Learning from the Pros

Since my blog is still at its early stages, I believe that the best way for me to improve and grow is through learning from the websites and blogs of professional scholars.

The first website that I will be looking at belongs to Alex Gil, also known by his handle @elotroalex. His website’s link is here: https://www.elotroalex.com/

On Gil’s landing page, is simple and to the point. He uses white and grey colors for his theme. A sketch of a hummingbird takes up most of the landing page. I would even go further to say that the style is minimalistic, which I personally approve of since it draws focus to the important details like Gil’s email, address, github, and Twitter. By doing this, Gil is able to make his work and thoughts available to a wider audience while also making himself more available for conversation.

Aside from the landing page, the navigation bar also leads to his “Log” and “Profiles”.  While seemingly brief compared to other websites, the two sections offer a plethora of the papers/web writings/copies of published articles and chapters that Gil wrote along with his six profiles. In his “Log” page, Gil not only presents a list of links that leads to his written works, but it also includes a run of the @elotroalex blog (2008-2015). Aside from the posts in the Log and the note about the origins of the elotroalex handle, there are no other information about this blog. The earliest post was published in 2008 and the most recent post was published in May of 2021. While the links lead to blog posts filled with content and information, they do not offer the option for visitors to comment, which I find is a shame since I would have loved to see the conversations and ideas that these posts would have inspired.

In his Profiles page, Gil offers a downloadable version of his CV. I appreciate how he divides his experiences and projects into six profiles. While organizing his achievements this way makes it easier for viewers to access his works by the subjects they are interested in, I wish that this website also had a search bar for those with specific works or articles in mind.

Overall, I enjoyed looking through Gil’s website and perusing his projects and works. I hope to replicate its organization and accessibility in my own blog.

Dr. Amanda Visconti’s website, Literature Geek (http://literaturegeek.com/), has a colorful and information-packed landing page that brings me back to the classroom. The colors that Visconti chooses for her page and links are bright and eye-catching. In the sidebar of the page, Visconti has put the link to her “About” page, her contact information, her DH dissertation, and many other details. She also leaves links to her profiles in other websites like github, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Visconti’s About page has many images supporting her projects and experiences. Before introducing herself and her other achievements, Visonti places her digital projects at the front. While she takes care to pair her experiences and projects with images, her About page does not offer a profile picture.  

Returning to the contents of the landing page, Visconti provides her background and her interests at the top of her page. To finish off her introduction, she also encourages all visitors to her website to contact her or to get to know more about her through her online portfolio, resume, and Twitter. Not only that, but the page also includes a list of her blog posts. Visconti has been posting to her blog since 2009. Her most recent post was made in the July of this year. In the end of her posts, she also includes the links to other posts related to the topic, which encourages others to read more of her content. All this information is condensed in the landing page. While Visconti makes herself and her works available by doing this, some spacing would have facilitated visitors in finding what they’re looking for without wading through the plethora of posts and links.

Since I would like my blog to be a place where I can participate in scholarly conversations with others who share the same interests, Visconti’s skillful setup in making herself accessible and open to making connections is a very helpful example, which I hope to reflect back onto my blog once it grows in content and style.

The final blog that I will be looking at belongs to Henry Jenkins. The website, Confessions of an ACA-Fan (http://henryjenkins.org/), is engaging and witty. While the style of the landing page is simple – using white, black, and maroon as its color theme – it also allows the viewer to focus on the website’s contents. The sidebar offers Jenkin’s profile, his most recent Twitter posts, and his publications. The rest of the landing page is of his blog posts, starting from the most recent and going back by date. Since Jenkin’s blog does not have a list of links like the two other websites, I do not know how far back these posts go. And, since I am not familiar enough with the content to search, I can’t find that information without consuming a lot of time combing through the older posts.

The page, “Who the &%&# is Henry Jenkins,” serves as a mix of an About page and a CV. Not only does Jenkins include humor in the page’s title itself, but he also shares his publications and projects.

Since my secondary interest is in Video Games and media, I am personally invested in the blog’s content. I hope to be able to fill it with as many posts and content in the future.

Works Cited

Gil, Alex. “Alex Gil.” Alex Gil, https://www.elotroalex.com/. Accessed 27 Sept. 2021.

Jenkins, Henry. “Henry Jenkins.” Henry Jenkins, http://henryjenkins.org. Accessed 27 Sept. 2021.

Visconti, Amanda. “Blog Posts.” Literature Geek, http://literaturegeek.com/. Accessed 27 Sept. 2021.

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