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Published on Mon, Aug-23-2010 by PixelCrayons

Social News Websites – Latest Buzz Needs To Be Shared


Radio, Television, and much more recent, the newspaper have taken their place in the list of traditional methods to get hold of the daily news. With the advent of the Internet and now that it has become an indispensable part of our lives, every medium has witnessed a change. I am 101 percent sure that you ask anyone how he/she keeps an update with the happenings in and around the world… the answer would be Social News Sites. Gone are those days when you used to visit one of your favorite site or blog, and your search ended in vain because it almost have had no updates. Now, we have social news sites that are emerging as the new trend.

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What are social news sites?

Social News Sites, as they have been defined by Wikipedia are the “websites where users submit and vote on news stories or other links, and thus determining which links are presented.” The websites that collect and share the useful and interesting links either by any random user or by the automatic generated system are called social news sites. In the name, as it has been mentioned “social,” obviously then, it tends to take the users and the public vote and preferences in mind. The link aggregations that is supposed to be the main task of these sites, is either done through user voting or some mechanical process and lending space to the most important and interesting highlights on the top.

What are the essentials to it?

Obviously, every kind of website, be it non-profit, for-profit, a blogging site or may be a social networking site, always contain one or the other essential elements to it. Therefore, I have tried to incorporate the points that cannot afford to be missed out on any line—

Votes… and the Vote Boxes

Social news sites ought to contain the voting and the vote boxes because the whole idea of these sites is to provide popular links as updates. It is a necessity that the vote boxes need to seek attention of the visitor, yet with a difference. This element should not turn out to be the distracting enough while list of the headlines is being scanned. The algorithm consists of rank of the submission, the sum of votes along with the links to either put the story up or down. The vote box is often located on the left hand side of the story, and it is important to show the visibility of these vote boxes.

About the story

The story generally goes with an attractive headline, the date when it had been posted, a few introductory lines to what the story is all about and the section to comments. The headline should be presented in such a way that it should be able to be easily scanned by the human eyes for the readers to acknowledge it and jump on to the next one.

How fresh is it?

As readers, you must have seen that each and every story displays relative time to which it has been posted. Let’s say, “XXX”— 8 hours ago. Have you ever bothered to read a text, or may be a post that have had been posted 1 day or 2 days back? No? Obviously not! Because the basic concern of every visitor is the freshness of the content.

The quality

Quality always comes first. The link of submission plays a very important role in judging quality of the content. It allows the user to get a fair amount of idea so as not to waste time and move on to the next story.

Splitting up the content called Pagination

These social news sites have thousands and millions of links, which are submitted by the users and it is not at all possible to be able to show all the links at one go. Therefore, it becomes important that you split one story into several pages and provide it with page numbers so as to make it easy for the readers. No matter how well you do the pagination, just make sure that you provide it with large click areas, clearly identifying each page with a page number so as to make it easier for the readers to know which page they are on. ‘Previous’ and the ‘Next’ are again the most important links that tend to be kept in mind.

Comments

No doubt, comments and feedback have always helped in making the website and especially the content better and better. They are the important part of the social news sites because it gives rise to discussions and indirectly helps in estimating the popularity and the quality readers that actively take part in reading the content. The option to vote on the comments is also a part of the vote accompanied by comment ratings so as to place the comments according the descending priority. Threading in the form of a reply to the comment is also an option that is usually followed by these sites.

Considering the fact that these social news sites are a product of active participation and they require changes every now and then, I would like to pull up some examples of the most dynamic and trendy social news sites that have become an essential in the daily diet of people. They are as follows:

Digg

digg

Digg is by far the most popular social news website that has always been the source of inspiration for the others. The site has a proper structure that consists of a two-column layout with the top 10 stories on the left, and the other stories and items on the right. A filtered search for the various categories to choose from is also one of the most user-friendly features.

Propeller

propeller

Propeller is a fair adaptation of Digg, which follows almost the same pattern that have been discussed in the previous point. One of the features that differentiate Propeller from the Digg is that it uses horizontal lines and zebra striping for separating stories.

Reddit

Reddit

Everything except the headline and the content, take a back seat in case of Reddit. The design and the layout has been implicated in such a manner that the visitor is able to scan maximum number of headlines and stories and on the same lines, by reducing the size of the text so as to have maximum number of news, updates, articles and blogs. Random upcoming stories are displayed on the front page because the front page gets the maximum amount of traffic. This technique helps the upcoming ones to get a place in the top stories.

These three social news sites are one of my favorite social news sites. No doubt Fark, Slashdot, I am bored, Shoutwire, Newsvine, IndianPad, Hugg, Plime, C2NN and others include the list. According to me, these social news websites have started taking shape of new revolutionary weapons and ought to be the platform for rigid discussions depending upon the amount of freedom you tend to lend to the reader or the author.

Other important Social News Sites

Mixx

Mixx is one of general social news sites where you can share and find articles about business, technology news, science, sport and many other. One bad thing is that Mixx dont offer such good sharing buttons as Reddit and Digg, thats why most of bloggers dont use so much as other social news sites.

Delicious

Delicious

Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. With Delicious you can easily store your bookmarks online, tag them and share them with your colleagues and students. Easy to use to search for other bookmarked resources.

Dzone

Dzone

Dzone is special social news site for developers, for web designers and programmers. If you want to be inform what is new in web design industry you must check Dzone for updates and of course this is great place where share web design articles.

Designfloat

Designfloat

Design Float is a social media website dedicated to the design niche. Design Float is one of the first social news site where are published only design related news and it is also is one of the leading design media website.

Designbump

Designbump

Design Bump is a relatively new design related social news website. thanks to the simple sharing button integration into bogs it is very popular among bloggers and designers.

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