Process Post #11: Moderating your Commentariat

Community Guidelines:

  • No swearing, insulting others, including the blogger and other site users
  • Absolutely no racial, gender biased comments
  • Posting unnecessary and irrelevant questions that can harm others are NOT needed
  • Be friendly to others and think before you say something

These are couple community guidelines that I came up with for my blog. I want my blog to be a place where anyone could come in and enjoy the content that I create. Blogs shouldn’t be a place where people form arguments and be mean to others, so I thought these guidelines are appropriate for my blog and to the users!

A way to implement these guidelines are posting it into a section where people could easily look at it. Guidelines are there to follow and it should be easy to find and remind the users. Perhaps, a pop up message when people first visit the blog can be a very effective way to implement the message to the users.

Tracking:

Throughout the semester, I’ve struggled but tried my best to track my water consumption. I can definitely say that it’s not easy to track every single detail everyday. I had my ups and downs tracking my water consumption for the past few months. There are days that I paid more attention to track my water consumption and there were days that I completely forgot to track it. I realized that I should really try to drink more water daily and try to motivated. It was a tough challenge for me but at the end, I can say that compared to beginning of the semester and now, I do drink more water than previously. I think it’s because I’m constantly thinking that I have to track my consumption, I end up drinking more water than I normally do. It definitely was a tough one to track but it was well worth it to try throughout the semester!

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Essay #2

Throughout this semester, I’ve learned and gained much knowledge of being an online publisher. Creating an online presence and expanding it to an online publisher is definitely not an easy job because you need an online community formed to interact and communicate with. Knowing your public and audience is crucial to maintain the blog because it can really help to enhance bringing more visitors to the blog and creating a bigger community.

Firstly, I have created my blog using WordPress as we were directed to do so in our class. I struggled a lot at first because this was my first time creating a blog or even playing around WordPress. I used social media a lot and created an online presence through the platforms multiple times, but creating a personal blog was a very different experience. It was definitely more personal and unique as Chittenden (2010) mentions that: “Blogs, which resemble online diaries, represent a popular space for teenagers to write about their experiences and instantly publish their thoughts to the web with minimal technical understanding”. My blog is a lifestyle blog, where I talk about the things I love- mainly beauty and food. I also had a section of ‘lifestyle’ where I posted different events and places to visit around Vancouver. This blog was definitely a personal blog because I wanted to share mainly my life, what I enjoy and where life takes me at.

Before I mention anything, it’s important to understand what a public is. “A public is a space of discourse organized by nothing other than discourse itself” (Warner, 2002, pg. 413). At first, the public that I imagined for my blog was strictly to young females, aged around 18-25, who lives in Vancouver. Since females typically enjoy more beauty products and adventuring for food in the cities, I thought that my audience will be mainly female. I thought that male would not enjoy my content as much because the content itself was not very appealing and also the visualization of my blog was more girly and feminine like. I’ve chose a very girly theme, which was the Olsen Light theme that I ultimately used for my blog. I personally really like a lot of white space because it gives a simple and minimalistic look to the blog. Also, the usage of white space allows my content to pop and easily catch the reader’s eyes. My main page does not display the recent posts because I thought that it made the front page look a bit messy, therefore I put a main home page picture, which was a decoration with flowers at first. However, as I developed my blog according to my audience, I ultimately changed my main picture to a city landscape image because it could target to everyone, not limiting to a specific audience.

Furthermore, with the help of Google Analytics, I’ve got to identify who my real audience was for my blog and I was very surprised with the results. It was very interesting to see that a lot of male were visiting my blog and reading my content. The content that male visitors enjoyed is food posts and lifestyle posts. As I mentioned, there are more girls that enjoy the beauty posts but to see that more male were coming to visit the blog, I naturally geared towards creating more content on food because it opens to a bigger audience. Initially, I wanted to focus my blog on beauty because I’ve always been passionate about makeup but I’ve reached to a point where I had to think about balancing what I wanted to share the most and what my audience wants. As I assumed, most of my visitors were located in the Vancouver area since my blog incorporated a lot with where I lived. To add on, I was surprised with the amount of people that were returning visitors. This proved me that putting efforts to engage with my audience does really pay off and creating content based on their interest is a significant factor to bring them back. I did not gather much comment on my site because it’s surely challenging for the audience to start commenting at first since my blog is fairly new. I definitely hope that more audience will engage and comment on my posts as it will help me to create content and give me inspirations.

