For this peer review, I looked at Anya’s website, The Watcher 657. It is a movie and TV show review blog, and I learned in her “about” page that she calls herself “The Watcher” because of an infamous mystery case involving a stalker with the same nickname. I think this is a super clever name because of its double meaning: the reference to the case, but also in the sense of “watching” media.
As soon as I entered Anya’s homepage, I noticed that everything was very navigable. For example, she placed her menu bar at the top of the page which lays out the different parts of her blog, which include “home,” “about,” “reviews,” “process posts,” “mini assignments,” and “peer review.”
The navigability of her website contributes to its accessibility. More specifically, in alignment with Gaines’s explanation of the four principles of accessibility, I think that the menu bar makes her blog understandable because its audience knows exactly where to find every post, and can choose which posts to view based on their interests.
While I scrolled through Anya’s content, I noticed that some of her posts did not include headers, and some of her paragraphs were a little bit on the longer side. To further improve her accessibility, I would suggest breaking up the paragraphs and adding headers to separate content and increase the posts’ readability.
The Online Self
Anya’s personal cyberinfrastructure is well-conceived. I really admire that she took full control of creating her identity online and chose not to use a template. Her website is completely her own and reflects her design choices, which include white and grey base colours and pink buttons. This is what Campbell explains is crucial when building personal cyberinfrastructures because it allows students to have creative control of their digital lives.
Throughout the blog, it is obvious that Anya acknowledges her positionality and shares her identity with her audience in an honest and transparent way, which is different from what Suler explains in his conception of the online disinhibition effect. For example, in her “about” section, she explains that she is an amateur movie/TV reviewer and is still trying to learn, and also shares a picture of herself. Additionally, in her second mini assignment, she rationalizes her decision to use Harley Quinn as her personal cultural hero.
By disclosing her identity and rationalizing herself to her audience, Anya contradicts Suler’s explanations of dissociative anonymity, invisibility, and dissociative imagination. She even talks about how she disagrees with Suler’s conception of dissociative anonymity in her second process post because the power of the internet allows many people to trace “anonymous” people’s identities even if they do not reveal anything. Maybe she decided to be completely transparent in her blog because she knew that people would know who she was anyways (such as the people in her PUB 101 class 🙂 )
Anya also builds her online self by creating messages for her specific audience, which includes movie and TV show viewers. To create her audience, Hollenbaugh explains that she needs to present herself with her audience in mind, and predict what her audience will be interested in. She successfully does this with the layout of each movie review. Her “reviews” section follows a similar format each time, which includes a synopsis, likes and dislikes, and a rating. These aspects cater specifically to her audience of movie and TV show viewers because it either encourages or dissuades them from watching the movie or show she reviewed, and also begins a conversation surrounding the visual medium.
Anya has done an excellent job of planting the seeds for her self-organized public, which, according to Warner, is the use of text to create a space of discourse organized by discourse itself. By simply posting her reviews for those who are interested in watching movies and TV shows, she has created a space of discourse surrounding these topics. However, Warner also emphasizes how important it is for a public to be addressed. So aside from people simply reading her reviews, I’m really hoping that they use the space she’s created to start circulating discourse by commenting and reacting to her content. It’s an amazing blog and has the potential to start really interesting conversations!
The blog encompasses many other aspects involved in creating a public, like the fact that it’s a relation among strangers because she doesn’t know exactly who’s viewing or reacting and her audience doesn’t really know her either. Also, by the simple fact that people are paying attention to her content, Warner explains that this constitutes a public.
All in All
I appreciate how Anya’s blog posts are comprehensive and detailed while remaining engaging and easy to follow. The posts are also well-edited and contain no typos, which adds to the clarity of the writing. A final suggestion I have is to continue working on building a theme for the blog, which could perhaps match the theme of “movies and TV,” which would further strengthen the “understandable” part of the four principles of accessibility.
Overall, I really enjoyed reviewing Anya’s blog and I am very excited to see what’s to come!
Campbell, G. (2009). A personal cyberinfrastructure. EDUCAUSE Review, 44(5), 58. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure
Gaines, H. [UXDX]. (2022, January 27). The four principles of accessibility [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUxx_sq2QdY
Gould, A. (2023). About. The Watcher 657. https://thewatcher657.com/about/
Gould, A. (2023). Mini assignments. The Watcher 657. https://thewatcher657.com/mini-assignments/
Gould, A. (2023). Peer review. The Watcher 657. https://thewatcher657.com/peer-review/
Gould, A. (2023). Process posts. The Watcher 657. https://thewatcher657.com/process-posts/
Gould, A. (2023). Reviews. The Watcher 657. https://thewatcher657.com/books/
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
Suler, J. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 7(3), 321-326. https://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html
Warner, M. (2002). Publics and counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425. https://doi.org/10.1080/00335630209384388
Gould, A. (2023). Mini Assignments. The Watcher 657. https://thewatcher657.com/mini-assignments/
Gould, A. (2023). Peer Review. The Watcher 657. https://thewatcher657.com/peer-review/