Networking Questions

social-networks
Image Source: http://www.lawolfe.com

In the last few of weeks, there have been a couple of posts over at New World Notes about various social media networks and the writer’s opinion on their usefulness for Second Life users.

As a blogger, I am always looking for ways to make connections – with other bloggers, readers, SLers, etc.

A great way to do that is social media.

However, there are sooo many platforms and only 24 hours in a day (and I reserve some of those hours for sleep and RL!), so how do you decide which ones to use?

Also, how can you get the most out of the time you do spend on each network?

Rather than covering all the networks mentioned in the NWN articles, I’m going to stick to the ones I use or have questions about (hey, this is about me, right?).

I would love to streamline my process, so I’m asking all you brilliant people for your tips and tricks on the various platforms.

WordPress

(Okay, this isn’t really a social network, but I still have questions. 😛 )

Obviously, I use WordPress to blog.

However, a TON of people use Blogger.

Is there an easy way (or any way) to ‘like’ a Blogger post?

On WordPress blogs, I can hit a ‘like’ button or leave a comment very easily.

I haven’t found a way to ‘like’ Blogger posts.

Also, with Blogger posts, I have to pick a ‘profile’ to use for a comment and 9 times out of 10, when I hit ‘publish,’ Blogger eats my comment.   -.-

Twitter

I use Twitter, but I’m not sure that it’s all that useful for networking in SL.

I follow quite a few people, but most tweets tend to be people tweeting their blog posts or pics.

Is there a way to streamline/pick SL content for my Twitter feed?

I have tried using TweetDeck, but I usually am on a mobile device when I’m on Twitter, so is there a way to use TweetDeck on mobile?

Are there ‘must-follow’ people on Twitter?

What hashtags do most SLers use when tweeting about SL?

Flickr

I finally caved several months ago and got a Flickr account, and I must say, I love it.

I love taking photos and playing around in Photoshop, and I’m having a ton of fun.

However, the Flickr UI (which apparently is constantly changing), is not user-friendly at all.

I have joined groups and followed others, but is there a way to easily view recent group photos besides clicking through to each group’s postings?

A group photostream, like the one I get for people I follow on Flickr?

I’ve tried adding an RSS feed to my feed reader (Feedly), but it doesn’t work. 😦

Are there tags I should be using (for my own photos and for searching) other than ‘Second Life’ or ‘SL’?

Avatar Social Network (ASN)

I signed up for ASN because I loathe Facebook.

I know I can have a Facebook Page as my avatar, but I don’t like the constantly changing privacy policies at Facebook.

Plus, a Page just doesn’t give you the tools that a profile does, so it doesn’t foster the same networking ability.

I like ASN.

It’s easy to use (it’s set up in many ways like Facebook with ‘likes,’ ‘groups,’ ‘pages,’ etc.) and there is a large friendly community.

ASN serves other virtual worlds besides SL, but there are plenty of active SLers on ASN.

However, I feel like I could be getting more out of ASN.

Are there people I should be following on ASN?

Any input about ASN is appreciated. 🙂

Google+

I am on Google because I have Gmail.

I do not have a Google+ page – should I?

People can follow my profile on Google – is it necessary to also have a page?

I like Google – I think the tools are more intuitive to use than most other platforms.

But like ASN, I often feel I could/should be getting more out of the time I spend there.

Other Platforms

I am on Ello, but when I first joined, it was not very populated.

I haven’t been back in a while – is the SL community there growing?

Or was it just the latest new shiny alternative to Facebook?

What about SLUniverse and the forums?

Are there other platforms that are helpful for networking with other SLers?

Enlighten me, people!!!

Busy Thursday

Busy Bee
Me this week!
Image Source: http://www.clipartpanda.com

The next few days will be busy ones for me.

I will be attending a class on Photoshop, so hopefully I’ll learn some cool new tricks I can use on my photos.  🙂

I was asked to write an article for a new magazine, so I am trying to finish that up.

I’m still working on a RL book that I hope to self-publish soon.  *fingers crossed*

At least the school year is winding down, so things should be on the downswing and I will have more time in SL.