Since the beginning of the term, I’ve learned tremendously about publication and how to develop my online presence. As having a lifestyle blog, I definitely think that having a distinct and unique online presence is essential and promoting myself is a crucial factor to be successful. As we can see from the media in our society today: “Promoting and branding the self has also become normalized, accepted phenomenon in ordinary people’s lives” (Van Dijck, 2013, pg. 203). I definitely have more respect to the famous bloggers in the media because with my short experience, I can doubtlessly state that a lot of time and effort goes into blogging and to maintain it. I think that creating a distinct online presence is a very important aspect when thinking about being an online publisher. There are many diverse factors to look at such as audience, visual, layout, content and much more to create a blog that will catch people’s attention. After this course is over, I do wish to continue with my blog because I think that I can really benefit from this experience and learning that will eventually help me in the future. PUB 101 has absolutely given me hands on, applicable skills that I can further use and I know that it will be extremely helpful. I’ve learned immensely about the publishing industry and what publishing is all about. I’m excited to learn and study more about Publishing as I continue doing my minor at SFU!

 

References

  • Van Dijck, J. (2013). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn, Media, Culture & Society, 35 (2). http://www4.uwm.edu/c21/pdfs/events/vanDijck_oneidentity.pdf
  • Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics, Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88 (4). http://knowledgepublic.pbworks.com/f/warnerPubCounterP.pdf
  • Chittenden, T. (2010). Digital dressing up: modelling female teen identity in the discursive space of the fashion blogosphere, Journal of Youth Studies, 13 (4). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676260903520902?scroll=top&needAccess=true
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Process Post #10: Multiple Channels, Multiple Media

In Class Exercise:

TransCanada- Receives Presidential Permit for Keystone

Which platform would you use and Why would you use it?

My partner and I decided that we would create a campaign and post it on Facebook for this project because Facebook would be the most efficient way to provide information, focusing on the concept of promoting benefits and pros of this project. Also, promoting this campaign in the perspective of the citizens of United States & Canada, not just focusing on the business’ model and benefits. However, it’s important to provide information that attracts the stakeholders because essentially, it’s goal is engage key stakeholders and neighbors throughout the communities to obtain permits and approvals. Another social media platform we decided to use is Youtube.  A video campaign will be a very efficient way to promote this campaign because by providing with visuals and information about this project, it can catch people’s attention, providing images with future benefits that they could gain from this keystone pipeline project.

Providing images such as a map, where the pipeline will take in place and who will it affect will be very informative and information to the citizens. Perhaps images of the pipeline and details of the benefits the project could give are an essential factor to be an effective campaign. Also, sharing the video from Youtube to Facebook will be another great way to promote the campaign to a larger audience! Choosing the right platform to promote something, whether that’s a campaign, a product, a person or anything is a very important factor.

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Process Post #9: Editing & Genres

For this week’s process post, we were told to create a story out of media only, absolutely no text to create it.

Since my blog is a lifestyle blog which the audience can see a glimpse of my life, I decided to create the story from my daily life.

 

Blog:

It’s been a while that I changed things up on my blog, so I’ve decided to change my front page picture. I’ve been very inspired of travelling as I have been planning my upcoming holidays during the summer! So, I decided to bring out one of my favourite pictures that I took in Japan when I went last year. I think the picture gives my blog a more cheerful and colourful look to my blog! I also downloaded the Jackpack plugin because it was recommended by a fellow classmate in our tutorial. She said it was a lot simple and easier than Google Analytics, so I decided to give it a try and see what it brings me. Also, I have installed the Hide Post plugin as well because I wanted to see how my front page would look with my recent posts. I wanted to hide all of my posiel posts on my front page because I didn’t want to confuse my audience with my school work that I was doing. However, when I put my latest posts on my front page, I rather thought it looked a bit messy and not organized. I didn’t really like the idea of how all of the posts showed up on the front page as it showed the whole blog post, not shortening them. I thought it was too much than I enjoyed and decided to stick with a static front page welcome sign for now. I think it looks a lot simpler and goes with what I want my blog to look like. I may change more things in the future as I play with more of the plugins and widgets on my blog, however I am pretty content with how my blog looks like right now!

