Exegesis

The creation of a web presence for WEB101 has been an interesting, fun and challenging experience. Fruit Fetish was developed from my interest in cooking and my love of fruit. I have chosen to create the central node as a blog, with contributing nodes to Twitter, YouTube and Delicious. These choices allowed the extension of my web presence on different platforms in order create a comprehensive web existence. This short exegesis will briefly explain the choices for this web presence.

“The promise of the web was that everyone could publish” and despite the early days when only those who could code could do so, it is now possible for everyone with an internet connection to communicate and connect with ease online (Blood 2000).Websites offer a snapshot of their creator, with design aspects to enhance and highlight various aspects of content. It makes the categorization of information easy, with multiple pages that can function separately or as a collective whole. I have used the blog as “a centralising force of the distributed identity” (Helmond 2010, p.8) in order for users to easily access my collection of recipes and the contributing nodes from this central ubiquity. Furthermore, blogs can function as a social network, with networking capabilities similar to Facebook; bloggers create communities by linking to each other (Rettberg 2008, p.69). Blog search engines also allow bloggers to track conversations between blogs, and can be found on a Google search using keywords (Rettberg 2008). Hence keywords have been used in my blog posts to enable search engines to find my presence.

My potential audience would be the cooking community; people interested in food, new recipe ideas and quick meals. By specifically channeling the presence to fruit recipes, I have aimed to 1) Generate audience interest due to the quirky name and a specific taste (see the food pornographer) 2) Create a unified web presence across multiple platforms 3) Make it easier for people to follow a focussed cooking interest.

The website theme of Sight was chosen as it blends simplicity with finesse. The clean lines of the page allow the page to look fresh, complementing my chosen subject of fruit. After studying many food blogs I came to the conclusion featured images were very important as they draw the viewer in, so I designed the latest posts to feature on the home page so they are instantly viewed when people land on the site. The font gives the page a retrofitted look, which adds to the quirky feel of the site. Navigation is made easy with the each page on a menu toolbar and hypertext links take readers to a number of related websites throughout the blogposts; these links open in a new window every time so readers aren’t directed away from my website to view them.

I have used the about me widget to let people know more about me, distinctly separate from the about section of Fruit Fetish. While the web presence is a reflection of myself I feel the separation of the two is important to maintain professionalism of the website. Home pages like these are a presentation of the self online, with their authors often ‘under construction’ (Helmond 2010, p.7); indicated by the constant updates I have made to this page in the thirteen weeks of this subject. Helmond views the online identity as performative; the identity is announced in a web presence and then placed by others who endorse the claimed identity (Helmond 2010, p.6). Therefore I have been careful to construct my web presence in the knowledge that it will be “forever preserved on the Internet” and may be instantly displayed in a Google search (Solove 2007, p.17).

My contributing nodes are Twitter, Delicious and YouTube; displayed in a sidebar as “a place for self-definition through the use of widgets” (Helmond 2010, p.7). Twitter is a microblogging service, with messages limited to 140 characters or less (Gragg & Sellers 2010, p.325) well suited to linking recipes, pictures or video. While Twitter may be “not so different from other flash-in-the-pan” technologies, it is a helpful tool for a cooking blog (Gragg et al. 2010, p.325). Twitter is more suited to the professional and information sharing sphere over the social; users are able to keep up-to-date with news, information and commentary from reliable sources in one space, rather than visiting multiple pages. Furthermore, Sellers accedes that Twitter is helpful for bloggers as it can be used to gain exposure amongst followers (Gragg et al. 2010, p.326). If that article is retweeted or shared again, more people will see it – Twitter makes conversation relevant based on shared interests (Gragg et al. 2010, p.326).

Delicious allows the “tagging” of keywords to describe and organise content – these tags can be drawn from any vocabulary the user likes (Mathes 2004). Like Flickr the primary use of Delicious is the sharing of information, yet Delicious is more suitable for recipe sharing as it saves content produced by other people such as web pages (Mathes 2004). The limitations of the folksonomy tool lies in the ambiguity of tags, as users can apply the same tag in different ways; no systematic guidelines exist therefore control over synonyms cannot be enforced (Mathes 2004).

YouTube allows the sharing of video across multiple platforms, where users can subscribe to channels of interest. YouTube links are able to be embedded and shared across websites making content disperse (Helmond 2010, p.7). Blogs and social networking sites which can generate widespread web exposure from YouTube embeds, effectively becoming a Social Networking Site in itself (Boyd & Ellison 2008, p.216).

Web 2.0 software such as WordPress have made publishing work “as easy as clicking a mouse”, facilitating cultural openness and a plethora of shared information (Wolk 2009). A unified web presence has been able to be created with relative ease using Web 2.0 tools, which has both maintained and enhanced my internet footprint.

References

Blood, R (2000). “Weblogs: A History and Perspective”, Rebecca’s Pocket. 7 September 2000. Retrieved 16 February 2013. <http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html“>

Boyd, D. & Ellison N. (2008). Social network sites: definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 210-230. DOI:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x

Gragg, P & Sellers C.(2010) .Twitter. Law Library Journal 102(2), 325. Retrieved 16 February 2013 heinonline.org

Helmond, A. (2010). Identity 2.0: Constructing identity with cultural software. Rewritten for the Digital Methods Initiative mini-conference. University of Amsterdam. Retrieved from http://www.annehelmond.nl/wordpress/wp-content/uploads//2010/01/helmond_identity20_dmiconference.pdf

Mathes, A. (2004).Folksonomies – cooperative classification and communication through shared metadata. Retrieved 16 February 2013 from http://www.adammathes.com/academic/computermediated-communication/folksonomies.html

Wolk, D. (2009). Future of Open Source: Collaborative Culture. Retrieved 16 February 2013 from http://www.wired.com/dualperspectives/article/news/2009/06/dp_opensource_wired0616

Rettberg, J. (2008). Blogs, Communities and Networks. Blogging. Polity Press, Cambridge. Retrieved 16 February 2013 http://edocs.library.curtin.edu.au/eres_display.cgi?url=dc60263770.pdf&copyright=1

Solove, D. (2007).The future of reputation: gossip, rumor, and privacy on the Internet. Yale University Press USA. Retrieved 16 February 2013 http://site.ebrary.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/lib/griffith/docDetail.action?docID=10190720

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