Kim Kardashian West.

The celebrity I decided to write my case study about is Kim Kardashian West. I chose to write about her because she is a celebrity that loves to actively use social media and has a very large fan base on each account she uses. Not only is she a reality TV personnel but she runs many different companies with and without her sisters. Her most recent is a beauty make up line by the name of “KKW Beauty” in which she is selling crème contour kits. Kim has a Facebook page, Twitter page, and an Instagram page. Kim’s Facebook link is www.facebook.com/KimKardashian and she has a total of 30,147,051 likes and 29,198,205 followers. On Twitter, her user name is @KimKardashian. She has 54 million followers but, only follows 106 people. Kim joined Twitter in March of 2009 and has tweeted 23,664 times. Her Instagram user name is the same as the rest, KimKardashian, and she has 101 million followers on Instagram which is the most out of all her accounts. Just like Twitter, she only has a select few people she follows, which is a count of 108. On Instagram, Kim has posted 3,883 pictures and/or videos.

The content on Kim Kardashian West’s Facebook page is mainly promoting her businesses. There is a lot of picture and video posts explaining how to use her new crème contour kit and other posts as to dates when the product will be released. There are also other posts for dates of other items that will be released, such as her collaboration lip gloss kits with her sister Kylie Jenner. When she is not sharing posts with her fans of products and release dates, she shares pictures of her children and family. Her profile picture is one of herself, modeling her new crème contour kit (the caption reads: KKW BEAUTY Crème Contour and Highlight Kit coming 6.21 KKWBEAUTY.COM) and she does not have a cover image. Kim follows only 10 people on her Facebook page and it is all her family sisters, her mother, E!News, and the Keeping Up With The Kardashian Facebook page. Kim does not share much in the “About” tab. She has a link to her website and has a link to her blog, which is actually part of her website, and twitter. She does however share with us one quote which reads “where I’m meant to be…”.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 7.37.51 PM

As I took the time to analyze her Facebook page, I realized that her profile is mostly advertisement for her companies. Above I shared one company Kim Kardashian West owns herself and a collaboration she did with her sister Kylie for lip gloss kits. She also has owns a company with her husband, Kayne West, called “Kids Supply” in which she has shared pictures and videos with her fans of what the kid’s clothes and shoes look like and what sizes they come in, as well as release dates. Kim also owns her own game for cell phones which is called “Kim Kardashian Game” which you can download in the app store, which she shares posts with her fans for that as well. Another business Kim owns for cell phone is an app called “KIMOJI” which is an emoji pack for texts with multiple different pictures. You can also buy merchandise from the KIMOJI business such as cell phone cases, sandals, hats, shirts, ect, which is also promotes on Facebook. When Kim is not promoting all of her businesses she owns, she shares posts with links to her blog. In each post she writes, it almost always will contain a picture of a video and some type of link to access what it is she’s promoting at the time.

I think Kim’s Facebook page is actually very useful for her because she uses it all for advertisement. She shares very little about her private life on there however, she does use Twitter and Instagram for that. One thing I do think she could improve on Facebook is make more of an effort to reach out to fans by following them or answering back to comments. Speaking of comments, she receives a lot of them on each post. The most recent 5 have 540, 110, 603, 114, and 418. The one with the most comments ironically is a picture of her daughter Norths dog. I think that is ironic because out of the other 4 posts it was all promoting her business and the one post about something personal to her has the most comments. I did also notice that most of the comments on her picture are very negative and hateful which is very unfortunate.

On Kim’s Twitter profile, she has the same photo as her Facebook does and no banner. Her bio includes a link to the app store to download her “Kim Kardashian Game”. Her most popular tweets are all written by her. Just like Facebook, she is using Twitter to promote her business. She tweets different pictures and videos of clothing from her and Kayne’s clothing line and pictures of her crème contour kits. However, on Twitter, she posts more photos for fans to get an insight to her life. She tweets photos of her daughters favorite clothing and tweeted a birthday shout out to her niece, Penelope.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 7.44.43 PM

Kim interacts a lot more on Twitter with her fans than she does on Facebook. She re-tweets certain things fans tweet to her and will also write back to them. When Kim tweets back to her fans, it’s always responding back to nice tweets and she is very nice and professional right back. When analyzing her Twitter I never saw her retweet any mean tweets however, I did notice that she only has 5 liked tweets and one of them was a mean one.  I think Kim’s interactions with her fans is great. I think something she could do better though is tone down the promotions.

