L 07 – Reflection

So far, I have been faithful in uploading a post to my blog daily (darksundrawing.com). The writing in each post has been getting shorter, but the writing was never the point of the blog.

This week, we worked on our Google AdWord campaigns and focused on keywords. I felt that I pretty good grasp on this week’s content from the start. It took a bit of tweaking to word my ads correctly, but I feel that I’ve done it correctly.

Regarding keywords for my website, I felt that I had a slightly different focus than the rest of my group. My website is already for a very small niche group, so if I developed specific keywords for an already specific subject, I would attract a very small number of people. I developed relatively broader keywords for my small niche. ‘Daily drawing’, ‘pencil sketch’, ‘art online’, ‘make a drawing’, and ‘cartoon drawing’ were some keywords I used. Since I draw a large spectrum of things, I couldn’t put one specific subject in my keywords, such as ‘cartoon cats’. If that would prove more effective, I may have to change my drawing focus.

On every post, I state that I want this blog to be for and help visitors. To do that, I need feedback and comments. I hope that once I get my ads up, I’ll get that feedback and I can start helping people draw.

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What I found on my Facebook

According to YouTube, this Clinton campaign ad was published in Sept. I only saw it on my Facebook feed a few hours ago.

There are many MANY messages being sent from this political ad. It obviously supports Hillary. We see her side-hugging a young woman. We’ve always known that Hillary is an advocate in the modern womens’ rights movement. The women in this video are young, making the ad relatable to young women themselves and the mothers of young daughters. The young women are of different ethnicities and bodyshapes.

This ad can really hit home for some people and create powerful, personal feelings against Trump. Other people couldn’t care less and this ad could make Hillary seem soft and too personal or emotional to be president.

The other point of view is how Trump is being represented. It’s hard to argue that what he’s saying isn’t cruel, rude, and unprofessional. But all the sound bites of Trump are very short and clearly taken out of context. You could argue that isn’t a fair representation of Trump. In addition, the short footage of Trump at the end is not only taken out of context, but is clearly older footage. You could argue that taking an example of bad character from someone’s past is low and unfair, since that interview is not directly related to the campaigns of this current presidential election.

In short, the intended message of the ad is clear, but that’s not the only message being conveyed.

L 06 – Reflection

This week, I researched the legalities and tax laws for starting a business. I also built the website and launched it.

Researching business laws drained me. I was so overwhelmed. The whole time, I felt a compulsion to quit. As soon as the class was over, I would shut my business down. I didn’t want to deal with so many entities. With schooling at BYU-Idaho, I spend most of the year away from home. I was confused as to which state I should register my business in: Idaho or California. Ultimately, I decided that I still claim residency in CA. I’m still included on my parent’s taxes, my drivers licenses in registered in CA, and I registered to vote in CA. Still, as a sole proprietor, I don’t think I need to pay fees for registering. Just more paperwork to register and extra paperwork on my taxes.

I also launched my site. I was deciding between Bluehost or iPage for my hosting company. Bluehost was a bit more expensive, but I could request a refund whenever I wanted. iPage did not after 30 days. Both companies required you sign-up for no less than a year. I was very annoyed with this, so I was going to take Bluehost because of it’s refund. However, I would have needed to pay $12 for my domain name if I quit early. Because of this, I would pay about the same if I took a refund from Bluehost or stayed a whole year with iPage. Because of this, I chose iPage. If I’m paying the same for both situations, I might as well have the site for the whole year. In addition, Bluehost required an advanced package to have Google AdWord credit. iPage included $100 of AdWord credit as a standard. The chat feature hooked me up with someone who made sure I got set up correctly.

Once I started to create the site, I started to feel better. It began to look like a blog business that I would be a part of. I’m almost excited to see if I can make this work for a whole year. Not just to make money, but to see if I can do it. And put something on my resume. As I intended the site is very simple. I originally thought to have different pages of information, but it would be too complicated for such a simple blog. Especially on mobile devices; it would be too crammed. So I put all the information I would put on separate pages onto the sides and bottom of the main page. The domain name was going to be dailydrawings.com, but it was already taken. So I changed it to darksundrawing.com. Not only does it create a name that can be branded, but it connects to my DeviantArt account, which is a plus to connect to other artists.

The Deep Web is No Secret

With cell phones and computers, it feels like you have the library of the world at your command. You would be grossly wrong.

