With 100’s of social media platforms, which do you choose to use?

Filed in Blogging , Twitter 25 comments

So many great choices!

So many great choices!

Every day we hear of “new” or “new-to-us” social media tools and platforms. How is a person, or a company, to choose what to use?

The Top Three: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are “no-brainers,” i.e. you really do need to sign up and start experimenting and/or incorporate your participation into your daily routine.

But what about the rest of the dozens and dozens and dozens [100’s] of sites?

We ask this question a lot in PR class, so the students worked in teams to examine 15 online sites: Google Reader, Zemanta, Flickr, Technorati, Squidoo, Ezine Articles, Del.ici.ous, Stumbleupon, Friendfeed, Digg, RSS, BlipTV, Hub Pages, Truveo, and Vimeo.

After brief team reports, the class as a whole voted on one of three options; (a) They would definitely check out the site for personal use; (b) They “might” check it out; or (c) They had NO intention of seeking out more details about the site.

The most popular platform by far was Flickr, followed by Delicious and RSS, with Technorati and Google Reader also scoring high in the (a) option. The lowest scoring sites included Ezine Articles, Truveo, and Vimeo.

Below [in the order seen by the students] is a brief description of each site, with a student comment, and the reported “scores”:

Google Reader: Helps you follow all your favorite sites by managing RSS feeds on one page. Free and easy to use: “Google Reader is a great site with sharing capabilities. You can subscribe to blogs and other sites on a regular basis, which reduces search time considerably” – Jason Khorge.

Class vote on Google Reader: (a) 13 will definitely check it out. (b) 31 said they may check it out; (c) 4 voted against.

Zemanta: This free Firefox add-on download that offers related web content — both text and visuals — that can help bloggers link and use valuable online information. “Zemanta is a great assistant for bloggers because it is easy to use, cuts down research time and enables content producers to enrich their publications with just a few clicks.” — Alisa Guan “I’m interested in checking out Zemanta to help me upgrade my blog. The suggested articles could help me give a more informed and useful opinion.” — Angelica Maduell

Class vote on Zemanta: (a) 14; (b) 24; (c) 13

Flickr: Online photo management and sharing web community. “”In my eyes, Flickr has garnered a lot of attention from reputable photographers and amateurs alike. It’s definitely a haven for people who want to share their passion for picture-taking and connecting with others of similar interests.” — Sarah Awang Razali “I personally thing that Flickr is really useful because of the quality of content provided on it. There are personal pages and professional pages, and all users are equally respected within the community. A lot of the photos are also the basis for much online content. They say, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ so thousands of pictures must be worth a lifetime of endless content.: — Frank Lin

Class vote on Flickr: (a) 31; (b) 18; (c) 2

Technorati: Top rated blog search engine that indexes more than 1.5 million blog posts in real time. “I’m always looking for new blogs to follow and I think Technorati can really help me enlarge my collection.” — Petya Somleva

Class vote on Technorati: (a) 17; (b) 15; (c) 18

Squidoo: Content publishing on steroids: Free community website that allows users to publish pages [lenses] on line in a wide range of topics, virtually anythinhereg a person is passionate about. “Squidoo appealed to me the most, and I believe it has the greatest opportunity to grow. Providing such a diverse collection of material means it can reach a wide variety of interests.” — Liz Looney “I like the free Squidoo community website where content you’re interested in is easy to find. It is easy to use, simple to post comments, and you can earn money for charity.” — Brandon Wong

Class vote on Squidoo: (a) 13; (b) 31; (c) 4

Ezine Articles: Publishing site for original articles including tips, strategies, techniques, analysis, and case studies. Great for sending links back to a website. Sadly, no students chose to write an opinion about this site.

