Tag 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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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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Taking Access to the User Online

Yesterday morning I participated in the Library 2.012 Virtual, Worldwide Conference. It was my first conference presentation experience, and even though it was totally virtual and I did not have to stare into the eyes of my attendees I still got those nerves right before I started. However, everything went smoothly and I got some very nice questions at the end of my presentation so I gauge it a success!

I would highly suggest this conference for any student wanting to have presentation experience. There is NO COST attached to the presentation (well besides your time & effort). I gave my presentation from my home computer with my cat sitting next to me as moral support. Also the presentation software is very easy to use especially if you are an online student use to online collaboration.

I have decided to share my slides with you all here as well. I’ll add some annotations to explain some of the pictures. If you would like to listen/watch the actual session it was recorded and can be found on the Library 2.012 website.

In case some of you haven’t seen a picture of me before!

A South Asian American is another with a heritage of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka.

An entity on SAADA was a contributor, author, or subject. I created entries for a few South Asian women who came to America for medical degrees in the early 20th century.

It is hard to see, but the “code” looks like this:
* [www.saadigitalarchive.org The South Asian American Digital Archive]
The phrase after the url is what is displayed as a hyperlink on the Wikipedia page.

After my first day working on these Wikipedia links, we had a user come in from one page I edited and he looked at 4 pages on the website and stayed for 14 minutes! Almost instant results on my work.

If you like the Gandhi/Tolstoy connection, please check out the archive! Indian revolutionaries interacted with other revolutionaries around the globe including the Irish!

The graph is the nifty metrics one gets as a Facebook admin for a page. The high point on the graph is for the week of 9/17-9/23 when SAADA reached 4,916 people. That week 5 posts were published. Of which one was a picture, two were educational posts and two were updates about the archive.

Our Achilles heel of user engagement. The effort of interacting with users on Twitter is almost nonexistent and our numbers reflect our lack of effort

You get what you put into social networks is the lesson here.

During the Q& A I also suggested looking into Flickr and Pinterest (which is the subject of an upcoming post). Both of these platforms could be a big boost. Pinterest is a very interesting service to look into. Archives, libraries, and museum that have interesting visual collections could be a big hit on the site. There is even a history category that these materials fall into and that can be easily browsed allowing browsing users to discover your materials. However, there are myriad copyright issues when considering this route so I’d closely read the terms of agreement before adding material or even putting much thought & energy into it.

I hope more library students take advantage of this conference in the future! Please if you have any questions about my presentation or about presenting at Library 2.012 in general leave a comment.

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The Beginning of Year 2

I know that my East Coast Library School brethren have been at the books for almost a month now and I am finally joining them. Today has been a hectic day of hurriedly reading new class websites, downloading pdfs to read, and watching introductory lectures. UW has moved to a new online educational platform, Canvas, which I have only used once previously in tandem with our previous Catalyst tools. Let’s just say that the new shift has me feeling like a first year student all over again as I scramble to relearn the platform. I think scrambling is a great way to describe how I always feel on the first day of class. Scrambling to understand what classes want of me and scrambling to finish the first set of readings and assignments. The first week of the quarter is always a scramble.

The new school year will also bring about some changes to this blog. I am enrolled in a Social Media special topics class which means I will be revamping some parts of this blog (About page I’m looking at you) as well as writing social media geared posts. I am hoping this class will take me from being a dabbling library student to a fine tuned social media machine. My first action on this road was finally claiming this blog on Technorati.

Also I want to extend a hearty welcome to my fellow classmates who are reading my blog for the first time! I’m looking forward to an interesting quarter.

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