My Tech Crush: top 5 social sites to go steady with

I thought to myself recently: what if Google+ had not come along? What are the emerging sites that should be receiving their fair share of publicity? Which sites should make the mainstream? … And then it all happened in a flash: cue my very first “top 5” blog.

Now, the rules are simple for such blogs: 1) make sure the things you are ranking are numbered and 2) make sure you stick to the number you mention in the title (unless you have a witty turn at the end – I don’t, sorry). So here I share the five sites I would like to see breakthrough to a wider user base sometime soon.

I haven’t yet created my own story using this, but the way it enables you to use social content from basically anywhere to bring together a story links in nicely, if not a bit laterally, with what I was wittering on about at the end of this post.  I nearly put Projeqt here instead, but was less excited by the possibilities they offer – more like glorified PowerPoint – and that’s not great, just ask this political party.

[View the story “Great Power Tweets and more…” on Storify]This is a breath of fresh air. Every morning I receive a short list of the most talked about content within my network. Wonderful. Just enough interesting stuff for that morning coffee.

Not only that but you can tag content so others in your Percolate network can see what you think about this or that article. Again are trying but the UX leaves me cold – it feels more like a listing than something to gather around.

It has been around for a while now, but I think in terms of mass adoption it is still got a long way to go. I have to say that for some unknown reason it restricts itself solely to iPhone users, which 12 months ago would have been OK, but today seems a little obtuse. However despite this it apparently has over 5 million users.

On the surface it may seem like a more quirkie yfrog, but it’s much more than that. If you scratch beneath you’ll find a whole new subculture and language of sharing. They say “It’s photo sharing, reinvented” and I believe them – a photo on Instagram pixelates a thousand words. If you haven’t already, sign up. Now.

Pinterest feels like it’s still finding it’s feet. However, I like the concept of having a scrapbook or cork board where you can just let it help form ideas for you. It seems this site is for you if you either keep a very untidy desk, or maintain a very, very tidy desk, either way give it a go.

Hunch has been around for a while now too, but it seems the Hunch team’ve recently cranked it up a notch – unless I’ve just caught up with where they are trying to get to. I like it mainly because I like the idea behind it, so it can’t really do any wrong in my eyes. It asks you a series of seemingly random questions to get to know your taste and then suggests stuff you should like, but in a way that is not creepy.

BTW what do you think of Google+? Much, not much? It’s certainly received more than it’s fair share of publicity. I think it lacks personality for it’s early stage of development – imagine a teenager trying to act all middle aged (in a pipe and smoking jacket kind of way) and you’ll be near where Google+ is. From what is can gather even Facebook was exciting in the right way when it first started up because it was a kind of passive aggressive site for flirting. Google+ however gives me little reason to become a regular (having said that, on the back of G+ I now use a lot of their other services, which could have been the point). And let’s not even start on Groupon…

Image credit: with thanks to jurvetson under Creative Commons License


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