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How Much Social Networking Do You Do?

Social-NetworksIt struck me today that while I signed up as a Twitter user quite a few months ago – that I’ve never been back since and never have posted anything to my my Twitter account. So today I logged in and found that despite me never mentioning my account that I have 60 ‘followers’.

I posted something – and within minutes people were replying – how bizarre.

I think it was partly because when I first signed up I couldn’t post to it via my mobile phone service (I’m presuming I now could as I see a lot of other Aussies using it). The other reason I’ve never really used it was simply because I sometimes feel quite overwhelmed by social media sites. I find it difficult enough to keep a couple of blogs going and to play my part at b5media without up keeping lots of social media sites.

I do attempt to keep social networking sites like my facebook account up to date and log into mySpace and LinkedIn from time to time (as well as attempting to be an active StumbleUpon user) – but between them and day to day blogging I guess I find that there’s only so much a guy can do in any given day. While I’m convinced that social media is an amazing tool and something that bloggers need to explore – I guess I’m starting to feel a little social networking burnout due to the number of options to participate.

My question to you (and I know this makes two posts in a row where I’ve asked questions) is:

“How many social networking sites are you actively involved in?”

And which ones are you most active in (list them from most active to least if you like).

PS: and one last question for you hard core Twitterers (I can’t believe my spell check didn’t flag that!)…. How do you use Twitter? Is it purely for friendship, do you use it to promote your blogs, is there some other business application that you’ve found for it… etc?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Veronique says:

    This is a question that comes up for me a lot. My career these past 10+ years has been in social media so I am always looking at social networks and social media apps (sometimes it’s a fine line between one and the other).

    The sites that I use most are as follows:

    1. LinkedIn to keep in touch with business contacts (but friends are there as well)

    2. Facebook for personal contacts (but business folks are there as well)

    3. Flickr — a wonderful, and unexpected way to keep in touch with people.

    4. Twitter is my mates for the most part, and a few people that I work with on remote projects.

    Twitter has turned into an interesting team building tool, along with Facebook, because you end up learning little bits about people that you wouldn’t normally in a virtual working relationship.

    I’m terrible about using the social link sharing sites (digg, sk*rt, stumble, reddit, etc.), even though I know they bring me more traffic when I make an effort to submit relevant links. I do use del.icio.us a lot, and have recently switched to only setting new links to “public” if they are relevant to my kids’ craft blog as I’ve got it streaming in with my blog feed. I doubt my product management, online community, and web2.0 links would be of much interest to that audience!

    I haven’t been a fan of the blogger networks like MyBlogLog, mostly because they’ve never felt like sincere communities to me… more like a pack of wolves looking to take advantage of all the other wolves (yes, I do have a vivid imagination!).

  2. Kirk Warren says:

    I typically visit forums and blogs related to my niche. While I’ve used Digg and StumbleUpon, I have never seen any gains from them as of yet.

    Digg brought me a 20-30 visitors, but huge bounce rate. Doing the leg work myself at the forums or blogs and I get much better traffic with people that are actually interested in the topic and willing to come back.

    Stumble Upon has brought 0 visitors or Google Analytics doesnt show it as coming from SU in the referrals. Either way, I don’t think the few articles I’ve submitted from my own site have really been picked up upon.

    Other than that, I join Facebook, but do nothing with it. It’s more of a ‘join so people stop sending me invites’ type response. Same with mySpace and other random sites.

    So, digg and SU are probably all I really use from the big lists of social networks.

    Kirk Warren
    The Weekly Crisis
    http://www.weeklycrisis.com

  3. WizCoder says:

    I am all facebook which a lot easier and faster than the rest.

  4. Webomatica says:

    To be honest it takes a lot of busy work to keep track of many different profiles – and I agree it might be more trouble than it’s worth. Ultimately the most accurate “social networking profile” is my blog – if only these sites would tap into the information there rather than me having to do to them and login..

  5. Coach Kip says:

    To answer your question, I am signed up for as many sites as I can. I am only active in a few of them.

    StumbleUpon. I am totally addicted to this little tool. It is great, and I keep it current and active. I find that if I stumble my own posts I get a little boost in traffic everytime.

    I am kind of involved in Facebook. I do not update it often, but I go to it a few times a week.

    I use Digg, Reddit and Technorati a lot, but I have not found a whole lot of traffic generated from those sites. I like to use it more like a personal bookmark site storing what I like.

