The Power of Crowds: Understanding and Participating in Online Communities: There are lots of ways to get noticed online. People gather all the time on the internet, and most of them are working towards a common goal like the best news, reviews, bookmarking, and annotation websites. “The crowd” organizes content for themselves and others using RSS, tags, news feeds, and voting systems on social news sites. You can participate in these crowd based sites to build your brand.
Social News and Crowd Wisdom
Crowd powered social news websites are all over the web. Digg and reddit are two of the most popular sites that crowd source news. What does this mean? That means that anyone- including you can submit articles to these sites. Users submit, tag, and vote and comment on articles, with the most popular stories bubbling to the top and reaching a large number of people. These sights work in different ways, but most follow these basic principles:
- A story is submitted by a user and enters the relevant URL, a summary, and a category which best describes the story.
- Other users see the story and vote it up.
- The most popular stories appear on these websites’ highly trafficked front pages, and receive thousands of visitors.
This is what differentiates social news from traditional media.
Using Social News to Build Buzz
Create awesome content and become a regular on your social sites of choice – Digg, Sphinn, kirtsy, Yahoo! Buzz, or others.
To get active on these sites, sign up for your account with your real name. Then complete your profile. You need to build relationships and a good reputation in these communities. Add your colleagues as friends, comment on stories that appeal to you. Once you have become a user of the service, you can occasionally submit stories related to your organization and industry. If they are of interest to the site’s user base, your stories will gain traction.
Marketing on the Web
Successful marketing is about making friends as much as anything else. After all, it is far easier to convince a friend to support your cause or buy your product than it is a stranger. Here are three lessons to take with you on your relationship-building journey. These lessons can be applied for both marketing and life:
- Be original. Being ordinary gets you nowhere.
- Listen first. If you have spent time listening and learning to the conversations around you, you are less likely to make a misstep.
- Be yourself. Behave in a genuine and authentic manner, and you’ll receive that same treatment in return.
Shakespeare has some age-old advice on being genuine:
“To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.“
Social media tools will change at a rapid pace, the underlying principles will hold. But
if you grasp the central tenets of being a genuine, responsible, and effective marketer online, you’ll easily adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape and make important friendships along the way.