Originally posted on Connecting for Nature: Well the New Year is firmly underway now and I’ve been conscious for a while that I ought to have a bit of a health-check of my social media activities for the Connecting for Nature biodiversity partnership. This became possible thanks to a generous offer from Scarborough-based Zebra Consulting to offer a fresh perspective and…
This post first appeared in Feb ’17 on the Connecting for Nature blog, musing on social media identities and the personalities we project across different channels and accounts. It should resonate with anyone who runs both a personal and a business social media account or anyone who posts on behalf of a company, brand or project etc.
I’v re-blogged it as my contribution for #30DaysWild, day 29, because it deserves a second airing.
Well the New Year is firmly underway now and I’ve been conscious for a while that I ought to have a bit of a health-check of my social media activities for the Connecting for Nature biodiversity partnership. This became possible thanks to a generous offer from Scarborough-based Zebra Consulting to offer a fresh perspective and a listening ear. Zebra owner Rachel Sutcliffe helped deliver our Connecting For Nature Social Media Workshop last February, which featured on this blog a year ago.
Connecting for Nature:one of my online personas is @CFNature
Subsequent to this free ‘Social MOT’ as one might call it, I’ve been taking stock of my various social media outputs with a sense that I might be better organized this year. This blog post is the first of several, possibly three, (and can you sense how organized I am now?) that will explore some themes of my Social MOT….this first one is about our online personas…
It may not have escaped your notice that it was very rainy today. I’ve been confined mostly to the office, and grateful for it if I’m honest. But with the end in sight for 30dayswild it seems timely to reflect on the process and take stock. What better excuse then, to re-publish a post of mine from a year ago which first appeared on my wetland project blog. It raises some very pertinent points and offers an interesting perspective on my approach this year compared to last. You will even see the birth of this very blog was a twinkle in my eye back then!
Reflecting on #30DaysWild
Prompted by an email from the Wildlife Trusts I filled in a quick survey following up on my experiences of the 30 Days Wild challenge this June, the now annual gauntlet thrown down to ordinary people to undertake random acts of wildness every day for a month. Now, we all get requests for feedback surveys on this, that and the other; mostly they are a bit of an un-solicited chore. However, I feel that this initiative is a very worthwhile one for spreading the message of letting nature and wildness into our daily lives so I took a few minutes to respond. (If you took part in #30DaysWild yourself and want to shape the campaign next year you can do likewise using this link https://wildlifetrusts.typeform.com/to/aEvj9h )
As when I took part in #30DaysWild previously, I found that by committing to a pattern of posting on social media (I tried to send a daily Instagram post, which was also shared to my Facebook timeline) this ‘public’ sharing element gave me a greater impetus to try to do something each day – I felt that I was under some scrutiny…
…Whether or not my followers and friends would have noticed, let alone challenge me on it, were I to miss the odd day is a moot point. Even when sometimes I nearly missed (quick, dusk is falling!), or on a few occasions I posted something retrospectively the next day, the 30 days wild habit makes you more aware of nature moments in your daily life. During the month of June, and this was not the first year I’ve taken part, it meant I was always looking out for wild experiences that I could share. In this way, though it’s a challenge to sustain for a month, I find it trains one to think about ways to share and be evangelical about one’s relationship with nature. Which is no bad thing, is it?
Last time around as this year, I chose to use Instagram as my modus operani, using the #30DaysWild hashtag and simultaneously selecting ‘share to Facebook’ and to my Twitter feed. However this means it goes on my personal FB timeline and not to FB groups that I am a member of such as 30DaysWild (or more specifically ConnectingforNature and Stamford BridgeinBloom, my go-to places for daily posting activity these days). If I’m brave and willing to commit the time perhaps one year I’ll do it as a daily blog… but that’s still a bit daunting and I’m not sure I have the discipline to set to it of an evening after the day job. Posting on the 30 Days Wild Facebook gp seems a good option as it now has several thousand people and so a much bigger reach than my other social accounts but are we ‘preaching to the converted’?
I wonder what others feel and how it works for other full-time employed people? If I am brutally honest I sometimes imagine that the stay-at-home mums with preschool kids are best represented (and envied) on the 30days FB gp for their inventive #30DaysWild activities. I’m very lucky to have a day job and commute that can take me to beautiful wild places, a back garden and village which places nature on the doorstep and a strong affinity already to zero in on natures details. How is it for the busy professional or indoor worker to undertake the challenge? How daunted might they be by the scope and inventiveness of others posting their exploits. The wild experience is just as important, arguably moreso for them, as its more out of their way to make a daily wildness habit.
Did you do 30DaysWild? What are your thoughts about it? Did you share any random acts of wildness on social media? Above all do tell the Wildlife Trusts about it, (Here is that link again https://wildlifetrusts.typeform.com/to/aEvj9h ) as it really will help them to finesse and grow the campaign next time around.
Now, confession time. I have developed a little obsession. It’s been coming on for a few months, but grown noticeably in the last week. Some of you may already be aware, you may even have whetted your own appetite.
What I’m talking about is Instagram. No, that’s not the obsession; specifically that niche group of photographers who hunt out close-up details of mundane everyday things around them, especially if they involve rust, peeling paint or tenacious plants growing in unlikely urban settings.
Have a glance at my Instagram feed linked with this blog and you will get a taste. If you have an Instagram account of your own then try searching tags like #rustlord, #primepeel, #street_greens or the one that started me on my quest, #plantsofbabylon. If you get hooked too, just don’t come to me for your money back.
If you like what you see then please by all means follow my modest contributions to the genre on Instagram. I’m @timburkinshaw on Instagram.