Did you know that I am a nonprofit board member, wish I lived in a different time period, and taught older woman how to cheat at book club? The Uncorked Librarian has been pretty serious these days with posts focused around marketability and resources for others. In that spirit, I promise I will end with some fun blogging and IG caption ideas. However, blogging for fun seems to be a dying beast when we all want to become our own damn bosses and monetize. It is no secret, my blog is my business, but I also want to just write and enjoy. I want to incorporate and share more about myself.
Blogging and Social Media’ing For Fun
Instagram At Its Worst
If you follow The Uncorked Librarian on other channels, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. This past week, an IGer brought home the shallowness and just plain bullshit that IG can represent:
An account that I follow posted a gorgeous library picture with an engaging caption about their love for touring libraries abroad. I admire more meaningful travel and feel kinship there. You can bet that libraries all over the world are the first stops on my agenda next to a pub or winery.
However, this same IG account started with a brilliant quote by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman, in the world of ALA for librarians, adults, and teens, is a literature and library activist and incredible graphic novel and fiction author. He’s like the less pop culture version of John Green. In my comments to this IGer, I talked about visiting international libraries and praised the Gaiman quote. The account wrote back: Is Gaiman another library to visit? Nope, he’s the person you just randomly quoted and credited to the quote. Are you serious right now, dude?
How To Instagram Better & Not Be A Douche
Not to preach, but I left the account a little miffed. I don’t buy into the fakeness of IG and hope others try to create a community that they want to thrive in and inspire with. I don’t use quotes without context, am sincere, and I know what I am writing. It is so easy to just cut and paste clichés, aka bullshit, along with well edited, pretty filtered pictures.
My advice is to be real. Be you. And quite frankly, be aware and educated. That’s what being a traveler, influencer, blogger, writer, and human is about, right?! I’d love to see IG get a little cleanup and change its course in the next year.
What IG Is Good For
On the flip side, I do know that instagram has a meaningful community, and I have networked well within the platform. Without IG, I would have missed out on travel advice, blog mentors and friends, and guest posting for some seriously incredible travel writers.
In a ‘practice what you preach’ kind of way, I recently posted a ‘get to know me’ IG caption and ‘share your personal secrets.’ I had no idea what would transpire, and as strangers and best friends chipped in, I learned so much about the community I am working with.
For Other Blogging & SM Tips On TUL To Check Out:
UnQuirking The Uncorked Librarian: Did Ya Know?
In the true spirit of blogging for fun and sincerity, here are five little known facts about The Uncorked Librarian as posted and expanded upon from IG:
1. I am a nonprofit board member for a literacy organization in Orlando.
The organization works with homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, alternative schools for teens that were exited out of the public school system, the FL children’s hospital, and daycares. The best: this nonprofit brings puppet shows, books, yoga classes, and all types of literacy and science experiment performances to urban families in need. One of my big projects this winter is a Central Florida-wide literacy competition for teens involving written, singing, and film submissions for prizes. Working with schools and homeschoolers, I am praying for a great turnout. The library I worked in used to run a similar event but canceled a great night over politics. The library world can be a cruel place and women do not always support other successful women.
2. Unlike the library, I went to a supportive all women’s college in MA. Yup, I am a Smithie.
Some people give these single-gender schools a lot of crap, but I met some of the strongest and most inspiring women and people alive here. My college was also a safe haven for the LGBT+ community, although they sometimes struggled with admission policies based on ‘biology.’ It was here I found my extremely loud voice. Before that, I didn’t speak. If you go through my HS report cards, my grades rocked but the comments all noted that I really needed to raise my hand. I never did.
3. I worked in the public library for five years as a one-on-one computer teacher (and Youth Service librarian).
I helped thousands of older patrons learn how to use their computers and devices. When an 80+-year-old woman high-fived me after sending her first email, I knew I was winning at life. I also taught a 70-year-old woman about cliff notes for book club. Oops.
The craziest thing is that I also became the computer guru at work. The only thing that I had going for me was that I was on the tippity top of millennial age. As an English and history double major, I certainly had no business teaching computer-related anything. My lack of knowledge allowed me to learn much more—and faster—and also made me an empathetic teacher. Wouldn’t it be great if we all tried something new and taught it?
