Category Archives: Social Media

Pinterest versus Tumblr

During my social media class, I have tried out many different social media platforms and tools. Most of these I will let fall by the wayside and my accounts will become inactive, but I think Tumblr and Pinterest are here to stay.  Now I know many people would argue that these two platforms belong in separate very different categories in the social media world. Pinterest in a bulletin board or bookmarking platform more closely related to Delicious, and Tumblr is a straight forward microblogging site in the same family as Twitter. However, I think these two platforms could very easily be grouped together. This association in my mind began when my husband, a heavy Tumblr user, proudly stated when I opened my Pinterest account that “Pinterest is the poor man’s Tumblr.”

The Similarities

So how are these platforms similar? Well  as new user of both, I can spot several things. Both services have main dashboards (even though as far as I can tell only Tumblr calls it that) that shows you all the new things (posts or pins) that people you follow have posted since the last time you visited. Reposting is a vital component of both platforms (rebloging or repining). These posts then show up on your personal site as well as in your followers’ dashboards. You can also “like” posts or pins. These posts get stashed in a different area and don’t show up on the dashboard. Both platforms allow you to make personal notes on the posts you reblog or repin. Now this last similarity will lead to the differences of the platforms – both have categorization above what appears on personal blogs or dashboards. For Pinterest these are controlled and predetermined, but on Tumblr these are user created tags that can become very personal very fast. However, many Tumblr users might create their own standard tags to help with refinding for example a tag of their username for their original content or pictures of themselves which is similar to the curation seen in Pinterest boards

The Differences

Now the biggest difference between the two services comes down to personalization. Pinterest has a controlled vocabulary for categorization and there is no personalization of one’s Pinterest page. Tumblr allows as much customization as you want as long as you put the effort in. You can customize your home page to outrageous levels (including making your page look like a pin board). As mentioned above, Tumblr users tag their own posts however they like (or skip it all together). Tumblr also allows users to converse through reblogs (as well as through Ask boxes, replies to certain types of posts).  The original statement or caption is preserved and then the reblogger adds his or her own comment or reaction. This can go back and forth for quite a while and can spread to include other bloggers. Tumblr also allows users a better way of tracking the spread of their posts through their notes feature than Pinterest with their more simple repin and like count. Now I will finish on probably the most obvious difference which usually causes people to put these platforms in separate categories – the variety of content that can be posted on Tumblr. Tumblr allows not only pictures & videos but also text (both long & short), quotes, audio, links (straight hyperlinks), and chats (posts that are recounts of conversations).

Which to Choose?

Now if you only wanted to invest in one of these platforms, which should you choose? Well you should ask yourself a question, “How much interaction do you want?” If you want to be apart of an integrated community that communicates directly with one another then you should choose Tumblr. If you just want a place to pursue content that you want to save and share latently with a group of followers then go with Pinterest. Want to make and share text posts and links that don’t translate pictorially? You probably want more communication – choose Tumblr. You don’t want a big time commitment either up front for personalization or later with up keep? You probably don’t want to spend tons of time creating posts conversing with others – go Pinterest.

What do you think? Do Pinterest & Tumblr have more in common than we usually give them credit for? What are some other questions one could ask to figure out which platform to try out?

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Multimedia Resumes: Worth it?

I know there are hundreds of voices out there (maybe more, sometimes it seems like millions) giving advice on the job search. Everything from initial networking to resumes to applications to interviews to salary negotiations. More infuriating no one seems to agree on anything. I think this is best seen for library students in the Hiring Librarians blog. The lovely author, Emily, publishes graphs summarizing her findings from her survey. In those graphs it is plainly shown that hiring managers don’t even agree on how many pages a cover letter should be!  So basically there is no Right way, but I’m guessing plenty of wrong ways that might have right components (otherwise we’d all have jobs right?).

