I often talk to people who wonder how they can get started in social media. The typical requirements are:
- Cost: When you’re starting out, you don’t want to invest a lot in your tools, so you want to choose social media tools that are cheap or free.
- Ease of use: When you’re getting started, you want to use something relatively simple and user-friendly. That typically means hosted services rather than tools that require you to install your own software on a web host you pay for yourself.
- User base: Services with lots and lots of users — especially lots of geeky users — typically have lots of resources available to help you use them (like on-site documentation, blog posts by enthusiastic users, and even how-to books). These services are also much more likely to have tools that enhance their functionality or that help them integrate with other applications and services.
- Scalability/portability: You may want a more elaborate presence if it turns out that social media becomes a bit part of your work, so it’s good to choose tools that can either scale up or that make it easy for you to pack up your files and move somewhere else.
- Time commitment: You want a presence that is easy to set up and easy to maintain — not just technically, but in terms of the amount of time you have to put into creating content or engaging with readers in order to make your social media presence valuable.
My cheater workflow meets these criteria. I’ll spell it out in my next blog post.