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 7.47.55 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-13 at 7.47.12 PMScreen Shot 2017-07-13 at 7.46.50 PM

Kim’s profile picture on Instagram is the same as her Facebook and Twitter profile. Her bio this time includes a link to her KKW beauty website. I like Kim’s Instagram the best because she shares a lot more personal photos on here than she does anywhere else. She posts a lot of pictures of her family which includes her husband, daughter, son, sisters, mother, brother and many pictures with friends. However, she still does a lot of promoting on Instagram as well just not as much

I think what she does well in this situation is showing the world that she’s not just all about business she does have a real life, too. Something I think she needs to improve on is interacting more with her fans because she doesn’t do so on Instagram. When reading the comments on the most recent 5 pictures, I noticed that in this case it was actually a lot of spam. Here and there when you can get past the spam, there were actually good comments unlike her comments on Facebook. She gets the most likes on her Instagram photos than any of her other social media websites and I noticed that the pictures with the most likes are the ones that include her children or nieces and nephews (guilty of being one of those likes!).

After analyzing all of Kim Kardashians social media profiles, I’ve learned that she is the most successful in interacting with her fans on Twitter. I think that the way Twitter is set up with only allowing people to write 140 characters makes it easier for her to do so unlike Facebook and Instagram where you can write as much as you want. The social media profile Kim has that is most appealing is her Instagram. I think with Instagram, the fact that she can post a single photo or video and reach out to her fan base is huge. Yes, she promotes her businesses on Instagram too but the photos she chooses to post for it are more appealing than seeing them on Facebook and Twitter. All in all, I think that Kim is using all of her social media profiles in the correct way which is – promoting her business and at the same time reaching out to her fans.

Case Study #3: ModCloth

By Elizabeth Allred

Overview

Anyone love vintage clothing? I know I do.

The company I chose to analyze for this project is ModCloth. ModCloth is an online retail company that sells vintage-inspired looks for weddings and special occasions, casual outings and wear-to-work. Its diversity and distinctly vintage-inspired style is what initially brought me to like and follow the company’s brand.

Their Facebook profile, click here, has over 1,500,00 likes and nearly as many followers. The company joined Twitter in May 2008. Here’s the link. They have at least 136,000 followers and their username is @ModCloth. On Instagram, ModCloth has a following of 533,000 people, over 4,000 posts, and a link to their website. Seriously, check out their feed!

Analysis

Facebook

With over 4,000 posts on Facebook, ModCloth has a definite presence sharing both customer-branded content and in-house content in which the curated feed is diversified. An analysis of the logo and banner defines the vintage retailer’s brand: it’s simple, it’s elegant, and it’s diversified.   According to the company’s About Us section, MocCloth was founded in 2002 and four years later, the company moved out of the basement. It contains a link to the website, information on customer support, and a brief story of its creation.

 

Modcloth_FB
A recently updated company page on Facebook

 

The company has liked a lot of relevant pages from personal fashion bloggers, public figures, fashion magazines, business and/or product services, and clothing brands. They have multiple photo albums with titles like “Professional Pizzazz,” “Boho Rhapsody,” “The Soda Fountain Dress, A ModCommunity Favorite,” and more.  They post quite frequently, updating the page daily with new content of new sales and new styles. A case in point is that they will post advertisements on the sales going on, such as during Independence Day.

The audience is highly engaged in their content compared to Twitter. One of their most recent posts, a video shared from Glamour, garnered over 1,600 likes. Most of their original or community-shared content only garner likes up to 300 on average. Many of the posts also garner a lot of support from within the community; however, I have seen some negative comments aimed at their buyout with Wal-Mart in March. Here’s a letter from the co-founder Susan Gregg Koger explaining the growth of the company and its recent buyout.

