Why I’m on Bluesky (and my private tackle social media for the kidlit neighborhood proper now)

I initially began writing a put up with suggestions for these simply becoming a member of Bluesky, however I’ve had so many individuals ask me about social media selections and what Bluesky IS that I made a decision to put in writing this put up first. When you’re searching for my lists of Kidlit/YA neighborhood threads and customized feeds, please see my earlier put up, . On Bluesky, you could find my Customized Feeds by going to my Bluesky account and looking out below the FEEDS tab.

Latter consists of customized feeds like Kidlit/YA editors who work with conventional publishing homes (36 on my record thus far), Kidlit/YA brokers (76), K12 educators & librarians, Spooky MG authors, guide bloggers, artwork administrators, indie bookstores, kidlit illustrators who work with conventional publishing homes, Canadian kidlit creators, podcaster and extra.

Like many others, I’ve been making an attempt out completely different social media platforms through the previous 12 months as xTwitter continues to destabilize. Right here is my private rundown on among the new platforms, and why I ended up selecting Bluesky. Please be mindful there may be NO one proper social media platform. What works for me could not be just right for you, and vice versa.

Altering my strategy to social media:

Like many different kidlit creators on the market, I discovered it difficult to remain inventive and productive through the pandemic. What the pandemic taught me: that I wanted to prioritize my very own psychological well being. Earlier than I might correctly take care of others, I wanted to place alone oxygen masks. So many on the market are going by way of tough and difficult occasions, each out on the earth and nearer to house.

I’m additionally making an attempt to do much less skim-scan-scrolling and as a substitute dedicate extra targeted time and power on actions that I discover genuinely satisfying, re-training my mind and a focus span. I began pondering extra deeply about this after listening to literacy scholar Maryanne Wolf speak on The Ezra Klein Present: “This Is Your Mind on ‘Deep Studying.’ It’s Fairly Magnificent.” That podcast led me to find Maryanne’s guide, Reader, Come Residence: The Studying Mind In A Digital World. Wolf talks in regards to the distinction between scanning, scrolling, and “deep studying”, the impact of studying medium on mind processing, the rewiring of our brains due to how we learn, and techniques to rediscover deep studying.

Some at this level may say, “Properly, why not simply QUIT social media fully?” That’s a selection some have made, and I respect that selection. In my case, nevertheless, . I’ve been serving to to construct on-line communities since earlier than the time period “social media” existed, and did this a few years earlier than I had something to advertise. I really like discovering kindred spirits across the globe from the consolation of my own residence. Sure, I favor getting along with individuals in particular person BUT that is usually not doable (for others as properly, not simply me) due to restricted time, cash, and geographical constraints.

I don’t imagine that social media helps promote books, at the very least not within the conventional sense. Simply because somebody has hundreds or thousands and thousands followers does NOT translate into hundreds or thousands and thousands of guide gross sales. For me, the most important worth of social media has all the time been the neighborhood that comes with it.

What I’m NOT keen on: how a lot social media can affect my temper, the addictive enchantment of the act of posting/checking for hearts/likes/shared and so on., the drive for social approval.

to cull down the period of time I spend on social media AND to enhance the standard and intentionality of the time that I DO spend on social media.

As mentioned in a current Bluesky dialogue:

Social media platforms proper now (my take):

: Continues to destabilize by way of the kidlit neighborhood, particularly each time Elon Musk makes an off-the-cuff or not-so-casual assertion about the way forward for the platform. I strongly advise NOT deleting your account in case you determine to go elsewhere, else there’s an opportunity a spammer will scoop your username or educators tagging the unsuitable account when mentioning your books. I’ve seen this occur extra usually. Noticing a gentle lower in neighborhood engagement, particularly since I unsubscribed from Twitter Blue.

