Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ten Free Social Media Resources You Can Use That Can Benefit You, Your Family, or Your Business

Two of the biggest excuses organizations and individuals have when it comes to using social media applications is that it takes too much time to figure out how to use them and takes too many resources once your start using them. True, some social media applications may take a bit of time to learn, but if you have figured out how to use email and do basic things on the web like find things with a search engine. If you can do that,figuring out most social media applications should be easy.

Cost is not an issue because once you can get online much of the really good stuff is free. At most you need only a personal computer and access to the Internet, and often all you need is online access.

The following ten social media resources are not only free, but should be useful to you in some way, especially if you are trying to make yourself or your organization more visible online. Also listed are the services used to support the AirSafe Media associated site,

1. Blogging
Think of a blog as a web site where just about all the work is done for you. You sign in, write something, hit a button, and it is online. If you've thought about starting a web site but have no idea what it takes to do it, a blog is the easiest way to get that experience. Also, if you already have a web site, a blog is an easy way to try quickly try new ideas that may later put on the site. Two of the biggest blog services are Blogger and WordPress. Both of them can get you from login to published blog in less time than a lunch break.'s Choice: Blogger

2. Micoblogging
This is a stripped down version of a blog, basically little more than a couple of sentences and maybe a link to something online. Examples include Yammer and the much more widely known Twitter. This blogging method that may work best for sending short messages to portable devices like an iPhone or Blackberry, or in conjunction with other resources such as a web site, mailing list, or full sized blog.'s Choice: Twitter

3. Online File Storage
If you need to share files with one or more colleagues, or you need to access key files from several different computers, and don't want the hassle carrying around a laptop or thumb drive, or emailing files, you can use one of these services to manage your files in a password protected environment.'s Choice: Airset

4. Photo Sharing and Storage
If you are interested in sharing photos, services like Flickr and Picasa allow you to store photos online, and even giving you the option of allowing others to access them or download them.'s Choice: Flickr

5. Intelligence Gathering
If you need to find or track some information online, for example monitoring a developing news story or keeping current on a competitor or industry, Google has a service called Google Alerts that will keep track of them for you and send regular email updates when it finds something.'s Choice: Google Alerts

6. Video Sharing
Some of the millions of user generated videos are published every day may actually be of interest to you. While you may be able to find them using general search engines like Google or Bing, you may have better luck by searching within video sharing sites like YouTube, Metacafe, and LiveLeak. YouTube is by far the biggest, with the greatest variety of content. Also, if have videos that you want to share, you can follow the example and create a home page withing the site to showcase your videos.'s Choice: YouTube

7. Social Networking
Facebook and Myspace may be the most well known social networking sites, but a site like LinkedIn is more relevant to working professionals, providing a kind of online resume and biography, and allowing others to see you out and contact you.'s Choice: LinkedIn

8. Subscribing to Podcasts
There are millions of audio and video podcasts out there that cover a huge range of topics, including a few that would be of interest to you. Both Apple (iTunes) and Microsoft (Zune) distribute free software that allows you to easily manage subscriptons to audio of and video podcasts of every description. The iTunes software also has extensive links to online audio stream of radio stations from around the world.'s Choice: iTunes

9. Free Phone Calls
Wouldn't it be great if you could use the Internet to call someone long distance, even internationally, without spending any extra money? You can download a program like Skype or Googletalk and talk for free with anyone else who has both a connection to the Internet and who has downloaded the same software.'s Choice: Skype

10. Social Bookmarking
All web browsers allow you to bookmark favorite pages, but if you use several computers, or even several browsers on the same computer, keeping track of your bookmarkes can be next to impossible. Bookmark sharing resources like Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon allow you to create an online account where you can store and manage your bookmarks, and then either make them private and password protected, or make them public and available to anyone.'s Choice: Delicious

Selected Social Media Applications Used by
Podcast (main page)
Podcast (subscription)
Mailing List (online press releases)
Bird Strike Blog
Crash Video Blog

Next Steps
If you are using none of these services, go ahead and try one of them to see if it can help you out in some way. If you are using one or more of them, leave a comment on this blog post and share your experiences, positive or negative, with using these services.

1 comment:

Muazzam Mehmood said...

The options sound pretty helpful, I appreciate and would like to add my experience with for social media bookmarking like we do with