A bit about Instagram

Instagram gridA Bit About Britain is on Instagram.  Just thought I’d mention it.  If anyone reading this is also on Instagram, plugging stuff about Britain like wot I do, let’s follow one another, shall we?  Every little helps.

I am currently at the very early learning Instagram stage.  The target audience is of course anyone interested in places to visit in Britain, Britain’s heritage, landscape, promoting the attractions they own or manage – and so on.  It is well known that Instagram is primarily a visual medium.  The quality of the photography in ABAB’s field, and the presentation of some of the material, is jaw-droppingly impressive.  In fact, to a rank amateur photographer barely out of his Box Brownie, it is daunting.  There are some seriously talented people out there.

Instagram logoInitial impressions are that, just as on Facebook and Twitter, some accounts seem to thrive by mostly posting other people’s wonderful work under their own brand.  This can be somewhat misleading, if not dishonest, particularly if they are using someone else’s creativity to promote a product, or themselves.  Sharing on social media is part of the game, of course; you must do that.  One hand washes the other and all that jazz.  However, some accounts have nothing much of their own to say and simply spout vacuous drivel, or pose facile questions.  Another peculiarity appears to be individuals that predominantly post pictures of themselves against beautiful or inspiring backdrops, such as castles, hills, lakes and mountains.  They are mostly female, sometimes – but not always – promoting their photography, or fashion items.  Fair enough, and it is often elegantly and tastefully done.  Figures can enhance photographs, perhaps framed in a doorway; they can provide perspective, or help to convey emotion.  At the other extreme, there is also a fair amount of gratuitous bosom and bum thrusting, often coupled with a little gentle pouting and skirt-twirling.  I have nothing against a thrusting bosom or bum (as it were), or even a subtle pout and twirl, but a proportion of this looks purely narcissistic, and rather sad. Not only that, but how can an aging, overweight, bloke hope to compete? Should I wear a shorter skirt? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Twitter logoUnlike Twitter and Facebook (and Pinterest, come to that), you cannot link directly to another site from an Instagram post.  So its value in terms of driving website traffic remains to be seen.  It is too soon to make definitive comparisons between Instagram and other social media.  Each one has its attributes.  I enjoy Twitter: it is quick, often witty, and informative.  There are some clever, and kind, people using Twitter.  I haven’t found too much humour on Instagram yet.  Of course, it is well known that Twitter also has its share of lunatics, flat-earthers and bigots of left and right.  I cannot stand intolerance, can you?  It is pointless trying to engage with these people, because they are always right: life is simpler for them that way.  If you do not agree, you must be a Socialist or a Fascist (delete as applicable).  There is a whole debate to be had about how worryingly widespread this polarisation and shutting down of rational debate seems to be – you see it every day with politicians, of course.  That said, Twitter makes it easy to block anyone too offensive and I am pleased and proud that A Bit About Britain attracts idiots of all persuasions.

Facebook logoI do not understand Facebook.  I just get used to doing something and they mischievously change the way the damn thing looks and acts.  Currently, I seem to have lost the ability to see anyone else’s material in A Bit About Britain’s newsfeed.  So I cannot comment on or share anything other than my own stuff.  Next week, I’m sure it will be fine – but it is a little tiresome and makes it hard to interact.  One good thing about Instagram, which is currently owned by Facebook anyway, is that when you post something you can simultaneously share it to your Facebook page (as well as Twitter, if you want).

People use social media for different reasons.  You may use it to stay in touch with family and friends.  If you are trying to promote a business or a brand, using social media is essential.  It has to be right for you, though; and I would recommend tackling one channel at a time.

I would be interested in other people’s (polite) thoughts on the subject and their own experience.

PS – If you click on a logo, above, you should end up on the relevant ABAB page.