Class vote on Ezine: (a) 2; (b) 14; (c) 27

Del.ici.ous: A social bookmarking service that allows uses to save websites online, share them with other people, and see what other people are bookmarking. “You can build a mountain of information before ever adding a single bookmark. You find Del.ici.ous users who have saved articles you enjoy reading. Add their names to your network and with a single click, you can save all their bookmarks. That was amazing to me.” — Sarah Awang Razali

Stumbleupon: An Internet community that allows users to find, share, and rate favorite websites. “I was really impressed by Stumbleupon, particularly when someone said it was ‘a good site to waste a lot of time on the Internet.’ That being said lightly, it did strike me as the kind of site you could go on and be entertained by by topical content. I could see this website becoming part of my daily routine.” — Anna Rahnvonih

Class vote on Stumbleupon: (a) 5; (b) 20; (c) 16

Friendfeed: This microblogging site offers users a stream of updates which, unlike Twitter but similar to Facebook, allows comments and conversations to attach to updates. “With the decreasing popularity of MySpace and the growth of Twitter and Facebook, I think Friendfeed may just be the next best platform, using features from all three of these social networking sites.” — Sheena Diaz “I like the added Friendfeed feature of receiving feedback underneath your post.” — Ashley Dordan

Class vote on Friendfeed: (a) 12; (b) 27; (c) 5

Digg: A user-driven sharing site that is divided into categories for easy search. It also allows you to connect with Facebook and Twitter to share sites. “I am considering Digg because it filters news and other topics by what is important to other people.” — Caroll Vongsouthi

Class vote on Digg: (a) 6; (b) 35; (c) 7

RSS: Stands for “Really Simple syndication” and simplifies the process of getting information. It is a data format used for supplying frequently updated content. “RSS feeds allow you to easily get the latest information that you are interested in and they build Google Juice for shared sites.” — Bo Zhang

Class vote on RSS: (a) 22; (b) 21; (c) 3

BlipTV: Website for video distribution intended for anyone who wants to create a webshow to share with the world. “This site offers free hosting in any video format and tells you who is looking at your page and how they found you. I will definitely check it out.” — Ashley Hall “It’s interesting that you can find sponsors and earn revenue.: — Diedre Moseley

Class vote on BlipTV: (a) 10; (b) 28; (c) 4

Hub Pages: Website is designed for sharing advertising revenue for high quality, user-generated content. Members create individual pages on narrow topics based on the users interest. Not as popular with students as Squidoo.

Class vote on Hub Pages: (a) 3; (b) 25; (c) 18

Truveo: Video search engine that allows users to embed videos through a third party site like YouTube. It has a rating feature, and you can save favorites. “Truveo has many ways to search, e.g., by categories like business or comedy, by TV stations, by name of show. You need to become a member if you want to rate videos and add them to your favorites.” — McKenzie Hanson

Vimeo: Video file sharing and uploading site specifically for noncommercial content.Caters to a high-end artistic crowd. “Users can share or embed. Other options include title, byline, and portrait of the video listing beofre it starts playing. Videos can be enhanced with site tools.” — Riciaig Panlaqui

Class vote on Truveo & Vimeo: (a) 11; (b) 11; (c) 23

Student comments after the two-day experience:

I’ll be honest, I’m not a blogger. I don’t use Twitter and at times I don’t understand all the hype about these forms of social media. However, after seeing these presentations, there is no doubt in my mind the importance of these new media platforms. It’s plain and simple — if you want to spread the word, you MUST use these forms of social media. — Liz Looney

It was interesting to see how social media has exploded in recent years. Seeing all the sites — big and small — showed how each has its unique features. A lot of people do not realize that a small not very well known site today might in fact be the most popular six months from now. Anyone starting to use social media for business needs to check out many of these sites. — Eddie Neyman

From these presentations, I learned a lot of useful tools that will come in handy when I start looking for a job. Some of my favorites were the ones that help you find related articles on certain topics. Too often, I have the hardest time finding good information. — McKensie Hanson

With all the information presented, I feel like I’m already falling behind in the online social media world. To really be able to participate in all the social media sites, I will have to invest an outrageous amount of time. I plan to get involved by signing up for a handful of sites that I can keep up with. This was a great opportunity to learn that many sites can bring news and articles I like, rather than for me always having to search. — Caroll Vongsouthi

Next post: I evaluate my Online Presence Management

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   9 August 2009
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Comments
Aug 9, 2009
9:51 am

Thanks for the good report.. Apart from the quality and how useful a site can be, I think it’d be interesting to evaluate the usability and “time-spent” on the site to “do” what’s it’s made for as well as the mobile “access” available for any of them. Good job!