A few tidbits for your Thursday:

  • There will be a meet up with the Lindens today at the Basilique sim at 1pm SLT.

Odds are it will fill up quick, so if you want to attend, get there early!

  • If you haven’t stopped by The Chapter Four, FaMESHed, or We ❤ Roleplay yet – head on over.

They all have free gifts out for the taking (there are a TON at FaMESHed).

  • I’m hoping to gather some tips and tricks for different social media platforms over the next week, so if you use social media and have a tip/hack/trick worth sharing, let me know.

I’m specifically looking for some information on using Flickr (selfishly, because I suck at it), Twitter, Google+, and ASN.

Other social media information is welcome as well. 🙂

I’m late for class, so must dash.

Enjoy your Thursday, folks!

Overwhelmed by Choices

Overwhelmed by Choices
Image Source: http://www.success.com

This is a problem that seems rampant everywhere.

I’ve long thought that in today’s digital world, people are on permanent overload.

We have gone from cell phones and game boys to tablets, smart phones, e-readers, and laptops.

We are ‘connected’ almost 24/7.

Yesterday I came across a video about how we can better manage this overload.

For years, people have been told to learn to multi-task, that this ability would make you more productive and (hopefully) happier.

Turns out that’s not true.

Our brains aren’t really capable of ‘multi-tasking.’

We just shift our attention rapidly from one thing to the next, which means we never really focus on anything.

Everyone wants everything NOW, and no one wants to wait for it.

In this culture of ‘instant gratification’ and seemingly endless choices, how do you decide on anything?

Setting Limits

You have to set limits.

Pick one task and tackle it.

Ignore everything else (barring fires or medical emergencies) until you’re done or stuck.

Then move on.

I tend to be easily distracted, so I have gotten in the habit of setting a timer.

Having a time limit helps me focus.

When my kids were little, getting my youngest dressed in the morning before school was a constant struggle.

There were too many choices.

Which shirt of the 10?

Which shorts of the 8?

I came across an article about limiting choices and decided to try it.

The next morning, instead of the whole closet of clothes, I picked out two shirts and two pairs of shorts.

“Which one?” I asked.

2 minutes later, we were done – fully dressed and time to eat breakfast before we left!

From then on, that’s what I did.

Picking out clothes never took more than a couple of minutes.

This is a simplification, of course, but you see my point.

Social Media Overload

Another area of overload, beyond emails and work, is social media.

It’s no longer enough to have an email account.

You need to be on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Flickr, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, and on and on.

And if you are in SL, you may have additional social media accounts like ASN, Google, Avatarbook.

Perhaps you have accounts under your RL name AND your SL avatar name.

It’s enough to drive you batty some days.

I have accounts as Kat, as my RL self, and I am probably going to need more as I venture into self-publishing.

Some days, it’s hard to keep everything straight.

The number of passwords alone is frightening!

Is It Cultural?

I’ve often wondered if this feeling of overload is cultural.

The picture above is what I see when I go grocery shopping.

Are that many choices really necessary?

Do I need to have 16 different choices for peanut butter?

40+ choices for types of breakfast cereal?

Is this how it is in grocery stores for other people?

Would I have this many choices in a store in England? Australia? Germany? France?

I was reminded of all this yet again last night.

My husband and I switched phones.

So we each spent several hours updating everything, installing our favorite apps, setting ringtones, etc.

Remember when all a phone did was make phone calls?

Thinking Positive

Image Source:  www.finerminds.com
Image Source: http://www.finerminds.com

I’ve been talking the last few days about feeling indecisive and directionless.

I still am, but I have decided to approach everything with a positive attitude.

I may not know where I am going, but at least I can enjoy getting there.

The next few days will be busy for me, so I am really challenging myself to stay on target with what I want to accomplish.

So far, so good. 🙂

Projects ahead of me at the moment:

  • Consolidating land/holdings in SL – possibly moving ??
  • Opening a photography business in SL – eek!
  • Working on getting my SL blog syndicated
  • Streamlining my SL workflow  – social media, photos, blogging, etc.
  • Figuring out how to self-publish a book (if you have any info/tips – throw ’em at me!)
  • Working on my next book
  • Learning more about Photoshop
  • Continue working through the black hole I call inventory 🙂

As you can see, I have lots of projects.

