Tag Archives: Facebook

Running Communities

Where do you get information about your hobbies from? Over the years I have built up an amazing amount of knowledge about running, from a range of different sources. Some of it has come from books, some from magazines and some from simply trial and error. Probably the most useful information has come from other people.

Local Connections

I am lucky enough to know  several runners that live close to me, some that I run with and some that I simply share stories with.  I am also now entering into my second year of being a member of a running club. Last year I trained with the juniors (which did also include some adults but more recently I graduated to the adult section of my local running club and have connected with some more lovely people (who I have missed this week).  These all have a huge wealth of information with different experiences.

Social media

Social media adds a completely dimension to running connections. It allows me to reach out to people who train in completely different circumstances to me and who have a completely different experience altogether. A whole new world. I started this through my blog. Blogs are hugely informative, enjoyable and fun. More recently I found a huge group of people on twitter through @ukrunchat. This is a huge group of  people who you can ask anything of them. Someone will know the answer to the most obscure questions that you can think of. The support or encouragement is amazing.

UKRunChat®

 

Even more recently, (around Christmas time) I found another amazing group, this time on Facebook; runmummyrun. This is obviously a female only group but it is completely inspirational. If you are lacking in motivation a quick scroll through these posts will soon get you moving again. There is also a second-hand page (where I picked up my trail runners) and a healthy eating page.

Through these I have gained more knowledge than I thought possible, but I have also been able to share my knowledge with others. I have been inspired and tried to inspire others too as well as been completely humbled by the stories of truly amazing, brave people. To everyone, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Have I missed anything that has inspired you?

Hootsuite

I realised that I have not introduced you to Hootsuite. What is hootsuite? Well it is a social media platform that allows you to manage your twitter accounts (yes ‘s’ as in if you have work related accounts and private for example) as well as Facebook accounts google+ linked in etc.

What it allows you to do is to follow several different feeds on one page of your computer. eg: One of pages has my general feed / mentions / and Direct messages all on the same page:

https://knitnrun4sanity.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/126ad-hootsuite1.jpg

So here you can see the different feeds that this person has chosen to follow, all on one page. At the top there is a box where you can compose and send your own tweets / updates.

As in Twitter you can easily retweet tweets and edit them before should you wish. You can favourite tweets, dm people and share. In short all the things that you should would expect.

You can also have several tabs like the page above thus increasing the feeds that you can follow. I, for example follow some # on twitter, namely #wirecrochet and the like. This means that I can easily connect with other people doing similar things to me even though I don’t necessarily follow them previously. I have found some lovely people to follow this way. Another one of my tabs is dedicated to Facebook. It is really easy to jiggle between the different feeds as they are all there on the screen in front of you.

The other thing that I love about Hootsuite is the fact that you can schedule tweets in a similar way you can schedule blog posts. Therefore I can schedule tweets containing links about a latest blog post throughout the day. I can choose the time myself manually or allow it to automatically schedule them in according to the time it feels is your most prime time.

One final feature that I particularly like is the little Hootlet that sits on my toolbar:

This cute little owl allows me to compose a tweet on the page that I am on – putting the link in automatically allowing me to share things easily, as I find them.

The final great thing about this program is that it is free and it comes with a mobile version so I have it on my phone too. There are other versions that do similar things such as buffer which I know some of my friends use but I like my Hootlet and as I use it feel able to share some of the workings with you.

Do you use anything like this? If so what are the advantages that you find best?

(This is in no way a sponsored post – it is all my own views and opinions.)

Beginning Blogging – Gravatars and Headers

Having chosen an appropriate name for your blog and selected a theme, the next step is to think about a Gravatar. A Gravatar is your visual ‘identity’ on the web. It usually runs across the whole of the social media scene – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, blog etc.  (Although it doesn’t have to.) This, if you like is your ‘brand’ and allows you to be recognised on the different platforms. The image that you choose can be a photograph of you, a cartoon character, a logo or a symbol. It doesn’t really matter. Often it is something that is related to your identity but not always. As with many things it can be changed. Many people start off with a picture and then move to a photograph of themselves as they become more comfortable on the web.

This is the image I use on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Ravelry.

This is the image I use on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Ravelry. It is also the image that comes up beside any comments I leave on other blogs, Facebook pages etc.

