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Weblogs & Social Networking [this page]

Because of the high volume of activity on social networking sites and on blog sites, placement on one or more of them can bring a major increase in traffic (depending on your website's content).

Social networking goes all the way back to the days of the caveman. The modern version is merely doing the same thing online, on the internet. Most such sites are general, with the ability to belong to a range of subgroupings; but quite a few networking sites are for a specific purpose, such as business & career contacts, ethnic or national subgroups, photo-sharing, music sharing, etc. No commercial dating sites are included here: such sites treat relationships as a commodity.

Many social networking sites include their own blog {short for 'weblog'} function, or allow inclusion of outside blog site content. Blog content ranges from amateur to professional, and a great many are not updated very often. But the 'blogosphere' has grown in influence, such that even the corporatist media are repeatedly forced to cover news stories that first appeared on blogs.


Major Social Networking Sites


Facebook, Inc. website      Facebook, seventh largest after MySpace, began at Harvard University in February 2004, first with college students, then high schoolers, then expanded in September 2006 to the general public. The Facebook Marketplace feature - classified ads, in competition with Craigslist - was added in May 2007. See also Spirit of America Bookstore's Facebook, Inc. Page
TWITTER: Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world      Twitter, the social networking & microblogging site created in 2006, is a phenomenon. By the end of 2007, traffic was 500,000 'tweets' per quarter; at end of 1Q2010, traffic had exploded to 4 billion per quarter. Twitter finally incorporated ads {'promoted tweets'} on their website in April 2010. The basic transmission is limited to 140 characters – but you already knew that.
Google's Blogger.com & blogspot.com      Blogger started in San Francisco in August 1999, narrowly survived the Dot-Com Bust, and was bought by Google in February 2003 for an undisclosed fortune. Google purchased Picasa in 2004 and added its photo-sharing capability into Blogger. The major 'beta' redesign in 2006 included moving all of Blogger onto Google servers.
my blog 'Dateline Chamesa' at Blogger.com
LinkedIn - Relationships matter [est. 5/2003]      LinkedIn launched in May 2003 and is 17th behind MySpace, and is designed for business professionals, for career & sales-contact networking. The basic service is free; the Premium Features (for a fee) options add posting resumes & job search, access to Fortune 500 executives & topical experts, and a priority email service. After signup, LinkedIn will search your email address book and alert you to LinkedIn members that you already know. Starting in March 2011, LinkedIn offers the LinkedIn Today news service across 22 industry choices; they are also offering a new advertising program.
my LinkedIn profile
Plaxo: your address book for life      The FREE Plaxo business networking & address book site launched circa 2000, and by the time that Comcast bought it in May 2008, it had 20 million members. The for-fee Plaxo Premium synchs with your Microsoft Outlook database. English & German & Spanish options on the website.
Rupert Murdoch's sleazy MySpace social networking website      The social networking site MySpace was #1 in users in mid-2007. It was launched in August 2003 by eUniverse, and rapidly populated by contests among employees for signing up the most users. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. purchased MySpace in July 2005 for $580 million; the company is now located at Fox Interactive Media head-quarters in Beverly Hills, California. MySpace was adding new registrations at a rate of 230,000 per day in 2007. The influence of Murdoch has shifted the content toward sleaze, and when you log in, predator robots invite users to visit their other website which is usually a raunchy 'dating' site.
No longer recommended.
tumblr: the easiest way to blog      The tumblr site launched in April 2007, and enables users to create mixed-media blog posts with elegance and simplicity; in late 2010, half of all posts on the platform were photos, and the community was comprised of over 24 million publishers and around 47 million unique visitors. Yahoo! purchased Tumblr for $1.1B in 2013.


