About the Author: It's just Jim 🐧 On this site, you'll find my posts in various forms: serious, playful, media-based, audios, and more! The underlying theme is identifying my slices of life to paint the present with my past on the site itself.

[Peer Review 1] Developing Online Self ft. Kobe Sam

Initial Impressions

As their peer in the same class, I have the pleasure of reviewing Kobe’s blog which can be found here (The full address looks like this: http://kobesam.ca/). Let’s obliterate my own confidence in my own site, by looking at Kobe’s site, shall we?

Once you have clicked and visit the site, I was greeted by a layout with clear menus on the top with the most recent posts appearing front and center of the site. The menu labels: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Lifestyle, About Me etc. all provide easy to understand of what to expect when I click on them.

Screenshot image of Kobe Sam's site and menu bar.
Image of Kobe Sam’s site and menu – 2022

At first glance, the texts on the homepage could be read and I had no problems with any contrasting colours. At least with Gaines’ list of Accessibility Principles, the perceivability factor is achieved. The page can be accessed using the senses. Kobe Sam’s simplistic homepage allows for easier scannability, ensures buttons that work and easy to find which are important according to Gaines.

Another detail I noticed was that I found the navy-blue background on the sides of the site as an interesting stylistic choice as well. The bold blue may convey a sense of formality, solidarity or strength. The simplicity of the site gives the impression of getting straight to the point. I would love to find out more behind the decisions and meaning from the site aesthetics to be their presentation of themselves.

About Page

Heading over to the “About Me” page to learn more about Kobe, the page had more information about their values, mission and their background. I like the profile picture chosen; it is a great decision to give life to the page! As an “About Me” page, I find the profile picture sits perfectly between professional, but casual. It allows me to clearly see who Kobe is and introduce themselves. A photo that has a “selfie” or other style may not convey the formal introduction that could be otherwise captured in this About page. Other photos in the posts may be sufficient, but for this page, the profile picture chosen is suitable. Well done!

[💡 Improvement Idea!] Something small to consider is the text on this page may be difficult to read due to the light text on a beige background. Changing to a solid black colour or having a white backdrop for the text would enhance and improve readability of the texts.

[💡 Improvement Idea!] To maintain consistency, the font type of Values and Profile also do not match as well. In order to match with the rest of the site, this may need a quick edit!

Screenshot of About Me page - the page has Kobe's picture as well.
Screenshot of About Me page

Presentation of Self

After reading through the existing posts, the posts remain mostly error free and interesting to read! Whether it is the special guest M. Murdock post that further explores indirectly about who Kobe is or the story being told about their experience with meeting a stranger, it is through writing that reveals the distinct sense of self from Kobe on the platform. In each of these posts, it seems like Kobe has allowed the option to submit and leave a comment. Erin Hollenbaugh’s research about Self-Presentation states that “users who are highly motivated to manage their self-presentation must make decisions about how to react to and manage the comments, tags, and wall posts that others contribute” (p. 87). Although Hollenbaugh’s research focuses on social media, the online dynamics and values remains constant. The option for comments to be made on the comment introduces a control being passed to Kobe’s audience.

Hollenbaugh describes that “other-generated content tends to have a stronger effect on impressions that others” (p. 87). A simple function as allowing comments on Kobe’s site can have a great effect on their presentation of self in various ways. I have yet to observe any interactions due to lack of comments on the posts; however, this is one area of thought and analysis of Kobe’s site that could be observed in the future and whether this will shape Kobe’s online self.

Minor Text Edits

Here is some of the minor text errors I would suggest making quick edits in some of your posts!

As I conclude this Peer Review of Kobe Sam’s blog, it was a delightful experience to see another person’s site and see how Kobe decided on different aspects on their site to represent themselves. Whether it is within the content or through site design, the presentation of Kobe’s online self can be observed by yours truly. I can grasp their motives, values, objectives for the site and their sense of online self on kobesam.ca.

Kobe has a crisp and clear site that is worth a visit to learn more about his entrepreneurship passions and lifestyle that he wishes to share with everyone. The uncluttered site with lack of ‘noise’ that can be seen on different internet site is a nice change of pace. In terms of content, I will need additional posts to have a better grasp of who Kobe is and what the content in his site will be about.

An analogy would be that the About page is the pencil sketch that introduces the author, but I will need to read more content to paint a picture.

– Jim

What was especially interesting is that Kobe’s topic is similar to mine as well. This allowed space for me to reflect upon what I wish to observe and proceed in my site during this peer review. Both of our websites center the topics around ourselves, our experiences and our knowledge of our own selves. We have the choice to decide what to post and create for our publics and audience. I can identify a distinct purpose where Kobe aims to introduce his passions, while I aim to introduce my story of the present moment.

Yet in the end, the decisions that goes into Kobe’s site represents his focus and topic differently from myself. How meaning is formed and how we choose to publish ourselves can be seen between the choices in content, writing, site design and more. All these factors will lead to how Kobe will convey his thoughts, his voice and sense of self through his online cyberinfrastructure at kobesam.ca as he cultivates what Tanya Basu calls a ‘digital garden’.

Great Job Kobe! I had wonderful time reading your blog so far, I can’t wait to see more!

Learn more about Digital Garden from Tanyu Basu: https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/

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