Archive for ‘Flickr’

August 23, 2012

Want to know some stats about YOUR Instagram account? There’s an app for that.

Since October 2010, Instagram has been one of the fastest-growing social networks in history. By the end of March 2012, it had about 30 million iPhone users, and, since the release of the app on Android, Instagram user numbers have balooned to 80 million.

Like all Android users, I’m new to Instagram but really enjoying the experience. After getting to know the tool a bit, I began to think that it was missing two things. First, a browser-based interface that would allow the user to manage photos, comments, likes, and account settings from a laptop. Instagram users know that almost everything usually has to be done with your smartphone, which isn’t always the easiest task.

The second thing about Instagram that left me wanting more was a lack of stats. Initially, I went searching for the “total views” a photo had received  Knowing this stat would give me an idea of the types of photos my followers are most interested in, and also how successful my sharing tactics are.

After a bit of Googling, I came across Statigr.am – a brower-based app that gives you dozens of stats about your Instagram usage, essentially filling in both of the gaps that were bothering me about Instagram. Statigram helps you keep track of:

  • Reading, posting, and responding to comments
  • Liking photos
  • Following and un-following other users
  • The number of photos, likes, comments, and followers you have
  • A month-by-month analysis
  • Your tag usage – i.e. the most popular tags associated with your account
  • The most popular filters you use
  • Your most liked and most commented on images
  • Best time to post
  • Photo lifespan
  • Follower growth
  • And so on…

They even have extra functionality that includes: the ability to create a Facebook Cover image out of your instagram photos, Instagram follow buttons for your website / blog,  an RSS feed,  a public URL, and a toolkit for brands to help them setup and monitor photo contests.

And it turns out that I’m not the only one looking for the functionality and statistics Statigr.am offers: just last week they announced that they have reached the 1 Million user mark and are still growing.

Let me know: Do you care to learn more about your Instagram stats?

February 1, 2012

Women share less information about themselves online [Infographic]

In a recent survey by uSamp, it was found that women are more guarded about the information they share online when compared to the habits of men. What I found the most interesting about this study is that men were MUCH more likely to share personal information such as telephone number, mailing address, email address, physical location, education, and even salary.

For me, this infographic raises more questions than provides answers. I want to know:

  • Are men disregarding risk involved in sharing personal information? Or are they less aware of it?
  • Are women more concerned about privacy? Could this be a personal safety issue?
  • Why are women more likely to share their real name, but less likely to share contact information?
  • Why are both men and women still using Myspace?

What do you think? Does your sharing behaviour mirror what this infographic suggests about your gender?

February 2, 2011

92% of employers say they will “creep” potential employees’ profiles: Like, manage your reputation already, OMG! :P

I was recently interviewed about social media by @alecmiske, a reporter from the Algonquin Times (Algonquin College’s student newspaper). The conversation was mainly focused on how the College uses social media to connect with its audiences and stakeholders. As the conversation progressed, I began chatting about the need for all of us (including students) to actively manage our online reputations: a notion that is pretty simple, very important, and often neglected.

After speaking with @alecmiske for almost an hour, we both thought that a blog post re: reputation management may be of  interest/value, so here it goes…

What is reputation management? I introduce reputation management in the opening hours of the social media course I teach at the college. Here’s the video (Common Craft) I use to provide a quick explanation:

Why should you care?: Two reasons. One – Organizations are desperate for employees who can use social media not only in their personal lives, but also to help deliver on business goals. Regardless of what industry you are getting into (with a few exceptions), experience in the business side of social media will be one of your strongest assets. Two – In a 2010 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, 92% of companies who were actively hiring in the next year said that they had used, or planned to use, social media in their employee search.  This is a huge number. You can almost guarantee that what you put online will eventually be put “on file” when you are applying for a job. Here lies your great opportunity to present a professional social media presence to help you stand out above the other applicants.

Kevin Colvin

Facebook photo of Kevin Colvin at a Halloween party after telling his employer he had a family emergency

The bad: Employers have cited several different reasons why they didn’t hire an employee based on their social media profile(s), including inappropriate photos and language, references to using drugs and alcohol, and even using poor grammar – including emoticons :( .  You can find some great examples of “social media gone wrong” if you Google Cisco FattyFavreau Hillary, or Kevin Colvin (pictured right).

The good: Other employers say they have hired employees because they feel that, through social media, the candidate’s profile demonstrated the right personality and fit, supported their professional qualifications, showed creativity and solid communications skills, etc.

In short, your social media presence can make you extremely attractive, or unattractive.

Do you  think you are addicted to the outrageous side of social media? What can you do to make your presence employer-safe? Here’s a 12-step program to help “keep it clean.”

1. Never post anything that you would feel uncomfortable discussing in the lunchroom at work. I often go further and say if you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with your grandmother, spouse, and boss what you have posted online, then you should probably re-think the post.

2. Don’t post confidential information online, regardless of your privacy settings. Privacy settings change often and are misunderstood. Treat all of your accounts as if they were completely public and you shouldn’t run into any of these problems down the road. The old “I thought I had my privacy settings turned on” doesn’t hold up in a job interview.