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Peer Review #3

For my third and last peer review, I got assigned to review Alice’s blog. Her blog can be found at http://alicealice.ca/. Entering into Alice’s blog, I first noticed the big banner she had which said “Busy doing nothing”. Her blog was very unique and different from the other blogs I have seen. It wasn’t a lifestyle blog, food or beauty blog, which many students’ blog is about, including me. Alice’s blog focused on pop culture, American and Korean. She had playlist of her favourite songs, as well as section for K-pop. Alice also had a section saying ‘Korean’, which had dramas, reality, movies and game. She only had reviews of dramas and all of the other was blank. It was very interesting that she had a section of ‘Dear Diary’, which she had random bits of her interests in life. One thing I noticed was that the posiel posts were hidden, which I really enjoyed because it doesn’t confuse her audience.

I could definitely see a specific audience that Alice was targeting from her blog. It was very clear that her audience was targeting young people, who are into pop culture, especially Korean pop culture as well. The vibe I received from her blog was that it was very trendy. She focuses a lot on what’s trendy at the moment and relate it very well to upcoming events in Vancouver. I could definitely identify what her interests are and what kind of audience she is targeting! I noticed that she linked her Instagram and Twitter account, which is always a nice touch to add on a personal blog because it gives the feeling of connection to the audience and the blogger. As Boyd (2014) mentions: “They choose to share in order to be a part of the public, but how much they share is shaped by how public they want to be” (pg.203). By looking at her social media accounts, the readers could have a grasp of what kind of person she is, the personality and notice how much she wants to share with the public.

Alice also put a component of ‘Song of the week’, which plays a nice role to market what her blog is about and her interests are. When I first enter the blog, it does have a bit of a plain look. I respect that she likes the minimal, simplistic look (so do I), but it doesn’t have a strong impact from the main page. The top menu she has does give a glimpse of what her blog is about, however I think she could add more things to give a stronger impact for the audience. I also think that she could include a ‘Contact’ menu for her audience when they want to contact her for any reasons. One thing that came up to my mind that could be very interesting and useful for her audience is that, a menu (section) of simply focusing on upcoming events, whether that’s concert or new series of shows. I definitely think she could add more components to make a closer relationship with her audience, as it will help the blog grow. Overall, Alice’s blog is very unique and trendy! Great work.

 

References

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Process Post #8: The Global Picture

For this week’s process post, I’m analyzing my Google Analytics. When I installed Google analytics at the beginning of the semester, I’ve always went back to see the dashboard and see the result every time I logged in. It’s very interesting to see how many viewers you get and what kind of content they are interested in and so on. I think this is a great tool to really analyze what the my audience likes and enjoys on my blog. Analyzing what kind of content my audience likes and attracts them can definitely help me create content that’s gonna bring more people and get more views to my blog!

I really liked the fact that I could see how many page views I got in the past week or so. I always thought no one was really interested in my personal blog and I didn’t get much viewers. However, with Google analytics, I found out that more people were coming to look at my blog and read my content, which was surprising. I could definitely tell that the day I posted something or the day after, I got more page viewers and such. This helped me to realize that I could really space out on the days I post my content. I used to post something twice a day, or the day after I posted another, but with the help of Google analytics, I learned to space out my posting so it could bring more people to my blog.

Also, what surprised me the most was the fact that actually many people were coming back to read my blog. I thought the people who came to my blog would read one post and never come back, but a significant amount of people were returning users, 32% coming back within the last few weeks! I could surely see that people were waiting for my upcoming posts and learned how to incorporate a sneak peak of my future post to make people come back in the future. In addition, after I put the ‘Contact’ menu on my blog, I found that many people have clicked it and I guess, somewhat interested in to contact me. It has only been a week I created the contact menu but it was one of the top, most viewed page on my blog! It’s nice to see the changes I’m making in my blog makes a difference and attract audience.