Google+ {Google Plus} 'social networking and identity service' [launched 9/2011]
      Google+ {Google Plus} is a new 'social networking and identity service'. The site launched on an invitation-only basis in June 2011, then to the general public in September 2011; visitor traffic spiked for a few days, but then plummeted by 60% (according to outside polls). Google+ integrates social services such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz, and introduced new services Circles, Hangouts, and Sparks. So far, the website as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS exist, with further platforms planned. The "+1" button (similar to Facebook's Likes) gets clicked as many as 5 billion times per day.
Google+ entry at Wikipedia
"Pinterest is an online pinboard. Organize and share things you love."      Pinterest is 'an online pinboard' launched in 2010, and is based in Palo Alto, California. The gimmick is that members 'pin' specific areas of interest, and then are part of that interest group; selections include Harry Potter, towns, teams, crafts, recipes, history, art, etc. There seems to be a time-out function so that members will revisit & re-pin each interest. Joining is simple: "Request an Invite". But an attempt to use the Pinterest website gets bogged down because it requires the pop-up function to be 'ON', which is lazy and annoying and even dangerous (because pop-ups on other sites are being allowed).
Although Pinterest is very popular, the conclusion here is that the Pinterest site is a supreme waste of time - even worse so than Facebook.
Manta: Where Small Business Grows      The Manta Media, Inc. website is a combination of business search engine and social network (akin to LinkedIn or Plaxo). The site has a million registered users and 89 million company profiles, adding over 30,000 new profiles each week. You can search & view site contents without registration; registration as a person or company is free, allowing completion of company or person profiles. Manta Connect is a free forum function for business owners. The for-fee Premium Business Listing comes in three sizes: Starter, Small Biz & Turbo. The sign-up process is free & well-designed, with the quirk that verification requires a call to an 800#.
my 'Company Profile' on Manta
Vizify visual identity platform [est. 2011] of Portland Oregon       The Vizify visual identity platform was founded in 2011 and is based in Portland, Oregon. The website consolidates data and graphics from all your social media websites & apps and provides impressive displays in the form of pie charts, bubble charts, and bar charts that 'show the best of you'. Service is free, websites used include Facebook, Twitter (last 3200 tweets), LinkedIn, Foursquare, PageRiot, your blog/s, and any personal or employer website/s.
engine       WordPress is an open source blogging tool that you can down-load & modify & run on your website. WordPress was launched in May 2003, and currently claims that: 18.9 percent of internet sites use WordPress; around two-thirds of those sites are in English; and pageviews for all WordPress sites and blogs rose to a massive 4 billion per month in 2013.

 


