Would you care to share? Your favorite news, your blog posts, favorite photos, funny mash-ups from YouTube, illustrations of your favorite TV characters? Well, apparently a large percentage of internet users are catching “Share Fever” (WARNING: This is almost as contagious as Beiber Fever!). While blogs allow us to share ideas, information and content, they are archaically slow to the younger generations who want everything quicker and more directly. Twitter is a quick way to share, but is limited in reach and character usage. Facebook–well, let’s face it, Facebook is becoming more like email. We use Facebook to tell our sister we’re coming home for the weekend or congratulate a friend on her new baby. Other than that, we’re using other social media sites to fill our time. So, what are these new sharing sites and how do they operate? Let’s take a look at some of the top services as shown in the infographic above and see what the Buzz is all about.
One of my personal favorites, Tumblr is part blog, part micro-blog, part Flickster, part YouTube and part Facebook. At least it is in my opinion. You can write traditional long-form blog posts. You can post quick text updates or favorite quotes. Do you think a picture’s worth 1000 words? Well, you can share those too! Tumblr even allows you to embed YouTube videos, add your own comments and send it into the Tumblr-verse to be reblogged by all of your friends. You can even keep up with friends through following their Tumblr feed, using the “Ask a question…” feature, and adding comments to shared posts. Oh, and did I mention you could integrate your Twitter feed to update to your Tumblr feed and that you can post to your Twitter account by signing in to Tumblr?
Some people use Tumblr as a blog (Figure 1) while others use it as a more integrated service with Tweets, traditional blog posts, and lots of photos (Figure 2).You can get as crafty, artsy or crazy as you wish with your Tumblr account. Or, you can keep it plain and simple. Either way, you should give Tumblr a try and I’m sure you’ll become as addicted as I am! Head on over here to register!
How do I describe StumbleUpon? Well, pretty much you sign up for an account, check boxes for all the crazy categories you are interested in, then Stumble (literally) around the internet looking at randomly generated content. I signed up for an account out of curiousity and entered all of my interests. My first three results (posted below) were a guy doing spray paint art, a sad poem and an announcement about a new species. Random, huh? But, I guess it could be a great way to pass the time and stumble across new information! We will see if I keep “Stumble-ing” after a few days.
There are other social sharing sites out there, and others might classify these services differently than I have. The interesting thing, however, is the level to which people are willing to be highly interactive and share with their fellow internet browsers. The “lurkers” out there who don’t necessarily won’t to post their own content, but love to look at other people’s posts, are loving these services. A fun look at the users of social media sites by Brainz.org shows us who participates in each social media service and it’s community.
I leave you with one final question: “Where do you share?”