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Saturday, March 01, 2008

The state of Social Networking

There are currently a number of Social Networking sites that stand out above the rest and this post basically points out the sites that really stand out when it comes to the concept Social Networking. One thing that should be noted is that these sites can be used to create more traffic for you website or blog as they provide you with the ability to post comments or create pages that link back to your online presence.

Blogs are an important form of social networking and sites like Bloglines allow you to search and subscribe to blogs that discuss topics that relate to your websites content. A simple form of Social Networking is the ability you have to leave comments on blogs that link back to you website. Please do not spam blogs, but write worthwhile comments that have relevance to the blog post and your website and that will capture readers attention and prompt them to visit your website.

Facebook is one of the most successful Social Networking sites and provides more functionality than most of the other sites. Create and account and network with people that have similar interests as yourself and use the site to promote events, educate users that will want to visit your site and use it promote any products that you may be selling. It is a great place to connect with business contacts you may never bump into otherwise.

MySpace is another service that can be used to spread the word when it comes to events and products that you have currently developed. Primarily the music world has taken over MySpace and it is used heavily by musicians to demo a few of their tracks and keep their fans in the loop with what is going on with their group. It can however be used to promote services that might be useful to certain types and groups of people that use the service.

Twitter is something different again. It allows users to type how they feel at a particular moment in the day, which to me seem pretty useless, but there seem to be a lot of people that use the service so maybe you could use it to twitter about the products you are working on or gain peoples interest in what you are trying to achieve etc with the product or service that you are offering.

On a business note Linkedin is for meeting business people that have similar interests as yourself. Although I have not had a chance to play with this one I believe that this would be useful to gain interest about your product or service with people that are in your industry.

Then there are the social bookmarking websites which are sites, such as Del.icio.us, Digg and StumbleUpon etc, which allow users who bookmark your article to flag your article on the social bookmarking website. They all work slightly different with Del.icio.us just being a website that manages your bookmarks online, with some great search and networking tools available to search similar user bookmarks. Then you have sites like Digg it. This is used so that when an article that is attractive gets digged by users the relevance of the article on the dig network receives coverage and then the article is feature and hence receives more traffic through the Digg network.

I could keep going on but believe that this gives a pretty good overview of the state of online social networking at the moment and outlines some of the key online products. If you have any other interesting web 2.0 social networking applications worth a look let me know as I am interested in finding some more social networking applications.