I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty…

Day 10: Dress up your blog with widgets

This is part of the UU Blogging Workshops’s Zero to Hero Series

Today’s assignment: add and customize two widgets.

If you take a glance to the right of the page you’ll find my list of gadgets and badges and little icons of wonder. It actually took me a while to put all of that interactive stuff up. Over time, I’ve integrated my Twitter and Instagram accounts into the blog just in case people feel like seeing what other interweb mischief I get myself into. As far as social media goes, I’m pretty connected, but I still don’t have a Pinterest account and don’t do a lot of the YouTubing so maybe there’s hope for me yet.

But blogging was perhaps the first internet social media craze before we coined “social media.” Maybe some people still remember sites like Livejournal? Yeah, I had an account back in the day. This was the way we made ourselves heard and connected with other people before the facespaces and the mybooks took over. These days, it makes sense that blogs should also connect followers with other parts of the author’s social media presence. It’s called synergy baby!

Plus, social media is a great way to promote your blog to your friends and family. I have my WordPress account set up so when I publish a blog, it goes to Google+ then straight to Twitter which then syncs itself with Facebook. It’s a great benefit of the WP interface! Just make sure you set it up so each social media outlet gets ONE post… there was a brief moment where I accidentally had it set up where my Facebook page would get three posts, spamming my wall. Not very good etiquette.

What is your favorite social media platform? Let me know!

A (Facebook) look back…

Day 6: Publish a Post the Includes a New Element

This is part of the UU Blogging Workshops’s Zero to Hero Series

Today’s Assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.

The biggest rage on the facespace these days is “A Look Back” feature they’ve rolled out. It’s a video that aggregates your likes and photos into an “intelligent” 1 minute music video. I have to say, mine turned out pretty well. However, I will admit that my wife shows up more than I do. lol I suppose that’s love.

One good (or bad) aspect of being part of social media is that I can track all the insane boring happenings of my daily life in detail. Nothing is lost; just hidden in the past and waiting to be rediscovered. When Heather and I finally have kids, their whole lives will most likely be digitally stored for playback whenever they want. Baby pictures, YouTube videos, they will chronicle in 1080p the development of my kids until they create their own social media presence.

When I was younger, my parents would bust out the old photo albums (even better yet! Slide shows!) to teach us about friends and family history. Now I’ll just hand the kids a tablet with an interactive video/slide show/music video. Which is pretty cool. We’ve gone beyond the analog album and made nostalgia a multimedia experience.

But one of the downfalls of EVERYTHING being captured on social media; it’s harder to find the hidden gems of real greatness amid the big pile of crap. In the old family album, only the best of the best photos were included. Film was expensive and developing it was expensive and photoshop didn’t exist… so there was a preciousness to the picture. It was an artifact with history and power. Now the good is mixed all around with the bad and even worse, the irrelevant.

My kids will look back on my timeline years from now and most likely use it as proof of how boring dad is. “How many pictures of beer can you take?” will probably be the tween comment.

So, without further ado….