Broken Social Media: Anti-Social Sites vs Alternatives
Some of the so called social media sites are broken and a waste of time. In fact they are not social at all, they are anti-social. So you not only waste your time using them you also get viciously attacked, your submissions deleted or you get banned for no reason.
Many bloggers and webmasters still cling to the past where some social sites have been hailed as a democratic Web.
Those hopes have often been disappointed. Anonymous down voting, raging mobs and top down solely profit oriented teams behind the sites have wreaked havoc to our ideals.
Still there are plenty of social sites that work and do not fall into these pitfalls. So whether you want to get popular there or simply contribute just for fun there are much better alternatives.
- fewer users and less activity
- confusing privacy changes
- flooding with baby images
and some pushing and shoving in semi-private groups where self-proclaimed experts will attack you for no apparent reason have made this site an Eldorado for the exhibitionists and bullies.
While there are still many genuine users over there and many of them even share good content, they can’t compete with the obnoxious ones making it an annoying place.
- Do you want social media traffic? Focus on Twitter instead. Here you don’t have to compete with self-righteous gurus. You just see the people who you want to follow in the first place.
- In case you want to go for the links, use Google+ instead. Facebook links do not count in most cases at all for Google as they are private and Google can’t index them.
- Users who are just into sharing news should find their respective niche social news community. Every topic nowadays has at least one such community.
Reddit vs Tumblr
One day I got somewhat popular on Reddit. I got 47 “up” votes and 46 “down” votes. So in the end I got “1 point”. Guess how many referrers I got from Reddit? 4! Four people visited me. It means that at least 42 people voted me down blindly!
OK, I’ve been popular on Reddit a few times and you get some visitors from time to time, even if you have just a small blog like mine. Those visitors do not even look at your site though.
They disappear right away when they see no boobs or something. Reddit has one of the highest bounce rates of all referrers – 94%! Those who really bother to read will just spit on you. Reddit has one of the most obnoxious crowds, it’s even more vicious than Digg was in the past. They’re infamous for sexism as well, so women keep off.
Tumblr is basically a micro or miniblogging community. It’s a hybrid of WordPress and Twitter in a way.
People follow you and you follow others. Then you “like” their postings or even reblog them. You only read the stuff by the people you like anyways to unlike Reddit you can plainly ignore the obnoxious individuals. Tumblr is hugely successful right now. They are larger than Reddit and StumbleUpon traffic wise.
SEO is not a poplar topic on Tumblr but you’ll find some people from the industry blogging there already. Tumblr is similar to Reddit when it comes to the topics and media types covered. I go there for the art, photography or cycling stuff.
Hacker News vs Inbound.org
When I joined Hacker News back in the days I did it solely for private use. I didn’t submit any of my own articles, not even resources related to SEO. That was not enough. I got banned on HN after a few months of regular engagement there with lots of popular stories I’ve submitted and plenty of comments. One day they simply muted my account so that nobody could see my posts and comments anymore. The site turned completely anti-social.
The silent ban on HN was very sad but there is a new alternative by some prolific social networkers from the marketing industry and beyond: Inbound.org.
Inbound is already a great community and works for more than a year with growing success. While HN was very exclusive and you risked getting reprimanded for posting the “wrong” things Inbound also allows submissions from outside the SEO industry itself. Thus business blogging, CRO or social media publications have better chances to get some eyeballs here.
Niche social sites are another option for early adopters and people who are into targeted news.
Disclaimer: Don’t get me wrong if you are a genuine contributing user of one of these above sites I criticize. You can’t ignore the ongoings there though. Also you will notice that you can’t change these sites as they are not really democratic in most cases, they’re run by companies and you’re their unpaid workforce.
So before they sack you like Hacker News did with its highly active users, just use the alternatives.
You can find and follow me on Twitter, Google+, Inbound.org. Do not befriend me just due to the fact that you do SEO or read my blog. I will only “friend you back” if you’re genuine, contribute great stuff and act like a real friend.
* Creative Commons image by Sara Björk
Originally published: Oct 21st, 2008.
Last updated and latest version republished: September 12th, 2013. V2 changes: defunct or meaningless social sites have been replaced with: Google+ and Inbound.org. New image.