2008 and 2009 have been incredible years in terms of social media evolution. Twitter is just one of the numerous examples that show how people need to feel more present and connected on the web.
What started as a micro-blogging website in order to show other people what's on your mind -a bit like the Facebook status- has now become an amazing way to share links, pictures or any other type of content on the web. In fact, I don't know many people who actually use Twitter to say "I just made a warm soup, it's nice" or "It's sunny outside, might go for a walk".
I myself started using Twitter so that my friends and family back in France could read some sort of "flash news" about what I was doing. I didn't have the time to send out emails all the time so I thought this was a cool way to share this. But with time and with my number of followers growing, I didn't feel like sharing these things anymore and started using Twitter in a totally different way.
Now, and like 90% of the people I follow, simply send out links of my findings on the Internet: interesting articles, funny videos, my thoughts on some topic, etc...
Sites such as Digg, delicious, stumbleupon and so on are great for this matter. It also helps people index their site pages, UGC or blog articles and drive targeted traffic to their website.
A website who does not contain small links for its readers to share the content is a (huge) mistake in 2009 where everything happens online and in real time. If you want to be out there, then help the buzz create itself naturally. It sure will if your content is valuable.
As you can see below this article, I have a little sharethis button which lets anyone share this article if they want to. There's also a digg and retweet buttons at the top left corner of the article. I haven't really included this for personal branding reasons but I want to offer my readers a good, simple and easy way to share the article if ever they believe it's worth it. I use those quite often on other websites and let authors of interesting content get the credit they deserve, when they're worth it.
However, I was very surprised at the number of social media bookmarks/sharing websites...
One of the best examples could be the addtoany. This button which I included just after this paragraph, looks just like the sharethis one I am using already. The only difference is that it offers, well... quite a few extra sites! Yes, you're not dreaming, that's a total of 123 websites plus email and browser bookmark..! (There's even a search bar on the widget in order to find the site you may be looking for...)
I personally don't know half those sites and yet, I consider myself pretty "aware" of what's available out there!So, do people need that many? Is there enough space for these hundreds of websites or only a few have any promising future?
I am really wandering if that's not just the trend of the moment. But I'm afraid this "social" dimension of the web is slowly starting to become polluted. Too many is sometimes too much!
I guess we'll just have to wait and see how all this will naturally evolve but as far as I'm concerned, I'm sticking to only a few popular ones.
If you have any thoughts about all this, please share! Read the full post