Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Quick survey about linksharing

May 31, 2011 @ 1:07 pm | Filed under: ,

Since my favorite thing about the internet is that it is one giant game of Show and Tell—you show me the neat stuff you’ve found, and I’ll show you the neat stuff I’ve found—I am perpetually pondering the best way to share things. I have this sort of hazily defined system for determining how to share a given link—whether in a post here on the blog, or via Facebook or Twitter or Google Reader or what. But I’m never sure what people actually prefer. (I’m sure it varies wildly.)

Well, anyway, I thought I’d ask. I’m interested in your general preference—i.e. where you, on the internet at large, prefer to encounter new links & are most likely to click through—as well as your preference regarding my shared links specifically.

For example, do you:

* like when I do a post here with links to three or four things that caught my interest (a la Delicious), perhaps with short notes about what made them jump out at me?

* prefer to check Google Reader Shared Items? (And if so, do you use the list in my blog sidebar, or do you read the “people you follow” section in your own Google Reader?)

* like when people share links on Facebook?

* hate when people share links on Facebook?

* keep as far away from Facebook as you possibly can?

* prefer linksharing on Twitter?

* deplore linksharing on Twitter?

* wonder why people like me are so doggone Twitterhappy in the first place?

* get annoyed when people pour their Twitter feeds into Facebook, so you’re stuck seeing each post twice?

* wonder if I’m overthinking this?

* subscribe to my Diigo feed (which was formerly my Delicious feed)?

* find yourself saying, Diigo huh?

* wonder if this post is a means of procrastinating some other task I ought to be doing, such as, to use a completely arbitrary example, tallying up my deductible expenses from the research trip so I won’t have to be plunged into hell come next April?

* need to break it to me gently that you skip over all that linky stuff, period, because let’s face it, you are coming here for book recommendations and/or pictures of bees?

Or, you know, none of the above. 😉 I’m just curious. And not procrastinating at ALL, no sir.


January 2, 2011 @ 3:06 pm | Filed under: ,

Scott: Whatcha doing?

Me: Oh, just a little housekeeping.

Scott: Who are you and what have you done with my wife?

Me: No, I mean in my sidebars.

Scott: Aha. It all becomes so clear!

Seems like every year as the calendar rolls over, I feel the need to do a little pruning and sprucing here on the blog. For those of you who read me mainly in a feed reader, here’s what’s new: a trio of booklists in the righthand sidebar. One is my running list of 2010 Cybils finalists for the Cybils Shortlist Reading Challenge I mentioned yesterday; one will be an ongoing record of our family read-alouds, including picture books read to the small fry; and the third is my own 2011 booklog. All three of these lists are imported from my Delicious account, if you’d rather peek at them there. The pertinent Delicious tags are cybilschallenge, rillabooks, and booklog, respectively.

This is also the time of year when I take a look at how I’m using social media and try to streamline a bit. I enjoy poking around various platforms to see what they’ve got to offer, but of course for practical use it’s best to keep things simple. I tend to layer and layer and layer and then chuck it all and start afresh. (Jane teased me the other day about my profound devotion to the fresh start, the clean slate. She is so right.)

So—this year I’ve decided I’m tired of having my shareworthy links scattered between Google Reader Shared Items and Delicious. I’ll just stick with Delicious. That means shareworthy links and booklogs are on Delicious now. One-stop shopping.

I’ll keep using Tumblr to record stuff I read online that I don’t necessarily want to share but do want to be able to find again myself. That worked really well for me in 2010.

I’m kind of in love with TeuxDeux, a clean, uncluttered, week-at-a-glance to-do list. You can easily drag tasks from one day to the next or click to cross them out when they’ve been accomplished.

Where else to find me: Twitter. My Facebook author page. And here.

Social Media Posts

March 10, 2010 @ 8:30 am | Filed under:

Since I seem to be writing a lot about iPod Touch apps and social media lately, here’s a roundup page for easy reference.

A day in the life of my iPod Touch (my favorite apps)

A couple more apps

First impressions of the Kindle

Streamlining the way I use social media

Social networks for book lovers

Facebook—why I love it; how I keep it streamlined

Facebook’s privacy settings

5 reasons I love  Twitter

Tips for using Twitter   (these last four are part of a series at Faith & Family Live; that last one is coming tomorrow)

And lest you think I spend all my time online (what mom of six could?)—I’ve written a few posts about books in my time, too. 😉

Who can stay online when there are cheeks like this to smooch?

A Word of Caution about Google Buzz

February 11, 2010 @ 8:39 am | Filed under:

Like everyone else, I’m still trying to figure out the ins and outs of Buzz, but I made one discovery I wanted to tell other parents about ASAP—if your kid comments on one of your buzz posts, all your followers (as far as I can tell) can see that comment, even if they aren’t following your kid themselves. And it looks like you can only comment on buzz if you have made your Google profile public, so that means any other followers can click through to your child’s profile.

