Thoughts on Instagram

I have recently started using Instagram, actually after a webinar I watched at work where the librarians were talking about what a great social media space it was. They had a lot of success with being found, with getting constant interactions on posts, and with being able to ask questions and get answers. Well, that all sounded pretty good. So I gave it a look.

So far I have really enjoyed Instagram. It doesn’t get spammed to the extent that something like Tumblr does, so I can in a few minutes scroll through and see everything that’s posted for the day. It’s visual like Tumblr is, though, so it’s easier and better for scrolling through and checking out on the fly than I have found Twitter or the WordPress Reader to be.

How do they pull this off? Well, for starters, there’s no sharing. At least, not that I’ve figured out yet – I do see the occasional “re-gram” with a little share symbol and username in the corner of the image. Not sure how that’s done, but it’s pretty rare. Unlike a space like Tumblr, where sharing is the majority of the activity. You can like and comment, both of which being closest to something like Facebook in terms of use and visibility. However, some things in posts or comments don’t work – like websites. No hyperlink. So it discourages going in and linkdumping – unlike Twitter, where that’s almost the whole deal.

So it’s a visual space that’s there for others to experience and interact with. And really, I’ve had more success there with interaction than on other social media accounts. Things on the Facebook Page almost never get seen. Tweets rarely get any likes or shares. Tumblr doesn’t see much action. Indeed, in a couple of months I have as many Instagram followers as Tumblr followers, and the latter account is over a year older. In other words, it ended up really being what was advertised to me: a fun space with good interaction.

So let me run down a couple of things I have discovered regarding how Instagram plays with my whole suite of other social media accounts, to give you a more complete picture of how it works!

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T – Twitter

TOf all the various Social Media options out there, one stands above the rest for writers, from what I have seen. And that option is Twitter. It doesn’t necessarily make sense – after all, Twitter does not allow you to write particularly much. However, it’s not about the writing, or writing there.

With Twitter, it’s the avenue for connecting and marketing.

I say connecting, and use my Twitter account (@dbc_ii) as an example. From the get-go, my description read that I was a writer, and listed it first. That’s some of my self-perception, and though I’m not sure I can call myself an Author, I can go with writer. And from there, it’s been interesting to watch. I have been followed by a whole bunch of writers or authors and publishing groups or companies. Twitter has done an amazing job of connecting writers this way, all on its own. And as I have been followed, and have followed back, writers, the writer quotient is just increasing.

I say marketing, then, because of what I see the authors doing with Twitter. Their description will be a link to their book, through an e-publishing site, or on Amazon. Often mentioning that the first book is reduced price or free – to of course get you hooked on the series! The other thing I see many of them doing is having a follower-reply message, that thanks you for the follow, and either suggests their book or their other Social Media presences. For people who are self-publishing, doing things like this is even more important – they may not have anyone else promoting their works like this!

Obviously writers are not the only folks able to take advantage of Twitter for the reasons I list above. However, of the different types of Social Media, I see Twitter doing this by far the best. Facebook doesn’t do a whole lot of recommending to you – especially of pages – that hasn’t been paid for. And a lot of the others don’t have the public presence and connection.

So if you are a writer, make sure you have a Twitter! And this goes for bloggers too – it’s really easy to connect Twitter with your site, and use things like Publicize to push your posts as well. And I follow back writers 🙂 Include your Twitter in the comments below to connect with folks!

Building a Blogging Community Through Social Media – With Examples

Let’s face it, as much fun as it is to write, and to blog, and to think about the fact that your ideas are public, published, out there… you want readers too. Readers who enjoy what you write, or interact with what you write, or share what you write… or even better, all of the above.

Through the social aspects of blogging, how it works, and realizing we should do for other bloggers what we want done for us… the best followers you will have on a blog are likely going to be other bloggers. With a WordPress blog, for instance, it’s people with WordPress accounts who can “like” your post… who can follow your blog with a click of a button, and then read your posts in their WordPress reader. WordPress – like other blogging communities, like Tumblr – does a great job of letting you connect and share with other bloggers.

So last week I blogged about how I am considering some changes on Comparative Geeks and while informational and data changes like I proposed and discussed can do a bit to network better with other WordPress blogs, there are more channels out there we need to hit as well, and which have different sorts of purposes and users. Though also of course a lot of overlap! But let me look through the Social Media avenues we are using, or considering, to look at some folks I see doing this well, and how we might use it in the future.

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Publicize – Results from my First Test

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I was testing out Publicize on multiple channels. I think the test was pretty successful. The Twitter feed here on the site does not show the post to Twitter, as advertised – which is good, because otherwise you would see the post, with a Tweet next to it telling you the post was there. As I’ve mentioned before, Twitter is less of a reader and more of… something else. One of its better uses being perhaps its ability to feed into other things, like the WordPress sidebar, or Facebook. More on that below.

I ran into one snag: When shared on Tumblr, the blog post then kicked in the automatic share there – effectively, Tumblr’s version of Publicize. This resulted in two Tweets. The one from Tumblr also ended up in the sidebar here on the blog. It looks like my Facebook had been logged out on Tumblr, otherwise I imagine it would have ended up there twice as well. This was easily solved – I have turned off these automatic shares on Tumblr, but am still linked in where I should be able to share when I want to from within Tumblr.

From here, I have some further thoughts on Publicize… check out what I’m thinking, and then maybe let me know your experiences with it! (Also, I have just learned how to embed a tweet: http://en.support.wordpress.com/twitter/twitter-embeds/…)

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Internship: Done! Now what?

Hello dear readers!

I have completed my Internship in Library Science, and am pretty proud of the final product. I built the base of a virtual collection of materials about the Treadwell Mines here in the Juneau area, and it now looks pretty excellent. You’re welcome to check it out and give me feedback in the comments below!

http://treadwellsociety.com/home/

Meanwhile, that means I am trying to get back to the rest of everything in my life, because I am now done with my Master’s in Library and Information Science! So I have some things I want to talk about, things I want to explore, so let me lay out some of what’s on my mind! Read more of this post

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