4. I wish I lived in a different time period.
Speakeasies and old-fashioned bars in historic districts are my favorite local haunts. From Mount Dora to St. Augustine and Ocala, restaurants like The Plant Bar and The Ivy House were made for me. Can I please wear fishnets and suspenders 24/7? Do you remember Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman? Or should I just say Sully? God, take me back. While I love how we glamorize Prohibition now, I’d fucking die.
5. In HS, I was in yearbook club and on the school newspaper.
There was a lot of inter-dating among us geekier types—which led to SO much drama. Plus it was high school. The only time I almost got into a physical fight in my life was in the girl’s locker room over a boy. Gym clothes went flying. Dumb, dumb, dumb, but thankfully no fists were thrown. That same boy came up to my college one day on my birthday talking about marriage. I was a freshman and dumped him on the spot. It was a bitch move. He came all the way over from a different state to see me, and I put him back on the bus. Up until the age of about 26, I tended to dump anyone who talked about marriage. F’ that crap.
This is a give-and-take post. I want to know more about you, my readers. Dish in the comments.
Ideas For Meaningful Blog Posts and Captions
OK, my secrets are out! Are you at least a little more engaged and connected?
On the flip side of blogging for fun and cleaning up social media BS, writing about you and being you is essential to success.
Here are 10 ideas for IG captions and blog posts that anyone can implement into their niche to invoke the occasional flair of personality and humanity:
1. Disclosing Your ‘Secrets’
We all want to know your hidden talents, dreams, fears, and funny stories.
2. Travel Stories
Everyone can spew out travel facts that they find on the web or snatch from a tour. Why not make travel more meaningful and share your heartfelt stories? Two of my most popular IG captions involved my little run in with John Stamos in Positano and my monkey nightmare in Uluwatu, Bali. Then there was almost getting chucked off of a cliff by donkeys in Santorini, dropping my blood on Mayan soil, and ya know, almost sinking on a Nicaraguan ferry carrying a bus.
3. Five Facts About You
This sounds so simple, but every now and again, readers want to learn more about you. Plus, your newer followers may be late to the game. Tell them that you can devour an entire can of olives in 5 minutes, that you have a MLIS but are a rogue librarian, and that it rained like hell on your wedding day.
4. Others Who Inspire You
Guilty as charged, but we are all self-promotey these days. You have to be. Write about other accounts and bloggers who inspire you. Tag them and say why. This allows your trusted followers to find other great accounts too. Sharing is always caring.
5. Tags With Challenges
Book bloggers are obsessed with book tags. However, you can tag people in silly questions and challenges anytime. You can make up your own or share the love of a tag you once received. Twitter is all about tagging three accounts in response to a question, shoutout, or show and tell session. Just today, this post about who you would sit in jail with, who your lawyer would be, and who told on you was going around. Saturday, a tweeter tagged me in a “Saturday stalker” post to share your favorite accounts that you non-creepily follow religiously.
6. Healthy Habits & Schedules
We all want to know how you travel so well or blog all night while working a full-time job. Share how you manage your time, and what your day looks like. Only share your dumb lunch on occasion, though. No one really cares.
7. Poking Fun At Yourself & Social Media
My highest engaging posts are the ones where I make fun of IG and all of its insanity. People love to know that you are in the same boat. Bitch seshes are needed sometimes.
8. Twist A Quote
Take an inspiring quote and twist it around. Make it your own, and make people laugh. Don’t be a twat and just drop tons of quotes like a drunk downing shots at the bar. I once read that every time you use a cliche quote, a cat dies. SO STOP IT!
9. Pet Talk
Duh. Stories with my pets are gold. I mean they are the freaking cutest.
10. Everyday Life
Sometimes you don’t have time for lengthy posts or captions and not everyone has time to read everything. Wish people a happy weekend, ask what they are up to, and share your latest fun or projects. Don’t be an ass and brag, though.
Go forth and blog!
If nothing else, I hope you learned a bit more about TUL and had a few laughs. Don’t forget to share your secrets below, and let me know what types of posts and captions you like to write or read.
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