This fun graphic has been doing the rounds of Facebook recently, and I thought it was funny enough to share here
I think this infographic is quite useful to keep in mind while using social media tools. What do you think of the suggestions in the graphic? Is this something you would follow? Do you have your own set of social media rules?
I confess I frequently confuse what I think is Facebook material (now that I have a Facebook page for my blog) vs Twitter material. Also, do you schedule specific blog publish times/ days? I do, most of my blog posts are written days, sometimes weeks in advance and scheduled. How about you?
Read more from How To Create The Perfect Pinterest, Google+, Facebook & Twitter Posts [Infographic] – mycleveragency – Full Service Social http://www.mycleveragency.com/2013/06/how-to-create-the-perfect-social-media-posts/#ixzz2ciJd9q1x
I have always been ambivalent about Facebook and have never used it for anything more than commenting on friends’ status and photos.
I have seen other bloggers use Facebook very efficiently to promote their blogs, and have been thinking that I need a Facebook page just for this blog alone. The idea is to promote blog posts among other book-obsessed people without cluttering/spamming the timelines of my personal friends who aren’t all that interested in books.
So, my new Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/nishitasrantsandraves. There’s nothing much on it yet. To be honest, I am just feeling my way tentatively through this space while I decide what’s going to be on there. I am probably going to link up to other book-related Facebook spaces first and then take it from there.
Do you have Facebook pages for your blog? How do you use them? Do share links in your comments. I would love to see some examples of good Facebook/blog/twitter integration. I really want to avoid my FB page turning out just be a list of links to my blog.
Also, if you have some tips n tricks to fine-tune the page appearance and settings, do let me know, I am a total zero when it comes to Facebook.
Lately, I’ve tried out some new tools to increase my social media space, all with varying degrees of success.
I first heard of Klout through my Twitter feed when someone posted their klout scores. I knew immediately that I had to go and take a look-see.
What is klout?
It’s an online tool that people use to measure their influence on Twitter. It’s fairly simple and easy to use. Just sign up at the klout website, enter your Twitter ID, and within a day you have a detailed report. Here is a brief screenshot summarizing my report:
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the summary tallied closely with my estimate of my Twitter presence. However, I find the little square in the figure above unnecessarily complicated. It does not really in any way reflect the text on the right. But, other than this little crib…I like my score, and I like the methodology by which klout has arrived at the score. They don’t just count the number of followers or even the number of tweets. They basically look at the response generated by each tweet, which sounds eminently sensible to me. It weeds out spammers, and hopefully those folks who are tweeting just for the sake of increasing their klout.
However, for an amateur blogger/tweep like me…using klout doesn’t seem to make too much sense apart from a purely curiosity value. But for professionals looking for business opportunities, it seems like a useful tool to track your effectiveness. However I know I’m not going to be tracking my score all that often.
Foursquare: I knew all about Foursquare for a long time of course. I just didn’t realize that I could use it effectively in India as well. However, my local Coffee Day disabused me of that idea. A large poster announcing discounts for Foursquare users (based on the number of check-ins) prompted me to try this out. Cafe Coffee Day is apparently offering 15% discount for users who have checked in 3 times into the same outlet. If the user is a Mayor of that outlet, Coffee Day serves them with a free coffee and a 20% discount on every 3rd check-in from that user.
Note: The offer is currently available only in Bangalore outlets.
Anyway, back to the topic of Foursquare. The physical incentive offered by Coffee Day prompted me to sign up, but I quickly realized how useful Foursquare actually is only during my recent trip to Chennai. The iPhone app rocks! If I am wandering around and realize I am hungry, I can quickly check out outlets close by, along with reviews of users who have already checked in there. Cool! Checking in to every place I go is fast becoming an obsession…what with all the unlocking of different badges that are available…and of course, let’s not forget the monetary incentives that I am sure more outlets will start offering ;).
I am still playing my way around it though, and am still too wary to check in when I am actually at the place. Just some vague sense of insecurity…not sure whether it is very wise to do so especially on empty highway spots, or during late night jaunts. I am looking to enhance my friends circle though, and hopefully can get more use out of it than I presently can.
And last but not the least, I have become addicted to Instagram. This is again an app that I downloaded and now use to post photos onto my Twitter feed. I love the ease and simplicity of the app. All I need to do is take a photo, apply an appropriate filter from the filters list (I could do with more variety of filters though), and there I have a nifty edited photo with an appropriate caption. Uploading that to Twitter/Facebook/Posterous/Tumblr is as simple as enabling it once through the configuration settings. So cool and easy to use.