3.  Sanitize. If you have explicit photos of you online, have posted inappropriate content, or are friends with the “wrong crowd,” it’s never too late to start to make it better.  Start by removing the offending photos and posts, then let your “friends” know your new approach to social media.

4. Promote the good. Now start posting photos and messages that you DO want the whole world to see. This could be tasteful photos, insightful comments about your industry, reports on local events, or even comments on what you are working on for school or work.

5. Don’t brag about, or admit to, anything even close to a crime. It’s very easy to jump to conclusions online, so even if you are innocent, don’t do it.

6. Remove postings by others that may get you in trouble. It’s not only the information that you post that could damage your reputation. Watch what people post on your profile and remove or edit as necessary.

7. Be considerate when you are posting things. Don’t set out to try and embarrass your friends. It may be funny now, but it may hurt them (and you) when it comes to career opportunities.

8. Monitor your information. Google your name often, look for new photos, see what people are saying about you. If you know what’s out there you can take action if necessary. You don’t know what you don’t know.

9. Don’t use social media during work hours, unless it’s a part of your job. Granted, this one is more of a “keep your job” than “get a job” tip, but still equally as relevant.

10. Be careful as you mix your personal and professional contacts online. Be sure to pause and think that you have to see these people every day, you may not want to be online friends.

11. Don’t disclose personal information that you are not comfortable having in the public domain. This can include your cell phone number, address, full birth date, etc.

12. Understand and raise your privacy settings. Even tough your security settings are maxed out, always assume your information and photos can be leaked. Security settings have been known to vanish during platform upgrades (Facebook), so check back often.

Final thoughts: Conversations that were private in the past are now public online, and it is up to you to help shape how people perceive you. It’s easy to get carried away trying to look cool or seeking the acceptance of peers, but it is extremely important to profile the professional you, not just the party you. Remember, if you can demonstrate a consistent professional use of social media when you are looking to advance your career, you will be a step ahead of the rest.

Go ahead, Google yourself, I dare you…

January 1, 2011

5 steps to get started in Social Media

Every week I get asked the question we’ve all asked ourselves when it comes to participating in an ever-growing number of social media networks: “How do you do it?” To many social media enthusiasts, this is often a very personal question, and one we have figured out on our own terms.

After trying to answer the question as it means to me, I’ve figured out that the people who are asking the question really couldn’t care less about how I use social media. What they are asking is how can they get started and use it well.

I’ve boiled down the typical conversation to this list of the first 5 things beginners should do to get started using social media.

1. Set goals: Figure out what you want out of the tool. Do you want to get the latest headlines? Connect with friends? Build your personal brand? Look for career opportunities? Discuss shared interests? Share photos or videos? What you want out of the social media experience will help determine how you approach the next steps.

2. Pick your poison: A common mistake of social media newcomers is they want to play in all of the sandboxes at once: a daunting task for any user. Once you have an idea of what you want to gain from the use of a social media network, then the choice of which one you should join becomes clearer. You don’t need to pick them all; start with one or two and really get to know them. Here’s a great infographic covering the strengths of some of the more popular tools.

3. Sign up and build your profile: Your profile is a great opportunity to share the essence of who you are and what you are contributing to the social media community.  If you fail to add a proper photo, background, biography, real (or believable) name, etc., you are limiting the ability of others to find you through the social media tools themselves or search engines. A full profile establishes a level of credibility and trust which encourages other other users to. For example, here’s my @David_Hall Twitter bio:

Communications & PR Pro – P/T Algonquin College Professor – Social media enthusiast.
Passionate about managing traditional & social media for @algonquincolleg

It doesn’t include everything about me, but it gives a good snapshot of my main personal and professional interests that I will be discussing on Twitter. Never underestimate the importance of a full profile.

4. Sit back and listen: Once “you are in” start poking around and experimenting with the tool; see what it does, see what it doesn’t do, and more importantly, observe how others are using it to share their information or content.You will quickly understand the “culture” of the tool which will help your transition to step 5 much easier. Many social media platforms are fantastic listening tools where you are able to crowd-source in real-time to get a good feel of the conversation taking place at any given moment.

5. Join the conversation by adding value: This is where you will sink or swim in social media – It’s all about content and conversations driven by the users. Be real, be relevant, be useful. Share a resource or expertise, ask a question, answer a question, report on breaking news, promote cool stuff, share your opinion on current events, and be sure before each posting to ask yourself “who cares?” If the honest answer is “nobody,” you may want to reconsider.

Final thoughts: Ultimately, social media is about sharing experiences. Pick a tool that best fits your interests. If you want to keep in contact with people you have met in your offline world, Facebook would be a good start. If you are looking for the latest information, breaking news, connections with thought leaders, and a place to share your experiences in a common conversation, Twitter is your first step. Start with LinkedIn to augment your professional presence online; and look to YouTube, Photobucket, or Flickr to share  and consume user-generated multimedia photos and videos.

Did I miss something social media newcomers should be aware of? Let me know, add your comments.

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