To Curate and Associate

Social Media and Digital Publications Surfed


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How to Create Curation

Curation is another way to get your image to a mass majority over the internet. Optimizing your potential success starts with curating your blog, PLN, or other. By choosing your niche, picking your prefered platform, and being consistent, you can create curation.

Niche:

Your niche is defined by your interests, what you can talk about for hours, your personality, but most importantly, what is sellable. There are probably a lot of mommy blogs, food blogs, beauty blogs, sports blogs, etc. So what makes yours stand out from the rest? You need to define your interest, then refine your niche. Taking my own business for example, I found a need for sex education for all sexual orientations, and I filled it with a multifunctional platform that includes sex toys. The point is, your niche is going to set you a part from the rest of the content on the internet, and there is a lot! An interesting way to come up with a niche could be by putting two opposing forces together. Like peanut butter and marshmallow. Here are some other creative choices to choose from:

  • Cruelty free leather chair making
  • One handed cooking
  • Public speaking for mutes

You get the idea. By putting two seemingly opposite traits together, like honest and politician, you can form your very own niche that stands out from the rest. This is fundamental to curating a blog. No one wants to read 20 different blogs all on the same subject. You need to become 3 dimensional in a 2 dimensional platform.

Platform:

Choosing your platform is the same as choosing your PLN platform. Where are you going to publish your content? Is your platform user-friendly and accessible? How can your audience find you? These questions should be guidelines into how you will ultimately chose the platform that works best for your content curation. WordPress was used here for its user friendly functions that seem more complicated than they actually are. There are plenty of tools on this very blog to look through for curation tools. Seriously, we have many weeks worth of curation tools to browse through. Choose wisely.

Consistency:

Once you have your niche in place, your platform secured, it’s time to adhere to a schedule that is consistent. Updating your project regularly with similar tone and formatting is key to obtaining an audience. You don’t want to talk about one subject for several posts, then switch to something in the opposite direction. Being on track and consistent is an important aspect to not overlook. People are less likely to come back to your blog/website/etc if it’s not consistent.

Curating your project is a relatively simple idea with a big outcome. Going down the correct path from the beginning is a lot easier than starting in the middle of a project. This site :http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-create-a-successful-curated-blog/ is a great example of expanding on the same premise here.

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How to Create your very own PLN

There are many different steps and areas to cover when creating your very own Personal Learning Network. Since it is personal, it varies from individual to individual. The tools I use and add to my own PLN are different from my classmates on this very blog. Yet, there are a few steps to take into account when setting up your own PLN. The video below is a great introduction to what we will be talking about here.

Your PLN is essentially a strategic plan to asks questions like:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where are we going?
  • How will we get there?

These simple questions will direct you in the path you need to go on to discover different outlets for your PLN. Your PLN functions need to address 3 simple attributes to the questions. Connect – Collaborate– and Contribute. Your PLN needs to fit into these 3 categories to fully optimize your PLN connections.

Connect:

If you haven’t already done so, connect with all social media sites you feel comfortable with. Facebook, YouTube, Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, Reddit, etc. This will instantly put your internet footprint on the map. You are now digital. This is a vital aspect to starting your PLN. This WordPress blog on PLN’s shows a great example of how to get started and connect through the internet. The quote, “Engage with participants through introductions by commenting on fellow participant introductions, two or three is ideal”, is a perfect example of how connecting Segway into collaborating. You don’t want to just be a fly on the wall, you want to be a participant.

Taking a page from my own PLN, connecting is just the first step into broadcasting your network. If you have a business, make sure to create a facebook page. Don’t worry about getting likes and attention right away. Build your page slowly and methodically. Your audience wants to know you for you, and not read jargon just for content. Take a look at my facebook page for my business Bisous Box. My site hasn’t launched yet, but I have 6 people already “liking” a page that isn’t fully developed.

facebook business page

facebook business page

This is the first step in connecting with a audience, and creating a worthwhile PLN. Once you’ve found the tools you need to connect, and you’ve signed up and started your pages, it’s time to collaborate. One last word on connecting, if you don’t know where to find the tools you need to connect, well look no further then this blog! We have tons of recommendations on the best sites to utilize for both PLN’s AND curation! A lot of it is also personal preference. You’ll hear about certain sites, check them out, and decide if it’s for you or not. Always look for sites that are well integrated into other sites so it’s easy to add to your bookmarking toolbar (like Diigo), or other forms of connection.

