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18 Social Media Icons You Need to Know

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Sure, you know what those Twitter, Facebook, reddit and Digg icons mean at the bottom of most blog posts these days, but what about all those other funny-looking ones? There's a pantload of them - so many that it can be overwhelming and confusing.

Allow us to break down our 18 favorites for you (click each icon to be taken to their Web site):

1. Delicious

What started out as has evolved into One of the better known free social bookmarking sites, Delicious uses tags instead of folders to help you organize your bookmarks. Because they are stored online, your bookmarks are accessible from any computer. You can also share your bookmarks with others, and see what articles are popular for any given topic.

2. StumbleUpon

Like flipping through channels on the television, StumbleUpon allows you to surf the web but only hit the sites that interest you or fit the criteria you choose. The StumbleUpon bar at the top of the screen allows you to stumble to another site, say you like the site, share the site with others, read reviews of the site, or save your favorites. StumbleUpon also can connect with Facebook and has a Firefox add-on.

3. Squidoo

Use Squidoo to find or create useful posts, called lenses, on any topic. By writing on a topic yourself, you share your unique point of view. Ad revenue from ads that are shown on your lens pages makes money, part of which you can donate to a charity, or keep yourself.

4. Kiva

Here's one of my personal favorites! Kiva is a microdonation site that enables you to donate small amounts (or large amounts) of money to help small entrepreneurs with their businesses, all over the world. Your money is grouped with money from others to make a bigger difference. Follow the stories of the entrepreneurs in the Journal section.

5. Diigo

Both a research tool and a social collaborative community, you can use Diigo to organize your bookmarks, archive pages, and annotate each page. You can also share those pages with others, or create a group with which to collaborate. They also offer free educator upgrades to help teachers organize their lesson plans and communicate with their students.

6. Folkd

This social bookmarking site allows you to save and share bookmarks, tag and organize them, access them from anywhere, see what is popular today, and look at friends' bookmarks. Installing the bookmark button in your browser allows for easy adding. Big props to these guys, too, for having one of the cooler icons of the lot!

7. Gnolia

Currently invitation only, Gnolia is a community based on sharing and saving links and bookmarks. With its rebirth in 2009, they have incorporated lessons learned from the old Ma.gnolia service, including keeping the site a manageable size. They hope to encourage the growth of the community through personal connections.

8. Plurk

Plurk is a social network that allows you to share what is going on in your life with others. It is different from other social sites in that it displays your updates, and those of your friends, in a timeline format. Why plurk? We have no idea but it sounds pretty cool!

9. SlideShare

SlideShare is a professional media sharing community in which to share presentations and other documents you create. You can share things such as PowerPoint & Keynote presentations, videos, and Word and PDF documents. You choose how public or private your presentations will be.

10. Plaxo

Plaxo is a socially connected address book site which allows you to access information for your contacts from anywhere. It uses Pulse to connect with places like Twitter, Flickr, and other sites. Plaxo allows you to import contacts from your current contact list, and Plaxo Premium allows you to sync your contacts, calendar, and tasks with Outlook.

11. GratitudeLog

Express your gratitude for people, things, companies, or whatever you are grateful for with GratitudeLog, a social networking site. Add friends to your list of people to follow, and show your appreciation for others.

12. APSense

APSense is an affiliate social network where you can share ideas with other affiliate marketers, find new affiliate opportunities, or advertise your own business.

13. iLike

iLike is a social music discovery site where you can share playlists and music recommendations with others. It is partnered with MySpace Music and can be used on sites such as Facebook, Google, Orkut, and others.

14. deviantART

An online social network for artists and art lovers everywhere, deviantART allows artists to display and promote their own work as well as enjoy work by others. Communicate with other artists in the community, sell your art, or purchase artwork on display.

15. Orkut

Orkut, part of Google, is a social community where you can stay in touch with friends by sharing photos and sending notes, find new friends who share your interests, or develop new professional contacts.

16. Mments

Sick of missing interesting comments on articles you read? Tired of having to keep returning to sites to follow comment threads? With Mments you can bookmark a post whose comments you want to follow. Then track your marked conversations together on one page. You can also follow the comments in email or your feed reader.

17. Kirtsy

A social media site, Kirtsy allows you to connect with others, find information, and discover products. Items are submitted by readers. Clicking on posts that you like will help promote items to the top of the list where they can more easily be discovered by others.

18. Simpy

Simpy is a social bookmarking site that allows you to save, organize, and share your bookmarks and notes with friends or groups that you create. You can import and export bookmarks at any time. Simpy will also detect broken bookmark links.

