Attending the technology workshop lead by Jessica Skultety of Quilty Habit made me think about how my use of social media does not relate to my blog name. It also made me think about how my blog name and social media user names may be working at cross purposes, and thwarting my desire to be noticed. Right up front I will admit that I blog to be noticed, and hopefully to form connections in the quilting community. I don’t have a business to promote. I am not selling my work. I don’t do long arm quilting. I just want people to find value in what I post, and to notice me as a result.
When talking about getting noticed I should declare that I am a big fan of Michael Hyatt. I found him when Evernote retweeted something he had posted on Twitter years ago. I have been following him ever since. I read his book “Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World” when it first came out. I later went on to join Platform University, and have been a member there for nearly two years.
It was based on the suggestions in Michael Hyatt’s book that I started my blog. He recommends obtaining one’s own real name as a domain name if at all possible, preferably with a .com extension. He also recommends using WordPress and self hosting. I had owned terrischurter.com for years, yet I was reluctant to use it for a quilting blog because I did not already have name recognition in the quilting community. I am planning on pointing terrischurter.com to my hexylady.com domain eventually. I just have not gotten around to it yet.
Having looked around the quilting blogosphere it seemed to me that short and catchy names that related to the world of quilting were the preferred urls. Having discovered the love of hexagons, and feeling quite committed to them, I decided to grab “hexylady.com” when I found it available. I had noticed that the twitter name “hexylady” was taken, though never actually used. I had no real interest in Pinterest or Instagram at the time, so I didn’t even think to check them. I already had a Twitter account of “terrischurter” and decided to continue to use it.
I made a conscious decision to use my full real name for all social media accounts moving forward. I chose to do this because my real name is always available to me thanks to the fact that it is so unusual. I also decided to make sure that that my full name appeared whenever I responded to a comment on my blog. At first I only used “Terri” when I responded to a comment. Now I use “Terri Schurter”. I figured that over time my real name would become associated with my blog url. I am now considering a way to make my full name more prominent on my site, such as changing “ABOUT” to “ABOUT TERRI SCHURTER”
During the quilting technology workshop one of the attendees said she could not find me on Instagram, and I said, “I’m terrischurter.” And she said, “Nobody will find you that way.” That’s when I started to worry.
After the workshop I decided to check and see if “hexylady” would be available on Pinterest, and much more importantly, on Instagram. I could not obtain the name on either site. So I tried a little experiment. I changed my real name on Instagram to “Hexy Lady” to see if someone could find my “terrischurter” account by searching for “Hexy Lady”. That worked fine as long as they put in the space between the two words, which they might not be likely to do. If they simply typed “hexylady” I could not be found. Then I tried changing my name to “HexyLady” and it worked just fine. So I am going to leave my name as HexyLady for the time being.
On Pinterest I tried changing my real name to “HexyLady” using the place provided for a first name. This did not have the desired results, so I changed it back to Terri Schurter. I don’t think it will make that much of a difference because I feel as if Pinterest is much more of a way to gather inspiration than a way to share my work.
I am not 100% sure about using HexyLady as my real name on Instagram, but I can always change it back.
What are your thoughts on using Social Media in the quilting community?