Good Reads for the Summer: Social Media Edition

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Some great books I plan to read this summer to increase my knowledge of social media! Look for Book Reviews throughout the next few weeks!

  1. The Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer
  2. Socialnomics by Erik Qualman
  3. The NOW Revolution by Jay Baer
  4. The Social Media Bible: Second Edition by Lon Safko
  5. The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
  6. The Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Hyder Kabani
  7. Engage by Brian Solis
  8. Content Rules by C. C. Chapman & Ann Handley
  9. Twitter Power 2.0 by Joel Comm
  10. Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
I’m always open to new book to add to this list! Please leave comments about any of these books you have read or if you have a great book to add to my list!
Note: You can click on the book link to buy it on Amazon or the author link to follow them on Twitter!
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Dare To Share: Social Sharing On The Rise in Social Media

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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.

1. Tumblr

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!

2. Weibo

Um…Since, I’m not in China, I can’t really provide much input here. If you want  to see it compared to Twitter though, you can read this article or this article.

3. Reddit

Reddit is based on sharing and is quite similar to Digg.com of yesteryear (or was that yesterday?). The site allows users to share any random website, blog post, photo, video or other content that they want to by simply filling out a short form or clicking on the Reddit share button straight from the site you are visiting. I personally think it is a useless, cluttered mess. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to what you see when you pull up the page. Maybe I am wrong. I don’t have personal experience with it, so I can’t definitively state that it is useless, but to me it doesn’t even offer a high entertainment element. If there are some Reddit users out there who can explain to me why it is “awesome”, I would GREATLY welcome your comments and explanations!

4. StumbleUpon


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?” 

Facebook Friends: Is the relationship really beneficial?

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In one of today’s top stories on Mashable, a survey was conducted with 400 women to find out how they really felt about their Facebook friends (Read it here). The results were not as positive as we might have liked, with over 80 percent of women studied saying that they had been annoyed with posts by their Facebook friends.There were also lots of other interesting statistics that show the love-hate relationship between women and their Facebook connections.

We have all had that friend who is constantly annoying people with their professions of love for their significant other, hate for their chemistry exams, or some other continual tangent that you find totally irrelevant to your friendship with that person.  In a this cute video, Altoids classifies some of those annoying friends on Facebook.

While the song was sort of catchy and well directed, we’re still wondering what this has to do with breathe mints. As the Mashable story says, “On Facebook, after all, no one can smell your breath.” The study of women and their Facebook friends, however, also revisits the idea of classifying those friends who are most likely to make you wish you could “un-follow” them without “de-friending” them completely.

We might argue, however, that the issue isn’t really your friends fault because of their annoying habits. Instead, the problems we have of being annoyed with friends posts could be nothing more than a case of “Friend Overload”. According to British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, we only have the cognitive ability to keep up with about 150 friends, which also applies to our Facebook friends: “The interesting thing is that you can have 1,500 friends but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world” (Mashable). Therefore, if we indulged in a much needed “friend purge” our annoyance level with Facebook friends would greatly decrease because we would only be gaining information from friends we truly care about hearing from on a regular basis. try checking out your Friendship Pages to see which friends you really interact with regularly. New gadgets such as Smart.fm can help you see how much you actually know about these so-called friends. As my fellow classmate said in a recent blog post, “I find it cathartic to sever ties with a lot of those ‘friends’ I’ve accumulated being the social butterfly I am.”

So, will you consider de-friending some folks or just continue to be annoyed by their posts? Or, will you be using the new tools in social media to find out who has de-friended you? Maybe you really do have a strong relationship with quite a few friends, but feel that you could use some help finding old friends on Facebook, adding new friends who attended events with you, automatically following your Facebook friends on Twitter, or even meet your romantic match with Thread. You can even transfer your profile over to a Facebook page! Whatever your situation is, I hope that you are still finding ways to enjoy your time on Facebook and aren’t being annoyed like these women.

Happy Facebooking!

~Beka~

P.S. One last question: Would you trade 10 Facebook Friends for a Whopper?