How I Use Instagram

picture of a tortoiseshell cat

My instagram features household cats Raven and Taco plus downstairs restaurant cat Maggie. This is Taco.

Still working frantically on the update for the Creating an Online Presence for Writers book, plus prepping for this weekend’s online class. One big change since the last version is Instagram‘s rocket upward in popularity. Here in 2016, it is the number two social media network in number of users, second only after Facebook.

It lets you post pictures, often with some sort of caption, and see what other people are posting. Unlike Facebook, it doesn’t play fast and loose with what you see, but gives you a stream composed of everyone you’re following.

Instagram features a number of filters as well as some basic editing tools that can be applied to uploaded photos. You can add extra filters with the 100 Cameras in 1 app or if you would like to edit the image extensively, try Pixlr-o-matic (

Random thrift store objects make great Instagram pictures.

Random thrift store objects make great Instagram pictures.

For me, the two major advantages to Instagram are that a) it’s accessible via my cell phone, which I have with me far more often than my computer, plus b ) it connects with several other social networks, so I can grab a picture at an event, post it to Instagram, and have it autopost in turn to Facebook and Twitter. Similarly, I use it in the kitchen or at restaurant to snap pictures of food.

What do I post overall? Here’s a breakdown of the last 100 Instagram photos on my stream. Only five categories (event, books, and writing process photos) might be considered promotional; you’ll note those pictures occur roughly one in five times; even there, none of them directly sell a book, just mention it, and many are focused on other people and/or their work.

  • things that amused or delighted me: 17
  • food I’ve cooked: 12
  • the cats: 10
  • miscellaneous travel photos: 7
  • miscellaneous household photos: 7
  • miscellaneous event photos: 6
  • books: 5
  • my writing process: 5
  • birds: 4
  • flowers: 3
  • photos from the cat calendar Aunt Nona gave us for Christmas with sundry amusing handwritten additions: 3
  • refrigerator poems: 3
  • restaurant food: 3
  • sunsets: 3
  • clouds: 2
  • dioramas constructed of household objects: 2
  • my shoes: 2
  • rainbows: 2
  • the foam on top of my latte, hashtagged #seattle: 2
  • photos of friends/family: 2
  • other people at events: 1
  • selfies with people at events: 1
  • selfies: 1
  • things that creeped me out: 1
  • holiday collage: 1
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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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