Thursday, 30 December 2010

Digg my Facebook Youtubid Twitt

Hasn't the world changed so much. All the new social media tools that are available to facilitate socialising or market your business, to advertise or simply to stalk your new love? I remember just five years ago trying to get my head around Myspace personal page coding, unsuccessfully. I joined Facebook soon after and have been joining social media websites ever since, even more so since writing MachineDaenas blog. This is a small lie actually, as I remember for years prior to myspace using Faceparty, long before Facebook was around. For those of you who don't know what Faceparty is, it's basically a dirty UK version of facebook that at one point was more popular in terms of page impressions than Amazon and eBay in the UK! Impressive eh? I've recently seen the film 'The Social Network' and have been obsessively wrapping my head around the social media circle and tools/websites. I have got a good feel for what people want from a website that facilitates being social or the publishing of media and I wanted to share my findings and opinions on it all with you stupid twitts.

I like to think of this post as a mini review of what is best from the social media websites that I've used and what's not so good - sort of like a miniature critique on the social sites I've got experience of using. Bare in mind that each website is designed for a different purpose and each have their own USPs (Unique Selling Points).

Youtube is something that I plan to use a lot more in 2011. As most of you should know Youtube is a video content sharing website whereby you can upload, edit, share and view video content. The main benefits of Youtube are that it's free to use, as are many of the social networking websites, it is a lazy way of gaining information (just find, sit and watch!) and you can often find precisely what you're looking for very quickly. Youtube can be monetised (Youtube partnership program) and you can really add value to your business product, business service or even just your social standing through sharing content. The main drawbacks are that Youtubes partnership program can be difficult to join (you need to have numerous videos, high levels of views and strict content parameter such as no copyright or trademark infringements). This means that actually being able to monetise your content can take time, but I'm very aware that once you get on the program it's very lucrative indeed, particularly if you have a good number of subscribers and followers. Another major drawback is that the content can take a long time to edit and upload to Youtube, depending on the length, quality and editing needs of the video, unlike some of the other social media websites for both business or pleasure where you can simply type and hit 'enter'. Here's a little video tutorial to help you see how to use Youtube. I picked this video particularly because I like the South African accent! haha.

You can view Machinedaena's Youtube channel, there isn't any video content on there just yet but there definitely will be in the early part of 2011 - please subscribe to get updates of the content on there. 

Twitter is another social media tool I plan to use a whole lot more in 2011 and onwards. Twitter is a very basic way of sharing links to pictures, websites, music, blogs, products etc as well as 140 characters of content (link characters count toward the content character limit). Twitter is very useful to quickly target your information at a particular person, or list of people, and is very easy to use. Your  content can be written, added and shared in seconds. Twitter is a great way to gain a following or audience. As a social tool, I haven't really had the same level of interaction with my target audience (particularly friends) as with other social websites that I use, but have used Twitter quite a lot to gain exposure to MachineDaena and other websites that I run or administer, personally and in business. Twitter lacks the ability to monetise and also lacks extensive content sharing due to the character limitation, however you can very easily refer people onto better content using Twitter. The added benefit of using twitter is that it can easily be used to integrate into websites to share content and you can see what Sir Alan Sugar has been up to recently - something I know you're ALLLL very happy to know about! 
Follow Machinedaena on Twitter to read my tweets. 

Facebook is something that I've used a hell of a lot over the past three or so years, particularly in the last year. I've used it mainly in a social capacity rather than business capacity, because it's very good for sharing high levels of content, for managing your social calendar, for updating people on events and for stalking people. OK, so I don't stalk too often these days but you get where I'm coming from. It's very useful for simply just keeping in touch with people, particularly those that you may struggle to keep in touch with due to geographical issues. There are adverts on Facebook which can be annoying, plus Facebook cannot currently be monetised in the traditional (Ad)sense, which makes it poor for business use directly, however you can use Facebook to gather information about people which can be sold, or to simply refer hundreds or thousands of people onto further products or services so Facebook has a fantastic potential for business if used well. I'll continue to use Facebook socially as currently there is no obvious rival in terms of usability and popularity, but I'll be investigating how to use Facebook in business much more as the new year falls. 
Add me on facebook to interact with Machinedaena on Facebook. 

Digg is a social media tool that I'm not so accustomed to just yet. I've got a few accounts on Digg but haven't yet actually done very much on any of the just yet. Digg has been around for around six years and is one of the smaller players in the social media website arena. In fact, there has been much talk and speculation regarding the sale of Digg (at one point Google were in talks over a $200m takeover) and the company are no performing so well on the cashflow front having to rely on investors to keep the business afloat - which incidentally is probably the main drawback to Digg. The main function of Digg is to publish or re-publish content in various formats and has a primary functionality to 'digg' a particular story such as vote it 'up'. Formerly very popular and has now been adopted by other social media sites, particularly Youtube and facebook. Digg is fantastic as a way of raising more awareness of your content and potentially to drive traffic to your website, however is not so much used as a two way communication platform such as Facebook or Twitter. It's very much reliant on quality of content and generating high levels of exposure, even before it is 'Dugg' up to being popular content. More recently with the update of V.4 the user interface of Digg has become more like the other social media websites in that you can follow or link with other profiles which was previously a function neglected. Overall I'd say that Digg is worth a shot. It's certainly not a time waste and if your content is written well enough and gets enough exposure Digg can be very useful as a business or traffic generating purpose. So far as actual social use is concerned however, I'd stick with some of the other social networking sites for this aspect. 
Digg or follow machinedaena's content on

Linkedin is 'Facebook for business'. It's basically a more professional version of Facebook where you should expect to see more information about companies, people's business, career or academic experience rather than pictures of what they were up to when they got drunk at the weekend. I've been using Linkedin for almost exactly as long as I've been using Facebook and have found it immensely useful for day to day job related business. It's fantastic to connect with people in a similar business environment to you, or people within a similar community so that you can contact them with business related enquiries. It can take time to set up and for it to really be useful you need to have built up a history of useful connections, however I can say that within a business context I have definitely made money from Linkedin through selling things such as recruitment services or health and safety training. The major drawback to Linkedin is that it's very reliant on the business aspect. It's not generally used for 'socialising' and I'm constantly aware of how 'professional' I'm coming across when using Linkedin for marketing my work's business services. On the plus side, is that you can market yourself very easily as Linkedin almost works on a CV profile based page whereby you're basically presenting yourself in a professional way to everyone that views your profile. 

Verdict on Linkedin is that it's a must have for business, particularly anyone in a sales or marketing related job, however not so good for socialising. It lacks a complex content uploading mechanism that Facebook or Youtube has, however you can now have statuses and follow other people, as well as 'link' to them. I'll continue to use Linkedin in 2011 but I'll likely try and integrate a this with Machinedaena's blog if I direct the website more toward a professional look rather than it's current smart casual look / content. 
Add Daena on Linkedin to follow my business progress is just about acceptable as a social media website. It's primary function is to provide music, music recommendations and information about all things musical - including profiles, ticket information and gig lists. As you can imagine is popular with emos and new bands trying to break through into the music industry, but more recently has moved in line with social media trends to provide additional communication lines such as detailed profiling of the user, comments sections, groups and journals. I've been using for just two years but have raked up around 2000 tracks of listening time and discovered some pretty cool new music through the website. I can't say I've been social on the website whatsoever as I've never posted a comment, edited my profile or done anything on it aside from listening to music but the functionality is there nonetheless. I imagine this website is no so good for business if you're outside the music industry, but exceptionally good if you are within the music arena. Visit last FM to set up a profile and get listening, you'll be surprised at what music you discover! 

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