New social bookmarking obsessions

3 07 2012

For some time, I have been curious about pinterest as I love the idea of collecting resources online and love images even more! Last night I took the plunge and activated my account, and then spent the next three hours building 10 boards – loved every minute of it!

For a number of years, I was an avid social bookmarker with Delicious, until I discovered packrati.us on twitter. Since then I have used twitter as a way of both sharing links I like as well as saving them for later. Although I know I already have them in twitter, the thought of them stockpiling in delicious is strangely comforting, though the task of reorganising tags and stacks after two years is daunting.

Anyway, one of the things I like about pinterest, aside from being able to share images easily (irrespective of  copyright concerns), is that you are visually bookmarking, much in the same way you would with delicious but with images. I don’t know why copyright owners would be upset about this tool as pinterest drives the traffic back to the original website where the image was located.

pinterest

my pinterest boards

This is a complete contrast to Facebook, who actually own every photo on the website – even if you thought you owned the copyright. Annabel Crabb sums it up nicely in her recent article You might not like it, but you and Facebook are worst friends forever.

In recent times it looked like linkedin was on the rise, but now the twitter feed function has been removed, it will be interesting to see how that impacts on the site’s popularity. It is also worth noting that pinterest has a much higher proportion of women users, check out this infographic about gender preferences and spocial media platforms.

Social Media commentators Mashable had this to say in a recent article:

Pinterest is social media’s rising star — and now has the traffic stats to prove it.

The darling network of brides-to-be, fashionistas and budding bakers now beats YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic in January, according to a Shareaholic study.

Well, there you go  – sounds like the place to be if you are interested in building interest in your brand and driving traffic to your website.

Anyway, for now I am content to just pinterest the things I like looking at, and thinking about.





Growing a local social media presence

1 07 2012

Ideas about how to best engage with communities have been central to a number of my ongoing projects over the years. For example, the geokult collaboration focuses on notion of social and cultural mapping, another project Remote connections which explores technology uptake in remote Indigenous communities, and of course in my work with livinggreener.gov.au.

Recently, I have been considering how social media impacts on the concept of local, specially within the context of a postcode for example. Linda Carroli’s Placing project resonates for me – particularly as Aspley is a place I know intimately. I spent a number of formative years living in the Brisbane suburb and a range of creative work has been based on my experiences and perceptions of this suburban space – see Scalpland.

So what is happening in my local community? There are community noticeboards at the library and child care and family centre, but there appears to be little social media presence that has currency on the ground. We have the tools but not the engagement it would seem. Gumtree classifieds has reasonable listings for my suburb, and local Canberra online news website The RiotACT did have some recent stories. Some of these were a bit disturbing with a number of recent reports about shops and people being threatened with knifes. It wasn’t all bad news, there were also stories of developments that benefits families with a new childcare centre and new playgrounds being built.

The online factiods about my suburb do little to really give a sense of a place, excepting the obvious need to provide safe and creative places for children and young people. Over the time we have lived here we have seen many signs of growth in the west Belconnen area. New suburbs, much more traffic (though less public transport), and the local shopping centre is becoming busier and busier. Last week Coffee Club opened at Kippax and signs a McDonalds will be opening on the now vacant block indicate that there is much more  development to come. More people are moving to the area, but I still don’t know my neighbours that well after four years. Is it Canberra, or suburbia or just modern life?

Many ‘community’ building websites offer empty promises of being connected at the local level. For example, urban farming and sustainability facebook group LocalBlu https://www.facebook.com/localblu sounds like an amazing initiative, although when I go to the website there is nothing for my community or any of the other 6 Australian postcodes I submitted (including city centre of Sydney and Melbourne).

Facebook has three pages that could be starting point for local conversations – Kippax Fair, Woolworths Kippax and a page for suburb of Holt.

Community Engine is another community building website that uses Facebook to promote its message about growing your local community. When I went to the Community Engine website and plugged in my postcode, there were a lot of returns in the search, so it would be worth learning more about this tool.

At geokult we are developing a series of workshops and a ‘toolbox’ of tools for exploring and mapping communities. The aim is to promote and facilitate a more connected community. What we realise is that social media will not promote the project alone, it is important to remember the old school ways of raising community awareness – leafleting, letterbox drops and local stalls are highly effective ways to get to know people F2F. Over the coming months, I will be monitoring how my local community is engaging online, and experimenting with a range of techniques, with a purpose of developing a strategy for other community engagement projects.





New Blog – Remote Connections

16 03 2012

To support and document the Remote Connections project, a new blog has been established. This blog will focus on a range of issues related to online and computer arts and literacy in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. For more information go to the Remote Connections blog.





Remote connections

3 10 2011

Remote connections is a project I am currently developing that explores connectivity in remote locations.

It is in the early stages of production and I am very keen to find some people in remote Indigenous communities to work with – to collaboratively design online tools for flexible delivery.

If you would like to participate, or know some people who would be interested, please email me at bytetime at gemail dot com

For more information and updates go to the Geokult blog.