(Obviously this applies to any Buzz user, but I thought parents might be particularly concerned about their kids’ email privacy.)

If I’m understanding things correctly, you can follow people on Buzz (in Buzz? do we have grammar for this yet?) without making your Google Profile public. But in order to comment on (public) Buzz or write public Buzz yourself, you must make your Google Profile public. You may have done this automatically when you first clicked the Buzz link yesterday.

If I’ve got this wrong, please let me know and I’ll correct it. I tested it with Scott’s account—his Google Profile is private, and when I tried to comment on my account’s buzz from his account (you following this, LOL?), I got a pop-up saying he had to make his profile public in order to comment.

(Now, that was a PUBLIC buzz. Do you have to have a public profile to comment on a PRIVATE buzz?)

So okay, you know I love me my social media, but I love my kids’ email privacy even more. If your kids want to be able to Buzz, it might be a good idea to encourage minimalist profiles for them. Especially since, as I understand it, Buzz is going to be searchable via Google.

Oh, and in case you don’t know, you can turn Buzz off (and back on) by clicking a tiny link at the bottom of your gmail screen.

More to come as we continue to figure Buzz out. I do like the threaded conversations, but my first response to Buzz is that it’s too pushy. I love Twitter and Facebook, as you know, but I like having to make the extra effort to click there. My gmail inbox is already an overwhelming presence—I don’t know that I want MORE stuff in it. However, buzz can be filtered into folders like other gmail, so that can help cut down on inbox clutter at least.

UPDATED: In addition to having your kids keep their profiles either private (but then they can’t post or comment on public buzz) or very bare bones, with no personal info, you might also want to take a look at your own Google profile. The default setting publicly displays lists of everyone you follow, and everyone who follows you. And when you first activate buzz, these follower/followee lists are made up of 1) the people you follow/are followed by in Google Reader and 2) the email contacts you write most often. (!) So if you don’t want your Aunt Effie to know you’re g-chatting daily with her arch-enemy, your Aunt Prunella, you might want to uncheck those boxes.

(Or you could just ditch Buzz altogether. There is that.)

Social Media for Booklovers

January 21, 2010 @ 7:07 pm | Filed under: ,

The other day I mentioned two book-related social media platforms I use: GoodReads (faithfully) for logging the books I’ve read, and LibraryThing (sporadically) for cataloging the books we own.

I’ve experimented with several other platforms—

• BookGlutton is growing on me. It’s an ebook reader for your browser, with some nifty features built in. You can write notes in the margins, and other people can see these notes and comment back—so just imagine, we could all read a book together and discuss it page by page if we wanted.

For example, if you click on that widget it’ll open to the first page of the book, and there’s a chat window (the TALK button on the left) and a place to write margin notes (the MARK button on the right). Has possibilities, no?

(I’m curious—did the widget add to this page’s download time?)

• BookBalloon—a forum for discussion about books and the arts. Every time I visit I wish I had more time to participate there. Very high caliber of conversation. There’s a monthly book club, author interviews, all sorts of good stuff.

• Readernaut—same concept as GoodReads, I think?

• Reading Trails—a place to create lists of related books, in that rabbit-traily way that appeals to so many of us.

And a few I’ve not yet explored:

• aNobii

• Shelfari (I see the Shelfari widget all over the place; it’s the one that looks like a real bookshelf.)

What have you tried? What’s your favorite way to talk about books online?

Streamlining the Ways I Use Social Media

January 16, 2010 @ 7:45 am | Filed under: ,

I’ve long been aware that I am somewhat sloppy in my approach to link-saving and -sharing. I “like,” I share, I tweet, I deem certain items Delicious, I upload to Flickr, I send to Facebook. I seldom Stumble, but recently I began to Tumbl. I log the books I’ve read at GoodReads and am slowly cataloging the books I own at LibraryThing. And those are just the social media I use regularly. The number of things I’ve tried out—well, a free Evernote account would scarcely accommodate the list.

It may be a bit of overkill, but the thing is, I really do use all these media in different ways. Lately I’ve been trying to streamline and simplify how I use them, and I feel like things are starting to run pretty efficiently.

• Delicious. In the past I’ve used this social bookmarking site sporadically to share links here on the blog. The Postalicious plug-in makes it super easy to autopost links. As of this week, I am keeping my ongoing books-I’d-like-to-read list at Delicious as well. When I read a post about an intriguing book, I save it to Delicious with a TBR tag. I should have started this practice a long time ago.