Other Social Networking Sites
{ in reverse alphabetical order }


Zynga online games social network
      Zynga was founded in January 2007, and named after a founder's late bulldog (thus the logo); headquarters is in San Francisco, CA. The site describes itself as makers of social games that are free and accessible to everyone, though the games themselves seem designed for teenage and younger users. An IPO in December 2011 at $10 went up, then down, with an 80% loss by mid-2012; their announcement in June 2013 of office closures and layoffs of 520 employees brought the stock price back down to $3.50.
Zorpia social networking site [est. 2003] of Hong Kong      Zorpia was founded in 2003 and is based in Hong Kong. The site is very self-promoting, both textually and with in-your-face sign-up boxes. (It is difficult to look over the site without first signing up, but you can try this link.) Also, their English-language skills need to be improved. Primary features are photo album, online journal, social networking, customized homepage, comment system, and discussion forum. There is a for-fee 'Royal Membership' option.
Zoominfo contact & networking database - Find people and companies      Zoominfo is a business-oriented contact & networking database, with 45 million people and 5 million companies. Basic membership is FREE, plus for-fee Powersell Premium Access option and an option to 'trade your contacts for a free two-month subscription'.
my ZoomInfo profile
Youtoo TV social channel [launched 9/2011]      Youtoo TV launched in late September 2011 and is the first television channel to give access to social networkers. Viewers will be able to create 15-second videos called 'Fame Spots' and then, within minutes, see themselves on television – with an audience of 15 million!; Youtoo will start by putting 500 people on TV each day.
Yookos social networking website of South Africa      The Yookos social networking website is operated by Nigerian televangelist faith healer Chris Oyakhilome, who is known as 'Pastor Chris'. The site requires your email address to look at anything, and therefore is dangerous; the Yookos Microblogging Network sites are based in South Africa.
Yammer is the free private social network for your company      Yammer: The Enterprise Social Network launched in September 2008, and bills itself as "the free private social network for your company". The premise is that companies perform better when their employees can connect as/within a social network, so communication is restricted to email addresses of the same domain (or group of URLs). When Yammer 2.0 launched in Fall 2010, they had more than three million users among 80,000 companies worldwide, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Yammer has a free 'basic' option; the 'premium' option starts at $5 per user per month, with a range of discounts for large companies and for schools & non-profits.
WINK: where people meet people      Wink is a free social networking site launched in August 2007 that brags about having access to over 300 million profiles; the site gleans from Facebook, Friendster, Internet Movie Database, LinkedIn, MySpace, Wikipedia & ZoomInfo. Free login/account allows posting of a Wink profile and-or contact with search results.
the 'we heart it' image-based social network [est. 2008]      The We Heart It social network launched in 2008 and is intended for sharing inspirational images, such as motivational posters and other uplifting photos. The site has 25 million members and ranks 819 in Alexa's global ranking; there are options for over 15 languages. The founders incorporated in 2011; the company is based in San Francisco, California. Users can access the site via web browser or the free iOS and Android mobile apps.
Volunteer Match social networking site      Volunteer Match connects individuals wanting to serve their community with possible opportunities at non-profits & corporations. The organization was founded as Impact Online in 1996, and the website was launched in 1998.
TWOO: meet new people      TWOO.com is a mostly-European social networking site, in multiple languages and character sets; the basic {limited} service is free, with a for-fee option for an Unlimited Account; launched in 2001; appears to be based in Belgium. The languages on the drop-down selection list are: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japan-ese, Korean, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Rus-sian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnam-ese – plus several that Earl could not identify.
talentville.com: the online city for creative minds      Talentville launched in April 2010 as an online community for writers of all sorts, with FREE membership and for-fee posting of scripts, fiction, non-fiction and even graphic arts material. Member professionals such as editors, movie producers, and agents are able to join and (after valida-tion) search the manuscript & authors databases based on keywords. Members can join at Tourist level for free; starting in January 2012, Citizen-level membership costs $99 per year.
Shooting People social networking site [est. 1998] for independent filmmakers      The Shooting People website was launched in 1998 and bills itself as an "international networking organization dedicated to the support and promotion of independent filmmaking". The site now connects 38,000 members around the world (2011); annual membership is $45.
