Leone Kraus

Back to the Classroom: How I Stay Organized via Social Media

Filed By Leone Kraus | September 09, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Kraus Notes, Social Media, Social Media Tips and Tricks

In case you've never checked out my bio before, not only do I write social media posts for Bilerico and my own personal blog, but I also attend graduate school in the evening for my Master's in Public Relations and Corporate Communication at New York University. This week, I headed back to the classroom with my social media accounts in tow. I wanted to take this time to introduce you to the social media platforms I use along with some of my tips and tricks.

What is Social Media Anyway?

Screen shot 2010-09-09 at 7.27.07 AM.pngSocial media is hard to define since it is a new and constantly evolving medium. Although there are multiple definitions, when asked what social media is I usually refer to Wikipedia.org, which states:

Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques

Personally, I consider social media to be any media that is fueled by user-generated content and that allows for a two-way dialogue to occur. Social media scholars are probably cringing at my elementary definition but I prefer simplicity.

Social media platforms extend beyond Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. Social media also encompasses mobile applications like iPad and Android, podcasts like Same Sex Sunday, bookmarking tools like Delicious, presentation sharing like Slide Share, and photo-sharing sites like Flickr; the list goes on. I encourage you to check out Wikipedia.org's definition and examples of platforms to get a better idea of what exactly social media entails.

Social Media Platforms I Use

I've been asked a few times by readers what social media platforms I use besides my blog to stay connected. I mostly use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Each platform serves a specific purpose for my needs.

Facebook

I have both a personal account and a Fan Page on Facebook. I use my personal account to connect with my friends and family. I really try to keep it personal, but sometimes people find me and want to be friends. I'm a sucker for people who write to tell me they like my blog when they Friend Request me on Facebook.

I try to share content on my personal page that would appeal to my friends, including articles I've read, photos from trips and events, or fundraisers I'm involved with. I update my status almost daily to stay connected with people in my News Feed.

Sometimes, I attempt to be funny by writing statuses like:

Currently monitoring my caffeine consumption. I don't know what's worse: four caffeinated beverages a day or my new found addiction to trail mix and Gatorade

Even with this captivating humor and personal insight into my life, I find that these updates encourage little in way of "Likes" and comments by my peers. My most popular statuses are when I post an equality "milestone" for the LGBT community, like the recent excitement around the "defeat" of Prop 8 or when New York state's gay marriage bill was up for a vote last year.

I also have a Kraus Notes Fan Page for my blog. I use the fan page to provide fans a place to connect with me and to personally keep up with how to effectively manage a Fan Page. I work with a few artists and non-profits on their social media strategies and I find that by maintaining my own, I'm able to stay abreast of evolvements to the Facebook Fan Page platform. In addition, I use the Fan Page as a way for readers of my blog to connect with the LGBT organizations, artists or groups that I write about. Essentially, the Facebook Fan Page is my cost effective way to enhance my KrausNotes.com brand.

Twitter

Twitter is one of my favorite platforms. As a social media guru, I should be using my account to send out tips and tricks of social media, but instead I use the platform to connect with a number of LGBT organizations and LGBT media outlets. There are so many are out there, both small and large, and Twitter allows me to engage with them. In fact, I originally connected with The Bilerico Project through Twitter. I tweeted to Bil that I had a piece that I wanted to submit to Bilerico as guest blogger and he responded through Twitter with what I needed to do. A few months later, I'm now a contributor for the site.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the platform that I use to connect with people professionally. I use LinkedIn to connect with LGBT professional organizations and groups. I think it's important that people maintain a professional account for job networking. It also requires little to no maintenance. I just uploaded my resume, filled out my profile, and now I check in occasionally to see who's been viewing my profile. I have emails sent to me when someone sends me a message or has requested to join my LinkedIn community.

On a side note, there's a new professional network available called dot429, which I'll cover in a future post.