    Those 5 is all that I can really keep up with. The rest I have is just for marketing purposes, but I am not utilizing them so I do not have a lot of pull with those.

  6. Prashant says:

    I have only account on Digg
    I like digg very much….

  7. I wasn’t even going to comment until I saw Webomatica’s suggestion.

    I have a LinkedIn profile and occasionally update there, but there is very little “community” to that service … it’s a directory more than anything else..

    I see nothing “social” about delicious … it’s just a bookmark site, Digg, in my limited experience has nothing but socially deprived unfreindly clique members, so I waste no time there. I quit looking at Digg or NetScape as a source of news because the front pages are distorted by the “in crowd” in both places .

    I’ve thought a couple times about trying Twitter, but Darren’s report that after all this tie he had a whopping 60 followers tell me that in a year, considering the difference in visibility, stature and social skills between Darren and I, I would be lucky to have one.

    I wish there was a social network/back channel group where bloggers could share messages about blogging, instead of having to leave comments on each other’s blogs … but I haven’t found it yet … suggestions welcome

  8. David Savage says:

    I think StumbleUpon is the one people need to use. Most of my big blog traffic is generated from SU, however, I’ve gotten pretty popular on digg and I see some okay traffic from them. I’d say Reddit and Delicious are too hard to get quality traffic from unless you’ve been an active member for a while.

    I spend very little time using social networks anymore, I have 3 myspace accounts, one personal, one gaming, and one business, but I hardly use them anymore.

    I feel sites like Xanga, Facebook, and Myspace are black hat ways of getting traffic because of friend blasting software and spamming members.

    And Twitter, lol, nope.

  9. Leon says:

    I use hi5 and MySpace, but not to promote my blog. Guess I should start.

  10. I’m particularly active on Orkut, since a lot of Indians and my fellow classmates hang out there.

    There’s not much you can do to promote your blog via Orkut. It’s not much customizable either.

    Twitter is kinda fun. I use my IM to broadcast messages to buddies on Twitter, and it’s kinda easy. Most of my friends too use IM, and they instantly receive my message, my links, etc.

  11. Robert Tatum says:

    Time is definitely a factor for me as well. The only social networking sites that I really use are:

    Digg
    Del.icio.us
    Reddit

    I have a Facebook and linkedin account, but I have not had the opportunity to take the time to use them.

  12. I’m trying to come to grips with this social media thing. I get how it works but it’s damn hard trying to integrate it all with my daily life and my blogging.

    First and foremost my blog is my social network, then:

    - Flickr
    - Bumpzee
    - StumbleUpon

    and lately Facebook.

    I have to cut back though as it’s getting ridiculous. My blog and Flickr are staying. On the very odd occasion I’ve been stumbled it’s generated good traffic so Bumpzee and to a certain extent Facebook might slip off the list a bit.

    Now, if they could be integrated a bit better somehow……

  13. deusdiabolus says:

    I currently have about 100 accounts all over the net. If it sounds unique then I try to check it out. The places I spend the most time would be Clipmarks, StumbleUpon, LiveJournal, Terapad and Wink.

  14. Brad V. says:

    I probably use Facebook the most, and that’s to keep up with my friends and see what they’re up to.

    I also use LinkedIn as a way of professional networking. I know someone who got a great job via this site, so it’s worth the time.

    I used to be much more active with Facebook, but now my priorities have shifted, so it’s much more of a passive activity now. Since I’ve gotten serious about blogging, I hardly ever have free time to surf around Facebook.

  15. peteej says:

    MyBlogLog
    BlogCatalog
    Stumble Upon
    del.icio.us
    and soon to be…
    Facebook
    MySpace

    No Twitter, though. I don’t get it.

  16. James Seay says:

    Originally I started with myspace. Now I have added LinkedIn and Facebook. In addition to my blog, this rounds out my social networks. I swear not to join another!

  17. Andy Merrett says:

    Hands on I use Facebook primarily. My Twitter account pushes out various content from my RSS feeds, which is probably cheating – I haven’t manually updated it for months. Also trying to do a few bits with Stumbleupon and Streakr, though I forget!

    As you say, Darren, there’s just not enough time to do everything, and social networking tends to fall to the bottom of the pile – though I do love Facebook it’s probably used 80% of the time for personal relationships.