Too chaotic for me, too mobile-based. I do know there’s a desktop model however it has restricted performance. I attempt to keep away from utilizing social media apps on my iPhone for a bunch of causes, together with: (1) Thumb-typing aggravates my tendinitis, (2) Scrolling tends to makes me queasy, and it’s gotten worse through the years, (3) I’m making an attempt to keep away from the kneejerk behavior of “oh I’m bored standing right here in line, I’ll simply examine social media on my telephone.” Additionally, Threads shouldn’t be accessible in Europe and will not be for a protracted whereas, and I don’t need to exclude my European mates.

: I favor Instagram to Threads. Nevertheless, like Threads, Instagram is principally targeted on cell entry (see my earlier causes for whereas I strive avoiding utilizing social media on my smartphone) and lacks curation instruments like Lists, so I’m visiting IG much less and fewer today. I additionally discover that whereas I cherished Instagram to start with, my enjoyment has declined because it more and more strives to be like different platforms. I miss the times when the main target was on images and artwork. I are likely to meet up with people on IG (“what has xxx been posting?”) reasonably than en masse.

Too chaotic for me, not sufficient curation instruments. Once I go to Fb, it’s normally to compensate for a single particular person’s feed, or a particular occasion or neighborhood. I additionally nonetheless dislike the entire “Associates” time period on this platform. My turning level with FB got here years in the past when, like many others, I used to be posting Blissful Birthday messages as prompted by FB. Then I got here throughout somebody whom I knew had handed away simply the week earlier than. I checked their FB wall and, certain sufficient, there have been so many cheery “Blissful birthday” messages blended in with the condolences from shut family and friends. I used to be horrified, and it gave me a brand new perspective on the platform.

I did strive, however was upset by the persevering with tech points. I additionally received bored with individuals telling me I used to be a Unhealthy Individual for nonetheless being on Twitter. The platform was initially promoted in a approach that I (mistakenly) thought inspired on-line communities to hitch, whether or not or not they’d something to do with information. As months handed, nevertheless, I grew to become conscious that growth was geared towards these searching for information, particularly U.S.-focused information, with a precedence of stories over neighborhood. Superb, after all! However not what I used to be searching for. I’ve been steadily culling my Observe record of dormant accounts, largely kidlit – over 1000 thus far.

I confess the title is partly what turned me off, and (from the primary sentence of the Neighborhood Guidelines) that “Spoutible’s aim is to permit customers to “spout off” in a secure, civil, and enjoyable atmosphere.” I didn’t join with this mission assertion as a lot as these of different platforms. Plus I used to be already feeling unfold too skinny.

I didn’t actually check out this platform as a result of I wasn’t satisfied that it had the infrastructure / employees / funding for longevity, then I heard in regards to the extreme safety points that ended up with a shutdown. I believed it had been completely shut down however (I simply appeared it up) it seems just like the platform’s nonetheless round.

I did strive Mastodon for some time, however again then there was no International search and no International hashtags. The on-boarding course of was additionally difficult for the typical particular person. Mastodon has improved lots since then, however it nonetheless jogs my memory extra of a gated communities construction reasonably than a worldwide area. International search performance has been added, I’ve heard, however individuals want choose IN for his or her content material to be searchable. When you’re curious, you’ll be able to learn my further (now considerably outdated) ideas on Mastodon from late 2022.

Along with Bluesky, that is one other on-line platform I’m actually having fun with. Due to its concentrate on longer-form writing, it’s in a unique class, although its newer short-form Observe performance has promise. I’ll write extra about Substack in a separate put up.

I’m additionally conscious that many of those platforms have improved since I first tried them. Like many others, nevertheless, I’m on the level the place I’m too drained to maintain making an attempt out platforms. I simply need to settle someplace, even when it’s not good, so I can get on with my inventive work.

And that brings me to Bluesky, which has change into my go-to social media platform for short-form posts.

Above: Cautiously optimistic about Bluesky!

Q. What precisely IS Bluesky?

Bluesky is a social media community that has a Twitter-like person interface. For anybody conversant in Twitter, it’s a simple on-boarding course of.

