If you are a coffee lover, The Baristia Babe by Kristie is the blog for you! You can check it out here : http://thebaristiababe.com
Today I will be reviewing Kristie’s website for my first Peer Review assignment, and so far I’m a fan of her page! My first impression when looking at Kristie’s site is that she genuinely has a love for coffee. The first thing you see when opening the website is a collage of photos of her holding a cup of coffee, which I think is the perfect home page display for the site as it passes a very authentic message to readers about the site, the aesthetic, and the writer herself. It portraits a more welcoming and personal feel; as if us readers are getting a first hand glance into her world of coffee.
What I like most about Kristie’s website is the consistent tone throughout all of her blog posts, and the way she is able to somehow relate everything back to the main theme of her website: coffee. For instance, at the beginning of each process post she begins with a heading that contains a quote or witty saying that ties into coffee as well as the context of the post which I think is super creative and impressive! I also thought the way she was able to incorporate Tony Stark sharing her love for coffee for mini assignment #2 was really innovative! The categories “Coffee Reviews” and “Daily Dose of Coffee” are also great touches to the website that allow for content to stay perfectly on theme.
I also admire the clarity of Kristie’s website, and how she has been able to achieve this through identifying her key audience and “public” so well. Through various weekly readings, we have learned the importance of knowing and understanding your audience. One reading named Publics and Counterpublics, by Micheal Warner, described how the word “public” can have many different meanings and how we are all a part of many publics; including our own. Warner states, “ A public can also be a second thing: a concrete audience, a crowd witnessing itself in visible space, as with a theatrical public” (p. 413, 2002). The Baristia Babe is its own public within the larger public of coffee, that has a clear audience: anyone who shares a love for coffee. The site caters to such individuals really well by providing all relevant content posts that use language and tone that everyone can appreciate and understand. As someone who has actually only ever tried cold brew coffee (sorry to disappoint you Kristie!), I still find her site to be engaging and feel that I can still be a part of her public, even if I am an amateur in the coffee department!
As far as navigating the site, she has done a really good job of making everything easy to find! Each category on the dashboard has a clear title, and will take you directly to the related posts. It is easy to distinguish PUB 101 content like process posts and mini assignments from original content pieces, which makes it easy for viewers to find what they are looking for. The overall appearance of the site is also well done, the light pink background and bright pink page title compliment the design and tone of the website nicely. Possibly using shades of brown instead of pink could tie more into the theme of coffee and be a nice touch, but pink is my favorite color so I’m not complaining!
For only working on her website for five weeks so far, Kristie has made good progress. What I would suggest is adding a few more features to the site pages, such as showing recent posts on the sidebar, or adding a designated home page on the dashboard menu (as right now I am taken directly to the “About Me” page when opening the website). This could present the opportunity to try out different features on WordPress as well as showcase different posts and qualities of the site, which can enhance the overall navigation and appearance of the blog due to the presence of establishing a “home” page. I struggled at first to figure out how to incorporate sidebars and widget features into my site and still have lots to grasp, so it is definitely a learning process for us all!
Overall, I am impressed with the development of The Baristia Babe so far, and am excited to see the finished product by the end of the semester. As someone who is also learning to navigate the many elements of designing a website, I can understand the time and effort that has been put into the progression of the site thus far, and applaud Kristie for that!
Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech. Page 413.