Decisions, Decisions

You have been asked to join a social network.  Maybe you got a hot tip from a book or article that sings the praises of the next best social network to join.  But how do you know for sure?  How can you find out about the true popularity of a website?  How do you know if this social networking website will meet your Social Networking criteria?  I have found a few online tools that may help you make that decision.

Evaluating Websites

The first online tool I discovered is www.Quarkbase.com – their tagline is Everything about a website.

Quarkbase.com provides you with information like:

  • Traffic Ranking (relative position to last time)
  •  Similar and related sites
  • Domain information
  • Sites with competing traffic

The second online tool I discovered is www.Alexa.Com   – their tagline is The Web Information Company.  They provide the user with website popularity ranking.  They determine this by the Traffic to the website and how deep the user digs into the website.

Alexa.com provides you with information like:

  • Avg time on site – this tells a lot about how interesting and useful the site is
  • Sites linking in
  • Traffic Stats
    • This feature also allows you to compare traffic with 4 other websites.  Very useful, if you’re comparing traffic trends
  • Contact Info
  • Reviews
  • Related Links – this tells you who they think the competition is
  • Demographics – this tells you a lot about who’s using it

Making up your mind

At the time of this article, these were some of the latest Alexa Rankings.

Alexa Rank Domain
4 Facebook.com
11 MySpace.com
20 Twitter.com
30 Bing.com
81 LinkedIn.com
2259 ZoomInfo.com
64941 BrightFuse.com

Your final decision of which social networks you will use is based on:

  • Recommendations from trusted industry leaders
  • Recommendations from trusted colleagues
  • Trusted Website Evaluation tools
    • Traffic
    • Traffic trends
    • Demographics
  • Trusted Social Network Reviews
  • Social Networking criteria verses actual website performance
  • Industry adoption – Are your colleagues in your chosen field using it?

Bottom line

Your ultimate decision to adopt or reject a social networking site will be based on your gut feeling.  You’re going to know pretty quickly if a social network is going to meet your social networking criteria.  If you have to work too hard at convincing your colleagues to adopt it or nobody in your industry seems to be using it or even worse abandoning it, then maybe that’s a sign of trouble up ahead.

If you’re feeling like these are some tough decisions, I feel your pain.  If you’re like me, your time is limited, so you can’t adopt all of them.  You need to make effective use of your time, so choose wisely.

Till next time, I’ll be making careful choices about which social networks I join.