What Is A Social News Site?
Social news sites are very specifically sites where users submit pages from around the web they find interesting. The core of any social news site is community sharing of information, videos, and pictures from all over the web in different categories. Users provide a URL to the news or media they want to share, enter a description and some tags, and submit the listing to be viewed and voted on by the community. Submissions that become “popular” move to the top pages of these sites and tend to get a lot of traffic in a short period of time.
Looking for the most active, highest traffic social news sites? How can you possibly decide among the “millions” that are out there? Here’s a quick breakdown of the top 10 sites according to Google right now:
- Digg: Currently holding the number 1 slot for social news sites, Digg is easy to use, and new users can have their accounts going in a matter of minutes. It’s simple to browse through the different categories of news articles, with a huge variety of topics. The Digg community is very strong, users can “Digg” or “Bury” an article, affecting its popularity. Some argue that Digg cliques can potentially unnaturally affect popularity of items.
- Propeller: Formerly known as Netscape, Propeller boasts a useful control panel for users to see other related articles very easily. Users vote on an article, hopefully helping to rank the best ones. A wide variety of topics and categories are covered.
- Reddit: A popular site with many categories and subcategories (subreddits) that, although not focused on major news headlines, offers very simple, no-frills news. You can often find interesting and off-beat articles here, but without moderation the quality control can be questionable. Again, users can vote for or against items.
- Newsvine: Here you can find community-driven news stories. Editorials and opinions are very common on Newsvine. Users of this site can have their own blog for commenting and following news stories and threads. Give and receive comments easily for postings. (Good luck with this one though. They have an itchy “ban” finger and are quite full of themselves.)
- Fark: This site specializes in news articles, and administrators moderate the site, so only approved content and links are posted. Basic services are free, with varying subscription levels and additional access to be able to comment or access and post adult content.
- Slashdot: This site is considered to be a current-affairs news site, with a “nerdy” twist. Each item has its own forum for comments by users. Semi-random moderators “score” items on several variables, giving users their own “karma score” which then controls what they can access. Users with high karma scores have more broad access.
- Metafilter: A free blog site that welcomes comments by users, it’s designed to help users share links and interesting discoveries on the web. Members can make one post per day, and this must include one link. No longer free (costs $5 to sign up to limit membership a little), only members can participate actively but anyone can lurk and read.
- I am bored: This news site covers general topics, with a slant toward off-beat and unusual news (the stuff that can keep your interest on a boring Saturday night). Initially founded on the idea that people surfing the net can get so bored that they actually type “I am bored” into their search engine, this site is offered as a remedy to that situation.
- Mixx: This site features news articles from every category. Users develop their own “Mixx” that focuses on their interests. Groups with similar interests can be connected and comment interactively on items. You generally only get the Mixx items that pertain to your preferences.
- Shoutwire: Shoutwire provides links to other news sites, but users can submit their own articles. Users can give ratings to articles, a “shout” or a “bash,” affecting a ranking and popularity. Similar to dig, users are not moderated, and opinions are those of the users.
Each of these sites is a little different, some are more controlled by the users, others are moderated carefully. Visiting a variety of them on a regular basis will allow you to keep your finger on the social news pulse and get your site noticed!