My Instagram Photos

26 August 2014

Social Media Simplified

I am yet to meet someone who has got access to the internet and yet doesnt have some form of social networking account.
I have done more than one post on safety and privacy on social media and networking. But today's post is not that. Today's post is a bit of a "Pro's & Con's" list of 7 social networks that I use. What I like about them, what I hate about them, and how I use them.

So without further ado (yes, some people still use that archaic wording!) here goes:

Possibly the most well known social network in the world. Facebook is now 10 years old (est in 2004), and growing daily. Facebook is certainly one of my favourite social networks.
The Things I like about it:
  • It can be kept private
  • Almost everyone has a facebook account and thus anyone you know can be added as a friend
  • Also because of its popularity, it is widely recognised as a good form of advertising, both in paid advertising (those little boxes that pop up on the right of your screen so often) and in “Pages” where businesses can have a social media presence.
  • It can be downloaded as an app or viewed on almost any internet capable device, so you can view it anywhere
  • Its great for sharing photos
The things I hate about it:
  • Its addictive
  • Whenever people first get a facebook account they go way overboard with posting things on it (don’t lie, you’ve done it too)
  • Facebook is constantly changing the user interface, the privacy settings and the pages rules. This often results in one having to relearn the whole system and just a week later doing it over again. Not fun!
  • The mobile apps for facebook are often updated and crashes your whole mobile device
  • People sending game invites
How I use facebook:
  • I use facebook to keep in contact with family and close friends (sorry, if I don’t know you, I don’t add you)
  • Keeping up to date with friends I see too seldom
  • I share photos with family and friends
  • I have 5 “Pages” for various business endeavours, including Horse Beach Rides, Romantic Events, and a page I manage for a friend Longhorn Leathercraft
  • Its easier than email to send private instant messages to friends that don’t have other instant messaging apps.
  • I also use it to “LIKE” pages that I am interested in getting updates from.

The definition of twitter is “a micro-blogging website”. So instead of giving a full length blog post (like what you are reading here), a person will voice their opinion, share a link, or post a photo with a short caption. The limitation being that anything they write must fit into 140 characters or less (that's the same as an old school sms).
The things I like about it:
  • Its a great source of local news and traffic reports, if you are following the right Twitter accounts
  • I like that it says you’re following a person, not that you’re “friends” with a person.
  • Its constantly updating, and its all short and sweet, so you not really missing anything.
  • If you look properly, there are a lot of cool people out there and twitter can be a really good place to make fabulous business connections.
The things I hate about it:
  • Its not so well designed for use on the pc, its really best used on your phone.
  • Its a public forum, so any random person can follow you and you can follow any random person, which is possibly the best and worst thing about twitter.
  • There’s a lot of stalkers and weirdoes on twitter, so you have to be really careful.
How I use Twitter:
  • Like Facebook, I have multiple accounts, one for personal use and one for each of my businesses.
  • For personal use, I use it to voice my way out opinion on certain matters
  • Its great for small updates on business matters
  • I regularly use it before I’m going on a drive to find out the traffic situation (@pigspotkzn for Durban Traffic updates)
  • I follow some accounts just because they share funny photos.

Ah, Instagram, one of the most recent social networks and it is growing in popularity greatly. Especially with the excitement build up of instameets and up and coming great photographers. Its actually quite incredible how many great photographers there are out there.
The things I love about Instagram:
  • The incredible photos that so many talented photographers are sharing. (Check out Pixanator, Macgrogs, PrinceThreeLife, and Taroism)
  • The fact that I can actually imagine I am a good photographer (its debateable) and share my photos.
  • Benefiting from Instameets – where a bunch of Instagrammers get together and tour a place or area of the city and share photos from it.
  • Seeing parts of South Africa, and even of Durban that I never knew existed, or the parts that I did know about through the eyes of someone else.
What I hate about Instagram:
  • Too many people share far too many selfies. Its ok to share one every few months, but a selfie a day, will scare everyone away!
  • Unfortunately here in South Africa the cost of internet is fairly high, so sharing and viewing pictures online tends to empty my data bundle quite quickly.
  • Its really a social network designed for mobile use, so although you can view photos on instagram from your pc, you cant really do much else with it.
How I use Instagram:
  • I love being able to edit some of my best photos and share them with the whole wide world.
  • The instameet I attended was great fun, and I got an amazing tour of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which I would not have done if I didn’t have instagram.
  • I have met some incredible photographers and very useful business connections through the use of Instagram.
  • I have managed to get into contact with cousins of mine that I had not chatted to or had any contact with for years!