65 thoughts on “A bit about Instagram

  1. sara

    Hello Mike, I just followed you on Instagram (I am at “a.vision.of.grace” there). Seems to be where I spend most of my screen time these days. It’s so quick and easy. Keeping my Facebook account open for the sake a handful of people I can’t connect with anywhere else. Will never be on Twitter! My blog has slowed way down too, at least for now. But I’m so glad I dropped by here. Will be seeing you on IG and here at your blog.

  2. hilarymb

    Hi Mike – I do have an account but don’t use – much like the other social media sites … my blog is enough and I so enjoy visiting other bloggers of ‘like-mind’. Pouting tits, or plummy bums are too much for me! Cheers Hilary

  3. CherryPie

    I can’t keep up with all the new social media trends and platforms. They all merge together in the end.

    So for now i don’t have an instagram account.

  4. Pit

    I’ve never liked Facebook because of their policies … and politics. So I don’t have an account there. I still have an Instagram account, but only because I have not yet found out how to close it. I would also like to know how to properly use my Flickr account. Maybe at some time in the future. So, for now, I just stay with my two WordPress accounts.

  5. Anne Clare

    I hope Instagram treats you well! I’ve heard good things from friends who do the whole “bookstagram” thing, but couldn’t bring myself to go down another internet rabbit hole. All the best- I love seeing the photos you share on the blog, in spite of the lack of bosom etc. (I had to explain to my husband why I was laughing at my phone while I was reading this post :))
    I honestly disliked Twitter- I couldn’t manage to be on it often enough to get momentum, and then an election year came around…and I happily burned that account and haven’t looked back. I’m glad it’s been working for you, though!
    I was about to give up on Facebook, but then found a wonderful WWII author and fiction reader group that has made it worth sticking around. I was surprised that I hadn’t ‘liked’ ABAB on there yet- I rectified that, though with FB being the way it is, who knows what I’ll see…
    All the best!

  6. Judy Masrud

    Especially when we were downsizing and packing our farmhouse contents (extremely long, laborious project) and moving to Wausau, I found Instagram to be so much less time consuming than writing a blog post. I post less frequently now even on Instagram because, you know, life, but I do not like their algorithm tool which keeps me from getting new posts from people I’d actually like to stay connected with. I’m trying to learn not to “like” the random post Instagram sends me, for then I get more and more of that and less and less of the ones I really want to follow. So be sure not to “like” the ‘thrusting bosom’ unless you want to get a gazillion more like it. I’m not judging. LOL

    Sorry. This comment got misplaced.

  7. robertawrites235681907

    HI Mike, I like Instagram and I use it more to share pictures of my fondant artwork, baking, and places that I visit than for advertising my books. You can link Instagram to both Facebook and Twitter so that your posts are shared there.

  8. Helen Devries

    I’m not very good with these sites…I do have FB – frustrating though it is – to keep in touch with bloggers who no longer blog, but that is my limit. I’ll stick to your blog, if you don’t mind.

  9. Jim Borden

    best of luck with your foray into Instagram. I agree with all that you have to say regarding social media. I think your blog, with its many photographs, would translate well to Instagram. It is odd that you cannot create a link to your blog from Instagram. I would hope that would change at some point.

  10. Kay G.

    Hey! The nice thing about Instagram is that you can send a private message to someone and have a nice little chat right at that very instant from anywhere in the world! It’s pretty amazing that way. Having said that, there are nutcases out there so you have to be careful! However, if you already know someone from your blogging world, it might be nice to know them on Instagram also. One thing, I looked to follow you and I looked for “Mike@bitaboutbritain” and couldn’t see it. Kept at it and it is “bitaboutbritain”. Maybe anyone else wouldn’t make that mistake looking for you but I just thought I would tell you. I am not very good at Instagram, so I can’t give you any advice or help! I am in constant need myself, and not just with Instagram! LOL! Take care and good luck to you. Love, Kay G.

    1. Mike@bitaboutbritain Post author

      Thanks, Kay. I did provide a link via the logo (above) and am happy to be found as ‘bitaboutbritain’ – that’s intentional. But it’s also good to have natters with blogging friends by whatever means suits 🙂 xxx

  11. SueW

    Promise me that you won’t start calling it Insta!

