Spilling the Royaltea has gone through quite the journey throughout eleven weeks of consistent posting. As my process posts come to an end, it’s time for one last blog design update as the fourth and final installment of the blog design process post series.
Additions and Deletions
At Spilling the Royaltea’s inception, I created a category called “the chronicles of Harry and Meghan” with the hopes of writing documentary and book reviews. At this time, Prince Harry’s book, which took the media by storm had just been released, and Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary had come out just a few months prior. They were a huge topic of discussion all over the news, social media, and just about everywhere else, and this was basically my motivation for creating the blog.
However, as the semester went on, I found it extremely difficult to get documentary episodes in, or find the time to sit down with a book that wasn’t an academic journal or textbook. Therefore, as the other categories started filling up, “the chronicles of Harry and Meghan” stayed empty for over half the semester.
Because I didn’t see myself having the time to watch the documentary or read the book, I decided to switch this category to a “ranked” one. The ranked category is exactly how it sounds: it ranks all things related to the royal family. I created this section because sometimes, I need to be shallow and fluffy. My “hot takes” and “news” sections are usually more critical and thought-provoking in nature. They involve topics like racism, sexism, sexual assault, and much more. While these topics are what I want to shine a light on the most, many royal family followers (including myself) enjoy some lighthearted material from time to time.
Therefore, this “ranked” category discusses some other things that weigh a little lighter on readers’ chests, like fashion, or Prince Louis’s antics, or even just an informative post on the late Queen’s grandchildren, who always steal the spotlight at any event featuring the royals. It also includes a Fashion, FAST! segment, which featured quick hot takes on royal fashion decisions.
I felt a little disappointed that I was unable to watch the documentary or read the memoir, especially because these two pieces were the main motivators in the creation of my blog. But at the end of the day, Spilling the Royaltea as a digital garden is supposed to represent me and my interests. This means that I have the room to make changes when things don’t work and learn new things from these changes. So creating the “ranked” category to add a different perspective on the site wasn’t a bad thing at all. It just allowed me to share another side of myself with my audience and it worked out pretty well, in my opinion.
Aside from “the chronicles of Harry and Meghan” which turned into “ranked,” the other sections on Spilling the Royaltea stayed the same. “Hot takes” provided opinion pieces that aren’t really broadcast in the mainstream, like the fact that Princess Charlotte has all the characteristics to become the future Queen, or the fact that the royal family is a racist institution that needs to do better. Further, “news” followed the things that were in the mainstream, but provided critical takes on it, like the fact that royal titles recently changed for a bunch of royal family members, but not Lady Louise due to sexist, patriarchal protocols.
And of course, my predetermined PUB 101 content and categories remained pretty much the same throughout the semester, with the simple addition of the “essay” sub-category, for, well, my essay.
Revisiting my Audience
At the beginning of my blogging journey, I imagined my audience and wrote content directed to it, as suggested by Hollenbaugh. I envisioned my audience as royal family followers. These were not necessarily people who loved them, but also included the people who love to hate them.
This meant that I was going to try to write content that didn’t purposefully portray a pro- or anti-royal family stance. Instead, I was just going to try to write about my own opinions, and I don’t think this could be even more true after eleven weeks.
The most important thing for me when writing my blog was making sure I didn’t become the right-wing, conservative Daily Mail, who endlessly supports the royal family and endlessly hates Meghan. So I included some more Daily Mail-type content, like the fact that Archie and Lilibet shouldn’t use royal titles, but not because I just wanted to hate on Meghan. I actually thought they shouldn’t use their royal titles. But I also included some pro-Harry and Meghan content, like my second mini assignment, written from the perspective of Princess Diana, who defends Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from the monarchy.
The Future of Spilling the Royaltea: Transmedia Integration?
This week, we learned about transmedia integration, or repurposing our blog content for multiple platforms. Renniger explains that certain social networking sites are especially suited toward addressing counterpublics. Aspects of certain platforms help communicate messages that deviate from the mainstream, or the dominant “public.”
Spilling the Royaltea could be considered a counterpublic of royal family followers who are more objective (i.e. both critical and supportive) in their stance, which is a pretty uncommon thing. Therefore, I could move more of my content on TikTok, where small creators with minimal reach can most easily become popular. I could make videos using small segments and keywords from my articles and create slideshow-type TikToks, which help tell a story. Or I could narrate stories while pictures and videos show up behind me using the green-screen effect.
I could also move to Twitter and post short previews of my posts, and then link my blog so that readers could learn more. Or I could create longer-form versions of my TikToks and post them on YouTube, or even post my TikToks on YouTube shorts. The possibilities are endless.
Basu, T. (2020, September 5). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/
Hollenbaugh, E. E. (2021). Self-presentation in social media: Review and research opportunities. Review of Communication Research, 9, 80–98. https://doi.org/10.12840/ISSN.2255-4165.027
Renninger, B. J. (2015). “Where I can be myself … where I can speak my mind” : Networked counterpublics in a polymedia environment. New Media & Society, 17(9), 1513–1529. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814530095
Wong, O. (2023). Essay. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/essay/
Wong, O. (2023). Hot takes. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/hot-takes/
Wong, O. (2023). Love, Princess Diana – Messages from heaven. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/pub-101/mini-assignment-2-love-princess-diana-messages-from-heaven/
Wong, O. (2023). Piping hot take: Archie and Lilibet shouldn’t use royal titles. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/hot-takes/piping-hot-take-archie-and-lilibet-shouldnt-use-royal-titles/
Wong, O. (2023). Ranked. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/ranked/
Wong, O. (2023). News. Spilling the Royaltea. http://spilling-the-royaltea.com/category/news/