I like the effects, and it’s making taking pictures (something of a chore normally) fun to do. The photos come out looking great, and if not great, well…the Instagram effects will more than adequately camouflage the inept photography :)). What’s not to like? Well, nothing at all in my view
Have you tried any of these tools? What are your thoughts/opinions? I would love to know.
I have mentioned loving the iPad in an earlier post. In this post, I will list and describe in specific the iPad apps that I am addicted enough to turn to everyday…because after all any Apple product is ultimately about the apps, right? So, here we go:
- iBooks: I’m in love with the design of this app. Since I got iBooks I have read a book a week and haven’t paid a cent for it. There are thousands of free classics in there. Some of the books I’ve reread recently are Black Beauty and Gulliver’s Travels. What I particularly love is the extensive dictionary. I can look up any word just by tapping it twice, and I can easily highlight and annotate favorite passages in several colours. It’s awesome for book bloggers!
- Flipboard - My own personalized magazine consisting of my Facebook and Twitter feeds laid out in magazine format. If you are not into Facebook or Twitter, this app has its own feeds of cool stuff from around the internet…plus, this app is free.Here’s a video demonstrating how it works:
- Houzz: If you are decorating/building a house and looking for inspiration, this is THE app to download. Again, free…it provides a series of ideabooks based on a particular theme. The images are awesome and there is enough variety to cater to everybody’s tastes. A word of warning though – this app provides ample scope for domestic disagreements. We are currently in the midst of building our house, and K and I are quite dismayed to find out that so far, we are drifting towards the opposite ends of the design spectrum :(. The only thing we agree on is that this app totally rocks!
- Chicfeed: This is totally fodder for the girl interested in seeing what people are wearing. Do you spend a lot of time trawling style blogs such as The Sartorialist? Then, download this free app to your iPad now. This is a fairly basic app that gathers all the latest photographs from widely popular style blogs and displays it on the iPad. You can happily kill a few minutes scrolling through the latest photos from The Sartorialist, Face Hunter, Jak And Jill Blog, Cherry Blossom Girl, LookBook, and altamira. Because the app displays only one photo at a time, the page loads are faster than the actual web pages. So, you end up using your time more efficiently !
- WordPress: How could I leave out this one? In an earlier post, I had complained that I couldn’t figure out how to publish my posts. But after a little playing around, I found the trick. Now, I totally love this app. It’s so easy and convenient for me to jot down my thoughts as and when they occur, and create a post out of it when I have the time. It’s faster than the wordpress.com admin dashboard, and it allows me to respond faster to comments. In short, it rocks!
- Ebay: Ebay has always been my reference point to check for prices of gadgets and books online. And now, with the iPad app, I can watch/bid/respond to buyer-seller emails faster than I ever could. Earlier, I would just space out and forget to respond, but somehow the app’s notifications remind me if I am being neglectful, which is almost always Also, like chicfeed, and WordPress, the page loads and search results are much faster through the app.
Note: I am not aware if Kindle or Nook have this functionality, so I can’t compare. Also, I am seeing that the prices of some books are much higher when bought through iBooks as compared to Amazon…so, yeah, I love the app, but would like to see better pricing on the books.
So, these are my favorite apps. True, there are more than 5…but why restrict myself to a number? So, what are your favorite apps? I would love to know. Btw, all the apps mentioned above are free…I am cheap over things like that sometimes
…is the Apple iPad. Woohoo!!
I bought it when I went to the United States in May on work, and I can’t believe I have managed to keep this quiet on my blog for so long.
Well, I had my reasons to keep it quiet. I wanted to take my time with it and to figure out what exactly it’s good for and isn’t good for, so that I am able to post something meaningful about it, rather than just post a list of stats and apps.
I am a total Apple newbie, I have never used any of their products before (yes, I don’t even have an ipod), so when I opened the package I was totally surprised by the beautiful and simple design of the product. The images that I had seen on the web simply do not do enough justice to this product. I was even more surprised when I was able to configure my wireless network connection and email within a matter of minutes. All in all, the initial setup on the ipad – internet, mail, twitter, and facebook took less time than my laptop takes to even start up and detect the wireless connection. My laptop is pretty old though and is pretty much on its last legs, but still I was amazed at how quickly I was up and running on the ipad.
