There are always articles about getting started in or getting better at social media, but this week was flooded with some great ones written by talented, respected authors.  Here, I have compiled some great resources, some “must reads” for anyone wanting a leg up.

Social media is huge and growing.  Those who have had success are often not willing to offer advice.  It was a great week — the advice was strong and it seemed to be free flowing.  Enjoy

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Social Self Sabotage

Ben Cook with takes a very straight-forward, conversational approach to showing the primary mistakes that submitters of social media make.  Faking comments, misleading titles… we’ve all been tempted to try it.  Some of us (myself included) have had marginal success doing these things.  In the long run, it is futile and hurts your chances of building a strong profile that puts stories on the front pages consistently.

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Muhammad Saleem Spills Some Beans

I have to say that I was very disappointed with this article.  The “secret sauce of success” is not included.  It has excellent general, new user information — excellent “if I knew then what I know now” piece.  Good strategies for getting started slowly and building momentum before ramping up to bigger and better things.

Muhammad, as always, takes the high road in this article. If you are looking for dirty little secrets to put 100 (or even 10) stories per month on the front page of Digg, those tricks aren’t here. If you want to build up a strong profile that earns respect through working hard and working smart, this article offers rock solid advice.

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It Takes a (Social) Village

On, Tamar talks about her change in attitudes over the years regarding the way to make it in the social media realm.  She once believed, as a blogger referenced in the article believes, that catchy names and recognizeable icons diluted the social media realm.  Now, she understands that getting to that point where your avatar and name is “famous” is the real key to success, and that it takes being an active member of the virtual community to have a chance.

There is an excellent analogy in it that prompted my play on words for how I titled the link to her article.  Tamar, if you aren’t a Hillary Clinton fan (I’ll see which candidate you befriended on Digg a little later), then I do apologize.  This is not Tamar, and she did not approve this message.

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Social Media, The List

You’ve heard of Digg.  You’ve heard of YouTube.  You’ve probably heard of Twitter, Simpy, and Flickr.

Have you heard of Tagtooga?  Have you Folkd?  Do you use Lipstick, and I don’t mean the cosmetic?  Here is a list ordered by alexa rank of the top 100 (well, 99, since connectedy is mentioned twice) social media, social networking, and social bookmarking sites in the internet world.

Whether you’re new to social media or you just want more to play with, this list compiled on by Vladimir is a great place to start.

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Urban Legends, Social Media, and an Excellent Vocabulary

I am not ashamed to admit that much of the content on my blog is based around taking what others have written and either expanding on it, offering an alternative view, or simply summarizing it.  In today’s blogging world, some of the best websites like make a living off of breaking down the complex and simplifying it for the reader.  “Cliff’s Notes” work because readers appreciate it and the sources appreciate it.

With this article, there was no need for a breakdown.  Rather, there are certain articles for which an explanation or a “dumbing down” won’t do it justice.  This gem that I found on breaks down some excellent ideas using high-quality writing peppered with a sharp wit.  If you only read one article on social media this week, you’re reading it right now, so you’re almost done.  If you read two, the second one should be Dan’s.  Nice work!

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If I could add one thing to mention to new people in the social media realm, it would be to choose carefully.  Particularly, be very selective with the name that you choose and the avatar that you create.  In advertising, this is called branding, and branding is so-very-important to being successful in social media, especially across different channels.

Avatars can change, but you want it to be as good as it can be from the start so you will be recognized.  In most cases, names cannot be changed.  Pick wisely, and keep the words “SEO”, “RonPaul”, and other words that evoke responses out of your name.  There isn’t anything wrong with SEO, and though I don’t know who this Ron Paul guy is, he seems to be pretty popular.  Still, certain words can keep people from ever clicking on your articles, and those are two of them.

(FYI, my wife thought I should mention that I do know who Ron Paul is, just in case people didn’t recognize that I was joking.  If I write for a social media blog and I don’t know who Ron Paul is, I am probably in the wrong niche.)

Written by JD Rucker
JD Rucker is Editor of this site as well as The New Americana, a Conservative News Aggregator. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and co-founder of the Federalist Party. Find him on Twitter or Facebook.