The internet, specifically social media, is a place where words and intentions get twisted more than any place else. You can say one thing and it gets interpreted into many different ways, usually in a negative connotation. You make one mistake and it’s instantly out there for everyone to see, for everyone to talk about, for everyone to shame you about. The first person I think about when it comes to internet shaming is YouTuber James Charles.
James Charles is a beauty influencer on Social Media. One day, he posted a promotion video for vitamins that are supposed to strengthen your hair. Tati Westbrook, a friend of James Charles, was immediately offended because she, too, makes similar vitamins and he was promoting her competition. A few weeks later, Tati Westbrook posted a rant on YouTube about James Charles. She claimed that James Charles manipulates men into having sex with him and other actions. She even gave a specific example of when James tried to come onto a straight waiter.
Following the posting of this video, James Charles lost three million subscribers and received thousands of hateful messages. All because, initially, he posted a video promoting a brand of hair vitamins.
I think that James Charles’s first video was taken completely out of context. Tati shouldn’t have posted a rant video just to get back at James for supporting another company. That should’ve been a private conversation - not a public one. The purpose of Tati’s video was solely to break down James Charles’s career. She knew the kind of audience her video would reach: people with tons of subscribers and influencers. She also knew how her audience would react to the information she was giving them. No one wants to support someone who sexually assaults others, even if they aren’t 100% that’s the whole truth. People were harassing James Charles and unfollowing him before they even heard his side of the story.
Essentially, this all happened because Tati’s feelings were hurt. Which, she had reason to. But she didn’t have a reason to go and destroy someone’s life because her feelings were hurt. This wasn’t the right solution to the betrayal she felt. Tati should’ve privately contact James Charles about how she felt about his promotion. This could’ve resulted in not only a heartfelt apology from James Charles, but a promotion of her product as well.
In “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” Ron Swanson comments, “A life had been ruined. What was it for: just some social media drama? I think our natural disposition as humans is to plod along until we get old and stop. But with social media, we’ve created a stage for constant artificial high drama. Every day a new person emerges as a magnificent hero or a sickening villain. It’s all very sweeping, and not the way we actually are as people.” He says this while analyzing one of his cases in his book. I think this comment perfectly encaptures James Charles’ downfall with Tati. Tati exploited him as a means of drama and to make herself feel better. She made him into a “sickening villain” in order to turn everyone against him because he had hurt her.
I don’t believe public shaming to ever be a good thing, and the internet has just created more of a means to engage in it. Although James Charles had done terrible things, this wasn’t the right circumstances to bring them to light. Ruining his career was a means of revenge and not a means of “you’ve hurt me, now let’s figure this out.”
Below, I've included a Tweet James Charles sent out after posting his apology video on YouTube.
For my logo, I used a picture of an island with the words "The Tempest" underneath. I used an island because that is where almost the entirety of the play occurs. I was going to use a darker picture, but since the play had such a whimsical feel, I thought the brighter colors were more practical for the logo of this website. The word "Tempest" is centered underneath the picture whereas "The" isn't. I thought this looked better compared to both of the words being centered. I also made the words' font color white to create contrast and make them easier to see compared to black lettering.
Site Layout Explanation
In one of my classes, I learned that while looking at a website, people read in a "Z" formation. I tried to include this into my web page layout. I started with the alignment of the picture and words. All of the pictures are on the left and the wording is either centered (Direction) or on the right side of the website. I thought this method helped recreate the "Z' formation. The alignment also makes it easy to navigate the page since the proximity of the pictures and the information isn't too close. This creates a more organized feel for the website instead of a cluttered one.
I used the light blue as the background to continue the whimsical feel. I feel that a dark background would counteract the feel the director was going for. It also coordinates with the logo's colors. The title, subtitles, and tabs are also in white because I tried to incorporate repetition from my logo. In my opinion, this helped tie everything together. The font for the subtitles and tabs are the same whereas the title is different. This helps set apart the title from the rest. The descriptions will also be in the same font as the subtitles and tabs.
For my website, I tried to make it as user-friendly as possible as well as trying to incorporate as many aspects of the play as I could. This layout could be used for all of the different tabs and would be very easy to navigate for all audiences.
The printer wasn't working in my dorm so I had to draw my storyboard on printer paper. I apologize ahead of time for my drawings.
