I’m an #igaddict and proud

I’ve become an addict. I can stand here and hold my head up and be proud to say it. I AM ADDICTED, but not to anything narcotic or alcoholic.

No, I am addicted to Instagram. I was introduced it to months ago by a colleague, but never really got into it. Purely because at that point I was addicted to Twitter. Over Easter a friend showed me some of her images she’d posted onto Instagram and showed me how it worked.

Taken with iphone4 and altered in Instagram

That was that. I went home, delved into my app and began posting. My first few images were straightforward shots of my pets; photos I’d taken on my iphone4 and not altered in anyway. Those first few posts contained no hashtags, I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I looked at other people’s images and noticed they’d hashtag them #ig (Instagram), #igaddict (Instagram addict), #iphonegraphy and so on. The lists were endless. Hashtags connected to what the image was, whether it was black and white or colour, beautiful or photo of the day.

These keywords are important to help people locate and follow. See an image you like, then like it or comment on it. Your likes can be seen by your followers and you can engage in dialogue with people around the world.

Some on there are professional photographers, who use more than their iphone to take a snapshot. I only use my iphone and there are many who do the same. It’s amazing what good quality photos can be taken with the phone.

While Instagram offers filters to be able to change your image, if you don’t want it to remain

Guess the film title? Pictures taken on iphone4, altered using Instagram, Snapseed and framed using Frame Maker

‘normal’, there are so many other apps out there to do the job. I’m enjoying Snapseed, Percolator and Frame Maker. Snapseed is great as there are many tools to manipulate your image from its size to filters, colours, structure, contrast, etc. And it’s so easy to use too.

Percolator is interesting as it allows you to convert your images into bubbles and it’s all done as if you’re making a brew. While Frame Maker allows me to import my images and put them into frames. Here I’ve been able to show before and after or a range of shots and how they’ve been tranformed.

I’ve now progressed from snapping my family and animals to looking at things around me and taking a photo and then using Snapseed to recreate the image. I also love on my travels snapping architecture and quirky things.

This is addictive. Because my phone is with me all the time, it’s handy to grab it out my bag and point and shoot. Instant uploads and within seconds it’s there on Instagram. I love looking at what other people are doing too and engaging in dialogue with them.

There are many people taking landscape pictures and street scenes, and there are some very talented people out there too. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a great photographer or not. It’s about, for me anyway, seeing things visually and then taking that image. While it may look great normal, I then love the fact I can change it and enhance it in some way.

The other night I took a picture of a glass purple paperweight and turned it into a photo called ‘The birth of a new star’. As a photo on its

The birth of a star

own it looked bland and boring. Visually not interesting, but chuck it into Snapseed and add filters to it and alter the brightness and you have something unusual and different. You can see the bubbles in the glass, but where the light has caught it I’ve been able to expand and develop that.

It just reminded me of the galaxy and a star exploding, hence its name.

Instagram is a great app and I thoroughly enjoy using it. I’m always looking for something to take a picture of. If you look on my IG profile (lingarde) then you’ll see a variety of images from portraits to abstracts.

It’s the variety I like. I don’t concentrate on one type of image. I seem to go through phases, one week it’s animals, then riding shots, then abstracts. Just lately it’s been shoes and legs. Who knows tomorrow what I may take?

I suggest everyone gets on there and becomes an #igaddict. It’s worth investing that time into creating things. Especially if wanting to go into media. It’s a showcase of your work. Are you one?

One of my first Instagram posts - a black and white image of my horse


Social Media

I’m currently exploring  some new apps for journalists to use on the iphone4. I’m a being fan of using my phone in the role of a journalist. It’s great for taking photos, shooting video and recording podcasts.

For podcasts I use audioboo as it’s so simply and easy to use. Recording time is limited, though you can upgrade, but I find it is sufficient. I’ve also experimented with iProRecorder, which was good and easy to use and allows longer recording time.

I use the iphone4 to film in HD and use ReelDirector to edit. While it is simplistic and I don’t find it easy to trim shots down, it is straightforward to use. I’m also looking into Vericorder’s range of apps at the moment for video and audio editing and also at an app called Luci Live, which allows you to live broadcast and link into the studio. Perfect for when  you don’t have an ISDN line. However at a hefty £300 I don’t think I’ll be rushing to buy this one!

Of course everything I produce is all interconnected and instantly lists things on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I’ll feed back some more as I experiment further with these apps and if you use or know of any other apps suitable for journalists to use then please share.