After the first initial euphoria, I encountered itunes. To say that itunes sucks would be an understatement. The interface and the search functionality suck. I tried to use itunes to sync up music and photos from my laptop to the ipad, and found it a pretty tiresome experience. It would have been so cool if I could have just directly connected the ipad as a device to the laptop and just moved the files accordingly, instead of going through this itunes rubbish interface.
The itunes experience turned me off the ipad for a few days. However, once I accepted this disappointment and moved on, I found a whole new world of great things to do on the ipad.
Remember an old blog post where I commented that the ipad had the potential to convert a whole new generation of kids towards reading more books? That was an off-the-cuff comment, but I can see it coming true with the snubnose.
She often used to turn her nose at the books that I bought or borrowed for her to read. But the children’s e-books on the ipad have really captured her imagination. And why not? Some of these book apps are extremely interesting.
The snubnose’s favorite book app is Toy Story. It’s amazing how flexible the app is. She can configure the book to read using Tom Hanks’ voice, or we can record our own voices instead. The pages of the book are in bright, vivid colors…but if she feels like it, she can just turn off the colors on any of the pages, and color it herself. So many options, but they are so simple and user-friendly that she can figure it out and do it herself. How cool is that? Oh, and did I mention the app is free?
Here is a demo for the app in case you are interested:
Reading e-books has also enhanced her interest in actual paper books. So, that makes me happy as well :)…at least the books I bought for her are not a waste. This experience also made me realize that e-books will probably be the medium of choice for the next generation of readers. All the books on my library shelf might as well be antique pieces.
How do I find the e-book experience?
I found e-books to be a pleasant surprise. It’s not that I haven’t read books online, I have. But those were mostly badly formatted PDFs, which I read purely because I could not wait for the actual book to come in store (Harry Potter). Before you ask, I don’t feel guilty about doing that because I eventually bought the books anyway. It’s just that I could not be bothered to pre-order and wait in line.
Anyway, I like iBooks. I also downloaded the Kindle and Borders e-reading apps. This is great because it allows me to take advantage of book deals on offer on these e-readers. I am still figuring out how it all works, but it does seem like I have more reading options. However, the quality of the iBooks app is far and away superior to the Kindle and the Borders ones.
So what else can I do with the ipad?
Well, social networking is a breeze for me now. Earlier, Twitter and Facebook were strictly weekend activities, and most of the times I just did not bother. I mean who’s gonna take the pains on my slower than slow system just to send out a random tweet or message. Well, now, it’s just so damn easy. I use the Twitterific and Facebook apps to post my updates and photos within seconds.
As for blogging, hmm…that’s a slightly different story right now. I downloaded a WordPress app for blogging, and it works great…it’s only got 2 problems-major ones though.
- First major problem – Editing and uploading images is super smooth. In fact, it is much easier and quicker than doing it on WordPress.com. However, I am having issues getting the blog post published. I am still trying to figure it out, but my first inclination is to set it aside as a bug.
- Second major problem – Saved drafts created using the WordPress app do not appear if I open the Admin Dashboard on WordPress.com and look for it in the Drafts folder. This sucks big-time as you can imagine. Both these problems combined renders the whole app pretty much useless.
However, I am hopeful that the next version of the WordPress app (hopefully there is one) will fix these issues and make blogging on the go a reality for me. However, this is a WordPress issue, and not an ipad one…so no putting the blame on the ipad.
Apart from blogging and social networking, I use the ipad to check and respond to work email quickly. I can also use it to make and mail notes to myself. I have yet to attempt any word processing applications though and I also don’t want to try. Do not want to get into frustrating compatibility issues with iPages and MS Office (what I use for a lot of my work).
The one thing I have yet to try with any seriousness on the ipad is Farmville. Yeah, that game that keeps clogging everyone’s Facebook walls. I have always been curious about it, so it was one of the first things I downloaded. I don’t really get the game, I tried it out and got bored within minutes. However, the snubnose seems to have got the hang of it pretty quickly. I noticed that within a very short span of time, she has grown and harvested corn, strawberries, and apples on her little patch! Impressive, right
So, in short Apple has one satisfied customer in me. The ipad’s turned out to be a gift for the entire family, and we all take turns (not without a little squabbling) with it. I would heartily recommend the ipad to anyone who asks me for my (admittedly uninformed, purely laywomanesque) opinion.
The only thing I need right now is a good case for the ipad. Until I get one, it’s going to remain securely at home.
So, any of you readers have any experiences to share regarding the ipad? Please share, I would love to know
I am probably very late to the Posterous party, and everybody already knows everything there is to know about it; but still I need to think through Posterous out loud and hopefully, you guys can tolerate my rambling on about yet another blogging/social networking tool.So, what is posterous? It is apparently the "simplest, easiest, and fastest way for anyone in the known universe to become a blogger, a journalist, a lifestreamer". If you can send an email, you can create a Posterous blog. That’s because that’s the way you blog – you simply send an email to post [at] posterous.com. Your email gets posted, and you get a dedicated URL for all your thoughts – often yourname.posterous.com. Sounds good? Well, in addition to creating the blog post for you, Posterous will automatically update things like your Facebook status, your Twitter status, your other blogs, or even an iTunes podcast, every time you email Posterous (depending on the settings you have configured). I did some more investigation and found out that this could be the perfect tool for a lazy blogger like me. I could send Posterous any kind of attachment and they will format it appropriately and post it to my Posterous page. They accept *.doc, ppt, pdf, jpg, gif, png, mp3, avi, and mpg formats. So, based on all that I read, I decided to start a Posterous presence. I don’t want to use the term blog, because well even though it is a kind of a blog, I am still not very sure what I”ll actually use this page for. After setting everything up, I sent out a mail to Posterous with a bunch of photos, and this is what they created for me: http://booksandmore.posterous.com/lunch-at-serengeti – a very nice little slideshow. This is incredibly efficient. It took me just 2 mins to mail these photos before they were up on the site. I don’t have to fill up dreary forms, no long uploads, no signing in …nothing. I just have to attach photos to my GMail account and hit Send. How easy is that? After seeing this, I am quite inspired to use this site to post all family photos, and videos. I do wish I had thought to give a different name to my Posterous space though, because as of now, I am not really planning to post anything books related there. I don’t plan to change the name now though. My tool loyalties are so fleeting that I am never sure whether I am going to use anything long enough for it to be worth the effort of configuring it. If I am still using Posterous a month from now, I will definitely try playing around more with it. Because Posterous can even publish stuff to my WordPress blog I am definitely going to give that a whirl, starting with this post. Let’s see how it displays. If it is good, I could continue using it to post to my WordPress blog, which is always slow at the best of times, and impossible at its worst! Mom, in case you are reading this post, you can check out my posterous link this weekend. I will be uploading tons more photos there
Test Results :): If I include the body of the text within the email, Posterous formats it beautifully and uploads it here (much faster than doing it via WordPress itself). However, I did need to log in to WordPress to add tags, categories, and create the slug (but it is still quicker because you can use WordPress Quick Edit facility).
I need to do another post with images, and see how it displays.
Overall, I am quite satisfied with how quickly Posterous publishes. I do wish there was some way for me to specify the tags and categories within the email, so that it makes it even quicker for me.
I also do wish there was some way to automate the “digg” and “Share” links that I add at the bottom of my posts. Sigh! things would be just dandy then!
…by Amrit of the The Midnight Sun. He has tagged me for the 8 wonders meme. Here are my responses:
8 TV Shows I Love to Watch:
None, I don’t watch TV at all. If I had to pick something it would be True Blood on HBO and award shows.
8 Favorite Places to Eat:
- Little Italy
- Herbs & Spice
- Coffee Day (for the great capuccinos and small eats)
- Cascade (Chennai)
- Duchess (Chennai -not sure it is still around. It used to be my fave joint once upon a time)
- Corner House (for the great ice-creams and milkshakes)
8 Things That Happened Yesterday:
- Tons of work
- Rained a lot
- Updated my blog
- Started working on this meme
- Spoke to my mom
- Made a new week resolution (yes, I make resolutions each week)
- Taught the snubnose a new song (Vande Mataram – we are being very patriotic this week)
- Surfed on the net a lot
8 Things I Look Forward To:
- My project release
- Reading “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman
- The weekend
- Travelling to Mumbai for my friend’s wedding
- Everyone in my house getting healthy again after the viral fever bout
- Restarting my workouts again
- Seeing Kaminay
8 Things I Love About Winter:
- Days starting later
- Cuddling up with the snubnose
- Cups of hot tea
- Wearing smart jackets, sweaters, and shawls
- Not sweating
- Not getting tanned
- The rains
- Staying at home
8 Things on my Wish List:
- Time to relax and chill out
- Meet up with old friends scattered across the globe and just catch up in person (instead of just Facebook and chat)
- Take yoga classes and become super-flexible
- Wish I could be more photogenic (really wishful thinking, I know…but I always cringe when I see my photos)