Aug 9, 2009
5:27 pm
#2 Liz Looney :

There are numerous social media websites out there and I honestly believe the majority of people nowadays are completely oblivious to what each of these sites entails. Like my comment states above in the article, I am not a blogger and have absolutely no idea how to use Twitter or any other social media site besides Facebook. However, after learning about the wide variety of social media sites out there from my fellow classmates, there is no doubt that I will now be able to share how truly beneficial these sites can be. More importantly, I now can say I know more about social media sites such as Digg and Vimeo than I ever thought possible.
Although there are numerous favorites to choose from among this list, Squidoo is by far the most captivating to me. Unlike other sites that I have seen, it has the ability to expand and take off ā€“ no questions asked. By allowing users to access the site easily, at absolutely no cost, the site is bound to flourish. After all, who can resist a website that lists everything from food and cooking to parenting, all on the same homepage? More importantly, this site captured my attention because it allows users to comment and even buy products related to the topic. Seth Godin did an amazing job creating this site and I would definitely recommend it to everyone!

Aug 9, 2009
9:21 pm
#3 Jason Nagaia :

Thank you for your post Shari! I am saving it for future reference. My goal is to spend the rest of the summer trying most of these websites out. The presentations were very informative, but there are many that I would like to try out myself. Although the semester went by quickly, I am so glad to have taken this this class with you. I feel like I have gained so much from the course, especially since a lot of the material is new to Marketing. I am eager to start a blog, and build my online presence. I feel like all of the websites above will help me with that. I am so excited!!

Aug 10, 2009
12:25 am
#4 Jessica Bux :

wow. I did not know there were so many of these different social media platforms. Some of these social media tools seem quite useful. Some of them I even use myself such as Flickr. Others on the list, however, do not seem as useful to me. But that is because I don’t use the kinds of media that the site is based on.

Aug 10, 2009
12:45 am
#5 Simi :

If you want to find similar sites to the one you use check out http://www.similarsites.com . for example to find similar sites to digg.com you wrote about see
http://www.similarsites.com/sites-like/digg.com

Aug 10, 2009
2:34 am
#6 Alisa :

Before I knew about Google reader, I would usually just sign up for the updates on blogs and news. After a while, it is really hard to keep up with all the updates because I get tons of e-mails everyday.

The Google reader mini-presentation gave a great demonstration on how easy Google Reader works and it made me want to try it. After using it for a couple of days, I believe it is one of the best overall social media platforms for me because it makes my life so much easier.

Not only I can get read it without having so many tabs on my browser, I can keep track of what I read and what I haven’t read. No more e-mail updates for me. It’s all about Google reader now!

Aug 10, 2009
3:46 am

Thanks for this. It’s like a social media jungle out there šŸ™‚

Aug 10, 2009
4:04 am

Oh I added this post on delicious, propeller and technorati šŸ™‚ Digg is not working for me at the moment

Aug 10, 2009
8:25 am
#9 Tam Chung :

Businesses should use a social media platform that is profitable and has a strong growth potential. There is no point for companies to invest their time and resources on a platform that will not be around in the near future. I will boldly go on record to say that Twitter will be a failed social media tool. It is not popular among young people, its growth has been inorganic and there is nothing unique about Twitter that Facebook or Yahoo! could not copy. Furthermore, nobody seems to be tweeting except for the media. Twitter reminds me of Webvan with its hype until somebody starts looking at the number carefully and realized that the business model is not profitable.

Aug 10, 2009
10:01 pm

Twitter not popular with young people ? Hmm.. There was nothing unique about Facebook that Myspace or others couldn’t copy! The concept and the brand is what matters.

Aug 11, 2009
4:14 pm
#11 Roya Emadi :

Oh my goodness! At the beginning of this class, I had the idea in my head that there were only three existing social media websites available.I could not have been more wrong. I only knew of Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. I had never heard of StumbleUpon, Digg, or Vimeo.

Now, I know better. All of these social media tools have allowed me to expand my online abilities and will open up new paths for anyone who chooses to use them. The in-class presentations have given me so many opportunities and so much information that will certainly be useful when it comes time for me to apply for a full-time job. Thank you Shari.

