Last week we talked about beginning your PLN on Facebook and Twitter. Let's look at Instagram this week. In case you don't know much about Instagram, it is a totally visual platform. Every post has to contain an image that is either a jpg or a png. Unlike Twitter's 280character posts, Instagram lets you use 2,200 characters for your image caption.
So, that's all nice and all. But, how do you build your PLN? You can always try searching for someone by name if you know who to look for. But, most people will search for hashtags on Instagram. I did a post on hashtags a couple of weeks ago that you can read more about here. But, the basic idea is that hashtags help gather people together who share a common interest.
So, if you are interested in Young Adult books, you could try searching for #YAbooks. If makerspaces are your passion, look for #makerspace. Once you search for your favorite hashtag, notice you can see how many recent posts have used that hashtag. You will want to visit some of the links that have a lot of posts so you can see the most activity. Once you choose a hashtag to visit, start looking at the photos that catch your eye and read what the user added as the image caption. If you like what they are showing, you can follow that person. Once you follow them, their posts will begin to show up on your Instagram feed.
If you're wondering what hashtags to try first, look at:
Instagram will even suggest other search terms similar to your search.
If you're a visual person, Instagram is a GREAT way to stimulate your imagination and gain all kinds of new ideas to try. And while you're at it, you might even gain a virtual friend or two to start building your personal learning network (PLN). The more people you follow, the more great ideas you will see each time you log in to your account. Here is my Ultimate List of Social Media Library Influencers. You'll find some Instagram accounts included in this list.
Have a great weekend and keep making a difference every day!
Have you met Shana Ferguson? In her podcast interview, she shared ideas to help you "Be the Heart of Your School Community". Listen here.
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