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Peer Review #3: Hidden Gems with Alexis

Peer Review #3: Hidden Gems with Alexis

One of the reasons why I became a spontaneous traveler is because I fell in love with getting lost. I am not a great map reader to begin with, but I love just ending up in unexpected places as it sort of feels like receiving gifts. Life is truly like a box of chocolate because you never know what you’re going to get. To peer review “Hidden Gems with Alexis” was just like opening a gift because the website really embodied the essence of a hidden gem – sincere, transparent, conscious, and cozy. In her website, she explores and shares her world one thrift at a time. Following the same concept of writing a peer review as a letter, this is for my colleague, Alexis, from PUB 101 class.

Dear Alexis,

I am genuinely excited about this opportunity to peer review your website as it is my first time peer reviewing a colleague who also has a YouTube channel. Subscribed! I am genuinely in awe with your confidence, your energy, and ability to rock any clothes, which I really look up to. I have to say – you rock wearing your confidence such like you wear your clothes. I will leave my excitement for your YouTube Channel as the dessert of this peer review, however.

“Humble Approach to Life”

The most memorable part of this section was, “It is hard for me to encapsulate so much personality into a digital space” because I could not agree and relate more how open yet confining digital space could be. This is just like how Sara Garner (mentioned by Tanya Basu) who didn’t feel that her personality wasn’t reflected well in her website. So, out came a digital garden, a collage-like digital space catering to various interests. “Digital gardens explore a wide variety of topics and are frequently adjusted and changed to show growth and learning,” (Basu, 2020). I believe that I also have a hard time trying to capture my what I call “Linaness” in my posts, pictures, graphics, and colours because I saw this digital space as a public space (more because I saw this a school project in the beginning). With limited time, I felt pressured to show who I truly am but I felt that there simply wasn’t enough time or space to capture my personality. So, as you explore my website as well, you may sense that there is a high level of chaotic energy. Regardless, part of me is still there. As Basu says, digital garden is about growth. Our personality changes and capturing that growth is another way to navigate ourselves across the digital space. What I also found relatable was, in your “Get To Know Alexis Cornwall” video, you said getting to know you on paper doesn’t do you justice and I think another problem we both come across is that we tend to confine our digital space ourselves when there are a lot of other ways to express ourselves. People all have different ways of expressing themselves. But, as you have noted in your essay, social media space is not as democratic as it deems to be. I am really glad that your website exists as I don’t see content like this often and I truly believe in speaking up about it until it feels normal and slowly embedded in our thinking. In terms of expressing and delivering our thoughts – for me, I aim to deliver myself through videos, which I film through my own perspective and lens. For you on your website, clothes, videos, and photos are great ways of expressing.

Marketing

With what I said above, I love seeing little seeds of various plants, flowers, and personalities planted in your digital garden. I sense a wide range of aura in your website and even in your main four photos. These photos of you in different clothing style, different settings, and different poses all embrace different stories yet to be told. What is similar between thrifted clothings and hidden gems is that both of them have histories. These histories simply take time to be told in great depth and I loved watching both episodes 1 and 2 of Hidden Gems with Alexis as you told background stories with little details. It was both informational and entertaining, which is more difficult to do than one thinks, but you did it so naturally. With your gifted talent and your energy, I believe that you yourself could definitely become a brand, so please continue doing you and radiate your main character energy!

YouTube

Now, onto YouTube, after reading your process post #4 as well your About on what kind of audience you have envisioned so far and the goals you have set, I see a huge potential in how your channel could develop. Here are some ideas I just thought of, which you could consider adding/developing for your video content. As your videos will reach more people in the future, your space will also allow more people to come together and discuss about your shared interests. Through this, I believe that you can make contents that cater to both your personal interests as well as your subscribers’. “People figure out together how to use different media and often agree on the appropriate social uses of technology by asking advice and sharing stories with each other” (Renninger, 2015, pg.1517).

  1. Thrifting Hidden Gems (Vlog): A “Come thrifting with me” vlog of you visiting different thrift stores – as an occassional thrifter, I would love to find any other cool thrift stores in other regions and what the inside looks like. It would also be informational if you focus on a certain region of Vancouver for thrifting, such as East Van, West Van, Burnaby, etc. This could extend well beyond other countries. I love how you share your personal tips for better thrift shopping in your videos as well so keep rocking!
  2. Education (Environment): A video discussing topics on a) debunking myths about thrifting (as you mentioned that there are stereotypes against thrifters); b) how is thrifting good for the environment?; c) how should we shop ethically; d) money saving impact of thrift shopping; e) thrifting vs reselling. f) how thrifting/clothings shape our views on gender/race.
  3. Thrift Flip/Thrift Feature: As you already do this by featuring your thrifts, you could take on a new challenge by flipping your thrifts.
  4. Outfit Ideas for different occasions: You already style your outfit with your thrifts, but it would also be another challenge to come up with different occasions and style your outfit specifically. For example, a) Thrifting for Workwear; b) Thrifting for Date Nights; c) Thrift Outfit for Spring.

I found that your YT video thumbnails could suggest more that it’s a video about clothes (a sneakpeak of what you are showing in the video could raise engagement)! Considering the moodboard you had made in your process post #2, here is an example of a thumbnail you could possibly use. I hope you like it!

Alexis’ Moodboard
An example of a thumbnail for YT

I feel like I found another best friend through this opportunity as I got to know about you so much Alexis! <3 I’ll continue to support you on your thrift journey and check your YT channel through new uploads!

Love, Lina

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