Across The Universe With Social Media

Many years ago I read a science-fiction story that reminds me of what we’re experiencing today. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was called, nor who wrote it, so if you can recognize it, please let me know. I’d love to read it again.

The story is about the future when someone has invented walls that people can switch on like a TV and see what their neighbours are up to. So naturally, everyone wanted to install those walls, and see what their neighbours eat, listen to what they talk about, how they’re dressed, what their rooms look like. Then people started getting jealous of what others had, and wanted really badly to be keeping up with the Joneses. Their behavour has changed drastically – they were trying to be perfect with their manners, dressing well, talking softly. All that was causing most of them huge stress – after all, we can’t be perfect and nice all the time. Fortunately, one day someone has invented a paint that could be used to cover the walls so that the neighbours can’t see through. Oh, what a relieve that was – everyone started buying that paint like crazy. So for awhile things got back to normal, but people got bored with that, they were itching to find out what their neighbours are doing, talking about, eating. So then someone invented another paint that can cover the anti-see-through paint and make it transparent again for everyone to see through….

Doesn’t it resemble a bit the way we live today? It certainly does to me, including the social aspect of our lives online. We even took it one step further – we’re willingly opening ourselves up to others, sharing stories, personal information, business and financial details, pictures, videos, we want to follow each others steps, and we actually update the world on what we’re up to at any given moment.

Two months ago we started an experiment – a collaborative Social Media Mega group writing project, so that anyone can share his/her experience with social networks and learn from each other.

Today I present you with over 60 submissions on Social Media Mega Project from 9 bloggers, which cover over a dozen different social networking sites. It will definitely take you awhile to go through all those valuable tips from the social universe, so be sure to bookmark this page and all those submissions that you can’t wait to read, on, share them with your friends on Facebook, Twit about them, Stumble, Digg, vote on Reddit, spin them on Sphinn, refer to them your fellow Flickrs. In other words, ENJOY:


HOST: Ina from InspiringWear

Social Photography

HOST: Brian from Epic Edits Weblog

StumbleUpon, MySpace and YouTube

Karen Zara from a1-fan-fun


HOST: Isabella Mori from ChangeTherapy

Digg and Reddit

HOST: Vivien from InspirationBit

  • How To benefit from Digg by Tejvan Pettinger. Broken up in 13 easy-to-follow steps, Tejvan shares his observations on how to prepare your site for Digg. Afterwards he followed up this post with another article, which is questioning and reflecting on
    Is it worth Trying to Get On Digg?
  • How To Get Onto Digg’s Front Page in 8 steps by Jacob Cass. Ever wondered what are the sure-fire techniques on reaching that coveted #1 spot on Digg? Jacob will not only share the secrets but also will make you laugh.
  • Experience with Digg by Dexter. This is one of those no-luck-with-Digg-whatsoever articles which actually tell the truth about this social networking site.
  • I’m Really Not a Digg Fan by Karen Zara.
    Now you too can join Digg’s NoFan Club, just head over to Karen’s post and share your reasons for not being Digg’s fan in the comments.
  • Redditers – What They Tend to Do? by A u d e e. If you’re like me and still didn’t quite figure out how Reddit works and how to tackle that site, be sure to check Audee’s article.
  • Can You Dig Digg?, where I contemplate about 8 things that I especially don’t understand about Digg and the obsession with it.


HOST: Monica Hamburg


HOST: Simonne from AllTipsAndTricks


HOST: Isabella Mori from Alphablogs

HOST: Aaron Stroud from On Financial Success

Squidoo, Mixx

HOST: Pearl from Interesting Observations.

Comparative Analysis of several Social Media sites

I’ve decided to list the following four articles separately since they cover various social networking sites:

P R I Z E S / W I N N E R S

And now, roll out the red carpet, play a drum roll, the award ceremony begins. As promised, I’ll be awarding five bloggers who excelled in hosting their part of this mega project. Each one will receive $25 cash prize. And the winners are:

  1. Karen Zara from a1-fan-fun for hosting the project on StumbleUpon, MySpace and YouTube. She killed me in a good way with her four hour Social Media marathon, where she contributed 10 articles to this social media mega project. Amazing!
  2. Brian from EpicEdits for hosting the project on Social Photography.
  3. Isabella Mori from ChangeTherapy for hosting the project on Twitter. She also hosted another project on LinkedIn
  4. Ina from InspiringWear for hosting the project on Facebook
  5. Aaron Stroud from On Financial Success for hosting the project on

Congratulations to all winners! I’ll be contacting you shortly with your prize details.
And a huge, gigantic THANK YOU to Simonne, Monica and Pearl for hosting projects on Sphinn, Technorati and Squidoo, Mixx respectively.
And of course, a mega colossal THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this social media project, without you there would’ve been nothing – no articles, no valuable tips, no winners. Because of you there are no losers here, we all won by being part of this social experiment, by belonging to this great online community. And with your votes on various social networking sites we will be able to expand this community and make it stronger, so grab a cup of your favourite java or tea and start clicking – reading and sharing, voting and reading, click-click-click….

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22 Insightful Bits in response to “Across The Universe With Social Media”

  1. Thank you very, very much! *blushes*

    Just to clarify it, in reality I contributed 8 articles to the whole project. The other 2 articles were mere announcements regarding the beginning and the end of the Social Media Marathon, so I think they don’t really count. Anyway, I’m glad that someone enjoyed my little marathon. Your comments have certainly encouraged me to try it again. :)

  2. Stumbled, Dugg and Mixxed :)

    No surprise, there are lots of interesting links here. Congratulations to everyone involved.

