Posted by: Heather Coleman | April 11, 2013

#HAWMC Day 11: The Award for Favorite Social Network Goes To…

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As I am writing this, I am not even sure how I will be able to complete today’s challenge. I am supposed to choose which social network is my favorite and tell you why it is my favorite.

I love social media.

I love being able to interact with others virtually, to get to know people I’ve never met based on shared interests and ideas, to keep up with my friends and family that are far away, and I really don’t know how to narrow down the field of social networks to just one.

So let’s start by taking a look at the nominees:

1. Facebook – The Avatar of social networks. With over 1 billion active users as of September 2012, you can’t escape it. It sucks you in and as much as you would love to give it up, you can’t. It’s just that good…or you’re just that addicted. Before you know it, Facebook will change something else and it will feel like an entirely new Facebook. That can be a good thing or a bad thing for the top dog.

2. Twitter – The Titanic of social networks. Twitter is #2 right behind Facebook in terms of market share. People have a love hate relationship with Twitter. They either love it or they hate it. Typically the latter is because they don’t truly understand its purpose or how to use it properly. Personally I find Twitter to be an excellent listening and search tool. If you haven’t tried the advanced search functionality on Twitter, you don’t know what you’re missing. Hashtag #awesome.

3. Google+ – The new release. Google+ is working hard to get past the image of being a box office bomb of a social network. A haven for the tech enthusiasts, Google+ is a powerhouse for more in depth conversations. The Hangout option is simple, fun, and integrated with YouTube. The ability to target your messages to the right circle of friends is very helpful. With Google behind it and continuing to add great new features and functionality, Facebook better not sleep.

4. Pinterest – The Notebook of social networks…you know it’s a chick flick, but you just can’t help yourself. With even more visual appeal than Instagram or Flickr, it’s even got the stickyness factor of any Facebook game beat. It actual has the ability to make you like people that you hide on Facebook…now that’s saying something. Less words, more love!

5. LinkedIn – The dark horse. The “professional” network. The critic’s choice that never quite found an audience with the mass market. The more I use LinkedIn, the more I like it. It’s not just for job hunting, it’s a very valuable professional networking tool. Stop letting those business cards you collected collect dust and start connecting. You never know when a connection can become a valuable resource for information you are looking for. Plus LinkedIn InMaps is phenomenal for visualizing your social network!

6. Foursquare – OK, I’ve run out of movie analogies at this point. Let me just say that I enjoy a good game of “Who can check-in on Foursquare the fastest?” when I’m out with my friends. And who doesn’t want to be “mayor” of their favorite hangout? Foursquare allows you to let your friends and the world know where you are and what you are doing. You can also share tips about the place that helps others just passing through.

7. Path – The secret network you probably haven’t heard of. The kicker, you are limited to 150 connections. This limit is based on Dunbar’s number, the suggested number of people with whom we can maintain stable social relationships. This is the place to share the things you can’t say on Facebook. It also lets you share what music you are listening to, where you are, and even when you go to sleep and wake up. Wait a minute, now we are stalking sleep patterns? And instead of just having a like button, you get to choose from several emotions: smiley face, sad face, heart/love, winky face, etc. How fun is that?

And the winner of the 2013 Award for Favorite Social Network goes to….

Twitter

Twitter knows its niche. Twitter keeps it simple. Twitter is exciting. #TwitterRocksMySocksOff

Ask me again next week and I’ll probably have a new favorite. What’s your favorite social network?

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