Women's Health Base

A look at women, the world and the web

Posts Tagged ‘flickr’

10 things I have learned about social networking

Posted by hannahflynn on December 4, 2008

Last night I was thinking I should return to the social networking experiment that I started at the beginning of term. This has been shockingly successful, with The Guardian (amongst others…) reporting on The Waves group after spotting them on social networking sites. So here follows some ‘advice’…

1) Use Facebook. The Waves has heard all people who come to its meetings saying they heard about it via the Facebook group. Another group I have been in contact with, Riverside Community Garden Project, say that once they got on Facebook the number of participants at their allotments shot up.

2) Get linked to by other blogs. The F Word Blog commented on The Waves, leading to several hundred people hitting The Waves blog in one day and some commenting on it, which leads me to…

3) Say something controversial. Or at least something others will perceive as controversial. Complaints rolled in over one comment on the blog on both The Waves blog and the F Word blog, stringing out the increase in blog hits over several days.

4) Respond to comments. It starts up a conversation that will go on for longer than the original point is still newsworthy, and it prevents bad publicity.

5) Old people still use Yahoo! groups. Mainly the slightly older generation who refuse to get on ‘MyFace’, but somehow find this fossil of a forum easy to use.

6) No-one uses Ning, but most people think it’s a good idea. Or at least pretty. This is a social networking site that is like a MySpace for groups, which looks better than any other social networking site (you get loads of templates to choose from) and isn’t associated with Murdoch.

7) Have an RL presence. Occasionally meet up in real-life if you can, it’s easy to forget this is the point of social networking in the first place. It also gives a focus to any online conversation.

8) You need a group around you to make Twitter work. You need to go to them, at the moment people do not tend to come to you.

9) Flickr is cool. It also means you don’t have to worry too much about embedding when Blogger or WordPress is playing up, like with all web hosts you can link. 

10) Generation Y will change the web! We are three times the size of generation Y and far more plugged in according to Sarah Perez of Read, Write, Web. She also says we over-share but as we can control our privacy settings quicker than prospective employers can dodge them we are more in control of social networking than ever before.

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Community Blogging – Overcoming Apathy

Posted by hannahflynn on November 11, 2008

As I have previously mentioned I began a community blog recently, but with little success. I had come face-to-face with the reader:lurker:contribution ratio. So it was with interest that I listened to Adam Tinworth’s views on the subject.

My own experience of community blogging has been as a regular reader (rather than contributor to) Feministing and Short Sharp Science. Two very different subject areas (!) and two different interpretations of the meaning of ‘community blog’.

Short Sharp Science started off as a series of specialist blogs on the New Scientist website, but recently became one ‘super-blog’. Its contributors are the same people who contribute to the magazine including its editors and reporters. Rather than being the place to report the harder science that the magazine takes care of it contains a lot of more human interest and political approaches to the subject matter. Short Sharp Science is a community, but it is a professional community and one of science journalists and not enthusiasts.

On the other hand, to contribute to Feministing all that is needed is to sign up and post. This could be considered a fairly dangerous approach to blogging but the site is extremely successful and its proprietor Jessica Valenti a successful journalist in her own right who works with her team of editors to moderate the blog. So how do they do it? Social networking of course! The site has branched out with a Facebook group, a YouTube page and a Meetup Alliance.

A good example of an open community blog that embraces a geographical rather than a subject area is Dublin Community Blog. All that is needed to contribute is a quick email to the administrator to put you on the list of authors. The blog contains what’s-on information and has also embraced traffic-driving sites such as Flickr.

So is the answer to a successful community blog an increase in traffic rather than enthusiasm? It would make sense looking at the reader and contributor ratios. Unless there is an RL equivalent, like with New Scientist’s Short Sharp Science, it is unlikely to attract traffic alone. However, it is important to question how the use of these UGC sites would be differ from straight news sites.

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