Dare to compare – How do you choose the right tools?
With so many social media tools out there, how do you find the right one for you?
The answer–and I’m sorry to say–is I don’t know… Or let’s go with the famous ‘marketing’ answer: It depends. However, I’ll document a few I use and why I chose to use them:
I’m a Twitteraholic. No doubt about that. However, I will admit I have yet to try out the competitors (Namely, Pownce and Jaiku, as well as Utterz I believe). Usually I like to try out a few before I commit, but I’m so in love with Twitter (aka addicted), I just don’t have time for the others! I’ll admit–I also love how the name lends itself to cute wordplays like twitterverse and twitterati etc., but that’s just one of the many reasons.
- Pretty much everyone agrees, Twitter rocks!
First I started out my blogging life using Blogger, because it seemed the easiest for beginners. I wasn’t completely thrilled and contemplated switching, right until Google bought it out and re-vamped it. I fell in love, but when the company I worked for was acquired, Blogger wasn’t flexible enough. So I learned WordPress and I have never looked back. Recently, however, I began blogging over at Ottawa.Cityguide.ca, which uses Moveable Type. I’m no expert yet, but so far I’m liking it a lot. However I’m only a contributor on Moveable Type, so I can’t say for sure how they templates, set up, etc. work.
Therefore my favourite would have to be WordPress. It’s easy-to-use and I was able to set it up on my own domain quickly and easily. Though I have yet to use Typepad, which I know many swear by.
- Johann Burkard recommends a service called blojsom, I’ve never heard of it, but apparently Apple uses it for one of its web servers.
I started out using Newsgator, not even sure why, but I noticed that a large majority of my subscribers were using Google Reader–I was intrigued–so I checked it out and sure enough, fell in love. I’ve also tried managing some feeds through my iGoogle page, but I think I consume too much for that to be a viable option. What I would love is a reader built into an app that could sit on my desktop and scroll through new headlines for all my feeds. I’m not even sure if it exists-but I would love it.
- Dave Barger recommends Outlook 2007′s built in reader. I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard lots of good things from others. So if you have ’07, it’s worth checking out!
- @heatherforce says she loves Attensa, which I’ve never heard of before. According to the web site it looks like an enterprise RSS reader. Heather particularly likes the plug in for Outlook. (Come on now, who’s really surprised we want to read our feeds with our email?!)
- Johann Burkard uses Bloglines, which is another popular choice, but has also used Rojo & found it to be great, but unreliable.
Social News/Sharing Sites
Ok, this is probably a vague area, as it could cover a lot, but I’m thinking of Digg, Mixx, Reddit, and even del.icio.us and StumbleUpon might fall into this category. However there’s tons of niche sites that could be included like Sphinn and PlugIM, for example.
Out of all of them, I’d say Stumble is my favourite. Actually, by far. It is a killer tool for driving traffic to your blog, AND it’s hours of fun hitting the “Stumble” button. My Stumble is also integrated with my Facebook, so all my friends can see the sites I like. It’s a fantastic tool
(Fun fact: I actually heard about Stumble over two years ago from my hair stylist, she was complaining that her husband stayed up all night ‘stumbling’ and I was intrigued to learn more)
I know I could probably go on for days, but I’d love your input: What tools do you use? Why do you use them? What else have you tried?
I’ll update this post with your comments.
- Colin brings to my attention that I missed a very obvious category: social networking. (duh!)
I’m still hooked on Facebook, because it’s my primary means of communication with some of my good friends. However, like Colin says in the comments, LinkedIn is a rocking place to be. I’ve pretty much abandoned MySpace. I’ve also joined and played around in a few niche sites like Chapter’s Book Lover’s Community as well as Group Recipes, but they just don’t have the ‘stickiness’ of the big guys.