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Liam Rogerson

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Unit 9

Unit 9, 3.1/3.2 – Evaluation/Reflection

Overall I am a little dissatisfied with my final product. I think that it does look good and it has turned out well but I really don’t like the lack of customization that comes with wordpress ready made themes. I feel like what I managed to do best was have the website looking really true to it’s self and individual to the GoldeN image. The website is easy to navigate and it was incredibly easy and quick to put together. Really, all that you have to do in order to create a website/webzine this way is to have content that you want to put on there and it’s just a case of copy and pasting. So I suppose that if you want a quick and easy website that will look professional this is the way to do it. However, I prefer a more personal approach.

The research that I did aided me in making the website accessible and easy to used but what I suffered from was a lack of content. Obviously, this was a test site so I didn’t believe this was a problem. I was more focused on testing the functionality and overall appearance rather than the content but on reflection I should’ve added more content to be able to test the website much better.

The best thing that I gained from this was the ability to use This Is Tap. This hosting service is so easy to use and incredibly helpful. I’m surprised that this service is free because it essentially offers a service that either costs money or is very difficult to do yourself. It is definitely something that I will be using in the future with other projects.

I feel as though if I would have started with a different theme that was more customisation I would’ve been able to create a much better looking site. Little things such as the fact that I couldn’t change the colour of the bit on the front page that said ”GOLDEN // THE 90’S” isn’t something that I can get past. I know this is such a little thing to mention. But in my opinion if you wan’t something to be truly individual and stand out from the rest you need to take into account every little aspect. Other than that I feel like I used the theme well and created a functional and aesthetic website. Although, for my FMP I think that I will go back to using muse because that is the kind of customisation that I like to work with.

I think that my website did appeal to it’s target audience of young people aged 16-25 because the site had an urban feel to it that would be the kind of thing that people this age are looking for. However I feel like I could’ve added more content to my website just to see what it would look like had it been updated over time.

In conclusion I would say that I am happy with how this test site turned out. But I don’t think I will use this same method for my FMP because I want that to be far more different and individual.

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Unit 9, 2.2 – Production Stage

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This is how I made the home page of my webzine. What I did here was create a page and set it as the front page then selected the image that I wanted to have as the main page. Already noticed that the problem with this process is that I felt as though I was doing a lot of guess work. I couldn’t envision how this would look without actually trying it, which isn’t a bad thing as such. It’s just not how I enjoy doing things. uesfuiheg.PNG

This is what it looks like after doing that. It does look effective but it’s not what I want yet. I went into the wordpress theme customiser in order to change the colours and add a logo to the top of the page. dsfghjkl;.PNG

As you can see I have incorporated my own logo as the site’s favicon. I ran into a problem when doing this. At first the GoldeN logo at the top appeared huge and that was because of the dimensions that I had my logo saved as. What I remembered was that I am using a theme, originally the logo read ”Genie”. What I did was save the logo and open it up in photoshop. I then deleted the logo and was left with a blank canvas the size of the logo. It was then a case of just putting my logo on the blank canvas then exporting it. When I put it into the theme it came out perfect.

This is the final version of the front page. This is close to my initial idea that I had. However that’s just by coincidence. What I noticed is that because of this theme I’ve chosen this is the only way that my front page could be. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this because I feel like it will restrict what else I want to do with the website. Although, I suppose that this is the whole point of using a theme. You follow there layout and just put your own content into it.

This is how articles and content for my webzine would be displayed. I am quite happy with this because I believe that it would translate very well if it was to be viewed on an iPad. I decided to keep images away from the article. This was because of what I said earlier about utilising space properly and not trying to fit too much on one page. This was a good means for me to gain a broader understanding of how I want my final webzine to look.

Unit 9, 2.1 – Plan and Development of your own Webzine

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My Webzine is going to be presented on wordpress using the paid theme ”Genie”. The benefits of using a Theme such as this is that you don’t have to write your own code. I decided that I want to my webzine to have a simplistic and easy to navigate style. This is how I intend the front page to look.

I chose to use Genie because I have no experience with using wordpress’ editor and using pre made themes. I wanted to see how this process would work and how I could make my webzine turn out by using this.

The theme supports every kind of interactivity that I would need for my webzine and looks as though it is similar to what I initially had in mind when I conceptualised my webzine.16990260_10208763753594589_1087277811_o.jpg

This is how people are going to be greeted into my website and I plan to do this because I dont wan’t them to be bombarded with information as soon as they go on the website. I think it’s daunting when websites do that and especially for a webzine I feel simplicity is a much more effective way. 16990650_10208763851117027_1065722135_oI want to set my articles out in a kind of tiled mosaic way with an image and maybe some text that appears when you scroll over it. Again, this is a way to keep things simple yet effective.

Because this is just a test sight I am just testing the waters of wordpress and the potential that it has. My actual webzine will most likely not look anything like this. But I want to familarise myself with the software and how it can be used.

Unit 9, 1.1/1.2 -Analysis of Webzine/Interpretation

A webzine is essentially a magazine that is published electronically. These can be viewed on different platforms such as a computer, phone or tablet.

The main reasons for publishing Webzines as apposed to traditional methods is because they are far more flexible to work with. They can be viewed by anyone at any time and can be presented without many limitations. They can provide a viewer with a much more varied experience than paper magazines because media such as video and audio can be worked into your webzine with ease. Slowly more and more media outlets are switching to online publication, or implementing it along side their standard printing. Something that is a major pro is in favour of webzines is the cost. They’re far more cheaper to produce than paper magazine. This is because you don’t have to pay for things such as printing costs, distribution costs and the costs of everyone involved in the process of producing and selling a magazine. In theory anyone could produce a webzine and host it on the internet for anyone to view. Whereas that would be a far more difficult thing to do if one person was trying to produce a magazine.

