This is somewhat different from what I would normally write. I am not saying I know everything on this subject but will share what I have learned. Social media is still in its infant stages. I began studying E-Commerce about 10 years ago (I need one class for a certificate). Since the late 1990's, it is AMAZING to see how connected we really are. In the moment, I (being in the United States) could have a conversation with someone in the UK, South America or some other part of the world. It wasn't long ago where we could only connect to the Internet via computer or laptop. In 2001, I was part of the first GSM (or Global System for Mobile Communications) test group and market launch (by an American wireless provider). I saw where everything was going and sure enough, all the time tables were as planned. As a result, we can access media via phone, laptop, or tablet as well as computer.
OK. With that said, WHY would a food blog want to address technology? Well, over the last few months, it's come up a lot on Google+. So many of the new platforms that have popped up just make my head turn. So what profiles do I use? Let's start with Google+ and a link to my profile page: https://plus.google.com/+JohnDuncanemptyplateadventures/posts). I find it pretty easy to use and the layout basic. The flow is very nice and I can control the content as well as who sees it. The boards (or communities as they call them) are more than plentiful and food-related topics boards are a big part of that. Facebook was a platform I tried to use but frankly, a bit more involved that I wanted to be bothered with. You can't get a custom link unless you get at least 25 likes (unlike Google+ where you can get one if it's not being used). Setting it up made me so mad I just said forget it. It's not worth it. I choose Google+ over Facebook and more than likely won't revisit the latter (at least for my blog).
Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/emptyplateadv/) is another that's taken off of recent. This platform is SO EASY to work and the concept is so clear you get it from the start (I was in beta when I joined). I REALLY find my creative juices flowing when I see a series of pins (e.g., pictures that you "pin" onto one of your boards. As of now, I have 58 boards of my own each covering it's own subject (and 95 total boards). The downside is that the interaction is not as good as other platforms. You can like and comment in pins but it's a little different than than the other platforms I mentioned. Sometimes, you may think you're getting some new interaction with your times (e.g., someone either liked, pinned or comment on one of you pins), it's something that you already saw. Not always accurate. Still a nice platform and am working on bridging more of my blog with my Pinterest page.
I'll address the two that I use the most along with the ones I mentioned. First is YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/emptyplateadventures). The nice thing about that is the obvious viewing of videos. There are MANY (and I do mean just that) cooks that are of note. The best thing is that so many hobby cooks as well as some professionals contribute. ANY subject you can think of (food related or not) you can find here. I created several playlists covering different subject matters. I've learned a few things from other cooks. Some hosts are much better than others. Not to mention you can watch video anytime you wish. The commercials pre-video can be a bit of a pain, but most you can skip many after 5 to 15 seconds.
Twitter is absolutely amazing. To being with, there are so many food-related discussion sessions. In fact, as I write this, I'm on #FNIChat (or Foodie's Night In) right now (Monday's at 3PM CST). There are also many other sessions as well. #FoodieChats happen ever Monday at 7:PM CST. #PantryChat happens ever Tuesday at 3PM CST. The nice thing is that the people genuinely have fun. If someone new comes, they're welcomed in the session. Most average between 60-90 minutes in length. I can't forget #SundaySupper either but I rarely make that one for long. This takes interaction to a new level. During any of these sessions, you are interacting with people from around the planet. I've been in sessions where we had people from the UK, South Africa, Austalia, and Singapore on one session. Imagine doing this 15 years ago. The nice thing is that you have the discussions on either one feed or #hashtag subject matter. You could do this without the headache of multiple windows open. VERY easy to keep straight. As well as being in real time, your followers can see and interact with you. Most people follow those with the same interests (then again, that should be brutally obvious). Unlike an old chat session, you can actually block someone from interacting with you (I've only blocked one person on @emptyplateadv but eventually unblocked that person).
As a whole, I'm a big fan of social media. There are other sites I have joined that are currently in beta mode (test phase). Grokker is currently in beta mode (http://grokker.com/profile/john-duncan/53275c925a55187425000151). This is pretty much video driven and flows similarly to YouTube. I think social media is a fantastic way to interact. As of now, I have not joined Instagram and media of the like. RIGHT NOW, I don't think I have the time to add that. I think the pictures could serve to be beneficial. Instagram has a VERY large and wide audience and believe that I will make my way there soon. THIS is the new media and anticipate more growth in this area. It's easy to promote from within and a ready and waiting audience. I have a feeling this is only the beginning. I don't think we've even scratched the surface. Click and mortar- a marriage made in heaven. The world wide web has made the entire world a stage. You can decide what your stage will be. By the way, the influence for this title came from an album from Rush, not Shakespeare.
1. Janet P Caldwell, "The Play, Stage":
2. Nicky Shaw, "The World's Stage":