I think most blogs at some point have a post discussing social media. It’s such a huge part of blogging and being an author and the book community and yet has so many different facets. We engage in the different outlets for promotion and for connection and for fun. So, this is the first in a social media series to discuss the different uses for different outlets. This one is all about what’s fun.
I’ve tried most social media avenues. I’ve thought about what they are and what they do and I don’t know that I’ve used any of them well. But one thing I’ve realized is how my love of conversation impacts my social media presence.
I like the exchange of ideas and points of view. I like the moment you connect with another person about something you both love and get to gush about how much you love it and why. I like talking through things you disagree with someone about and learning why they think what they do about it – what informs that opinion and how do you understand them better by understanding what they see in it.
So, when it comes to social media – pictures are pretty but conversation is key.
|I tried tumblr. I didn’t love it so much. Sure, it’s full of pretty pictures but a) it’s really unorganized (did I mention I like organization too?) and b) it doesn’t really foster conversation about the pictures. Or even the text posts people do. You can’t hit reply. There is no like button. You can repost it to your own feed, but that’s not the same. And also the pictures mostly aren’t sourced and credited well. I like pictures I know where they came from and can see the original artist or photographer in case I want to find similar work or talk to them about their work.
I have a friend who added disquis to her tumblr which does a much better job of fostering conversation. And I’ve noticed lately on some posts there’s a little comment bubble. Is that new? Or have I been completely missing that the entire time? And how does one turn that on?
|Pinterest, I’ve determined, is like tumblr but with some semblance of organization. The links can be helpful and they can also be obnoxious (especially when they link to a tumblr page that no longer holds the image you’re looking for). And images mostly aren’t sourced or credited especially well (AND it clogs up any attempt at a google image search to find the source of an image). I would like Pinterest more, I think, if images linked back to deviantart rather than tumblr. You can comment on photos and links but it doesn’t seem that’s what people really do. Am I missing something?
Pinterest to me is like a recipe box (obviously for many more things than recipes). I sort through what everyone else is doing, find the things I like and put them in my own box for reference later. But without good links or photo sources I feel like I can’t actually do anything with them so it’s something of a dead end. Some people LOVE pinterest though so, if you’re one of those people, please tell me what I’m missing.
|You can probably guess, based on the above, that twitter’s my favorite. I’m not a great twitterer (I liked that better than tweeter). But people are funny on twitter. And poignant. And informative. They reply and retweet and conversations are had all over the place.
I like that I can schedule tweets in advance because I binge tweet. I will get on sort of regularly for a few days and chat and tweet and have fun. But then I get distracted by life and work and won’t open twitter for a week or more. When I’m in twitter mode I feel a lot less obnoxious scheduling tweets out over the course of a few days so it’s sort of a reasonable, gradual flow of information or thoughts rather than a blast followed by a void.
|Facebook I pretty much just ignore. The newsfeed is this glut of links and pictures and who is now friends with whom and only a few interesting or significant updates. I cross post my blog entries to facebook because that’s the only way a lot of my friends or family would ever know about them. But mostly I just don’t. I also don’t like fb’s privacy policies. I’d rather deal with an outlet, like twitter, that I know is for public consumption whether anyone, or “enough” people, are actually looking my direction or not. A private social media outlet to post personal pictures of family or friends or private events would be great – but fb is not that place for me. I’d need something actually private. But that’s just me.|
|Instagram is my newest endeavor. Totally aware fb bought them and that with my url anyone could view my pictures. Again, I like the transparency of knowing it’s completely public. The pictures are more personal in nature than either tumblr or pinterest and Asti had a great post that made me realize it’s more social than I thought. Previously it seemed like a one sided sort of thing – I can view other people’s pictures and they can view mine but I can’t repost or anything. You can like, though. And you can comment. And using a good combination of hashtags can open your picture up to new people and (hopefully) interesting conversations.|
My ideal social media outlet would be something a little like twitter (in that it consists mostly of brief conversations) with a little tumblr thrown in (because I’d like the ability on occasion to post or quote extended entries that would be truncated when displayed but easily linked and in their full text when I export my feed) that allows you to file away things you like for future reference (in an organized way that can be woven into your own feed) that has a great option to incorporate photos and view them in a well designed gallery (like instagrams – nothing like twitter’s).
And of course for all my friends to be there too, because social media isn’t any fun all by yourself.
Is that too much to ask?