One new way of standing out from the crowd during the job search is having a multimedia resume. I know this just sounds like another buzz word, but in this case a multimedia resume is exactly what it sounds like – a resume that moves beyond the text only word do or pdf file and into the land of graphics, pictures, videos, and web content. The most common ways job searchers make their resumes multimedia is through

1.) Adding a video

2.) Adding Infographics

3.) Adding links to a social media profile (Think LinkedIn or a professionally geared Twitter account)

4.) Showing off your personal blog or website

My Experience

There are many free services that will help you create your own multimedia resume – Purzue, VisualCV, and Visualize.me.

However, is it worth it? In many of the articles I read it was concluded that job seekers have little to lose, but I think we do. We can lose money (one job seeker actually spent $400 dollars to create a professional video for his resume & many of these free services have paid tiers that offer more content or help) and more importantly we can lose our time! Time we can spend searching jobs, networking, or you know completing that degree (not to mention having a life away from all this job stuff).  So I decided to give these different services a test run and see what all the fuss is about.

First off I decided to try the most mention websites – Purzue and Visual CV. Out of the two I liked Purzue better for a few reasons. 1.) Their website is just slicker & I am a sucker for a nice, intuitive layout 2.) You can import all of your job information from LinkedIn (!) Which cuts way down on the effort and time commitment.  Purzue will allow you to add media like a youtube video if you so choose which is what really makes this a “multimedia” resume. You can also add a picture of yourself to go along with your name at the top.  However, since I don’t have a youtube video to add this is just a copy of my LinkedIn profile. So is this one worth the effort? Well yes if you have a video to share, but if you don’t just send a link to your LinkedIn profile. Also when choosing your employment area there is no category for information professionals. Should we choose Information Technology or Education or Research? Even with choosing three subcategories (including analyst, customer service, and consulting) I still wasn’t happy with my choices there. Oh and as for Visual CV – I didn’t even finish my resume because it has no import feature and I didn’t want to spend a whole evening typing everything in just to have another copy of my LinkedIn profile.

Now Visualize.me is another story. It nicely takes all the information from your LinkedIn profile and creates an infographic based on that information. You need to add a little bit of information that isn’t included in a LinkedIn profile like your proficiency and years of experience for your listed skills or just how well you speak the extra languages you listed. There are several different layouts to choose from and several color schemes and the option to fiddle around with the colors via hexadecimal. Personally as an information person I loved this! My favorite part is how Visualize.me easily shows how one’s education pairs up with their work history. This service offers something totally different from LinkedIn (though it still is all the same information). The effort to awesome ratio here is totally in the job hunter’s favor. I’d check it out.

The Verdict

Are these multimedia resumes the wave of the future? Well maybe. I have applied to many internships where I applied via email and just added a cover letter and resume as attachments  In such situation I could easily add links to multimedia resumes as well. However, I would only do this if I believed my multimedia resume adds something above and beyond what my “normal” resume offers. If you multimedia resume has links to references, projects, a video, or other content then yes add it! However, if it is just a rehashing of your resume then don’t. You don’t want the hiring committee to feel like you are wasting their time! However, I have also applied to jobs using a company’s own job application website. Some of these sites force you to create a resume using their own forms. Others (like USAJOBS) allow you to upload your resume. In both these instances, multimedia resumes seem to be at a disadvantage. However, you can always find a way to add in the URL to a multimedia resume either in your cover letter or resume.

As for me, I am very intrigued by the idea. I’m not totally won over since my LinkedIn profile seems to do as much as most of these services, but I’m going to keep it in mind.  Has anyone else created a multimedia resume? Has anyone sent in a multimedia resume as part of a job application and how was it received by the hiring manager/committee?