  18. Good question Darren.
    I have recently joined Facebook, Jaiku, LinkedIn as well as set up my own network.

    At first glance it seemed that they were full of “collector’s” who simply wanted to amass as many “friends” as possible. Hopefully, that type of user is on the decrease and we can begin to make some meaningful connections through them.
    From a Blogging point-of-view they appear to be complimentary and perfect for attracting a wider audience to at least look at your blog.
    I agree with an earlier poster who said that 3 social networks is probably the maximum that can be maintained by one person. Although you could possibly handle more through using RSS feeds.

    IMHO it’s still early days and we probably need another year or so before the functionality improves to the point where updating several accounts becomes more intuitive.

  19. Freesms says:

    Friendly Social network can get you good traffic to your blog . I use stumble upon. I don’t use twitter and LinkedIn. If you post a interesting topic for reader in your social network, you can get more traffic.

  20. Netvalar says:

    I regularly use

    Sellaband.com
    Myspace.com
    Tagworld.com
    Stumbleapon and digg

    That is all I can handle however having my blog set-up for the springwise widget and many other social networking sites having RSS on the main profile I from time to time sign up for a new one and just set-up my blog to show on the front page. Without active participation though I don’t get much from these others.

  21. Robin Capper says:

    I belong to;

    Old Friends: Literally for school era contacts. Mainly read up where people have ended up rather than making many actual contacts but still worthwhile.

    LinkedIn for Professional contacts. I’ve found LinkedIn good for industry related stuff. Not many new connections via it, a few good ones, but really good to formalise blogging & conference connections. I also like their growing “Q&A” section.

    I don’t get Facebook but that’s because I’ve never been in it. I don’t like the closed nature of it and won’t spend time on something which hides it’s benefits behind a compulsory sign-in. Sign-in to contribute is fine but just to view, no thanks!

    The best social networking vehicle I’ve found is having my own blog. More real contacts and “community” than any social site.

  22. Lila says:

    I use
    #Myspace
    #Facebook
    #Yahoo Mash/360
    #StumbleUpon
    #Digg
    #Del.icio.us
    #MyBlogLOg
    #BlogCataLog
    #Bumpzee
    and I also actively get participated with many facilities they have provided because I love making friends one thing and the other thing is that I can promote my Blog there.

  23. Sigmar says:

    I had been pruely relying on content, which I am still building (so I have a healthy back catalogue).

    However, I was recently added to Facebook by a friend and I’m already getting hit regularly even though my site is quite a fringe interest.

    I’ll bee looking into it a lot more.

    Excellent site.
    Sigmar
    battle reports

  24. -Facebook
    -Orkut
    -Hi5
    -Friendster
    -Digg
    -Technorati

  25. I use digg and reddit mostly for promoting my blog. I used to go through digg posts every day but i have less time for it now. I use technorati and stumbleupon to lesser degrees, although i might stumble for a while when i have time at work.

    I also have accounts on delicious, flickr and other similar sites but i use them less and less.

    If i exclude promoting my blog from all the social web sites i use, i would only had accounts on digg and stumbleupon.

  26. James Mann says:

    thanks for the reminder to get my butt over to my Twitter Account and start updating.

    I think I tend to go over board on the number of social network sites until I have too many to maintain. It may be better to cut back and do a few properly.

  27. Sam Smith says:

    As far as social networking sites go, I’m not *heavy* on activity. As a full time college student though, Facebook is a God-send for me.
    Every group and club you see on campus has their own group on Facebook, as well as many of the classes. It’s the simple fact that Facebook allows to stay in contact with old friends, meet new ones, and experience a higher degree of communication that makes it ideal for the college student.
    Because my education comes first, I tend to only blog when I have the time or whenever inspiration strikes. As far as integrating my blogging and Facebook goes, I simply have links to my blog under “activities” on my Facebook profile, and I’ve had several people tell me that those links are how they came across my blog.

  28. Serge says:

    I’m not yet into much social networking. I should figure out all those sites that are mentionned here more in detail (del.icio.us, Linked, Stumble Upon, etc.). I already had a quick look at some of them a while ago but it’s not always clear to me how to use these sites effectively and if there could be really advantages for my blog.

  29. analogstuff says:

    I use only Stumbleupon and and i see that recently they have started using google adsense init so stopped using it.

  30. Dr.Mani says:

    I use 2 and am building a third.

    #1 – MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/drmani

    #2 – Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/drmani

    I’m expanding on my use of Twitter, as it nicely complements some other stuff I do online.

