In my last post, I discussed some tools for managing the information that interests you. Now we move on to adding your own information to the stream.

There are hundreds if not thousands of web applications out there, I, of course, don’t use them all. I started with one, them tried a couple more. Now I’m up to about 20 that I use, some more frequent than others.

Here are a few.

The professional
This is the professional’s social media site. It is basically your resume online. In addition to your CV, it allows you to connect with others. I have used it to build a network of professionals that I have worked with as well as people I meet outside of work.

Companies can post job openings here, people can ask questions, people can answer questions. Toy can even include a little LinkedIn icon with your signatures.

The sharing of your profile and participating in the answers section are good ways to build your network.

Adding connections is fun as it will look at your resume and try to find people you know through the places you worked and when you worked there.

The personal
Facebook tries to be the social tool for everyman. It does a pretty good job filling this bill. You can add images, facebook applications, videos, events, and much more.
It has helped me get in touch with friends I had lost, moved away from or just forgotten… not to mention the ones you see every day.

The dodgy personal
Don’t go there, it is the armpit of the internet.

The visual
At the very least, Flickr is a great tool to keep a large number of photos stores in a way that you can share.
The tag line on their site is “Share your photos. Watch the world”.
Like all the other sites here, you can connect in various ways to other people.
You can tag photos with keywords or geotags so others can find them.

Fun example, I recently went to a conference. They were able to keep a running gallery of images for attendees to share and view using Flickr. This cost them absolutely nothing and greatly added to the social feel of the conference. They recommended the attendees upload images to their own Flickr accounts and tag them with “mxconf”. This worked beautifully.

There are also several ways to get images to your flickr account.
• via the Flickr Uploadr (available for both PC and Mac)
• via iPhoto, Aperture, or Windows XP plugins
• via our upload web page
• via email
• via various free third-party desktop programs
Picassa has been around for a while. It was the service I originally used. I do still have a ton of images there, but have found that Flickr just feels better.
Some neat things with Picassa is the stand-alone free application. For those mac users out there, it is like iPhoto, but you can have it on your PC. Also, their built-in mapping functionality for geotagging is easy to use.
OK, I know, we all know what this is from a viewer’s perspective. But have you added anything to youtube? Over 70,000 videos are added every day. Some rise to the top, some float about the middle and most sink into obscurity… but that is OK. If you put something out there that no one watches, it is part of the path to learning how to get views. Look at what you watch, what gets views, toss out the garbage and what is left should give you some clues on how to get attention.

There are many more sites and services that I use, but this offers a solid start.

The key any of this, the key to getting people to want to listen to what you have to say, is to have something worth sharing and to gracefully promote it.

:: john.hopkins