• Tumblr. While I use Delicious for links I want to share with other people (and the TBR list), my newish Tumblr account is a catch-all just for me. After that frustrating lapse the other week when I couldn’t remember where I read an article I very much wanted to refer to again, I decided I needed a journal for my online reading. I keep my book log so faithfully, but what about the zillions of posts and articles I read on the web? Enter Tumblr. I’m trying to be good about tagging so I can find things again, and I’m trying to cultivate a habit of Tumbling everything of substance I read online. Everything! It’s a tall order.

(And why not just bookmark posts via my browser or Google toolbar? Because the bookmark lists quickly become too long and unwieldy. Tumblr, with tags, is faster.)

So, in a nutshell:

Delicious for links I want to share on the blog, and for the TBR list.

Tumblr for a record of my online reading.

GoodReads for a record of the books I’ve read.

LibraryThing to catalog the books I own. (But really, I haven’t taken a whack at this giant task in months. It’s not a priority.)

Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Say what you will, I love Facebook. Today, out of the blue, I heard from a high-school friend I lost touch with after graduation, but whom I’ve never forgotten. She played Sally in a school production of Snoopy, the Musical. Whenever my kids play that soundtrack—which is often—I think of Lisa. Amazing singer. What a delight it was to find a note from her on my Facebook page today. Facebook, I heart you.

Twitter for quick recording of funny kid moments, quick info-searching (as when I had a question about garam masala powder last night and within seconds of tweeting the question, found myself in conversation with a very friendly author of Indian cookbooks), and participating in dynamic conversations among the various communities I belong to: writers, homeschoolers, booklovers, etc.

Flickr for the easiest way to share photos with family and friends.

Google Reader Shared Items for blog posts I want to bring to other people’s attention—this autoposts to my sidebar.

Related post: A Day in the Life of My iPod Touch

I’m All a-Twitter

October 25, 2007 @ 12:52 am | Filed under:

I confess that when I first heard about Twitter, I rolled my eyes. The concept seemed to me the ultimate in navel-gazing. Sharing our thoughts via blogs and feeds isn’t enough? We need little widgets for zapping out little thought-bulletins so that no writer need wait for the 20-minute chunk of time it takes to write a blog post? Do we really need more undeveloped, spontaneous fragments of one another’s thoughts flitting across our screens?

Then came the wildfires, and I became a Twitter convert, just like that. All week, the KPBS Twitter feed has provided the fastest updates on fire and evacuation news. Whoever is manning that feed is doing the work I don’t have time to do: listening to scanners, sifting through the TV and government-agency reports, compiling all the bits and pieces of information so crucial during an event like this—and getting that info out to the public as fast as it comes in.

This is practical information, not commentary or reflection. It’s topical, timely, a sort of 21st-century twist on the old phone tree."
  Tower 23 in Pacific Beach is offering 12 hotel rooms to evacuees for the next 2 nights- call now 858-270-2323," twitters KPBS. If I were looking for a place to stay, this would be just the kind of pertinent, just-the-facts-ma’am information I would need.

Jonathon Mulholland ponders our changing news needs:

We really are approaching a turning point in news dissemination. We
want information quicker than traditional media sources can deliver, we
want it pushed to us at point of the event, and we want to be able to
engage with it as it happens.

I was shocked to realise yesterday that I now consider even
traditional web news outlets to be ‘old’ and slow. I was frustrated
that I was getting quicker/better updates on the fires from Twitter
than from – and I’m of the generation that would rather
look up the news on BBC or CNN than wait till the evening bulletin!

Surely traditional news outlets, and official news suppliers such as
government agencies, fire departments etc will start using new/social
media services as channels for disseminating official information. A
FEMA Twitter account, properly managed, would be a valuable service.
Easy for affected citizens to opt in or out of, and a quick fire method
for sending advice, updates and warnings.

This week’s fire news-watch has me reconsidering my initial dismissal of Twitter’s usefulness. I’m still not interested in the kind of breezy, trivial "right now I’m sitting in a Starbuck’s about to renew my library books online" kind of Twittering I saw when I first visited the home page. (The text-entry box at Twitter invites you to share with the world "what you are doing" right now.) I mean, enjoy your latte, but honestly I could put the three seconds it took to read that to much better use.

But event- or crisis-Twittering, there’s an idea with potential. You can set up your Twitter feed to be public or selected-viewers-only. That means that if there were a family crisis, you could get information out to your loved ones (and only your loved ones) rapidly, easily, instantly.

I’m thinking about other ways this technology could be useful. The "Blogging for a Cure" event, for example. Many of us across the kidlitosphere are posting regular updates with links to each day’s Robert’s Snow posts, and some bloggers have even set up post-schedules in their sidebar. It’s been great, having so much access to the information—but it does mean a lot of us have been duplicating efforts. (And I for one have dropped the ball on many a day.) Is there a way to use Twitter to update with links to each post as it airs? I don’t know; I’m just thinking out loud here.

In any case, Twitter is definitely an application with possibilities for good. The KPBS feed has made that quite clear.

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