through July 2010, the five months after the new advertising campaign had launched (Edwards 2010).

We might see the “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign as a product of Old Spice’s ongoing experiments with finding the right humor- ous tone to mock notions of masculinity (Caddell 2010). Unlike the previous spots, this campaign engaged both male and female viewers, as the commercials are directly addressed to the “ladies” who are often purchasers of body wash for their significant other. Its self-parodic elements implicitly grant users permission to adopt and adapt the content for their own purposes.

Parodies of the Old Spice commercial spread across the Internet as users drew on the spot’s form and structure to conduct their own conversations. Men of all body types and sizes shot spoofs featuring “more realistic” men your man could smell like. The children’s television show Sesame Streetproduced a version featuring the character Grover that promised to help viewers “smell like a monster.” Australian political comedy program Yes We Canberra! shot a version critiquing the status of gay marriage down under, and another Australian Broadcasting Corporation spoof featured an animated Tony Abbott, leader of the Australian opposition party, begging to be “the man your PM should be.” Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library even produced a version selling the merits of studying in the library.

“Smell Like a Man, Man” serves as a good exemplar of a “pro- ducerly” text. The video has a clearly defined message, but the absurdity creates gaps “wide enough for whole new texts to be produced in them” (Fiske 1989b, 104). Wieden+Kennedy enlisted Mustafa to shoot 186 individual videos over 48 hours and posted them on YouTube, responding to comments sent to Old Spice Guy via Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook and to video responses left on YouTube in real time. Old Spice Guy responds multiple times to Alyssa Milano (whom he flirts with), offers a marriage proposal on behalf of a Twitter user, and answers a lot of quite random questions. Many response videos don’t feature a single mention of Old Spice products—they respond to people talking about the campaign. Ultimately, the campaign uses its humor in all its exten- sions to demonstrate how Old Spice “gets” a certain mentality and is a meaningful participant in the dialogue of particular audience members (in the case of the online extension, communities that are cognizant of the traditional logics of advertising, fully conversant in irony, and immersed in social media platforms).

Not every group appreciated the outreach, however. When Old Spice targeted the trolls at 4Chan, they responded with a mixture of bemusement and overt ridicule; one wrote, “This was the first time I’ve ever seen someone market to /b/ and I am glad it was a thing as epic and funny and as close to our humor as this so fuck off,” while another posted an image macro of the Old Spice Guy labeled “marketing cam- paign troll.” In this case, Old Spice’s humor may have been directed at the wrong audience, offending some in a community expressly built to be not just noncommercial but often anticommercial.

Re-Mediation

Surina, Olivia, Natalie

Available when and where audiences want it: Producers, whether professional or amateur, need to move beyond an “if you build it, they will come” mentality, taking (or sending) material to where audiences will find it most useful.

Portable: Audience members do not want to be stuck in one place; they want their media texts “on the go.” Content has to be quotable (editable by the audience) and grabbable (easily picked up and inserted elsewhere by the audience). Audiences will often abandon material if sharing proves too onerous.™

Easily reusable in a variety of ways: Media producers and media audiences circulate content for very different reasons, actually for very many different reasons. Creating media texts that are open to a variety of audience uses is crucial for creating material that spreads.™

This meme became a symbol of controversial topics or unpopular opinions. The sign became replaced with various topics on all platforms of social media.

Relevant to multiple audiences: Content that appeals to more than one target audience, both intended and surplus audiences, has greater meaning as spreadable media.™

Part of a steady stream of material: The “viral” mentality leads brands to invest all their energy in a particular media text that is expected to generate exponential hits. Blogging and microblogging platforms emphasize the importance of a regular stream of material, some of which may resonate more than others in ways creators may not always be able to predict.

Hedgie Love

When I was first introduced to Instagram, I didn’t really know what to do nor what to follow. I began searching around and I saw a lot of Hedgehog accounts. I began to delve deeper into these accounts and what I was able to come up with fascinated me tremendously. I’ve seen Hedgehogs before but these accounts on Instagram were getting a lot of likes and followers so I knew that these Hedgehogs had a lot of influence. There are a few Hedgehog accounts that I deem to be the best among my own opinion. The accounts that I would follow a lot and keep up to date with are @tacakotan, @_gogooma, and @shimihazu. Each of these accounts does something very unique to influence followers and each account HEdgehog seems to have their own personality that draws more attention to them and makes them, unlike other accounts.

We can all relate to our youth and how some of us, or people we knew, had blankets that they would never leave behind. The Hedgehog accounts @tacakotan has the same childish and adorable behavior. This Hedgehog has a little blue blanket that it guards with its life.

