A 365 Day Journey with Owly

Do you have a plush Owly perched on the corner of your desk? So does Hootsuite Ambassador Teri Kojetin. Only her Owly rarely stays there. In the past year Owly’s flown to Mexico, gone camping, and learned to use the force.

On January 14, 2015, Teri decided to do a Project 365—a photography challenge where participants take a photo each day, every day for a year—with a twist: every day she captured and shared a photo of her plush Owly, hashtagged #YearofOwly.

How hard can it be to take one photo a day? Well, this turned out to be quite a commitment, requiring time, effort, and dedication. That’s why the Hootsuite community team was really excited to see Kojetin complete her #YearofOwly project.

I chatted with Teri about her experience with the project and—of course—her social media tips! Here’s what she learned:

Year of Owly Q&A

Tell us a little about your Year of Owly and your inspiration

I love owls and was very excited to get my Owly on January 14, 2015. I had decided after I ordered [Owly] that I would try to do a year of Owly photos starting the day of his arrival. I had seen other people do daily photos for a year with stuffed animals, and even a coffee cup and thought it would be fun. And Owly is so cute that I knew people would enjoy seeing [Owly].

Owly was so adaptable to many different items and events that I knew it would be fairly easy to find subject matter for a year. I looked around my house, my daughter’s house, granddaughter’s toys, stores, restaurants—anywhere outdoors or indoors. [Owly] also went to Mexico, as well as on many camping trips. [Owly] even got up early with me on Community Manager Appreciation Day to be on a #CMGRHangout panel.

What was your favorite Year of Owly photo and why?

That’s a hard question! How do you choose one favorite out of 365? I think this one is my favorite:

I liked this one just because it was so ludicrous. I mean how odd to have Owly riding a flamingo at a campground in Minnesota! I waited until the neighboring campers were gone and with my husband’s help, quickly got Owly situated with a rope on the flamingo.

Did the daily photo ever feel repetitive? What did you do to switch things up?

Some days I was scrambling for ideas and would wander around my house looking for something. I don’t feel it got repetitive very often except on camping trips and Christmas. If I needed to switch things up I’d go over to my daughter’s house to find new subject matter. Sometimes I took several photos at once and sometimes I’d get up in the morning with no idea of what I would do. Fortunately I am blessed with a good imagination and was able to find something, even with mundane objects and daily life.

What was a  memorable day for you with the project?

The most memorable day was when I got to take Owly on an airplane to Mexico for a mission trip. I had lived for 15 years in Mexico and this was my first time back since 1998. Having Owly with me and taking a photo of [Owly] by the airplane window was the start of an exciting adventure.

Coolest owl factoid you learned.

I learned that if you are out at night in the woods, you can get any nearby Owl to hoot, by hooting yourself (you do have to sound reasonably like an owl).

Was there a place Owly did not dare to go?

Yes, in the water. Owly did not dare get wet!

Do you have any tips for people wanting to start a photo a day series?

  1. Find an interesting object/subject to base your photo series on.
  2. Find something that others can relate to
  3. Be consistent.

What is your number one social media tip?

Consistency. I think you should be consistent in whatever you do on social. If you decide to focus your posts on what you are passionate about, then do that consistently. That also means to be consistent in your engagement with others on social. In a sense, being consistent is being dependable for the long haul. Now that I’ve used the word “consistent” consistently in each sentence of this answer, I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

Why do you use Hootsuite?

When I was working at my place of employment previous to the one I’m at now with BTC Revolutions, I scheduled all our social media posts via Hootsuite. I also attended many Twitter chats and used Hootsuite to keep track of all the chat channels. I co-founded and co-hosted the Twitter chat #Luv4Social up until July of 2015 and used Hootsuite for all our chat announcements and invites. I’ve also used it to keep track of any hashtags that were of particular interest to me.

How has using Hootsuite improved your social game?

Hootsuite helped me keep on top of status updates. I could schedule posts ahead of time and not have to worry that I missed something. It also made inviting people to Twitter chats much easier as those could also be scheduled. This freed me up to be more active on social.

What is your number one Hootsuite tip?

Hootsuite is an excellent way to keep track of what is happening on Twitter chats. Just create a tab for each one you want to keep you eye on. I used to post a daily Twitter chat list and Hootsuite made it so much easier to see what the topic and time of each chat was on a daily basis.

Kudos to Kojetin

We really enjoyed this project and would like to thank Kojetin for her time, passion, and enthusiasm. To check all of the #YearofOwly photos visit her website.  

Want to take on your own photo challenge? Schedule your posts with Hootsuite. 

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