Final Self-Assessment

A Final Review

Dear dancers and L&L readers,

I’ve been writing this blog since mid-January and it has been a wonderful learning experience for me. I hope you’ve learned a few things too from reading my blog. Now that it’s March and winter quarter is wrapping up at Cal Poly, Lashes and Leotards will either fade into my memory along with my other winter quarter classes, or I will continue producing content for the page. So I think it’s a good time to take a look back at the past nine weeks and evaluate my work as a blogger.

Since Lashes and Leotards launched, I’ve worked diligently to create a brand. The same day my blog went live, so did the Lashes and Leotards Facebook page and Twitter account. I wanted to give this blog a life of its own and clearly define what it was about.

In retrospect, I could have used Twitter more effectively by tweeting more often, following more people, and working harder to generate a Twitter following.

Facebook was the key ingredient in making this blog successful. I can easily say that I owe a majority of the visits to my blog to the Facebook page.

Coming up with plenty of tags each week was important for driving pay-per-click views. I hope people who don’t know me or know about my blog, were able to find it through a search engine entry that then led them to my page. I’ve had about 1,700 hits; it’s extremely gratifying to know that people are taking time to navigate to my site to read my content.

I have not yet decided if I will continue writing content for Lashes and Leotards. I might change its focus to being a little more personal, although I’d like for it to continue being informational and not entirely in a narrative form.

In order to make the blog financially viable, I’d like to have some dance-related advertisements on my page, whether they were for dance supply stores, dance academies, summer intensives, or shows.

One of my peers and good friends, Taylor Crump, gave me some much-appreciated feedback about my blog.

Crump told me she liked the overall quality of my photos and how they were incorporated into my posts.

She also took note of the experienced dancers and experts I used for sources and how they established my credibility as a journalist.

One of Crump’s favorite things about my blog is the “Why Do You Dance?” page. She said it was “a cool way for followers to get involved and to get feedback as well.” I admit that I have not updated this page as regularly as I should, but I promise to post all of my sources’ responses to that question in the very near future.

Crump said she liked the format of my stories and how I used pull quotes to highlight the most important points of a story.

“Your stories sometimes were actually stories rather than “how-to” posts, which was refreshing and fun to read,” Crump said. “Finally, I’m obsessed with your header pictures and the phrase, ‘a blog for bunheads and dancers everywhere.’ So cute and so appropriate for your blog!”

Be sure to check out Taylor Crump’s amazing fitness blog, TLC Your Body.

In conclusion, I am proud to add this blog to my resume and repertoire of work as a journalist. I hope future employers will see how I was able to identify a niche audience and provide it with interesting and relevant content.

I am so happy that I chose to write a dance blog. It was an ideal niche for me to cover and I’ve learned volumes that I can apply to my own dancing. This blog was a significant catalyst in making my decision to minor in dance. Perhaps I’ll work for Pointe Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, or as a dance critic one day, combining my two loves, dance and journalism.

As always…love and juicy pliés,

Christina

Cheap Seats to Tweet Seats

Tweeting from the Theatre

“Ladies and gentlemen, during this evening’s performance, flash photography and video recording are strictly prohibited. Now, turn on your cellphones and enjoy the show!” – Peter Funt, The New York Times

Earlier this year, Peter Funt wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times about several theatres that are experimenting with “tweet seats” in their theatres.

What are tweet seats?

Essentially, the back row of a theatre is reserved for people to live tweet during a performance. In an environment where cellphone users are usually strictly admonished, theatres are now encouraging theatergoing tweeters to continue their “digital conversations” throughout performances.

The advent of tweet seats has spurred a controversy in the theatre world over this new section of the audience. Some argue that live tweeting from the tweet seats generates effective publicity. On the other side, some feel that phone use of any kind is disruptive for fellow theatregoers.

In his article, Funt asks if the risk of upsetting the majority of paying theatregoers is worth it.

He responds by writing, “The answer, in five characters, ‘u bet.’”

What if there was a tweet seat section in your local theatre? Audience members in the special section could write live tweets about sold-out shows so that those who couldn’t get tickets could at least read the highlights via Twitter.

But is it disrespectful, disruptive, and distracting?

Without a doubt, it’s distracting for both the regular audience and the tweeters.

Imagine having to tolerate hearing incessant clicking of keys and seeing illuminated phone screens during a beautiful ballet, elaborate opera, or amazing concert.

And if someone is busy tweeting, his/her eyes aren’t on the stage. A critical moment might be missed because those multimedia-obsessed eyes are glued to a phone screen.

No one is going to patrol the tweet seats to make sure the tweeters don’t start a game of Angry Birds or Words with Friends.

People who sit in the tweet seats are often given their tickets for free in exchange for their publicity tweets.

It begs the question whether those sitting in the tweet seats are really there to critically analyze the show and if can they actually provide meaningful insights in 140 characters.

Twinkle Toes? Twitter Toes!

Follow Lashes and Leotards on Twitter!

Lashes and Leotards is now on Twitter, username @LashesnLeotards. You can find the widget to follow me on the right side of the page. Although I’d love for you to also follow my personal Twitter account, @ChristinaFav, my Lashes and Leos account will focus solely on dance related topics.

Before signing up for Twitter, I thought it was a totally unnecessary social media. Who wants to read a bunch of status updates from people who obviously have too much time on their hands?

Well, I don’t believe that ignorance is bliss, so about 2 years ago I challenged myself to give Twitter a chance. And I have been happily tweeting ever since! Fair warning, my tweets are not prolific 140 character phrases, but they are fun insights into my life and interests.

What I enjoy more than tweeting is following. On my personal account I follow over 70 journalists and news organizations, along with my favorite celebrities and other miscellaneous “tweeters.” On my blog account, I follow professional dancers and dance companies.

Twitter is an excellent way to gather quick information. I also appreciate that it stimulates individual investigative journalism. If I read a tweet that intrigues me but the 140 characters don’t satisfy me, I’ll troll the internet for more information until I find the answers.

All I ask is that you give Twitter a chance. I was a hesitant hater once too, but I now see Twitter as a valuable social media and news source. Go tweet!

Something’s different…

Have you noticed anything different about the Lashes and Leotards page? Well you may have noticed that the addition of menus has made the site a little easier to navigate. Thanks to a great web tutorial by SiteSparker I learned how to add menus to my blog. There is now a menu with several buttons directly below the header. I have also created a footer menu at the bottom of the page. As I write and develop content for the site, I will continue to update my menus to improve the ease of navigation and accessibility for my readers.

Although I didn’t seek the expertise of web tutorials, I spent many hours clicking through the Dashboard and figuring out how to set up a a link to “Like” the Lashes and Leotards page via Facebook. And with that being said, I encourage you to visit the Lashes and Leotards Facebook page. I have also set up a Twitter account under the name LashenLeotards. Please visit these pages and follow me! I so appreciate your support and hope you enjoy my blog!