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The author in this accounts, and like the other accounts, focuses a lot of pathos to appeal to the audiences. Though it has been hard for me to be able to read much of the posts since Instagram’s translation of isn’t always the best and it also doesn’t translate the comments people leave in the post. There is still a lot that we can assume about the audience and its that they are huge Hedgehog enthusiasts and mostly are located in Asian countries as well as how they all have a soft spot for Hedgehogs even though they can be a bit prickly. The features of this account are that this Hedgehog has a unique part about it that I would like to incorporate. It would seem that I would post a lot of content featuring Hedgies that have a similar niche to them. The things that I would try to avoid is just to use the same content over and over again and perhaps be very diverse in what I wish to include for my audiences. In the multimodal article, I began thinking about adding perhaps more text to my pictures on my account. Perhaps something quick and flashy that will coincide with the picture to keep it from going stale.

@_gogooma is an adorable little friend which separates a lot of Hedgies from this one. This Hedgehog is a like a lot of people in the world where it’s just lazy. At least, that’s what the creator of this account likes to post. This account posts Gogooma sleeping and just minding its own business. This is a Hedgehog that we can also all relate to. Whenever I look at this account I can only say, “It must be nice” with all of the content of the Hedgehog just sleeping.

2019-01-15 (1).png    Even in this picture, Gogooma lies sleeping as its owner squishes his chubby cheeks. This creator uses a lot of pathos for its audience. It features a sleeping Hedgehog and cute antics on the Hedgehog as it sleeps. Everyone likes to see animals sleep, its a cute thing, and they also enjoy witnessing Hedgehogs being lazy just like how we are sometimes. Along with this content, it would be best to avoid a lot of material of Hedgehogs just sleeping, though it is cute, sometimes the audience wants the Hedgie to be doing something for their entertainment. Perhaps just scurrying around. Henry Jenkin’s article about spreadable media made me realize that it’s hard for these accounts to post pictures better than the last one so they stick with what the audience knows. This makes me think that sometimes I won’t have any quality posts and that Ill have to resort to a safer alternative so that my progress doesn’t go downhill.

I have noticed that a lot of people like to say their own pets have emotion. Though with a dog we can sense when it is happy due to its tail waggling. Hedgehogs do have tails but whenever they’re happy they don’t wag it. @shimihazu has another way to tell its owner that it’s happy.

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@shimihazu makes facial expressions that the owner can clearly tell that it is happy. This Hedgehog in this photo is currently smiling at a knitted cupcake. Honestly, who wouldn’t smile upon seeing a cupcake? It is simple to see that this creator also implemented pathos into the content that they post. The audience seems to enjoy this content as well as its something we don’t see within a lot of Hedgehogs which makes this one particularly unique compared to the other accounts. This feature is hard to avoid and this account doesn’t really post the same content over and over again. I would say that out of all of the accounts, this one is the most diverse and there’s anything I would avoid about it. Steve Krug makes a point about the web and how people tend to use it, how we don’t read pages but scan them instead. A lot of the posts here on Hedgehogs features small text and don’t delve into making long and complex comments on the post that a lot of the readers simply wouldn’t regularly read.

Citations:

  • Arola, K., Sheppard, J. & Ball, C. (2014). “Chapter 1: What are Multimodal Projects?” In Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multinmodal Projects. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1-19.
  • Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J., (2013). “Designing for Spreadable Media.” In Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: New York University Press. 195-229.
  • Krug, S. (2005) “How We Really Use The Web” In Don’t Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Second Edition. Berkeley, C.A.: New Riders, 21-29.

Transparent Testimony

There are countless Instagram accounts dedicated to posting pictures of Bible verses daily, however an account that includes a verse, a testimony, aspects of real life, and is specifically for troubles college kids experience is a difficult fish to find in the sea of profiles on Instagram. However the four accounts I chose all have aspects of things I want to be reflected in the account I want to create and I believe would most successfully obtain an engaged, interested audience. These include; @daily_bibleverses, @daily_bible_devotional, @legitsadierob, and @knowing_god_for_teens.

The account, @daily_bibleverses, is about as simple as it gets, all they do is post a picture of a Bible verse every day. But, this is a small part of what I would like to do on my account as well. The aesthetic of their page inspires me with what I want mine to look like. I think having the first thing people can view our picture is big words of exactly what they might want to know can be really helpful with these kinds of accounts. This account also helped me see ways to give credit to other accounts if I want to use one of their pictures.


@daily_bibleverses

@daily_bible_devotional’s account is a little more interesting. It’s a man, I’m not sure of his name, who posts pictures of Bible verses with mini-sermons of them, advice for those trying to lead a Godly path, and lots of videos of himself sharing the word. The videos he posts really show authenticity and bring a personal level to the account, which is something I really want my account to have as well. He also uses Instagram’s ‘story’ feature, which is something I am excited to try on my account. It is a good way for someone to see a little bit of what your account entails quickly without having to scroll all the way down your page.

