Are These 4 Social Network Sites A Waste Of Time?

October 27, 2008


Being active on social network sites is going to be essential to your business in the future – according to the experts. Trouble is, social networking is time consuming. So how are you supposed to know which social network sites are worth joining and which ones suck?

I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t yet fully immersed myself in social networks. But I’ve tested out 4 & here’s my take. Don’t expect glowing reviews. When I launched this blog, I didn’t promise to “write nice”.


Entrecard

I really wanted to like this social network site. But I wasn’t expecting too much, as a lot of folk who are members of other social network sites I use, aren’t using this one.

Pros of Entrecard: If you use a really good ad that stands out, this system will probably help you create brand awareness. Also, the people who run this social network site are really helpful. They accidentally banned me, but they had the problem sorted out in hours.

Cons of Entrecard: If your idea of fun is mindlessly clicking from site to site, to get the hundreds of points required to advertise on low traffic sites, you might like it. The traffic quality is terrible – most folk are just clicking from one site to the next. I didn’t get much traffic from it at all and the bounce rates were higher than I’d experienced with any social network.

Cath’s Opinion

I wanted to like it – but it sucked. If you’re prepared to spend all day clicking on ads and your blog is quite new, it might bring you a bit of traffic. And it might make your blog seem popular. But Internet traffic that doesn’t hang round isn’t worth having. I give this social network site 1 out of 5.


StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon was the first of these four social network sites I tried. And I found it complicated at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was great.

StumbleUpon Pros: I got to network with some really nice people, we shared lots of interesting articles and photo’s. And I found stuff I’d never have managed to find using Google Search.

Also, StumbleUpon drove a nice amount of traffic to this site. The bounce rates were the lowest out of these four networks and quite a few visitors returned.

StumbleUpon Cons: StumbleUpon ban folk for voicing their opinion. Please don’t email me to ask me why I was banned – I get dozens of emails on this topic. You can read about it here: Are You Sick Of These StumbleUpon Freaks? and here: Is StumbleUpon Going Down The Tubes?

Cath’s Opinion

Had I not been banned from this social network site, I would have given it a 4 out of 5. But I spent a long time making great contacts on there and bookmarking some amazing stuff. And when I was banned that disappeared. So I give StumbleUpon 3 out of 5 and I expect the quality of the site to decline further if they continue to allow blackhat spammers to moderate the site.

Hot StumbleUpon Tip: If you want to learn how to use StumbleUpon to your advantage and drive a heap of traffic to your website or blog, without getting banned, Caroline Middlebrook runs a great StumbleUpon Traffic course.


Digg

I’ve tried to get into Digg for some time and I’m still struggling. Ok, so I might be struggling because I really haven’t bothered devoting much time to it. But to be honest, if I have the choice between cleaning the bathroom and playing on Digg, the bathroom usually wins – even though I hate cleaning.

Pros:
There’s some interesting articles on Digg – there’s also a lot of garbage. But if you’re heavily involved in this social network site, you might find your articles on the front page often and get a huge amount of traffic. Apparently, Leo of Zen Habits has had a lot of success with Digg.

Cons: Digg traffic seems to have a higher bounce rate than StumbleUpon. And I also found I was getting a lot of shouts from folk who wanted me to Digg their stuff all the time.

Cath’s Opinion

I probably added a lot of the wrong types of Digg user to begin with. Eventually, I did add friends who consistently Digg high quality stuff and I would recommend this approach, if you’re joining Digg yourself.

It’s no fun, when the same people are asking you to Digg every single bit of crap they wrote on a daily basis. Who is going to take your recommendations seriously when you’re just Digging dirt?

Twitter

I’ve been a member of Twitter for quite a while. At first I just didn’t get it, so I didn’t use this social networking site much. But I’m beginning to get used to it now. I probably don’t spend enough time on there to really get involved though.

Pros: Quite good for networking. Instead of just telling folk about great things you’ve read, you actually get to talk to them about other stuff too.

Cons:
It’s kind of difficult to have a meaningful conversation with the 140 characters that Twitter allows. Also, like the other social networking sites, some people abuse the system. And time differences can make it difficult to connect with some people.

Also, sometimes when I log on, everyone is talking about politics. While I can understand why the Americans are concerned about which idiot will be running their country next – surely there’s only so much that can be said about two politicians.


Cath’s Opinion

I’m going to carry on using Twitter and see how it goes. I can see the potential and I like the way it’s not all about article and photo passing. But I wouldn’t want to spend hours on end using it. I would recommend installing Twhirl, if you want to use Twitter – it makes it a whole lot easier.

Michael Martine seems to use Twitter a lot and he recommend Twhirl to me. I would recommend adding him as a friend, as he always has something interesting to say. You’re welcome to add me too – I like meeting new people to chat to.

So far, I would give Twitter a 4 out of 5. But that rating would go down if folk start spamming it too much – especially if they start charging others to promote their crap.

Which social network sites have you tried so far? Were your experiences similar to mine? Or do you think I’ve been way too harsh on some of these sites?

Related Reading

What Is Social Networking? And Do You Really Need To Know?
Social Network Sites Of The Future
Online Networking: Do I Hide From People Like You?
Are You Lost In Social Networking?
Social Networks v Content: Who Is King?

Related Resources On Other Sites

FaceBook Fatigue: People Tire Of Social Networks

Social Network Sites More Popular Than Porn
Social Networking Tools
Social Network Sites Reveal Class Divide

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