This is also on my blog header (as I am sure you have noticed). You do not have to use the same picture, indeed I have been toying with the idea of changing my header to photographs of some of my makes. It is up to you.

When I first started this I did not know a lot about photography. I knew that I wanted to take the best photograph that I could as it was a representation of me (first impressions and all that). I also had read a bit about light boxes so set up my own makeshift version using a white sheet draped over a chair in front of my patio doors.

I was not kidding!

I was not kidding!

As to what I would photograph – I decided to go with items related to my identity. As you can see this involved grabbing my smelly trainers, a ball of yarn and some hooks and needles.

Once you have taken your photograph you need to upload them onto your computer.

Gravatar

DASHBOARD – USERS – MY PROFILE

This is the page where you put up a lot of information about yourself BUT be warned it is public information so think about what how much information you wish to include. A lot of my page is blank as I didn’t want my real identity to be known. Therefore the only boxes I have filled in as my user name, the name I wish to be known as publicly (knitnrun4sanity) and the bit titled ‘about me’.

I have filled this bit in (you can see what I wrote in the about tab at the top of this page). I did this because when visiting new blogs I like to read a bit about the blog and the people behind them (in other words I am nosy). Not everybody has anything in their ‘About’ tab. It is up to your own preferences.

As you go down I have filled in my public e-mail (the one connected to the blog with the same name). I have also linked in my Facebook page (simply copy and paste the URL) and click on add link.

But now to the Gravatar bit. On the top right of the page there is a square box. Mine shows my picture and has the words ‘change Gravatar’ underneath it (Yours may say something different but will give the same options if you click on it). If I click on the bottom link I can click on one of four options. The one I used is:  Upload a picture from your computer. If you click on browse you can find your photo and upload it. The other options are to use a webcam to take a picture of yourself or put a link to a picture found on the web. This is also the place where you would change the picture should you ever want to.

Before you leave the page please do remember to go back towards the top and click on the update profile box so you save all your hard work.

Heading

DASHBOARD – APPEARANCE – HEADER

On this page you can browse through your files on the computer and upload a picture to use as your header. It will come up with a preview of what it will actually look like. It can be changed so do not worry about it being permanent if you do not like it. This time the save changes box is at the bottom of the page.

On this page you will also see a box about whether you want the text to be shown. Adding this text will be the subject of next weeks post.

I do hope this is all clear. If it is not then please do ask – I am really happy to help and I shall not think you are being thick. I remember just how much time and effort (blood, sweat and tears) this took me which is why I am doing this in the first place. In the future I may also write down how to set up twitter accounts etc if it would be useful.

I am just really grateful that I have managed to get this far on my post without losing it all 🙂 Hope you all have a good week.

 

 

 

Blogging for beginners

I apologise to many of you now – these posts are not at all useful to those of you with blogs already. I do, however, know that there are several people who read my blog and would like to start one themselves but are not that sure where to start. So I thought that I would share some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the last year (nearly).

There are a few things that I wish to make clear from the start:

1. I am no expert so I may not get everything right or have all the answers.

2. I only know how to use wordpress although there are other platforms to use (such as blogger).

Over the next few weeks I thought that I would share tips that I have picked up (mostly from other people), try to explain terms such as widgets as well as some basic know – hows. If anyone reading this has any questions then please do ask.

This brings me to my first ‘lesson’.

Commenting on blogs such as this:

At the end of most blog posts you will find a comments box looking something like this:

The labels you cannot read beside the smaller boxes are:  name (required), email (will not be published) (requires), website (optional). Firstly, to put your  mind at rest your email will not appear anywhere publicly. Secondly, although you have to put something in the name box it does not have to be your name if you do not wish to share it (although I am not totally sure I should be writing this!) It just has to be something that is recognisable as a name so it does not get mistaken as spam (unwanted comments by machines). As an example I usually comment as knitnrun4sanity although sometimes just knitnrun. Other people just use their first name. The website box does not have to be filled in at all.

So there you go – you can now ask questions and not worry about any unwanted consequences.

Sometimes you may get this instead:

This allows you log in via an existing WordPress, Twitter or Facebook account. If you wish to do this you can just click on the icon corresponding to the account you wish to use, type your comment and click on post comment box. Your identity on the platform you have chosen to use is the one that will be shown.

