Today we will discuss social media and Web 2.0 and the role they play in your life as a blogger.
Back when the internet started, websites were static. You would visit the website and read it.
Today you can visit a website and, in many cases, interact with it by leaving a comment, writing a product review, asking a question in a help forum, etc.
This is what we mean by Web 2.0. The web allows for two way conversation.
The social aspects of Web 2.0 are called social media.
Social media sites include Facebook and Twitter. Social media sites are where you go to be social and keep in touch with friends and family.
Facebook and Twitter will play a role in your blog, even if you choose not to open Facebook and Twitter accounts of your own.
Among teens and twentysomethings, Facebook is the new email. If you want to stay in touch with younger people, a Facebook account is almost essential.
As a blogger, I encourage you to create a Facebook account so that you can share your blog posts with your Facebook friends.
Also, the people that read your blog posts will sometimes share them with their own friends on Facebook.
If you don’t have a blog yet, Facebook will help you become more comfortable with expressing your thoughts online.
When you post status updates and links on your wall, your friends will sometimes leave comments, thus the social nature of Facebook.
I’m not going to go into detail about how to open a Facebook account here. If you have a teenager or an adult Facebook user in your life, they can show you the ropes.
The one thing I will emphasize here is that once you have a Facebook account, make sure all your privacy settings are set to “friends only.” This will ensure that everything on your Facebook page remains private and only your Facebook friends will see your profile and posts.
Twitter is like a mini blog, where you write posts that are up to 140 characters in length.
You can sync your Twitter and Facebook so that your Twitter posts (“tweets”) automatically post on Facebook.
If you intend to have a blog to promote your business, I recommend opening a Twitter account.
On Twitter you can quickly meet people in your area of interest and share ideas back and forth.
On Twitter you will also post links to your blog.
The best way to learn Twitter is just to open an account and start following some people.
The best way to find people to follow is to go to this directory.
When you follow someone, about half the time they will follow you back.
So if you want to start a blog about scrapbooking, you could open a Twitter account and find people interested in scrapbooking and start following them.
In your Twitter posts you would share tips about scrapbooking and then occasionally link to one of your blog posts.
If you read the first two parts of my blogging series, you should by now have several blogs that you read regularly.
I encourage you to leave comments on those blogs from time to time, especially when you benefited from a particular post.
You don’t have to use your last name and you can even leave your comment anonymously if you want to. Most blog comments have a space where you can post the link to your own blog if you wish.
If you leave quality comments on other blogs, those bloggers (and the other people reading your comment) will click on your blog link and start reading your blog too.
As a blogger, it’s very important to leave comments on other blogs and to be social in this way. Start getting in the habit now, even before you have your own blog.
Each blog post has a comment section at the top or bottom of the post. This is what you click in order to read and leave comments.
In closing, I want to emphasize again that you don’t have to open Facebook or Twitter accounts in order to be a blogger. But I do encourage you to at least open a Facebook account.
As your blog grows and people get to know you through your blog, you should know that many readers will look for links to your Facebook and Twitter profiles on your blog. As a blogger it’s good if you can be accessible in that way but, as I said, it’s not mandatory.
Your assignment is to start leaving comments on the blogs that you read. Aim for 1-2 blog comments per week. Your comment doesn’t have to be fancy. Even just a “thanks for the great post” is fine.
If you have any questions about Twitter and Facebook, leave a comment or send an email to me through my contact page.
In the remaining four posts of this series I will focus on the nitty gritty of creating your blog and writing posts for it. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!