Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thoughts on Social Media

With all the blogging I've been doing this month, I've been thinking about social media. How do you use it? How many networks do you use and why do you prefer one over the other?

It seems there are so many social networking platforms and I'm genuinely curious to know why one chooses one over the other. Years ago, my blog here was my biggest platform for easily connecting with other people beyond the people I already knew and talked with via e-mail. It was, and remains, a way to get to know people with whom I have shared interests in addition to being a repository for the current events of my life to share with family and friends and to keep as a record for myself.

Then Facebook came along. A friend invited me there and I really thought I had no interest or time for it, maintaining the blog as I did. But many, many more people use Facebook than blog and living long-distance from so many family and friends as I did at the time and learning that I could reconnect with friends from my past proved useful and so that is part of my present repertoire as well.

Ravelry is the social networking site for the knitting and crochet community. It's really marvelous and has so many wonderful tools for organization, shopping, pattern searching, and, yes, socializing. I'm not there nearly as often as some people are, but it is a valuable resource for me.

Pintrest is an indulgent feast for me. Presently, it is probably my favorite social media site, though I don't do a great deal of socializing there. I have found it to be more useful than I originally thought it would be for me. I used to think that it was just eye candy... delicious, delicious eye candy... and it has proven "useful" in that sense. It's definitely the place I like to go to when I just want to wind down. I can just scroll and look and look if I want.

Pintrest can also work as a tool of discovery. Having moved into my home only a year ago, there is much that I would like to do with it as far as decorating goes. Fashion-wise too. As I get older and my style naturally evolves with me, sometimes I'm not so sure about what I want to be wearing. I  know what I used to like, but often that is no longer working for my work situation, my climate, or even my body. It's been helpful to pin items to my "Style" board that appeal to me without thinking too much about whether or not I would "really" wear that. If I just pin what I like, I begin to see patterns and discover what my eye is trying to tell me is pleasing to me. Then when I go shopping, even at thrift stores, which is where I cultivate the majority of my wardrobe, I have an idea of what to look for: certain lines, patterns, textures, drape of fabric, accessories and of course, colors, that have "revealed" themselves to me prior to my shopping trip.

*** Off Topic for a Moment***

And can I say something about nicely organized thrift stores? I actually like them better for the most part than new-clothing stores. They generally have a much wider selection of clothing and they are not limited to a particular seasonal trend or color palette. Jeans and pants especially are generally abundant and every cut and style seems to be available, from acid-wash, to skin-tight capris, to wide-legged flare bottoms. If you are blessed with a number of nice, large, second-hand clothing stores in your area like we are in the Twin Cities, take advantage of them! They'll support your local economy, are better for the environment and your pocketbook, and offer great selection.

***Back on Track Now***

Another way I've been using Pintrest is as a sort of filing system and even blog reader. Many pins link to great articles now as well as amazing tutorials and, of course, recipes.

The last networking site I use with regularity is Goodreads. I generally use this for my own organization as well as book recommendations. There are plenty of active groups on there too, but as with so many of these places:

how do you find the time???

I know that there are aggregate readers out there... I signed up for Delicious, but I've yet to use it. Blogging every day this month has me on the computer more than I think I've ever been and while I kind of like it... I don't love it. I can see how one could literally sit all day in front of her screen. And that's something I definitely do NOT want to do.

And then there's Google Plus, which I don't have and I'm sure there are more things, because it seems there are always more things - more links, more creative sites, more and more and more. And so many of them are really lovely and have great content. But how do you weed through it all to get to what is important to you and has you using your time the most wisely so that you're not just going down the rabbit trail? 

For me, I know that beyond this month, I will be scheduling a limited amount of time in my planner for regular blogging and it's going to have to be limited as things pick up again when the school year begins (I'll have more on my planner and scheduling tomorrow!). And then I'll just have to schedule my reading time too. I pop on to Facebook about once-a-day, sometimes twice if I'm looking for a response to a message and I check my e-mail about the same. But my free time being regularly limited as it is, I can only do the other things sporadically. Otherwise, I'd never get to my more wonderful real life things!

So, I'm curious. If you have the time to respond here: where do you spend the most of your online time? What is your favorite space and why?


Debbie said...

Well, first: I'm so glad you mentioned the title of your blog on a recent post because when you have commented before, I clicked your name and couldn't find it.(I might possibly be the lamest blog navigator on the planet.) I love the name "Golightly Place"! It has an Anne of Green Gables word loving feeling to it.

On topic now:
I agree with your off topic about the thrift stores. I also agree that if we're not careful, we could sit in front of a screen all day with all the options out there.

For me, I opted out of a personal facebook account for a variety of reasons. I tried to do one for my blog but botched it up. I may try again.

My webworlds of choice are blogs, twitter, and pinterest. I rarely just scroll down pinterest though. The way I use it is to pin things I've seen in blogville that I want to remember. Also, I put things in the search bar when I'm on that particular rabbit trail. Probably not the "right" way, but it's the right way for me.

Debbie said...

Oops, sorry that was so long.

Creative Life Studio said...

Not long at all, Debbie! I'm a chatty girl myself - especially when wielding a keyboard. I put things in the search bar on Pintrest too. I'm always amazed at all the cool things that come up.

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. :) It's nice to have you here.

Shirley-Ann said...

I have kept my social media sites to a minimum. They need to support my life not rule it. Pinterest I find hugely helpful, I use as a bit of a scrapbook and planning space. I also use it to post articles I write to help promote my blog. I check in here about twice a day.

Ravelry I keep as a knitting notebook and pattern resource. Again I don't really socialize on it at all and only log on when adding to my notebook or looking for a new pattern. logging in happens maybe 2 or 3 times month

My blog is my main social media site - I love to write and my blog is the perfect platform to share a bit of myself and my passions. It's a bit of a journal for me :o) I check into my blog every day, whether I post or not. I have also been thinking about scheduling regular blogging time. I would like to schedule certain posts ahead of time, perhaps working on a couple of posts during this scheduled time. The idea is to try and shorten the time I spend on the computer overall.

I have a Flickr account which I use so that my family and friends can see our family pics as we are all scattered all over the world. I go up maybe twice a month to update my page

I don't have any other social media sites - I hate FB -tried it for about 6 months and decided it was not for me. I have not bothered to investigate anything other than what I am on as all is working just fine for me at the mo and I like to try and keep my life simple ;o)

So I guess Pinterest and my blog are where I spend most of my PC time. Oh - and a bit of time is spent reading some of my favorite blogs as they post too.

Sorry about the 'essay' reply :o)

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