Friday, May 19, 2017

Emiiichan Blog Survey

So I was going through a slump again (I guess I get them more frequently than I realize) and so this time instead of just writing a doom and gloom blog post like I did at the end of March, I wanted to actually try and do something!

I created this short survey using SurveyMonkey and I would love it if you, as someone who actually reads my blog, would take some time and fill it out! I tried to make it simple while still gathering the information that I constantly think about. Honest/thoughtful answers will help me the most, so I hope you'll at least answer a few of the categories. (There's always the neutral option if you want to skip through it - and even knowing that the answer is neutral helps tbh.)

Thank you to anyone who has already found and filled out the survey. As I collect more results, I plan to edit this blog post and address anything that I feel warrants a response - especially in regards to the open comment section! (There are already some comments/feedback below but it's just what's been mentioned so far, and I would love to read feedback from anyone who takes the time to read this.) There could be something that you feel you are missing from this blog that is available, but I just organized it all in a really crappy way, so it's not easy to find and I want you to know where it is! Or it could be upcoming, but I'm just backlogged a bit! I want you to know that I'm reading each response and am trying to figure out how to apply it to my content to the best of my ability. This can also serve as a mini Q&A! However, don't feel limited to only communicate with me through the survey - if you ever have a comment or a question, you can always message me!

You may see minor changes to blog layout/formatting in the next month or so as I gather results and try some new things! Please DO let me know what you think about any noticable changes if you have an opinion on it. Most changes will be reversible and if the improvement/change actually hinders ease of use, then of course I won't keep it if that's the majority opinion. It's especially helpful if you let me know if you have specific complaints about formatting if you operate on a MAC/Apple computer or view the blog on any kind of tablet because I don't easily have access to those kinds of products to know if the pages look much different when viewed that way.

I'm also working to get the Related Posts widget back which could help but I haven't been able to find one that will show up. Not sure if it's the template or something I'm doing wrong. I used to have one but then one day it stopped appearing! If someone has a suggestion for that widget, please let me know! I've already tried LinkWithin, followed the instructions and nothing is showing up.

I almost didn't make this its own blog post, but I do want the feedback so I think having it stand alone is the best way to get the word out to the people whose opinions I really want - the people who actually read blog posts. Thanks for understanding/participating! 
Comments on this blog post outside from the survey environment are, of course, welcome as well but there were some specific metrics that I would love to know, so I hope you'll fill it out!


___________________________________________________________________________________


Survey results: comment & response
Some of the comments have been truncated to identify the main portion I want to address. Please know that I have read all feedback from the survey in their entirety. Just because your comment wasn't listed here doesn't mean I don't value it! I'm especially thankful for those who left me nice messages. It really does make blogging seem more worthwhile to know someone is reading what I type and that it's not terrible! This section will be updated as more feedback is received.

"I wish the font of the blog is a bit bigger so it's easy to read, especially to the long blog post one."
I just bumped it up a little bit! Hope this helps!

"We can get links to website to your clothing you buy"
The links are under the product name! Unfortunately for many items, webstores like Tokyo Kawaii Life will remove a product once the season has passed or move an item to an outlet section and I cannot keep up with these updates. However, the link provided is to the product page as it existed when I purchased them myself (usually from the webstore that I purchased from). Please note that most existing product links are now broken for even recent items due to the TKL webstore renewal :(
"I think something that would be helpful to include in a post is the price of the item or the price it is when you got it on sale"
Unfortunately, this is not something I will accommodate unless you only want to know the retail price. I actually purposefully do not list the price that I paid for the items. It's something I used to do but no longer provide for personal reasons. When it comes to "how much the item is worth" it's highly specific to an individual, and I know that what is considered reasonable to me is not the same to others. If you need help considering the secondhand price of an item but don't know the exact retail price, it may help to recognize that Liz Lisa has general pricing conventions based on the type of item. It's changed over the years but the ranges are still pretty standard. (OPs are typically around 9396-9936yen, bottoms are around 6480-7452yen, etc)).
Just take a look at the webstore to see current retail prices! But regardless of that, secondhand items are only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. IMO the retail price isn't often important unless it's a brand new, recent release.

"Maybe include your height somewhere just to get a reference for some of the Liz Lisa items?"
https://emiiichan.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html
My height, approximate weight and US/Japanese shoe size are listed in my About Me page (available in the navigation bar)!
Here's the excerpt -
Since I try to comment on fit when applicable for freesize/generally sized items, for reference, I am 5'4" (approx. 162.5cm) and about 110lbs. I usually fit US size XS/S in American clothes. My shoe size is US size 7. I most often fit Japanese shoe size L for Liz Lisa shoes, but I've found that I sometimes better fit M for other brands depending on the type of shoe. 

