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What other kinds of social media sites are there?

So far we've looked at some of the common types of social media services, like social networks, blogs and various media sharing services. In addition to these common types of social media, there are many other types of social media available. Here are some explanation so some other popular services:

What is Twitter

Although Twitter is just one of many microblogging websites, its extreme popularity above and beyond other services in its field means it's far more likely that you're heard the world 'Twitter' than the word microblog. So what is Twitter? Twitter is a service that allows you to send 140 character 'updates' to the world either via your computer or mobile device. Updates can be anything, from the personal, 'what are you doing?' messages, to musings about certain topics, to links to interesting content on the web. Other people can then 'follow' you on Twitter, so they receive your updates.

Here is another Common Craft video on Twitter: (although Twitter can be used for much more than this video describes)

To the uninitiated, Twitter can seem a little strange. However you will be surprised how many interesting people you will get in contact with from around the world using this service. The extreme popularity of Twitter has led to a swell of media coverage on the subject, particularly with many celebrities jumping on the bandwagon and speaking to fans directly via the site. Twitter can really be what you make it – you can use it to keep in touch with a few close friends, or to find out about thousands of interesting people. The best way to find out is to try it. Sign up to Twitter here!

What is Squidoo and Hubpages?

We've already talked about blogs, which are websites that allow authors to continually post new articles in a reverse chronological order (most recent first). There are many websites that allow you to create your own blog with little or no technical knowledge. Sometimes though, you might not be interested in creating an ongoing series of articles, but would rather create just a single, stand-alone webpage. That's where Squidoo and Hubpages comes in. Although these a separate services that work slightly differently, the underlying concept is that anyone can can build their own web page on any topic they like on these websites. Squidoo calls these pages 'lenses' while Hubpages refers to them as Hubpages. Both sites allow you to build pages using a variety of different tools and media, including photos, videos from Youtube or and links to other sites. Also, both sites give you an ability to earn money by giving users a portion (about 50% for Squidoo and 60% for Hubpages) of the advertising revenue from their page. Squidoo also gives you the option of donating that money to charity, or keeping it yourself. 5% of the revenue from Squidoo goes to charity either way. These sites can be a great introduction to building a website and writing online, as well as becoming a great source of traffic to any other blogs or websites you build. Go to Squidoo or Hubpages and start building your first page for free!

What is a wiki?

A wiki is a website that uses 'wiki software' which allows multiple users to edit and create web pages through their browser. Wiki's are great tools for collaboration, as they allow multiple people from anywhere collaborate on the same documents. That's why they are often used within companies to keep track of internal procedures and knowledge – instead of storing knowledge in multiple locations and transmitting if via email, the document stays in one place – on a server – and anyone, or just select people, are allowed to access and edit the document.

One of the most well known wikis is Wikipedia.org which is a collaborative encyclopedia which anyone can edit. By allowing anyone to change or update the site, the information on Wikipedia is often more up to date than any traditional encyclopedia could ever be – it often has information on events that have just happened. The downside is that some of the information isn't always 100% accurate, 100% of the time. Fortunately, because there are some very knowledgeable regular contributors, typically erroneous additions are corrected quickly.

You can create your own wiki online for free using Google Sites which allows you to create simple wiki websites with other people using your free Google account. You can also select who can see, edit and contribute to the site.

Check out this Common Craft video of a full explanation of how a wiki works.

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