Untangling Branding and Social Media

I read once that 50,000 new blogs are started every day.

Most languish on the vine after a few months. People get an idea that the world is just aching to hang on their every word, only to learn later that they are a speck in an infinitesimal sea of people just wanting to be ‘liked’. Garrison Keillor once said: “In the future, everyone will have a blog with 6 readers- 4 of them family members.” I may not have the quote correct, but I doubt GK will dispute this as he’s quite busy contesting his recent sexual assault allegations.

This is my fourth blog. My third, “Teaching Ahead of the Curve“, was an Edtech blog that once was in the top 500 educational blogs in the world and in its heyday, provided 4-6  posts of a month. It tapered off after 5 years of trying to keep up with ever changing trends and edtech tools that were saturating the market and becoming obsolete in a matter of years, sometimes months. It was like trying to shovel the driveway while it was still snowing.

Still it begs the question-Why do some people have so many followers and others have so few?

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The importance of branding. Image courtesy of CC

 

A Customized Logo

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Two days ago, my wife and I bought ‘Nomadic Edventures’ for a two year premium subscription on ‘wordpress’ for $180. The name was catchy, but we decided to buoy the name with a custom logo which we bought for $19 on ‘Logo Crisp‘ which we could use for our site’s favicon (Little icon on browser tab), our site’s logo next to the header, and also for our profile pictures on instagram and youtube. A logo might seem like an innocuous detail, but the logo brings recognition as users navigate to your content.

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

We’re seeing a shift in social media use. Many younger users seem to be moving to Instagram and Snapchat and leaving Facebook and Twitter. With so many overlapping features, here is some of their highlights:

  • Instagram has an emphasis on quality images and less on the text. Posting, be sure to add half a dozen hashtags to share beyond just your followers. I use Instagram for my ‘edgy’ personal life and follow tattoo junkies and fitness freaks, like me.
  • Twitter has more of an emphasis on the text, less on the images. Like above, add half a dozen hashtags to your tweet to reach new followers. I use Twitter primarily for my professional learning community. Google + is also a great one for this.
  • Facebook posts can be public or private to friends. I use Facebook with my friends and family and is primarily used for personal posts.
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Image courtesy of CC

Sharing, Re-sharing and Re-sharing

The above is meant to sound redundant, because all the great content in the world will get lost in that sea unless you make it stand out. Just because you have spent hours making a video or blogging, if you publish content to the web, share it often. Re-share it when you have a not posting day and re-share it over and over. Just when you start to get sick of it, someone is learning about it for the first time.

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What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

“What should we call it?” My wife Lisa asked.

A few years ago, my wife and I had an idea. Not to sleep in separate beds or anything, but to take a trip around the world as a family for a year. I don’t know what prompted it. Perhaps it was the ever increasing audibility of our knees as we lifted ourselves off the toilet, christening the onset of old age. At 42 and 47, we’re definitely in the middle age bracket, but not quite ‘near elderly’.

The planning would be no small feat, but with enough time we were confident that we could figure it out. Some of the big questions that we have had to answer are:

  1. How to save up enough money to finance a year’s travel?
  2. What are we going to do with all our ‘crap’ for a year? (We are living in Korea at the time)
  3. Who is going to take care of our two cats?
  4. How much will health insurance cost and can we get an affordable plan that gives us enough coverage?
  5. Could we blog about it? (and what would be a good name?)
  6. How will our daughter receive recognition for her learning on the road as a fourth grader so she’ll be able to enroll as a fifth grader?
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Our two cats, ‘Georgie’ and ‘Cutie Soft Paws’

If you’re still reading this, like me, you probably already have a headache. Trip planning is supposed to be fun, isn’t it? Why bog down a perfectly good vacation with responsibility?

Except it wasn’t. A vacation that is. This was to be our new way routine with a finite amount of money, with the objective of delivering an educational experience for our daughter with a broad world view. Simple, right?

We plan to begin our trip in June of 2019 (when our teaching contracts expire) and we have started to cobble a bucket list of destinations together on a spreadsheet. As I write this, we are currently under a year away, it is now the time to kick our planning into high gear. With the above questions going unanswered, we needed to get something done, so we settled on a wordpress blog to chronicle the experience. The first step in setting up any blog is to give it a name, because once that’s done, it can’t be changed.

“Any blog name should be somewhat short and sweet, but catchy and easy to remember if you’re telling it to someone in passing.” I replied back to her.

“We’ll be writing about travel destinations, tips for traveling, but also the education and the learning angle”. We came up with the following list:

  • Schooling around the world
  • The world is our school
  • Learning about the world
  • Bucket list family (we found this was taken)
  • Worldschooling Ava (too pretentious)
  • Worldly schooling Ava (Tips on how to emotionally abuse your child)
  • A kid, a swimmer and a techie go into a bar…
  • Small steps in a big world
  • A family that travels together
  • Our traveling family

“How about ‘Nomadic Edventures?'” My wife offered.

And with that, the list got a little bit smaller.