These days it’s hard to stay hidden. With social media, it’s easy to find anyone. For example, you can easily find me on the most popular and relevant social media websites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn (I also have some of my video projects on my YouTube page but that hasn’t been updated in quite awhile). You can find me, along with the other 18 people, on Google+ but I will never sign in so don’t bother.

What makes all this social media really come alive is hashtags.Those number/pound signs people place in front of keywords to link to others using the same hashtag. Since Facebook introduced hashtags earlier this month, pretty much the top 3-4 social media sites use them and this really increases connectivity to your audience. My audience, in this case, are #vegans.

When I post a new blog here, the other social media channels are alerted and post links to the blog with hashtags. Then, when anyone outside my usual followers, clicks the word “vegan” for example, it will bring up my post with the new blog entry (along with thousands of other posts about being vegan). This is especially fun to do on Instagram (since that site is primarily image, and now video, driven). Click on the word vegan and you get to see all the photos of everyone’s breakfast (something green in a mason jar) or lunch (something green on a plate, shot from above) or dinner (something green with tofu and something green). You also get to see photos of people who are vegan. Most of them are in some outrageous yoga pose. You can then choose to follow these people to see photos of their breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Twitter started the whole hashtag thing. Using hashtags here connects you to  thousands of vegan-related tweets and companies that promote vegan/cruelty-free/plant-based living. I’ve made more contacts in the past six months via Twitter than I have made through Facebook over the past 5 years. Twitter, in its elegant 140-character limitation, allows for direct connections that are much more targeted than other social media.

And finally, through LinkedIn, a direct link is posted to this blog the moment it goes live (which keeps my LinkedIn account active and also drives new traffic).

Facebook, the mother of all social media, allows me to connect with millions of like-minded people, groups, and sites each time I post something to the blog. It also provides the most spirited feedback to my writing. People are very brave and opinionated when they are behind the safety of a computer monitor. Recent comments posted about my “How to be a Fat Vegan” blog entry:

Sheldon Lebow I find it odd, that people can care SOOOOO much about “the animals”, yet neglect their own health to the point of obesity and sickness. Why would you care about animals, and not humans? Not your own health? Weird.

And …

Jess Phillippi I’m with Sheldon on this one. My health is such a huge part of my life, I can’t see why anyone would neglect it. I do enjoy indulging in comfort food now and then but there are so many amazing, healthy foods out there. Why screw with your body by fuelling it with crap?

And, finally (my favorite) …

Pete Mason Yeah, but it’s a personal choice. The vast majority of vegan blogs are aimed at the health side of the diet. I reckon there’s room for a blog that’s aimed at processed vegan food.  And anyway, there’s nothing wrong with a few bits of processed food in most people’s diet. I agree that the majority of food we eat should be as fresh and natural as possible. But I wouldn’t deny anyone’s right to have the occasional bit of mock meat.

Personally I’m vegan because I don’t want to cause suffering. That’s the only reason. The health benefits are a happy bonus, but I still drink alcohol and eat processed food on occasion. And virtually all the vegans I personally know are the same.

When I post a link to the “Vegans” group on Facebook, I reach an estimated 10,000 fans of that page. Then, of course, they can share the link and pass it along to their fellow vegan friends, potentially doubling this number. Meanwhile, there are probably 25 other pages solely dedicated to being vegan that get my link and THEY all get links to the blog … and so on … and so on …

This all makes #following #MeatyVegan.com as simple as #beingvegan.

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