Social Media – Top 25

Social Media Camp

Social Media Camp, Victoria BC, October 3rd, 2010

It’s been over 8 months since my last social media top 10 list, so I figured it was time for an update. Last time, my top 10 list was actually a top 18, so I figured I’d just bite the bullet, and make this one a top 25.

If you are using social media for business, you are probably best to stick with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (perhaps with a dash of YouTube or Flickr). But if you are a geek like me, you might find a few little gems in this list.

25. Google Buzz

So much buzz, yet so little sting. It’s my new FriendFeed, although I don’t think Google intended it to be used this way. I rarely use it, despite the fact it’s in my face every time I use GMail.

24. MySpace

Oh! How far you have fallen, MySpace. For those of you who haven’t heard of MySpace, it’s a website where you can find music. Is there anything else? Not really. Don’t accuse me of dissin’ MySpace though, you’ll notice this list doesn’t include bebo, hi5, Friendster, Multiply, Plaxo, ecademy, or any of the other also-ran general interest social networks.


It’s like a better Twitter, only it hasn’t reached critical mass. I hope they have some commercial success with, because competition is good.

22. FriendFeed

As predicted, Facebook bought FriendFeed and did nothing with it.  It was number 10 on my last list.

21. meme by Yahoo!

I have met some very interesting people on this. It’s another offering that blurs the line between micro-blogging and blogging (like Posterous and Tumblr tend to); it seems to be a great place to profile photography. Like VIMEO, it’s a better network not for the features or marketing potential, but for the interesting users and their content.

20. Hunch

Great idea – a taste graph for the social web. I hope it catches on; a good idea is only that unless it gains critical mass. Notably, the founder of Hunch was also a co-founder of Flickr.

19. StumbleUpon

I have nothing against StumbleUpon, and I know it can be a dream come true for people who spend all their time on SEO. It’s fun and easy to use, but I honestly don’t use it much…

18. Slideshare

Share your PDFs and PPTs easily, embed them elsewhere, and share them directly on Slideshare itself, with your friends and contacts there. Great tool!

17. Goodreads

Do you read good? This is a great social network for people who like to read. I love it, even though I don’t read so goodly.

16. Flixster

I like movies. In fact, I like movies a lot. The Flixster website itself is a bit MySpace-y, but the iPhone app rocks. You can mark movies you want to watch, and rate your movies, and add a review. It doesn’t seem this network has caught on, but I use it at least once a week.

15. Sprouter

If LinkedIn is Facebook for business, then Sprouter is Twitter for business. It seems to be catching on. Time will tell.

14. Tumblr

It’s a blog or a microblog, and a social network, all beautifully united. Simple. Fun. I use it a little.

13. Posterous

Another good and simple blogging tool. Notice Tumblr and Posterous are neck-and-neck, I only put Posterous a notch ahead because I use it to subscribe to some great blogs (and they e-mail me a daily digest). However, I don’t use it much to blog (see item 3 for my real bias).

12. Gowalla

Share your location with your friends. Creepy, but fun and interesting. There are a bunch of tools that do this: Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp, BrightKite (not on this list), and now Facebook Places (not yet available in Canada). Admittedly I use all 4 (soon to be 5) on my iPhone, and sort of get a kick out of it. I like Yelp the best, and it has a legacy review function, which is, in my opinion, way cooler than the simpler Gowalla and Foursquare.

11. Foursquare

It seems to be the category killer, but the game is definitely not over, especially with Facebook getting in on the act, and Yelp revving up their user base. I put Foursquare ahead of Gowalla, because you can be Mayor of the places you visit! Imagine my joy in being Mayor of First Choice Haircutters!

10. YouTube

Oh, YouTube. So famous, so popular, so immature and anti-social. Your comments remind me of things I used to say when I was 12. YouTube is great because it will host your video, and because it has critical mass. But for grown-ups, VIMEO is much better.


It’s like a nice YouTube. Better content, and more mature users. I’m a bit surprised it’s done as well as it has, considering YouTube’s market dominance. There have been other contenders in the video space, too – DailyMotion, VEOH, and others.

8. Meetup

They actually had a friend feature, but they apparently phased it out. But it’s still a social network, in that you can find members of your meetup groups, and see what other groups they are in. It also allows you to indicate your interests, and suggests new groups to you based on geography and interest.

Best of all, Meetup is about meeting people in real life, not just online. And isn’t this the best sort of social networking there can be?

7. Digg

Geek alert. I still like Digg. It’s fun. Sorry.

I’m still a bit unsure about the new version (I was an Alpha user), but I think it will be better in the long run.

6. Facebook

I don’t really like Facebook. However, it must make the list because I do like that I can connect with almost all my friends there. Also, it has some great marketing tools (like Facebook Business Pages and Facebook Ads).

5. Yelp

I really like Yelp. I think it’s better than Gowalla and Foursquare. It started out as a review site, but they’ve since added the check-in functions to mirror Gowalla and Foursquare, and you can be a Duke (or Duchess) instead of a Mayor! What can be better than that!? It’s gaining critical mass, albeit not as quickly as Foursquare.

4. Flickr

Best. Photo. Sharing. Tool. Ever. Forget about TwitPic and TweetPhoto and that frog one… if you want to Tweet a photo, use Flickr! It has some incredibly powerful group and sharing functions, and is itself a social network, too. If you’re going to share photos on Twitter, it’s hands-down the most sensible tool to use.

3. Blogging using WordPress

I’m a huge fan of blogging, and a huge fan of WordPress!

I’ve organized two WordCamp events in Victoria, and cannot say enough good things about it. It’s a great product. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s free (you have to have web hosting, but if you have a website, you can add WordPress fairly easily).

There are numerous other blogging tools (some mentioned in this list), but with the self-installed version of WordPress, you own your social media! And you build your own community. You are not reliant on a startup with an unknown revenue situation or business model to host your media.

I’m a big fan of integrating Feedburner and Disqus, too.

2. LinkedIn

Are you in business now? Will you one day be in business? Do you have business dealings? Are you a professional that might expect one or two job changes or career focus changes sometime in the next thirty years? Are you a student? Are you management? Are you between the age of 18 and 80 and expect to live and work for the next 6 months, or longer?

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I’ve heard all the excuses for not being on LinkedIn. They are all misguided (at best), lazy or stupid (at worst), and of no validity whatsoever.

You must sign up to LinkedIn immediately, and shame on you for not doing so before now!

This is not Facebook – there are no party photos, funny status updates and kid’s stuff. This is serious business, and it will take all of 5 minutes a month out of your hectic schedule.

1. Twitter

I (heart) Twitter.

It can be whatever you want it to be. If you want to talk marketing on Twitter, there are definitely some best practices. But outside of that world, there’s no right or wrong way. Want to socialize? Want to meet people? Want to talk business? Want to talk shop with other people in your business? Want to find out the news or the weather?

Jump on in and join the conversation!

Twitter, as crazy as it may sound, in it’s 140 character glory, is really the everything network, and remains steadfast in it’s number 1 spot on my list.


There you have it, my exhaustive list. You may notice I removed Instant Messaging from the list. I’ve decided it doesn’t apply to this list. Like text messaging, I still use it, of course, and occasionally do business on it – but it’s not inherently social in the 1 to many sense that we’ve come to recognize social media as being.

Like my list? Hate my list? Agree with something? Disagree with something? Did I miss something real obvious?

Please comment on the site!