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Social Networks: Who’s In and Who’s Out for 2011

Posted by on 15/12/2010

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Are you the one of many who run a website and want some social exposure? Here is the list of social ‘who’s hot and who’s not’ for 2011.

You Got To Go

Digg – Over the past few years, site owners have prayed day and night to get their stories on the front page of Digg, but as it turns out, their ‘Digg Effect’ has died out, and even before the doomed progression to Version 4, site owners reported seeing a trending decrease in visitors over the past year or two (2009-2010). However, it was version 4 that killed it all. They tried to copy elements from Twitter and Facebook, but failed miserably. Their auto RSS post system was a spam disaster and the power went from the elite ‘Power User’ group to the corporate big wigs, causing a majority of users to feel just as depressed. It was even proven that the system could be gamed by other sites because Reddit’s fan base showed enough support to get a lot of their stories on Digg. Nothing illegal, just taking advantage of a bad setup. If you have Digg on your site, get rid of it. They are old news like Slashdot.

Delicious – Even though Delicious wasn’t the biggest bookmarking site around, it was quite popular in the days and maintained top spots on website’s pages, however they have remained stuck in the past and are paying the price. Their buttons are a rare sight these days.

MySpace – With MySpace falling far behind Facebook, their social sharing service has also gone with it. People are no longer going there to create profiles, and with the site transforming into a music portal, it’s one icon you should consider ditching.

Welcome to the Club

Reddit – Reddit’s success comes from a totally user driven system where no one has any more power than anyone else. In a nutshell, Reddit is like the good 4chan. They do make sure good things happen and work together for the benefit of many positive causes. However, if you cannot stand Internet meme jokes, then this is not the place for you. It should be noted that site owners shouldn’t try to market on Reddit, but still should place a button on their site instead. Reddit doesn’t like self promotion links, simply to keep the real news and fun stuff on top rather than a bunch of SEO crap or boring stories about goats around, which is fair enough. There should be something called the ‘Reddit Effect’ because stories can site on the home page up to 10 hours long depending on its popularity and basically bring it thousands of hits in a short time and shatter shared servers’ bandwidth.

Facebook – Facebook is rather an up and down kind of thing. If your story gets shared and liked enough, you’ll benefit from possibly thousands of hits, but with only a few shares, it does not do much good. Nonetheless, with a network of about 500 million users, the potential for massive hits is always possible, but with the right techniques and story types of course. It should be noted that splattering Facebook across your site sometimes can be non-beneficial. Users may get sick of seeing Facebook all over your site and may choose not to share your stories. Just find a spot where you think users may best see it rather than sticking it everywhere.

LinkedIn – With the recent addition of LinkedIn’s interactive AJAX widgets, the popularity for them have skyrocketed which major sites now implementing the buttons on their pages. LinkedIn is a pretty big network among those looking for work, but it also acts as a social network for the corporate types. The true potential is still to be seen, now that they have added these buttons.

Twitter – As always, Twitter has been a popular service for getting news filtered around the world quickly. Usually if I hear about a breaking event, I would check with Twitter to see what people are saying. Links can be shared just as fast and cause quite a stir, but just like Facebook, it’s all about who shares your link and how many times. Twitter’s effectiveness is sometimes questionable because it’s so highly dominated by those looking to promote, that the actual viewing audience may be low, while your links just get spun around through auto aggregation services that inflate the shared numbers. Nonetheless, it’s still a link worthwhile to have.

Niche Social Networks

DesignFloat – Aimed towards sites about computer and web design aspects such as graphic and web design, among other things.

News 4 Gamers – Running a gaming site, then feel free to post your stories here. Their policy is a bit different though where stories are driven by heat based on outgoing views and comments. Also, stories must be linked to the most original source, so this means you can’t jack someone else’s work and get the hits, even if you do credit back to the source.

So take your pick at kicking some to the side and welcome on board the cool guys.

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