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Social Media Four

Friday, August 31st, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
The other day, I heard someone talking about the “Social Media Four.” Do you know what they were referring to? Do you have any additional information you could share with us about it?

A:
Ah yes, the “Social Media Four.” What an excellent question! There has been some talk about this for quite some time now, so it’s definitely appropriate to mention it in the newsletter. I’ve actually heard the term in the past too, but I never really paid much attention to it. But now that everyone is talking about it all the time, I decided to do some research on it and I found out some pretty interesting information. So, if you’ve heard of the “Social Media Four” before or if you have no idea what I’m referring to, keep reading. Either way, you’re going to learn some valuable information today!

First off, I suppose you’re wondering what the number four has to do with it, right? Well, this new term is talking about the top four social media Web sites on the Internet today. They are: Digg, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. I’m sure you’ve heard of a couple of those, if not all of them, haven’t you? All of them are pretty popular nowadays and they’re gaining users left and right. So, what makes these four sites “better” than the others? Well, let’s go and find out!

For this tip, I will talk about each of the four social media sites and give you some examples as to why they’re considered one of the best. Also, if you have your own Web site, these examples may help you in learning what you can do to make your site more appealing to your audience. Or, if you’re just reading this for some interesting information, I think you’ll be satisfied with that as well. Alright, let’s get down to business!

1.) Digg – The biggest aid behind Digg’s success is its API (Application Programming Interface). Because of that, anyone who visits Digg is able to interact with what the site has to offer and that makes the experience more enjoyable. For example, when you visit Digg, you can read an article and then give it a “digg” (a comment) if you want. The diggs are then tallied up and the most popular article makes it to the top of the list. So, if an article you gave “diggs” to makes it to the homepage, it makes you feel like you had a hand in making that happen. It’s like another way of sharing your comments and opinions with other Digg users. Digg is also well known for their wide array of applications, which also offer interactive opportunities for the users. Digg is a relatively new site, but it has been gaining popularity ever since its release! If you haven’t checked Digg out for yourself yet, you can do so right here.

2.) Facebook – Now, you may not have heard of Facebook before, because we’ve never really talked about it in the newsletter. So, just to give you a brief description, Facebook is another social networking site and it is very similar to MySpace. Moving on, Facebook’s API has also helped them in their race to the top. Recently, they made their site available to everyone, whereas before, it was mainly only open to college students. They made that release just three short months ago and since then, their site has grown almost four times as fast as MySpace. Facebook offers so many interactive options as well and they’re adding more and more everyday. To check Facebook out for yourself and even create your own profile, visit this link.

3.) Flickr – Believe it or not, but Flickr was the first site out of these four to release their API. So, what’s that mean? Well, it basically means that the Flickr site has had a lot of time to perfect their API for their users. If you’ve never used Flickr before, you can use it to work with your photos. The Web site offers up some of the coolest interactive functions and you can use them to do pretty much anything you want with your photos. There are tons of tools and other applications that help you to get the most out of your photos. To check out Flickr for yourself, just click here.

4.) YouTube – Now, I’m sure most of you have heard of YouTube and I bet a lot of you have probably used it before as well. But, if you’re not sure, you can use the YouTube Web site to view all kinds of videos. If you’re looking for a laugh with a humorous video or a serious video, you’re sure to find it on YouTube. They actually released their API right around the same time Facebook did and it has gotten a lot of attention ever since. There are several tools and interactive opportunities on YouTube as well. If you would like to visit YouTube and see what it’s all about for yourself, all you have to do is visit this link.

Now, we all know that these four media outlets do face a lot of competition. For example, Digg faces del.icio.us and StumbleUpon, Facebook is up against MySpace, Flickr faces Photobucket and even YouTube finds competition with various other video hosting sites. But despite all of that, these four sites are some of the fastest growing and a great deal of that is because each of them have found their niche. They have come up with some great tools for their sites and they know what their users are looking for. And that’s why they’re called the “Social Media Four!”

~ Erin

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