I’m going to have to get used to more mobile working, I think.

I have a smartphone and an iPad, so I’m hoping I can make more use of them to get things done while I’m out and about (say, like waiting two hours between kids’ sporting events).

I always think I don’t have enough time, but I am trying to change my attitude about that as well.

I have a sign on my desk that reminds me that I have exactly the same number of hours in a day as everyone else.

Learning to use them wisely – now that’s a challenge!

Tuesday Tidbits

tidbit-tuesdayIt’s only Tuesday?

*Sigh*

This week is taking forever already.

A few tidbits for you:

⇒  What’s the meanest thing someone’s ever said to you on social media?  Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme is all about the haters.

I recently came across this image and I think it sums things up pretty well:

InternetDickwad

⇒  The latest Drax Files was about my favorite SL artist, Whiskey Monday.

Check it out:

Drax Files: World Makers 28

⇒  Canary Beck wrote a post about a style make-over guide for men in SL.

One of the first things she says is you need at least $8,740L to complete this look.

Say what?!

Now, I appreciate the post, because there are lots of guys who don’t have a clue where to start.

And it’s a ‘ground-up’ build, including skin/shape, etc.

But $8000L?

That seems expensive.

Or is it just me?

⇒  Ciaran Laval reported that Premium Members (that’s me, yay!) will now be able to receive 50 offline IM’s, rather than the previous 25 limit.

Now, my offlines go to email, so it probably won’t be as big a deal to me as other members, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Something useful to go along with your premium membership!

⇒  Crossing my fingers that LL and OnLive will work something out and do a package deal (as Jo Yardley suggested) and bundle premium membership with an SLGo subscription.

Now THAT I would find useful!

⇒  Caitlin Tobias wrote a post about her recent issues using the official SL viewer.

Clothes disappearing, inventory lost (the WHOLE thing, not just certain items!), etc.

She can’t use Firestorm (which I looooooovvveeee), so she ended up trying Singularity and then the Alchemy viewer (which I’ve never heard of before).

So I got to wondering – what viewer do you use, and why?

Is there one you’ve tried and absolutely hated and why?

Anonymity and the Internet

Image Source: invenioblog.com
Image Source: invenioblog.com

Is it possible in this technological day and age to truly have anonymity on the internet?

There’s been a forum thread over at ASN for a while now about how/if people share their RL information with anyone in SL.

As expected, it runs the gamut – some protesting that they never give out any RL information, some saying they share, but carefully, and some who don’t care who knows what.

In the latest post, someone commented that true anonymity on the internet is an illusion anyway.

So many of us have so many different accounts – LinkedIn, Facebook, emails, Google+, Flickr, Tumblr, Reddit, Plurk, Ello, ASN, SL – the list is seemingly endless.

Everything done on the internet leaves a trail, even if you think it’s private, or has been deleted.

If you are part of the ‘digital native’ demographic (those who have grown up with the internet – yes, Virginia, there was a time when the internet didn’t exist!), you think nothing of living your life on social media and posting about anything and everything.

Children these days have a social presence on the internet when they are born – thanks to Skype, Facebook, and other social media, because proud parents are posting for them until they are old enough to do so themselves.

I sometimes wonder if these children will be resentful of that later in life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

People want anonymity for different reasons.

Particularly in SL, a lot of users want to explore things they couldn’t in RL – whether that’s because of an injury, a disability, or just social stigmas/mores that make certain things impossible in their RL.

There’s a lot of chatter about people wanting to be anonymous to hide who they really are.

In the case of internet ‘trolls,’ many of them know their behavior would be unacceptable in RL face-to-face interactions, and trolling on the internet allows them that screen of anonymity.

Lately, though, I’ve been wondering if people crave anonymity, not to hide who they truly are, but in order to be who they truly are.

What if you are (or think you may be) homosexual and you live in a homophobic community?

