Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Friendship and Social Bookmarking

The number of articles praising social bookmarking websites and presenting them as good ways of promoting anything online is endless. I am a member of a few of those and I am still trying to work out how to use these social bookmarking websites effectively to promote my blog and my articles.

One aspect of social bookmarking is the actual bookmarking. This is easy enough; you find a great article or blog online or you write something intelligent or funny that you think will interest the public and you bookmark it; you usually also have to write a tiny review, just a few lines to let people what your submissions are about.

You will not get much benefit from social bookmarking websites if you are not an active member; relying on websites like Digg or StumbleUpon solely for bookmarking your articles or blog posts is a huge mistake; not participating otherwise in the websites you are a member of is the same as writing on a blog without promoting it. This is fine if you just write for your own pleasure and you don't really mind having no readers, but it could become a problem if you want to attract a lot of visitors (and make lots of money;-).

There is a reason why virtual contacts you make on social bookmarking websites are called "Friends"; as for friendship, social bookmarking works both ways. The virtual friends you make are actually real people, and whether you like it or not, if you want to be popular on these websites and have a lot of people reading the content you are submitting, you must be friendly and participate;show your opinions, not only about the articles submitted by you but also about articles or posts submitted by others.

In real life, if you are the only one talking and if you never do any listening, your friends will get bored and slowly disappear from your life; you must help your friends whenever you can without expecting anything in exchange.

Being a popular member of a social bookmarking website means that you have to send a few friendly messages sometimes and reply to your own received messages, you mustn't just throw your articles and blog posts at your virtual friends in the hope that they will also bookmark them, thus making them more popular.

If you are not willing to spend some time on those social bookmarking websites, and give as well as receive, just do a TV or Radio ad or invest in an expensive Google Adwords campaign.

I have never been the popular cheerleader type and (hopefully;-) never will be, and I cannot afford expensive advertising so I am afraid I will just have to work a little bit harder on my (virtual) social skills.

If you want to help me be a better friend, here is the list of my profiles on several social bookmarking websites I am a member of; feel free to add me if you like, the only thing I am worried about is how am I ever going to be able to keep track of all my friends and keep writing at the same time?

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