Synthesizing and Visualizing

We have done a lot (A LOT) of reading about Instagram these past few weeks and some reading about social media and visuals in general. Take some time in your groups to try and synthesize important information from all these readings. Focus on what you’ve learned about Instagram and its relationship to social media in general. Each group should design a way to represent this synthesized information visually using the program listed below. Post your visual to our WordPress site with a brief description. Be prepared to talk us through the choices you made in synthesizing readings and representing information visually. 

Group 1: Whitney, Andrea, Olivia, Karl: ComicLife

Group 2: Allison, Surina, Riley: PiktoChart

Group 3: Natalie, Cassy, Katy, Estrella: Prezi 

Readings to consider: 

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.


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.


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.


  • 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.

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

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


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.


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


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.


@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.



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