An increasing number of online communities are vying for the top places and are fervently trying to attract new users. StumbleUpon boats of in excess of 7 million users (registered) and Twitter has about 4 million. The numbers did rise when Ashton Kutcher and NBC were in the race to get 1 million followers.
While some regard these figures as mere numbers, to many these numbers represent the population of the community that they are part of. With no ‘constitutions’ to rule over them, all that the users have to do to be heard on these platforms is do adhere by a fairly simple set of rules and regulations. With social networking continuing to gain credence, it is no surprise that these platforms are been viewed as a great way to put across views, raise issues, as well as market ones wares.
For the uninitiated, this write-up will bring to the fore a number of social networking sites that you can be part of, and also how these social networking sites will play a significant role in the things to come. If you are already part of the bandwagon, you can simply read on to build on your existing knowledge bank.
Becoming a member of a social networking site such as Twitter, StumbleUpon, Mixx, and the likes is not at all complicated. With some personal information to be furbished, and once you’ve chosen a user name, you are pretty much good to go. Mentioned below are brief descriptions of the more popular social networking sites.
Digg is definitely amongst the most popular social networking site. I personally think that Digg is quite picky when it comes to choosing the content and it does take a fair amount of commitment and time for one to succeed using this platform. However, Digg is great for networking and can be fun to use, and I have made a number of friends thanks to Digg. The one thing that is of utmost important on Digg is the front page, and if your blog does reach the front page, success is inevitable (as long as you continue to put in a fair amount of effort, because other blogs are also vying for the same spot).
A lot is said about Reddit being the ‘geek’ platform, despite which, I continue to like it. Also, it does seem fairly easier to appear on Reddit’s homepage in comparison to Digg and the amount of traffic that it directs is easily at par with Digg. Besides, it also has a number of categories that one can choose from and also has wide comment participations. The one glitch that I noticed is that the moderators (who, incidentally, are also users) can delete other submissions randomly and do so at fairly regular intervals. Another aspect is that while one submission of yours might receive unprecedented support, other submissions might be totally ignored, for reasons you cannot quite comprehend. Lastly, despite its perceptible usability, finding your way around can be quite a pain.
Stumbling upon this site was quite a pleasure for me, and this continues to remain my personal favorite. This social networking site seems more friendly and warm in comparison to the rest, besides having an eclectic mix of users. It gives you the ability to post your content in areas of specific interests and you get to view content that you can relate to as opposed to content that is highly voted. The best thing, according to me, is that StumbleUpon has the ability to send lingering traffic your way even after the initial popularity fades; as opposed to Digg and Reddit which only send traffic your way as long as the popularity factor is high. Besides, a majority of the people I stumbled upon here actually seem interested in things that they say interest them.
I heard a lot about Mixx, therefore decided to mix in it myself, and have absolutely no regrets in doing so. Mixx allowed me to create ‘groups’ in accordance to topics of my choice and I now add pertinent content to these groups. In populating these groups, one can either send out invites to other ‘Mixxers’ or just wait for other Mixxers to join of their own accord. The opportunity of making your ‘group’ private or public is a great option. Another great thing about Mixx is that you are not limited to sharing your content with other Mixxers. Using the ‘share this’ option, I could comfortably submit content to Google Bookmarks, Facebook, StumbleUpon, MySpace, Windows Live, and a few other platforms; an option that isn’t available on Digg.
Launched in 2006, Twitter lets its users post text messages which cannot exceed 140 characters, and is an easy to use site. Tweeter also allows tweeters to keep followers updated even when they nowhere near a computer, thanks to their cell (mobile) phone. I haven’t tried this yet but I’m sure it’s quite handy. Besides, my ‘tweets’ only go out to users who have opted to become my followers. I have noticed that a large number of businesses have now turned to using Twitter to keep their existing/probable customers updated about new products/services. I’ve hear rumors about Twitter forming an alliance with other social networking sites, but for now, rumors are what they remain to be.
Again, a fairly busy networking site, Facebook allows its members to upload photos besides getting to interact with other Facebook users. Owing to its multiple options, I recently moved all my pictures from Picasa to here, and these pictures can be viewed by any one of my ‘friends’ or I also have the option of keeping albums ‘private’. It also allows you to write on someone else’s wall, play games, partake in surveys, etc. One thing you should be wary of while using Facebook is your content being stolen if you are careless about it.
Primarily home to the younger generation, it is amongst the most populous social networking sites. If your profile age does not say you are young, do not expect too many interactions. This is also a platform that many recording artists use to interact with their fans, with a number of recording artists allowing their fans to preview upcoming releases.
A relatively newer community, I think this site shows a lot of promise. A fair amount of Twitters have moved base to this site simply because of its high interaction levels; for every post of yours, you can easily expect around ten comments. This is surely a site that will rise in the days to come.
This social networking site is for the corporate world. While this site is quite limited when it comes to interactions, it is a great place for businessmen looking to increase their contacts/opportunities.
I know these aforementioned descriptions are brief, so please feel free to add to what I’ve said and experienced. Also, are there any more important social networking websites that I’ve missed? Lastly, if you are already part of the growing phenomenon of social networking sites, which one do you like best and why?
Do post your comments and hopefully, this could become a rather informative page for the layman and the technocrat alike.