Business: Inspired Quill
How did you hear about my research?: Twitter
Twitter name: LadyTath (personal) / InspiredQuill (professional)
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/saraslack
Other: N.B. For the purpose of this research, any answers regarding to work will pertain to my own business, Inspired Quill, rather than my ‘day job’.
What social media platforms do you use?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress. (I also keep up with a few Tumblr accounts, though I don’t have one myself)
How often do you check your social media platforms?
Every day, time permitting (and I’m not on holiday)
How important is digital media in your business and personal life?
Business – incredibly important. In fact, it would be difficult for my business to exist without it. For my personal life, it makes it a lot more easy to arrange things with friends and family.
What do you use digital media for?
- Business trends
- General browsing
- Business promotion
How has digital media enhanced your business?
It has enabled us to communicate with and engage our audience (Inspired Quill is a publishing house) on a wide level. On top of this however, it has also allowed us to network with different organisations – from independent bookshops to publishing professionals. It also speeds things up and makes things more efficient for the IQ team, as we all work from home – having to do everything by email would be a nightmare! We also publish E-Books, which is obviously digital media itself.
Do you use digital media to support your chosen charity?
I retweet items by a number of different charities and not-for-profit organisations when I can.
How long have you run your business and what is your role?
I have been running Inspired Quill officially since April 2011. Before it was a registered business however, I ran the blog for a couple of years before that (since 2009). My role is Managing Director, which places me at the head of the organization.
Do you use social media to interact with your family or friends?
Mostly my friends. Facebook is a great tool for keeping up with what people are doing, organising get-togethers and events, and generally being able to share media that they might find interesting or amusing (although I haven’t yet fallen into the trap of sharing cat videos!) With my family, I tend to stick to emails or phone calls or even (shock, horror), actual written letters.
What do you use social media for mainly work or play?
I think it’s difficult for me to decide. Probably for work, to be honest. For ‘play’, I simply use it to communicate arrangements, whereas for work, it’s hugely integral to the whole business process. I could still have a social life without it, but my job probably wouldn’t exist.
How do you use social media for business, social interaction, fun, or current affairs?
I have already outlined my main uses for business and social interaction. For current affairs, I find Twitter the most effective way of keeping up with things. I follow different newspapers, and when something happens to go viral, I can also keep up with twitter trends, too. Of course, this does mean that I miss things from time to time, and I tend to have a more narrow focus than ‘general news’ (so for example, I keep well up to date with the Third Sector, Human Rights and what’s happening in the Publishing Industry).
Do you share your social media updates across all platforms?
It depends on the update. Facebook is my ‘keeping other up to date on what I’m doing’ platform, though I always try to make my status’ at least humorous. Twitter is used to interact with people – so replying to their tweets and asking questions. The only time an update goes to all of my platforms is when I update my blog – which happens about once every couple of weeks…and as with Facebook, I ensure that it’s more than simply ‘I had porridge for breakfast’.
Do you have two social media profiles? One for business and one for personal use?
If yes, why?
I do on Twitter, but that’s about it. Facebook is my personal page – and I quite firmly but politely remind people of that if they’re professionals in the publishing industry who want to ‘add’ me. Inspired Quill is larger than just me, so it makes sense to have a ‘page’ on Facebook for it, as well as its own Twitter account. If I was a sole-trader, I would probably be more likely to merge the two, due to personal branding. As a rule, I wouldn’t put anything online that I wouldn’t be happy the whole world knowing anyway, as I know that a long-forgotten post on a forum could surface years down the line.
What topics of interest do you follow via digital media?
Publishing, Current Affairs, Theatre, Local Events (Oxford, where I live), Third Sector news.
Do you use Skype or Face Time?
I use Skype a lot – primarily for Inspired Quill. I find it really useful, as we all work from home, and I believe that face-to-face meetings with our authors (and each other) are very important.
Do you use Social media on your mobile phone?
I get Twitter updates on my phone, but very rarely use it to actually Tweet from, unless I’m at an event.
How important is digital media to your business or personal life?
Integral to my business, and whilst I could like without it in my personal life if I had to – it certainly makes things a lot easier!
Do you buy or read magazines, journals or newspapers online?
There are a number of websites and blogs that I check frequently, and I read articles on websites such as the ‘Guardian Newspaper’, but I do not pay for them.
Do you book your holidays online or go to a travel agent?
It depends on the holiday. I tend to just book flights, as I visit friends in other countries. If I was looking for a full holiday package, I would most likely go to a travel agent.
How much of your business and professional life is conducted online?
About 80-90% of my professional/business life is conducted online. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Inspired Quill doesn’t have a central office. Once that happens, that number should (hopefully) drop to around 60-70%
Do you read and use social media when on vacation?
It depends on the holiday, how long it is, and whether I have any important issues to deal with on Inspired Quill. Generally however, I do my best to completely ‘unplug’ whilst on holiday.