"I wish you would took one pic how it looks underneath to see if its a sukupan or a skirt with shorts Inside (dont know if thats the shame but I feel that the first is more short and the other is longer) :) Would be great to know to prevent buying the wrong item for you?"
One of the reasons I haven't done this is because I've always thought upskirt shots are a little creepy and I don't really want that kind of content on my blog.
In general though, all sukapan have shorts attached (hence the name - skirt pants). All skirts do not. If I'm understanding this comment correctly, I think you might be talking about a design difference between some sukapan where the shorts part may stick out from the skirt hem?
I don't think I personally own many of the type on the left. Some sukapan are longer than others but that is just part of the design of that particular item. Typically, I would assume that if the shorts are sticking out, the hem of the skirt is quite short. If the hem of the skirt covers the shorts inside completely, it may be a bit of a longer length comparatively. Skirts (which are not sukapan) would usually have the longest length. It's always best to check out the item measurements in the listing for the item if length is often an issue for you!

"I love your daily outfit posts, but I was wondering if these posts could encapsulate a 1 month or maybe every two weeks because two months at a time is a lot to digest (but I totally get if this isn't possible since you might not wear LL often enough)."
It's totally possible for most months, but I just always thought it would be too boring to do it monthly (versus every two months), and then it would seem like I'm just super lazy and want to get away with doing throwaway/rubbish posts. It's the same reason I've never done a "this is what I wore today"-type post that only covers one outfit. Tbh I always thought the minimum 20 outfits I posted per OOTD post was considered too little to even be a legitimate post, and I always feel a little bit guilty for making a blog post out of them at all! Breaking them up into slightly smaller increments is something I can consider if the sentiment really is the opposite though.

"I would like to see more photos of your outfits where your pose is more casual. I understand if you don't want to ask your friends or family to photograph you too often but just once in a while would be nice :)" 
I'm not entirely sure I understand this comment correctly. I do "poses" for the blog posts but the photos that are taken of me out in public are likely much more posed simply because I'm out in public, and I wouldn't want to purposefully be unattractive or weird in a photo in front of lots of people and then post it on the internet later.
http://emiiichan.blogspot.com/2017/04/japan-trip-spring-2017-part-1-arrival.html
The most candid seeming ones are probably moments from the trips (like most of those "walking" photos) which do get posted here. If you want to see outtakes or (accidentally) super ugly pictures from the shots that I take for the blog, I can totally oblige that though!
If you just mean that you want to see photos of me in a different setting (basically not just in my room), I have to admit that I don't really go anywhere other than work and home! My work environment is somewhat sensitive and doesn't allow photographs. And it would be near impossible for me to do most blog post coordinates photos in a public setting like a park. If there are 4 items I'm trying to feature from an order, each item has at least 3 different outfits associated with it. I'd have 12 different outfits so I'd need 12 different pairs of shoes, at least 3-4 purses, at least 9 cardigans/outer pieces, + whatever amount of tops and or dresses or bottoms to match with the main items. And I'd have to change my outfit somehow in public between each while somehow also getting a family member to commit to at least 3 hours to help me shoot it. Unfortunately, I'm not sure this is plausible - even just for one post. If the opportunity does somehow manifest, I will jump at the chance though!
I feel like I may have gone overboard on the excuses for this one but because I'm not entirely sure what the comment is referencing exactly, I wanted to try and cover the bases. I want to give you guys what you want, but unfortunately I do have limitations!

"[...] I'd like more Japan posts, e.g. places you want to visit in future and also more about living in Hawaii if possible."
I was thinking of doing a "My ideal 7-day Japan trip" post series (one for every season eventually maybe) and mentioned the possibility of it at the bottom of this post previously, but no one seemed interested in it! Is this the kind of thing you'd want to read about? When it comes to "things I want to do in Japan" (that I haven't yet done), I guess I haven't really thought about it! I usually go hardcore into research once I actually book the flight because I don't want to get myself excited to do something that won't be a possibility for years. This is something that I could do though and I like the suggestion a lot. Thanks for bringing it up!
As for posting about living in Hawaii...it's possible, but the only things I can think of are the political issues we have or what are essentially complaints (like traffic) and that's no fun to read about if you don't understand the intricacy of local issues, and I'm not the best person to tackle those anyway tbh. My personal life basically consists of work and blogging and watching tv. Sadly, I no longer really go on hikes or to the beach, and I don't attend any events. If I do end up doing something somewhat fun, Dayre is probably the first (and only) place it's recorded unless it's something really big. If you're interested in more of my daily life, I would suggest checking that out!