It was based by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019, however now Bluesky is totally separate from Twitter. Some individuals don’t like Jack Dorsey, however I’ve been instructed that whereas Jack is on the Board, CEO Jay Graber is the one in cost. Right here’s a brief interview on The Verge (

When you dig deep sufficient, you’re sure to seek out individuals behind EVERY social media platform who’re controversial. In case your aim is to discover a platform that’s beloved by everybody, has no problematic individuals behind the scenes, then you definitely’re greatest staying off social media fully. Additionally bear in mind that some on the market will not be in a privileged place the place they DO have the choice of simply switching platforms. That is one purpose I’d by no means accuse somebody of supporting racism/bigotry and so on. in the event that they keep on the platform previously generally known as Twitter. Some non-profits nonetheless use that platform as a lifeline. As an alternative of throwing stones, I encourage you to concentrate on discovering 1-2 platforms YOU take pleasure in probably the most, and specializing in constructive facets of the neighborhood there as a substitute of making an attempt to tear others down. Nevertheless, that is simply my tackle social media.

Q. What do you want about Bluesky?

The clear interface, the simple on-boarding, the pleasant vibe, minimal rage-posting. Nevertheless, virtually all new social media platforms have that to start with.

The pliability of moderation instruments, the truth that the platform thought-about ALT textual content necessary early on (reasonably than one thing to be added once they had time), the concentrate on getting a strong basis/tech first BEFORE opening it as much as the general public (reasonably than chasing numbers like so many new platforms do).

I can simply apply it to my desktop laptop. As I discussed earlier, I attempt to keep away from utilizing social media on my iPhone for bodily and psychological causes.

Though it doesn’t but have lists, customers can create Customized Feeds utilizing Third-party apps. I created a Customized Feed of all of the kidlit/YA brokers I’ve discovered thus far on Bluesky, for instance (practically 80 as of at present!!!). To comply with their posts, you simply must go to my Feeds tab, discover the customized feed you’re fascinated by, click on on “add to My Feeds.” This makes it a lot simpler to seek out individuals to comply with; there are actually lots of of user-created customized feeds on the market. See the tip of my put up for just some.

Proper now, Bluesky helps remind me of what I used to like about on-line communities, again within the outdated days (sure, I’m OLD) earlier than the time period “social media” existed, when individuals have been extra fascinated by genuine interactions than self-promo. To be clear: there’s nothing WRONG with self-promo, particularly in case you’re a contract inventive. Over time, nevertheless, I’ve observed a development of placing the concentrate on that over dialog.

Once more, nevertheless, that is simply MY tackle social media. I do know that some on the market could despise social media and are simply utilizing social media as a result of their writer is telling them to. If you’re a type of individuals and your focus is on Likes / traction and so on, Bluesky could NOT be for you, particularly if you’re completely happy on different platforms.

Don’t count on the identical sort of neighborhood engagement that you’ve got on different platforms. What I’ve realized: To spend extra time replying to different individuals’s posts than anticipating others to return to mine. This additionally makes it extra enjoyable for me, reminding me what I used to like about social media within the early days.

Q. What options does Bluesky NOT but have that I ought to find out about?

As of at present (

Workarounds I’ve been utilizing: You’ll be able to create a public customized feed of posts based mostly on customers or search time period outcomes utilizing a Third-party app referred to as Skyfeed that makes use of Mute lists, however presently the person documentation is tech-heavy and person interface not intuitive. Different Third-party apps I’ve been making an attempt out: deck.blue (very very like Tweetdeck but additionally helps you to insert a number of hyperlinks in a put up) on my desktop, Graysky (MUCH higher than the official Bluesky cell app) for iOS. And I’ve solely simply began enjoying round with Blueskyfeeds.com.

Remember that customized feeds presently solely present posts from the previous 7 days. One purpose I’m so trying ahead to public lists. With feeds, those that don’t put up as usually won’t be as simply found. Quieter voices are likely to get buried. I imagine that having correct LISTS will assist improve the variety of voices throughout Bluesky.

No personal lists but, sadly. Pseudo-private lists nonetheless contain the workaround utilizing Mute lists, and folks’s Mute lists are all public. So far as I do know, xTwitter continues to be the one social media platform that lets person create personal lists. When you’re on Bluesky and ALSO would love personal lists, I encourage you to re-post my thread.