Obviously there are some draw backs to publishing a webzine. Some people feel that they are not as professional as the traditional methods of publishing, you run the risk of not being taken seriously just because some people just don’t accept this digital age. There is also a much deeper pool of competition to work against. Like I mentioned, they’re far more easier to produce which means a lot more people will be producing them. Another big draw back of publishing a webzine is the lack of physical presence. quite simply, a lot of people prefer to have a actual copy of a magazine than one they can see on there phone.

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This is a photo of the German Rolling Stone webzine that’s being view on a iPad. This is something that I would aspire to create myself because it is a perfect example of why webzines are on the rise. The music that is being featured on this page is being played, which you can see at the bottom of the screen. This is a perfect example of interactivity in webzines and how you can use it to provide a much better experience for a consumer.

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This is another example of a webzine I love the look of. This is Art and Culture magazine by Agata Roszkowska. What I love most about this is how stunning and effective it looks. Computers and iPad’s allow for far more vivid images and which are in my opinion far more pleasing on the eye than a standard magazine. I just feel as though if you tried to publish this physically you’d lose the aesthetic of the magazine.

The webzine that I create for my FMP will be about music, fashion, art and lifestyle. I am taking inspiration from media outlets such as Vice. In the meantime I am going to do a test site about my clothing brand ”GoldeN”. This is because I want to test my skills with wordpress’ editor and a ready made theme due to the fact I have never used it before.

I intend to make the Webzine as appealing to the eye as it is interesting to read. I’m hoping to use my research and specifically Agata Roszkowska’s work as a key bit of inspiration to aid me to make a webzine intended for portable use that utilises the technology to the best of its abilities. This doesn’t mean just interactivity, I mean aesthetically as well. Things such as utilising vibrant colours that would appear vivid and striking on a platform such as an iPad are things that people may forget about. But I wan’t to be subtle in a large and effective way.

Whilst researching webzines I have realised that there really is no limit to what you can do, but it’s important to not let get carried away. What I mean by this is you aren’t limited by things such as having a set amount of pages to fill. It is because of this that I want to pace myself and use my space effectively. It is completely justified for me to have certain parts of my webzine to have minimal content presented in a great way because really there no limited to the amount of pages I can have. Also, I don’t want to run the risk of trying to fit everything on a page and having a really small font or something like that. Some webzines can be hard to read especially if you are reading them on a phone. Utilising my space properly is crucial.

Focus Group Summary.

As a class of students all of the same age we decided to split into small groups and conduct a focus group about the sheffield star. First of all, one of the most interesting things to mention is that out of the 14 of us in the class and the four groups we were split in to, not one of us would read or do read the Sheffield Star news paper. However, we all either do or would read it online. This shows how the industry has advanced into the virtual age.

The groups were a little bit divided on the front cover of the newspaper. Two of the groups thought that the bright colours and large images made the paper stand out and more striking to eye, which would encourage them to pick up and read the paper. Whereas I and my group felt that the colours were mundane and the actually cover story was not something that would appeal to us and out age group. Which I suppose is a bit of an unfair thing to say because a newspaper has to appeal to the large majority not just young people.

Something that every group commented on was the fact that it is far more easier to just access the information online for free. The physical appearance of a newspaper is not appealing. The paper feels horrible and they’re ridiculously flimsy, so why would you chose that over a nice, bright and free online newspaper that someone has had the creative freedom to work on?

Other groups said that everything is set out nicely. For example newspapers have to fit a lot of information and other stuff such as photos and advertisements onto their pages but the star manages to keep things set out nicely using coloums which makes the information easy to follow. Which is a positive because its easy to get lost in the abundance of adverts.

In our groups we thought of way to improve the Star for young people like us. What we said is that it’d be good to include more cultural stuff such as music, fashion and information about things that are happening around sheffield. Obviously this isn’t something that is normally seen in a newspaper but if they were to just have their own section for young people it is likely that far more young people would be encouraged to go back to newspapers. For example, it is freshers week and there are a lot of new young people coming to sheffield for uni. If the star had a section for young people they could include a section telling freshers how to survive uni and where to go in Sheffield. This would be incredibly useful because this is a completely new city for them and seeing as the star is the local newspaper it would be the perfect place to have something like this.

 

Webzine Research.

A webzine is an online magazine published on the internet. These differ to e-zines because they contain a lot more content whereas e-zines are normally short magazines or newsletters distributed electronically. Webzines share traits with online blogs or newspapers, however a webzine is more likely to be written about a specific subject nike a online newspaper which will cover a broad range. Something else that differentiates webzines from blogs is the fact that a webzine will have the same team of publishers and people ensuring the content is up to the standards of the regular magazine they’ve published in the past (if thats the case). Whereas a blog is normally just one person uploading content they enjoy.

Webzines can either be done in a classic HTML version which resembles classic web pages, or they can used flash to show things such as the turning page motion. This is called a digital dual format. Webzines have the potential to reach larger audiences than print. This is due to the fact that anyone with an internet connection can technically find and view your webzine. Also, because a webzine is on the internet this allows for user participation. What I mean by this is the internet allows user to share content with each other much easer. It also allows for people to use things such as Facebook to give their opinion on it.

A huge advantage of webzines is convenience. They can be accessed by anyone at any given time as long as they have a internet connection and some kind of device such as a phone or computer. Webzines also allow creators a lot more freedom because you don’t have to worry about things such as ad space or condensing your content down in order to fit all of it on a single page.

 

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