Thursday, September 10, 2009

Social Media Websites

Social media, as defined by Wikipedia, are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.

In layman's terms - websites where people can interact quickly and easily through technology.

Some of you may already be using these sites, but many people are still overwhelmed or simply think they are a waste of time and privacy. Apparently over 250 million people do not agree.

Here are some tips to help you get over the hurdle and try one or maybe two of these sites.

First, you don't have to be a computer geek or expert.

Second, you don't have to spend a lot of time on these sites.

Third, join only one site to get started. Who knows, once you join, you may get addicted and want to join more - go ahead, most of them are FREE or have a FREE version (paid by advertisements).

If you eventually choose to join more sites, there are sites that will post to many sites at once, saving you valuable time.

Here are a couple of the most popular sites and a bit of information on them.

Facebook -

  • Surpassed Twitter as the number one in membership of around 250 million!
  • A site to share photos, information and thoughts with friends and family.
  • People often post daily information, but it is acceptable that some people may not share information that often.

Twitter -

  • A macro social media website where people answer the question "What are you doing now?"
  • I think a bit overkill, as people mention when they are using the facilities and, personally, I don't need to know that much about my friends and family.
  • Used properly, it is similar to Facebook where people share information and thoughts.

LinkedIn -

  • More of a business networking website.
  • Many groups are setup for specific industries where you can share information and possibly post job openings or job searching needs.

I would start with one of these, as they offer ease of use and a simple few questions and you can join.

There are hundreds of these sites available - many that are specific to certain industries. For example, MySpace used to be a friend and dating website and now has turned into a site mostly used by the music industry.

Below is a list of more sites to get you started. However, I want to make sure you remember this one VERY IMPORTANT FACT (especially for youth that like to share personal info) - it is not a good idea to share too much information on these sites. Remember privacy and security are still big issues, as well as the fact that once you've posted something, there is usually NO deleting it and everyone (in the world sometimes) can read and see the information and/or pictures you've posted! And, please, remember that it is not appropriate (or fun for others) to use bad language.

Digg - Social News website

Yelp - Localized site, allowing businesses to advertise and consumers to find local info

Flickr - Website allowing users to share photography and receive comments from other members.

ActiveRain - Site for the Real Estate industry to share information and provide consumers information.

Hugg - Social News website geared towards environmental issues.

And, let's not forget YouTube - yes, this is a form of Social Media website. Here, people share information in the form of videos.

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