@legitsadierob, also known as Sadie Robertson, is a young author, owner of a clothing line, speaker, has a podcast, and the list goes on and on. I am really inspired by her ministry because she is very authentic and proud of who she is and what she stands for, and I think she’s a great role model for young girls. Her Instagram account isn’t technically a ‘devotional’ or ‘Bible verse” account, but her account includes many Bible verses, testimonies, advice for women of faith, and clips of her seminars. I want to convey the same message of authenticity and self-love and purpose in life to my audience that she does, because I think those are important values to hold, especially as college students when there are so many things we struggle with.

@legitsadierob

@knowing_god_for_teens includes the same pictures of verses along will small devotionals in the captions. Like this account, I want mine to be targeted toward college students and teens. I think we already have a lot to deal with so words of encouragement based on problems specific to us can be really uplifting.

@knowing_god_for_teens

I have learned many different things I can do with my account in order to make my audience grow and my message to spread, such as hashtags, so I was thinking something short and catchy that makes the purpose of my account clear; like #dailydudevo. Through my analysis of these accounts I found different aspects of each I hope to include in mine, such as the coordinating pictures of the verses, personal testimonies and advice pertaining to the verse in a way that is targeted for college students, using the features of the Instagram ‘stories’ to actively interact with my audience in a personal way, and to make sure my content is authentic, transparent, and relatable.

A picture captured at the GVCM (Global Vision Citedelle Ministries) by Mia McLaughlin, whose blog about her experience in Haiti and journey through her faith I will be linking in my Instagram account. @mia.mclaughlin

Yes, We Are Still Here. And No, I Don’t Live in a Teepee

I’m sure most people in Colorado are unaware of the thousands of indigenous people that have been displaced just so America could expand across the western United States. Unlike in the movies about cowboys and ‘Indians,’ my people did not live in teepees. I come from the Green Reed Place, or as the Spanish named it, Sandia Pueblo.

 

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My home on the Pueblo of Sandia Reservation. Photo by Andrea Orozco

To most people this holds little to no significance, but as a member of three tribes this holds all the meaning in the world. Leaving my home to come to a place like Colorado left me with questions like: How do people not know more about the history of their own country? Why don’t they care? How can I educate others on my heritage and the problems we have faced and continue to face?

Two things you would never think to connect would be Native Americans and Instagram but that is exactly what I want to do. To start my social media takeover I first looked towards others who have already started to post about Native American Culture. I first looked online to see if I could find any instagram accounts that had already gain traction for their work. Galore Magazine had an article about Native America Women who are doing exactly what I want to do, showcase their culture to the world.

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Instagram post from Deb Haaland. Retrieved from Instagram.com

One of the most prominent Native American woman that I looked towards was Representative Deb Haaland. As one of the first pueblo women in Congress she has already caused a stir in what people knew about Native Americans. Her instagram feed is quite short but in the few post she has she has already made clear that her rhetorical situation is one that displays her culture, her hopes for her time in congress, and the progress she has already made in the eyes of young generations of young indigenous women like myself. I hope to follow in her steps in being more personal with my post and display my own experience as a Native American woman.

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Indigenous Women Rising Instagram Page

Another Instagram account that I came across was Indigenous Women Rising. Unlike other accounts that I have followed, this page focuses on the topic of sexual health and reproductive rights. I look to this page in hopes of being influenced in how they use instagram to educate with both pictures and text. As said in the What are Multimodal Projects reading there are many factors that go into how the text is presented both linguistically and visually.

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Instagram Page We Will Not Be Silent from https://www.instagram.com/wewillnotbesilent/

 

The last page I looked at was that of We Will Not Be Silent. Although this page is not exclusive to Native American issues it does heavily focus on activism. This page has an aesthetic that very much fits into what instagram is. It not only visually holds the consumers eye but the text that is integrated is very short but to the point and hooks the reader. I want to integrate this into my social media project and make sure that the pictures and videos that I post are pleasing to the eye while holding many layers.

Most of these pages play on pathos and how other humans can connect to these pages and their messages on a moral and values based level. I hope that my social media project can also play on human emotions while creating credibility for myself both by using my own experiences and being educated. Most of these pages are made up of pictures and text but I am hoping I can bring a different experience by adding more video and links in my posts to create more content and credibility by adding more sources to the ideas I will try to convey.

I also want to work with writing for web because of the microblogging core of instagram I have to consider how I will write for the web like talked about in the reading for Brian Carroll and how to make my writing short and concise for readers and to how their interest.

