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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Social and Business Networking Sites-what rocks and what sucks! Top 191 Sites

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Unless you’ve done a Rip Van Winkle and have sleep walked through the last 5 years you’ll be aware that the social and business landscape has evolved, utterly.

The plethora of social networks has compounded rapidly. We are reaching a point, if not of saturation, definitely a stage of potential overload.
There must come a point where hard choices need to be made and energies focused. A few years back, anyone who was cool needed to be a Myspacer- I was never quite cool enough!

Most of the literate global population now has a Facebook account. They may only use it at Christmas or Thanksgiving in order to connect, but it seems almost old fashioned not to at least have an account.
Below is a link to 191 Social and Business Networking sites. If you have the time and energy to engage, you can dive in and network 24 hours a day. Obviously this is not practical. So what is practical?
For a more comprehensive overview of 40 of the more popular networking sites for business entrepreneurs click HERE
As a business networker you need to establish what your primary objective is. Personally I go against the grain somewhat in that I don’t believe that those with the most connections WINS!
Internet Marketers are probably familiar with Frank Kern who I believe is pretty inactive in this arena.
My goal is engagement.  I have lived in big cities, such as London and have felt less connected than in small rural towns. Don’t get me wrong I prefer city life, but massive geographical connectedness does not equate to real engagement.
This is not a pulpit speech about the merits of connections and engagement, but rather to pose the question: Which forums provide the best return of investment, of your time, energy and perhaps money.
I have provided a couple of links to sites that I think do justice to reviewing some of these sites and let you judge where you believe best matches your aspirations.
Below are about a dozen social networks that I have experienced with my brief thoughts. As with all things in life, we all have different expectations and my thoughts will totally contradict many others, but anyway here we go.
lINKEDIN: Content rich dialogue. Can be a bit dry and less social than other networks and seems geared mostly toward business job seekers. Pretty low on the fun scale
MY SPACE: A bit yesterday? this will upset some adherents and it is still a very relevant hub, but the lustre has worn off a bit.
TWITTER: Ubiquitous and almost a compulsory forum for online connections. I particularly like the fact that you can LIST groups that appeal to you and you can really get a feel for what someone’s all about by checking out their tweet History
FACEBOOK:  Doesn’t really require a review, and who doesn’t know about this monster? Some people are becoming concerned with some privacy issues, but is still the Big Daddy of networking
YOUBUZZ: founded my Internet Marketer Darren Gaudry. Geared towards online promoters and fairly easy to navigate, but I disliked the promotion of the dislike icon. It’s a little too easy to attract mean spirited types with an agenda and makes it less social in my mind.
ECADEMY: I joined this Site after having read and reviewed Penny Powers great book on social networking -"know me, like me, follow me". To tap into the real conversation requires a modest investment of $5 per month. The jury is still out on this one. 
There is a bit of a bias toward UK networkers and I found the navigation a bit messy. I did observe though that an article that I submitted to Ezine Articles that had attracted just over 200 views, attained over 500 views on this forum. Some similarities to Linkedin, in look and feel.
SWOM: I did a short review on this monetized networking site awhile back. Personally I gave it the flick quite quickly. I was continually inundated by barely coherent and inane pitches with negligible content value.
YOUTUBE: This is virtually a must for any online business promoter. It is becoming really user friendly and there are so many friendly online forums to assist in educating yourself on its benefits.
AAACHOO:   This promises to be a true monetized social/business-networking site. It is geared heavily towards those with an MLM mindset. (I’m not an MLMer but many of my business colleagues are) Its promoted as a legitimate latest generation network, with a FREE and paid for component and a 3 x 9 matrix. 
After studying the program and talking to those who have been in it for awhile I'd suggest avoid like the plague! The marketing plan with its spillover is misleading and members get no updates other than reminder of recurring fees. All gloss but no substance
 What’s the best? Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and it depends on what you are searching for. I’m biased towards those that offer the maximum potential for engagement and would love to delve into many more especially Squidoo and Hub Pages – but you know what? There’s only so many hours in the day and at some point you’ve got to make some decisions and I’d recommend focusing on just 3 or 4, unless you want to outsource. Don’t get me started on what I think about outsourcing on social networks!!


19 comments:

  1. Kiaran,

    These are all very good social media sites that you have listed, I utilize most of them but I think that LinkedIn is not used a lot and it really should be because I have built relationships with lots of people who have become clients or customers of mine. Nice post!

    Lori

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  2. Hi Kiaran,

    you're spot on with this post, these sites offer such potential for connection, business or otherwise, but there's a real danger of flushing time down the social media drain when there's other productive stuff to be down.

