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  • Quick and Dirty Social Media for Writers: Pinterest

    Posted on January 30th, 2012 jean No comments

    It’s Social Media Monday again. Funny how that happens every 7 days.

    Today I share the fairly newish site, Pinterest. Here, you can pin images that capture your interest.


    What is Pinterest? How Does it Work?

    Basically, it is a virtual bulletin board. But it is also a social media site. Essentially, you find pictures you like on the internet and you ‘pin’ them to your own little bulletin board within the Pinterest site. Within your ‘site’ or ‘main board’ you can organize your pins into categories or sub-boards.

    As for the ‘social’ aspect, on Pinterest you can follow other users and comment on images. You can also ‘repin’ other’s images so they appear on your board. You can also ‘like’ images. (You can ‘like’ images you thought were cool so they appear in a list. You can pin images and/or like them. Your likes and pins are kept separate.)

    What Do You Use it For?

    Pinterest can be used for fun images you find online like jokes or silly photos, for collecting hairstyle ideas, party/wedding ideas, crafts, redecorating ideas, beautiful photos, or for us writer types… hunks. Er. I mean, we can create boards to collect the visuals for our manuscripts. Some of us writers are visual types and like to keep photos on hand of people that look like our characters, buildings that are featured in our stories, or other images that inspire and help us create. With Pinterest we can do it all in one place and access it from anywhere. Ain’t the internet grand?

    My repinned bunny over on Pinterest.
    I have to admit, he
    is pretty darn cute.

    Personally, I’ve been using Pinterest for my It’s All Kid’s Play project. And interestingly enough… when I joined Pinterest I had discovered that some of my crafts from the It’s All Kid’s Play blog were already being repinned around the site! Ever cool! (Yes, I feel pretty special.)

    How Do You Join?

    You can contact Pinterest for an invitation to join or have another member send you an invitation (if you want, you can drop me a line in the comment section and I’ll ‘refer’ you). You can also cruise around the Pinterest site without joining.

    Already a Member?

    Drop your Pinterest URL in the comment section and I’ll follow you. I’m always curious to see what others find interesting. And, of course, you can follow me too! I’m here:
    Follow Me on Pinterest



    Do you use Pinterest or something similar? What do you use it for?

  • Ugly As All Get Out & Writing Fail

    Posted on January 11th, 2012 jean 4 comments

    So last night I made some broccoli cheese soup that was a serious fail in the appearance sense of the word “edible.” We’re talking ugly as all get out. When my husband was being all lovely, polite, and upbeat and optimistic about it and taking his first bites he said, “Mmm. Did you make this with hate?” I just about fell off my chair laughing. Even though apparently he said, “Did you make this with potatoes?” Making it with hate is much more amusing, don’t you think?

    Ugly doll. Don’t you love it?

    Also last night I discovered that there is quite the crafting community on Twitter. I even joined my first Twitter ‘party.’ Not sure what made it ‘party.’ Maybe it was the prizes? Anyway, it was a ton of fun–oh, that probably made it a party! And I discovered that like other ‘fails’ on Twitter, there is a ‘craft fail.’ (I wonder if there is a ‘food fail?’ Probably! Just add soup.)

    So I decided we need a writing fail. For those times when writing turns ugly. (Then after believing I was incredibly brilliant for thinking of this, I looked on Twitter and discovered there is in fact #writingfail. Of course.)

    But what truly constitutes a ‘writing fail?’ Those times when you mean to sit down and write and social media sort of takes over the morning? (Darn! That video on Canada’s Hide and Seek Olympic Demonstration team was unreal. Those pictures my brother uploaded to SugarSync from Christmas were great. Oh… and did you hear about baby monkey riding on a pig?)

    Where was I?

    Oh, yes. Writing fail. How about those times when you sit down to write and you spill your tea and spend the next 15 minutes tackling the mess and then the baby wakes up and you are off on a new adventure? And then there is writing itself. Naming all your characters names that are almost the same and even you can’t tell them apart? Realizing that nurses don’t leave medications lying around willy nilly while dispensing them and a whole scene, chapter, and section of your story needs to be rewritten? Yeah, that says writing fail all over it.

    How about you? Any writing fails? (It can be anything!)

  • When the ‘Social’ Drops Out of Social Media

    Posted on March 5th, 2011 jean 1 comment

    “The more followers and friends you have, the more awesome and important you are.”
    –Clive Thompson (In Praise of Obscurity WIRED Magazine, Feb 2010, page 30.)

    This begs the question: Is it true? (Sure!) Or more importantly, what is the impact of being that Pied Piper of Social Networking Awesomeness?

    According to Thompson (quoted above), somewhere beyond having a few hundred/few thousand (depends on various factors) Twitter followers the social aspect of social networking breaks down. When you have a small gathering, like any social event, conversations happen and the group becomes a bit of a community with regulars throwing out ‘crazy’ ideas, bantering, and the building upon the thoughts of others. But once the event reaches a certain size, it becomes difficult for conversations to happen over the din and for those who know each other to meet up and converse. The example he uses in his article involves a Twitter maven who lost her small town feel around 13,000 followers (which is quite impressive actually–how she managed to keep that feel among so many followers makes her a rock star!). For her Twitterverse things went from a social event to dead silence.

    To bring it down to a more personal level, when you see a blog with a ton of comments, are you likely to leave a comment? Or do you feel as I do–there is nothing left to comment upon and that you will simply get lost in the shuffle? As Thompson says of big audiences, “Not only do audiences feel estranged, the participants also start self-censoring. People who suddenly find themselves with really huge audiences often start writing more cautiously, like politicians.”

    I’m not saying that amassing followers, friends, or blog commenters is a bad thing, however it is an interesting idea that the social aspect can reach its limits and fade away. I suppose there are limits to everything.