So as a “twenty something” social media is rather central to my life, not only personally but academically and professionally as well.
Social Media (SM) is many things. It is a way to network for jobs, stay in contact with friends and family, find new friends who have interests in niche topics, a way to express yourself and your beliefs, and I could go on. I think that SM is different for everyone and that everyone molds it to their needs.
For instance, I use my Facebook account to stay in touch with friends and family. I post all of my personal pictures and stories there so that the people I love and follow what is going on in my life as it happens (It really saves a lot on phone bills). I am on Facebook daily, typically I just open it in the background and use the chat feature to get quick messages back and forth from my colleagues as well as family.
I also use the smart phone app so that I can upload the pictures I take from my phone easily.
I use Twitter more to follow people and companies and get up to date info on new gadgets, ideas, software, etc. Following companies like G4 (@g4tv), Tekzilla (@tekzilla), and This Week in Tech (@TWiT) have helped me stay on top of the tech world and learn about new hardware and software, gadgets, and really everything, that is coming out. I find this to be very helpful! Especially when you don’t have time to surf the web daily and look this stuff up by yourself. I typically try to check my Twitter account 2-3 times a week, which is not as frequent as I would like, but I am very busy. However the accounts that I think are very important like Tekzilla and TWiT I have sent to my phone as a text.
I use LinkedIn to network professionally. It also has a news feed that you can post updates to (very similar to the Facebook feed) where I post job related posts and things that I think my colleagues might find helpful or interesting. I check this account maybe once a week if that. I update my CV frequently and if I am trying to apply for a job I look up the people on my contact list so that I know who I am dealing with. I figure they are doing the same thing to me so it is ok. 🙂
Google+ is good for me for both professional and social interactions. I find that there are a lot of tech and Library related people on this site and so I follow them and have learned a lot from their postings. I check G+ maybe twice a week. It is linked with my email account so all notifications go there anyway. And because not very many people use this service the updates for the week only take half an hour to read through. So it is quite manageable, which I like.
I also try to play with pinterest for keeping projects I want to try in one place. I very rarely use this service. I think it is cool but I haven’t really found a use for it other than organizing the hours upon hours of crafting I plan to do once I graduate.
The one site I might use above all the others is Goodreads. I read a lot and this platform allows me to create a virtual library where I can list all the books I read and review and rate them. I am also able to view other people’s ratings and such. I like that they create a place for people to join book clubs as well as host book giveaways daily. So I am on this site at least once a day! But again I think this might be more personal site than a professional or academic site.
My husband and I love to travel and do some pretty awesome things. I am also pretty sure that my husband was born with a camera in his hand, so we have several external hard drives full of pictures we have taken over the years. So when Flickr opened to the public instead of just photographers we were thrilled! It is $20 a year for unlimited storage (the only SM we pay for) but it is worth it. You can upload your pictures to be shared publicly or privately and you are also given copyright options. In fact a few years back we were contacted by a hotel to use one of our images for their website. So that is awesome. I generally only upload photos here to share with my friends and family as they don’t distort images like Facebook does.
I just started using Klout maybe a month ago. It is a website designed to show you how influential you on in various social media platforms. You are given a score, I believe from 1-100, and it even breaks down where you get the most and least attention and gives you tips on how to improve your score and make yourself more visible to the people you want to market to. I login here maybe once a week just to see how my score is changing. I think this is a good service for small business owners so that they can see how their marketing is working.
This site is very similar to Klout in that it helps you boost your info to the top of search results. It shows you where to put information on your various sites so that it is found by the Google Bots. I am currently ranking well on page 2 of Google 🙂 It is free to use but you are limited to the number of things that you can do unless you pay for a premium account. For me personally it is not worth it, but I think a small business or library might benefit from it! I very rarely logon, only when I get an email telling me that something on my account has changed.
I am sure I have more SM accounts, but I am at a loss as to what they are currently. I may update as I remember!
Basically, each SM platform has a market that it works best for.
And because I use so many sites I try to also use an aggregator.
Tweetdeck is good for Twitter and Facebook as it allows you to create ‘columns’ for specific things. You can have one column that updates you on one specific hashtag (#) or a column that updates you on just direct messages you have received from others, and so on.
However, I like to use Alternion. It is in its second round of beta testing so they are still working on the bugs, but it is pretty awesome. Last I checked they allowed you to link 202 SM sites to your account. The home page has two viewing options, one that resembles the Facebook layout, and the second resembles the pinterest layout. The news feed pulls all the info from all your other accounts and places them on one screen, so that you don’t have to sign in to 18 different pages to check your social media accounts. And when you want to post something all you have to do is post it on Alternion and then hit a button that says ‘post to all accounts’ and then send. Then that update is on all accounts! Easy!
Again, they are still working out bugs, like posting to Google+ and notifying you of messages and such from outside networks. But it is work checking out in my opinion!
And, as a fun little extra, here is a tag cloud for my blog! 🙂
Week 2, Social Media for Information Professionals