engine       The company is Sales Spider, the website is www.SaleSpider.com (one 's' in the middle). They describe themselves as 'the largest free social network for business owners and entrepreneurs' in the U.S. and Canada, and other countries. They serve 'Small and Medium Sized Businesses' and have a presence on Google Plus and at Entrepreneur Magazine. They provide free classified ads, by city and a dozen categories, with the option of for-fee Premium upgrade. Parent company Sales Spider Media was founded in 2007 and also operates sites for automobile sales and insurance sales; headquarters is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
RUCK.US political networking site [launched May 2011]       The new ruckus political networking site was launched in May 2011 and is designed to connect members with like-minded people based on issues & opinions rather than party lines or political labels. Registration is free, and you can use your existing Facebook or Twitter or email account to do so.
engine      ReferralKey launched in October 2007 and is a social networking site for marketing your business. Membership is free; based in Boston.
engine       Rally.org describes itself as an 'online social fundraising platform' intended to make it easy for local or national formal or informal groups to raise money, including 501(c)3 groups and other non-profits; the software also provides the option for supporters to add your campaign to their website. (Rally.org is for-profit, but they don't specify taking a percentage, so they must get revenue from advertising.) The company first appeared as Piryx in 2009, then rebranded itself as Rally.org in June 2011; client-users include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and recent political campaigns of Mitt Romney, Julian Castro, and Elizabeth Warren.
R360 Cloud Communication Suite based in Cyprus & Maryland, USA      R360.com went live in January 2009 with its secure cloud com-munication suite for people who collaborate, communicate, and do business online. The site is promoted by word-of-mouth alone; signup is free, with several for-fee options.
QuePasa global Latino social network       QuePasa has offices in California, Florida, Mexico & Brasil, and describes itself as a 'global Latino social network'. The site makes it easy to join by using already-existing memberships in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Yahoo!, WindowsLive, MySpace & others.
Orkut by Google      Orkut describes itself as 'an online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends'. Orkut is second in membership to MySpace, yet has only 30% the number of users. Orkut is run by Google, and is extremely popular in India. You can choose to view pages in a dozen languages.
Naymz social networking site [est. 2006]      The free Naymz social networking site is designed to "help you establish and build your personal brand"; you can join thru already-existing accounts at Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
The Nation Magazine Social Network [est. 2010]      The Nation Social Network was started in February 2010 for con-necting progressive & liberal 'netizens', the sort who read The Nation Magazine [est. 1865]; signup is free, with over 2,000 members by Spring 2012.
MeetUp.com -      Meetup.com is widely used for political and social connections offline – organized by ZIP code and topic. Founded in 2002, Meetup expanded rapidly, especially when the Democrats made use of it going into the 2004 U.S. elections. A housecleaning in July 2005 drastically reduced the number of groups.
The Kang Book social media website in Australia       The Kang Book is an Australian {as in 'kangaroo'} social media website that describes itself as 'an online directory to connect people with large communities'. The website utilizes BingBook software from Microsoft and may be a test site (2014).
engine      The hi5 social networking website launched in 2003, and was for a time third in membership (behind Facebook & MySpace), yet had only about 25% of the users that MySpace had. The emphasis on romantic and friendship relationships (especially popular in Central America) has been moving toward 'social entertainment', i.e. multi-user games. The company laid off employees in 2009 and again in 2011, contingent with platform technology changes that 'require fewer personnel to maintain'.
HerOrbit - Where Women Connect      HerOrbit - Where Women Connect was launched in April 2007 as a social networking-slash-shopping site for women. For-fee listing of your products is optional; the networking is free.
Green Drinks Intl. social network [est. 2008?] for people working on environmental issues      The Green Drinks Intl. social group is for 'people working on environmental issues', and one of the mottos is "Saving the world one sip at a time"; branches exist all around the world, including Arabia, China, Latvia & Iceland; meetings are very local and usually monthly.
Gather.com social networking site      Gather launched in September 2005 to bring together listeners of public radio, thus its emphasis on books & authors, and music & other arts; Gather is privately-owned, with headquarters in Boston, MA. Members who participate regularly will earn Gather Points, which can be used onsite for services, or can accumulate and eventually be redeemed for dollars.
my gather page {dormant}
The Gaia Community - We're gonna change the world! {formerly Zaadz}

