Christa’s Soap Box – Community Vs. Content

Today’s soap box was inspired by an earlier post from my friend Lee at Freshly Pieced. She very eloquently wrote a thought provoking essay entitled, “Are Blogs Dead?” referring to the idea that in some circles, Instagram my be supplanting blogs as quilters’ social media of choice.

Fortunately, her conclusion was that no, blogs are note dead – they are just different!

binding_clips1It’s been fun to use my blog to share tips, tricks and tutorials, like how to bind a quilt.

This got me to thinking about social media and why I am so attracted to it. I think it really is about the community and the content. I view my blog as my “Home Base” or my place to “be.” It’s where others can come find me, and see what I’m up to. It won’t change locations or format (unless WordPress does something very drastically different which I highly doubt). My blog is very reliable and I can choose to write as little or a much as I like.

I can be myself here, share the occasional peek into my personal life, and people can choose to read or not at their leisure. It’s also a place where I can store many of my ideas and thoughts as I quilt, along with tons of free content I’m happy to share. (You should see my WIP posts that have not been posted yet – they go on for pages and pages, LOL!!)

Running in Utah

I don’t mind sharing both my personal and professional life on my blog.

However, Lee did bring up a good point which I hadn’t thought of before. Blogs are becoming more of a one way content generator and less of a vehicle for two-way communication. I know from my stats that I get a lot of traffic and people reading my blog, even if they don’t comment as much as they read. Heck I do the same thing – I follow over 100 blogs on a regular basis but I read far more than I comment.

So that’s where other social media like facebook, instagram or flickr come in. I think people, including myself, like the instant gratification that a quick comment or “like” can generate.

For me personally, I just can’t get into facebook, and flickr has become really user unfriendly lately – but I love checking instagram on a daily basis (@christaquilts). It’s quick and easy to pop in for a few minutes to see what beautiful things others are making, and it’s fun to leave a quick message or get instant feedback on what I’m working on. I also think of it as a way to share real-time snaphsots of daily life, which I can then turn into a cohesive “story” later on my blog.

20140710_snippetsI love to share “snippets” of my life on instagram, – or the “in-between” posts.

So I agree with Lee – blogs are definitely not dead, but their use is evolving. Because I’m the type of person that likes to have everything neatly organized in it’s own little box, I love the idea of referencing blogs mainly for content, and using instagram for my daily dose of quilty socialization.

How about you – what are your favorite ways to utilize social media?


Christa’s Soap Box – I Finally Joined Instagram!

I did it! I finally joined Instagram! I have to admit I had been resisting because I’m really not super comfortable with technology. Say what? I run an online store, blog nearly everyday and design nearly all of my quilts in EQ7. However, I’m a “need to know” type of gal. I don’t learn something new unless I’m absolutely sure it’s going to be worth my time and effort.

20140501_instagram You can view my instagram pictures here and follow me @christaquilts!

Pinterest? Occasionally. Facebook? Definitely not! (Unless you count the auto posts that come from my blog). Twitter? I’ve never even tweeted once (though others have tweeted about me on occasion and somehow I still know about it, LOL!!)

Seriously – I don’t even watch TV or Netflix or anything of the sort whenever hubs goes out of town. It’s too much bother! I’m really simplistic and don’t like to hassle with keeping up with all of the different buttons to push and ways to communicate. I mean really, I have my blog, isn’t that all the social media I need? Apparently not!

There were two things that I was afraid of if I hopped on the Instagram bandwagon:

  1. That it would be a huge time-suck
  2. That it would discouraging me from blogging.

So far, it’s been relatively pain-free and actually sort of fun. I’ve been on it for a week now and I’m very proud of myself for figuring out how to follow people, add pictures, and leave comments. Fortunately, I’ve been able to add Instagram into my daily routine, checking my phone throughout the day and not wasting too much time.

As far as blogging, I don’t think anything will slow me down in that respect. I have to blog, just as much as I have to breathe, so no worries there! As I mentioned in my soapbox last week, no matter how crazy busy things get around here,  I won’t neglect the blog. I mean on a really hectic week, I may only blog 3-4 days a week instead of 5-6, so that’s still pretty good, right?


This is my Instagram screen shot from just after I joined. Lots of fun stuff to share!

I’ve decided that Instagram is really nice for capturing the little snippets of my day between blog posts, or sharing tidbits that don’t quite justify a full-length essay on the subject. I’ve heard that Instagram is like walking down the street and saying “hi” to your friend or neighbor, while blogging is more like stopping them and having a conversation.

I’m definitely a conversationalist, but already with Instagram, I’ve been able to have little chats with people whom I wouldn’t normally run into, so overall it’s been a positive experience.

How about you? Have you joined the Instagram train?