  3. Ina

    Thank you Vivien! Great work! And thank you all collaborators :):)

    Just wanted to say that for the spanish speakers we have another article on facebook in the submissions by Vahid (frm internetSeeker) named “Cómo hago para estar en contacto con mis amigos? Facebook!” http://internetseeker.blogspot.....q=facebook
    The story you are talking in the article is also very interesting….I would love to read it too if someone knew what it’s called! used to read so many of those when I was a teen… :)

    Thank you all again! It has been an unique experience!

  4. Wow Vivien! You really went through all of those articles… your personal summaries are an indication that you’ve been doing a ton of reading over the last few days.

    Congrats to everybody involved! The overall project is truly a success — 60 articles is very impressive. This just shows how powerful bloggers can be when they work together.

  5. Thanks everyone for the diggs, stumbles, support and encouragement.

    Karen, even 8 articles in 4 hours is an achievement that I will never be able to beat, so you still deserve a round of applause ;-)

    Jacob, thanks for all the support you’ve provided to this project!

    Ina, my apologies, I don’t know why I didn’t think of including the post in Spanish – I guess was too tired yesterday, I actually almost forgot to include here my results from digg/reddit, added them in the last moment. Anyhow, I’ve added the Spanish article on Facebook to this list now.
    I too hope someone would recognize this sci-fi story, too bad I don’t remember who wrote it, but just like you, I’ve read hundreds of sci-fi books back then ;-)

    Thanks, Brian. I tried to read as many articles as I could, there are still some that I’ll get back to and read more carefully.
    You’re right the final results are very impressive. Lots to learn from this experience, it could’ve been more productive, but overall I’m glad we took it this far.

  6. Congrats on a well run mega project…

  7. hey very good list. I think its really good listings. And also congrats to all the winners

  8. A fantastic set of links! Congrats on a project well-run. Ciao for now, Vivien.

  9. wow, vivien, we made it :) quite the project. thanks for starting this! now to start reading all the submissions …

    and what a great surprise to find i won one of the prizes! thank you!

    congrats and thanks to all the others.

    vivien, you rock!

  10. More than 60 submission was not bad at all Vivien :D
    The articles are showing of how more brainstorming move needed for a topic that people might questioning it all the time but hardly find a way to start something to find the answer.
    Great project I’ve ever joined with! wonderful event!

    congratulation to all winners ;)

  11. Thanks, Simon. And thanks to you for your multiple contributions to the participating projects.

    Thanks, David. Hope you’ve bookmarked it and will check out the links when you get a chance. ;-)

    Isabella, thanks to you too. Yes, the overall results are pretty impressive.

    Thanks for your contribution, Audee and for such a kind praise of this project ;-)

  12. Nice article but actually I strongly disagree with you. You referred to that science-fiction story and you believe we tend to do the same online. Well, let me tell you that there’s a huge difference between reality and the internet, in reality your are not anonymous, on the internet you are (unless you choose not to). People tend to act on the internet differently than the way they act in reality (because they know they are anonymous), you simply cannot compare the two things. When you share your bookmarks with other people you lose nothing because they are public anyway (web pages are available for anybody and they weren’t created by you, you only refer to them), but the vast majority of people wouldn’t share their personal secrets or feelings with other people online, they may only do this anonymously, can you see the difference?

  13. Thanks for your insights, Waleed. I do see the difference between someone living an anonymous life on the internet and someone who shares lots of his/her personal life. Sharing bookmarks with others doesn’t invade the privacy that much, though bookmarks can tell a lot about the traits of the person. Sites like Facebook, applications like Twitter, on the other hand, in most cases used by people to reveal more of their offline life. Of course, some still choose to be anonymous, but others don’t. But even in the offline world, some people tend to live a very private life, others like to lead an open book lifestyle. So it is very much possible in reality to be an anonymous person.

  14. Vivien, I’m sorry to disagree with you again. The kind of things people reveal online (on sites like facebook, myspace .. etc) are the same that they may reveal while having a conversation with you in real life, nothing really too personal. What you can learn about someone online is usually what things interest them (activities, sports .. etc), I believe this is not what you meant when you said sharing their life online. This could only be important for marketing research or online advertising but definitely not for making social studies on people online.

    I still believe people don’t really share much about them online, they only share the things they are willing to share with anybody in reality, you still need those walls (in that science-fiction story) to really know about them!

  15. Waleed, you’re nitpicking now: I didn’t bring that sci-fi story to directly associate it with the internet today and our online lives, I just said that it “that reminds me” of how we behave nowadays online.

  16. hmm, now this is getting really interesting, so you don’t directly associate that story with the internet, yet it reminds you of how we behave on the *internet* :)

    I’m sorry you find my post nitpicking, I’m very interested in human behavior esp. online but I believe you only can study how people behave online collectively but certainly not individually (with the exception of those very few people who share a few things about their lives online, again this is only a very small minority) …

  17. no worries, I too find human behaviour online very interesting. It’s just you find that it’s “very few people who share a few things about their lives online”, I think that the number of such people is much more than “just a few”, and that becomes an increasing worry for many people, especially parents who want to protect their naive children from sharing too much of their personal details online.

  18. OK Vivien, finally there’s something I agree with you on, it’s mostly children and teenagers that share their lives online, I also believe so, but you have to agree with me that most adults don’t do that …

  19. I agree, most adults with sense don’t share too much of their personal lives online. Though the concept of how much is too much is very subjective for every person…

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on