I definitely think that my audience is young people (20’s-30’s) that lives around Vancouver. I found that many people around the cities here come to read my blog, most likely because of my foodie post and lifestyle post which is based on Vancouver. It wasn’t surprising to see that many women come to read my beauty posts, but a lot of people have men have been coming as well. I always limited my audience to females due to thinking many men wouldn’t be interested in my personal blog because originally, I was focusing on beauty. However, incorporating foodie post and lifestyle post has surely brought more male to my blog and broadened my audience. Analyzing Google Analytics, I’ve learned to see what kind of audience I have for my blog and the unexpected factors that shows up. I learned how to use this tool to create certain type of content for my blog and broaden my audience!

Tracking App: For the past week, I’ve been trying to motivate myself to drink more water by bringing my portable water bottle. However, it’s not an easy change for me, therefore I’m lacking to drink more water. I’m catching myself to drink water just so I can track it. Also, I’m struggling to record how much I’m drinking due to laziness and simply just forgetting about it. I sometimes get notifications from the app to drink water, which is a nice reminder for me to drink water and record it!

Glimpse of my tracking app for the past few days:

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Process Post #7: Marketing, Audience, & Analytics

Since this is week 8 and I feel more comfortable to blogging and knowing my audience, lately I’ve been focusing on how to improve my blog for my audience that I have. Over the past week, I’ve changed couple things on my main sidebar menu and I have added ‘Contact’ to my main menu bar. After Suzanne has mentioned about this in lecture, I thought that having a Contact menu, where people can click to contact me for any reasons, at any times will be efficient and increase my interaction with my audience. As of now, I think I can say that I am pretty happy and satisfied with how my blog looks like and its functions. I think that I can surely think of more things to help me increase my interaction with my audience and having to promote myself to the audience but I don’t necessarily want to promote my blog through my social media.

Here is what I’ve added and how my blog looks like as of now:

Furthermore, the lecture that we had this week made me think deeper into monetization. I never necessarily thought that I needed to monetize my blog because I just simply didn’t feel the need of it. However, I think that monetizing can be a very interesting aspect that I can take on to take my blog into a next level. I always thought that ads on blogs or any other websites are very annoying and useless. Although it’s annoying, I know that the ads actually works and is effective. I think that having ads that are relatable to my posts and my blog in general can be helpful for my audience and myself. I think that it’s important to have a limit on the number of ads that shows up on the blog because an excessive amount can cut down the visitors for my blog. I won’t know how many ads are acceptable until I actually put ads on my blog and experiment with it. As of right now, I’m not 100% sure if I want ads in my blog. I’m leaning towards not having ads on my blog and not monetize it because I think that monetizing the blog will require as much as more work that needs to be put in. In the future, if I decided to monetize my blog, I will use Google Adsense to put ads and monetize it. I will have to choose what kind of ads are put into my blog and only use the ones that are relatable to my blog, so there’s no random advertisements that are showing up.

Tracking App: So far, I’ve been good at tracking my water usage everyday. Although the information may not be 100% exact, I’ve been reminding myself to keep tracking everyday. I think it’s safe for me to say I have failed to motivate myself to drink more water through this tracking app. It has help me stay motivated at first for the first couple weeks, but after that my water drinking was pretty much exactly same as it was before I started this tracking. I have noticed that the days I work, I drink more water because I get more dehydrated and thirsty  because I talk and move around a lot more. Therefore, I’ve been trying to drink more water for the days that I’m at school and don’t work.

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Process Post #6: Publishers/Authors/Texts

For this week, I’ve spent a lot of time on thinking about how my blog looks like to my audience and comparing the differences/similarities with my favourite bloggers that I visit.  I often get inspiration from my favourite beauty bloggers such as the overall theme, the vibe that the blog has, certain ideas for my posts and many more. I don’t directly copy anything from their blogs because that would be copying their hard work and would cause copyright issues, but getting inspirations from them definitely helps me to be creative with my blog and create my audience.

