Vote for me on Little Sister 2016

First things first, I’m super excited to be part of Little Sister 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.38.56 pmHaving made it through the strenuous audition process, I’m ready to give it my all to become the final LS2016 housemate.

But before you vote for me on Twitter¬†, here’s a little bit more about me.

I love early morning workouts with some *quiet* Skrillex. Nothing gets the day started like an energised jam at 5am.

The best follow up to a full body circuit? A super smoothie blended up on my Vitamix; it may sound like a drill, but nothing blends frozen bananas better ( and I close the kitchen door, so don’t worry about the noise) ūüôā

If my healthy and happy outlook on life doesn’t convince you I’m the best candidate for Little Sister 2016, I don’t know what will. Maybe I’ll have to whip up some super scrumptious banana pancakes.

 

LJ FOR LITTLE SISTER 2016. Vote @ LS2016 xxx

 

 

Vote for me on Little Sister 2016

Chia Banana Porridge

Legit nutritious, delicious, and dairy free. 

With Melbourne’s Indian summer reaching an unfortunate, but justifiable end, my desire for warm food is climbing as the barometer plummets.

Over the last couple of weeks, porridge has been my breakfast paradigm. With virtually no sugar, but a good hit of fibre and carbohydrate, a steamy bowl of oats leaves me feeling charged and ready for a day brimming with adventure ( ahem, uni and work).

As mentioned in my previous blogs, I’ve recently been flirting with the idea of veganism. The more research I do, the more I’m convinced its a good idea. I love animals. I care about the planet. Why not start putting my beliefs into practice?

This being said, I was struggling with the idea of giving up the a dash of milk and Greek yoghurt that transforms mediocre oats into a luscious, unctuous AM treat. That was until this morning, when I challenged myself to complete an entirely vegan porridge.

With a glass of lemon water chugged, I got to work.

To replicate the creaminess that comes from the addition of milk, I added some unsweetened coconut milk and coconut oil. For a protein hit and texture, I added a couple of teaspoons of chia seeds. To my shock horror, these substitutes created a porridge even heartier, and more delicious, than the dairy filled alternative. And, surprisingly, I felt even more satisfied than usual.

So, there you have it. Straight from the former Chobani yoghurt aficionado. Don’t be scared. Give this dairy-free porridge a chance. One spoonful, and you’ll be hooked.

Chia Banana Porridge 

Serves One. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 small, overripe banana chopped into small discs.

Optional: Cinnamon and natural vanilla essence, to serve.

Method 

  1. Add oats, water, and chia seeds to small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly.
  3. After a couple of minutes, or when the oat mixture has thickened, add coconut milk, coconut oil, and banana. Stir.
  4. Reduce heat, and let simmer for a minute.
  5. Take porridge off heat, and add cinnamon and vanilla to taste.
Chia Banana Porridge

Assessment Two: Finding My Community- Reflection

For the last three weeks or so, I’ve dedicated time to forging a presence within my chosen community, The Net Set. As outlined in¬†Finding My Community: The Net Set,¬†The Net Set¬†is driven by fashion conscious individuals, keen to share their love of style and find sartorial inspiration.

Although a fairly new online community, and somewhat microscopic compared to giants like Reddit and Youtube, users on¬†The Net Set¬†are active, and produce a significant amount of content, largely photos and comments. Both of the aformentioned aspects, along with the ability to join a “Style Tribe” in which you can share your fashion interests with like minded individuals, lay the foundations for what, perhaps, could develop into a much larger community.

The Net Set, as an interactive App, perhaps emphasises the world’s “changing notion of community”, as mentioned in Potts and Murphies’¬†Culture and Technology.

My experience within¬†The Net Set¬†has been positive, yet challenging at times. As discussed in¬†The Net Set: Progress Report- Part One, the initial phases of creating a profile on the App were very simple. Joining “style tribes”, finding people to “admire”, and posting photos to my profile was a cinch, which is perhaps the essential element to creating an online platform people want to use.

The real challenge came to creating success and status within the Net Set community. In The Treachorous Path to Popularity: The Net Set¬†, I describe the difficulties in taking the first steps towards building a recognisable presence within my community. The key players, or “professional groups” and “midfluencers” as coined by Oatway, are intrinsically linked to popularity within the community. Once you’re “in” with the aforementioned two of “The Big Five”, your community reach has the potential to grow exponentially. But how to put it popularity and profile growth into practice?

A guiding light throughout this entire assessment has been the Week 8 reading, Jay Oatway’s¬†Mastering Story, Community and Influence : How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader. Within the reading, Oatway outlines the key ingredients to developing a successful presence within the online sphere. Although I was initially hesitant to believe social media status could be distilled into a science, after consciously interacting with what Oatway coins “The Big Five” (Oatway, 2012), I noticed a significant increase of traffic on my profile.

