Link Love Express-#9

Hello everyone and happy spring! Time for another installment of Link Love Express. I rounded up a number of interesting products, services and videos that I hope you will find inspiring and useful. So let’s begin:
1) I am sure some of you have heard about the controversy around plastics. Not only are they not biodegradable but some believe they may be linked to health problems. It has been reported that chemicals can leach out of plastics and get in to your food which of course you then ingest. So when I saw an advertisement on Face Book for a Beeswax “plastic” wrap I was all ears. This wrap of course is not plastic, but a reusable sealable wrap made from organic muslin and bees wax. So if you are like me and a bit concerned about using plastic wrap be sure to check out www.beeswrap.com

2) I had a wonderful time in Florida on my last vacation and I wanted to send my friends a thank you card, but I didn’t want to send them the same old thank you card. Yes, traditional post cards are fine, and there are many cute and fun thank you cards out there, but I wanted to add that personal touch. Enter the TouchNote app. The TouchNote app can be used on your phone or your desktop computer.

It works on both the iPhone and Android. This super fun app allows you to make post cards, greeting cards and stretched canvas artwork from your photos. I tried it out and it is super easy, I sent out my first post card this weekend. And the best part is that they have centers in the US and abroad, so if want to send something to someone over seas the price is the same as if you were sending it from your home country. How cool is that? Check them out at TouchNote.com

3) Have any of you ever heard of Instagram pods?? I know what you are thinking—something else to have to keep up with and master. This came to my attention via an article on IFB. It is essentially a group in Instagram with specific parameters that you would join with the expectation that you would adhere to said parameters.

And why would you do this? Apparently to increase your engagement. Hmm. According to IFB, engagement on Instagram is down. OK, many of my regular readers will know I already called that. So I am not surprised.

Many are blaming this on the new Instagram algorithm, but I don’t think the algorithm is why there is this drop off. It didn’t help, but this not the core of the problem.

playing and gaming the system with fake followers, automated following and commenting, and the practice of immediately unfollowing someone as soon they follow you back after they followed you…

I believe this has to do with there being way to many players and way too many of these players doing exactly that: playing and gaming the system with fake followers, automated following and commenting, and the practice of immediately unfollowing someone as soon they follow you back after they followed you, and commenting back on your own photo instead of visiting the other person’s feed and commenting on one of their photos.

In the past people engaged by commenting on each other photos and following one another. Now it is all about having the most followers while simultaneously following very few. This is supposed to be a “good look”. Well that has led to exactly where I said it would— a drop off in engagement which ultimately will lead to Instagram no longer being the go to app for wunderbar marketing.

So the idea with pods is that you join a agreed upon group, and then you all have to comment and like each all of each others photos. Is it just me or does this sound like what it is—desperation. It also sounds overwhelming and time consuming.

I think this is kind of the being of the end of Instagram being this big marketing tool

You can read the article on IFB, if you do tell me what you think. But I think this is kind of the being of the end of Instagram being this big marketing tool. Yes it will still be around and will be used as it was originally intended—an inspiring source of personal photos. But the break the bank social media go to app, not so much.

4) My regular readers will know I often speak about transformation on the blog, and how fashion, makeup and even having a blog can help one tap in to this idea of transformation. Transformation can be alluring, powerful and scary. Have you ever done anything that felt transformative?

If you have not be sure to watch this videos from the Vlogger Miss Yanyi.  Yanyi recently left her 80k a year job to make videos for You Tube full time. In the middle of  the video or so we cut to the day she actually gave her notice. She is in a private cubicle in her office at work, and is speaking via her phone right after she gave notice. She is flustered and a bit overwhelmed as she shares this very pivotal moment in her life.

In the video itself where she is speaking right outside her apartment, it is a number of months after she left her office job and she speaks in detail about the decision that led her to make this choice, why she made it, and how it effected her. And affected her it did. It is like you are looking and listening to two completely different people. The transformation is remarkable. And it is certainly inspiring to see someone take a leap of faith and not only be transformed but to also be empowered and happy in their own skin and their life. So if you need a little transformative inspiration be sure to watch.

