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Social Media Categories/Descriptions

I recently gave a “Social Media Made Easy” presentation to the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) in Phoenix. As a handout for the participants, I compiled this list of popular social media sites, categorized by best uses, which might be of help or interest to PR indies or your clients. (The descriptive blurbs next to the site names are direct quotes from the Web- or Wikipedia-site addresses noted.)

Feel free to add other social media sites you use successfully in a comment below.

– Ann Videan


Social Media

Compiled June 2010
by Ann N. Videan, APR (

Wondering what each of the social media communities actually is, and why you should consider using them to market your firm? Here’s a brief overview of many of the most popular sites.

For Making Connections


“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.”


“LinkedIn exists to help you make better use of your professional network and help the people you trust in return. Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”


“Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.”

For Sharing Content


“A Web log (blog) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other graphics or video. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.”


“Flickr – almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world – has two main goals:

1. To help people make their photos available to people who matter to them.

2. To enable new ways of organizing photos and video.”


“A non-streamed webcast (or podcast) is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication.”


“A business media site for sharing presentations, documents and pdfs. SlideShare features a vibrant professional community that regularly comments, favorites and downloads content. Individuals and organizations upload documents to SlideShare to share ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses. The site is growing rapidly with over 25 million monthly visitors.”


“Vimeo is a video-centric social networking site (owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp), which launched in November 2004. The site supports embedding, sharing, video storage, and allows user-commenting on each video page. Users must register to upload content. Registered users may also create a profile and upload small user pictures as their avatars, comment and ‘like’ videos.”


“Founded in February 2005, YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community, allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos.”

For Conducting Research


“An American-based multinational electronic commerce company. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it is America’s largest online retailer, with nearly three times the Internet sales revenue of the runner up, Staples, Inc., as of January 2010.”


“Formerly, pronounced ‘delicious,’ is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. By the end of 2008, the service claimed more than 5.3 million users and 180 million unique URLs bookmarked URLs. It is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.”


“Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users. Everything on Digg — from news to videos to images — is submitted by our community (that would be you). Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg what they like best. If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of our visitors to see.”


“A social news website, owned by Conde Nast Digital, on which users can post links to content on the Internet. Other users may comment on and vote the posted links ‘up’ or ‘down.’ Voting determines links’ prominence, with the most successful links reaching the home page. One need not submit an outside source as an article but can rather post a ‘self’ post that contains original text from the submitter that can be anything.”


“StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 8 million+ other websurfers with interests similar to you. StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages that friends and like-minded stumblers have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn’t find using a search engine.”


“Founded to help bloggers succeed by collecting, highlighting, and distributing the global online conversation. It is a full-service media company providing services to the blogs and social media sites and connecting them with advertisers. The leading blog search engine, indexes millions of blog posts in real time and surfaces them in seconds. Technorati now publishes high quality, fully edited, original content daily on a wide range of topics, written by hundreds of member writers.”

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