 

messagefromcofounder
A letter from co-founder Susan Gregg Koger

 

Twitter

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With over 58,000 tweets, ModCloth is a brand to watch. They are currently following 9,193 with at least 136,000 followers, has 1,788 likes, and is currently on 7 lists. Like Facebook, the style of the feed is identical to that of Facebook. Both its logo and banner are the same. Their short biography notes “Our vast collection of unique fashion & décor is distinctively darling! Follow us for style inspiration, exclusive access, & delightful surprises. #modcloth.” Short, sweet, and to the point.

They follow the most accounts on Twitter at just over 9,000. Many of the people they follow are public figures, writers & authors, social media marketers, and fashion bloggers in addition to notable news outlets like Daily Candy, Buzzfeed, and Medium and retail competitors like Gap Inc. and People Tree.

Surprisingly, their engagement on Twitter is typically lower than that of Facebook or Instagram. While they have over 136,000 followers, they have recently gotten at most 20 likes on posts and 5-10 retweets. They post advertisements of sales, repost articles from magazines inspired by the Modcloth brand, and using relevant hashtags and/or tagging relevant accounts such as #StyleForAll and @hellogiggles. Like their other social media accounts, most of their posts contain pictures of styled flat lays, videos, and articles.

They interact with customers via liking posts tagged with @ModCloth, usually praising the company in some way: their style, their fast shipping, their sponsored events. However, on the main feed, customer interaction is limited to few likes and retweets. They need to improve customer engagement on this platform compared to both Instagram and Facebook, where it maintains a good balance.

Fashion is about making a statement. I chose to study this company, because in some way, as a writer I do the same. I love vintage-inspired looks, particularly the dresses.

Instagram

Logo_bio

While their Instagram account has half as many likes as their Facebook page, ModCloth has a commanding presence with a steady stream of likes on each post. On average, posts receive between 1,000 and 10,000 likes, with average comments between 10-50 on the low end to 1,000+ on the high end. Those are strong numbers for a young company.

Like its other profile pictures, it is a simple logo with the emphasis on “M.” As a way to encourage likely customers, they also include a shortened URL link in their brief bio. Their five most recent posts celebrate the brand’s identity: clothing for all women, a vintage and fun style, and summertime favorites. Of the five posts, only one of them received just over 1,000 likes; the others performed a lot better with around 2,000-3,000 likes each.

Similar to their Facebook page, they interact with their customer base quite well on Instagram.

bottomright_photoshoot

While some posts only garner a few comments, others garner thousands. Sometimes, the customer base is allowed an inside look into photo shoots for the brand, as indicated by the picture in the bottom right. Pictures from this photo shoot, for example, are used on the banners on all their social media platforms. They are sending a consistent message to their customer base: be you, choose our style, and join the community. Comments are generally positive on all the posts, as potential customers express interest in styles, compliment the model, and more. ModCloth responds to questions and inquiries from customers interested in the styles or having issues with the website.

Conclusion

ModCloth has a commanding presence on all of the major social media outlets. They are most successful on Facebook, followed by Instagram, and lastly Twitter. Because their consistency between platforms, all of them are generally appealing; however, I personally find the Instagram feed most appealing. Because Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, they are more easily able to connect with and personally engage with customers or likely customers.

Find ModCloth at:

(Please note this was not sponsored.)

Case Study #3 – Social Media Usage

Overview

Wendy’s was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas. It is a fast food restaurant that has recently been booming on social media. Wendy’s Facebook page has 8,409,835 likes and 8,052,120 followers. Wendy’s Twitter account or @Wendys has been going viral as of recently with 102K tweets and 1.92M followers. Wendy’s only follows back 1,258 users and the list consists mainly of other companies or celebrities. This fast food restaurant has a massive amount of followers but joined not too long ago in July of 2009. Wendy’s Instagram account has 199 posts that consist of colorful, clean, and happy pictures of their food and beverages. This social media account has 552K followers, but only follows back 35 users which is a very low number.