Collaborate:

Collaborating is another word for participating. Like I said before, you don’t want to be just a fly on the wall. It’s important to get involved with online communities and leave your opinions on pages, likes, comments, reblogging, etc. All these actions will link back to your own pages, and ultimately YOU. This site has 20 great tips that expand on this idea. My friend point from this site is:

“Consider your role. The article “Individual Learning” sheds some light on learning roles. Consider your learning style when designing a specific approach to your PLN:

  • Activist-Learning by doing, such as writing a blog.
  • Reflector- Learn by reviewing situations, such as posting opinions to articles.
  • Theorist-Prefer to learn by researching information and data, such as by creating a model.
  • Pragmatist-Apply learning to real situations, such as by creating a project that uses PLNs in the classroom.”

This is a perfect example of collaboration to build a PLN. You need to consider your role for your own network. You can’t be all things, it’s not interesting to read about someone who is a “jack of all trades, master of none” type. It’s more interesting to hear from someone who has the credentials and skills for one topic, it makes the reading more insightful and legitimate. So chose your role carefully. Don’t change your tone, or stances once you’ve started to great content and collaborate within your PLN. My personal role is Activist.

Here’s an image from my facebook business site that links to what my webpage is talking about. bisous boxThe sneak peek for the website shows three different components on the home page. The first being “Grab some Goodies” which is the shopping section. The second is “Talk to the Wiener” which is the text blog where Sex education is implemented into the site, and the third, “Kiss and Tell” is a video interview section where sex education interviews with adult industry professionals, educators, sexologist’s, and more share their stories and information. I’ve decided my role as Activist, and my tone and personality doesn’t change from each post. This is important to maintain a page that is reliable in its content.

Contribute:

Contributing to posts, your own and others, is the final step we will talk about here. It’s important to become and be a voice through the internet by adhering to the above information. By connecting, collaborating, and finally contributing, your PLN will be on its way to becoming as useful as it’s meant to be. You can contribute to posts on subject matters like your own, but don’t spam! The best way to contribute is by creating your own content (whether personal or business) and bringing people to your information.

There are also many different ways to contribute, it doesn’t all have to be over the internet. Contribute with friends, colleagues, and strangers. Carrying around business or personal cards that links back to your PLN sites, is a awesome way to bring your audience straight to you. When people know you in person, they’re more likely to follow and like your posts. Take for example my own business cards. They are simple and straight to the point, and also have a QR Code for people who have the “Scan” app on their phones.

bizcards

This is a fantastic way to contribute to your own PLN outside of the internet, and it’s very effective. Give your cards to anyone and everyone, you’d be surprised as to how many people follow through with checking out what you have to say, when you give a direct link, and make it as easy as possible. I got my cards from MOO.com, which is a fantastic card and etc company. A little on the pricey side, but totally worth it.

Contributing inside the internet is easy too. We’ve talked about posts and linking back to your site. This is extremely important for people who normally wouldn’t know you exist, to find you. Create a name that embodies who you are, or what your is business is all about, and use that name for EVERYTHING.

There are so many ways to contribute to your own PLN and create your internet footprint, it’s really up to you, and what makes you feel comfortable. Since it’s YOUR Personal Learning Network, there is no right or wrong way, just your way.

This post is an introduction to create your own PLN, and the right links and tools to look for. Please click the highlighted and underlined links to take you to personally recommended sites. Lastly, when creating your own PLN, remember to always link back to your site when leaving your collaboration and contributions on other sites, like I did here. Stay connected.