powered by Zaadz

      Zaadz is the Dutch word for 'seeds'. The site launched quietly in February 2006, attracting new members by full-page ads in progressive print media in the U.S and elsewhere, using the motto "Let's change the world!" and emphasizing spirituality, social & environmental conscious- ness, and Conscious Capitalism. Then in January 2007, the site renamed itself the Gaia Community 'powered by Zaadz'; all the old Zaadz address links automatically redirect, the big change was the color scheme.The gaia website shut down on 31 March 2010, and now redirects to the Gaiam 'branded lifestyle media' site.
"DirectMatches - The Business Space" social networking site      The for-fee DirectMatches website is set up to connect business people, business events, and 'yellow page' ads. The basic fee is $9.95/month (billed to your credit card), with higher fees for Managing Independent Representative & Executive Independent Representative status.
old logo for "Delicious" {www.del.icio.US} social bookmarking site      Delicious {using the URL www.del.icio.US} began as a 'social book-marking' site, designed to allow online storage of bookmarks and provide the ability to access your Favorites from any computer, plus search the posted Favorites of others around the world. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in late 2003 and sold to Yahoo! in 2005. The site was redesigned in 2008 and the main URL moved to delicious.com. Yahoo! sold all of the delicious entities to Avos in April 2011.
BoomJ.com - Redefining a generation      BOOMj.com describes itself as a 'web-based lifestyle portal', and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. While MySpace is geared toward (and mostly used by) 'Generation X', BoomJ is geared toward older 'Baby Boomers' (born after WWII) and 'Generation Jones' (born 1954 to 1965, with teenhood during the 1960s & 1970s).
blogarama: the blog directory      blogarama: the blog directory began in 2002; the Add Yours Now! function is free and may take a week or so for approval/rejection by a human. The directory search results appear based on internal ranking, which requires having a simple button or text recip link on the page specified for your blog (no redirects).
Bebo social networking site [est. 2005]      Bebo was launched in 2005 in San Francisco, California; the name stands for 'blog early, blog often'. Sold to A.O.L. in 2008 for $850 million; but unique visitors rapidly dropped due to migration to Facebook & Twitter; A.O.L. dumped the company for less than $10 million to a U.K.-based venture capital firm in June 2010. The site is recently redesigned, and still has 117 million users (July 2010). Signup is free.
APSense business social network      The APSense Business Social Network is free, and provides access to buyers and sellers of talents such as language translation (often just $5 per page), coaching, and graphic or web design. There are two levels of paid membership (higher ad revenue rates), and two affiliate programs. "All payments will be concluded via APSense Payment Processor." The company appears to be based in Houston, Texas.
engine      Airtime Media, Inc. is a 'live social video platform' launched in June 2012 by Sean Parker & Shawn Fanning, the founders of Napster (in 1999). The login uses your Facebook account, and the homepage video shows how new people are suggested by software matching of interests and geography and other parameters. Users must be 13 years old; system requires Adobe Flash and a webcam; the site is planning to expand to mobile apps.

 


Weblog Search Engines & Directories


Technorati blog directory        Technorati is a real-time search engine that tracks 24 million weblog sites and main-tains a directory of 1.8 billion links. The free Signup is not required for getting your weblog listed here, but is advisable; a small amount of coding is involved, in a process called 'claiming', that includes placing a tiny Java script on your weblog homepage template & selecting keywords for the Technorati directory. login or free signup
Weblog Diffusion Index Project {aka blogdex}       In 2001, M.I.T.'s Media Laboratory set up the Weblog Diffusion Index Project {aka blogdex} to track the diffusion of information through the weblog community. After each regular crawl & update, blogdex then generates & displays a list of fastest spreading ideas. Getting added is simple: enter your blog's URL and an email address, then confirm by auto-reply. free add
Feedster [est. 3/2003]       Feedster was founded in 2003 to take advantage of the blogosphere and RSS techno-logy. The index is refreshed several times per hour, updating 18 million entries from 75,000 feeds; the link at left is for the searchable data-base of weblog entries.
      The free add process has two parts: how-ever, the site is under revision {late Dec 2005} and the Add Feed page is not working; the second part is the optional Claim Your Feed page.
Add Feed page

Claim Your Feed

Popdex 'website popularity index'       Popdex is a 'website popularity index', recommended in many places, that crawls 14,000 sites every day. The add is free, and happens faster if you precode a link from the Add Search/Link page {at right}. free add

add link page

blogdigger: THE search engine for blogs &  Atom/RSS feeds       Blogdigger, based in Baltimore MD, began in March 2003 and now includes the RSS Kicker engine. Search options include blogs, media & links, plus a Local option to search by keyword & ZIP code (or city). The free Add Feed is simple: enter your blog's URL; a tiny logo/badge is available. free Add Feed
Ice Rocket: blog & media search engine       Ice Rocket is based in Dallas, TX and began sometime in 2004. The primary function is a directory of blogs – adding yours is very simple – and other features include search options for Web, Images, Multi-Media & News. free Add Your Blog


Suggestions? Possible additions? Links gone bad?
We welcome your email to Webmaster Earl.

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