You’ll be able to’t add gifs or video but. This issues extra to some than others. For video, I’m importing to YouTube after which together with the hyperlink in my put up as a substitute.

Q. Is it price becoming a member of Bluesky? I’m simply so bored with beginning once more on yet one more new platform.

This dialogue got here up just lately on Bluesky, about social media fatigue and “yet one more platform the place I must cross-post.” Listed below are some ideas I posted over there.

Like many others, I’m going by way of social media fatigue. It’s one purpose I’ve stopped searching for The Good Twitter Alternative and am simply embracing Bluesky. It’s not good and continues to be lacking some community-building options, however I’m cautiously optimistic. Reasonably than wait as Twitter steadily deterioriates, nevertheless, I’ve determined I would like to simply decide a platform and transfer on, so I can return to focusing my time and power on inventive tasks once more. If Bluesky flounders, then I must begin trying once more….however for now, it’s the place I’m settling in.

As an alternative of approaching Bluesky as “ye one other platform the place I’m cross-posting,” . I’ll sometimes cross-post, particularly when I’ve one thing super-important or that I’m pleased with, that I’d like different individuals to find out about, however I’m NOT doing fixed cross-posting throughout all my platforms. For me, the thought shouldn’t be solely exhausting but additionally one thing I don’t need to inflict on those that are following me on a number of platforms.

Regardless that I don’t have practically as many followers on Bluesky in comparison with xTwitter, I’m having fun with Bluesky MUCH extra. . I used to be simply as responsible as the remaining, however proper now I’m making an attempt VERY laborious to concentrate on dialog and neighborhood, searching for out individuals and conversations reasonably than anticipating them to return to me.

What tipped me over the sting in embracing Bluesky: the rising neighborhood of educators and librarians! Do try the #EduSky hashtag and comply with @EduSky. I’ve a customized feed of Ok-12 educators and librarians who responded to my neighborhood join thread, too.

On the subject of neighborhood engagement: I did a little bit of cross-posting some time in the past to check this, and the outcomes have been fascinating.

Regardless of having many MORE followers on xTwitter, I had much more engagement on Bluesky. Posts are principally the identical and posted inside a minute or two of one another. Particularly observe that on the best, solely 399 individuals noticed my put up (out of my 54,000+ followers)

Some theories about why the distinction embrace:

  • I’m now not a Twitter Blue subscriber, which implies my posts (and replies) usually are not being boosted the way in which Twitter Blue subscribers’ posts are. I perceive that the platform must generate profits someway, however nonetheless. I’ve been serving to construct neighborhood in addition to constructing my platform there for over a decade. By way of neighborhood attain, it looks like a spammer or troll who can afford the Twitter Blue subscription might simply obtain the identical or larger attain with out investing the time.
  • I’m interacting with the neighborhood on Bluesky excess of on xTwitter today.
  • Lots of the kidlit individuals who had been following me on xTwitter are now not energetic or are far much less energetic on that platform.

I additionally suppose it most likely makes a distinction if somebody with a Twitter Blue subscription shares one thing, as a result of Twitter Blue subscribers have a far wider attain.

Q. However doesn’t this imply that you just’ll miss some nice alternatives and folks’s information which might be solely posted on different platforms?


It’s nonetheless a problem for me, however I’m making an attempt to embrace JOMO (Pleasure Of Lacking Out). The time period was first coined by long-time blogger Anil Sprint in 2012, as a counter to FOMO (Worry Of Lacking Out), however I first got here throughout it in Emma Gannon’s The Hyphen on Substack. One of many many causes I really like Substack is as a result of is due to the longer type posts that encourage me to suppose extra deeply, along with the enjoyable discussions with the neighborhood through feedback, Chats, and Notes.

