blog, reddit, social bookmarking, social news
So the other day, I wrote my article about EEStor super capacitors. I then posted the next day to say how pleased I was to get 88 visitors, which was more than twice my daily record. Since then, my friend and fellow CNET moderator Matthew Hughes showed me the benefit of adding links to your blog posts on the social news site Reddit. Before I continue, let’s just remember – I was excited to have 88 visitors in one day. So here’s the Reddit effect on my blog (graph created by Piwik):
The effect of submitting my blog posts to Reddit
Since posting this, my daily count had reset and begun again because it was midnight. Having slept and woke up 6 hours later, I’ve seen that my count for today is already at 1000. Who knows where it’ll end up by the end of the day. I’m really amazed and pleased!
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bookmarking, digg, news, reddit, social, social bookmarking, social news, stumbleupon, yahoo buzz
If you’re one of those people who wonder what all those colourful little icons at the bottom of posts on blogs and news sites are for, then this blog post will hopefully be for you.
For a long time I struggled to make sense of the world of (what I vaguely termed) “social bookmarking”. There are big name sites you may have heard of, but there are even more. Although, in the view I’ve built you can seperate them into two broad sets.
I’ll start with what I call “social news”. These are sites which are best used for time relevant posts, such as posts from news sites. The sites I term as “social news” don’t tend to be so good for reference material. The strength of social news sites is to “vote up” posts, stories, etc, that are popular today or this week. They’re a constant popularity contest, and nothing stays at the top for long. As such, you don’t get anything posted that, while interesting or useful, isn’t of the moment. So to speak.
What I call “social bookmarking” sites get a much wider spectrum of sites being submitted. Rather than “voting up”, the idea of social bookmarking is for people to add whatever they find interesting.
It has been my experience that if you are looking for something specific, perhaps a tech review, the social bookmarking sites are fare more likely to find you something useful. It is unlikely that someone would go to a social news site with, say, a mobile phone review, it isn’t news, as such.
Examples of social news sites are Digg, Yahoo Buzz and Reddit. All of these sites work in the same basic way. Someone submits a site, and if other people find it interesting they vote up the story. The more votes a story has got, the more likely it is to be shown on the site’s front page.
Examples of social bookmarking sites are Stumble Upon and Delicious. Delicious is a simple concept, you submit a bookmark along with a description and “tags” (i.e. keywords). Delicious has been running for so long that there is a wealth of submitted links and searching often yields good results. Stumble Upon does the same but takes things a step further. Stumble Upon operates via a browser toolbar. On sites you visit, you can click on buttons on the toolbar to say whether you like the site or not. After Stumble Upon learn’s your preferences you can ask it to take you to recommended sites. So, not only can you search Stumble Upon, but you can let it show you things you may find interesting.
If you found this interesting and want to know more, here are some other blog posts:
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digg, facebook, firefox, friendfeed, google reader, social bookmarking, stumbleupon, tags
Last night I started thinking about a topic that could become a substantial future article on this blog. That topic was social bookmarking. This has been a subject that’s been creeping up on me more and more recently, the more I’ve used web services like Digg and Friendfeed.
Not so long ago, I made a rant against social bookmarking in that I did not care what other people were reading, and I expected the feeling was mutual. So, what changed? Well, some sort of sense of wanting to participate in large networks, and also I desire to self-promote. Let me clarify that, I didn’t want to get into social bookmarking simply to promote my own content; no, I was more thinking along the lines of enhancing my internet reputation.
What you soon discover if you look at any blog or news site, is that according to all those strange little icons you see at the end of an article (this blog has them too), that there are lots of them out there. Surely this indicates that there is a great deal of redundancy and repetition out there. Well yes, but also, if you look at all the big names, sure they publicly list user-recommended sites, but they all do have slightly different angles on how they do it. Being of a vaguely mathematical mindset, seeing all this chaos made me want to dig into them all and try to find some structure. The primary question in my mind being “When should I use which?“. Of course, the tacit assumption here being that surely not one system could be the best, most optimal, site that everyone should use!
Aha! I had myself a research project on. First step in such an exercise is not to bite off more than you can chew, therefore limit the scope of what you are looking at. Therefore, I picked what I thought were the most distinct social bookmarking services out there. Some I already participate in, some would be new to me. So here are services I’m looking into:
Friendfeed’s presence on that list is debatable, but I definitely believe it has an important role to play, even if I don’t yet understand it fully (and I confess to being a fan of the site).
In looking into this subject, it got me thinking about my own browser bookmarks. I firmly believe that my browser bookmarks are private to me. Social bookmarks are public, browser bookmarks are private. I’d be interested to hear arguments against this point of view, but that is the basis that I am working on. I digress, in relation to my own private bookmarks, I started thinking about organisation. Much as I was a sceptic about it, Firefox 3‘s awesome bar and bookmark tags is really starting to change how I think about things.
I once asked a while ago on Twitter, when would people use tags and when would they use folders for organising arbirary objects. The answer I got back was to use folders only when hieracy was important (I apologise for not citing the tweet, but it’s a while ago and I cannot remember who said it).
So I shall ask you the reader, is hierarchy important to how you store your browser bookmarks? At the moment, my mind is somewhat swirling in the idea. That is because I have some sets of bookmarks where hierarchy does matter, but others wouldn’t matter so much.
I can imagine that hieracy certainly would not matter in a public/social context, which is exactly what Delicious does, it works solely on tags.
Anyway, I would love comments on this subject, and I shall continue to look into the subject with the aim of publishing a comprehensive review.
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