Guest Bender: Getting Social with Katy from Silly Tater Tot

by Jenn (eating bender) on February 3, 2010

You continue to amaze! As I write this post, we are up to 243 votes. There is some steep competition but honestly, I am perfectly content just reading your sweet comments, tweets and link loves on my behalf. Although it would be great to win — I’ll never give up hope! — having these messages in my inbox is enough to make any girl feel pretty damn lucky :mrgreen:

Note: You’re only able to vote once per email address (unfortunately not once per day). It’s too bad, really, but if you do have more than one email address and are willing to put the extra one in…thanks!

Vote here! Thanks for the Ultimate Wedding opportunity, Crate & Barrel!

C&B, if you’re reading, I’ve been a fan for quite some time. You had me at condiment spoon.


I’ll be popping back in for an all-Bender post tomorrow or Friday, but for now I’m loving handing over the reins to all of these fabulous guests. Everyone has a unique background and story to share.

Today’s Guest Bender comes to us from Katy at Silly Tater Tot. She’s a fabulous blogger and knows a lot about social media, which I heart. She decided to share some great insight with us!


Let’s Get Social

Hi Bender fans! Brief introduction: my name is Katy — I blog about fitness, food, furballs and family at I’m married (to a beer blogger who puts up with my crazy experiments), love competing in triathlons, recently completed two half marathons and I’m a Weight Watchers lifetime member. I’m an Executive Producer for a media production company by day, and a 24-7 social media nut. I’m also on Twitter, so follow me there!

Last Day Portland 28

I’ve been reading Jenn’s blog since the beginning, and am thrilled at the chance to borrow it for a while. For my money, when it comes to weight loss and healthy living — the Internet can be as powerful a tool as a scale, Vita-Mix and library of cookbooks combined!

Social Networks: You know the ol’ devil-and-angel-on-your-shoulder cliché? Social networks are like packs of angels, all waiting to deploy when you need them. At a restaurant and panicked about what to order? Looking to meet people in your city that share your healthy living goals? Maybe you are bored with your routine and need some workout recommendations.


  • Fan Pages: almost every business has a Facebook fan page, and with just one click, you can become a fan and get daily updates, advice, coupons and more. The well-done pages are also interactive, which means that if you leave a comment or question, you’ll get a response.
  • Friend Lists: These let you organize your Facebook friends, and decide who sees your updates, photos, links and more. That way, you can feel better about posting personal information, which is key when you’re trying to make connections and don’t want your boss or your grandmother to know that you’re depressed over a weigh-in!
    • I group my friends into categories like Bloggers, Colleagues, College Friends, etc.


This may be one of the newer networks, but it’s my favorite, especially when it comes to healthy living.

  • Twitter Search: type in a keyword, a hashtag (those funny phrases that include a #), a name or more, and see what happens. I love playing with this, especially when I’m looking for inspiration in my triathlon training. You’ll find people from all over the world, and once you find someone that interests you, you can follow them to see what else they talk about!
  • Listorious: wish you could go to a yellow pages of Twitter, grouped by category, to see tweets about one topic? It’s your lucky day. Listorious is a directory of Twitter lists created by other people. Search by keyword or tag (for example: Triathlon, Bloggers, Food) and then you can follow the complete list.
  • Tweetdeck: I can’t live — or work — with out this. It’s a tool that lets you manage multiple Twitter accounts, save searches, group the people you follow and more. It’s a download, but once it’s up and running, you can leave it in the background so you don’t miss a thing. I also love it because you can integrate Facebook (profiles and fan pages), LinkedIn and more, so you can manage ALL your accounts in one place.


I’m a former Blackberry user, and when I had my Curve, I told everyone that would listen that it was the best piece of technology ever invented. Then, I met my new love — the iPhone. Now, I know that there are people who think it’s too expensive, or too much, and that’s fine. But if you like applications and easy-to-use software, here are my picks.