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Listly as a Curation Tool

images-1Listly is a “Social Curation Mojo” that curates the best social media right to your site. Everything you need to keep up with the times, but not be so serious, is on List.ly. You can easily set up a free account, create content, upload, set up polls, and votes, and even embed into your own site. The idea is to constantly be aware of the social aspects of the internet.

Summary-

List.ly is a great site to understand all the media and social hoopla that can be a great and low key topic of conversation. Being able to join in and become a active user adds to the whole curation experience. List.ly also has it’s own wordpress plugin, so it can easily be installed onto any website. The level of user friendliness is a great way to implement list.ly onto any website. The premise is to create lists, of whatever you want to share. Here’s a create list of Top Business and Enntreprenuerial podcasts to show the different ways lit.ly can be utilized.

Criteria-

List.ly is definitely easy to use and navigate, and people are obviously using this site. It’s a great and easy way to build different lists of whatever your interests and “print” them onto a social media network. They use a Terms and Conditions page to bring awareness to licensing issues and agreements. They simply state:

“We claim no intellectual property rights over the material you provide to the Service. However, you agree: (i) that by providing such material to the Service you grant Boomy Labs a perpetual, royalty-free license to use and display such material on the Service in accordance with these Terms of Service; (ii) to allow others to view your content upon signing up for the Service”

As a way to let users know what they are allowed and not allowed to publish. This criteria is important for the owners of the site from a legal perspective as they are curating up to the minute posts on social media.

Evaluation:

I really enjoyed learning more about List.ly as a great way to keep up to date with social media and other important topics. However, I am not a big fan of all social media, and when I was searching through there was a lot of celebrity related content. I’m not interested in curating lists about celebrities, and it took me awhile to find the business lists. This being said, if you know where and how (it is pretty easy, a search link is in the upper right hand corner) to look, you can easily skim through topics that suite your interests.

It’s a interesting concept that I completely get the idea of, but I feel I’ve seen this all over the place. Pinterest being one. Creating lists, boards, albums, etc are essentially the same idea with different packaging. (I’m still obsessed with pinterest.)

Recommendation:

I recommend List.ly if you’re someone who has expansive interests and like to group things into categories. Also, I noticed the clientele is pretty young. I would consider using list.ly as another business tool and outlet, and am already considering signing up. Although, do I really need another website to remember my username and password? Take a quick look for yourself and see if List.ly is for you!


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Digital Inventory

images1. Hi, my name is Lindsey and I’m an avid internet user (que: Hi Lindsey). I’m a UNLV senior who is taking 6 classes, started a new business, and since that wasn’t enough, hosting a sex education/pro health festival on campus. Needless to say, I utilize electronic media in not only my academic life, but my personal and business life as well. The internet has become a resource for me to obtain information, but to also leave an imprint on the internet. By getting information out there, I am able to attract attention to my business and furthermore myself. This comes in all types of forms like twitter, facebook, wordpress, pinterest, tumblr, youtube, etc. My electronic media usage isn’t just another aspect to my daily routine, but it’s apart of me, and my business.

2. My typical two-way electronic media use consists mainly of my cell phone and email to communicate on a daily basis. Sometimes I add facebook in the mix, and sometimes skype depending on the day. For the most part it’s just cell phone and email. I typically use these to communicate for work with business people. It’s great to have my email on my phone so I’m available at the touch of a button if there’s a problem, and in business, there’s always a problem. I remember using email along time, when I got my first account, as nothing more than a profile to take online quizzes and chat with friends in the message section. AOL anyone? Sadly, I think I still remember several of my screen names and their passwords. Now I utilize my accounts way more efficiently.

3. My social media posts, specifically on pinterest reveal my interest and construct my online identity by what I chose to post and “like”. I created this account less than a year ago and I have over 10 boards of varies likes, and a surplus of likes and comments on my friends boards. These pins allow me to create a digital pin board of pretty photos of the things I like. It’s soothing, relaxing, and helps me wind down from a stressful day. Sometimes I like to re-post photos from friends in my feed, or find photos pertaining to my mood and what I want to look at. Honestly, it’s mostly food. I like to look at pictures of yummy food while I eat not so yummy food because I don’t always have time to cook. I go a little crazy on the food photos. I once re-posted over 100 photos in one sitting. I then went and got In-and-Out because I was starving. These boards and posts show who I am by what I chose to express. Some days I chose to post pictures of food, others of cute animals, or etc. It’s just a great way to express your interests without being judged or rejected.

