5.7 Free Services

Many social media or business services are free, at least at a modest level of use, and will help an enterprise through the early days when money is tight.

Free Services

1. Keep track of interesting material: Google Reader.
2. Document Sharing: Google Docs.
3. Social database: Freebase.
4. Blog search tools: Technorati and Google Blogsearch.
5. Blog hosting/building: see 4 above. Also simplified blogs: Tumblr and Posterous.
6. Manage and measure use of RSS feeds: Google Feedburner.
7. Mobile blogging and video sharing: Qik.
8. Social conversation: Twitter.
9. Social profiles: Facebook and MySpace.
10. Business profile: LinkedIn.
11. Small business services: Box* and Zoho.*
12. Social bookmarking: Del.icio.us.
13. Knowledge sharing and collaboration: PBwiki.
14. Web-based instant messaging: Meebo, Adium and Trillian.
15. Web conferencing: FreeConferenceCall and Google Open Meetings.
16. Web conversation: Skype.*
17. Photo sharing: Flickr and Photobucket.
18. Text to audio conversion: iSpeech* or SpokenText.*
19. Making audio clips. Audacity or GarageBand.
20. Making movies: MovieMaker.
21. Video hosting: Brightcove and YouTube.
22. Chat rooms: PalTalk.*
23. Create/share radio or video shows: BlogTalkRadio, Vimeo, Viddler, Revver, LiveVideo, Ustream.

* also offer a commercial service.

Commercial Services

1. SpokenText: Online text to audio conversion $0-90/year.
2. Brightcove: Video hosting from $99/month.
3. Blip: Independent TV hosting.
4. Ning: Social website platform: $3-50/month.
5. Radian6. More commercial social website platform: from $600/month.
6. Scriptosphere. Transcription services: $0.9-1.4/minute.


1. Give ten examples of free Internet services and indicate where they could be useful.
2. Compare free and commercial services in
a. document sharing,
b. video hosting and
c. social media.

Sources and Further Reading

1. Social Media. Wikipedia article with further reading list.
2. Social Media Biz. Social news and strategy.
3. Social Media in the Workplace. White paper by UK public relations company.
4. Enterprise 2. Jeremiah Owyng's blog on social media trends.
5. Mashable. News and views on social media.
6. AllFacebook. Facebook news, surveys and events.
7. InsideFacebook. Facebook and the Facebook platform for marketers and developers.
8. SocialmediaExaminer. Guide to the social media jungle.