Monday Blogging Post: Reorganizing the Social Media

This is a companion piece to an article I published at Jessica Leeman’s Social Media blog a couple of weeks ago. That post is about how I’m using various forms of social media at the moment. I wrote it a month ago. It was one of those posts I needed to write to keep things clear in my head. I’ve done some thinking since I wrote it — have been thinking about how to reorganize my social media for awhile.

Here’s my current reorganization plan. It’s a work in progress, of course. The various social media platforms are listed in the order of priority to me. This is not to suggest that one is better than the other in an absolute sense — all of them are fun, and can be valuable if you  learn how to use them. This list is based on what’s  worked for me so far.

WordPress

I’m taking Sourcerer back to a six-day-a-week schedule for all practical purposes. I’ll still do Silent Sundays here, because it’s easy to load them a week in advance, but the blogging posts will move to Mondays through the end of the year. The WordPressblogging posts have been great for Sundays, and have extended my week this summer, but it doesn’t make sense to keep publishing two posts on the weekends when I know I’m about to start my busiest time of year at work and I’ve promised Doctor Who posts on Mondays or Tuesdays at Part Time Monster for the duration of the new season.

I’ve registered a new URL for my personal blog, Just Gene’O. I’ll leave the old blog intact so as not to kill any links on my friends’ blogs, and will load the archives from the old blog into the new one before I commence blogging there. I’ve posted a more detailed notice about the transition at Just Gene’O. I expect this change to take a week or three.

Aside from these two things, I have three priorities on WordPress:

  1. Do whatever I must to help Part Time Monster keep gaining ground. The Monster is just working. It doesn’t seem to matter if we miss a day over there or have an off week with the content. I’ve been posting three or four times a day here for most of the summer to keep up with the views the Monster’s generating with one post per day.
  2. Read, like, and comment on other blogs more than I have been in the last month.
  3. Contribute to Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts as I am able. I’m updating the blogroll here to list QJT as a partner. I’ve always thought we needed three blogs posting regularly to do what we want to do, long-term. It’s why I posted at my personal blog daily during the first few months while we got Sourcerer up and running. The popularity of Jeremy’s posts here, the number of contributors he’s gotten so far, and the number of views he’s generated since he started blogging in earnest in June tell me his blog can be very successful. I’d like to do what I can to help it along.

Twitter

I haven’t been on Twitter as much in the last month as I was in the previous six. I haven’t checked my personal account in weeks. I’m surprised I haven’t lost more ground than I have there, and I plan to get back into a routine and be more present on Twitter going forward. @Sourcererblog finally has a good ratio — about 50 more followers than I am following, and most of the difference is accounts I’m not following back. The real ratio is very close to even. I’m not actively following at the moment, just following back. Once I get WordPress back where it needs to be, I’m going to start growing that account.Twitter-icon-the-bird

I’ll also revive my personal account. I can sync both accounts to my mobile, and I finally have a computer setup that makes Tweetdeck useful. Expect more tweeting from both accounts by mid-September.

Google Plus

I’m set up to operate on Google Plus. I haven’t been networking there for months, and have most of my profile hidden, but that’s about to change. G+ has real potiential, I think. It’s more time-efficient to use than Facebook, and it’s a more open network. It gives me the ability to chat with people who aren’t in my FB network and who aren’t close enough to have my phone number. It’s also much more mobile-friendly than Facebook, at least to me. And since I’ve already put the time into setting myself up there, tweaking my profile a bit and opening it back up seems like a smart move.

Reddit

When I have time, I plan to get into Reddit. I haven’t set up an account yet. I’m moving slowly with it and trying to learn the etiquette of the network before I start. Diana and I had a long conversation about Redditwhether I should go all-out with Reddit or StumbleUpon a few weeks ago. I only have time to do one and it makes more sense for me to try Reddit for several reasons:

  • Reddit seems to favor the sort of interaction I excel at, and it’s a network that we have no presence whatsoever on.
  • I’ve estimated that it will take me at least six months of regular interaction to get any traction on Stumble, and in that length of time, I can probably make a ton of connections on Reddit.
  • Jeremy’s got an active StumbleUpon account, and he’s the only one that’s had success attracting views to the blog with Stumble. For me, just starting out and looking to do the most good for the blogs in the least amount of time, Reddit seems like a better bet because it opens up an entirely new network for us.

Tumblr/Facebook

What I’m doing on both of these networks isn’t working, and I know why. Both like specific types of content, and they tend to be things that don’t translate well when you simply publicize from your blog. At some point, I’m going to disconnect my Tumblr page from all the blogs, redesign it as a personal Tumblr page, and use it as a photoblogging site. I’m hoping I can find a little synergy with my Tumblr and my Facebook fan page, so that I can post at one and start building both. We’ll see.

