5. Not Every Picture on the Web is Yours for the Taking
Oh snap! Guess what? You have to make sure that the image you found on the web is free to use for your purposes BEFORE you use it! Just because you can right click “save as” does not mean you have permission to use the photo. After reviewing this informative article giving example of sites with free, usable images http://bloggingbistro.com/best-places-to-find-free-and-low-cost-stock-photos-online/, I tried out the different sites. To me, by far the best way to obtain an expansive selection of these “good to go” images is by using Google’s “Advanced Image Search” option and filtering for images that are available for non-commercial re-use http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en.
4. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
In Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody http://www.amazon.com/Here-Comes-Everybody-Organizing-Organizations-ebook/dp/B0013TTKQC , the opening story about the power of social media to recover a stolen phone highlights the potential of social media to work for good and for evil. While the breadth of reach of social media in very short periods of time can be awe-inspiring, supportive, and beneficial; social media also has potential to perpetuate and accentuate societal power differentials; quickly demean and devalue individuals; and for those who become “addicted” to social media sites, replace authentic relationships. Modern users of social media must do so with recognition of both the positive and negative power of the instrument. Our society is in its infancy when it comes to regulating the moral and ethical implications of the use of social media – hopefully we can begin this process and generations to come will take on this critical task.
3. Morten is Your Friend…but best in small doses
Understanding the basics of website design using WordPress opens up a whole world of social media empowerment. The wordpress tutorial on Lynda.com by Morten Rand-Hendriksen is an excellent introduction with detailed information about creating professional-style blog posts… BUT, for maximal learning and minimal falling asleep, I recommend small doses of the tutorials interspersed with trying it out rather than watching the tutorials all at once.
2. Blogs are Powerful Tools
As described in Heather Mansfield’s Social Media for Social Good http://www.amazon.com/Social-Media-Good-How-Nonprofits/dp/007177081X, blogs can be powerful social media tools that allow for a current and up-to-date compilation of items of interest to your “blog cause.” The content from a blog can be easily set up to be shared on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook – thus widening the reach. Additionally, blogs can give you important information about how people are using your site and what interests them most; and they can also increase your “searchability” on major search engines.
1. Make It Data Driven or Personal – your opinion alone does not interest me!
When evaluating health blogs, I found that blogs with strong data driven messages felt worthwhile (i.e. http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/). I also really enjoyed blogs with strong personal stories about health challenges and/or successes (i.e. http://www.mynewnormals.com/). I did NOT enjoy blogs in which the primary written information seems solely based on the author’s opinions without valid data to back it up.