My Multimedia Resumes

Purzue Resume

Visualize.me Resume

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Filed under Library School, Professional musings, Social Media

Pinterest: Not just for weddings

Pinterest Picture

My Pinterest Story

For the past year or so I have avoided Pinterest. Why? Well the responsible part of my brain will say that I’m a graduate student and I really just don’t have the extra time to pick up yet another social media platform. I do not need another distraction while sitting at my computer trying to do work. The carefree side of my mind was convinced it was a website that people used to endless pass around crafts, wedding ideas, and pretty pictures with little rhyme or reason. Therefore Pinterest was just something I was not interested in.

However, my impression of Pinterest began to change as I saw how others (friends and family) chose to use it. I was beginning to see the practicality of Pinterest. I especially was drawn to the numerous recipe boards. I’d see a Pinterest update on Facebook for a recipe and I’d find myself clicking on it, but unlike other Pinterest users I had no where to put this interesting recipe I wanted to try. A tab in my internet browser would languish for days or weeks until I got around to making the dish. I slowly began to consider the upside to having a place to stash all of my beloved internet recipes.

It was not until a just over a week ago that I finally decided to take the plunge into Pinterest world. I was pushed over the edge by an article I read in Wired Magazine. In Clive Thompson’s article “In Defense of Pinterest”, he states that “Pinterest’s appeal is that it gives us curiously powerful visual way to communicate, think, and remember.” I was also brought in by the ideas of “categorical thinking” (I am in Library School after all) and “visual memory locker”. The latter idea put forth the notion of creating boards showing off one’s digital bookshelf. That way the reader has a way to visually connect with their digital books just like when one stands infront of their physical bookshelves. Thompson also backs up Bianca Bosker who argues that “Facebook and Twitter are inwardly focused (“Look at me!”) while Pinterest is outwardly focused (Look at this!).” I loved that idea. I needed some outward focus after worrying over Twitter and this blog.

My Pin Boards: Recipes, Kindle Bookshelf, Cosplay Ideas, Inforgraphics, Library Porn (pretty pics of libraries), and Christmas List

How I use Pinterest

Now what exactly did I do with Pinterest once I signed up? I know that the purpose of Pinterest and its benefits to the user is what is stopping many of us from joining. So I am sharing my boards with you. Like I mentioned above, my first order of business was bringing together all of my recipes from all over the Internet and putting them in one place. Before I had an ungainly Google Spreadsheet that I shared with my husband. It was a quick, dirty way of keeping all my favorite recipes in one place, but it was lacking the visual appeal of most cookbooks. My new pin board, however, is nothing if not visually appetizing. Also I get quick links to all my recipes and since Pinterest is totally public my husband can easily look at the board as well.

I have also taken Clive Thompson’s suggestion and created a Kindle Bookshelf. I enjoyed the exercise. I am not sold on the long lasting benefit of the board, but it is probably good for my memory to link books to their covers. I have also added some more personal boards (Cosplay Ideas & Christmas List) that are like the Recipes board functioning as link or idea buckets. I can gather up ideas from all over the Internet and post them in one central easily accessible location.

The Values of Pinterest

I believe this is the reason why Pinterest has grown so fast and so easily. It allows us to tap into the visual portion of our mind in an Internet that is inherently textual. Instead of my textual list of food blog links, I now have beautiful food pictures (which is half the appeal of food blogs). Also Pinterest allows us to categorize our visual links any which way we want. I have seen people split their recipes into “carbful” and “carbless”. I have seen nibbles, sandwiches, desserts, favorites, to-do, done and the list goes on. I even wander unto a Pinterest page where the user had divided art by dominate color. Then we have the practicality of Pinterest. It gives us a place to bring together all of the neat, useful, wonderful things we have seen across the Internet on different websites, blogs, social media, etc and put it in one place that allows us to “refind” it later. As an information professional I find Pinterest a wonderland of information behavior. People self- categorizing and showing us what is important enough to bring together from all over the Internet so it can be found again.

I greatly encourage library students to check out Pinterest. If you are visual person and you need a place to dump all of those awesome book display ideas for your Youth Services internship, man have I got a wonderful place for you.

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Filed under Library School, Social Media