Christa’s Soap Box – Simplifying Social Media

Social media overwhelms me and I’ve decided it’s time to simplify. Don’t worry – the blog is NOT going anywhere!! But I’ve been contemplating over the last few months about how I spend my time and WHERE to spend my time.

Until yesterday, I’ve been running a bit ragged, trying to keep up with 3 Facebook pages, 2 Instagram accounts, 2 email lists, this blog, and a very weak attempt at Pinterest. Not to mention several business networking groups. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and joined Instagram in 2013, then began adding ever more social media outlets to the lineup to keep up with “the next best thing.”

The result? I’m honestly getting a little burned out. I spend way more time on screens that could be better spent at the sewing machine!

HST Remix Quilt

Because a blog post is more fun to read with pretty pictures, I’ve sprinkled in a few pics of my latest finish – HST Remix . I often have deep thoughts while quilting – it’s very therapeutic!!

What I’m Saying “Yes” to:

So here’s what I’m keeping: the blog, Instagram, and my Facebook group.

What I’m Saying “No” to:

What I’m ditching: my Facebook biz page, personal Facebook updates, two email lists, my business Instagram, and Pinterest (Gasp! Sorry folks, I’m just not a pinner!!)

What I’m NOT going to feel guilty about NOT doing: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat, etc. What I AM going to enjoy: making and sharing what I want, when I want, where I want.

If I make it – and others want it – they will find it.

HST Remix Quilt

Dense machine quilting makes me happy. I’d rather spend more time creating, and less time managing social media.

Since making that decision to simplify only yesterday, I woke up feeling much lighter today. I’ve realized I don’t need to post ALL THE THINGS to ALL THE PLACES, or worry about whether I cross promoted or over-promoted, or forgot to mention the latest and greatest: here, there and everywhere.

I can simplify. I can make. I can share. And I can focus on quality over quantity which better aligns with my minimalist leanings.

You Can Still Follow Me Here

By the way, if you DO want to follow what I’m doing, and keep up with the blog, you can easily subscribe to it. Here’s how:

If you are on a computer, there are two options in the right-hand side bar. (1) You can enter your email underneath where it says “follow my blog!” and you’ll get an email each time a post is published. Or (2) scroll down a bit further and click the button that says “follow me on bloglovin.”

HST Remix

This is HST Remix, one of my QuiltCon entries. Whether it gets accepted to the show or not, I enjoyed every stitch of this huge 90″ x 90″ quilt! It was made entirely on my home sewing machine.

If you are reading this from your mobile device, it’s a bit trickier to find the signup box. You’ll have to scroll way, way, down, like past a million blog posts until you get to all the “stuff” at the bottom of the screen. Then you’ll see the box to enter your email, or the Bloglovin button. But they are there if you persevere!

Whew – that felt so good to get it off my chest!! I’ll post again when there’s something more to say or show. Now it’s time to start on the next quilt….

Christa’s Soapbox – Social Media Update (Plus a Bonus Tip)

Today I wanted to give a quick plug for my other social media outlets, just in case you didn’t already know about them. I try not to repeat content too much, or if I do, I try to present it from a different perspective. You can find me here:

My facebook group: Quilt With Christa

Instagram: @christaquilts

Sign up for my weekly email newsletter: Friendly Threads

It’s taken me awhile to really wrap my head around social media and how to use it without feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been blogging for about 5 years now and just added instagram to the mix last year. This year my goal is to be more active on facebook, and I plan to figure out pinterest next year. My thought is by learning one social media network per year, I won’t get too overwhelmed and can discover the ins and outs through real-time practice.

How about you – what’s your social media of choice? What do you like or dislike about all the choices we have?

And just so this post has at least one picture, here’s a quick tip I shared over on Instagram while working on my next “secret” project:

joining_tip

Tip: when matching seams with a sash strip in between, use a ruler and washable pen to mark a small line in the seam allowance of the piece you are joining. This will tell you where to pin to make the seams line up.

 

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?