Keeping it All Together

There are a number of ways that you can keep yourself organized via social media. Some prefer to keep them all separate and some, like me, prefer to keep it all together. I use the TweetDeck application on both my laptop and mobile phone to keep me organized. Through TweetDeck I'm able to stream in my Twitter and Facebook activity into one place. The application allows me to view both incoming and outgoing Tweets, follow popular Twitter hashtags, and monitor my full Facebook News Feed. In addition, with just a few clicks and some typing, I can send out simultaneous status updates on both my Facebook and Twitter accounts. TweetDeck has provided me with a convenient tool to manage it all.

So tell me, what social media platforms do you use and how do you stay organized?


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Leone--let's chat, are you going to Creating Change in February? I wanted to do a workshop that I think you'd get a kick out of!

Would love for you to email me about it my new found Facebook buddy and Fan :)

I really can't keep up with a lot of these. For some reason I just can't keep interested for any time longer than a few days. I know I should at least be on one platform, so is there something for that?

Aren't you on Facebook?! That's a good start. I think eventually all of these sites will be consumed by Facebook. They did just recently launch Facebook Location check-in functionality. Foursquare and Gowalla may soon become a thing of the past, which in social media time means in just a few months.

John Rutledge | September 10, 2010 9:04 AM

Facebook and Linked-in. I would like to learn how to establish a blog site. I enjoy writing and comment on Bilerico often. My partner and I both came out later in life, in our late 40's and 50's. We both suffered under religious misinterpretations and prejudices, self-inflicted and otherwise. I would like to provide support and knowledge to help others. It has taken us quite a while to simply learn to be ourselves, and to be able to relate to others in the LGBTQ community after being straight and boxed in for 40 to 50 years.

You could always send Bil and the edteam@bilerico.com guest posts you'd like to put up here!

Phil has a stellar idea too. Bilerico is a great place to post as well!

Thanks for taking the time to comment John. Blogging is fun and time consuming but if you pick a topic you love, it’s not so hard.
My blog, krausnotes.com, originated as a classroom assignment. Because it was something new and never done before (social media usage by the LGBT community) it kind of took off. I think in many ways I lucked out.

As for your blog, it’s so easy to start one. It’s conditioning yourself to continue writing that is the hardest part. Personally, I write a post once a week. There’s no need for me to write something daily. By posting once a week, I’m able to put some serious thought into my posts and to research. Just something to consider as you’re going through this process.

As for blogging, I write on the Wordpress.com platform. It’s a free and an easy to use platform. All you really need to do is create an account, type your post, upload your photos, video etc, publish and voila; you’re good to go. I’ll be moving over to Wordpress.org soon because I want to have more control over the layout and perhaps (gulp) run some ads. I’ve never used Google Blogger but I hear that’s an easy platform as well.

I’ll add your comment to my list of upcoming blog topics. I’d be happy to share in more detail how I started my blog, how I got the word out and what I do to grow my audience.

As someone who's been on, well, all of them, I can tell you each has its pros and cons!

Except for Typepad, which really is just cons.

Wordpress would be my favorite INTERFACE, but they do offer lots of choices and options which can be overwhelming for folks.

Blogger is much more simple, but also, much less customizable.

Movable Type is what Bilerico is, and its a lot like Wordpress in some ways, except for the coding--but unless you're building a Wordpress or a Movable Type into your own website, that really doesn't matter much.

Some folks really love Tumblr and tumble blogs, and frankly, I think they're genius. They're easy to turn into a habit because you can call in your voice posts, you can text posts, email, post on the page, you can post photo, video, audio or text and Tumblr sorts it all out for you. You can set it up to allow others to post to your tumble blog as well. The problem is that there are no comments or sharing, unless you want to pop open the hood and get into the CSS of the page, which can be a nightmare. I never COULD get comments to work.

There are some blogging platforms in a nutshell.

However, if you want to see if you really LIKE blogging, you can always guest post on other folks' blogs. They usually welcome the content, and it'll be good practice for you. Lots of folks started out at Bilerico only to build their own successful blogs later: Karen Ocamb, David Badash, and lots of folks got their starts here!

Some of us also were blogging on our own and then got pulled into the Bilerico fold, but still maintain our blogs elsewhere--like Leone and I!