Whatsapp is a social media come instant messaging site. Its a very popular IM application on smart phones here in South Africa, and across the globe.
What I love about Whatsapp:
  • Its instant
  • It is private, so I can send messages, audio, photos and even videos to anyone and only they will see it
  • It is on the web, so just like any other social media it can be sent across the world at much less than the cost of an sms or email
  • You can have a group chat with people you select
What I hate about Whatsapp:
  • Many people are ok with doing business across whatsapp, but I still feel uncomfortable doing that.
  • Many of the older generation blackberries do not get whatsapp and thus those who have blackberries are almost un-contactable.
  • If you don’t have internet on your phone (perhaps you’re out of data, because you were too busy enjoying instagram) people freak out that you are ignoring them or have blocked them.
How I use it:
  • I use it to contact family and friends from all over the world. In fact as I type, I have just received a photo from a friend in London who attended the International Convention Of Jehovah’s Witnesses this past weekend.
  • I enjoy having a whatsapp group chat with my cousins and aunts and uncles from across the world.
  • I do minimal work on it, which I guess is useful, but I’m not a fan of doing that.

Google Plus has been called the Gym Membership of Social Media, everyone has an account but almost no one uses it. Which is true. Google didn’t succeed in buying out facebook, so they decided to make their own version, anyone who already had a google account (90% of people online) automatically got a google plus account. Problem being that Goole just hasn’t yet made it user friendly enough.
What I love about it:
  • I don’t really have to set up a whole new account, I just log in through my gmail account
  • Its got all my email contacts already loaded as contacts on my g+ account so I don’t have to search to find my people.
  • I like the home page that it comes up with
  • I like that you have an option to edit your posts after publishing them (I often make typos)
  • I like that its easy to make “Circles” of people and share only with them
What I hate about it:
  • Its arbitrary and out of the way to get to
  • Very few people actually regularly use it, because of the point above
  • Google still hasn’t made it all that user friendly
  • It takes time to learn, time I don’t really have
How I use it:
  • I Dont use it often, but I do like it. There are friends who have Google Plus but don’t have facebook, and I like to know whats happening with them.
  • I definitely use it for our business account (you can join us on as you can never advertise too much.
  • Its nice for sharing photos.
Now if ever there was a social media site that is absolutely useless in my opinion, that's LinkedIn! Its supposed to be a place where business people can meet like minded business people and make useful business connections. I'm not sure if its because of my form of work, or if its the design of the site itself, but I just don't like it.
What I do like about LinkedIn:
  • If you are in search of a job, you can possibly find one here
  • You can put your whole resume onto this site and it will suggest job vacancies
  • Its nice to have a social networking site that actually tells you who has looked at your profile
What I hate about LinkedIn
  • All the connections you have on LinkedIn are pretty much stagnant. Its not like other social media sites that people regularly share photos and status updates on, its just “there”
  • I cant really find many people I actually know on it
  • The people who would be useful connections that I don’t yet know, I cant really add them as connections or even get in touch with them unless I pay LinkedIn.
How I use LinkedIn:
  • Simply put, I don’t use it.
  • I do have an account on LinkedIn, but I only access it about once every 6 months nowadays to see if anyone has tried to connect with me. I used to check it daily, and then weekly, but its just too stagnant for my liking.

The idea behind Pinterest is a pinboard, where you can "pin up" photos and recipes and ideas that you like and want to try, or things that you have done and want to share with others.
What I like about Pinterest:
  • There are so many cool ideas and things I want to try on it. 
  • It can give links to almost any website and has literally got thousands of categories.
  • Many of my friends have it, so its a great way to see what hobbies they’re into and things they like.
What I don’t like about Pinterest:
  • Its not that easy to upload new content to pinterest
  • Its so enjoyable to look at all the different ideas on it that you get lost in one storyboard after another and can spend far too much time on it.
  • Much like Instagram, it takes a ton of data
  • Many of the ideas link to outside websites, some of them are a bit dodgy.
How I use it:
  • I find much information on many of my craft projects through pinterest
  • I occasionally share my own photos and ideas on it. You can find me on Amelia Byrne
  • I use it to save ideas and projects that I currently don’t have time to try, but want to try sometime in the future.
  • I keep up with what hobbies and trends my family and friends are going with.

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