    All success

    Dr.Mani

  31. I’m glad to see that even the pros get overwhelmed by social networking. I recently posted how I felt social networking overkill costs me time and money, but I also felt like a whiner missing out on great chances.

    I do have a LinkedIn account (I don’t maintain it), and I’m debating a Myspace page, but one social network that just knocked my socks off this morning is StumbledUpon. I’ll stick with that one for sure!

    Too many tasks, not enough time…

  32. I posted on blog and social netowrking fatigue very recently too, in my case specifically about the wine world.

    Interestingly enough, that post then got me a lot of more attention as Tom Wark over at Fermentation then thought he would pick up on the issue too.

    I use:

    facebook
    flickr
    blogger (for my 2 blogspot.com blogs)
    technorati (occasionally)
    mybloglog
    plus a whole host of wine specific boards and services

    We do have a wine bloggers facebook group for discussing blogging in general if that is of interest to anyone else?

  33. ifyouwillit says:

    Thanks for inspiring my blog post – http://aliya05.blogspot.com/2007/10/why-network.html – other than facebook, I’m starting to feel lost by the social networking.

  34. Debra Hamel says:

    I wrote a rather lengthy post a while back on Twitter and the various ways one can use it and the various ways I’ve used it: http://www.the-deblog.com/2007/07/why-twitter-is-.html

    Beyond Twitter and StumbleUpon, I’ve gotten a bit burned out on social apps as well. I tried FaceBook, for example, and just couldn’t get into it. There’s only so much one can do. But if you think about the real world, there are countless social clubs in one’s own community–the PTA and church groups and book clubs and so on. And no one needs or wants to be a part of all of them. Just so, it’s okay to say no to some social apps. Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

  35. Simple answer to both questions: not enough.

    It is something constantly on my mind though, and I do promote where and whenever I can.

    Here’s a tip some might like: bumper stickers with your web site name. Most of the places out there will only take orders for 500 or so, but I found a site that will make as little as one – I ordered five for less than twenty bucks and I put them on our cars. Obviously much more expensive per piece than if you really need 500, but I don’t – it was “makestickers.com” (though I bet there are others out there too).

    What I’d really like to find is someone offering reverse transparent stickers that I could put inside my rear windows.. I have found places that can make those, but again only in relatively large quantities.

  36. Erica says:

    Currently I am cataloging 2 years worth of blogs and podcasts for my employer, Voices.com. Obviously this is a big job, so I’m using multiple submission websites OnlyWire and SocialPoster to get that done quickly! We also find that StumbleUpon is a great tool and brings many readers to our site.

    Our blog/website is very much a niche blog and industry, so we are casting as wide a net as possible.

  37. Genesis says:

    I use Facebook and StumbleUpon. While I´m signed up for Digg, Netscape, and a number of other sites, it is simply easier to narrow it down to a couple of regular sites. Plus, StumbleUpon is so easy to use with the toolbar and I frequently stumble around to get writing inspiration!

    Twitter, I never really got the point of it. I was posting on there for a while, but the problem is that I would forget to check it frequently and then had to scroll down to find any replies to my twits. It took up too much time and the twitbin gobbled up too much screen for my tastes. So, that´s one 2.0 site that I´m not into.

  38. engtech says:

    delicious
    stumbleupon
    twitter

    are my three

    I use twitter by having one feed generated linkblog account, and one account purely for talking/responding to people.

  39. engtech says:
  40. Tim Broder says:

    Facebook and Digg for me. I just joined StumbleUpon and we’ll see how that goes. myspace just confuses me…

  41. I could not agree more! After receiving 3 – 4 daily “Friend Requests” from porn sites, and none from viable community members, I stopped going to my new MySpace page after a few short weeks.

    The reality of Web 2.0 is that it relies on a small percentage of the population to carry the load. Though I have no objective research I can quote, I seem to recall that only about 2% of the population falls into the catgory of “Maven”, to use the Tipping Point concept and terminology.

    My experience is about the same – I am successful at getting a little better than 2% of my wine club members to respond with a review of the wines they order, even after multiple appeals via email and packing slips.

    I think a contraction of Web 2.0 options is on the horizon, as the demands and thrills of real life exceed the declining gee-whiz factor of social networks.