wendys instagram
Wendy’s Instagram Account

Analysis 

Facebook

Starting off with Wendy’s Facebook profile picture, it is the Wendy’s logo against an almost tinfoil looking background. Next to its profile picture Wendy’s cover photo consists of multiple photos collaged into one. These photos consist of step by step scenes to making one of Wendy’s sandwiches. Fresh looking meat and other ingredients are featured. The first picture is an empty bun, then the cheese, hamburger on the grill, and etc.. The about tab to this Facebook page gives the company’s general information such as the founded date, price range, contact information, and company overview. The about tab also includes a message from Wendy’s that describes what the Facebook page consists of and then these two paragraphs go into to asking the best from Facebook users/customers. Wendy’s ask for every follower or commenter to stay positive and not be inappropriate. Following this message the company’s privacy policy is spoken about and linked below. 

Regarding the Facebook account’s content the posts have around the same likes so I wouldn’t say any popular posts are featured or stand out from the rest. Wendy’s posts mainly consist of advertisements of their food/drinks, special offers or deals, events sponsored by the company, and old/new advertisement videos. There are a lot of photos and video footage in every post and occasionally there are links to any events sponsored by the company. This Facebook page consists of original posts made by Wendy’s, there are barely any shared posts. Wendy’s follows a short list of other pages that include other companies, celebrities, and organizations. There is generally a few hundred comments, but there is always thousands of likes on each post. The comments are generally mixed between positive and negative. A lot of the negative posts consist of unsatisfied customers with photos of their poorly cooked meals, videos of poor customer service, or making negative posts against the company. One thing that is clear is that Wendy’s usually replies to every unsatisfied customer. The company will start their response with agreeing with the customer, apologizing, and then seeking the customer’s contact information so Wendy’s can resolve the situation or offer something for the customer’s inconvenience. The audience interaction is definitely high, there are a lot of comments from customers whether they are dissatisfied or happy. Some of Wendy’s loyal customers even stick up for the company from time to time in the comment section. 

Wendy’s Facebook page clearly shows that they provide good customer service and try to touch base with every unsatisfied customer and that is an extremely important part of having a company. There’s not much this company needs to work on regarding the Facebook account. The advertisements are effective, colorful, and intriguing. One thing this company might want to do is follow a few more pages to show to customers that Wendy’s supports other businesses, people, or charitable organizations. 

Twitter

Wendy’s profile picture for Twitter is the same as the picture for Facebook. This photo is the Wendy’s logo with a tinfoil background. The banner image for this account is the same photo for Wendy’s cover photo on Facebook as well. The bio for this account is comical and mentions how the company’s food is better than an average fast food restaurant.

wendy's twitter bio
Wendy’s Twitter Bio

One of Wendy’s most recent popular tweet was one from a customer pleading for a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replied to this customer and said to get a free year he would need 18 million retweets, and he did receive that many so the company gave him nuggets for a full year. #NuggsForCarter went viral. 

a man needs his nugs
Wendy’s Response

Other than this recent tweet Wendy’s tweets are generally popular with likes and retweets. The company’s tweets are original and written by Wendy’s. The tweets involve lots of photos, videos, and gifs that advertise food, beverages, and special offers.  When Wendy’s occasionally retweets it is usually posts that involve them. For example social media famous Youtubers were sponsored by Wendy’s and released a video of them reviewing and eating the company’s salads while playing a game. Wendy’s tweeted about them and retweeted them. During the #NuggsForCarter Wendy’s account retweeted lots of other accounts such as Google, and @TheEllenShow. 

The audience interaction with Wendy’s Twitter account is extremely interactive. @wendys gets tweeted at a lot by customers and similar to Facebook the company responds and asks the customer to privately message Wendy’s if they are unsatisfied. Wendy’s also tweets back to other companies, or even to be a little comical towards customers such as Carter who received free “nuggs”. Thousands of people retweet Wendy’s posts but the favorites usually outweight the retweets in most cases. Wendy’s typically only retweets posts related to the company or if there is a social cause that the company believes in. 

Wendy’s Twitter account is doing very well and doesn’t need much work. The company shows a personal and funny side to customers through some of their tweets which is important and creates Wendy’s to become more popular.