    At the end of the day I think you're right about looking at what different sites have to offer that relates to what you're looking for, test drive, and pick a few.

    Cheers,

    Jym

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  3. I have gone through your article, I feel it is good, expecting more such articles from you, I will be visiting your website often will refer your website to my friends. Even i have found good information about Chet Holmes

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  4. Hey Kiaran,

    This is a great list for individuals wanting to explore more in the social sites. Social sites are great to meet and build relationship and at the same time they can be time stealers if not careful.

    Chat with you later...
    Josh

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  5. Hi Kiaran,

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Social media sites can be time-consuming if one is not careful.

    MySpace is dead, nothing is going on there!

    I only use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

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  6. Hi Kiaran,

    as usual a thoughtful article about the world of social media. I would definitely recommend to focus because the day only has 24 hours. You can do a lot with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and maybe Linkedin. Then you need one or two bookmarking sites like Digg and Stumbleupon if you have a blog - and you're done. Already ;-) Nearly impossibe for part-time marketers, isn't it ?

    Take care

    Oliver

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  7. Very interesting analysis. Personally I did not like Ecademy because they have a very strong and stated bias against MLM. That is my profession. Of course there are many MLM spammers on social sites. That is a totally wrong approach but it seems a shame to tar everyone with the same brush.

    I guess the protocols and ambience of different sites works for different people.

    regards
    Charlie Holles

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  8. Great post. I am familiar all of these networking sites.

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  9. That's a great list you shared with us Kiaran.

    The best thing that's worked for me is to pin point where I want to network and staying with it.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Jerome Ratliff

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  10. It's always nice to see fresh and relevant reviews in our business. It's even nicer that you have tried and tested them all yourself. Cheers!

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  11. Hey Kiaran

    Great overview, but I am going to be a bit of a snob here :)

    I do not think that any social network that monetizes through an mlm type structure will provide me with a viable business.

    However, I am open minded, how is Aaachoo different than Swom? Right now the same people on Facebook who raved about Swom is now jumping to Aaachoo, and of course emailing me daily about it.

    Enquiring minds want to know :)

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  12. Hi Kiaran

    I think Social Network sites are a huge time drainer. I am spending less and less time there. Maybe the newness has worn off a bit or the value has become diluted. I don't know.

    I think its best to just pick one or two and definitely put a limit on the time you spend there.

    Great article!

    Ilka

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  13. Nice list Kiaran. For those really into the social media side of marketing, this could be really helpful!

    I enjoy connecting and building relationships on Facebook and YouTube.

    I simply don't have time to keep up with more than that. The thought of Twitter makes my head hurt.

    Thank you for the complete, and personal, review. It was very interesting to read about.

    Susanna

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  14. Hi Kiaran!

    Great list. I have to say that with my busy schedule I stick mostly to twitter and facebook and I'm starting to get into youtube recently-although I'm a youtube baby at this point.

    I think whatever social networking site someone decides to join, they should go into it with the attitude of bringing value to the community and building relationships. I've had luck with some paid communities like the work at home womens' association as far as making some great connections and great friends!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences! I'll look into aaachoo! :)

    Heather

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  15. Hey Kiaran,

    This is a great list of social networks.. it's important to pick one or two and network like crazy!

    thanks for sharing
    talk soon
    Hector

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  16. Great list, Kiaran - thanks for putting so much work into it for our sake.

    As for my opinion though, I will never go beyond Twitter, FB, and YouTube. Just those alone suck out all the spare time I have; I have no idea how people do more than that.

    Ana

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  17. I think I have had some information sent to me for aaachoo. Keep us updated on how that goes. This is a good list of social networking site. One that I can't seem to get into is linkedin. I have a profile but don't use it. I find it so dry. Thanks for putting this together.

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  18. Hi Kiaran,

    I'm primarily on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I also have a Youtube account (yet to make my first video, but it is on my list to do) and an account on Ecademy. I keep seeing friends mention Aaachoo, but like you mention, there are so many sites and so little time. I've also used Squidoo (I HAD TO to use Squidoo, as my wife is a Giant Squid). Great run-down of some well known and new networks.

    Larry

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  19. And a brand new site in beta, developed by a guy well known in the JV world, Ken McArthur. He thinks that a more comprehensive site will help us evaluate, even rank, the connections we make. Not sure where it will go, but might be worth keeping an eye on it. Personally, I can hardly keep up with one network. Here it is -- Tobri.com If you join, let me know and connect with me inside. No fees. No agenda.

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