  • Lose It!
    • This free app lets you keep a diary of what you eat, activities and more. If you count calories, or just like to see a breakdown of what you eat and when, there are graphs, alerts (when you get close to your daily goal) and more.
  • Urbanspoon, Yelp!
    • This has saved me so many times when I’m traveling or in a part of town that I’m unfamiliar with. These applications let you search for restaurants based on your location, and you can filter it by price, type (I like finding vegetarian options!) and more.
  • Yoga Lite
    • This is a free version of an application that you can also buy. You can get “flash cards” of yoga poses, which is great if you have 10 or 15 minutes to kill, and want to do a little stretching or a light workout. I’ve been known to use this on my lunch break at work!
  • Dirty Produce
    • This is AWESOME for helping you decide what to buy at the grocery store. It’s a list of foods that are best bought as organic (rather than conventional) and can be a lifesaver when you’re overwhelmed and on a budget.
  • Food Scanner
    • This is a paid app, but I love it. It uses your iPhone camera to scan a product’s UPC bar code (or you can type in the name manually) and if you eat it, you can automatically add it to a food diary. It also gives you nutritional stats and more.
  • Teavana
    • A fun app that includes a tea timer, so you never under- or over-steep your tea! You can also virtually blend your tea, then bring the blend to the store to have it mixed for real.
  • Starbucks
    • This is great for coffee addicts who are overwhelmed by the fancy names. Use the guide to pick and choose what you want (soy milk, sugar free cinnamon dolce syrup, extra hot, etc.) and it will actually give you the markings that the barista needs for the cup!
  • Map My Run
    • Before I had my Garmin 305, this was AWESOME for recording the distance that I was running or cycling. It uses GPS, and you can upload the stats to your Map My Run account if you’d like!
  • Epicurious
    • Another grocery store must-have. This lets you search the Epicurious database for recipe ideas, cocktails, etc. — you can even build your shopping list with the app, and use that when you get to the store!

Tip: You can find these apps and more on your iPhone’s “applications” button, or through iTunes. You can also sort by free vs. paid AND, my personal favorite, use the Genius option to have your phone recommend new apps for you, based on what you already have.


  • Blogs: You probably have your favorites already (you are using a feed reader to help organize your blog subscriptions, right?) but if you are looking for more inspiration, especially on a specific topic (gluten free cooking, diabetes, running nutrition, etc), these can be great resources.
  • Google Alerts: Set these up when you want to be emailed or alerted to specific keywords. I have a “triathlon” alert set up so I can see what people are talking about in my favorite sport!
    • All three of these sites are great resources for recipe ideas, reviews and more — and since they all encourage community and conversation, they let you reach REAL people and get more out of your time!


Does this girl know her shtuff or what?! Thanks for sharing, Katy!

What do you think of social platforms? Embrace ’em? Fight ’em? Tell us more!


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessie (Vegan-minded) February 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

What an informative post! I feel like I am the only one left on the planet without a smart phone these days! I have to wait a few more months until my contract ends and I can upgrade, so I am really thinking about the iPhone. It definitely helps to stay in the loop in terms of social media!


2 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Jessie ~ I love that you are interested in social media! It’s an amazing way to connect with people and I sincerely hope you get that iPhone (though I will be super jealous if you do because I have Verizon)! :)


3 challenges2010 February 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

I guess I’m a bit anti-social as I have always avoided Facebook and Twitter. It was an interesting post though.


4 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm

No worries — you gotta do what works for you! But if you ever feel like joining, let me know. I’m a social media junkie so I’ll tell you anything you want to know!


5 adrienmelaine February 4, 2010 at 10:38 am

If you’re planning on getting into business, you have to get on board with social media and technology- people try to fight it, but those are the people who will be swimming upstream to catch up in the near future.

Love this post!


6 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

adrienmelaine ~ I seriously couldn’t agree with you more. I get giggly with excitement over social media and how impactful it can be for businesses.


7 megzzwinsatlife February 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

GReat post!!! Lot’s of information!! Thank yoU!!


8 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Katy’s a whiz!! Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did :)


9 The Foodie Diaries February 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

Loved the post–mins the Blackberry hatin’ ;)… I’m a faithful BB girl haha


10 The Foodie Diaries February 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

And by mins, I mean minus. Typo courteous of my BB haha


11 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Haha — that made me smile :)


12 Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce February 4, 2010 at 11:27 am

didn’t realize google had a blog search function, awesome! jenn i just voted for you guys, hope you win!


13 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Katy taught me SO much I didn’t know about Google Reader/blog/etc. Yay! Thanks so much for voting Stef! P.S. Your package should arrive this weekend or early next week! Finally…am I right?!


14 Angela @ A Healthy Fit February 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

Thanks for all the useful info!!


15 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I love all of my Guest Benders :)


16 Rose February 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Wow, Katy, I can tell that you know a lot about social media. This is one of the most informative posts I’ve read in a while!


17 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

She rocks! I am definitely going to focus on social media more often after this one.


18 healthy ashley February 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Great guest post from Katy! Love her :)


19 Anita February 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I voted for you today! :-)


20 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Thanks, Anita! We really, really appreciate your support! :)


21 Cassie February 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm

*sigh* if only i had an iphone… but they have urbanspoon for the blackberry too! what a great post, thanks for all the info katy :)


22 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Do they really?! I need to look this up!


23 jenngirl February 5, 2010 at 7:57 am

What a great post!

I’m in LOVE with social networks. Not so much facebook anymore, but I think Twitter is incredible, and I love seeing how different people use it for more than just a “status update”. And I love my apps!


24 Lindsay Maddox {Designer Wife} February 6, 2010 at 1:06 am

YAY Social Media! Great post, Katy!! :)


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