Sunday, March 13, 2011

Social Media and Me-Blogs

Are you a social media junky, or are you someone who wonders what all this social media stuff is all about?  I have jumped in to social media with both feet.  Maybe you should, too.

The term "social media" is thrown around a lot these days.  What does it mean?  Social media as defined by Merriam Webster:


Facebook, Twitter and this Just One Donna! blog are all forms of social media.   Much has been made of the tweets and ramblings of the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, but social media is much more than that.  The face of world politics is changing because of social media.  Social media has been credited with the recent turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

The financial world is also being impacted by social media.  This week CNBC ran a story about how the tweets of corn farmers are being used by commodities traders.  Another report by CNBC highlighted the research of Indiana University professer Johan Bollen in which he determined that Twitter could predict moves in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) with 87% accuracy. This research connects the mood of Twitter tweets to changes in the DJIA.   As a result of this research a hedge fund will launch in April using a random 10% of the approximately 130 million daily tweets to predict changes that will occur in the market three to four days later.  The hedge fund will then make trades based on those predictions.

In my mind, it's time to get on board the social media train.  If you are reading Just One Donna! today you already have some experience with blogs.   I've been writing this blog since December 29, 2010, so I think I still qualify as a blogging newbie. My entry into the blogging world was like a blind jump off a cliff into a sea of water below.  I had hope that the sea of information available and my own skills and knowledge would keep me afloat.  So far, so good...

I've learned a lot about the blogosphere in the past couple of months and there is still much to learn.  But let's walk through the basics of how blogs contribute to social media.

Let's start with the definition of a blog, once again from Merriam Webster:

Anyone can start a blog.  It's as easy as logging onto http://www.google.com/ and choosing the" blog" option from the "More" drop down menu.

Google will then walk you through a number of steps to set up a blog on its free Blogger platform.  You may remember when Just One Donna! had an address that looked like http://justonedonna.blogspot.com/.  That address was the one supplied to me by Google for free.  Since then I have purchased my custom domain name and moved to the current address, http://www.justonedonna.com/.

So how does this fit in to the social media concept?  Blogs create opportunities for individuals to self-publish on any topic(s) and to connect with readers from all over the world who may have an interest in their topic(s).   Those networks are created in a number of ways.

1.  Through regular followers, like the 15 Just One Donna! followers who have chosen to sign in using one of the online IDs they either already have, or set up a new one with Google.  You'll find this Follow option on the right hand side of the page. When you click the "Follow" button the "Follow Just One Donna! box will open for you to sign up.



2.  Through readers who sign up for regular feeds.  These feed are automatically sent to you whenever a new post is published.  This means you don't have to go to the website.  The website comes to you.  I get feeds from the blogs I follow through Google.  You can subscribe to get feeds from Just One Donna! posts and/or comments, on the right hand side of the page, by clicking the drop down arrow next to either Posts or All Comments. 
3.  Through comments.  You'd be surprised just how much readers like to read comments from other readers.  Comments are very important to the growth of a blog.  By leaving a comment you show support for the blog writer.  It's easy to leave a comment.   When you click on the Comments link (right by the pencil icon in the picture below) you'll see at the end of each blog post... 
...you'll be presented with a pop up box where you will write your comment.  You can then choose how you want to be identified.  If you have a Google ID you can choose that, but most will choose the Name/URL option.  When you choose the Name/URL option you'll just write in whatever name you want to be known by: Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary, Tina, Sue, He Who Shall Not Be Named...You get the idea.  The URL can be blank, unless you have a website you want to include.


Then you click the orange "Publish Your Comment" button and viola, your comment posts.

4.  Lastly, networks and community are created in the blogosphere among blogs through linking to other blogs in blog posts and through publishing a list of blogs followed.  You'll see a list of blogs I follow on the right side of the page.  They are:

If you are interested in reading other blogs I encourage you to check out these blogs and their blog lists to start.  Another way to investigate other blogs is to click the "Next Blog" link you'll see in the header of the Just One Donna! page.




By clicking the "Next Blog" link you will randomly be connected to another Blogger blog.  It's a great way to see what other bloggers are writing about.

Blogging, both writing a blog and reading other blogs is one way I participate in social media.  Facebook and Twitter are other social media platforms.  I'll write about them another day.  I hope you'll sign up as a Just One Donna! follower and I look forward to reading your comments.

Donna






3 comments:

  1. I'm not ready to jump in with both feet, but I am sticking a toe or two in:) Interesting blog today

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! I discovered you through social media just now. My real life (and bloggy) friend Melissa at www.afamiliarpath.com tweeted a link to this article. I hopped over.. social media at work!

    I'll now be retweeting it (and autoposting to my fb page!) since I had thought about telling people how to get into blogging, but you've done all the screenshots and leg work - so I'll just send everybody over here!

    Thanks so much - good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Suzanne. I appreciate your comments and the retweet. I'm learning and appreciate the help of folks like you and Melissa.

    ReplyDelete

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