Since my daughter is out and in public on social media, I've gotten questions as to how I manage it. I decided to put that information in one place so at least I have it to refer to later.
of all, she/you need to know why you're online and on social media.
Some social media outlets are more focused on interpersonal
communications and networking. Twitter and LinkedIn are both more
interpersonal, with Twitter being less professional and LinkedIn more
professional and networking focused. Blogs, Webpages, Tumblr, are more
one way. Facebook can be either, depending on how you set up a page.
age 13, an adult needs to own the page and it needs to be stated on the
page that this page is monitored and owned by an adult, not a kid. I
spend about an hour every morning monitoring my DD's pages, and am not
shy about blocking with impunity and deleting posts. I am also not shy
about temporarily hiding someone if they're having a bad day on the more
social side. I do not foresee stopping this job on DD's 13th birthday,
but rather turning it over to her gradually. She does do most of the
posting-most of my job is to sit back and moderate. DD is not allowed to
have personal accounts or personal "Friends" on social media, and I
limit the "friends" she is allowed to have for texting and iMessage
pretty closely as well. Despite her involved public social media
presence, she actually has less of a private social media/communications
presence than most of the kids her age in our homeschool co-op.
In DD's case, she has kind of a two pronged approach.
first level is blogs-blogs are completely under our control. I own the
account (on Blogspot), but she creates the content, which then spawns
out to social media. Comments are all moderated before they're allowed
She has two blogs-one is her research blog,
and came out of both my desire to have her write more and advice from
one of her favorite science bloggers (who is one of the bloggers for
Scientific American), which was, simply, to take the stuff that she
found interesting in science journals, and make it accessible to her
friends. That's where most of her school stuff is blogged, as well as
anything from conferences, her own research, and anything else she finds
interesting. It may be snakes one week, insects the next, and cool
mathematical concepts after that.
Her second is her
snake advocacy and outreach blog-this is under "My Little Python", and
is where she posts comics and other materials she creates and locates
just for kids. This is less closely linked with her, and her goal is
actually to eventually be able to have this be an ongoing program, with
other kids creating content for it and taking it over as she gets
farther out of the key age group.
You can buy a domain
name for your blog fairly inexpensively. We may do so eventually, but so
far at least, most of her traffic to the blogs comes from social media
pages and third party sites where people are just clicking on a link, so
I'm not sure that it would benefit her all that much to be
"mylittlepython.com" vs "mylittlepython.blogspot.com".
Social Media. All Social media is under the "My Little Python"
name-DD's real name doesn't appear anywhere. However, her content from
both blogs appears on social media.
pages are in the middle-they can be set up more tightly or more
loosely. DD has a FB page and a FB group, both for My Little Python.
goal on the main FB page is to have a page that parents who have
reptile/amphibian loving young kids can follow and have a carefully
selected collection of screened pictures, links, cartoons, information
about activities that may be interesting, and so on. She follows pages
that have good content and shares as appropriate. Nothing appears on
this page directly that wasn't posted by her and screened by me.
Comments are moderated closely and anyone who steps even slightly out of
line is blocked with impunity.
DD's goal on the sub
page is for kids who want to do outreach, both those in our local
community who participate in the monthly events she puts together, and
those in other areas who want to do so there, can discuss. Because of
the age of those kids, it really means their parents can discuss. I'm
still a moderator (and also have a few other parents who are moderators
as well) but for the most part, discussions flow as they will.
is most useful for communications. While DD's content is posted there,
for the most part, Twitter is where she networks with people doing work
in biology in the field, and shares what she finds interesting. She's
also been able to network with other webcomic artists, participate in
meetings and "tweet-ups" and, basically, be seen as a professional. She
has more followers on twitter than on any other platform. I moderate
twitter pretty closely, but have found it to actually be quite
congenial. Having said that, I will hide accounts that are obviously
personal ones, rather than professional ones, and will outright block
anyone who posts anything that is more than PG-13 level.
Pinterest is useful as a place to collect links and neat stuff, less so for communication. We use it more internally for future reference than externally, but I do moderate there as well.
have to be honest-I don't like instagram. I hate the interface, I find a lot of the stuff posted banal and annoying, and I just plain don't like to use
it. But there are really nice snake pictures on it, so we do have a MLP
account (and I have a personal one) and follow it, and DD posts photos
occasionally. However, honestly, her MLP instagram account gets used
most for things like taking photos of Giant MIcrobes placed in various
spots on the UNR biology building and tagging the company in them (like
a photo of the stuffed Blue Green Algae in a water quality study lab).
ones I absolutely do not allow are Tumblr and Reddit. Tumblr has a lot
of adult content and unlike Blogspot, does not flag such content (for
blogspot, if a page has been identified as "adult", either by the
original author, or reported as such, a confirmation page pops up before
you can access it. For Tumblr, it just pops up.) Reddit just plain
seems to get mean. I also do not allow SnapChat and similar "deletes in X
amount of time" because, again, it gets mean fast.
doesn't have a LinkedIn account yet because neither of us see the
point, but if she were going for paying jobs, that might quickly become a
DD has attended multiple
social media management and science communication workshops, which have
stressed the need to keep such pages and accounts polite, cordial, and
professional. She has some awesome mentors and people she's in contact
with in the field who have been great in that regard. Some of these have
been at conferences, some have been online.
set up feeds between FB, Twitter, and blogs so information posted on on
by you autoposts to the others. Be sparing to avoid redundancy and
annoying your followers.