I have also been thinking about couple strategies that could help me interact more with my audience and to help me build my community. I’ve added a plugin ‘Email Subscribers’, which people could put their name and email to be subscribed to my blog, receiving emails when there’s a new post. This will definitely help me build my own community around my blog and bring people come back to my blog, creating a bigger community. Other than writing comments  like: ‘Comment below and tell me your favourite products’, this plug in will be a very beneficial strategy that can physically make visitors to come back and I hope it really works!

Remix:

Remixing something to catch the reader’s attention to my posts are surely important to have and a great strategy to use. For my previous post ‘February: Beauty & Fashion Wishlist’, I’ve created a collage of products that I wish to get my hands on. Creating this collage wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve done and definitely took some time. However, conclusively, I think that a collage is a great representation of the my main message and catches the reader’s attention quicker. It’s a much faster way to know rather than scrolling down to see what products there are and see the details. I’ve also provided a list of the products with the details for people who really wants to know what kind of products they are. As many bloggers has used this strategy, I think that it’s definitely a good and easy, start up strategy to remix and attract attention.

Here is a picture of the collage I’ve created:

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Essay #1

As our usage of new technology increase every day, the older medium gets pushed back and we rely on our smartphones, laptops more. Social media is definitely a rising platform that people are increasingly using and nowadays, majority of the digital natives’ major source of news is from their social media feed. However, it’s arguably true that many of the news that shows up are “false news” and social media plays an enormous role to shape one’s public opinion unconsciously. Digital literacy is a big problem that many people face in today’s society because there are countless articles that aren’t actually true and can’t be credential.

False news is something that happens way too common these days and happens more frequently than it ever has been. This illustrates that many of the citizens are receiving false information and spreading them around, shaping their public opinion. Facebook is a great example to look into this controversy as “…reaching nearly 2 billion people each month, driving more traffic and attention to news than anything else on earth- it’s also become a single point of failure for civic information” (Benton, 2016, pg. 38). Especially the younger generations receive their major source of news from the social media they use the most; however the social media platforms and certain websites all have different political views that they tend to lean on. It’s not very hard to identify if they are left winged or right winged from the articles they post, what kind of language and pictures they use. Ultimately, we can say that people who use Facebook the most are going to have different political views compared to the people who uses The Globe and Mail to get their news.

Furthermore, in today’s society, “We are faced with massive information literacy problems, as shown by the complete inability of students and adults to identify fake stories, misinformation, disinformation, and other forms of spin” (Caulfield, 2016). Many people tend to do a quick research on Google and whatever they find in the first few links, they’ll believe the information without a doubt. In reality, many of the articles are not actually 100% true and exaggerated as long with a certain political view. Users must use their time and follow the tricks such as checking if the information is accurate, author’s credential matters, typography and much more to indicate the false news alarm. The online world is full of fake news, stories and so called “facts” and we must not be caught up with these strategies that companies are using to attract attention.

I, myself am guilty of not taking the time to check if the information is actually accurate and credential. Many people would think that if an article says some sort of “fact” and it is posted CBC, The New York Times or any bigger corporate companies, it would be true and a fact. However, this is definitely not the case and even big companies make mistakes as well. Journalists write articles that’s biased to their own political views and this can seriously affect the reader’s mind and shape how they feel and think about certain things. As an example, before the previous US elections, Facebook was full of articles about how Trump won’t become the president and Clinton will have more chance. All of these countless articles were clickbait, trying to catch the reader’s attention but had fake information on them as Benton mentions (2016), “The fake stuff, when it connects with a Facebook user’s preconceived notions or sense of identity, spreads like a wildfire” (pg.38). As the media shaped certain ideologies in our heads, when Trump was elected, everyone was in complete shock and the media went crazy after all. Countless people were mocking, complaining and even more false news has been created due to this phenomenon.

“Publics are important, not just for enabling political action, but also for providing a mechanism through which we construct our social world. In essence, publics are the fabric of society” (Boyd, 2014, pg. 201). As the public shape ideologies and create viewpoints, social media users have no choice but to follow them. Boyd mentioned that: “Not only has social media enabled new way of being public and being in public, but these same technologies have been used to reconfigure political publics as we know them” (2015, pg. 206). Users scroll through Facebook’s news feed constantly, so fast that they don’t take the time to check if the information is accurate or not. If they see negative posts about Trump, it will shape them to think that a person like Trump won’t become the president of the United States. As Facebook’s feed is filled with ‘Trending’ component, it’s hard to even miss out of these political actions and not care about it. Users will find things that are interesting, comment and share it which spreads enormously leading to a never ending cycle. This is how our media and public are made and there is ultimately no way to stop this. Social media platforms like Facebook are so easy to be politically engaged with and conclusively, it shapes the users’ public opinion.

