Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Maybe time to start thinking of expanding your tool set

So Ruby, it appears from your previous post that you are thinking of going a bit more public with your blog. But you don't really want the post about how your ex-sister in law sold you down the river to go viral! (Going viral means that it is picked up by social media and seen by many people, usually internationally, very quickly without you being able to stop it).

Well, if google+ and email aren't giving your friends the access you expected, you may want to explore a new technology to help you communicate with them. I'm sure you've heard of them but have been a bit wary. So my recommendation is that you choose one of the following:

Twitter: This is used mostly as a way to broadcast resources, ideas, information. If your readers are addicted to their cell phones or iphones, this is a good alternative because twitter only allows 140 characters (that's characters, not words. This includes spaces and periods). I use twitter to save blog posts I'm interested in, share blog posts and internet references with others interested in what I'm interested in, find links to resources, keep on the latest news and mark them to read later, and let others know when I've written another blog post (I'll be sharing this post later on twitter).

If you want to use twitter to have others share what you have written, you include a link to your post. But if you want to keep it private among friends, then you can control who sees your tweets (the 140 characters).

Facebook: More and more people are sharing their blog posts on facebook. Facebook used to only be a for social relationships. However, as it became commercial, it now interacts with programs like twitter, a blog, or youtube. Now you can upload the link to your blog post and depending on who you want to see it, can limit it to friends, friends and their friends, or the public in general.

Facebook is used as a place for social interaction and is much more personal than twitter. If you want a dialogue between people about your blog post, Facebook is a good way to let people see it.

Pinterist: Pinterist would be a good program if your blog is about hobbies or recreational. You will need a photo to use pinterist. The most successful way to get people to share your blog is to embed a pinterest button on your blog site so someone only needs to click on it to save it to their Pinterest account. I have seen receipt/cooking and quilting bloggers use Pinterist to share their blog.

Linkedin: Like Facebook, you can share your blog post with a large number of people you know at once. This is appropriate if your blog is professional. By sharing on linkedin you can reinforce your professional image. However, be careful that it reinforces the image you want to project and doesn't create an image you don't want.

Google drive/docs: Google docs is a program where others can interact with documents online. Technically it is a wiki, which is a program that allows others to contribute/revise/comment on a document. This is a good alternative if your post is in Beta (the experimental/draft form). You can click on the document and share it with specific people by emailing the link to them. Only they will be able to see the draft. So if you think that comment you made about your coworker's outfit might be a bit too harsh, you can have others read it before it goes public. You can then cut and paste from the google docs/drive into your blog post.

So now it's your turn. Choose one of these to work on next. Then I'll give you more instructions once you have decided which one you want to focus on.