Naming Your Blog

The last thing I am going to write about today is your name. When I started blogging I was very nervous about  exposure online. As I know that I am not totally unusual in this – let me tell you that it is possible to have a complete presence online without ever having to disclose your real identity.  The first thing you need to do is to choose a name you like.  I came to my name because I knew that I was going to write about knitting, crochet and running on my blog. I tried to combine the words knitting and crochet but didn’t like what I came up with. I then hit upon knitnrun but found (though Google) that this already existed hence I then added the 4 sanity. (It is also very true!)

When creating a WordPress.com account (free I promise) you are asked for an e-mail. In order to keep my online identity cohesive I set up an e-mail account: knitnrun4sanity@…….. This meant that there is no link to my personal e-mail which involves my name. I also like that this side of my life is kept separate  from school e-mails etc. As well as using my chosen name on my blog I was also keen to use it for a Facebook page and Twitter account. It all links together nicely making it easier to be found.

So to summarise:

When thinking of a name – 1) think about what you will be writing about (it doesn’t have to be linked but is definitely a good starting point).

2) Check to see if the name is already in use through Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.

3) If you wish to keep your real identity a secret then consider opening an e-mail account under your chosen name.

4) It may also be a good idea to set up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr account under the same name at the same time. It depends what you think you will use but it saves your name being taken by someone else in the meantime. You do not have to do anything with them to start with.

Next time I shall be talking about choosing themes and Gravatar’s. Hopefully a similar time next week. If you have any questions or subjects you would covered then do please let me know 🙂

 

2012 – an amazing year…

I have had an amazing year! This time last year I had not really heard about blogging, had fairly negative views on social media and had never, ever heard of knitting and crocheting with wire.

Now I cannot imagine life without social media. I have ‘met’ some amazing people who have very much helped me develop and expand my skills. A Happy New Year to each and everyone who has visited my blog, read some of the ramblings, taken the time to comment and generally be very lovely. It is all really appreciated.

This year in summary:

Feb: I bought a book and had a go at making jewellery by knitting and crocheting wire.

March: I took my first few tentative steps into the blog and social media world.

Fast forward a few months:

1. I have had 7,993 visitors to my blog. (Averaging out at 26 visitors per day although I started off with 8 visits in March and have got to 40 in December!)

2. I have written 113 posts.

3. I have an amazing 87 followers on WordPress and 26 on Hellocotton – that adds up to 113. Wow, thank you so much to each and everyone.

5. I have 170 followers on Twitter.

6. I have 36 likes on Facebook.

A couple of other highlights include:

1. I made and sold 3 bracelets to order.

2. I did a guest post for Claire from the amazing blog Claireabellemakes.

3. I took part in a blog hop and hosted a giveaway in celebration of the launch of the Make and Craft Magazine.

4. I took part in the knitting and Crochet Blog week where I had to post a blog every day for a week!

It really has been the most amazing year for me and I have enjoyed it all. I again wish to thank you all because without your time and input it would not have been anywhere near as enjoyable. THANK YOU :).

Now I am supposed to write down some goals for this coming year but I am going to revel in 2012 for a bit longer. I wish you all a very happy and successful 2013. 🙂

Now, for the final time this year I am going to link up with Wendy over at Handmade Harbour. She has also had an amazing year and I am looking forward to reading everyone else’s summaries too – fancy joining me?

Targets – how I hate that word!

3KCBWDAY6 : 28th April   :   Improving your skill set.

Well where to begin? It seems that the more I talk, the more there is to learn! Just the other day I was talking to Joanne Scrace and she was doing double knitting. I have never seen this before. It doesn’t look difficult (although that is not to say that I would not make a mess of it!) so I ought to add it to my list!