    I disabled my Instagram account a few years ago, I was becoming disillusioned with Facebook and for all the reasons you stated. And then I couldn’t see any purpose in continuing with Instagram.

    I gave up reading Twitter too, I found the negativity and unkindness of people hard to swallow (not towards me) . They’d found an outlet to vent comments that they wouldn’t say to someone’s face, but they felt it was okay to do so on Twitter.

    I still have Facebook, but I rarely post anything and hardly ever look at it. I realised that if there was anything important to see or hear then someone would tell me anyway.

    All that said, I wish you all the best with Instagram, Mike.

  12. willedare

    Hurrah to you for taking steps in new directions! I continue to savor our WordPress community and also use FB a bit. I agree that the seemingly endless improvements/changes/updates in the worlds of hardware/software/social media platform can be very frustrating. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

  13. marmeladegypsy

    Well, you are ahead of me. I have had an instagram account (Marmelade Gypsy) but I’ve never posted on it, since I never had a smart phone till my birthday last month and I still can’t figure out how to do it. But I’ll be delighted to follow you and add to the number count. I do have fb under my name (jeanie croope) and you are welcome to “friend’ me and I will also connect to your page. I have twitter too — I can’t remember my name there — but I rarely visit except for when the sky seems to be falling. Although most of the things I follow are either in England or artists or bloggers so even WHEN the sky is falling, no one is usually talking much about it.

    I know what you mean about those photos though. When you mentioned the pout and twirling I immediately thought of someone I follow on FB (and also know — like a human friend) and most of her FB pics are exactly that! Drives a lot of us nuts, but then, the good points outweigh that fault!

  14. Gaël Phillips

    Thank you for your thoughts about social media. I am not on Twitter. Facebook is easy to use but somewhat frustrating in the way in which it seems to arbitrarily limit the posts which come up for you to read. Instagram does not seem very user friendly.

  15. dinahmow

    I have enough hassles with Farcebook so really don’t need another account.I’ll stick with your blog, which is one of the better ones! Good luck to you!

  16. April Munday

    I’m on Insta, but I have no idea how it works and rarely visit. I post photographs even more rarely. I’m following you, but I don’t promise to acknowledge it very often.

  17. fragglerocking

    Just followed, though I’ll only be on there until 1st Jan when my project is finished, I don’t like all the adverts (much worse than facebook) and their’algorithm doesn’t show you stuff from all the people you follow, but ‘stuff you might be interested in’. It drives me mad.

    1. Judy Masrud

      Especially when we were downsizing and packing our farmhouse contents (extremely long, laborious project) and moving to Wausau, I found Instagram to be so much less time consuming than writing a blog post. I post less frequently now even on Instagram because, you know, life, but I do not like their algorithm tool which keeps me from getting new posts from people I’d actually like to stay connected with. I’m trying to learn not to “like” the random post Instagram sends me, for then I get more and more of that and less and less of the ones I really want to follow. So be sure not to “like” the ‘thrusting bosom’ unless you want to get a gazillion more like it. I’m not judging. LOL

  18. junedesilva

    This where I have to confess that I have two Instagram accounts!! One is linked to my blog @fancyingfrance but I have got a bit lazy about updating it and the other is one I run on behalf of my dog … Yes, I am that mad dog woman! I started @zephbc when we got our Border Collie puppy. I’m much more active here and it’s a great way of keeping in touch with the breeder and Zeph’s siblings. There are no bosoms or bums here but lots of tails, snouts and fur! I think it’s a rather lovely community. Unsurprisingly, Zeph has more followers than I do! We’re both following you now…

  19. John

    Hi Mike, I just followed your Instagram! I’m guessing that you are new. I have been there for a few years now and prefer it to FB or Twitter. FB is a joke, never used it. Twitter is too weird, makes no sense to me. My account is private, you’ll have to request to follow if you wish to.

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