Once I see a put up about some initiative or occasion that a lot of my kidlit mates are a part of, I do nonetheless expertise wistful envy typically. Or a second of hysteria, as in “oh geez, I needs to be doing extra stuff like that” or “possibly I ought to look into becoming a member of that <title of group>, too.” However now I strive VERY HARD to weigh the professionals and cons first, and take into consideration what actions I take pleasure in NOW that may endure because of this, or if it’s price giving up <pleasant exercise> so I can do one thing else.

Most of the time, I find yourself pondering one thing like “Properly sure, I’d have loved doing that. However as a substitute, I learn a guide / hung out with an expensive pal / labored on a inventive venture” and so on.

I need to concentrate on being extra current, to extra absolutely take pleasure in what I have already got and the place I’m in my life, to unencumber the a part of my mind that retains negatively evaluating myself to others so I can direct that power towards more healthy self-goals.

Q. Isn’t Bluesky nonetheless invite-only? How do I get an invitation? When will Bluesky divulge heart’s contents to the general public?

In response to the Bluesky weblog, the platform is getting nearer to opening as much as extra customers.

Whereas the invite-only system may be irritating for these making an attempt to hitch, it’s for the great for everybody. In response to the Bluesky FAQ, right here’s only one purpose they’re invite-only proper now:

I’ve been getting one invite code to present out each two weeks. I’m making an attempt to present my codes solely to these genuinely fascinated by serving to to construct the neighborhood, not simply create a placeholder and go away. I encourage code-givers to be discerning – there are a lot of code-flippers/sellers on the market, in addition to spammers making an attempt to hitch.

I used to be on the waitlist for month with out getting a code, so I lastly talked about over on Substack that I used to be searching for one and a form stranger supplied one to me. I additionally typically have Bluesky invite code change threads over on xTwitter, however discover they don’t all the time work as a result of each code-givers and code-seekers don’t all the time examine again or comply with up. Additionally, in the event that they aren’t following one another on xTwitter, then DMs can probably be flagged as spam.

At THIS level, there are sufficient members of the kidlit/YA neighborhood on Bluesky that there are much more codes accessible. Nevertheless, you must make it clear that you just ARE searching for a code and that you just plan to activate the code straight away. And once more, make it clear that how/why you might be searching for a code, so code-givers know you’re not a spammer.

Q. I’ve simply joined Bluesky. Any fast suggestions for a beginner?

Listed below are some starter suggestions based mostly each alone expertise in addition to solutions from others locally. I’m additionally posting quick .

So many are cautious about following again potential faux accounts or spammers, so make sure you fill your profile. Embrace your actual title if in any respect doable, profile bio, a clickable hyperlink in your profile bio textual content the place individuals can discover out extra about you and your work, profile person picture (utilizing the identical profile avatar as you do on different platforms will assist others acknowledge you), cowl picture.

I discovered it a bit complicated figuring out what dimensions could be greatest for a Bluesky cowl picture, so have created a template in case it helps anybody else:

If it seems such as you solely spent a couple of seconds creating an account on Bluesky, individuals could assume you’re not planning to hold round.

Even in case you aren’t posting frequently but, I encourage you to make an intro put up. Ideally, make it one thing that isn’t simply “purchase my guide.” Assume that individuals who don’t know you or your work are going to be checking your first put up to assist them determine whether or not or to not comply with you.

. It is a probability to begin with a clear slate. What are you able to do in another way right here that may enable you benefit from the platform extra? In my case: As an alternative of getting a unique account for my gaming posts the way in which I did on xTwitter, I’m going to strive having simply ONE account. Along with my regular work-related posts, I’m going to be posting about different pursuits. I really like the thread on Naomi Krueger (acquisitions editor at Beaming Books)’s Bluesky feed, by which she factors out that she tries to have an genuine presence on-line, and one in all her values is a work-life stability. “Social media has been tremendously useful to my profession and connecting with creatives and publishing of us, however I’m extra than simply my job. I’ve different pursuits and facets of my id past books.”