 

Works Cited:

Arola, K., Sheppard, J. & Ball, C. (2014). “Chapter 1: What are Multimodal Projects?” InWriter/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1-19.

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Carroll, B. (2009). Digital Media Versus Analog Media. In Writing for Digital Media. New York, NY: Routledge, 23-54

Succulents & Cacti: What’s The Big Deal?

Five years ago, one would rarely have seen a house filled with succulents or landscapers suggesting to their clients to use xeriscaping, a form of drought resistant gardening, in their front yards. Yet today, succulents have become an international hit amongst millennials due to their low level of maintenance and vibrant colors that make them easy to cultivate indoors. It is possible to find shirts, pants, coffee mugs, shopping bags, blankets, wedding cakes, and myriad of other products that have succulents and cacti printed on them. Even live succulent nails hit the market in 2017 as part of the succulent craze.

Photo courtesy of @arozona on Instagram

With the increase in the market for succulent and cacti cultivation, I can admit that I have taken advantage of their new availability to begin cultivating my own indoor garden. Now I will also be embarking on creating an Instagram account solely dedicated to these funny little plants. To do so, I began by researching some popular pages on Instagram that feature succulents as their main selling point. These accounts include @sucstu , @pups.and.succs, and @succulentcity , each with their own style and approach to cornering the succulent market.

Succulent Studios is an account focused on the marketing of their new products, the succulent box, which is a monthly subscription to their site that gives you two new succulent species a month. Their pictures, as with all of these accounts, are definitely geared towards the aesthetic of the succulents. They include a wide variety of multimodal content including videos, boomerangs, photos, reviews from customers, and inspirational quotes. One of my favorite aspects of their account is the personal stories, where a user can go to find health tips, succulent first aid, close-up pictures, and quick tips about succulent care.

This is an interesting mix compared to other pages because it not only uses visual modality to attract the attention of the audience, but it also uses the linguistic modality, which can create meaning or understanding of information, to educate the audiences about caring for indoor plants in a visual and interactive way (Arola et al. 2014). Additionally, they have features on their page like: #wallpaperwednesday and #succulentsunday where they post pictures pertaining to that day to create a sense of consistency on their page amongst other posts about their subscription services. I hope to do a similar strategy with my page and have consistent content that is posted on certain days to keep the audience interested in engaging on a weekly basis.

Next is pups.and.succs which is an account that is less focused on mass marketing and seems to be a personal account. It is run by a girl named Jess and it is very obvious from her page that she is focused on creating aesthetic and visual content. There is little to no other modalities other than visual, but I think that it is an effective rhetorical strategy for this type of theme. What I really like about her account and want to make sure I include in some of my posts is that she identifies the plant by species so that the audience knows what they are looking at. She also uses a copious amount of hashtags, which I think helps market her page since she doesn’t necessarily have a product to sell like @sucstu. I think that using hashtags will also be important as I move forward in my posting.

Lastly we have Succulent City, which is an account that is dedicated to posting pictures that highlight the best of succulents on instagram. They also promote their website that sells succulents and other merchandise as well as posts articles about succulent care (visit the site here). Their content is also solely pictures, but they are posted from other accounts on Instagram. This gives the page an edge in terms of community engagement because it is taking the larger succulent community and compiling their accounts and pictures into one place for others to explore and follow if they so choose. I would like to do this with my Succulent Spotlight feature on my page to have the succulent Instagrammer community be involved in the creation of new content on my page. As explained by Jenkins et al. in their chapter on spreadable media, content is more likely to succeed if the publisher “”gets” the mentality and is a meaningful participant in the dialogue of particular audience members” (2013). Including people in the conversation will open up my page to more opportunities for community participation, which is something I want to try and execute in my account.

After contrasting these three Instagram accounts for their use of different rhetorical strategies, it is also apparent that all three market their content using spreadability tactics and have a good understanding of what their audience wants to see. One of the most notable techniques that I have noticed in all three pages is that they target towards creating popular culture versus mass culture. The difference between the two is that mass culture is produced and distributed in large numbers whereas popular culture is media that has been integrated in meaningful ways into the lives of the audience (Jenkins et al. 2013). Succulent cultivation is not only something that is pleasing to look at, but many social media sites have made it possible for average people to integrate this hobby into their own lives at varying degrees. I have found this to be something very effective and I hope to mirror some of that success in my own page through the next 8 weeks.

Photo credit: @sucstu on Instagram

References

Arola, K., Sheppard, J. & Ball, C. (2014). “Chapter 1: What are Multimodal Projects?” In Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects.Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1-19. 

Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J., (2013). “Designing for Spreadable Media.” In Spreadable media:Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: New York University Press. 195-229. 

Blog Post 1: Game reviews on social media

For my social media project, I am creating an Instagram account that reviews video games. After searching on Instagram for profiles similar to the one I intent on creating, I realized how little my idea has been put to work. There are several profiles that had nearly the same idea as me, but it seems as though they all posted no more than about three times possibly due to lack of motivation. There are other profiles, however, that loosely resemble what I am aiming for from Instagram and YouTube. They are: IGN, @bocksgames, and @ninja. The profiles listed are very different, but relate to games and reviews in some manner.

First there is IGN, which is a Youtube channel that is run by several people and posts all sorts of video game content. Although they posts tips-and-tricks and general video game news, they are mostly well known for their video game reviews. Running about five to ten minutes long, the videos begin with an overview of what the game is about and where it takes place, moves on to each component of the game (single player, multiplayer, etc.) and ends with a rating of the game. The review goes very in depth on graphics and gameplay, generally keeping a serious tone to inform an audience that genuinely wants to learn about what a game has to offer. To keep content lively, however, humorous comments and gameplay clips are added. At the very end of the video, a list of pros and cons are listed as a summary to what was said throughout the video and a rating out of 10 is given. Although a rating seems unnecessary and biased, it is a fun and interesting element that keeps viewers watching until the end.

This is a profile that I will borrow from the most for my own content, even though it exists on a different social media platform. I enjoy the depth of IGN’s content while also remaining to-the-point and never pounding too hard on one aspect of a game. I hope to emulate this as I write reviews short enough to fit in an Instagram caption. Also, the pros and cons list is a great aspect to use in my concise posts, even though my pros and cons list will be formed in to sentences.

ign

@bocksgames is an Instagram board game reviewer with just over 2000 followers. It is not well known, but it seems that it is intent on consistently providing content for its page. First impressions of games are posted on Mondays and Fridays, and reviews are posted on Wednesdays. It appears that the intent of @bocksgames is to inform viewers of the many board games he comes across in a light-hearted manner. The word choice is very personal and sometimes explicit language is even used; this provides appeal in the sense that the reviewers feel more like a friend than a commonly heard monotone narrator. I would assume that board games are a hobby for whoever runs the page, and it is entertaining for them to write reviews and familiarize an audience with the vast array of games available. The reviews focus mostly on the box containing the game, but then moves in to quickly describing how the game is played and concludes with how much the writer(s) likes the game or not. As far as media goes, there is always a picture showing the game fully set up, which helps the audience get an understanding of what the review is talking about. For those who wants a more in-depth reviews, the Instagram page has a website link in the bio leading to more thoroughly written opinions on the game.

I plan on imitating this profile’s method of posting very closely, since I plan on writing equally long reviews that more or less gives my opinion. However, my text will be much more developed and serious in tone to add an extra sense of credibility to the page.

game reviews

Finally, there is the Instagram page of @ninja, a profile owned by Tyler Blevins who is currently a video game icon due to his performance in the wildly popular game Fortnite. At 12.4 million followers currently, Tyler must provide a healthy amount of content to keep his audience interested. There are mainly three types of posts he creates, which are Fortnite gameplay, updates on his professional gaming career, and personal life. I intend on taking some tips from the Fortnite gameplay. He sometimes will talk about new content that has been added within an Instagram video while showing gameplay; the summary-like method of reviewing game updates is more or less what I aspire to achieve in my posts, even though mine will be written out. These types of posts on the @ninja page are certainly more informative, but most gameplay clips shown are simply his best moments within Fortnite which serve as entertainment to his audience. Tyler’s other two types of posts are pictures of his professional career or personal life. By being such an icon, Tyler must post such things to appeal to his audience’s emotions and make them feel more connected to him while also mixing up the content from just Fortnite gameplay. In the bio of the @ninja page, there are links to a YouTube channel, Twitter, Twitch, and Facebook so his audience can feel even more connected and up to date.

ninja

 

Cosmic Unity and Social Media

@healingcrystals on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/healingcrystals/)

The author of this account is the company Healing Crystals, which sells various crystals and guides on their use. The audience of this account is mainly people with an interest in crystals and their metaphysical properties/meanings. This account is about holistic healing, and specifically works to educate people about the use of crystals to support healing. Healing Crystals is also a company, and they promote their products on this account as well. Because it is on Instagram, @healingcrystals is able to employ the use of images, videos, text, links, and tags. I think the use of logos and pathos appears throughout the page, as there are multiple posts dedicated to customer reviews/testimonies (logos) and others that outline problems that the audience may identify with in order to provide a (crystal) clear solution (pathos). The Ede piece resonated with me most in terms of thinking about the rhetorical situation of the Healing Crystals account on Instagram. Ede emphasized that, “…you are writing in the context of a specific situation with its own unique demands and opportunities” (Ede 42), and this IG page serves as one big tool to help give people a solution to their problems—whether they be stress, communication, love, introspection, or anything else that is part of the human experience. For my own social media account, I will use Instagram because it is the most multimodal and will therefore allow me to be as creative as I can with my posts; this will make my account more attractive and more likely to gain traction.

