A few days ago, prolific book blogger and commentor extraordinaire, Kathy (Bermuda Onion), mentioned wanting a better understanding of some of the blogging and social marketing tools available to us on the web. This one’s for you, Kathy!
I drafted up this simplified glossary for anyone looking for a basic understanding of some of the technology out there that can promote not only your blog or website, but other blogs and websites that you enjoy. I’m not promising a dissertation here, just a very basic sketch of a few networks. Feel free to edit via the comments–I’m no expert!
Technorati: Technorati is a blog-based search engine that indexes over 112 million blogs and 250 million tags–the words/phrases we use when we type our posts, the themes or main ideas. In plain English, Technorati offers an up-to-the minute return of results for specific issues being discussed on the blogs as they happen, as opposed to a Google search which might return older information. Technorati also ranks blogs by popularity and authority–authority being how many links the blog has received in the previous six months. There’s much debate of the accuracy of Technorati’s ranking, but feel free to claim your blog (joining is free) and you will be able to see who’s linked your blog and get an idea of how your blog fares against others.
Stumbleupon: This is a fun one–I love stumbling. Stumbleupon is a search engine that relies on user recommendations and ratings, allowing Stumblers to rate and recommend blogs or websites to their friends via social networking. Say I stumble upon a fun site that I think a few of my friends would like, I simply let them know about it via Stumbleupon. Once you join (free), you can install a toolbar and click the Stumble button–and, a bit like the Time Traveler, you’ll magically end up at a blog or website within the parameters you set (ie. cooking, food, baking OR books, reading, literature). It’s a nifty way to find niche blogs and websites that you might not have otherwise found. You are encouraged to rate AND submit sites–Thumbs Up or Down–to help other Stumblers on their way. You can stumble a great blog post or fun website. Take it from me, you can pass an easy hour stumbling from site to site!
DIGG: Digg is a social website where people submit news, stories, or web content and other readers can comment and vote on the information. Stories can be voted into the upper echelon–they are “DUGG”, while less popular stories are “BURIED”. Per Wiki, the site has come under fire for ‘allowing users too much control over the site’s content allowing sensationalism and misinformation to thrive’.
del.icio.us: del.icio.us is an organization freak’s best friend. Simply install the toolbar and you’ll be on your way to keeping your favorite websites in order! It’s a social bookmarking site in that you can share your bookmarked sites with your del.icio.us friends. Say, as a book blogger, I have 100 websites that I love to visit–NY Times Book Review, B&N, publisher sites, NYMag, etc. I can tag these (ie. reviews, New York, publishers, magazines) and sort my 100 favorite sites by tags, keeping everything nice and tidy. Now imagine that Kathy from Bermuda Onion and Trish from HeyLady! Whatcha Readin’? join up and become my friend. I can now link them to my bookmarks and they can link me to theirs. Kathy might have some great sites I haven’t seen before and Trish might be excited to find that she can search my New York tags and see what’s going on in the city! Another handy tool to keep you organized.
So, these are just a few of the many sites out there to help promote blogs and websites and to create a sense of community. I hope you gleaned a bit of info that can help you decide if any of these applications are for you! Enjoy the holiday weekend!