This week I learned about two new resources for learning more about social media. Or, more accurately, I learned about one new site and was reminded of another that I had visited in the past but was in too much of a hurry to take the time to examine in more depth or note the site’s name for return trips.

When I read this week’s assignment I decided to find resources that focused on the topic of listening to social media, as that is something that I most definitely need greater knowledge in. So, I went to Google and started to search on terms like “social media listening”. Using those keywords I found two interesting sites. One is called SpinSucks.com and the other is named SocialMediaExaminer.com.

Image via: sixninepixels found on freedigitalphotos.net

I was first drawn to the SpinSucks site because of the link to the article titled “Eight Tools for Social Media Listening” which was ranked high in my search results. The article was interesting, and helpful, so I spent some time exploring the site further. The site appears to be one that is the platform of a PR and Marketing agency. The posts and articles are mainly from the head of the agency, a few of the staff, and some from guest writers/bloggers. There are a few articles on listening, but not many.

I became reacquainted with the SocialMediaExaminer site based upon the search hit that I found for their article “4 Steps to Create a Social Listening Strategy”. This article was much more detailed than the article that I read on SpinSucks, and I remembered the site when I saw the little explorer guy that is the site’s mascot.

Image via: Lion’s Roar Marketing

After reviewing both sites I would say that the SocialMediaExaminer site is a much better resource. The articles tend to be more detailed and broader based. Whereas SpinSucks appears to be a soapbox for the staff of an agency to aid in marketing them and to discuss topics of relevance to themselves and their clients, the SocialMediaExaminer site is an online magazine dedicated to the topic of social media. The SocialMediaExaminer articles are written by paid staff and they are intended to benefit the reader and address topics from a standpoint of being guides to the reader, which is not necessary the tact that SpinSucks takes. As an example, on SpinSucks I found a link in one of their articles that said to read a particular post to learn “How to Set Up Google Alerts”. But, the post really didn’t tell you how to set up Google Alerts, it was more focused on telling you other things to consider to refine the alerts after they were set up. And, even at that, the instructions that were given were very cursory, not very helpful if you were not already fairly well versed in Google Alerts.

Both sites are good resources, but SocialMediaExaminer is better for those trying to learn about how to work with social media tools.