If there are any pieces that you have had for a while, and they didn't do well in the wash or have lost buttons, etc, I would like to know about that so that I can take extra care if I have or want to buy the same items.  
Hmmmm. I feel like this is good information to know/provide but I can't figure out what's the best way to deliver that information. If there's something I notice in particular, I can add it to the blog post related to that item ? You won't know if something gets updated unless you go to the post, but if it's an older item that you know I purchased and go to the master post to get more information about it, it should show up if I made an update! How does that sound? If you have a question about an item I own, you can always message me about it as well! I'm always happy to answer questions like that (unless I've specifically addressed it in a blog post already).
If I'm really honest, I haven't found a lot of glaring inadequacies that weren't my own fault or part of general wear and tear. I would just highly suggest following the recommended care instructions and be realistic about the life span of these items - they're not meant to last forever. Buttons can sometimes come lose but they're extremely easy to fix unless you lose the button, and it's probably not indicative of every version of that item.
The biggest thing I've learned is not to put the cotton/cambric (キャンブリック) type items in the washing machine. The material is never the same after. But that's still my fault because I didn't follow the care instructions. Also, I'm pretty sure some people have been successful in machine washing them without ruining it, so again that's probably personal user error. I love the fabric and how summery it is (which is great for Hawaii) but I basically just try not to buy items with that kind of material anymore because based on how I wear the items, I prefer to machine wash them.

"I guess make some posts easier to find? like shopping posts or guides to ordering, summary posts..."
This is a great idea, and I would love to do this, but can't figure out the best way that isn't just manually making more lists.
I think for Liz Lisa items, the master post serves as the best "index" because you click on the picture of the item you want to know about, and it should take you directly to the related post. For my Japan trip posts, I have a page in the navigation bar that lists all the different trip series. Would something similar for other categories be useful? And if so, where would the best place to locate it?
For myself personally, I usually navigate around using the "labels". The more popular ones are explained and are linked in my Blog topics overview page but you can also see all posts with the same label by clicking on the label at the bottom of each post. I could also have a list of all the labels placed somewhere on the blog (with an explanation of what would fall under each label). What would be ideal is if the queried list of posts with the same label displayed truncated/snippets of each post instead of in full (like it appears on Universal Doll). I've wanted to have that feature for a long time but don't know what keywords to search for to find coding(?) for that or if it's just something I need to pay someone to do or if I need to move off Blogger to do it. The caveat is that I don't want regular blog posts to be truncated - just the label search.
[I think a Related Posts widget would be really helpful for this as well and I'm actively looking for ways to get it back. If anyone can help point me in the right direction for either of these issues, please let me know!]

"[...] Sometimes though, I wonder if your pictures display the clothes lighter than what they are when we see them in person."
This is entirely possible but it's not purposeful. I do edit the photos for lighting but I do my best to match to what I personally consider the right balance. The hard thing is finding that. I take most (like 98%) of photos using only natural lighting but how much lighting comes in the window varies by the weather that day or even that very second the shutter snaps. If I also shot with artificial lighting, I think it would be easier to have it be more consistent and not so reliant on how much sunlight is coming through the clouds.
Another problem lies within using one laptop to edit photos and a different one to do basically everything else and the difference between the color displayed on the two is pretty big. Even if I got a more powerful graphics card for my computer, the color/lighting/brightness of each photo would still likely appear different on each viewer's screen based on their monitor settings.
The "true color" problem is one that I'd love to remedy, but I don't have enough photography experience to know the solution. If someone has a recommendation that doesn't involve spending too much money, please contact me!

"Some outfit pic are way overexposed and too far away. Can't see it properly"
I think this is related to above. Can someone give me tips about indoor artificial lighting or how to get the color right on the majority of screens? I've actually had a number of people tell me that the images I post are close to the IRL color for them. This is the first time I've had comments otherwise, and why I'm glad I'm doing the survey. However, I don't want to throw off the resolution for those who are currently seeing accurate color.
Not too sure about "too far away" though. I usually crop pretty close to the top of my head and the bottom of my feet consistently. The mannequin pictures are supposed to serve as the "item detail" photos where you'd get close ups on a "body form", but the coordinate photos are meant to be head-to-toe and include accessories and shoes. I feel like these are cropped appropriately. If you have a specific way you'd want the photos to be framed, let me know! 

