Introducing the Social Internet

This is a short post to describe the various social media/networking/timewasting tools I use to get productive, get learned, and get in touch with world.

Social Blogging

Blogs are a great source of knowledge for the aspiring software professional.  Everyone who’s anyone in the world of software has a blog.  I’m sure that the author of every software book on your bookshelf has a website with an RSS feed.

The only way to keep up with all these sites is to use an RSS feed reader.  The great thing about using an RSS reader is that you don’t have to manually check your favorite websites for new articles, they just magically appear in your reader when they are published and you can read them when you please.  This means you’ll never miss a new article from your favorite author or website.

The RSS reader I use is Google Reader.  To get started, just go to http://www.google.com/reader and sign up for an account. If you are unsure about who to subscribe with, you can import my feeds as a starting point.  Pretty soon you’ll see what is interesting to you and what you can live without.

Social Bookmarking

I love social bookmarking. I can’t imaging an online life without it. All your bookmarks every computer, with no need to categorize them (search works!), and integrated into every browser you use.

The tool I use is called delicious.  Its free, it integrates well with all the major browsers, and it supports RSS syndication of your bookmarks.  This makes it possible to subscribe to get updates to the your friends bookmarks.  There is also a great tagging feature which makes it possible to look at what other people are bookmarking for the topics you are interested in.

Social Music

I like to use spotify to share music. It is a free service that allows you to listen to whatever music you choose and create playlists to share with friends.  My friends and I use it to share music music and find new bands.  Without a doubt the best thing to happen to digital music this millennium.
To share a playlist simply right click and select “Copy HTTP Link”:

 

which gives you a link like this one to share with your friends.

Microblogging

The hills are alive with the sound of twitter!   It seems you can’t watch 10 minutes of television without the mention of twitter, tweeting, or the celebrities who do it.  It has been hailed as a tool for democratization, criticized for being inane line-noise, and up until recently completely ignored by me.  What prompted me to give it a try is that many of the people whose blogs I subscribe to are active twitterers and they are often posting links to great articles.  Let’s see how this one turns out…

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