 

@crystalsoils2019 on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/crystalsoils2019/)

The author of this account is a crystal and essential oil enthusiast, and their audience is the same. This account, like that of Healing Crystals, is meant to provide information on the meanings of various crystals. Additionally, they promote spirituality and living your best life as the best person you can be. @crystalsoils2019 can also be found on Instagram, and they mostly use text, images, and tags in their posts. The author relies on pathos throughout the page, as they post images with inspirational texts and each post is essentially about different ways you can better yourself. On page 32 of our reading, Carroll referenced how the modern reader/web user appreciates the use of concise paragraphs, links, subheadings, and color and graphics. I can attest to this as an internet user, and thus critique the lack of multimodal exploration from this account. For my own social media account, I will post various forms of media in order to make the page more fun and interesting to be on.

 

@spiritualmovement on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/spiritualmovement/)

The author of this page is a person who has an Etsy for crystals and enthusiasm for spirituality. The audience consists of people who want to better themselves, protect their energy, and be reminded that everything will work out. The purpose of this page is to promote love and awareness through cute graphics and quotes on Instagram. Again, I find that pathos is the major rhetorical appeal being applied here because each post essentially encourages you to feel your emotions, take care of yourself, and nurture the positive relationships in your life. Sullivan described blogging as providing, “…more freeform, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive.” This is exactly how I view this page because it is almost like having a wise friend motivate you everyday—but this friend is still human, and sometimes you have to take what they say with a grain of salt. I want my own social media account to be a place of solace for people who need to hear that they will be okay, be encouraged that they can take life by the horns and do what they want, and most importantly, be reminded that their relationship with themselves is what is going to matter most in the long run. I also appreciate that this account credits where they get their photos from.

Blog Post 1: ​Health and Wellness Influencers On Instagram

For the past two years, I have developed a fascination for Health and Wellness Influencers on Instagram. I have always toyed around with the idea of starting my own health and wellness account, but have not had enough motivation until this class to do so. Since the day I followed Taylor McKellop, better known as @cleaneatsbytay via Instagram, I became hooked on her posts. The first aspect of Taylor’s account that I was initially attracted to was the aesthetic and the general theme of her photos. Taylor uses all four basic principles of design, contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity within her work (Williams 2008).

As you can see through this screenshot of Taylor’s account, all of her posts have a similar look which is pleasing to the eye.  Aside from the interesting content, I need to keep in mind what initially attracts followers. By imitating Taylor’s pleasing aesthetic, I hope to give an impressionable first glance to those who are considering following my account. 

Taylor’s front page of her account initially pulls followers to follow her, but the content of her post is what kept me hooked. Taylor is a college student living in Los Angelos, California whose Instagram page is filled with healthy recipes, self-care tips, and honesty that is relatable to an audience who share similar passions as her. Taylor and I share a passion for healthy food. Her account has an abundance of posts that share recipes which are easy, healthy, and cheap; everything a college student could ask for. Taylor leaves step-by-step instructions on how to prep and makes the recipes that she posts. She appeals to average college student by relating to the stressful days and nights that may make eating right difficulty and therefore provides a bit of relief with a delicious recipe right at their fingertips.

This post is a perfect example of Taylor’s structure for her instructions on her amazing recipes.

When thinking of my own account, I will realize that many of my followers will also be college students, and I want to be able to appeal to pathos by expressing my experience with the busy lifestyle students deal with, and making it easy for my followers to utilize my account. When I post about recipes, I will use the hashtag #EatsByWhit. By implementing a hashtag, my followers will be able to access all my recipes by simply typing in #EatsByWhit into the search bar.  On the other hand, I will be able to interact with them to see if they are making the recipes I have posted, and then posting it on Instagram and using the same hashtag. 

Taylor uses the hashtag #bakedoatsbytay specifically for her baked oatmeal dishes. Her hashtag makes it easy for her followers to interact with her.

Lee Tilghman, or @leefromamerica, is another health and wellness influencer who I have followed for quite some time now. She is an advocate for mental health and healthy living.

Lee also embodies an aesthetically pleasing theme to her homepage.

