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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Six Word Saturday 13

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/523338774453821441]

Cryptic is fun, right? I don’t know if it counts as a story. I suppose it’s a hook.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do here, to do with my Features. And some of what I was realizing, as I looked at them all together, was that I had two that were short-writing Features: Muse Monday, and Flash Fiction Friday. I sprung them both on myself at the same time, and have been failing at both at the same time.

For Muse Monday, the goal was a post that was based on a writing prompt of some kind, to get in writing practice. However, it takes a good period of time to do this still: picking a prompt, thinking on it, writing it up… I wasn’t giving myself time to do it on the weekend, and then Monday would come and go.

For Flash Fiction Friday, I was giving myself no prompt. Unlike the Six Word Saturday posts – where I had a goal, of at least trying to figure out #SixWordStory and how to tell a story in six words, and could spend several days in advance on Twitter posting stories. For Flash Fiction Friday, I found myself on Friday, trying to think of something to write, and realizing this defeated the purpose – might as well not write the story on Twitter if I’m going to write it and post it immediately!

So that gets me to now. I like the Friday date – I can spend several days throughout the week, figuring out a prompt, thinking on the story, getting it written so it can go up Friday. And for Monday, I need something easier, something that takes a little less thinking. So I think the plan for now would be to keep up Meme Monday for that purpose, as well as Wordless Wednesday, which I have at least been keeping up solidly every week.

It seems streamlined – let’s see how it goes!

Six Word Saturday 8

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/497170163590893568]

I’m thinking about a bit of a shift in my Six Word Saturday posts. I feel like I’ve played this out as an exercise where I’m learning anything. And I’m not really getting feedback from others to help enhance it any more, so I may be doing something similar and soon. Read more of this post

One Month of Features – Thoughts!

Yesterday I talked about the stats difference from doing Features on a regular basis. As these things go, when you post more frequently, you get more views! It’s like science.

However, I have some more direct learning and thoughts after a month worth of Features. Even if the stats say “doing features is good!” what does that really mean – and do I need to keep up with these same features? A few questions to consider!

Learning More about WordPress

So the first thing that really happened when I started to work on setting up Features was that I started learning more about WordPress. I found a couple of things in particular. One is a setting that makes it so people can like and share posts directly from the Home Page/Archives Scroll. For the Photo Blogging I have been doing, this is a big step, I think – there is no reason someone really needs to click into these posts; they can read and/or see everything from the home page.

I considered this when it comes to Comparative Geeks, as well. However, while we have been writing a bit of shorter posts lately (after what we learned in the A to Z Challenge), most of them still use the “More” separator, to keep the home page from being massive, to hide spoilers, and just generally because it’s how we write and present our posts. So people need to click into them to get the whole thing anyway – so the liking and interacting can all be “hidden” there, without it being troublesome. But with these simple photo posts, no reason to add steps!

Another thing I have found out is that Tweets with line breaks don’t get picked up in the feed on WordPress, so most of my Six Word Story posts haven’t shown up here. So I probably shouldn’t post them like this:

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/484861322706698240]

The other thing I learned is that there is a Screen Options menu, hidden away on every post you work on!

Screen Options

If, like me, you’ve never noticed/clicked that before, give it a go! Here you can pick which additional menus or options you have to work with, below your post. For instance, you can write a custom Excerpt for the WordPress Reader or RSS feeds – something I have seen other blogs do, but had no idea how to do myself! It also includes the options for manually turning comments, trackbacks and pingbacks, etc. on and off. Or for choosing who the author on a post is! So many options! That I had no idea about. Fellow WordPress bloggers: give this a look!

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Six Word Saturday 3

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/485105472194609152]

In thinking of Six Word Stories, my mind keeps going back to existing stories… to short lines that might wrap up the whole story, or represent it. Which is not helping me, with trying to think of my own Six Word Stories! However, I think it’s good to get them out, to not have them lingering in my head.

I like Twitter more in the mobile app – you can save drafts of Tweets. That’s helpful for a project like this, where I might be thinking of multiple Six Word Stories at once – but not necessarily wanting to flood Twitter with them. Write them up, think them over, and post them a bit at a time.

I also tend to think of them later in the week, starting Wednesday or Thursday, with the Saturday post in mind!

Six Word Saturday 2

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/481896611212046337]

So, in thinking about the idea of the Six Word Story, it got me thinking of the elements of a story. And when you get down to the basics, a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Well, that works just about right for a 6-word story. But does it tell us much? Read more of this post

Six Word Saturday 1

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/479420986207371264]

Here’s my first Six Word Saturday! I have started posting some #sixwordstory stories to my Twitter (@dbc_ii), to see what I like for Saturday when it rolls around!

In some ways, this one felt like cheating: by adding the Twitter hashtag, I was giving you a way to think about the six word story that might be considered to be breaking the rules of said story. It’s a seventh word. It’s a concept. A genre. #zombies.

However, this one was also interesting, in that it almost immediately got noticed and shared by a feed that’s just watching for stuff that is tagged #zombies. So I thought that was fun and worth sharing.

Want to see more #sixwordstory? Follow me on Twitter or check back next Saturday for more Six Word Saturday! Want to join in? I am not alone in using #sixwordstory; there’s a lot of different types of stories being told!

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