Facebook.com – Named after the photo books that are given out at some universities and prep schools to incoming students and faculty to help them get to know each other, Facebook started as a way for classmates to connect at Harvard but eventually expanded to include anyone over the age of 13. Facebook is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests, to see what old friends and acquaintances are up to and to learn more about the personal lives of your business contacts and to let them know about you. The personal connection you can give and get on Facebook adds some more of the personality that helps you become more than just a person to a client, but a “friend.”
YouTube.com – A video sharing site now owned by Google, this site is nothing short of a behemoth. Not only does it let users upload video content, you can also post video responses to messages, create your own “channel,” browse and comment on other users’ videos, subscribe to learn when your favorite users add new videos and even embed videos you upload or find from others onto your own website. YouTube revolutionized how easy it is for anyone to add video to the Internet and share it with others. Recently, it was announced that YouTube users are uploading more than 20 hours of video per minute — that’s a LOT of video! And, now that Google owns it, it has really ramped up its efforts to start analyzing what is said in videos and counting it as very relevant in the Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) process, so it’s becoming more valuable every day.
Twitter.com – Twitter is the new kid in town. It’s known as a “micro-blog” that allows you to share “what you are doing now” in 140 characters or less. It sounds silly, but it’s actually very valuable and very addictive! On twitter you can “follow” people and other people can become your “followers.” The short, 140-character messages can be sent to your mobile phone, or you can view all of the messages of people you follow on your Twitter page. Many users share links to interesting things they find online, and then they get “retweeted” by others, which exposes the original message writer to the networks of others who retweet the message. This makes your presence viral and helps you gather more “followers.” It sounds like gibberish, I know, but go back and re-read this paragraph again and you’ll start to understand. Even better, go open an account – it’s free!
Digg.com – This is what is known as a “social bookmarking” site. As people searching the Internet find articles, news, videos or anything else of interest, they “Digg” it, which basically means they like it and “recommend” it to others. The more times an article, blog, etc is “Dugg,” the higher it climbs on Digg’s list and gets more and more exposure. Google and the other search engines give very high value to content on Digg because it has received a virtual “vote of confidence” from people viewing content online. While the mathematical formulas that the search engines use to rank content are getting better everyday, they still look to users to get the most accurate results to serve up to web surfers.