Lee’s account is similar to Taylor’s but seems to have a larger and broader audience. Since Lee has a more diverse community of followers, when she is writing her Instagram posts, she needs to keep in mind who her intended audience will be, and how she wants to convey herself to her followers. What I love about Lee is that she is able to give tips and advice surrounding mental health, but also reminds her followers that she is not a medical professional, so what may work for her, may not work for another person. 

An excerpt from one of Lees’ Instagram posts.

Transparency will be a vital tool for me to use with my followers when I am writing posts about tips that have worked for me throughout my wellness journey. I want to appeal to my audience using ethos by establishing a common ground of trust by being honest about who I am and where I have received the information I am posting about. 

Lee becomes creative with the story feature on Instagram. Once a week she goes on IGTV, which is an app on Instagram that allows only “verified” users to upload vertical, edited videos that are ten to sixty minutes long. Below is a link of a post that Instagram shared describing the new feature.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkf53CvD49P/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

For example, the other month Lee traveled to San Francisco and shortly after her trip uploaded an IGTV called “Exploring San Francisco.”

A screenshot of Lee’s IGTV video. Her followers were able to make comments all throughout the video which created a more personal feel to the post.

Throughout this five minute video, Lee took her followers through a day of her trip, bringing them to different restaurants, coffee shops, and landmarks where she gave real and honest reviews. She appealed to her followers by creating content that would be helpful for those traveling to San Francisco and may need a tool to use throughout their trip by voicing her opinion to her followers. Similarly, I am planning on utilizing Instagram’s story feature by using it to interact with my followers mainly in the first and second week. I am going to introduce myself in a real and honest way by going on Instagram “live” and offering a space for my followers to ask questions about me with no editing or time to plan for a response. 

The final Health Enthusiast that I will introduce is @shutthekaleup, or more formally, Jeannette Ogden.

Another account that has bright and beautiful pictures. Jeannette’s account is thoughtfully crafted which truly shows from the home page.

Many of her posts relate more to those who have children, but I have found her useful in other aspects regarding fitness, food, and wellness. An element I admire from her account is her relatability with general aspects of life. Even though she is a mom, and posts a lot about pregnancy and dealing with children, she is able to capture the attention of just about anyone who has daily experiences with life.

@shutthekaleup becomes very real in this post. She is vulnerable and honest which appeals to many emotions, especailly around the holiday season.

For example, in the post above about the holidays, her intended audience is broad. She makes it clear that some people do not have the means to celebrate the holidays like others may.  To connect with a wide range of readers, especially college students, I will make sure to share tips, recipes, and my thoughts that all groups of people can enjoy. I want to be inclusive to all to make my account as useful as it can be. 

I have learned many of my day-to-day habits and lifestyle tools from a majority of health and wellness accounts that I follow on Instagram. I have noticed that many of them have the same experience as me in learning from others. These accounts make it clear that they have received recipes, tips, and ideas from others by tagging that account in their posts. I want to appeal to ethos by establishing credibility and providing back up for the information I post. As I said before, I want to build a strong and trusted relationship between my followers and me so that I can hopefully gain traction on my account. I do not plan on painting myself as the perfect image for wellness and health, I only plan on sharing my true self and the stories that have guided me to where I am today.

The one aspect that all these account shares are Paid ADs. Since Taylor, Lee, and Jeannette are all considered influencers different companies reach out to see if they would be interested in promoting their products. Those who choose to participate, are obligated to persuade their followers to buy or consider using different products. I find these ADs to have a language that sounds forced. Readers can have a hard time distinguishing if the influencers are just posting about these products because they are being paid or if they genuinely use the products. When thinking about my own Instagram account, I will maintain my honesty throughout my writing to appeal to my readers in a way that will encourage them to follow and understand my beliefs.

This is an example of an AD posted by Taylor encouraging her followers to try @bobsredmill products.

I am hopeful that by the help from some of my favorite accounts, that my Instagram account can be eye-catching at first, but also interactive and useful for those who share a passion for healthy living as much as I do. 

Works Cited

Williams, R. (2008). The Joshua Trees Epiphany. In The Non-Designer’s Design Book (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.

Blog Post 1: Music and Instagram

Instagram Profiles

@superindiekid

The author of this Instagram page is Samuel J Ramsey, a 24-year-old young man who is passionate about his love for music, specifically within the indie genre. His purpose is to share the things that are important and valuable to him. Jenkins et al. (2015) explain the value of an author belonging to the community which they are creating for (p. 204). I personally think that he appeals heavily to ethos because he cares about the things that he is sharing, and seems like he has kept up with following some of these bands for a while so he has the knowledge about them as well as the instruments he plays.

 meme

He posts a mixture of things about his personal life, including photos with his friends/girlfriend, funny posts, comic books, and political opinion. His other posts involve music in many ways, including videos of him playing the bass guitar/acoustic guitar/singing, photos of his instruments and records, photos with bands/band members, videos from concerts, and posts about albums he likes. At the end of 2018 he posted his top 10 albums of the year in individual posts, each post contained the image of the album cover and text about why he chose the album to be on his list. He uses hashtags throughout all of his posts, which I want to utilize in my social media campaign to connect people interested in the music I’m discussing to the discussion.