In order to create my website, I used two different templates. One I used for the homepage whereas I used another for the internal links. I wanted to incorporate repetition with the internal links so my readers would know what to expect on each link. The hardest part for me was making sure I closed the paragraphs in the HTML document and labeled the right classes for the CSS. Coding is very intricate and if one thing is missing then it throws off everything. I can’t tell you how many times I made changes in the CSS but when I refreshed the page, the changes didn’t show up. However, once I finally found what I was missing, it was very rewarding to see the final product. I never thought coding would make sense to me but as I continued to create this website, I started getting the hang of it more and more. The thing that helped me the most was looking up CSS and HTML codes and comparing them to what I already have.
My website definitely isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as I wanted it to be. It is very basic but so is my knowledge of coding. It took me a long time to really even understand the basics of coding so I had to keep telling myself that this doesn’t have to be an intricate website. It just has to be functional. If I was an expert on coding, my pages wouldn’t be so plain and straight to the point. I would make it more artistic and change the background to a photo with my internal links organized at the top.
I used linguistic, visual, and spatial modes throughout my website. When it comes to linguistics, I used very plain, informal language. I’m a pretty relaxed person and wanted my readers to get that through the language I used. I was very loving and care-free when I talked about my dogs in order to express how I feel about them. My phrasing was very passionate when I talked about my volleyball career because I feel very strongly about that sport and the role it played in my life. The words and tone I used throughout these pages helped portray how I felt about these topics. I also incorporated many visuals on my website. This way my readers can visualize and have a better understanding of the people or things I was talking about. Finally, I tried to space out my pictures and words to make it easier for my audience to read what was on the page.
I tried to bring in contrast with using various colors that work well together but are very different. As I mentioned earlier, I used repetition with the templates for the internal links. I also used the same font for a lot of paragraphs and headings. I thought this made it easier for the reader to tell them apart. Alignment wise, my pages differed. Some of them are centered where others are aligned to the left. The alignment depended on the amount of text and pictures on the page. I also talked about the proximity aspect of my website a little bit earlier on. I tried to space out the text and pictures in order to make it easier for the reader to follow along and understand the overall flow of the website.
Creating this website definitely wasn’t easy! I’m nowhere near proficient in coding and am easily frustrated when it comes to these kinds of things, but the end product was very rewarding for me. At the end of the day, I was able to learn something new and can say I now have some experience when it comes to coding!
I chose to analyze Berkeley’s website: http://shakespearestaging.berkeley.edu. On the homepage and in the first sentence, the website states not only the audience Shakespeare reaches, but who they’re trying to reach as well. Their audience is primarily teachers, students, scholars, and performers who are all either studying or writing about Shakespeare. The authors of this website (Berkeley Shakespeare Program and other committees) created a website to help their audience gather a better understanding of Shakespeare and his plays.
The website is divided into sections: kinds of plays, the time period of the play, and the topics discussed in the play. I think the division of the plays makes it easier for users to navigate the website and is something that we should incorporate into the website our class makes. Visual wise, I like how the website is very easy on the eye. The colors coordinate well and the pictures make the website more appealing and less plain. The font is easy to read. It’s a very well-constructed website.
Something Berkeley did that I think we should also do is include a description or plot summary of the plays. When you click on a link for a play, like “The Tempest” for example, it takes you to a page with a description and pictures. I think the pictures are very important, especially for Shakespeare’s plays. The pictures help readers visualise what Shakespeare is trying to portray in his play and they even help you follow along with the plot summary. A change I would make to the website is altering the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. This level of writing seems to be very advanced; I would predict around 12th grade reading level or higher. This would be acceptable if the audience of this website was strictly scholars. But, because this website is also for students, I think the grade level should hover between 8-10. This is a sweet spot for many technical writing and I think it should be incorporated into this website since it reaches a vast audience who come from very different educational backgrounds.
As a grammar buff, I also appreciate the fact that they included a bibliography with their description of the play. It’s important to give credit to authors or just places where the authors might’ve found supporting details. It also helps to put them with the description because if a scholar or anyone wanted to continue their research, they can look at the bibliography and see if there’s anything there worth researching more in depth.
Overall, I think the Berkeley Shakespeare archive website is a good resource. It is easy to navigate for all audiences, but it isn’t the easiest to understand. With Shakespearean language already being hard enough to interpret, I think Berkeley could knock their vocabulary level down a few notches to make their descriptions more understandable for every user. The website is very visually pleasing and the purpose of the website is very clear: to inform users about any Shakespeare play they wish to know about. With a few changes to the website, I believe “Shakespeare’s Staging” could be a very useful resource for all audiences.
Picture source: http://dev-shakespearestaging.pantheon.berkeley.edu/images/the-tempest-at-the-faculty-glade-ucberkeley-1993