Sure, the current social buzz might be about Quora, Tumblr and Twitter, but there are a variety of great upcoming social sites that can help you accomplish tasks and are quite frankly fun to use! I have highlighted my five favorite social up-and-comers and how you can use them to benefit your causes and social marketing campaigns.
1. For Building Buzz: BuzzFeed.com
Much like a Digg or Reddit, you can find the most viral items in the past week, and BuzzFeed also offers a look at items that are viral on the web. The basic goal of BuzzFeed is to find and identify what content will be (and is) going viral. The “viral on the web’ section showcases the top stories on hand selected partner sites, but the crux of BuzzFeed is user generated content like this.
BuzzFeed has a very quirky feel, with categories and content badges like “LOL,” “Ew,” “WTF,” and “OMG.” Each of the different badges have different “feeds” along with exclusive pages on Facebook and accounts on Twitter.
To submit (or, “launch”) content, you simply need an account and you can start buzzing away. One of the nice features that BuzzFeed does offer is a push to share your content on other networks. When a user buzzes an item, they see this screen:
In my opinion, BuzzFeed is rising in popularity due to their mission: “We feature the kind of things you’d want to pass along to your friends.” This is a much different approach than the traditional social news aggregation and is somewhat parallel to 2010′s breakout hit, Tumblr.
2. For Getting Work Done: Fiverr.com
Launched in summer of 2010, Fiverr allows users to do two simple things: buy services for $5 and make purchases for $5. As simple as this sounds, it can be quite helpful for actually getting things done.
For example, when I was recently creating a 30 second teaser video for a YouTube video, I hired a professional voiceover artist and a female anchor for $5 each. If I felt like it, I could even hire a video editor, make a jingle, and have an intro produced.
Here is an example of custom voice work that I had made just for this column from user braddasseyvoice:
The Fiverr community reviews each offering and has a great site search and “like” system for bookmarking.
One of the most helpful options is the “Request Gigs” feature. This allows for you to suggest a gig that you would pay $5 for and that others can be paid to perform.
Overall, this is a great simple example of where social freelancing may be going in the future and definitely worth checking out!
3. For Feedback & Debate: ThisOrThat.com
If you are looking for an opinion on something, ThisOrThat will solve it. The service can best be described as a comparison engine that allows for a social, collaborative feedback on a topic. Users can vote on “This Or That’s” (nicknamed ToTs) and also provide commentary for each ToT.
The first tournament was started this month, allowing for users to decide which song was the best of 2010 in a March-madness style faceoff. So if you want to pool the social masses for an opinion, then give ThisOrThat a whirl for focus group-esque feedback.
4. For Funding: KickStarter.com
If you have an idea that you are struggling to get off the ground, KickStarter may help you fund it. The service allows people to pledge money for projects, usually getting something in return.
In order to raise money, a user must create a video and description of the project and offer up different pledge values that people can donate to. The various pledges usually allow those donating to receive something in return, but users can also donate freely with no set amount required.
Here’s an example of a funded project (5x more than asked for) and their video:
This service is similar to the social lending solution, Prosper, but is a bit more edgy and fun. Next time you are looking to invest (or get funding) don’t forget about KickStarter!
5. For Selling: Storenvy
For those selling items on the web, StoreEnvy is a start-up that allows users to set up free online stores and connect with the current Storenvy shoppers. Think of it as a more commercial Etsy that allows for a totally customized storefront.
Markets allow for shoppers to browse via interests. Users can like products and follow stores for easy updates. The purchase process is smooth and can even combine products from a variety of stores in one checkout.
In order to show how customizable Storenvy is, here is what an example of a store listing on the Storenvy site:
And here is an example of the customized version:
One of the biggest benefits for shoppers selling on Storenvy is that their products can be purchased from the existing Storenvy users. Another great feature that is included is a Facebook store tab that allows retailers the possibility to start selling from their Facebook page.
While Storenvy is still starting up, there is a lot of potential in the community.
While some of these sites may not have the most buzz at the moment, I think these are up-and-coming social sites that you will be hearing a lot more about in the future, and can potentially help you in the near term.