Looking for Connection and Creativity in Social Media

Typist's teapot

Having introduced my nieces, two rather internet-savvy young women, to the world of blogging recently (you can see their Tuesdays with Dorie post on making a chocolate truffle tart here), I started thinking about how much there is to navigate in the social media realm. It can be hard to build community online when it seems that the channels of communication are so fragmented, or worse, the same people are broadcasting the same information over channel after channel.

I’ve found Twitter to be a great resource for information and also a good way to connect in real time with people in my region and in my French Fridays community. Facebook is more for far away friends, local acquaintances, and family, though I do have a Facebook page for my blog. I like to keep all 11 of its Facebook followers in the loop…

I eschew location-based social media applications like Foursquare, but love location-based apps on my phone that help me find shops, food trucks, and even what’s in season. I don’t feed my activity from them onto social media, though. Maybe it’s generational.

What I’ve been finding really fascinating lately, though only as an observer, is how Google+ has taken off as a platform for photographers. A good friend of mine has become deeply involved in the community there and it’s become for her both a venue for connection and a spur for creativity. I think the combination of social media functions and ease of sharing is a big part of what’s made it so popular. Unlike a number of social media platforms, it’s also easily adaptable to users’ needs. A great example of this is the way the video chat function, called Hangouts, has become a forum for tutorials, classes, and even photo walks.

I have to admit I haven’t used Google+ for much, yet, but when I start working on improving my photography skills again, I’ll be looking to the resources that can be found there.

Here’s a few links, in case your interest has been piqued:

Google+ Survival Guide

Google+ photography book for charity

There’s a lot of potential in the web, but it’s easy to get distracted by all the entertainment, fluff, and chatter out there. It’s inspiring to see a web tool like Google+ take off so productively and creatively. Now, I just need to keep that in mind when I turn on the computer.