Yesterday I posted on Offbeat Empire’s Facebook page about how, if folks want to follow along with me behind the scenes, they should follow @offbeatbride’s Instagram Stories. A couple commenters were like, “But wait I don’t use Instagram, how can I see that content?” and the answer is…
And here’s more about why.
Content is very much contextual for me. The kind of content that works in one format (say, a blog) can totally not translate in another format (say, social media). The kind of content that succeeds with one audience (say, Google searchers) can totally fail with another audience (say, Facebook followers). As media consumers, we interact with different content in different ways. I might want something time-killing from Facebook, something pretty from Instagram, something thoughtful from a blog, and something useful from Google. We interact with our platforms with different goals, different mindsets, and different motivations.
The 24-hour format that Instagram Stories stole from Snapchat provides a unique context for content, and I love it for four reasons:
- The temporary nature is super freeing and reduces the pressure on me to make something perfect that I can stand behind forever and ever amen.
- The culture of Instagram is light and visual, which reduces the amount of community management / moderation overhead I have to deal with. Honestly, after 8 years of managing the Offbeat Bride Tribe and a decade of comment moderation on Offbeat Bride, I am burned out on moderating.
- The 24-format means that followers have to keep up in real-time, which creates a whole different relationship. It’s more personal, more ambient, and feels like the membrane between publisher/follower is thinner.
- It’s a new digital publishing toy, and part of what I love about my work is playing with new toys. New formats are fun! Exploring the differences in how the content is produced and consumed is part of what I love about my career.
If you want more discussions of these four reasons, hey look! I made a video!
(The irony of using Facebook Live to talk about Instagram Stories is not lost on me, but the “Live” function of Instagram Stories is real-time only, and in this case I actually DID want to make a more permanent piece of video content for y’all. META CONTENT! CONTENT INCEPTION! It’s content all the way down!)
I totally get that this content in this format isn’t a fit for everyone. A real-life friend was trying to figure out if he should follow me on Facebook or Instagram, and I was all, “Instagram, fucker!”
He was all, “Ariel, it’s a lot.”
And he’s not wrong!
I post a dozen times a day over on Instagram Stories! I post on my personal Facebook a couple times a week, and it’s mostly just stuff about my kid for his grandparents. My Instagram Stories include stupid dance videos, me rambling about my new book and showing how I use a spreadsheet to track my chapter progress, pictures from around Seattle, my silly little shivering toothless dog, confessionals about rough days, and meaningless status updates. Part of what I love about Instagram Stories is that I am very well aware all this shit isn’t all that important… which is why I’m stoked it just rolls away after 24 hours.
(Also, Ariel: It’s A Lot should probably just be my new life motto.)
All this being said, I will make an effort to update offbeatempire.com a little more often… but if you’re looking for the place where I’m having the most fun with content these days? It’s @offbeatbride’s Instagram Stories.