Peer Review #3
This week I’ll be reviewing my peer, Amanda Winkle’s blog, “Humanizing“. After reading through the blog, It’s clear that Amanda is really passionate about the topic, which is humanizing the dehumanized, and showing that homeless and under-housed people are people, instead of the faceless, morally degraded things many people treat them as, which Amanda writes about here.
I’m very impressed and inspired with the content on “Humanizing”, however, I’m not sure the intended audience for the blog is clear. There is no mention on the front page of the blog about this blog is for, or what community the blog is a part of. I think it’s a bit difficult because it’s a topic many people should care about, but it isn’t a specific interest of many. It isn’t just young women or older women etc. that the site targets, it seems quite general.
I see there’s a post about what the target audience for “Humanizing” is, however as Amanda says, she needs to reach a giant public. I think that this kind of makes the site untargeted, and I’m not sure how it could be made more specific. Perhaps if it was a resource for homeless or previously homeless that may lead to a more targeted audience, or if it were focused on female homelessness, perhaps you could target a female audience and women who are interested in female safety and female empowerment. I think the difficult thing here is that this isn’t like a governmental or health resource, which may be the main resources people look for in connection with this topic, so it may be hard to reach the audience you need. Perhaps you could also make it more of a “Humans of the Downtown Eastside” kind of site, without using photos or anything identifying if you don’t want, just to make it all more personal and connect to a format that many people like which is the “Humans of New York” format. This also connects these stories to a geographical location, so you may connect to more people from Canada and B.C. who are passionate about the community and the issue.
In Tara Chittenden’s 2010 article, she discusses the ways teenage girls present their identity online and through their blogs. Many of these girls discuss their fashion choices and preferences and use blog formats and posts that are similar to one another, and thus, they have a built-in audience. These teenage girls are part of this specific community and share these interests in fashion, so they visit each other’s pages and build connections and dedicated readers. I believe the combination of two points of connection, in this case, an interest (fashion) and a biological trait (age) makes for a strong audience.
Here’s a diagram of how I visualize the building blocks of a target audience. I don’t mean at all to say that I’m an expert or doing an amazing job, I just find it easier to discuss things with a visual!
I think ideally, you would hit all three points with curated content, however, that can be really difficult and may even make the intended audience too specific or too small in some cases. I think if you can hit two of the three points, you have a solid basis for your audience. In my case, I target women (I think younger women would likely be more interested than older, though everyone is welcome) that are interested in female empowerment, books, movies, television shows, and humour.
In total, I’m very impressed with “Humanizing”, and the message the blog presents. I think Amanda is doing an amazing job with her content and I appreciate the modern feel of the design. I do think there’s an audience for this content, ad many people would be moved by the blog, we just have to be able to reach them, which is more manageable with a specific audience. Additionally, everything i’ve talked about is purely my opinion which is subjective, and can be taken with a grain of salt.