There have been several recent posts where people list the blogs that they are reading. It is an interesting idea, but what about someone new to the social media scene? What sites should they visit, what blogs should they read and why is everyone complaining so much? So, I figured I should highlight what some popular sites are, what some popular blogs are and what people have been talking about. This is also not meant to be a complete list, just a quick introduction.

Social Networks

There are several social networking sites that most people have never heard of. Three sites currently have a good amount of traffic in the US, MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. Generally speaking, MySpace has heavy teen usage as well as music oriented spaces. Many bands post information and music on MySpace. Facebook is the social network for the masses, like your old high school friends. LinkedIn is the “business” social network. The people there are mostly interested in getting a new client or something much more serious than your favorite song.

Social Media

Social media are those sites that allow users to submit stories and other users vote on them. This is a wild generalization, but at least it gives you an idea. The big daddy of social media is Digg, but people think they have some problems. Reddit is a smaller community that seems to be more technically and politically focused. Yahoo Buzz is a newcomer, but is a Yahoo property and has the potential to be huge. It is also slightly different as users can only vote on “approved” content. My personal favorite is Mixx, which has a very devoted but small community and is very customizable.

Blogs

If you are reading this, then you can probably guess that I write a good amount about social media. So, I highly recommend you subscribe πŸ™‚ There are several fantastic blogs that you absolutely should be reading. First, go subscribe to Louis Gray. Then subscribe to anyone he says you should be reading. That gives you a good cross section of “non A-List” blogs. For the “philosophy” of social media, start reading Alexander van Elsas. No list of social media blogs would be complete without Muhammad Saleem. Two others that I am a big fan of are SarahInTampa and SheGeeks. I am not going to recommend the “A-List” like Robert Scoble, unless you like drinking from the technology firehose. Also, they tend to talk about all things tech, not “mostly” social media.

Other Related Sites

There are several other sites that are hot currently. Twitter has been talked about for the past year. They have been having performance issues, but that seems to be “en vogue” lately. FriendFeed is the latest shiny toy, and I am also an addict. FriendFeed is a lifestreaming or feed aggregation site. If you follow social media at all, this is the place to be today. I say today, because the early adopters on FriendFeed have an adult version of ADD or STS (shiny toy syndrome). There are other interesting sites as well, like Plurk a Twitter alternative getting a lot of coverage lately. Profilactic and SocialThing are lifestreaming applications like FriendFeed.

What Are We Talking About

In the social media space, you will see a lot of people talking about the same thing. We all have opinions and we all have blogs. Some people have called this the “echo chamber”, I call it conversation. Obviously everyone is still talking about Twitter and FriendFeed, as they are the hubs of the conversations. Conversation fragmentation, distributed comments and comment ownership have all claimed bitchmeme of the week over the past two months. There is plenty of discussion over current news, like anything political, the Microsoft-Yahoo drama, and now the Yahoo exodus.

That is the “quick overview” of the current social media landscape. Dive right in, just be careful as opinions are everywhere, and nobody is afraid to comment. At least it makes for good conversation.