Social Bookmarking and Content Gathering
My personal favorite for this one was Twitter, however, I am admittedly more visually stimulated (as I’m sure most are), so Pinterest and Digg are quickly becoming my favorite tools for gathering bites of information – what I mean by this is quick inspiration or clarification, quick fixes (recipes, gift ideas, quick tips or steps on how to do a given task, opinion gathering). Due to the fact that I’ve learned a few things doing social media for an IT department and how private I like to keep all my profiles, Twitter is quickly fading in to the background for me on a personal basis. From an organizational basis, however, I find it incredibly helpful. It allows you the opportunity to respond quickly to questions or requests that aren’t terribly complex or have an involved process attached to it. From an College IT department standpoint, Twitter is really the preferred tool for getting a message out to most students or staff – often times, IT will send out mass e-mail communications to the appropriate audiences if a system has gone down or if upgrades or maintenance is happening, and we get so much feedback that the e-mails are annoying and too frequent. On the other token, if we were to under-communicate or communicate less, people would still complain, so it seems that the only way to win this battle is to communicate only the most time-critical/system-critical information in a mass email, otherwise, stick everything else on Twitter. That way, you’re giving your audience the liberty to pull information from you, rather than being pushed.
Hootsuite is certainly the one I use for the department – mind you, the only channel we use is Twitter, but in this regard it allows me to see everything that’s going out, coming in, things that are scheduled, and any direct messages. I have tried using Hootsuite for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn channels synonymously in the past, but I find it’s really optimized for Twitter.
This is an interesting one – I’ve used WordPress for years, and continue to use it in my professional work for blogging and site maintenance, but I have found that Instagram has really changed the idea of blogging for me. If I’m writing an extensive amount of content on something, then naturally a platform like WordPress would be ideal. Instagram, however, is what I use for what I like to call ‘phlogging’ or ‘photo blogging’. It’s a really short and sweet, no bologna application that can capture so much in few words, and I find it more fun because of all of the other creative apps (Picstitch, Pixlromatic) that feed into it.