"If you could talk about more affordable brands similar to Liz Lisa and gyaru styles, that would be cool!"
I wrote a little bit about that in my "himekaji basics" post, but unfortunately this is not my area of expertise!
I plan to add to my "Liz Lisa alternatives" series as the opportunities arise, but unfortunately I tend to focus my shopping efforts on the brands themselves. It might help if you can define affordable though! The sale prices at the end of the seasons can mean a lot of great items are 60+% off!

"A search function that actually works would be nice but I suppose this is a blogspot problem?"
The search bar works for me, but what exact results are you trying to achieve from it? You're right - I don't think I can change how the Blogger widget works, but I can try to make things easier for find for you in other ways!

"I wish you had something like an email list that could notify me of your new posts. The 'blogspot' subscriber feature is there, of course, but I can't find how to recieve email notifications, if the option even exists. :("
I'm sure there is an option, but I'm not 100% sure how to set it up! I actually didn't think anyone would be interested in this, but it's definitely something I can look into now!
Edit - I think I found a way to do this but I haven't been able to test it out myself yet. Crossing my fingers that it works accurately. Please sign up for email updates by using the form in the sidebar and let me know what you think of it!
Edit again - Just joking, it's not working as I thought it would, but I'm working on getting this done within the next month! I think I need to do more research. But look for it in the sidebar in the future!
Edit x3 - Email subscription box in the sidebar under the Featured Post block! I hope it works!

"I own some Liz Lisa clothes (mostly skirts,sukapan, & tops).I was wondering if you have some ideas on how to style it with every day wear such jeans, jean shorts, or tennis shoes?"
I actually have a blog post I've been delaying for almost a year now that's essentially "Liz Lisa & denim bottoms". I didn't prioritize it because I thought that people might think it's silly, but I've been meaning to get it done sometime in the next few months even before this comment. Now that I know someone might be interested, I'll definitely pick up working on it again!
https://emiiichan.blogspot.com/2015/10/emiiis-guide-liz-lisahimekaji.html
I don't own a lot of tennis shoes myself but I did do this "Liz Lisa/Himekaji coordinates with shoes" blog post that might interest you! I've just realized that maybe the title isn't the most telling but it's basically girly outfits with flat shoes or sneakers. Hope this helps!

"Please blog more about trips to locations other than Japan or other (non-Liz Lisa) Japanese fashion brands."
This isn't an exact quote from a comment but the basic idea I got from multiple suggestions that I'm trying to bundle into one because the answer is similar.
Unfortunately this isn't something I think I can fulfill to fullest extent, and I want to explain why. In an ideal world, I would love to blog about worldwide travel and every single Jfashion brand/item that catches my interest. However, I don't have an unlimited budget for blogging. This is, in fact, simply a hobby. I do run Ad Sense in my sidebar but don't make nearly enough from that to pay for an entire trip unless I were to save the earnings for 10+ years because it just doesn't generate enough revenue.
http://emiiichan.blogspot.com/2016/12/east-coast-trip-thanksgiving-2016.html

I go on personal trips and then create blog posts as a by-product. I do not go on trips specifically to blog because I just do not have that luxury. It's essentially the same for clothes. I buy what I personally want to own and then usually create blog posts about it. I do not buy clothes for the purpose of blogging. If I was a "real blogger" and was sponsored/given trips or clothes in exchange for posting about them, this would be entirely different! But as my life stands now, I am fronting my personal funds to have the content I produce, and as such, prefer to buy only items and take trips relevant to my interests.
FYI, there are trips I've gone on that aren't to Japan and have blogged about (both to the US East Coast), and I also do blog about brands other than Liz Lisa when I buy those items. They're categorized under the label "other shopping". It's not limited to Jfashion but includes purchases I made from non-Liz Lisa brands such as Kate Spade New York, One Spo, Ank Rouge, Delyle Noir, DaTuRa, Swankiss and more. There are currently 36 posts with this label!
In terms of moving forward, my personal interests mainly lie with traveling to Japan and buying Liz Lisa items. I cannot promise that I will produce content outside of those topics, but ofc I will if something I want to acquire/experience for myself comes up.

"sometimes the post can get wordy and long walls of text automatically make me space out. I do like reading about your thoughts/life/opinions but even just breaking up the text into smaller chunks would help the reader pay more attention."
Hmmmm, okay. I'm trying to think about how to break up the text more because (believe it or not) I already try to break it up into small sections as it is, but I know I can ramble a bit and maybe that's my main problem since I often type in a "stream of consciousness" manner.
I feel like for text heavy posts like this one can't really be changed much because there's just no pictures to go along with it except like...me frowning or something. But even for this survey post, from the beginning, I tried to section it off and include occasional related pictures to just break up the monotony, and this is something I try to be very aware of depending on the type of post.
For coordinate posts, I purposefully structure the text as: intro (for the order), then per item - item details and why I purchased, then what I think about it after seeing it IRL, ending with a conclusion for the whole post. I break up the sections for each item with the photos in between but I don't have another type of photo to break it up even more. Is it that you want more paragraph breaks? I'm open to further suggestions for how to accommodate this better!