Although I have not succeeded in gaining thousands of admirers, the small impact I have made within the Net Set community, discussed on my blog post The Net Set: Progress Report- Part Two,¬†highlights how growth of status within all online communities can be largely contributed to being an active user in the appropriate manner. Harking way back to Adrian Miles’ discussion of “Network Literacy”, being a respected member of an online community requires an understanding of “social, collaborative…”(Miles,2007) language. I feel as though, throughout this assessment, I have gained a greater understanding of this language, as well as the key factors in operating within an online community.

Looking ahead, I plan to continue building my profile within the Net Set, all while trying to retain the “coolness” Oatway (Oatway,2012) pinpoints as a fundamental part of being successful within a community.

References 

  1. Miles, Adrian 2007,¬†‘Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge [online]’,¬†Screen Education, No. 45, pp. 24-30.
  2. Oatway, Jay 2012 ‘How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader’,¬†Mastering Story, Community, and Influence, pp. 97-109.
Assessment Two: Finding My Community- Reflection

The Net Set: Progress Report- Part Two

My last “Progress Report” was dedicated to laying the foundations within The Net Set. In this little report, I’d like to share the minimal, but motivating success I’ve had in my community.

Although I’m not generating huge waves within the community, something is better than nothing. On a deeper level, the minor impact I’ve made on The Net Set can definitely be attributed to my following of Adrian Miles’ advice in the Week 8 reading. This being said, perhaps gaining popularity, fame, and presence online can be boiled down to a science?

Heading in the right direction

The Net Set encourages users to be active through awarding ‘progress badges’.

IMG_1400.jpg

I was just a little excited when The Net Set’s official page replied to my comment.¬†IMG_1402.jpg

Another response from The Net Set proved that being active in comment sections and forums generates a conversation, which in turn works to develop an online presence. IMG_1405.jpg

My first “love” was very encouraging, and emphasised the notion of activity attracting reciprocal activity.¬†IMG_1447

The Net Set: Progress Report- Part Two

The Net Set: Progress Report- Part One

While my last post ruminated on the difficulties in finding followers and gaining “admirers”, I’ve put Miles’ key notions into practice and have had results. Nothing major, but on the scale of things, a significant improvement.

In this post, I’d like to cover my journey so far on the Net Set; that is, building a profile, and culminating in a ‘like’ from a member of the community.

Humble beginnings and sewing the seeds for success 

Creating a profile was first step in becoming a part of The Net Set. As displayed below, the automatic profile is a complete skeleton to begin with. IMG_1390.jpg

Getting there! I added a description and image to my profile to personalise it. Now, to add more photos, join a style tribe, add admirers, ¬†and start “loving” some images.IMG_1393.jpg

First photo post! IMG_1404

“Loving” images on the Net Set immediately attaches your name to a list of other users who have “loved” the same images, whereby increasing your chances of being followed.¬†IMG_1397

“Admiring” brands and other Net Set users is akin to “following” people. Following Miles’ advice to follow “professional groups”, I made sure I admired my favourite fashion brands.¬†IMG_1396.jpg

As aforementioned, “professional groups” form a majority of The Net Set. This extends to “Style Tribes” , which users can join and post images.¬†IMG_1394

The Net Set’s¬†Style Council¬†consists of prominent figures in the fashion industry or, as Miles would put it, “mid-influencers”.¬†IMG_1399

Now that the seeds for a successful tenure at the Net Set have been sewn, it’s just a matter of time before the ‘admirers’ and likes come rolling in. Hopefully.

The Net Set: Progress Report- Part One

The Treachorous Path to Popularity: The Net Set

Look, I wasn’t expecting it to be all sunshine and rainbows. But being noticed in the Net Set community, or any online forum, is more difficult than I initially anticipated.

Over the last week, I’ve been trying to develop a community, and gain ‘admirers’, but with minimal success. Not one to give up on a challenge, this afternoon I sat down and had a serious think. ¬†I’ve found myself musing to my friends about how the coolest bars and restaurants don’t ‘try’ to be cool, they just ‘are’ cool. People attract people to places. The more people, the more hype there is. But true hype, the kind that gets people waiting three hours for sub-par dumplings and overrated cocktails, has a certain¬†je ne sais quoi¬†that can’t be manufactured. The same rules apply to building a presence online.

But how do you get more followers when you have none to begin with? Sure, you could drop a couple of hundred dollars on buying followers, but it’s a pretty desperate move that is transparent and often unsuccessful. In the quest for an answer, I backtracked to a reliable voice of wisdom: Adrian Miles. In our Week 8 reading,¬†Finding Your Community, Miles dissects the intrepid path to web fame, highlighting the importance of what he coins “The Big Five”. Consisting of “bloggers, professional groups, topic chats, aggregators…and midfluencers”, The Big Five ¬†hold the key to a person’s successful incorporation into the social scape.

Taking Miles’ advice onboard, the next step for my Net Set will be to follow more people, and comment on their posts, all while retaining the illusive “coolness” Miles describes as an essential ingredient when building the foundations of an online presence.