What if you are pro-life and live in a very pro-choice community?

What if you are a successful businessperson in your mostly Christian community, but you have an interest in paganism or other alternative religions?

Though we like to kid ourselves that we are free to be whomever we want in RL, it’s not true.

Where I live, for example, the community is Christian, very conservative, and homophobic.

That’s not to say that the people are not nice – they are.

But if someone in the community were to be very vocal about their ‘pro-choice’ stance, for example, that person would quickly find themselves ostracized.

Most of it wouldn’t be overt – it would be hushed whispers, rumors about town, etc.

If that person worked in the same small town, it would have a negative effect on their employment.

That wouldn’t be the reason given, of course.

But it would still happen.

So that bit of anonymity the internet offers allows people the freedom to express (or explore) their beliefs/ideas without fear of RL reprisals.

What about internet ‘trolls’?

My argument still stands – it allows those people to be who they really are.

They don’t share their true beliefs or values in RL, because they know there would be negative consequences.

The anonymity offered by the internet makes them feel safe enough to express their true thoughts.

Perhaps the anonymity is an illusion, but unless/until there are RL consequences for what they do on the internet, that illusion will remain.

Syndication and Feeds

Image Source:  www.globesign.com
This diagram makes my head hurt. 😦 Image Source: http://www.globesign.com

As I work to increase the reach of my blog, I’ve found myself wondering how other bloggers do things.

One of the recommended ways to increase blog traffic is to be syndicated.

The definition of syndication, according to Dictionary.com, is “to publish simultaneously, or supply for simultaneous publication, in a number of newspapers or other periodicals in different places.”

As I have become more active in the blogging world, I’ve noticed that most vendors who are looking for bloggers want to know what ‘feeds’ your blog is on in the application.

Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, there are MILLION blogs about SL.

Probably 95% of them are fashion blogs.

My blog is not a fashion blog, although I do LOTD posts.

Following links on other blogs, I’ve found a couple of blogs that are ‘feeds.’

However, the process for getting a blog on a feed is a mystery to me.

I am clueless as to how you locate a ‘feed’ (especially if you are not a fashion blogger) and what the requirements are for getting on a feed.

I would love to get my blog on a ‘feed/s’ and be able to claim syndication, but alas, I am a (mostly) dance blog lost in a sea of clothing. 😦

In addition to syndication/feeds, I wonder how other bloggers manage to stay up to date with the overwhelming amount of info that is published each day on the interwebs.

I use the WordPress reader to follow blogs, but if the blog I want to follow is not also a WordPress blog (if, for example, it’s a Blogger blog or even a self-hosted blog), the updates on the Reader feed are hit and miss.

I might get the latest post from Tales of the Blue Moon, or I might not.

I never know.

I don’t want to have to visit every website to check for updates (that’s the whole point of a feed reader, right?), so I’ve been very frustrated.

I’ve tried to see if there is something I need to change in the settings for my WP Reader, but haven’t had any luck locating any information.

I will continue to use WP for my blog, because I love it, but I’m considering buying a domain and going self-hosted.

I’m also wondering if I should use a different feed reader (like Feedly) instead of relying on the built-in WP reader.

Are there options out there that would also help with cross-posting in the various social media platforms?

Trying to keep up every day with blogs, Twitter, Google+, emails, Flickr, and other social media is taking way more time than I’d like it to.

I don’t have a Google Page (is that worth doing?), I’m on Ello (does anyone use Ello?), and I’m wondering if I’m already on too many platforms, or if I’m not on enough.

So, fellow bloggers/readers/social media experts – help a girl out here!

What do you do or recommend in regards to feeds/readers/syndication/social media?

Any and all information is appreciated.

Happy Friday, everyone!

How Much SL Is In Your RL?

Image Source:  ist.greenville.edu
Image Source: ist.greenville.edu

I’ve blogged before about how difficult I find it sometimes to keep up with everything.

I blog, I tweet, I post – there are so many social media platforms it’s overwhelming.

Zed and I had a conversation the other day about how she felt SL was slowly moving out of SL.