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5 Quick Facts About the Hashtag
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The use of the hashtag as a Twitter tool to denote a specific topic in order for the masses to follow along turns 10 years old today, having first been suggested (in a Tweet, naturally) by Silicon Valley regular and early adopter Chris Messina back in 2007. Here’s a little history on its evolution from the humble numerical sign to the social media giant it is today.


There’s no definitive origin story for the hash (or pound) symbol, but one belief is that when 14th-century Latin began to abbreviate the term for pound weight—libra pondo—to “lb,” a horizontal slash was added to denote the letters were connected. (The bar was called a tittle.) As people began to write more quickly, the letters and the tittle became amalgamated, eventually morphing into the symbol we see today.


The symbol portion of the hashtag eventually made its way to dial-button telephones, the result of AT&T looking forward to phones interacting with computers. In order to complete a square keypad with 10 digits (including 0), they added the numerical sign and an asterisk. AT&T employee Don MacPherson thought the sign needed a more official name, so he chose Octothorpe—“octo” because it has eight points, and “thorpe” because he was a fan of football hero Jim Thorpe.


When web marketer Messina had the notion to add hashtags to keep track of conversations, he stopped by Twitter’s offices to make an informal pitch. He came at a bad time: Co-founder Biz Stone was trying to get the software back online after a crash and dismissed the idea with a “Sure, we’ll get right on that” burn. Undeterred, Messina started using them and the habit caught on.


By 2014, respect for the hashtag had grown to the point where the venerable Oxford English Dictionary gave the word its stamp of approval. Their entry: "hashtag n. (on social media web sites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself, when used in this way."


Hashtags can highlight interest in everything from political movements to breaking news stories, but the frequency of their use is often tied into popular culture. The most popular TV-related tag has been #TheWalkingDead; #StarWars sees a lot of action; and #NFL dominates sports-related Tweets.  

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How You Instagram Can Reveal Whether or Not You’re Depressed, Study Says
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How you Instagram might reveal more about you than just what you did last weekend. One study found that certain Instagram photos can predict the markers of depression, as New York Magazine's Select All reports. And it's not the first study to link social media use and mental illness.

The study, in EPJ Data Science, looked at almost 44,000 posts from 166 people (71 of them depressed) using color analysis, metadata, and face detection software. (While less than 200 people isn’t a big enough number to really cement these findings, they at least analyzed a whole lot of brunch pics.) They found machine learning could successfully distinguish between the behavior of people diagnosed with depression and those with a clean bill of mental health by looking at the Instagram filter type of photos, the setting, whether or not there were people, color, brightness, and how many “likes” and comments it got. They also looked at how often people used the app and how often they posted.

The researchers’ Instagram model worked the majority of the time to correctly identify depression, even in posts made before the researchers diagnosed the person’s mental health status. Compare that to general practitioners' rates for correctly diagnosing depressed patients, which studies have found hover around 42 percent.

Depressed people tended to post darker photos, often using Instagram’s black-and-white Inkwell filter. They received more comments, but fewer likes on their posts. They tended to post photos of faces, but typically fewer faces than non-depressed users (social isolation is often linked to depression). By contrast, healthy people loved Valencia, which lightens images, and tended to get more likes.

Loving a black-and-white photo doesn't necessarily mean you're depressed. Maybe you’re just trying out your best Ansel Adams impression. But given the outsized role social media plays in modern life, it might be able to provide doctors with insights into patients' inner thoughts and feelings that they might not otherwise be privy to.

Other studies, too, have found that technology use can provide a window into people's souls, mental health and all. Research has found that unhappy people use their smartphones to cope with negative feelings, linking increased phone usage to anxiety and depression. A 2015 study found that smartphones could predict depression by tracking how often and where people moved.

In some cases, though, social media seems to play an active role in making people unhappy, rather than simply revealing their existing unhappiness. A 2017 study of 5000 people found that the more time people spent using Facebook, the worse their sense of well-being. (And that's even before you start talking about reading the news.) Other surveys have found that for teenagers, Instagram and Snapchat usage are associated with low self-esteem, bullying, and more.

But even if obsessively Instagram is making you unhappy in the first place, how you use social media could be an important factor for doctors to consider when evaluating mental health. It's hard to open up to people about depressive thoughts, especially if it's a medical professional you only see once a year. You might tell your doctor you feel fine, but be more honest about your inner darkness on Instagram—whether you realize it or not. So although you probably don’t want to hand over your social media history to your medical providers on a regular basis, it could provide a useful way to screen patients who aren't able to fully convey their mental health issues.


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