The Basics of Instagram

Everyone seems to have gone Instagram crazy and more and more people are creating accounts. I thought I'd give people a simple a quick guide to Instagram and getting to grips with some of the basics. Basics of Instagram

Firstly Instagram is an app based social media platform. Yes you can visit the website and comment and like various photos up as things stand at the moment you can't upload their so the first thing is to head to the app store and download the app. From this app you can create your account and search for people that you know are on there and follow them.

The real thing Instagram is for is photo sharing so get sharing. The first thing of note is the fact the camera built into the app is pretty poor, it has no zoom function (this I'm sure will change soon) so I always take a photo using my phones camera and then editing it before I head to Instagram. You also need to be aware that the photos it uses are square so just keep that in mind when your about to upload.

Here's a little video I've created with a few of the basics and a walk around of the app.

When it comes to the description of the photo it appears around 200 characters is ideal and DON'T take in hashtags it's too difficult to read and looks a mess, add those to the end of the description. Just below the description you have the choice of which Social Media channels you want to share it to. You can set it to share to either your Facebook personal page or a Facebook page but not both.

You'll also note that at the moment you can't add links to descriptions and I imagine that at some point Facebook will add this feature. With this in mind Instagram has no SEO advantages and doesn't generate any blog traffic unless they click the link on your profile.

Well that's the Basics of Instagram covered I think. Any questions please drop me a comment.

 

Podcasting - Publishing

This is the second post regarding podcasting and the first post about podcasting basics can be found here. alt_lod_logo_500

This post is about publishing your podcast and where to host the audio file.

The first thing to do is install a plugin on your Wordpress blog. Over on LoveAllDads we use a plugin called Seriously Simple Podcasting which as the name suggests is very simple. To begin with you create a profile for the podcast and this will also generate a podcast feed which you'll need for iTunes.

The plugin allows you directly upload the podcast file but don't so this as your bandwidth will completely blow within a matter of hours and your host will either give you a massive bill or just pull the site. So head over to LibSyn which is where we upload our files.

Libsyn

LibSyn is a very reasonably priced hosting service that provides you with a whole range of add ons such as stats which come in very handy. Once you've set up the billing and basic details of the show you'll be able to create your first show. Click the Add New Content section and you'll be taken to what looks like a blog post section.

At this point you can upload your audio file and a description of the show and add things like tags, category and any artwork you'd like to use. Once the file has been uploaded just hit publish. The next screen will give you a Direct Download URL copy this link as you'll use this over on the blog. 

Now head back over to the Wordpress dashboard and click the Podcast tab and then new episode. You can write this part just like a blog and then at the bottom you'll find near the bottom a part that says Audio File, paste the direct download url here and then simply schedule or publish like you would a blog post.

So now all that's left is to get your podcast on to iTunes. Firstly grab either the feed url from the Podcast plugin or the feed from Libsyn either will work it just means when you upload to Libsyn it will automatically go to iTunes.

Firstly you have to submit your podcast to iTunes so open it up and head to the store. Along the top you'll see the Podcast tab click that and then under the Podcast Quick Links click Submit a Podcast

itunes

The next screen will ask you for the feed and which category it should appear in. This initial submitting can take up to 2 weeks but generally it is quicker and Apple will email you once the podcast is on iTunes. Once they have authorised it from then onwards once you've published a new episode it will appear on iTunes within minutes.

And that is how you go about getting your podcast published. If you have any further comments please leave a comment and I'll respond.

Podcasting Basics + BritMumsLive Show

A lot of you will know that the annual parent blogging conference BritMums Live has just happened at you may have seen that the LoveAllDads Podcast won the Innovate BiBs award which we are very very proud of. trophy

Also during this conference the podcast team were asked to record a live show and also answer a few questions that people may have regarding podcasting. The session was to run for 45 minutes and time really ran away from us so I have created this post to hopefully help and answer a few questions.

Equipment

The first thing to get right is the sound, you can have the best topics to cover but if the sound is poor no one will listen. In an ideal World you’ll have a top of the range mic but not everyone can afford that. You can pick up a headset which simply plugs into the USB port of your laptop and generally that will work fine. Avoid at all costs using the build in microphone of your laptop as you’ll get so much background noise it will make it unbearable.

Software

As there is four of us on the Podcastwe use Skype to dial in to each other and then John records it using. In the words of John here’s how he does it.

I record it using a Mac program called Audio Hijack Pro which lets me record the Skype call. That makes a WAV file which I drop into Levelator - a program for fixing differing voice levels and adding a light compression. It just generally makes things sound better. After that I open the file in Amadeus Pro to add the head and foot. Here I also cut off the banner part - "It's Sunday the 20th of June... blah" - and add the music under it. Then I save an MP3 out of Amadeus. Finally I open the MP3 in ID3Editor to add the show description, title, show number, logo and so on. After that I save it to my dropbox and it’s ready to be published.

So that's the basics of how to record and edit the show, the next post will follow in the next few days and will be about where to host your podcast files and how to get them on your blog but for now sit back and listen to our live BritMums show.