The benefits of social media sites for your online promotional efforts are pretty clear. But it isn’t just Facebook, Twitter and MySpace you can use to interact with others and get your work out there.
There are lots of other places on the web that cater for creative people, that help you build networks, meet new and interesting people, display your work and record your valuable info.
I’ve been on a hunt to find a selection of sites that cater for creatives that are less well known than Facebook, Twitter and the key others, but that could prove to be potentially more powerful for your exposure. Every social media site is different, has varying, unique features and attracts different kinds of people and networks.
Many of these sites integrate well with sites like Twitter, so can actually compliment your social media arsenal very nicely. All of these are free as far as I am aware.
Here is the low down in no order:
Users at last check: 36 million
Ning has established itself as the social media site that allows people to join and create specialist networks, bringing people together around shared pursuits. This could be a great place for creatives to establish focused niche networks, make new friends and contacts, express interests and share ideas.
Users at last check: 5 million visitors per month
BrightKite allows you to post new information and images about you and your work and interests for others to see, and obviously this can be valuable to creatives. It also allows you to search for other people’s posts and get inspired in the process, not to mention finding potential new contacts for your network, which you can integrate back into Twitter for example if you like.
What sets this site apart is its asymmetrical friend model, meaning you don’t need someone to confirm your friendship like on Twitter, for them to see your posts.
Users at last check: 1 million +
This site is aimed at professionals looking to work their way up the career ladder. From the site: Naymz has taken a unique approach by applying the best of online networking and offering additional tools focused on reputation, personal branding, and identity verification.
Plurk is a social networking and micro-blogging service similar to Twitter, but displays user updates on a chronological timeline, and has more of a diary feel to it. Plurk claims it is more digestible, easier to read etc. It could be worth having a go to try out the different interface to Twitter.
Users at last check: 20+ million
Plaxo combines online networking with an address book service, which automatically updates contact information. From the site: Users and their contacts store their information on Plaxo’s servers.
When this information is edited by the user, the changes appear in the address books of all those who listed the account changer in their own books. Once contacts are stored in the central location, it is possible to list connections between contacts and access the address book from anywhere.
It also brings in updates from other social sites like Flickr or Facebook into Plaxo’s feed.
Users at last check: 80 million
Tagged is a straightforward networking site for building up a network of relevant people to your interests and industry. This a popular service, so will provide good access to new people, as well as potential clients. TechCrunch, in June 2009, ranked Tagged.com as the 6th most valuable social networking site in the world.
And there they are. I’m planning on signing up with all of these if I haven’t already, then writing a post on my experiences with each, to follow in a few weeks.
Comments, experiences, likes, dislikes very welcome!