#LincUpLive 360 is here next week, so watch/listen/read for more

Social Media Week London #smwldn

Are any of you currently at Social Media Week London or maybe attending one of the many talks around the globe?
I’m watching it on Livestream (http://new.livestream.com/smwlondon) and following the Twitter hashtag #smwldn.
There’s some very interesting topics being discussed and it’s well worth following if you’re interested in social media, entertainment, marketing, brands, etc.

Waddington Airshow and the power of Twitter

Seven TV recently asked me to present their special from the RAF Waddington Airshow this year. Now I’ve done this job, for at least the last eight years, and for the first time last year was able to tweet from the event.

This year I was tweeting away and again was able to meet up with some fellow tweeters – @RAFBBMF – now they’d organised a tweet meet at their stand and I was then able to go international and interview @Alvarito who had come all the way from Madrid, Spain. Some of the others chickened out from being interviewed (they know who they are!).

Once again it shows the power of Twitter and I’ve been fortunate in the last two weeks to meet more of the people I’ve engaged with on there. It’s a great way to engage with people and even better when you meet them in the flesh.

Here's me interviewing @Alvarito at RAF Waddington

Making those connections- Lee Smallwood

I have to share this link with you –  http://visf.la/eHWAyx – read this post by Digital Consultant Lee Smallwood. I met Lee through my sister on Twitter and after numerous tweets and conversations about social media, Radian6 and other things, we managed to get him to come to East Coast Media to do, not one but two presentations!

Lee knows all things “geeky” – how the web works, how to market your brand and how to use social media effectively. He wowed the students in the afternoon. I have never seen 80 students hooked on to every word. They were shocked to learn how businesses keep their eye on you and know how to tap into your likes.

In the evening he still managed to wow the media and arts creatives of northern Lincolnshire. He demonstrated radion6 to them, and on a cheaper, smaller scale net vibes and klout. We not only had him live in the building, but also did a live stream across the web and were tweeting as we went along and answering questions from around the UK. It was a successful day and everyone’s head buzzed and they’re still chattering about it today. It’s that ripple effect, that is turning into a wave!

From a journalism viewpoint, it has opened the doors to how students, will hopefully, use the web differently. They’ll use monitoring tools to track stories and trends; find people, network and sell themselves as a brand. Those who do that, will see themselves being snapped up by employers. These future journos will become we-influencers (to borrow a phrase from Lee). My journalism students from 17/18 year-olds upwards have caught the Twitter bug and long may they tweet!!

Here’s a podcast of an interview with Lee Smallwood http://eastcoastmedia.posterous.com/lee-smallwood-interview

For more information about BA Multi-Platform Journalism please contact 01472 315550. We are now recruiting for Sept 2011

Social Media Part 2

It’s been an interesting session with the FE students today. I’ve been showing them how to use Twitter. Most are 17 to 18 years old and are big users of Facebook, but Twitter has never interested them as they’ve not understood how it works and the point of it.

Once we’d got them started and shown them around and how to tweet, off they went. Now they’re hooked! It was great to see them finding out people and posting tweets and getting excited when people started to follow them or respond to their messages. When they were getting retweets, they were delirious. It was great to see and I hope they do it use and seriously as a way of networking and engaging with others.

Social Media

Is Social Media a fad? This was a question posed to a room of people last week at the Lincolnshire Events Centre by Glenn Le Santo, journalist and social media guru.

The answer, quite simply, is no. Social Media is here to stay and people do need to learn how to use it and effectively to get messages across. It’s a great tool for networking and it’s knowing how to use the various social media platforms. There’s Facebook, Twitter – possibly the two common ones that many are familiar with. Then there are blogging sites – wordpress (as used here) and posterous. It’s how you use them and whether you use them effectively. And of course there’s the professional business tool, LinkedIn – where people in business connect with each other and use it to do business.

Social Media is a way of engaging with people and building up a network and sharing information. No matter what platform you use. They are all ways of posting and reaching a wider audience. This blog will ping to Twitter and Facebook and hopefully people will retweet and spread the message it conveys. Through them you also are able to share links to interesting articles or blogs.

Once you know how to use this type of communication are doing it to see returns, then you’re on a roll. The people in the room were a mixed bag. Some were using Twitter and had been for years, while others were new to it and some had not even touched it. Glenn knows what he is doing and at the end everyone came away having learnt something and were able to go forward and tweet!

*You can follow me on Twitter, my personal account, @rosereiki, through my work @eastcoastmedia, or through the business group @CreativeHumber

For more information on Glenn visit his website www.lesanto.com