Instagram

The profile picture for this Instagram account is different from the other two social media accounts. The profile picture is the same Wendy’s logo but with a white background. The bio for this account is positive and talks about how the company serves fresh food.

instagram bio wendys
Wendy’s Instagram Bio

Wendy’s photos generally get a few thousand likes and the same amount with the short videos/advertisements that are posted. These short videos only get a few thousand likes but they tend to get up to 35K views. 

Regarding the audience interaction there aren’t ever too many comments on each post. The most a photo or video will get in comments is a couple hundred, but generally the comments are either 100 or below. Based off of the first 10 posts on Wendy’s Instagram account the comments are mixed between positive and negative, but in the majority of the posts the negative outweigh the positive comments. This social media account is the least interactive. Wendy’s rarely ever appears in the comment section. 

Instagram is definitely the least interactive social media account Wendy’s has. This company should start replying to customer’s on this social media account as well. Also instead of only posting professionally taken photos/advertisements Wendy’s should include real customers enjoying their meal. The company could hold a small competition and choose a winner every month and post the winner’s picture of them enjoying a Wendy’s meal or beverage. This competition could be another way Wendy’s could become more interactive with the customers on this account. 

Conclusion

After analyzing all three social media platform, Wendy’s Twitter account is definitely the most interactive. This social media platform shows a funny and playful side to Wendy’s which creates a more popular and relatable image for the company. Also on this account Wendy’s replies to a lot of customers and other companies. This social media platform is also very appealing with pictures, videos, and retweets. A lot of Wendy’s tweets have went viral so this fact also makes the account appealing to see what’s next for the company and audience interaction. Wendy’s Instagram account is also very appealing. The photographs are colorful, clean cut, and pleasant to customers but this account needs some work done when compared to the other two accounts. 

Introductory Blog Post: Melissa K.

I have always been interested in television and entertainment! Since a young age, I loved to perform and always wanted to be involved in the performing arts. I started with dance classes when I was in elementary school and I trained in various types of dance. Ballet, Jazz, tap, hip hop and pointe….just to name a few! I had my first ballet recital when I was in the third grade and from the moment I stepped foot onto that stage, I knew performing was what I wanted to do. My mother realized I  had a passion for dance and performing after that and she placed me in a well-known dance studio that was local to where we lived. This is where I had my first real dance performance. I call it a performance and not a recital because it was so much more than just a recital. It took the majority of the school year to prepare for and the costumes were mostly hand made by the woman that owned the studio. You really could not find those costumes anywhere else! The performance was held in a huge, professional auditorium at a close by, well-known university and not just at the local elementary school gym. These dance performances through the studio were my first entertainment experiences ever. From day one, I knew I was meant to be in the entertainment industry. I danced all throughout middle school and high school and the skills I learned in that dance studio are skills that I still apply to my television jobs today. Although I never became a professional dancer, I am still a performer and a professional SAG-AFTRA actor. Those skills I learned from being in those dance performances are skills that I still apply to auditions, on camera work (such as speaking into a camera/interviewing someone) and to every day life. There are many skills that I learned during those dance performances, but one always sticks out above the rest. That skill would be having confidence. I call confidence a skill because we all have our good and bad days, but it takes skill to be confidence in front of an audience regardless of which kind of day you are having. Center Stage Dance Scene

Why is confidence in acting so important??

confidence_o_202845

 

Introductory Blog Post – Parrot Ownership

Interacting with a parrot is great…owning one? That’s a whole different story. I work a pet store and we, unfortunately, sell parrots. I often see little kids and even young adults ooing and awing at the pretty birds and expecting them to mimic what they say and saying how much they wish they could afford one. Well, I’m glad that they can’t. It takes a special kind of person to put up with the constant shit that a parrot is going to give you.