A person using an average browser (Chrome, FireFox) can only access .03 percent of the Internet’s content .** Perhaps many people are blind to the “deep web”. This is not referring to sites that are morally offensive. This is not referring to “dark social”, which is sharing information that cannot be tracked by standard web analytic programs*. Simply sharing a link to someone via email instead of via social media is considered dark social. So what is the deep web?

Despite being the operating grounds for major illegal activity, the deep web’s main function is to serve users with complete anonymity. As people are becoming more concerned about their privacy, they are resorting to download the deep web browser Tor.** However, if you want your information to be protected, you should think twice about using the deep web to do so.

headerWelcome to the Game welcomes you to the deep web. Image from Steam.

Welcome to the Game is a (perfectly legal) indie game developed by Reflect Studios. This puzzle/horror game simulates what it’s like to explore the deep web. The point of the game is to find codes within the sites of the deep web to unlock a Red Room, a live stream, interactive torture room.*** To quote tvtropes.org, Welcome to the Game “… uses a combination of exaggeration, urban legends, and actual twisted Deep Web content…” to create the atmosphere of the creepy deep web.**** Within the deep web are sites featuring sick personal confessions, family drug businesses, hit-men, human butchers, and satanic cults just to name a few.

This information about the deep web is obviously no secret, seeing as you can search for it on an ordinary browser. The question to be asked is how Reflection Studios came up with such a detailed game about the deep web.

* https://www.techopedia.com/definition/29027/dark-social
** http://www.sickchirpse.com/deep-web-guide/
*** http://store.steampowered.com/app/485380/
**** http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/WelcomeToTheGame

L 05 – Reflection

This week was more up my ally. Thinking about our site design and how it functions is what is most important for my business. Since my business is a blog, I’m not trying to sell a product. I’m trying to sell the blog. Thus, aesthetics is more important than it might be for others. I decided to go with many bloggers do and have soft colors and simplicity. Since the images are the focal point, it’s very important that nothing distracts from them.

Then we talked about the option of using PayPal for our transactions. I thought it was a simple matter; PayPal is reliable, right? It’s very secure for me because I would only use PayPal for donations. I’m not selling any products. I get my money from advertisements and from the PayPal button option to donation. Since my blog is an artist blog, it’s particularly appropriate or expected to have a donation option. I also know that many artists have a PayPal account. But as always, the DB brought up things I never thought about, particularly legal or security issues. Using a donation button is the safest thing to do, but others had concerns about using it for typical shopping cart transactions.

I’m noticing that these assignments are starting to get a little more personalized to our business, products, and business method.

FNAF – Sister Location

While many indie games require digging to discover, some become popular to the masses. Five Nights at Freddy’s is one of those indie games. Since the first game’s release, many sequels have been released over the past 2 years, both official and unofficial.

sister-location
A survival horror game developed by Scott Cawthon. Image.

One of the diving forces behind the game’s popularity, as well as other indie games, is the publicity and advertisement  generated by gaming YouTubers. The latest game developed by Scott Cawthon in the FNAF franchise is Sister Location. The game released Oct. 7 and YouTube star Markiplier released the first episode of his playthrough of it that same day. Not even a week has gone by and that first video has reached over 8.4 million views.

Had the right people not played the FNAF games, the franchise would not be as popular as it is. Regardless of the games’ consistent high quality and interesting stories, no indie game gets mainstream popularity without big names backing it up and endorsing it. Big names also have to include their support quickly to get attention and/or views. Jacksepticeye, another famous gaming YouTuber, was gone the week Sister Location released. Having just released his first playthrough episode Oct. 10, Jack said in his video that, “…everyone probably knows what’s going on already…”.

3 days after a game’s release, an indie game no less, and gamers already know the entire game’s playthrough. That is only possible because of YouTube playthoughs and celebrity endorsements.

L 04 – Reflection

The more this class goes on, the more I realize that I am way out of my element. Even if a class is difficult, at least I have an inkling of what’s going on. Not with business. I haven’t the slightest clue of what I’m doing, what terms mean, what I  should be looking for, what I should consider for the future etc. To top it off, I don’t have the personality type to have talent in business. I don’t like risks or making financial investments. This week, I think I learned more about the value of other’s inputs and group discussions than about website builders or hosts.

Needless to say, I’ve never benefited more from the discussion boards than in any other class. In choosing a site builder, my group pointed out many factors that I overlooked or misunderstood. In choosing a host, they encouraged me to consider making a bit more of an investment in who I chose. I was going to go with Doteasy, which was cheap and covered the bare basics. Now, after reading the whole board, I think I’ll go with iPage. My group helped me understand what iPage offered for its price.