One of my key preparations for our upcoming European adventure and then Big Move to China has been to find social media that I can take with me. You may have heard about the Great Firewall of China which blocks many popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter? Last time I was over there, twitter wasn’t as much of a thing and I found I could survive without facebook, although it was frustrating as living 1000s of miles from your family and friends is funnily enough one of those times when a site that allows you to share pics and updates with them would be REALLY useful.
I did pay around $US14 a month to get a VPN/wormhole thing to circumnavigate the blocks, but it made Facebook look weird and I felt very dodgy. And that was before smartphones were a thing. I’m not sure how well the vpn model will work on a phone or tablet.
And I have grown to adore twitter. I work in an industry where there are very clearly two types of people – those who use twitter, and those who don’t. 99% of my professional reading is via twitter. I no longer watch the news because I’ve already read it all on twitter 6 hours earlier. I’ve visited some awesome libraries and met some amazing librarians through twitter, including some who have become very good friends.
So I am more than a wee bit panicked to be heading to work in relative isolation where my colleagues and I don’t even share a common language and losing my PLN. I need an alternative!
So far I have discovered wordpress works, but a blog is hard work. I’ve also discovered tumblr works too and I find it a bit more ‘twitter-y’. It seems to have a more social element than wordpress. So I have started this blog there and will see which takes my fancy most. It helps that I know librarians over there already.
I’ve also been revamping my neglected Instagram account after reading this blog post:
Loads of tweeps on Instagram, it has hashtags, AND according to the above blog I can set it to auto update my twitter and facebook feeds thus circumventing the Great Firewall of China.