Well, owning a parrot is not all fun and games. Parrots tend to own you, more than dogs and cats could ever hope to own you. They’re loud, they’re messy, they’re intelligent and they are stubborn. It’s like having a toddler in your house that continues to act like a toddler for 20+ years. They are not domesticated like a dog or a cat and have very complex needs that are difficult for the average person to meet. Forget about dietary requirements and caging and vet bills and all of the other considerations that you have to make in order to welcome a bird into your home. The biggest obstacle is their intelligence. Emotionally they are extremely needy and the average person will not able to work with them to make their lives the best that they can be.

In the wild, a parrot will bond with a single mate for life. They’ll never be separated from their mate. They’ll have free flight of the canopies, spending their day foraging for food and flying.  They’ll use their immense intelligence to calculate flight angles, speed, depth, landing and numerous other activities. Now, take that same animal. Stick them in a cage and now they get their choice of humans to bond with. They will pick somebody and when they do, there’s nothing you can do about it. They will want to spend all day with that person and often times will “call” for them when they aren’t within eye sight. And by call, I mean they’ll shoot out a deafening screech every minute or two because they miss you. They don’t understand that they can’t constantly be with you and if you neglect them too much or if you accidentally sexually arouse them (any touching on the back or under the wings *no petting them like a dog*) they will develop behavioral problems. Some may scream nonstop, others may pluck their feathers out and others could turn aggressive. And even if you do everything right, you still may end up with a bird with emotional problems.

No matter how much the bird loves you and how well behaved they are, they’ll be pissy and you will get bit. Some birds are worse than others, but in general if you own a parrot the bird will bite you. Parrots of all sizes can and will break your skin and the larger birds like macaws could easily break your bones if they so choose.

I’m lucky, where my bird, Skittles, is very well behaved. I only get bit if I touch him somewhere he doesn’t like to be touched. With that said, he loves to “preen” me by plucking at hairs on my face, moles, pimples and generally whatever he can get his beak on. If I go to work with no cuts on my hand, and come home with a new one. Skittles is almost definitely going to see what it is by ripping it open. Once I scream in pain he stops and realizes he’s hurting me, but it happens and it will happen. Band-aids? He’ll at first try to rip them off. Gloves? Forget about it. Glasses? Obviously they’re on my face so that he can take them and throw them on the ground.

He’s two years old and has lived with my girlfriend and I for about a year and a half. When I first got him he had severely damaged his feathers due to stress and his prior living arrangements. The first night I had him, I had to sleep next to him on the floor because he wouldn’t shut up. And trust me, you can hear him at my neighbor’s house if he wants you to. He very quickly bonded with me and we have a great relationship. Thankfully he was very quick to learn that being ridiculous wouldn’t get him very far. He tolerates my girlfriend but he will not let her go anywhere near his cage, if she tries to get him out of his cage he will lunge and try to bite her. A couple of times he’s gotten her good and drawn blood. Now, I can reach into his cage and take him out no-matter what. He can be in his most pissy of moods and I can still reach in and tell him to “step up” an and he will without ripping my fingers open. Outside of the cage he’s fine with her and will allow most people to handle him. However, I’m the only one that can flip him upside down or stick him in my shirt or cuddle him like a baby. Anybody else does that and he immediately goes to bite them. Not hard enough to draw blood but hard enough where you don’t do what you just did.

Now, he does do what you stereotypically think a parrot does. He says numerous words, his favorite is “HI!”, he also says “thank you” whenever I give him his favorite foods. He’s very stubborn though, he’ll only say or do what he wants. He knows how to mimic my laugh almost perfectly, yet he rarely does it and he mimics “shut the fuck up” perfectly but he chooses not to ever say it. Each and every month that passed I was able to work with him to be more tolerable. He’ll go to bed whenever I tell him to, and allows me to come and go without driving my family nuts, he’s potty-trained. I tell him “go potty Skittles” and repeat this until he poops. I then say “good poop” and he can come sit on my shoulder or do whatever he wants to do.  He dances and he gives kisses and everytime I walk in the room he says “HI!”