Aug 11, 2009
6:16 pm
#12 J Stdy Rockn :

I keep being reminded by Shari that this is an exciting time in our lives because of all these social media tools that allow us to connect, organize and accomplish variety of things, and I agree, its exciting. I have to admit that I thought I had a handle on how many and what types of social media platforms there were but after listening to the different presentations in class, I now actively look for different platforms just to check it out. Like Louis Gray said, just go check it out and give it a chance, you never know how it could help you do the things you want to do on the web.

Aug 11, 2009
10:09 pm
#13 Faisal Imran :

I have always had a different opinion of blogging thinking that it is something that doesn’t apply to my lifestyle and looked at it as something that would not relate to me. Shari’s class and the various presentations by my classmates have presented me with a different view of social media and have made me realize its growing importance currently as well as its influence in the future.
Ever since I came across different platforms of online networking available, I have come to realize how they can relate to my interests, hobbies and even the music im into and understanding it as a broader platform for a global base to bring together like minds .
I always found video blogs with people ranting about random stuff amusing but paid little attention to its importance until an interesting conversation with a friend brought to light the incidence where a passenger’s blog about an airline losing their bag led to their defamation and eventually even worse, a severe drop in their share price . This showed me the impact that social networking platforms can have on companies and people and has ever since taught me not to underestimate its mighty power!

Aug 12, 2009
10:27 am
#14 Sheena Diaz :

In my opinion, it’s really difficult to choose which social media platforms to start trying to the vast amount of sites available out there. The only way I would start to use a specific platform is if viral marketing triggers slapped me across the face. By this I mean if one of my friends or even a few of them said to me, “you have to try this out!”. Other than that, I don’t have the means or motivation to take time out of my day and try something completely foreign to me. I think that’s how a lot of people feel about the social media boom. Although some do seem interesting enough to give it a shot, it’s all about word-of-mouth.

Aug 14, 2009
4:25 pm
#15 Caroll Vongsouthi :

After the class presentation, I’ve joined Delicious and Digg because I think they are both amazing sources for information.

Newspapers seem to be a the thing of the past for accessing information and news. For one, it’s difficult to read a newspaper. I feel like there’s so much jumping around from page to page and newspapers are restricted by space so readers aren’t getting the information they deserve.

Secondly, I ride Muni every day, and I see tons of newspapers discarded, not very eco-friendly. Plus if you have a favorite article, where are the scissors to cut it?

With sites like Delicious and Did, I can share information with less effort and follow what other people are reading. For example, I’m able to follow what my co-workers are reading and we have great discussions. They think I’m a super smart intern aware of important news, but really I just know what news matters to them =)

Aug 14, 2009
4:58 pm
#16 sharisax :

Caroll, I think you speak for many of your generation when you discuss the imminent demise of newspapers, particularly as they are delivered and produced these days.

I’m also glad to hear that you’ve found a great use for Digg and Delicious in the workplace. Good for you . . . and others who are discovering the previously “buried” treasures of social media.

Sep 12, 2009
3:14 pm
#17 Rhonesha victor :

I now feel that I am completely behind in the whole social networking phenomenon. There are so many floating aroung the internet that i have never even heard of. It is truly amazing.

Dec 6, 2009
1:03 am
#18 Owen Greaves :

Hi There,

Personally, if you don’t have a plan, you have nothing. Just trying Social Media Networks without having a plan is merely recreation. Understanding what business you are in and understanding which Social Media Network best represents your customer base or Product is where you should start.

That’s just me, my 2 cents on the topic : )

Author Dec 6, 2009
2:56 pm
#19 Shari Weiss :

Hey, Owen, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate all the TWO CENT[es] I get.
šŸ™‚
I’m with you 100%. Everyone who wants to achieve Anything, needs a plan and objectives, but from my recent experience talking with lots of “newbies,” many of them want to feel more comfortable with social media platforms BEFORE even thinking about what to do with them. It is interesting for me to “get my hands around” this idea . . . and then be able to offer suggestions. What do you think?

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