StumbleUpon

I’m not off StumbleUpon completely. I’m following a good dozen bloggers there who I know. I add things to StumbleUpon when I have the time to actually browse. The problem with StumbleUpon for me is that to really succeed there and get flagged as an active account, you have to interact with other peoples’ content. Doing that requires the same amount of page loading time as visiting blogs, and the actual websites don’t get views unless you click through and load a second page. It’s not time-efficient enough to be viable for me during the months of August-November. I’m hoping to just keep my account active until December, then come back at it during the early part of next year.stumbleupon

This seems like a lot (these sorts of lists always do), but keep in mind, this is a general social media plan for the next five months. As always, I’ll just do what I can do, make the things that work part of my regular schedule, and revise my plan again once it becomes necessary. Maintaining what we’ve built on WordPress and Twitter, and keeping them in a position to take another leap forward next spring and summer, are absolutely the two most important parts.

I’m interested today to know anything helpful you might have to share with me about Reddit. It’s the part of all this I have the least knowledge of, and I only know a couple of people who have Reddit accounts. I’d like to get started over there in the next month or so.

Have a great week!

Blog Traffic and Engagement: Zemanta

In case you missed my announcement on Friday, I have a post about how I use various social networks going at Jessica Leeman’s blog Social Media tomorrow. This is my first true guest post, and I’m thrilled.

I’ve been playing around this week with an app called Zemanta. I started noticing bloggers using it awhile ago. I had a brief conversation with Vijay over at Half Eaten Mind about it last month and put it on my list of things to look into. Last week I had a chat with Julian at The Extremis Review and he shared some info with me about what it’s done for his traffic. That conversation convinced me that I needed to give it a close look immediately.

You can get it as a blog plug-in if you use WordPress.org. I’m running it as a browser extension because that allows it to work for my posts at Part Time Monster and Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts as well as my own blogs. Here’s a list of features:

Screenshot 2014-07-26 13.45.03

  1. It adds “Content Recommendations” to your dashboard, which suggests both articles and images that you can include in your post as you write it. The content recommendations menu is collapsible, so you can hide it when you’re not using it.
  2. It suggests tags, which is a big help, because it saves time trying to think them up.
  3. It suggests related content and allows you to add related articles to the bottom of your post. This is its best feature in my mind, because it gives me a way to link to other blogs, and I don’t have to disable the built-in “related content” feature on WordPress to do it. I can use them both.

I’m still figuring out how it works. So far, I’ve gotten a few useful things from it, but I’ve also gotten a lot of things that aren’t really helpful, like links to Wikipedia and big media articles. The tags aren’t always good. I just set up an account and added my blogs as sources this weekend. As I link to other bloggers in the future, I’ll add those blogs as sources as well. I’m hoping that as I use the app more, the suggestions will get more useful, and I’m interested in any advice other people might have on tweaks that might make the suggestions better.

Here’s what related content added with Zemanta looks like:

Yoko Tsuno: Smart Women, Science and Space Ships

No Follow Friday on the blog today. Here’s an awesome post Natacha Guyot wrote earlier this week for Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts.

quaintjeremy's thoughts

by Natacha Guyot

When I was eight years old, I remember getting a Millenium Falcon toy (which I still have) that was large enough to have quite a few details included inside and not just outside. The day I got it, I also received another gift: one of the volumes from the Yoko Tsuno comic series. It turned out to be the 20th volume, that included not only a time travel story but also bonus drawings with concepts for the previous books. I had no idea when I got sucked up into The Astrologer of Bruges that I would fall in love with this series and that its female protagonist would become one of my greatest inspirations, right up with characters such as Leia Organa and Mara Jade from Star Wars, Jo March from Little Women or Dana Scully from The X-Files.

The Yoko Tsuno series was created…

View original post 752 more words

P.M. Roundup

I haven’t done a roundup lately, and I’ve seen lots of good stuff today, so I thought: “Why Not?”

Rose Fischer has joined the 2014 Blog For Mental Health project. I haven’t had time to read the project description carefully, but it looks promising. You can find more information about it at A Canvas of the Minds.  And be sure to check out Rose’s interactive series “Redefining Disability.”

Quaint Jeremy’s thoughts has a contributed post today, “Nerdy is the New Cool,” from Candice of Carving out a Space. If you have a second or two, head on over there and chime in on how you feel about the epidemic of nerdery in media and pop culture, and the subculture itself becoming more socially acceptable.

The Leather Library and Taylor Grace, Author both posted Very Inspiring Blogger Award nominations yesterday. If you looking for a big bunch of new blogs to follow, you should check out their posts and check out some of the blogs they’ve nominated. Thanks, Taylor, for nominating me as the proprietor of Just Gene’O.