Spice Up My Life

 

Spice up my life is a story about a fictional Indian girl who is on a path to self-discovery. She uses various spices to change her luck. Indian culture is very aphrodisaical in nature and every spice elevates a different outcome in our lives. This is the thought, from which our story originates. Sabina, our character, is an odinary girl from Delhi, but when she gets left at the altar, she decides to leave and travel the world as no other Indian girl, her stature would do. Her journey is full of suprises waiting to be read. Along with her story, find her recipes, all with a trick and discover the spice you need to change your life.

Aesthetics:

The aesthetics of website building was probably the toughest part of our project. We actually managed to design more than one website and put it up for peer vote, to help us decide. We had one that had a very commercial look to it. It was aesthetically perfect but it wasn’t warm and inviting for our viewers. Which is what a BLOG must be. The other website was much plainer than the first and probably ignored some aesthetic rules. But at the same time, it gave out a warm bloggy vibe. In the end, that’s the one we decided to go with.

The points we kept in mind while building this website were white space, pastel colours to act warm, keeping in mind the emotions of the story, easy accessibility, better interface and easy maneuvering. It was very important for us to give it a personal aspect and that is what we wanted to reflect through our website. It is the one point we kept in mind throughout.

Content:

Coming up with this story was a long process but I think it represents a part of us all, i.e. Warren, Sabine and I. Mixing all of us into one character was a tough but very interesting job. We decided to treat this story as a website/blog. With a total of ten blogs, released periodically, chapter by chapter, our story unfolded with a new recipe each time to engage our audience. It wasn’t just a story but also a recipe search site as well as a study into spices of India and the qualities they exude.

Every blog starts with a personality or adjective that Sabina thinks she needs to add to her life. Then we tell you the story covering why she needs it and end with her special recipe. An example of a spice and it’s personality is cinnamon which stands for love. Both Sabine and I have travelled India largely and the story tells some experiences taken from our lives, while Warren, as a nurse, has always worked around Indians and was able to relate to this girl. We had a lot of fun with the story and even got together every week to cook a dish used in our blog, so we could photograph it.

We all wrote our blogposts individually but then edited it together so as to have one voice for our character. I think this really helped us and solved a major problem of a common voice that we were facing in the starting.
The entire blog is copyrighted by law through the builder website called Wix. Our copyright mark is situated at the bottom of the website. We decided not to use creative commons for this one and all the content generated has been done by one of the three of us and is legit.
The main aim of the story is a message to all women in India to follow their dreams.
Technology and Social Media:
We used a website builder called Wix which makes creating websites much easier. We were able to design every thing to the very last detail which gave us a lot of control over what we were doing as well. On the home page, we put a timeline which tells you the linear format of the story but also the recipe in each chapter if that is all you need. This makes maneuvering much easier. Also a search bar is situated at the top right which lets all search the website. Each post is tagged appropriately. You can view all of our fictional character’s social media on our website and even read a summary on the about me page. An Instagram page, Facebook page as well as Twitter page were designed for our characters. We had numerous friends who followed our posts and kept advertising her website on her social media as well as ours.
While Sabina’s social media posted everytime there was a new post, our pages were used to spring the project and marketing image to our friends, calling them to visit and subscribe. We also sent out two newsletters to all our followers at the start of our project as well as at the end, calling them to view and follow our story.
Marketing Image:

marketing image

I designed the marketing image and am actually quiet proud of it as I think it’s very warm, welcoming and aesthetically correct. It reflects our theme as well as sets the cooking mood that we want to inspire.

We posted this image on all of our social medias to hit as many of our audience we could. The use of hashtags should also hopefully pull more viewers as the hashtags that we used were ones I discovered during my hashtag research for the class.

Team Work:

As I have mentioned before, this project was the perfect collaboration between my team members, Sabine and Warren, and I. We were all part of everything as a team but also had our personal roles defined. Sabine took part in the overall look and design of our website. Warren was boss of the content whereas I made sure of all the copyrights, widgets and apps on our website. I was also part of social media along with Sabine and Warren, all of us taking a platform each. I would say that we divided according to our expertise but ended up doing a little bit of everything.
Though it may not reflect to the normal eye looking at our digital story but every last detail has been thought of including the lengths of the blog posts and it was and could only be done through great team effort, awareness and togetherness. I think I had the best and most vocal team to work with.
Overall, I think it’s a project all of us are mighty proud of and have worked very hard on. I just hope everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Copyrights and Avoiding Spam (Creative Commons)

Hey followers,

So, today as part of our tasks, I researched the different types of copyrights that you can post on your blog. I found so much interesting stuff on here, it is absolutely amazing. Recently, one of my friends and I had to face a big problem on something we helped create back in the day. I wanted to use it as part of our project this semester but found that I could not as other people had gotten it copyrighted in their name! It is really disappointing when something like this turns up. Heartbreaking! I hope that this blog helps you avoid such situations.

There are six types of copyrights, if you are using creative commons, which is the fastest and easiest way of copyrighting your stuff. Literally took me ten minutes! Here is a link for you to understand these types.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

I would suggest saving the page or making a note of and understanding all the licenses as you might want to use different licenses for different projects. I have copyrighted my blog with Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license. This license lets others remix, tweak and build upon my work which I think is great for getting my work out there. Of course, they still have to give me credit for the original work. It also means no one can use a version of my work commercially, that right lies solely with me. I think that is really smart as I work hard to create anything on here and I don’t want someone else earning from my idea. My ideas that I decide to share non-commercially are projects I believe I want people to access without having to pay for it and I would not want to change that in any way.

These are all International licenses, not restricted to Australia.

Apart from copyrights, another huge concern, if you own a blog or any form of social media is avoiding spam. Who wants someone else advertising their stuff on your blog? That is so not fair, right! So, I did some research on how to avoid it and there are literally a million ways to do it. As my blog is on WordPress, I will just talk about what options you have there, but I suggest definitely using something to avoid it. WordPress has some really cool tools you can use for free to avoid spam. Here are the one’s I like best:

1. Akismet Comment Spam Fighter – Akismet is generally installed by default. But, just incase, go to your plugins and activate it. You get an API key that you need to enter to activate it. It is the best defence against spam but you do have to pay $5 for it.

2. Another way to do it is by making your settings to check your comments before it is up on your site, so you can moderate anything you want to display there. This can be very tedious if your blog is popular and it also does not really let people have conversations. It is effective though.

3. You can avoid the issue of conversations in the above settings by letting all registered users to comment only. Also on the panels – discussions page.

These are all great ways, but I suggest definitely doing some more research and checking your plugins page for more options.