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Peer Review: Siena Secrets

Is this a love letter or a peer review? Yes, this is for my colleague Sara and her website Siena Secrets from my publishing 101 class.

Dear Sara

Reading your blog was like drinking a cup of warm oat latte topped with heart latte art. Maybe it is because oat latte is my favourite drink but your page has definitely captured my heart. 

First Impressions + “Weekly”

I could sense that a lot of thoughts have been put in the construction of the main heading and sub-heading… or are you a genius? Either way, you are a creative genius because the word “weekly” is very strategic in the sense that it gives an immediate impression to your reader that they will be able to read your post weekly. It’s like a promise made between you and me – as if, yes, we will meet here on this blog again next week. Through this single word, not only have you created a personal cyberinfrastructure but have also provided the readers a public space in this metaverse, whereas Gardner said, “new learning and new connections…[will] emerge as a natural part of individual and collaborative efforts”. 

I see nicely plated icons (Family/Friends, Health/Wellbeing, Adventure, and Food/Drinks) along with short excerpts of what those four things mean to you. First impressions – readers can immediately sense that this blog will be based on those four topics and that those topics matter to you the most. This is clearly and consequently well organized into the tabs under SS Lifestyle Blog. 

Engaging with the Audience

One of the most memorable parts of your blog was your way of engaging with your audience. In SS Entry #5: Are We There Yet?, you expressed your feelings and shared personal experience with school anxiety. Through that, you welcomed the reader by asking them to leave a comment if they have any tips or tricks. This genuinely reflects very well what your blog name stands for and what you said in the About section about how you would like to dedicate this blog as a journal, a diary, where all your secrets are poured on, and you are simply inviting the readers to your personal journal – your life. I can sense that you are a very open minded person who does not fear sharing about themselves. By inviting them in too, they are becoming part of your journal. I believe this is a great way of gaining followers, as “mine” or “yours” become “ours” through sharing secrets. The question of whether one can truly be individualistic is still up in the air, but the creation of “our” space has allowed us to create our public where we can build a meaningful network of people (Boyd, 2014). You were also able to naturally melt the content we have picked up from the class readings and interpret it into your style through your writing and personal language by relating it to yourself. 

In conclusion, after reading every single word on your blog, it genuinely felt like I had met up with a childhood best friend because I was able to relate to you and I believe that is one of the goals you are striving for based on your blog. You definitely have the magical skill of wording things the way you did to pull heartstrings and radiate warmth.


I am absolutely all for minimalist boho style. Neat, clear layout that is easy to navigate through and is accessible as well. I also checked out Jilian Harris’ website as well as your sister’s friend, Janice, and I definitely see a pattern in colours and where you may get inspiration from.

I did a little colour study of your moodboard, which was fantastic, and based on my personal judgement, I generated a colour palette which could possibly give the vibe of your inspirations as well as your current website. I believe the strong blue #10acf4 I believe may divert away from the colours of your moodboard. However, if that is your favourite colour, I believe it also captivates people’s attention!

On the last note, I genuinely cannot wait to see how your website develops further as well as get to know you more. Keep doing what you’re doing because I see a huge potential in Siena Secrets.

Love, Lina

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