Back in the good ‘ol days, when a shop came out with a new item, you would get a group notice and a LM or pic attached.

These days, you get a notice from their subscribo or group.  Said notice tells you to go see the item on their Flickr page or their Facebook page.

In addition to notices, people plurk, tweet, and tumblr all over the place.

And since, as Zed pointed out, SL is essentially a fancy chat room, is it becoming unnecessary?

I’ve always had my offline IM’s set to go to my email, so I didn’t miss anything if messages got capped.

Although I resisted for some time, I now have that email accessible on my phone.

I have enough going on at various times that it became more convenient to be able to reply to people as soon as possible.

However, I find that my phone now goes off waaaaayyy too often.

If people come to SL looking for connections, is it unrealistic to think that once those connections are established, then they move outside of SL into RL?

How much of your SL bleeds over into your RL?

Do you keep the two strictly separate?

If so, how?

Fine Print

Image Source: studentspaces.net
Image Source: studentspaces.net

Does anyone ever really read the fine print?

Your mother told you to, but do you really?

Or have we become so eager to use the ‘latest’ app or software or service that we simply hit ‘agree’ and move on?

There was a LOT of brouhaha (I love that word 😀 ) over the changes to the TOS in Second Life a while ago.

Content creators up in arms over the wording.  Some left SL.

I’m not a content creator, so while I understood their upset, it didn’t affect me.

I do passionately believe in copyright and protections for intellectual property.  However, it’s becoming harder and harder to protect yourself and your rights.

Everyone is online.

And if you are, you need to protect yourself.

At least read the fine print.

I was looking a social media site the other day and went to read their TOS.

Here’s what it said (and no, it isn’t from SL):

“We claim no ownership of any intellectual property rights over the Content that you upload to the Service. Any intellectual property rights in the uploaded Content belong solely to you (or your licensors). However, by uploading the Content to the Service, you grant -company name retracted- a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual and irrevocable right to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, sublicense, and prepare derivative works of, such Content, in any format or medium now known or later developed, solely on and through the Service, subject to these Terms of Service and our privacy policy. You represent and warrant that you have sufficient rights to grant this license.”

Wow.

So they claim no ownership, but then in the next sentence say that you uploading content allows them to basically do anything they want with it, in any format (now known or invented in the future), in perpetuity.

PERPETUITY.

You know what perpetuity means right?

In case you don’t, here’s the definition from Dictionary.com:  ‘endless or indefinitely long duration or existence; eternity.’

That means they can use your stuff however they want, whenever they want, wherever they want, FOREVER.

Even though they said you own the content.

Just because you used their service.

And you can’t revoke their right to use the content, because the TOS says that not only is your agreement perpetual, it’s irrevocable.

Now, this particular TOS does say that they can/will use your content ‘solely on and through the Service’ of their site.

Which is something, I guess.

Read the fine print, people.

Plurking?

Image Source: github.com
Image Source: github.com

Yesterday I was out and about, exploring and trying new things.

I went to a talk show in SL, The Good Morning Maxine Show, and had a great time.

The other audience members were wonderful.

Maxine was asking questions of the audience about what subjects they would like to see covered on the show.

One of the questions was who would you interview if you could ask anyone?

One of the audience members said Strawberry Singh (a GREAT answer – I love her work!).

But if I could ask anyone – it would be Whiskey Monday.

I am fascinated with her art and would love to have the opportunity to ask her questions and try to find out what makes her tick.

Or tic.

Either is good. 🙂

After I mentioned her name, another audience member told me I should follow Whiskey Monday on Plurk.

Now, I already follow her blog and follow her on Twitter.

I blog, I tweet, I’m on Google+, and I am on ASN.  Do I need another social media account?

I’m torn.

It already gets overwhelming to keep up with all the content for the few platforms I’m on.

Is there a way to somehow centrally locate everything in one place?

An app that lets me tweet, plurk, blog, and post all at once?  Or at least look at all those networks from one place?

Is it worth joining Plurk?

What other apps/programs do you use to keep your sanity when using multiple social media networks?