This is a companion thread to my thread

For some of us old school web publishers, social networking "news" sites (I use the term "news very loosely) seem so 20 somethingish. At the same time we have to recognize that they are becoming just as important of a vehicle to promote our sites as search engine optimization used to be. is the granddaddy of these types of sites and in its day the "slash dot effect" was both sought after and feared by web publishers. Today it seems that everybody and their brother is jumping on the social networking "news" site bandwagon and these types of sites are popping up like weeds.

The premise behind these sites is that people post links and descriptions to "news" articles around the web and others vote on the articles and place their own comments (kind of like a blog). Once an entry gains a certain vote count within a certain time frame, it pops up to the main page as a lead story.

The premise is that this creates a democratic process to determine what is the most important or relevant news. The thing is these systems are very susceptible to groups of users with a specific agenda. For instance Apple fans have a habit of voting down and "burying any article that paints Apple in a bad light. Likewise voting circles can collude to vote for each other's articles and promote their articles to the front page with regular frequency.

Supposedly the best and most relevant articles will be posted to talk about. The reality is most websites have no hopes of their articles ever being picked up by these social networking websites no matter how good the articles are unless someone associated with the articles actively works to promote the articles by posting the articles on the social networking site. It then takes an orchestrated effort to get people to vote for the articles as articles quickly get buried and lost by the constant flow of new articles coming in.

So how does one use social networking sites to promote their content websites? First they need to join these sites and get friends and associates to sign up for these sites and associate each other as "friends" so that one can build up a network of people who can watch out for articles posted by the group. Next one needs to post the articles they are trying to promote to these sites.

There is one important word of warning about promoting one's articles in this fashion. Just like forums do not like spam neither do social networking sites and they are ruthless to those who spam. One should not self promote an article unless it is truly an article that is worthwhile to read. Be picky which articles you promote from your site and make sure the article is timely (e.g. really news). Also make an effort to vote for and comment on other good articles submitted by others and occasionally submit an article that is not related to a site you control or have a vested interest in.

While there is no way of telling how successful one would be promoting articles in this manner one successful effort can generate a great deal of traffic from people who would have never known about your site any other way. At the very least it might lead to more backlinks for Google to feed upon.

The social networking/user contributed "news" sites I'm aware of are: (my user account is "klbproductions") (my user account is "klb") (my user account is "klbp") (my user account is "kenb")

If you are a member of any of these groups add me to your list of "friends" and let us know so that we can add you to our list of friends. If you know of any other social networking sites, post them here.