With that said, I get up between 7am and 8am every morning to get him out of his cage and he’s quiet until he realizes around 10 or 11 that I’m up. Then he’ll start off by saying “hi”, “hi”, “hi” and progressively get louder and more irritated the longer that I ignore him. If I continue to ignore him he just screeches at the top of his lungs. If he does that, he gets locked up until he’s quiet. But in general, he’s pretty good. I can give him his favorite toys or make him a salad (he eats more fresh veggies and fruits than I do) or let him hang out with me and he’ll be quiet and let me watch TV or whatever I want to do. Even though he’s capable of flying, he chooses to stand on his cage and flap his wings and whine like a two-year-old so I come pick him up and bring him where he wants to go. He’ll make whiney noises or mumble “hi” and flap his wings over and over. The longer I ignore him, the louder he gets. Besides the fact that I’m at his service 24/7, he’s a good bird.

Granted, some days he doesn’t get enough sleep and I can just tell he’s pissy by his tone of voice and attitude. Those days are long because he has very little patience for me ignoring him. Thankfully they’re few and far between.

This entire blog probably reads about how awful owning a parrot is, but I wouldn’t trade Skittles for the world. I can’t imagine living without him, I’d do anything to keep him healthy whether it means thousands of dollars in vet bills or not moving into an apartment because of his noise. The point is, owning a parrot is a lot more than just having a pretty bird that mimics what you say and gives you kisses.

Rae Yen Tan’s Introductory Blog Post

 I have been downhill skiing for fun every winter since the age of six. Although I do not get to go skiing very often each winter, as I did when I was younger, it’s an activity I still wholeheartedly enjoy to this very day. I was never exactly a hard-core athlete, which was completely okay with my parents, but they thought being active physically was at least important for my brother and I, so they signed us up for skiing lessons. Learning to ski was an adjustment, and I fell down more times than I can remember. But eventually I got better at skiing, and overtime, I progressed through the different levels of skiing – beginner green trails, intermediate blue trails, and advanced black trails. Once I fully got the hang of skiing, I really embraced the sport. I also learned that learning to ski is like riding a bike – once you learn, you never forget. Every time I return to the mountain, any feeling of trepidation I had (i.e.. “It’s been a year since I have gone skiing, what if I can’t ski?) disappears pretty quickly, because the ability to ski, fortunately, comes back the minute my feet hit the slopes. Skiing is a fun, exhilarating recreational sport for me, and it is an even better experience with my brother and our friends. Sometimes we like to have friendly competitions and race each other back to the bottom of the slopes, but most of the time, we just like to enjoy our time on the mountain. Besides enjoying the actual sport of skiing, my brother and friends and I also like having conversations with one another on the chair lift that takes us up the mountain. It’s a fun, relaxing way to talk about things, and, if we have not seen each other in a while, catch up.

Skiing.jpg
Me at a ski resort in 2012.

For all the joy skiing brings to me, it is a wonderful thing that I will never get tired of. Heck, when I have kids, I am going to sign them up for skiing lessons! If they do not particularly take to it, that is completely okay with me, but it’s an experience I would like for them to have at least once. I will leave this video link here for anybody who is interested in possibly getting ski equipment if they want to try out the sport; equipment is the first thing I learned about when I took skiing lessons, so I think this video is important to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR7C5qWvuUc

Also, here is a great article for beginner skiers: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-02-19/11-things-you-need-to-know-before-learning-to-ski

I would enthusiastically recommend skiing to anyone who wants to give it a try! Good luck, and have fun on the slopes!

Adventure 69 Degrees North: Analysis

Overview

Adventure 69⁰ North is an outdoor adventure blog maintained by Inger and Tor, a couple who is passionate about photography and the outdoors. The blog, https://adventure69degreesnorth.com/, combines their three primary interests of travel, photography, and the outdoors. The blog describes different trips across North America – the United States and Canada – and Norway. The name of the blog implies the adventures along the 69th parallel in the northern hemisphere, for which many of their posts indicate.

Analysis

Layout

The layout of Adventure 69⁰ North is simplistic. It is spread across two dominant pages, adventure and photography. Its header is simple black-and-white emphasizing the title “Adventure 69⁰ North” and its subtitle “Adventure and Photography – Passion for the Outdoors.”