When I first thought about this topic I thought it would be easy but I am not so sure as I think it means to develop a skill set of knitting or crocheting. As on the hero day I may therefore be barking up the wrong tree. Oh well in for a penny, in for a pound! (I wonder how many other sayings I can squeeze into this post?). The obvious thing for me is that I want to continue developing my ICT skills. (Don’t worry it is related I promise!) I have been blogging for about 2 months now and am really enjoying it. I have also attempted to set up on Facebook and twitter. I am quite content with the blogging. I am getting some very nice comments from people and feel far more comfortable with the whole writing things down and permanency of it all. As for Facebook and Twitter, well they are plodding along but I feel that I have loads more to learn about them both. So this would be my first target:

1. To be more effective and further develop my understanding around Facebook and Twitter.

Ok, that wasn’t so hard although I fear that this is where it begins to become more so. My original intention was to set up an e-shop in order to sell some of my knitted and crocheted jewellery. All the rest was really just a support system for this but, as you may have noticed, I have been putting this off. I am very good at procrastinating – which shop should I use?, How should I display the items?, How much should I charge? How will I package it? (You get the idea!). So I suppose that this is my next target:

2. To set up an e-shop to sell my jewellery.

Ok. It is out there now – whats that? You want a time scale? hmmm I think that is pushing me too far for the moment. Lets leave it that I will do it this year, ok?

One more target that has actually been set by Joanne Scrace a while ago is to get one of my patterns published. I am not at all sure about this but I may just have a go – once I have a suitable idea of course!

Well that is the none- craft technical bits done. As for knitting and crochet techniques I would love to have a go at this:

Isn’t it great? If you fancy having a go at something similar there is a free pattern for this at beadsmagic.com.

3. Make a beaded crochet rope necklace by the beginning of the summer holidays!There, I have even put a timeline on that one! See I can do it 🙂

(From paperblog.)

I think that is enough goals for the time being. I have nearly completed the one to blog everyday and I am well chuffed with that! One down at least three to go 🙂 Happy blogging (Oh and if you have any tips to help me with my goals then please do enlighten me – thanks ):)

I don’t believe it!

 This week I have been in a reflective mood and it has struck me how much people change over a period of time (or maybe that is just me!). I have composed a list of things that 5 years ago I would never believe I would do:

1. I quite fancy a smart phone: 

New phone / old phone (Before) Up until about a year and a half ago I was using a phone not too dissimilar to the one on the left and was more than happy. (Now) I am using this phone which was quite high-tech for me! Until recently this was fine – I only needed a phone to ring and text people on!Nokia X2I now would like to be able to use the web when I am out and about!

2. I use the computer everyday and can spend ages on it! – (Before) Computers were only any good for e-mails, most of which I didn’t want anyway. Oh and internet shopping of course. (Now)  I love connecting with different people through the internet. 

3. I use social networking sites – (Before) What a waste of time, there is no replacement for real people. (Now) I am trying to get to grips with Facebook and twitter but it is very slow. I can, however, see the benefits and why people use them. I now believe that this is another useful and different aspect to socialising. I will keep persevering and if any of you can give me any tips then I would greatly appreciate them :). (Please do – I need as much help as possible!) 

 

4. I publicly write and show photographs about my achievements. (Before) I was so shy that I was apologetic for everything I did (good and bad). Therefore I would keep quiet about anything I did or achieved. (Now) Although I still don’t find it very easy I show what I made, write about how my training is going and even my intentions for the future. I am even very close to setting myself goals publicly.

 5. I wear colour. (Before) I would wear anything that would help me hide and didn’t cost that much. (Now) I like to wear colour and have a competition with my son who tries to catch me wearing black (It doesn’t happen very often!) 

6. (and probably the most important of them all) I am not afraid to be me. (before) I didn’t know who I was and was literally scared of having an opinion or standing out in any way. (Now) I am happy being me (mostly). I know that everyone is different and I have a valid opinion. It doesn’t matter whether other people agree with me or not. I am who I am. Also people are far nicer than I would believe – I always thought that people would be hurtful towards me and laugh at me behind my back. I now realise that this was a reflection on my low opinion of myself and not of others. A consequence of this is that I am able to open up to other people a bit more and therefore form closer relationships than I ever have before (or so I hope!)   

7. I have confidence in my abilities (well more than before anyway!) (Before) I didn’t believe that I was at all creative and could only follow patterns. (Now) I recognise that I am able to have a go at making things up for myself. I am also happier in my ability to run so that I am not afraid to tell people what I am doing.

Conclusion: Overall I am much happier than before despite having put more pressure on my time!

At the end of the last blog I said that I would have a go at making up my own pattern for a flower. I have done this but, as I have rambled on enough today, I will save that for another one.

Thanks for reading this – I would love to hear any ways in which you or your views have changed over time. Please share. 😀