So, it really isn’t just Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter?

One of the primary reasons for my journey into social media is my incomplete knowledge of what really makes up social media.

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I would like to the think that the majority of the population shares my same level of knowledge when it comes to social media, but I would also believe that I am one of the few remaining social media novices in the world.

It’s similar to my knowledge of music. I have an eclectic mix that ranges from hip hop/rap (T.I., Jay-Z, Eminem), rock (3 Doors Down, Fall Out Boy), country (Taylor Swift, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood) and many other crossover bands/artists in between.

Regardless, I know enough to be somewhat useful. 

Put it this way, I know enough about the field to get you started, but no way near enough to actually make it useful for you.

That’s about to change… sort of.

We all know that social media has been the “buzz” over the last few years. And we know that sites like Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the leaders in social media.

They’re similar to McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King of the fast food industry; or Verizon, AT&T and Sprint of the mobile phone industry. Everyone knows the market leaders, but for every leader there are two or three lesser-knowns that are just as good/competitive/useful.

With that in mind, I have tried to find out what other tools/application within social media are out there by researching what people talk about the most and doing what I do best — ask questions.

A quick Google search for social media tools results in more than 129 million items in 0.16 seconds. That’s a lot.

But over the past few days, I’ve come across a number of sites/applications that seem to be among the top used tools within the industry. Some of them I knew about… others not so much.

So here’s my list of networks/items/tools/applications in no particular order (I won’t mention the four above since everyone knows what they are) and short snippets of what they are:

  1. Google Buzz – The newest social media app debuted just this week. From the source: “It’s a new way to share updates, photos, videos and more, and start conversations about things you find interesting… It goes beyond status updates.”
  2. Tumblr – Seems to be another way to share information… within a blog on their servers. Focus seems to be on the concept of “reblogging”. From the source: “The same way YouTube embeds make it easy for a video to become a viral hit, the “reblog” button on all Tumblr posts allows a meme to spread rapidly across thousands of blogs with just a click.”
  3. Foursquare – I didn’t understand the game as a child, nor do I understand this game as an adult. However, people seem to like it.
  4. Digg – Another sharing site, but relies mostly on votes by users to determine what is the top stuff.
  5. Delicious – The social bookmarking site. Basically allows you to bookmark things you like and access them from anywhere.
  6. Technorati – A search engine that searches blogs for information on topics of your interest.
  7. Flickr – One of the top social content sites, the photo version of Youtube. See also: Google’s Picasa.

I am 100% confident that these are not the only tools available for social media usage. At the very least, these are the ones I see come up most often in conversations among people who I follow and connect with.

What tools not mentioned above do you find interesting or useful?


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