I guess I should start by stating what the phrase “social media” means. According to Wikipedia:
Social Media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into content publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers.
I couldn’t have phrased it better, so I’m sticking to that definition. The part I agree most in the definition is the many-to-many bit. It’s the main idea behind social media and that’s what making it awesome!
Although I’m a registered user at many social media sites, the two that I use on an almost daily basis are StumbleUpon and del.icio.us. Although both services are known as social bookmark sites, I can’t wholeheartedly agree with that categorization.
I use StumbleUpon more as a discovery tool rather than a bookmark service. Using StumbleUpon, you can discover millions of pages of information. From battery shops to writing tips, SU has it all and will showcase them to you as and when you want it.
You can stumble by topic or media type (videos or images). You can also receive stumble recommendations from your friends. I don’t use the Send Stumble to friend function of SU that much… actually I’ve only used it two or three times and all those stumbles were sent to Dr. Kucau for testing purposes only.
del.icio.us on the other hand, is the social bookmark of choice for me. It’s straightforward, easy to use and very fast. Sure, it looks very plain perhaps bordering on bland… but it works very well for me. I was never a fan of “busy” web designs anyway.
With del.icio.us, you can bookmark pages you find interesting for future reference or projects. In addition to that, del.icio.us allows you to tag your bookmarks with words that will help categorize and describe it better.
del.icio.us allows only one word to be used as a tag. I’ve heard a few complaints about this limitation… for example, the inability to tag a bookmark as “web design”. A workaround is to alternatively tag it as “webdesign”. Once you get used to this system, you can easily find your bookmarks by doing a simple search such as tag:ajax images to find bookmarks tagged under AJAX and images.
If you are a StumbleUpon or del.icio.us user, please add me to your contacts: