Friday, March 16, 2012

Social Media Finds (and the Challenges of Facebook)

PinterestPinterest (Photo credit: stevegarfield)Just a year ago I was talking about Facebook versus Twitter, and concluded that there was a place in our online lives for both of them. Shortly after that I learned about Google+ and did absolutely nothing about it for quite a while. I didn’t (and still don’t) see the value that it provides.

In the past few months I have created a Facebook fan page to connect with food allergy fans and promote my new book, I have joined Goodreads, and I have started my own pin boards at Pinterest. Whew! It’s a lot.

And even more recently, Facebook forced me to the timeline layout, and my only beef is that it appears I never had a life before 2008. According to Facebook, there’s no proof I was born, went to college, or did anything for the first four decades of my life. Facebook very kindly prompts me to add photos for those periods, but conveniently forgets that we not only didn’t have digital cameras in 1970’s, we didn’t even have compact cameras. At least I can prove (with photos) that I had my children, but not until 2011, and only due to a nifty little photo scanner.

But let me spend a little bit of time on Goodreads and Pinterest, which share the concept of being for a more targeted audience. Goodreads, while not new (just new to me) allows you to create bookshelves with books you’ve read and books you want to read. It also allows you to review books, and see what your friends are reading and saying about books. It’s a reader’s dream for finding great goodies (not just the same top bestselling authors). Goodreads is focused for a very specific purpose.

I was leery about Pinterest at first, and completely unsure what to do with it, until I realized that people were pinning my photos and recipes. Pinterest allows you to create photos boards (or vision boards) and pin pictures from all over the web. (One exception I’ve found is Facebook – you can’t pin from Facebook – despite the fact that Facebook users like to post photos).

Having played with if for a bit, I have concluded that Pinterest is a dream site for a food writer/recipe developer/food photographer, like myself. I can create boards of recipes I’ve developed, recipes I want to try to make, photos I love, photos from my new book – anything that suits me. I can follow other people or their boards, and I can re-pin! The best part is that anything pinned from my website gets pinned with a link back – so there’s a great deal of linky love going on there!

While my blogs continue to be the hub for my online life, for me, Twitter is where it all comes together. I can tweet my blog feed, and I can tweet what I post on Facebook.

What’s your favorite social media tool or find in the past year? What do you like best, and why?


Dave E said...

Wasn't there some concern recently over Pintrest's terms and conditions re copyright issues and how they could come after 'you'.

Was that ever resolved? It certainly made me thing 'thanks but no thanks', plus I've got enough blogs and web sites, who needs even more!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I still haven't figured out the point of Pintrest. It works great but for certain individuals, as you've pointed out. Are teens using it?

Right now, my main focus is blogging and some tweeting. Eventually I'll have to get back into facebooking.

Joanne said...

I haven't even been on Pinterest yet, so needless to say, it's not part of my social media. My blog's been my home base for several years, but I'm feeling a shift more towards FB these days, and Twitter is good for connecting it all together.

Liza said...

I know how behind I am...but I'm sticking with blogging for now. I do have a Twitter account, but I haven't figured out its benefit to me, and for now, FB remains a place where I visit with friends. I'm guessing my next move will be to Goodreads.

Liz Fichera said...

I agree with you about Google+. I have an account there but rarely use it.

I prefer FB and Goodreads and recently (this week) joined Pinterest. To me, Pinterest is Tumblr but with organizational tools. I can't imagine what new social media sites will pop up next year but I'm sure there will be more! Oy.

Liane said...

There are many that I would like to explore, but I find myself too inundated with all the different electronic media. I am basically focusing on my blog - which has become quite nice and diverse - and then FB. I do also do a little bit of Twitter, but I don't enjoy the one way communication as much. Yes, you can comment but it is all "loose" from each other. That's one of the things that I like about FB: interactive and each little "conversation" can be followed coherently. Google + ...? I get the feeling that is designed for a different kind of audience.