"I would like to see a post that summarizes all the Liz Lisa/ My Melody collaboration items! :)"
Expect it at the end of this month!

Thank you for filling out the survey! Your feedback means a lot to me and I'm already really enthusiastic about just seeing the results - regardless of whether they were what I was expecting. Criticism can only help me improve!
If you were someone whose comment I am responding to and I have further questions or clarifications, I hope you won't mind responding in the comments, even if it's on anonymous!

6 comments:

  1. "I would like to see more photos of your outfits where your pose is more casual. I understand if you don't want to ask your friends or family to photograph you too often but just once in a while would be nice :)"

    Hi, I'm sorry that my comment was so unclear. Here's what I meant: When you buy new clothes you take pictures of them from every angle to show what they really look like. And that's a good reason to stand in front of the camera in a certain way. But it would be nice to see the clothes also in action. You do take outfit photos but they are mostly mirror selfies (which is fine but not much variation there either). I didn't mean outtakes or silly poses, although that would be fun :D.

    Two example photos:
    http://data.whicdn.com/images/67211834/large.jpg
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/5d/3c/38/5d3c383abf54de0967510f298ee50d06.jpg

    Both of them are poses but in my opinion the second one is more lively and interesting. Your example of the trip post photos was also good :) I didn't really think about the environment but outdoor pictures do look nice.

    By the way I'm so disappointed with the changes in Tokyokawaiilife, why did they start using the mannequin? :/ It just seems like a cheaper way to sell clothes (even though they used it with JugeETTA which was totally expensive brand). A little while ago I bought a pink Liz Lisa top and there was no picture of a model wearing it when I ordered it. I was worried it would be too short and I tried to look for better photos from Instagram but no luck. When I received the top and tried it on it fits me and isn't too small or anything. But the measurements are kind of weird and it looks like I'm wearing a children's shirt. :( Totally offtopic but I just wanted to share :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for checking back in and reclarifying!
      So maybe I need to be more "fun" when I'm wearing the clothes, I think haha. If I'm honest, I do often take shots like that but they don't end up making the cut into the blog post because I feel like the "stoic" ones display the item better (especially so that you can compare between items if I repeatedly do similar poses).
      It's probably also because I don't see myself as a model and I think it would be kind of embarrassing to seem like I'm pretending to do a "real photo shoot" with the items. Like, who the heck do I think I am to be doing "real" poses? I'm not sure if that really makes sense, but I guess it does have to do with how I see myself and how I want to be perceived (especially since images on the internet can be for forever). I do see some other people do similar type things and when it's not done right, it can be a little...cringey.
      But beyond all of that, I will keep your comment in mind and see if I can apply it to future posts. I think maybe I can find a happy balance between fun posing that isn't cringe and showing the item at each angle, but it will take a little while for me to get comfortable with it!
      (P.S. the changes probably won't be seen in every future post because I already shot/drafted a few of them, but please know that I want to try to apply this advice as I can beyond that!)

      I'm also not in love with the changes. I've talked to a few other frequent customers about this and it seems like a few simple but useful functions were taken away! I thought I would just need time to adjust but I've been making myself use it multiple times a day every day since it's been renewed and I still don't like how its organized and the features they removed. They don't even have an order history anymore which I feel like is a basic requirement for most webstores. It's annoying to have an established brand with such a crappy online shop. (That's probably a little harsh but I just think they took too much away in comparison to what they presented earlier and some of the things are *really* basic.)
      Yeah. Tbh I really don't know what they're doing. Idk if it's something you might be interested in, but there's a small FB group I'm part of where girls discuss items they've purchase or are curious about and I try and pull shop staff photos for reference for select new arrivals (among other things). It's extremely small so it's not a huge gathering but I think that also helps keep some of the drama from happening. If you're interested, add me on FB (the link to my selling album is in the sidebar with the FB icon but it takes you to my profile in a way) and message me about it!

      Delete
  2. Done! I hope I can be of help even though I am pretty content with the way you run your blog ;) no complaints whatsoever, favorite blog 10/10 would reccommend <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! That information is good to know!

      Delete
  3. Answered- was hard thinking what to write in the open comment section bc your blog is pretty much already perfect lol

    ReplyDelete