- Stick to exercise routines
- A bigger house (or maybe less junk in my present house)
- Someone with super good taste will magically revamp my wardrobe
- Win a contest on radio/TV/anything
8 Things I’m Passionate About :
- Great coffee and conversations
8 Words or Phrases I Use Often:
- Yabba (only tams can understand this one :))
- OK, fine! (when I am giving in to somebody)
- da (again a Tam-specific slang)
- Too much
- Actually (which I am really, really trying to curb :()
- Simply superb
8 Things I Have Learned From My Past:
- You cannot change anybody’s bad habits or behaviors, it has to come from within them. Stop trying and getting frustrated
- Not being a topper at school does not mean you cannot be a topper outside it
- Not to be too trusting and naive about people. Have an open mind but don’t open your heart to others fully until you are sure about yourself and them
- Being around negative people can be very draining, be kind to yourself, avoid people who enjoy making you feel bad about yourself
- Some things about your life cannot be changed, they must be endured gracefully
- Health and peace of mind are the 2 most important things. Everything comes later
- Holding petty grievances is tiring and affects you badly. Forget about things, move on…
- You are changing all the time. What once worked for you may not be good for you any longer. Recognize that fact and keep evolving
8 Places I Would Love to Go or See or Visit:
- France (Paris and the south of France)
- Himalayas (I have never been north of New Delhi, and I am just dying to go)
- Eastern states of India
- New York
- South Africa
8 Things I Currently Need or Want:
- A new hair-do
- A great party (I”m still not satisfied after last month’s shenanigans)
- A relaxing massage
- Some alone time
- Nice shoes
- A faster computer, which does not hang when I open 2 Firefox tabs
- More healthy dining options in the food court near my place
- More fun in my life!
Whew! that was tiring. I really had to stop and think for some of these…
I am not tagging anybody specific for this one. If you like this meme, feel free to use it on your own blog, and link back to me. I would love to read your answers.
After including a Rating button on my blog, I decided to experiment a little bit more.
I have read a great many blog posts that rave about the value of social networking and how it can radically increase the number of hits on a blog. And, today I finally decided to take the plunge.
I have signed up on to Digg and am now going to include a Digg button at the bottom of all my posts. In addition, I am also including an “Add This” button that allows readers to bookmark and share blog posts, along with the existing rating button.
All these add-ons mean that there is a lot of clutter. So, reluctantly, I have decided to stop signing off on all my blog posts. Reluctantly, because I have been pretty happy with my signature, and always felt that the signature makes my blog a little bit more personal.
Let’s see where these additional buttons lead to. The Digg button is a little bit more cumbersome because every time I update my blog, I need to manually go to Digg, submit the link, and then add the Digg button here. I would much prefer such activities to be automated. What I do like about Digg is that it is connected with Facebook, so when I submit a link to Digg, I can automatically choose for it to appear on my Facebook wall as well – very similar to TweetDeck, which allows me to post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously. My lazy self loving this content reuse aspect
Eagerly waiting to see whether subscribing to social networking sites such as Digg and Stumble Upon really make that much of a difference. I do hope that adding these buttons do not reduce the number of comments. After all, it is much easier to click on a button than penning down a few thoughts. Will wait and watch and definitely let you know how it all works out…
If you want to add a Digg button to your blog posts, follow the instructions here:
To add a Share button to your blog, follow the instructions here:
Update: I removed all Digg and Share buttons from my posts after WordPress created an easy option to automate this.
After a heavy lunch at Brookfield Cafe, Kalyan, myself and the snubnose went with friends to the Summer Bazaar organized by Sattva. This is a flea market that was happening in Whitefiield, and I was very interested to go and see what was on offer.
We walked in to some melodious music and singing. At first, we thought that it was a taped recording, but turned out to be a band belting out amazing tracks.
One of these ladies actually turned out to be a school teacher at Bangalore International School. Boy! they could be professionals, so well did they sing. Additionally, they sang some of my favorite numbers – So Young by the Corrs, and Killing me Softly by the Fugees (the original song is by Aretha Franklin, I think)…
Anyway, we spent some time watching them sing, and then moved on to the displays. Since pictures speak louder than words, I will just go ahead and let them speak here
The children then got into the act with a very well-choreographed Odissi dance performance. The dancing was simply superb and left us all spell-bound.
All in all, we had a very nice time. The kids were making too much ruckus for us to really get into serious shopping, but a good time all the same
Thanks Gugi for forwarding the Facebook invite