From the Board – June 2013

“The Social Media Tsunami: Are You Drowning?”

by Karen Misuraca

Are you frazzled about keeping up with all the social media outlets? Seems like every day a new one pops up: Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and YouTube channels, plus all the sub-groups within each one. Add to this the blogs that are important to you, the launching and/or updating of your own website(s)/blog(s), and getting through the avalanche of emails that flow in every day. Yikes!
Is there a return on investment—or are our precious hours and energy being highjacked by social media?
You are not alone in your confusion and frustration, as a quick Google search (“staying focused in social media”) will show. But there are ways to alleviate the stress.
A few tips for managing the morass:
Social media is a tool: Use only the tools that you really need. Become aware of which networks your desired audience is actually using (for instance, Pinterest viewers are said to be 97% female).
Organize your social media all in one place, rather than clogging up your email with posts and feeds.
TweetDeck (for Twitter)
Hootsuite (for everything)
Feedly (a “reader” that aggregates blog posts/RSS feeds/news feeds/social media) As you may know, the popular Google Reader is going away on July 1. Feedly appears to be the top replacement, and there are others.
Read it Later: When you come across stuff that you want to read later, use a simple “stash” like Pocket, which stores links, news, articles, screenshots, etc.) to read later and automatically syncs to your phone, tablet, Kindle or computer to view at your leisure, even without WiFi. This article explains Pocket and mentions others.
Turn off social media “benefits” you don’t need: For instance, if you’re going crazy with emails from Facebook that alert you to every post your FB friends make, turn off those emails (go to Account Settings and click on Notifications—then unsubscribe from everything you consider to be noise). The default of most, if not all, social media sites is to be in your face all the time, so change the default.
Everything Everywhere: access your own computer files, docs, photos and videos from any computer or smartphone, anywhere, with Dropbox.
Your Tips
Which tools do you recommend for staying focused in your world of social media, and making the most of your time online?
Give us the scoop on the BATW Yahoo Groups forum. You haven’t subscribed to the BATW forum? If not, you’re really missing out on up-to-date info about press trips, conferences, travel-related events in the Bay Area, and secret inside dope from your fellow members (this is a private talk show).
And don’t forget BATW’s Facebook page, just waiting for you to post your latest accomplishments, your photos and your discoveries in the world of travel journalism (a public showcase).


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