I stumbled upon an interesting website and app today. Padlet was designed with teachers and students in mind, to create walls where information could be shared and/or contributions could be made by all depending on the privacy settings. However, after playing with it for a while, I think this could be a great social media tool for writers.
Here’s a quick rundown on Padlet:
- Cost: $0.00 / FREE!
- Who can use Padlet: Although it was designed as a tool for teachers and students to use, anyone can use Padlet. You can create an account or just start creating a wall from the homepage. Creating an account offers you more options to keep track of your walls, however.
- Browsers: Padlet works on any modern browser. Click here for a specific list.
- What is it? Padlet users create walls which work like a virtual piece of paper allowing people to share pictures, videos, documents, or text, etc. anywhere on the page. (I’m guessing the name combines “pad” (as in pad of paper) and “tablet?”)
- Posting content on a wall:
- There is no limit to the number of people who can post content on a wall at the same time.
- You can format the text that you enter on your wall using these commands. You can’t, yet, change the fonts that are available on Padlet but they’re working on it.
- You can post an unlimited number of files and links, including multimedia, but each individual file cannot exceed 25 MB in size.
- You can drag and drop, add files, add links or type directly on a wall.
- You can download files from Padlet.
- Notifications: You can set up email notifications to alert you when someone posts something on your wall.
- Privacy settings: You can control who can see and contribute to your wall similar to how you can control comments on a blog. Your wall privacy setting options include private, password protected, hidden link, totally public or access by invitation. When adding people by emailed invitation, you can also determine if they can write to, moderate or administer the wall. Click here for more info on the privacy settings.
- Sharing: You can email your friends with the URL to your wall, share the link on social media, or embed it in a website.
- Size of a Wall: There’s no limit to the size of a wall. It’s as big (or as little) as your imagination will let it be!
- Number of Walls: There’s no limit to the number of walls an account holder create and walls are only deleted if the user deletes them.
Examples of Padlet Walls
You can find examples of public walls here.
How Writers Can Use Padlet
- Storyboards: Use a wall to create a storyboard for your novel. Keep it private if you want to use it to help you develop your story or make it public to share with your readers.
- Tease your readers: Make a wall full of seemingly random links, videos, pictures, etc. and let your readers anticipate how they might all come together in your novel.
- Author platform: What about using a wall to put everything in the same place? You could add links to your website/blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest page, sites where your book is for sale, book reviews, book trailer video, and more.
- Book launches: Same idea as using a wall for your author platform but where you might want to limit others from contributing to a wall for your author platform, you could make a wall for your book launch open to anyone to contribute to so that they could share in the fun and post their thoughts about the book, links to their reviews or other tidbits about the book that they’ve found on the web.
- Involvement of readers: Struggling to name a new character? Put a basic description of the character on a wall and ask for ideas and input from your readers.
- Book covers: Authors sometimes ask for their readers opinions on book covers. Why not create a wall and post the potential covers on it to get feedback?