Not solely does this make your pictures extra accessible, however some customized feeds (relying on how they’re arrange) will decide up the ALT textual content in searches. Bergsbites’ Fountain Pens customized feed, for instance, searches for the time period “fountain pen” not simply in posts but additionally in picture ALT textual content. In your Settings, you’ll be able to toggle on the “Require alt textual content earlier than posting” to remind your self.

As an alternative of ready for individuals to find you and react to your posts, search them out. Take part in conversations, reply to enjoyable neighborhood polls, interact with the neighborhood. As a result of comparatively few individuals are on Bluesky in comparison with far more established platforms proper now, I discover I’ve to be extra proactive. What appears to be working for me proper now: . I’m additionally discovering new and fascinating individuals by coming throughout their replies to others.

Jury’s nonetheless out on what nicknames to make use of for these on Bluesky, and the act of re-sharing posts on Bluesky. however bear in mind that these phrases imply one thing in another way as slang phrases. (Be at liberty to look it up).

Take the time to discover your Moderation choices and your Settings. Within the latter, particularly examine your Residence Feed Preferences, in which you’ll be able to find-tune the content material you see on your private home display screen. Present default is that replies are solely proven in your feed if they’ve at the very least 2 likes, for instance. To see extra, flip this off, or transfer the quantity to zero.

Think about studying easy methods to make your individual customized feed BUT bear in mind that with public Lists coming quickly to Bluesky, chances are you’ll not must. See @kellienicely.bsky.social’s put up with sources re: Skyfeed.

I’ll offer extra particular suggestions and recommendation in future posts, however I did need to get this put up on the market for these interested by Bluesky generally.

(I’ll replace as I discover extra):

Bluesky FAQ – Bluesky

The place to seek out the Kidlit Neighborhood On Bluesky – my put up with hyperlinks

Brian Kirby’s put up in regards to the KidLit Neighborhood On Bluesky, with suggestions

*NEW* – additionally see my Kidlit/YA E book Boosters customized feed, which incorporates any put up tagged with from customers in my curated record.

*NEW* – Model new, nonetheless compiling this record.

 (educators must also discover/comply with educators through Edusky!) – Additionally see my customized feed of kidlit/YA educators and librarians on Bluesky.

 (who take pleasure in connecting with faculties/libraries). As a result of there are SO many kidlit creators becoming a member of Bluesky just lately , I lack the time to keep up a Customized Feed. Nevertheless, there are already a number of kidlit Customized feeds on the market, resembling Greg Pincus’s #KidLitChat, David B. Fox’s Kidlit, Boring Tales’ KidLit Neighborhood. Try Kate Messner’s Google Doc for the kidlit neighborhood (not simply creators) and right here’s easy methods to add your self.

 – Additionally see my Canadian Kidlit Creator & Illustrator customized feed

 – Additionally see my customized feed of Kidlit Illustrators on Bluesky.

– Additionally see Kidlit/YA guide boosters customized feed. This feed is user-based, however solely exhibiting posts that embrace emojis, which sign a put up boosting another person’s kidlit/YA guide.

 – Additionally see my customized feed of Spooky MG Authors on Bluesky

 – Additionally see my customized feed of kidlit/YA guide bloggers on Bluesky

 – Additionally see my customized feed of kidlit/YA podcasters on Bluesky

– Additionally see my customized feed of conventional kidlit publishers on Bluesky.

 – Additionally see my customized feed of kidlit/YA brokers on Bluesky

 – Additionally see my customized feed of kidlit/YA editors on Bluesky

 – Additionally see my customized feed of kidlit/YA artwork administrators and designers.

 – Additionally see my customized feed of indie bookstores & booksellers on Bluesky

I even have arrange customized feeds for sure hashtags, like:


#kidlitchat by @gregpincus.bsky.social

KidlIt Artwork! by @kellienicely.bsky.social
KidLitArtPostcard by @ginaperry.bsky.social

KidLit Neighborhood by @boringstories.bsky.social
KidLit by @davidbfox.com

Some topic-specific customized feeds I comply with:

Fountain Pens by @bergsbites.bsky.social
Board Video games by @gilhova.bsky.social
Board Recreation Design by @vickilanger.bsky.social