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Social News Portals

Social news portals are sites where users register an account and submit news items from professional sources or articles that they've written themselves. Other users will then vote on how much they like the content. If you are operating a business website or blog, you can adapt a press release, blog post or write new content to submit to social news portals. If you submit good content that is liked by many users, than you will see an increase in traffic from the article to your site- just always remember to include a call to action and URL in your articles.

The homepages of social news sites usually feature the most popular items overall, or in specific categories. A very popular article listed on the home page will be seen by many visitors, which means sparking lots of traffic, as well as links, to your website. Users are linked together on social news sites and if one user likes your content, then there's a good chance their friends will too. That's how news stories catch on in social news portals.

Each social news portal works differently; some are general interest, while others have developed specific areas of interest. To find out the best sites for your content, check out the following top social news portals listed below.

1. Digg

Digg is a site where users can submit content and other users can "digg" (meaning to approve) content they like best in a certain category or "bury" content they don't like. Due to its user demographics, the most popular items submitted to Digg are usually about technology or current events. The content with the most votes, or "diggs", will appear on the Digg homepages, which are organized by category. The content that does make it to the Digg homepage will experience heavy traffic, as Digg has innumerable users checking the homepage daily.

The potential for new traffic and the social features of Digg are its high points. Users can network with each other and follow what their friends are doing on Digg. There are certain users who have a large following and therefore, a ton of influence with Digg readers. If a highly influential Digg user likes your content, then you could see a big spike in traffic to your site.

When submitting content to Digg, be sure to add a commenting feature or some kind of registration option on the pages you submit, so that any Digg traffic can be captured and converted to sales leads. Be careful, it does not help your ratings to have everyone in your office Digg your content- if the site's operators catch multiple diggs coming from one location, they will block your accounts.

2. Reddit

Reddit works in much the same way that Digg does; users submit and then vote on content. However, the Reddit demographic is different than Digg's, and more serious content makes it to the homepage, not just the technology and current events stories that dominate Digg. Reddit's audience is a bit smaller, but like Digg it is another site which can net you a ton of web traffic if one of your submitted items becomes popular.

3. Technorati

Technorati is a bookmarking service specific to blogs, which are personal websites that tend to have more opinionated content than straight, objective news. If your business has a blog, then it's wise to start a Technorati account. Technorati will show you who is linking to your blog, how much progress your blog is making in traffic and search results and what your competitors are blogging about. Searching by keyword can help you determine how much competition there is in the blogosphere for certain keywords and help shape your keyword strategy going forward.

4. Netscape

Netscape operates a site much like Digg and Reddit, where users submit and vote on stories, the best of which make it to the homepage. However, Netscape has employees who remove spam, select stories as 'recommended reading' and do some follow-up work to check sources. Although users don't seem to engage in voting as often as on Reddit or Digg, a story on Netscape can bring your site quite a bit of traffic. If you submit enough good stories and comment regularly, you can be recognized as a top contributor- which is good for your visibility. The Netscape audience focuses mostly on political and financial news stories, so submissions in those categories will most likely make it to the home page. If your business website or blog is centered on financial or political happenings, then you should definitely participate in Netscape's portal.

5. Newsvine

Newsvine combines the reader submitted Digg model with newswire stories from the Associated Press, ESPN and other leading news bureaus. The homepage of Newsvine combines news wire stories with peer-produced stories and is clean and easy to read. You can write and submit your own article to Newsvine, but only truly appealing stories will make it to the homepage. The site is very focused on current events and an entry that is not news-centric might not garner a lot of attention.