Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Internet icons from Digg to Reddit

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Reddit
Launched in 2005, Reddit is a social news website owned by Condé Nast. Users have the option to submit links to content on the internet or their own posts that contain original copy. Other users vote the links
Reddit
Launched in 2005, Reddit is a social news website owned by Condé Nast. Users have the option to submit links to content on the internet or their own posts that contain original copy. Other users vote the links "up" or "down" with the most successful gaining prominence.
Google
If you have a Google account, you can just click the Google button below the article and it will bookmark the article for you to keep for future reference.
Facebook
The most popular social networking site, when you click the Facebook icon at the bottom of an article, a link to that story will appear on your Facebook profile page saying that you recommend it. It will also appear in all your friends' news feeds.
Twitter
Clicking on the Twitter icon lets you Tweet the article, appearing in your Twitter feed usually with the article's headline, the publication and the section it appears in and the shortened url. It allows you to add a comment (140 characters or under, of course).
Fark
From the 2,000 news articles that people submit to Fark everyday, about 50 are chosen to go on display. As its name suggests, it is a humorous website, providing satirical views on interesting, strange and funny stories of the day.
StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon describes itself as a "discovery engine". While creating your own profile it asks for your interests. It then allows its users to discover and rate web stories, photos, and videos. The site then recommends sites and stories that you might enjoy.
Delicious
Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing and discovering web bookmarks. Now owned by Yahoo!, it has 5.3 million users. Unlike Digg, it is non-hierarchical, instead letting users tag bookmarks and look for stories related to their interests.
Bebo
The once-mighty social networking website's name is an acronym for Blog Early, Blog Often. By clicking on the Bebo icon below a story, it adds a link to it on your personal profile page. AOL bought it for $850m in 2008, selling it in June this year for $10m.
Comment
Lets you comment on an article which will then appear below it on the website. News sites, including The Independent's, have tried to stop anonymous commenting by making users log in with Twitter or Facebook details, or set up an account for the site.
Digg
Created in 2004, Digg is a social news website encouraging users to submit links to stories that people then vote for or "dig". The most popular stories feature in a prominent place. The feature Facebook Connect links stories you dig to your Facebook account.
Email this
This icon is obvious enough. It allows you to email the article to your contacts by entering their email addresses, and lets you add a personalised message too.
Yahoo!
Buzz - Not dissimilar to Digg, Yahoo! Buzz gives users editorial control. A community-based news article site, users can link to stories of interest. It was created to rival larger online media companies and search engines, in the hope it would drive traffic to the site.
Viadeo
A professional network for the business community. Members stay in touch, look for work or create business opportunities. A story you highlight appears on your profile and it appears as an option on news sites such as The Wall Street Journal.
Tumblr
Although Tumblr actually allows you to share a number of things, including links to external sites, quotes and videos, it is perhaps best known for sharing pictures. Half of the original posts on this blogging platform each month are photos.
Permalink
By clicking on the Permalink icon, it gives you a url that you can copy and paste and use on your own blog or homepage. The idea is that the permalink will give you access to that web page forever, even after it has passed from the front page to the archives.
Newsvine
A community-powered journalism website, Newsvine has content from users and syndicated content from sources such as the Associated Press. Users can write articles, seed links to external content, and discuss news items.
Mixx
A user-driven social media site, once you click the Mixx button after an article, you can submit it to the website and add up to eight tags. People can then search Mixx for tags and get directed to stories that people have indexed with the relevant word.
LiveJournal
LiveJournal is for writing and sharing stories, photos and videos with friends. You can put in key phrases, people or books and connect with other people who have chosen similar interests and invite them to join your network.
Linkedin
Linkedin focuses on building professional and business contacts, not friends. A story you highlight will appear on your profile to all the contacts you've made, so users tend to select industry and highbrow news to share.
MySpace
If you have a MySpace account, by clicking network's icon under an article you will post the story and a link to it which will appear in all your friends' feeds, although it won't appear on your profile page.

If you've read something online and want to pass it on, it's easy, says Gillian Orr. Just learn to use the icons

The internet, despite being the place where many of us spend many hours shopping, swotting and socialising, still has the power to baffle.

Browsing an article on a news website, you may have noticed that it is accompanied by a clutch of icons at the bottom. What do these brightly coloured hieroglyphs stand for? And what do they add to your online reading experience?

Some are obvious; there's "print" and "comment" and "email". But things get more complicated when you click on "share". Then a selection of logos and options appear. Some you will recognise, such as Facebook or MySpace, but to the uninitiated, some might be a bit more unfamiliar, names like Digg, Mixx or Reddit.

These allow you to share the story you're looking at with friends, colleagues, or strangers through that particular website. And it has a name – social bookmarking. This is a loose term for the organising, sharing and storing of online pages.

You share the link to a page, not the contents of the page, therefore it's different to file sharing. Metadata (or data about data) is added to your bookmarking, which could mean including your own text description, voting in favour of the piece's quality or adding tags to it so others with similar interests can find it. It is then shared in the network you subscribe to.

The idea of organising and managing links systematically rather than just listing them dates to 1996 with the launch of itList, which let users share bookmarks privately and publicly. In 2003, del.icio.us launched (later renamed Delicious), coining the term "social bookmarking" and pioneering tagging.

If you're looking for articles on, say, Mad Men, you would benefit from searching on a social network or sharing site for tagged articles about it because the articles will have been put there by humans, and your responses will be more sophisticated than a search engine. However, human error causes incorrectly spelt tags.

Corruption is rife, too. Some people use tagging on social bookmarking to make their website more likely to be found. Despite this, social bookmarking and sharing remains a remarkable way to distribute information on the internet.

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