In conclusion, digital literacy must be essential for our generation to be taught to stop social media from constructing individuals’ thoughts and position. Knowing simple indicators to detect what kind of political view that certain social media or websites has is an important skill to have in our society today and won’t be as affected by the media. The recent US election is a great example of false news and wrongful information that we encounter in our everyday lives. Although Facebook claims they have“…taken a lot of heat since the election for not doing enough to remove fake news reports…” (Guynn, USA Today, 2016), in reality we cannot fully escape from the false news online. “It’s by learning the stuff on a granular level that we form the larger understandings- when you know the difference between a fake news site and an advocacy blog…these tools and process raise the questions that larger theories can answer” (Caulfield, 2016). Digital literacy shouldn’t be an add-on level that we can intake, it should be essential for all online users out there.

 

References

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Process Post #5: Authority, Echo Chambers, Online Behaviour

How I’m doing: Blog

After reading my second peer review, it definitely helped me to understand and look at a bigger picture. Since I’m the creator of this blog and it’s a lifestyle blog, it’s hard for me to see what could be wrong and the mistakes. The peer reviews we’ve been doing have been super helpful to detect my mistakes and improve my blog!

Trena, my second peer review partner did an excellent job critiquing my blog and really has helped me to see the errors I made. After reading the peer review, I went over my About section and changed some spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Also, I ended up going to every single post I have made in the past and just looked over if I had any general mistakes that I couldn’t tell when I was writing it. I definitely caught some errors and fixed it. I have added my Facebook link to my social media, get in touch section. Although I didn’t want to share my Facebook at first, I realized putting just my Instagram was too bare and I think it could make my readers feel more connected and get to know me better. Furthermore, I have put up my search bar on the very top of my side bar because she has said that out of all of the widgets I have, it may be hard to find where the search bar was. I do agree and would be more beneficial if I have the search bar at the very top so it doesn’t get lost! I played around with the typography a little bit to the right font size I wanted for my paragraph and the line spacing as well. Overall, Trena’s review of my blog was very helpful and I have made many changes according to her critique! What I thought to myself was I should include more visuals into my blog and make it more eye catching for the readers.

False News Topics Covered in Class: 

My group had talked about Tim Hortons’ employees getting charged for thousands of dollars to win roll up the rim cups. As our group researched online and found couple articles, we realized that there were few articles that were almost exactly the same, written by the same author but was posted into different news websites. All of them were under the Canadian Press but we had no information about the author nor if it was actually true or not. As of that moment, we really couldn’t do much further to find out if this was true or not but based on the articles that was posted, there were couple young, male employees who stole couple boxes of the roll up the rim cups but eventually got caught and fired. We do not know if it was actually worth thousands of dollars or anything because there was no evidence of it and only one or two of them get caught. After doing this exercise and learning about the false news, I have realized that I really shouldn’t be believing everything that’s online. I, myself is guilty of doing a quick research and believing what I saw because I don’t take the time to research further if it’s actually credential and true. I think it’s important to take the time and research further more of the author, where the information/”fact” came from and if it’s actually true. Most of the times, only part of the topics are true and the writers have added something else to make it more viral and eye catching.

Tracking App:  

As of my tracking app, I am still using waterlogged because I think that’s the easiest one to use and keep track of my water usage. However, I have definitely lost my motivation to drink more water and even to track compared to the earlier semester. Even knowing I should be tracking more, it’s been really hard to track the exact amount of water I intake and I end up forgetting about it. Also, I think to my self I’ll eventually end up adding everything and just track it at the end of the night, but when I remember, it’s already passed midnight and I failed to track my usage. I definitely need to be more motivated and keep track more, especially because I chose this specific tracking to keep me more motivated and posed a challenge to myself.

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