The Treachorous Path to Popularity: The Net Set

Finding My Community: The Net Set

As the due date for Assessment Two creeps closer and closer, I though it might be a good idea to introduce my chosen ‘community’: The Net Set. No, it isn’t an exclusive clique within Networked Media, rather an app¬†developed by luxury online store,¬†Net-a-Porter.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 8.44.19 am.png

Image via https://www.thenetset.com/

Founded by fashion journalist Natalie Massenet in 2000,¬†Porter¬†was the first E-Boutique of its kind. From the comfort of home, shoppers¬†could now purchase¬†the latest garb from the world’s best designers, and have it delivered straight to their door. In exquisitely packaged black boxes with signature branded ribbon, no less.

As a lover of style and a serial browse-a-holic (I may not have the funds to buy Gucci’s latest season glitter mules, but you can bet I’ll look at them in every colour on my computer screen), Massenet’s story inspires, and gives me hope that it is possible to build an empire from your passion. And I’m definitely not the only one who feels this way.

The fashion community has long had a strong presence online through forums and blogs, but the format of chat rooms and comment boxes seems dated and archaic given the progressiveness of other social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

To haul the fashion community into the 21st century and beyond,¬†Porter¬†has created The Net Set. An App for IPhone, The Net Set allows users to “share and shop with the world’s most stylish women” ¬†while keeping connected “a whole community of fashion-loving members.”

I’ve just downloaded the App, and I’m just a little bit excited. Pinterest, but with fashionistas like Poppy Delevigne? A killer monochrome layout? And tabs that let you join groups like ‘minimalist’ and ‘all black everything’? ¬†I think I’ve found my tribe.

More to come.

Finding My Community: The Net Set

Equality of Aesthetic and Substance

Personal experience dictates my preconception that things beautiful on the outside are often, unfortunately, lacking depth and substance within. And no, I’m not just referring to a couple of failed dates.

One of my major pet peeves is when blogs are designed with precision, but lack well-crafted and edited text. Without turning this post into one big, pretentious ‘blog roast’, the number of fashion centric blogs that feature magnificent photography and menial, mistake ridden text is enough to make my head spin. If you have enough time to filter your images through hours of photoshop, you have enough time to do a quick spell check.

Although I maintain my fairly salty attitude to most fashion blogs, there are definitely exceptions.

Margaret Zhang, super-woman of fashion and life in general, is one rose among a bed of typo thorns.

Arguably the most superbly edited fashion blogs on the net, Shine By Three(http://shinebythree.com) mingles jaw-dropping imagery with witty, intellectual copy.

If Shine By Three had a nutrition blog sister, it would have to be Nutrition Stripped(http://nutritionstripped.com) or, my very recent discovery, My New Roots(http://www.mynewroots.org/site/). Again, both these blogs, written by certified nutritionists, feature lengthy articles on health and why you should be eating the ingredients the recipes feature. Bonus? The photography is mouth-wateringly good.

The aforementioned blogs prove how striking a balance between aesthetic appeal and quality of material is an essential component in creating sites readers want to keep visiting.

You want readers to come for the good-looking factor, but stay for the intellectual value.

 

 

Equality of Aesthetic and Substance

Blogs worthy of your Wi-fi

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of blogs exist online. This number is constantly growing, and thanks to platforms like WordPress, it is now easier than ever to create your own site.

ElleJCool, my own blog, is a constant work in progress, and I’m always on the lookout for inspiration.

My favourite sites vary from month to month, but here is my shortlist of favourites who keep me coming back for more.

  1. Nutrition Stripped,¬†http://nutritionstripped.com¬†: Curated by nutritionist Mckel Hill,¬†Nutrition Stripped¬†is a beautifully designed site with a clean, easy to navigate aesthetic. The photography is superlative, and the presentation of Hill’s delicious, yet incredibly healthy and virtuous, recipes is something I would like to try and emulate on ElleJCool.
  2. Tuula Vintage,¬†http://www.tuulavintage.com : One of my favourite fashion blogs, Jessica Stein’s¬†Tuula¬†features superb photography that incorporates lust-worthy fashion and exotic destinations in equal measure.
  3. Sprinkle Bakes,¬†http://www.sprinklebakes.com: Again, excellent photography allows the drool inducing dessert recipes come to life. The creativity, and originality, of Sprinkle Bakes’¬†author Heather¬†is inspiring, as is her commitment to consistently posting.

 

 

Blogs worthy of your Wi-fi

Chameleon

Love her or loathe her (but honestly, how could you?), Taylor Swift is a master at self-reinvention.

She’s been a country princess, a red-lipped pop star, and now, a sexy, strong and throughly modern mega-babe.

In the latest issue of American Vogue, T-Swizzle brings some major sizzle, with a platinum blonde bob and plenty of futuristic flapper accoutrement.

This might be my favourite transformation yet.

All images courtesy of http://www.vogue.com/slideshow/13425691/taylor-swift-sequin-dresses-jeweled-may-2016-cover/#1 

taylor-swift-vogue-cover-may-2016-04taylor-swift-vogue-cover-may-2016-01taylor-swift-vogue-cover-may-2016-08

Chameleon