In the bustling digital marketplace, there’s a whisper of something new for publishers and content creators alike: Bluesky Social. This isn’t just another twitter alternative to add to the daily social media checklist; it’s a whole new frontier. Spearheaded by Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s former CEO, Bluesky is an open, decentralized network that’s piquing the curiosity of those in the know. It’s a place where algorithms don’t dictate what you see, and the power lies squarely in the hands of its users—a refreshing change in a sea of curated feeds.
For publishers, Bluesky represents more than just a new channel to explore. It’s an opportunity to be part of a platform that values the authenticity of voice and the integrity of content. With its unique approach to verification, where publications can claim their space with domain-based handles, it offers a level of credibility and visibility that’s hard to come by in the saturated spaces of traditional social media. Imagine a digital landscape where your publication’s reputation precedes you, where your content reaches your audience unencumbered by the whims of opaque algorithms. That’s the promise of Bluesky.
But why should publishers, who already have their plates full managing a multitude of platforms, pay attention to Bluesky? It’s about strategic positioning. As the platform grows, early adopters have the chance to set the tone and become integral voices in a burgeoning community. It’s not about replacing your current social media efforts; it’s about augmenting your strategy with a platform that could offer a more direct line to your readership. In the world of publishing, where audience loyalty is gold, being part of a network that champions transparency and user control could be a wise move.
Bluesky’s commitment to journalism is evident in its approach to content and community. For a closer look at how they’re supporting the industry, their Press FAQ page offers a window into their philosophy and the tools they’re developing to empower journalists and publishers.
Setting up shop on BlueSky
- Get an invite code: That’s right, while BlueSky is still in Beta, an invite code is an unfortunate necessity! Thankfully, there are a variety of avenues available for acquiring your very own golden ticket.
- Reach out to BlueSky directly. As mentioned above, they are actively looking to onboard publishers. Visit their FAQ page and send ‘um an email telling them who you are and how many invite codes you need to get your whole staff on board.
- Reach out to me! I have a few invite codes ready to deploy, so reach out to me and I can get you started!
- Connect with your tech-savvy friends, there’s a good chance one of them are already on the platform.
- Worst case scenario, search X (twitter) for #blueskyinvite … this is how I got in.
- Set up your account. This is fairly straight forward, head on over to https://bsky.app and follow these steps:
- Click the “Create a new account” button
- Choose Bluesky as your hosting provider and click the next link
- Paste in your invite code, add your email address, password (make sure it’s a good one), birth date, and click next
- Choose a handle… This doesn’t matter much at this stage, as we will be changing it in the next step… and click next
- You will get a welcome screen, just click next
- You can choose a few recommended feeds, or just click next
- You can choose a few recommended users, or just click done
- Welcome to BlueSky! Feel free to poke around, or just move onto step three, branding your user handle
- Creating Your Domain-Based Handle: One of my favorite features of Bluesky is our ability to claim brand authority by leveraging our domain. You will find me with @copperpress.tech. The folks at BizWest have adopted user handles such as @cwood.bizwest.com.
- Once you are logged into bluesky, Click the Cog icon on the left navigation
- Scroll down to the bottom of the settings, looking for the Advanced section and click on “Change handle”
- Click on the “I have my own domain” blue link
- Type in your domain based handle. This is where I entered copperpress.tech, and for BizWest, I entered cwood.bizwest.com. You might choose just first or last names, perhaps: murdoch.bestpublicaions.com… Whatever strategy you choose, type the handle in here.
- Next, you’ll see the DNS Panel/No DNS Panel section. Unless you are focusing on a direct domain handle as I did (@copperpress.tech), the DNS Panel option will be easier to implement. If you have access to your DNS records, you’ll know what to do with this information, otherwise, take a screenshot or copy and paste the information into an email and send it to the person in your organization who does. If you need help with this step, feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to give you a hand
- Once the DNS entries are in place, simply click the “Verify DNS Record” button
- Assuming everything worked, you should see a green “Domain verified!” message. Click the “Update to yourdomain.com” button and you are all set!
- While you are in your settings, make sure to verify your email address by clicking the “Verify My Email” button in the settings panel.
- Consistency is the cornerstone of brand recognition. By carefully curating your Bluesky profile, you’re not just setting up another social media account; you’re extending the reach of your publication’s brand into a new and exciting digital territory. Remember, the goal is to create a seamless brand experience for your audience, no matter where they encounter your content. Here’s how to ensure your Bluesky profile aligns with your publication’s brand identity:
- Profile Picture and Banner: Use high-resolution images that are consistent with the ones you use on other social platforms. This visual consistency is key to brand recall.
- Bio and Description: Craft a bio that succinctly encapsulates your publication’s mission and ethos, mirroring the language used across your other social media profiles.
- Link Integration: Include a direct link to your publication’s website, ensuring that your Bluesky profile serves as a portal to your broader body of work.
As you embark on this exciting journey into the world of Bluesky Social, remember that you’re not alone in navigating these new waters. Whether it’s understanding the nuances of the platform, strategizing your content, or simply getting your team set up, I’m here to help. With my background in web development and digital publishing, I can provide the guidance and support you need to make your Bluesky experience not just seamless, but truly impactful. So, if you have any questions, need assistance with the setup, or just want to brainstorm ideas for your Bluesky strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s harness the potential of Bluesky together and take your publication to new heights in this innovative digital space.