January 26, 2015

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?

Posted in: in numinous productions ~

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10 responses to “social media

  1. Interesting breakdown of how the different social media outlets are working for you! I agree with most everything, although I love tumblr – it’s more of my fandom outlet where I can look at the pretty pictures. But I haven’t really found a good way to engage with people on any social media – I find it’s just much easier to focus on engaging through blogs. I still enjoy keeping my social media accounts going though – it’s easier to keep up with other bloggers on twitter for example when I can only be on my phone.

    Also I hate facebook! 😀

    • Annie

      I have had other friends who also say tumblr is a fun outlet for their fandom. And it is definitely fun for that. I also really like some of the authors I follow but then I realize they are much better at tumblr than I am and I spiral into social media fail and go curl up on my couch and re-watch another episode of Arrow or Nikita 🙂

      I totally agree though – blogs are a great way to engage! I love the more extended sort of conversations and the different perspectives people present. In some ways, my feedly could totally be considered a social media outlet. I’m actually planning on covering blogs in the next social media post (or the one after that if I get to wordy and split it between text outlets and image outlets. I haven’t decided yet).

  2. I really really like pinterest because PICTURES AND BEAUTIFULNESS. I’m a huge fan of pretty pictures. But, um, I wish it could be organised MORE. Like boards within boards and a way to arrange pins once they’re inside a board. *sigh* I like twitter although the 140 sometimes kills me. >_< I LOVE GOODREADS THE MOST. I guess it's not as typical social media-ish as the others, but I love that you can review books (with pictures xD) and also chat and like and talk and put status updates. Goodreads is life.

    • Annie

      goodreads!! I love it for all the book goodness but never really figured out the social side of it. I LOVE reading reviews (especially the ones with pictures) but never paid nearly enough attention to my feed.

      I would LOVE the ability to arrange pictures once they’re boarded. boards within boards is far to Inception for me 😉

  3. I didn’t realize FB bought instagram jeeezuz no WHYYYY. I hope it doesn’t end up going the route of FB and being all garbage. I follow people cause I want to see their feed. Not like how FB and Twitter are now doing relevancy or some crap where you dont’ even seen all the feed stuff from people you friend or follow. I hope they don’t change it. Gosh now I’m all paranoid.

    Like you I am not a fan of tumblr and pinterest I only use for saving pictures for inspiration or or dolls because I love dolls I don’t use it for interacting. I pretty much use my blog, twitter, goodreads and instagram. Cause yes facebook sucks!!

    • Annie

      I love how the prevailing opinion is that facebook sucks 🙂 That’s exactly why I almost didn’t join instagram, but then I decided to give it a shot. So far they haven’t messed with it too much.

      Yes! I totally hate when they try to aggregate my feed for relevancy. I follow people because I want to see what they’re saying or posting. I don’t want that messed with.

  4. Instagram and Twitter makes my life xD I’m not much of an interesting person either but I find it’s so nice to know more about fellow bloggers through there! I got a Tumblr last year but I haven’t ever been back on it whoops!

    • Annie

      haha – that seems to be the overwhelming response – tumblr is not a favorite 🙂 I think it’s so interesting that twitter and instagram are generally the two favorites because they have such different purposes. But it’s like one fulfills one thing (conversation) and the other a more visual conversation 🙂

  5. Ari

    I’m on all of those and there are moments when I love them and moments when I don’t.

    Facebook, for me, comes by in 2 different parts – 1. the personal one where my friends have access to, it’s for family and keeping in touch and stuff like that. Mostly private, with few public posts. 2. Then there’s the page which contains things related to my blog (some of my friends know about it, but most people that follow me there are other book bloggers and readers, I use it to follow them too). It annoys me that very few people can see my posts in there, it feels like I am posting them only for myself (and that also explains why I created my ramblings section, at least the people that come to my site can see what I am posting without external filtering)

    Twitter is fun and spot on. I’ve cleaned it up and I only follow the people I am interested in for now (bloggers, authors, some friends) and so it feels great using it.

    Tumblr is too.. cluttered for me. I like the ‘ask a question’ option and it’s good to follow some people of interest but sometimes it feels as spammy as facebook (too many posts, most of them don’t interest me much).

    Instagram – though I do have my id posted on my blog (i’ve been putting it there on and off over the time), most of the people I interact with are my friends. It shows snippets from their lives and their interests and I like that.

    Pinterest, well… I basically use it to search for recipes, lol, yeah I am shallow like that, but from time to time when I am interested in a particular something I choose to look through it – hairstyles, fashion, art, interior design etc.

    To be honest, though I try to keep my followers posted every time I have something new up, I usually don’t manage to update them all. Twitter is probably my favourite at the time and the one I use the most.

    • Annie

      Yes – I often tell new twitterers that the key to enjoying it is in who you follow. Too many people or not quite interesting enough and your feed is almost as bad as facebook or tumblr but live. When you follow a manageable number of people who you enjoy hearing from then it’s great 🙂

      If you’re shallow than I am too 🙂 Pinterest is a great resource for any sort of “how to” whether it’s recipes or crafts (I’m not crafty) or anything else.

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