4. I actually had a blog not too long ago that I routinely posted on. Unfortunately I just got too busy and stopped all together. Screen Shot 2013-03-09 at 4.51.05 PMThe premise of my blog was to offer lengthy reviews and personal photos of places in Vegas pertaining to the Strip. So I would go to a pool, take photos, enjoy the experience, and then write about the pros and cons. I also offered ways to get into the more “Exclusive” areas that you typically have to pay for or wait in long lines. It was essentially the “insiders scoop” of Vegas day and nightlife. This blog was no means “popular,” but it was seen by one nightlife event host who in turn invited me to her continuous events at Vanity Nightclub. It was a great representation of how a simple blog can carry over into everyday life. I used blogger for this blog, but I’ve now switched over to wordpress for my new blog that is also attached to my business. As shown by my old blog and new blog, I’m really not afraid of what to post and if I offend anyone. After all, freedom of speech, right?

5. The distinction between social and academic/professional uses of media are very different. With academic/professional it’s important to put your best foot forward. While I might post drunk photos of myself relaxing by a pool on my facebook for my friends to envy, I would never do the same for a academic/professional blog or any reason really. I keep everything very separate from one another. I do however like to leave a digital “trail” of sorts with everything I do, so I happen to actually utilize my facebook for all three subjects. I do keep my facebook very professional, and if I do post a unprofessional photo, I hide it from people in certain categories, like academic and professional. I do keep my emails separate. I have 2 emails for academic, 1 for personal, and 1 for business. I find this is the easiest way to sort through what’s important and reduce missing what is important.

Social media and electronic usage is a vital aspect in today’s culture to effectively communicate and expand ourselves. By staying in touch with people we’ve briefly met on vacation, or took a class with, we are also expanding our networks to reach out to. All of these things and more are an important consideration when creating our own PLN’s and curating our own projects. It’s important now more than ever to branch out and leave a lasting impression on the internet in order to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Please feel free to get in touch with me:

www.facebook.com/lindseyreneewarner

www.bisousbox.com

www.twitter.com/bisousbox

www.facebook.com/bisousbox


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Pinterest as a Curation Tool

pinterest-13-tips-and-tricks-for-cutting-edge-users-dd27b017d9

Summary:

When it comes to Pinterest, I am all ears, or pins rather. Pinterest is a social site that acts like a virtual pinboard where you can create specialized boards pertaining to your interests. Food and fast recipes are a common thread streaming throughout pinterest. The great thing about pinterest is that it can connect to other social media sites where sharing your interests with other becomes easy and efficient. It’s a fun past time that doesn’t create any harm, as long as you’re not too hungry while looking at all the photos. In essence, pinterest is a “Wishing wall” where anyone can pin what they want in life whether it’s a fast sports car, or delicious Lemon Drop.

Criteria:

Pinterest meets the criteria for curation because it creates a social platform where you can view other peoples boards with like interests as well as your own boards being viewed and re-pinned. It can become a highly effective marketing strategy with businesses who create pinning “games” to capture attention and awareness to their brand. This type of curation is simple because it takes the guess work out of curation, and becomes a fun and highly addictive past time that becomes as natural as checking your RSS readers.

Recommendation:

I highly recommend Pinterest because it’s a fast and fun way to become even more integrated into the social world of curation. It’s another aspect of the internet that should be explored for your own benefit. There’s no charge, no drama, and no fuss. Just a bunch of pretty pictures at your disposal at any given time.

If you would like to explore the world of curation further, please check out The Ultimate List of Content Curation Tools and Platforms at http://www.youbrandinc.com/ultimate-lists/ultimate-list-content-curation-tools-platform/ .

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)