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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Social Media … or Social Blogmarking?

This is a guest post by Devesh of Blokube.

What is “blogmarking”? Many of us already use and understand social media, but very few of us tap into the great and growing potential of social blogmarking sites.

Blogmarking is the process of you bookmarking your blog post on a blog bookmarking site. Blogmarking can also be referred to as blog bookmarking.

The blogmarking process involves you writing a post on your blog, looking for a great and active blogmarking site, and then submitting your post to the blogmarking site.

Your post will be ranked on the site based on the number of votes it gets from users. If your post has a great title there is every chance that it will get a lot of eyeballs. If it’s good, it’ll likely get a lot of votes, and moved to the front page of the blogmarking site.

While blogmarking works just like social bookmarking, the concept is different. A social bookmarking site is highly influenced by power users who determine which posts can be promoted to the homepage. Most of these power users have been on the site since its inception, and they read and work on the site rigorously. It’s not easy for just anybody to become a power user.

The concept of a social blogmarking site is different from this, as any post can be promoted to the front page on the basis of the votes it receives from site users. If you’re not familiar with blogmarking, here are a few blogmarking sites:

There are many ways to spread the word about your blog while building stronger relationships online. Currently, the key most popular options are social media sites. So let’s look more closely at the pros and cons of social media sites in comparison to social blogmarking sites.

You’re undoubtedly familiar with social media sites and are using them to promote your blog. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and so on, allow users to create a profile, providing photos, website links, biography information, and a host of other personal details.

To get solid traffic from social media sites, you usually have to be very active on those sites, and that can take lot of time.

First, let’s look at some advantages of social media sites.

They’re open to anyone: A major advantage of social media sites is that they’re open to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new blogger or you’re already established, you can easily open an account on any social media site you love, and you can begin to interact with others immediately.

They foster community: Social media sites also encourage discussion and community interaction—that’s the main reason why they were established. Take Facebook as an example: a lot of your high school/college friends probably have a Facebook account and you can easily get in touch with them through the site. Another community-related advantage of social media sites is that they encourage personal discussions and people will be encouraged to discuss and interact with you if they know a lot about you as a person.

Even though making use of social media sites has strong advantages, it also has disadvantages.

They can help build relationships and brand loyalty, but take time and dedication: If you observe how marketing is done on social media sites you will notice that influence matters. Those with bigger audiences, greater popularity, and stronger reputations will have more success with social media sites than those of us who don’t. Social media sites also require you to spend a lot of time building your profile, especially if you’re a new blogger, and even though the results you will get will be great, this takes considerable time.

They’re littered with ads and spam: Another major problem with social media sites is that they can be havens for spammers, and many are laden with ads. Since it’s very easy to join social networks, a lot of people who are just using the site for spamming purposes join, and this can lead to a lower-quality service.

Social blogmarking is the process of submitting your blog content to social voting sites and blogging communities.

Many bloggers don’t utilize the power of social blogmarking yet, but it’s a great way to get traffic and connect with other bloggers.

They’re less time-consuming than social media sites: A major advantage of social blogmarking sites is that they tend to consume less time than social media sites. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new or established blogger, you have an equal opportunity to gain exposure. What matters most when trying to get attention for your blog is not your influence or reputation, but the title of your post and its content.

They help you connect with other bloggers in your niche: Another great advantage of social blogmarking sites is that they allow you to get in touch with other bloggers in your niche. Since these sites are mainly used by bloggers (where social media sites are used by a much broader audience) they make it easy for bloggers to get more targeted traffic. For example, I notice that I get more links to my articles when I submit them to social blogmarking sites because most people reading my content there are bloggers, and they’re more likely to share it on their blogs if they like it.

They allow users to comment and vote on their favorite articles: Another major advantage of social blogmarking sites is that they allow people to comment on blog posts through commenting systems like those we see on everyday blogs. It’s also easier for bloggers to connect with others using this feature.

They’re a great way to share favorite blog bookmarks: Social blogmarking is a great way to share your favorite blog posts with friends, family members, and your readers. Content can easily get lost in the social media space but with blogmarking it’s easy to share your content with other people who care about your blog.

They champion quality content: If your main aim as a blogger is to find quality content to link to, or you’re a reader who wants to read more about a niche subject, social blogmarking sites are highly effective because they are always moderated. The quality of the blog posts you’ll find there is usually high, and the sites are spam-free.

They’re very specific: The major disadvantage of social blogmarking sites is that they’re very specific, and they don’t yet have broad appeal among general or mass audiences. For example, most of the current blogmarking sites focus on blogging tips and making money online, so it’s often difficult for bloggers in other niches to make effective use of these sites.

They’re not well-known yet: Social blogmarking is a relatively new concept, so although social blogmarking sites are growing their audiences, the concept hasn’t yet gained the same traction that social networking sites have achieved.

Social blogmarking has its drawbacks, but it also offers a lot of advantages. You don’t have to have a high profile or a huge following to succeed at social blogmarking.

Have you tried social blogmarking? Where do you think this field is heading in future? Feel free to share your views in the comments.

Devesh is young entrepreneur and author of Blokube, a social voting site for Bloggers and Intenet Marketers. Follow him @blokube and join Blokube on Facebook.


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