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alimackin@gmail.com

Allie founder and creative director for ALLIE NYC

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18 Comments

  1. April 17, 2017 / 10:05 am

    I totally agree with you, the algorithm is not the main issue. Several people are still killing it on IG without cheating.

    xo
    Pinksole

  2. April 17, 2017 / 10:33 am

    The dropoff in Instagram engagement is real and it’s such a bummer! The pods seem like they would be time consuming and forced – to say the least. Loved this read xx

    http://www.qustomquinns.com/blog

  3. April 17, 2017 / 11:34 am

    I did Ig pods for a bit. I quit when I went on vacation and haven’t gone back to it. It helped, since they were real people and I refuse to do the fake ppl thing. I hate that engagement has dropped. I hate that it’s all become a game. I wish I had answers.

  4. April 17, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    Instagram and most social medias are fucked to be honest, too many fake followers and quite frankly, too many ‘influencers’. I just post when and what I want and engage as much as I could. It’s worse than having a full time job so I’ve learnt not to stress about it.

  5. April 18, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    I’m definitely concerned about the negative effects of plastics so thanks for the heads up on the Bee’s Wrap. I will definitely have to check out the TouchNote app as well. Sounds super convenient to use!

  6. April 18, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    I need to check out Beeswrap! I have definitely started paying attention to plastics + the health issues they may cause.

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  7. April 18, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    OMG I just heard about the Instagram pods on a webinar and was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I don’t get it. At all. The follow / unfollow makes me so crazy on Instagram. I have had a couple of people that follow / unfollow me every day for a week. I mean, really?

    Also, that Vlogger sounds really interesting. It is amazing how different you can feel/be when you make big choices like that. It happened to me when I left my horrible job.

    Nikki
    thefashionablewife.com

  8. April 18, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    I am so intrigued by that beeswax plastic. I never honestly thought about that ziplock plastics I use for a lot of my foods. Thanks for sharing babe, I’ll have to take a look into it more!

    xoxo
    Rina Samantha
    http://www.andshedressed.com

  9. April 18, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    I’m really intrigued by the Beeswax “plastic” wrap 🙂

  10. April 19, 2017 / 1:46 am

    The Beeswax wrap sounds like a great alternative to plastic. Instagram is not what it used to be and is ever changing.

  11. April 19, 2017 / 9:42 am

    Busy watching the you tube video right now, very powerful 🙂 xx

  12. April 19, 2017 / 11:10 am

    Love this post!!
    I’m all about environment and sustainability and this is such a great alternative to plastic!
    Wish you a lovely week
    Kiss
    xx

    https://thathappymess.com/

  13. April 19, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    Such a great post and points dear! I have been to a few pod groups on instagram, but it was very overwhelming. After months of being active on these groups, I left and focused on engaging with my true fans/followers, who are not engaging with me just to like/comment back at their photos. Much better spent time. And I have the same number of comments I had when I was in these groups. Plus I engage with the people I want whenever I have the time to do so.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

  14. April 19, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    This is a fascinating article. I did visit each link. I am also curious about the future of Instagram and other forms of social media. I also worry about the plastic in the environment and I am glad that you proposed a good alternative.
    Xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/blog/

  15. April 19, 2017 / 10:06 pm

    The IFB article recently came into my attention as well. And yes, the engagement on Instagram dropped drastically. I have experienced drop downs in the past, but this time seems like my engagement won’t recover any time soon. I don’t believe pods are bringing it down, those who prefer to look at pictures and never engage with them are bringing down the app, and it’s quite sad. As you pointed out, there’s a lot of users who prefer to just like a couple of pics and never follow your account. Quite silly in my opinion, but oh well, I hope they will stop changing algorithms like they change socks. xx

    Andreea,
    http://couturezilla.com/

  16. April 21, 2017 / 3:11 am

    Such an interesting post! Pods can definitely be time-consuming, and it’s easy to forget about your “true followers”. I’ve left certain pods because I was forced to comment and like pictures that I wasn’t actually connecting with. The ones I’m currently in are the girls that I love to promote and I want to be notified when they’re posting pictures.I loved your take on all this! Thanks for sharing!

    Love, Lindsey
    http://www.thenomisniche.com/


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