I find it kind of amusing that the solitary, occasionally lonely business of blogging has become obsessed with the concept of Social Networks. We are alone, and yet, we are not alone. It’s that whole Zen thing, if you blog and no one reads, have you blogged at all?
In the past few months I have been using a number of sites that have those little buttons at the bottom of so many blog posts. I have been working on that whole SEO thing and working on my keywords and page rank. This has all been a surprising amount of fun. But it is also an amazing time sink. I should be doing something, and yet here I sit, the Beatles playing in the background and my fingers tapping happily along.
So, what about Social Networks?
I read somewhere that you would get traffic if you submitted your blog posts to a few key sites around the web. This is common enough advice and I don’t recall where I first read it. Here are the ones that I use.
Digg-This has been the best of the lot for me. I have never gotten more than six or seven Diggs, but I have gotten a lot of hits. It is easy to log-on and submit a post-I like that. This is my favorite social network, popularity site. Maybe I will be popular some day, but I am not banking on it.
Reddit-Similar to Digg in it’s ease of use and freedom to submit just about anything that can be submitted. I have gotten a few hits from Reddit, though not as many as from Digg. The interface is a bit old school, plain and simple, but it is still a good place to put blog posts.
Netscape– which was once on its way to being Google, has transformed into another place for news and images to be stashed and sorted. Netscape is also easy to use, but they don’t like Squidoo or Hubpages. I was featured in another writer’s post on the site and got almost a hundred hits one day. So it is also a good place to be.
9Rules– the last of the submit a story sites that I have used and I have really only started. So far 9Rules is the most confusing of the sites to submit a post to. This is a pretty site that seems to be going the opposite direction from Reddit in the making it’s interface. They seem to want people to actually use the site and not just stop by and submit a post once in a while. Nothing wrong with that.
Del.icio.us and Blinklist are basically the same thing, as they allow you to save your bookmarks and use them on any computer, so long as you can remember your passwords to Del.icio.us and Blinklist. These sites are like Technorati in that they seem to exist to help bloggers keep score. The more pages you have bookmarked on these sites the better. Blink is like Digg in that people can ‘blink’ your page, but no one on Blink seems to like what I have to say. Del.icio.us looks like it was designed by the same person that designed Reddit and I am not very popular there either.
I just joined Newsvine and have no strong feelings one way or the other. It is another very pretty site that seems to be a bit too complicated. Like 9Rules that may improve for me with time. Since I just started there are no numbers for me to futz with. Too bad.
There are really only two other sites that I am fiddling around with in relation to my blog right now. Squidoo and Hubpages. These two site are so much alike that I am not sure what the differences are. Both are easy to use. Both promise that there is money to be made. Both get listed on Google pretty damned fast.
Squidoo is the brain child of self help, make money now, marketing guru Seth Gordin. When Google came out with Adsense, everyone realized that the real money was in showing a lot of ads. This lead to the design of blog pages that were postage stamp sized posts surrounded by Adsense ads, as well as other ads. So Squidoo is basically a whole website made of these ad tweaked blog pages. Squidoo keeps score by telling you your rank, which for me is about 17500 out of 226963 for my Hawaiian Shirt Lens. It was easy to snap together and took a couple of hours, just because everything I do ends up taking a couple of hours. There are no riches yet, and I am not holding my breath that there will be.
Hubpages seem a little cleaner, less cluttered with ads and self promos-which is what Squidoo is all about. The Hubs, or whatever they call them, are easy to put together. If you have a pre-written article you just paste it in and you are good to go. Just like Squidoo. Add a few modules and sell stuff from eBay and Amazon, just like Squidoo. Hubpages keep score, by actually keeping Score. My Hubpage Adsense and Buzz has been as high as 72 and as low as 49, when I first published it. I have no idea why the score keeps fluctuating. I just started yesterday on Hubpages and I am currently a Prodigy. I feel so special.
That is all the social networks I have time for, and to be honest, I have at least two or three more than I have time for. Still, it is good to be published. In as many places as possible.