Tag Archives: Social media

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?

Pinterest – pros/cons, do’s/dont’s

Thanks to all who gave me your views on Pinterest. I have tried to summarise the points below. I shall start with the POSITIVES:

  • You can pin things craft ideas, patterns and inspirations you like all in one place thus being able to find them easily at a later date.
  • It is very inspiring
  • You can pin your own patterns and tutorials which can be good for business.
  • You can do short micro blogs on projects that you have tried.
  • It is a buzz when you see pictures that you have pinned re-pinned.
  • You can gain lots of visitors to you blog from it.
  • It can brighten up a boring day.
  • You can use it to work collaboratively with someone else – each adding their own ideas and inspirations.
  • You can build your brand identity with it.
  • You can support and help others with it.

Now for the NEGATIVES:

  • The time that it can occupy – ‘it is the biggest time suck of all social media’

Yes there really is only one negative. It is put in a few different ways but that is the long and short of it. The biggest bit of advice is to set yourself a time limit.

THE VERDICT:I do think that I will give it a go. I shall set myself some time limits and go from there.

What about the etiquette?

Whilst writing this it occurred to me that I would have no idea about the etiquette required when using it. I have done a bit of research and this is what I have come up with:

  • Link back to the original sources.
  • Organise your boards carefully.
  • Report spammers
  • If using google images still make sure you find out where it came from so you can link to it.
  • Don’t pin everything – 40 images an hour is too much!
  • Put your pin into context using captions and headings. This will also help your pins be found.
  • You do not have to follow everyone who follows you (although another site suggests that it is polite to do so.)
  • Think about the quality of the pictures that you are pinning. Go for high quality every time.
  • Don’t re-post screen shots from Facebook and twitter.
  • Share interesting, quality items.
  • Show consideration for your followers – don’t pin offensive images.
  • Respect other people’s intellectual property! Be aware of copywrite.
  • Skip the sales pitch. If you audience is interested they will click-through (no full recipes)
  • Allow others to pin your work (blogs etc).
  • Engage and interact with others.
  • Comment on other boards.
  • Think about when and how you pin pictures
  • Be yourself – your boards should tell a story about you and your interests.
  • For every pin you make of your work allow 5-6 of pins that are not your original.

Do you have any that I have missed?

Resources:

Pinterest Etiquette

Pinterest Etiquette (different from the first I promise!)

Pinterest Etiquette – rules to follow

Pinterest Etiquette (again)

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.