Header_ad69north

In the right-hand corner appears simple links directing visitors to their page to their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages respectively. While its design is simplistic, the blog feels like a magazine as you, the visitor, scroll through each adventure story categorized by date published on the main page. Below the header appears six individual blue and white tabs highlighting the purpose of the blog that include Adventure, Photography, Contact, USA, Canada, and Norway.  The right column features a brief section about the bloggers, it allows viewers to follow the blog via email, indicates which posts are most popular, and invites readers to join the adventure on either Instagram or Facebook. At the bottom of the screen appears in the same color scheme “© 2017 Adventure 69°North.”

Content

The blog merges two dominant passions: travel writing and outdoor/landscape photography. Many, if not all, of the posts are written by Inger, while the photographs for each post may have been taken by either blogger. With few exceptions, this blog provides completely original content. One more recent exception was “Berlevåg and hiking to Tanahorn,” a post where they utilized an old 1942 photograph and a YouTube video for   The top five blog posts are:

  • Hiking to Norway’s iconic Pulpit Rock
  • What you need to see when you visit the North Cape
  • Talkeetna – at the base of Mt.McKinley
  • Morning glory at the Fishing Cone in Yellowstone
  • Homer – A drinking village with a fishing problem

layout

The titles of the posts vary in length from as little as two words, “Old Faithful,” to as much as 11 words: “What you need to see when you visit the North Cape.” While each post contains compelling and relevant information about their most recent outdoor adventure trips, in Norway or in North America, the titles seem less interesting. For example, if you read “Route 888 to Gamvik,” you learn about Inger and Tor’s most recent trip in Finnmark, the sparsely populated county in Northern Norway where the North Cape, Gamvik, Trollholmsund, and Kjøllefjord are located. Inger writes of the fascinating local histories of the tiny fishing villages on the way to Garvik, of the thousands of reindeer that call Finnmark home, and the mythical stories of trolls prominent throughout Norway when discussing Trollholmsund. For comparison, she states that Finnmark is “twice the size of Massachusetts.”

Audience Interaction

While their posts are sporadic, they do have a dedicated audience who actively engage in the content. The majority of their posts receive at least thirty to fifty comments on average. At the bottom of each post, social media links are provided to share their travel stories via various platforms. It does not appear that any of their posts are shared from their viewers, despite maintaining a steady following and posting on Facebook and Instagram as they update their blog. I found out about their blog via Instagram, since I interact with several Norwegians on that platform.

The stories are also generally short and sweet. While many visitors do not re-share their content, they have built a following on Instagram with 12,100 and a smaller following on Facebook with just over 200. Just as many follower’s comment on their Instagram post as the average amount of comments on their blog posts. It is also good to note that they encourage readers to join them on Facebook and Instagram or to subscribe to the blog via email, as it appears on all pages on the right-hand column throughout the blog.

About the Authors

Adventure 69⁰ North is maintained by Inger and Tor, a Norwegian couple whose passion for the outdoors and photography are apparent throughout the blog. On their Contact page, Inger and Tor appreciate the support from comments. Additionally, they encourage readers to follow on Twitter or Instagram with direct links to the respective pages before providing a brief description of who they are (ie, “not full-time travelers and have regular day jobs”), so they request patience with any inquiry you, the reader, may have.

Conclusion

Adventure 69⁰ North, an outdoor adventure blog, that is maintained by a Norwegian couple, Inger and Tor. The blog features stories from their adventures in Norway and North America. The blog, while visually pleasing, needs some improvements including updating their About Us section, changing headlines to be more compelling, and at some point, taking a more active role in maintaining it.

  • About Us: Their About Us snippet is extremely short. Because of their personal storytelling, I think it is important to know a little bit more about the outdoor adventure traveling couple.
  • Compelling Headlines: Another aspect that may need some TLC are their headlines. Because they are writing travel stories, I think it is important to find something compelling about it within the headline. There might have been some improvement throughout the years, but it would still be necessary to improve site traffic and engagement.

The layout is both clean and simplistic, something that works well to support their overall theme: outdoor adventure and a simple life. Something I would surely advocate for.