  42. John Stavely says:

    Too many! Not that the content isn’t interesting, I just run out of time (and sometimes patience)

    myspace,facebook,Oddpods,Flickr…

  43. Charlie says:

    I write a couple of blogs that relate to my Nascar radio show and Nascar auto racing in general – quite different from the subjects that most of you are into. I get great information here and have learned much. However, other than MySpace, which I just got involved with, I have found sites like Digg, Stumble and Delicious don’t do much for blogs such as mine. There are sports/blog and Nascar/social sites that seem to be great sources potential readers, but I have not figured the best way to promote my blogs there as yet. I find myself spending up to an hour per day adding friends and posting blog snippets at nascar.com, MySpace, Yardbarker.com and a site called Ballhype.com.

  44. Adam Snider says:

    I use a number of social media sites. I am most active on Digg, Twitter, Sphinn, and Facebook.

    As far as how I use Twitter, I actually have 2 accounts. One is my personal account, which I mostly just use for fun and socialization, but also occasionally use to promote my blogs.

    The other account is my work account, where I am the “official” Twitterer for the company that I work for. This account is used for promoting our products and blogs, but I also use it to build genuine relationships with people—in many ways, I treat it the same as my personal account, but make sure to keep a bit more of a professional image (no swearing, or posting overly-personal information, for example). I also follow a lot of people who will likely never become customers, simply because they provide interesting perspectives on things that relate to my industry (either directly, or indirectly).

  45. Regularly:
    *Facebook
    *LinkedIn

    Just started:
    *Twitter
    *StumbleUpon

    Rarely:
    *Myspace
    *Friendster
    *Bebo

  46. Aruni says:

    I just don’t have time to do all of the social networking because I’m also trying to start-up a company and I blog when I can. One of my posts just got stumbled upon which was great but I haven’t figured out how to use stumpled upon to my greatest advantage yet.

    I have not signed up for Twitter yet…maybe soon but if I can’t do something well then I’d rather not get into it at all.

  47. Kim says:

    I have facebook and myspace for personal stuff, although I write about and promote my blogs somewhat through them.

    I have a pownce account, but I don’t know how i feel about micro-blogging. I think i might switch over to tumblr for all my random linkage.

    I do love StumbleUpon and use it quite often.

    LinkedIn is very professional, and i use it for all me “work” stuff, from my day job to blogging.

  48. Mary says:

    An article in the paper today said the employee recruiters check these sites for profiles and info on candidates. Folks, use your discretion on those sites. Personally, I have not had the time yet but now I will be very careful. I will probably try facebook.

  49. ashok says:

    I’m pretty much only actively involved with Stumbleupon, because it’s so easy to use. Even when I wasn’t keeping up with the “friends” there so much, I was able to give thumbs-ups to things I liked and tag them and practice my blurb writing skills.

    I should say I’ve been hyperactive with Stumbleupon the last couple of days because I’m angry with it. One reason why I couldn’t use Digg and Reddit was that they were monotone and nasty – funny pics and videos, internet cartoons that make fun of Christian fundamentalists or conservatives, and conspiracy theory.

    That last one has exploded at StumbleUpon. I must have seen at least two or three articles in the top pages asserting that 9/11 was perpetrated by the US gov’t.

    That kind of stuff just destroys the joy of social bookmarking. It’s one thing to have healthy political debate and even push an agenda. But the ability to flood a site with things that if said in public would make one look insane, and then get credit for such things – that’s scary.

    I guess I can’t write this stuff off as meaningless because it exists side-by-side with the poetry commentaries where I strive to cite sources accurately and stay objective in my tone and comments. I believe the Internet is a powerful educative tool, and that scholars are going to have to blog sooner rather than later.

    But as long as conspiracy theory dominates filters like social bookmarking, which search engines increasingly will turn to as the web gets larger (I’m pretty sure having your blog entries indexed in delicious helps Google refer your work), anybody who tries to be serious on the net could find themselves in a precarious position.

    That’s my soapbox rant, sorry about it, but I felt you should know that sometimes there are really important reasons to get involved on a social bookmarking site. – No, it won’t change the world. But maybe someone will actually learn something. -

  50. Hi Darren, I have specific social network sites that I use. Some fit with what I write about and others are general ones I use.

    The ones that fit are:
    Zaadz
    Gather

    The general ones:
    Reddit
    Digg
    StumbleUpon
    Delicious
    Zimbio
    technorati
    Bloglog

    I write about self-development, purpose, consciousness and peace. I have tried Myspace and a few others like that but I don’t seem to get much in return.

    I welcome suggestions

    Joseph
    http://www.ExploreLifeBlog.com