Since his posts are both personal and music related his audience ranges from his friends and family to other music lovers who may have found his account through following a hashtag or the location feature after a concert. Jenkins et al. (2015) describe the importance placed on shared experience within social media campaigns and sharing a video of a concert that other fans may have attended, or seen the same artist before is an excellent way to relate (p. 203). On my account there won’t be any personal life type posts, because I think in this case it would bog down my purpose.

@music_reviews13

Image result for mac miller yawn

There is little to no much information given about the author of this Instagram page. There are inferences that could be made based on their taste in music, but overall the only knowledge of the author is the music they favor or do not. They post about a variety of genres being discussed: from Rap/R&B to indie to classic rock. They most heavily appeal to pathos due to audience interest in music. From the viewer perspective, as you scroll through their posts you’re more likely to click on the album artwork for albums that you care about and are familiar with.

Aspects of the page I don’t enjoy and will try to avoid:

  • Arola et al. (2014) highlights many modes and there is only the inclusion of linguistic and visual modes within their posts (p. 5-6). . I feel like the most important mode of communication in the context of discussion about music is the aural mode (p. 8), which is completely missing from the conversation.
  • I find the rating of an album out of 1-10 to create more of an objective opinion rather than a subjective opinion within an album review.
  • Some of their posts are very brief, while others are much more extensive. I think that even when reviewing something that one might personally rate lower there should be just as detailed a description for reasoning.

Aspects of the page I enjoy and would like to utilize:

  • Each album review post is formatted the same way, they begin with favorite tracks and include least favorite tracks and a written review of the album as a whole, each ends with the “overall rating” based on a scale of 1-10. I like the consistency of formatting and would like to emulate a consistent layout within my posts.
  • I enjoy that within the album reviews specific songs are highlighted as being either outstanding positively or negatively. This gives a more complete view of the album’s ins and outs and may highlight songs that the reader should check out/
  • The profile contains highlighted stories that include favorite artists, favorite albums, polls, and top albums of different years. The use of highlighted stories and polls about comparing songs/albums is something that I want to use to help engage my audience.

Podcast (spread via Twitter account):

@friendly_sounds

friendly sounds podcast

The friendly sounds podcast authors are a duo of young men (Jonny and Nathan) who love music. Their purpose is to discuss and share music that they love, without passing direct judgment on it. This differs from how music criticism/discussion often takes in that the host(s) of the podcast do not rate the music, or quantify it in any way, but simply just discuss it. This formula makes their love for music very clear, which is something I’d like to come across in my posts as well. However, the lay out of their episodes sometimes end up being more of a track by track discussion of an album, which is rather long winded and for my format of Instagram I will try to avoid doing the same with my posts.

Though the actual platform they use for sharing their opinions about music in a podcast, they share the links to their biweekly podcast via twitter. With each post on their twitter account they include a brief text blurb that allows them to tag the artists they are discussing and connects another mode to their campaign besides the aural mode that Arola et al. (2014) refer to as including music and spoken language (p. 8). I plan to incorporate the use of the aural mode in through music  clips similar to those included in the podcast. 

“If nothing else: listen to music, share music, love music, and for those artists who have passed, remember them through their music”

Nathan, Friendly Sounds Podcast Episode 9 (1:00:00)

The hosts are also very clearly friends with one another, which adds to their discussions and helps to promote their appeal to pathos. Although I will not have a co host, I’d like to make myself personable and allow for open discussion with my followers. Another thing I like about the podcast is a segment they do occasionally which they call “Nate’s jam corner”. In this segment they break from their focus for the episode to discuss and recommend what they’ve personally been listening to at the time of recording. This segment partially inspired my choice for “song of the week” posts. I also like their tendency to share new and different music with one another, which allows for them to discuss things that are new to them rather than music they both already know and like. This wide range of music genres inspired me to go outside of my usual comfort zone when I was selecting music to review for my posts.

Works Cited:

Arola, K., Sheppard, J. & Ball, C. (2014). “Chapter 1: What are Multimodal Projects?” In Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multinmodal Projects. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1-19.

Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J., (2013). “Designing for Spreadable Media.” In Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: New York University Press. 195-229.

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