In case you didn’t know Helium has an official blog (hint: you’re reading it).  Helium also has an official Twitter.  As well as an official Facebook fan page.  Now, Helium has an official Delicious.

The goal of our Delicious is simple:

  1. To showcase important links in or about Helium.
  2. To store tools that will allow our community to improve their writing skills, SEO, and earnings.

One of the great things about Delicious, is that it enables members to easily share links with other members.  For example, if you found a link that you think Helium should know about you simply include in the tags “for:Helium.com” and it will show up in our Delicious inbox.

A few guidelines:

  1. Don’t send us your articles.  This is not meant to showcase all the articles on Helium.  This is meant to provide Helium-centric information and useful community tools.  While we appreciate your articles and how much effort you put into them this is not the place for them.  Feel free to save them in your own Delicious though.
  2. Do send us tools and resources you find useful in your own writing (note: this doesn’t mean just on Helium, any tools and resources on the web).  If something helps you to craft your articles or increase your earnings (a SEO tool, grammar checker, fact checker, etc) it will likely help other people.
  3. Do send us links you find about Helium that we may have missed.  If someone mentions us on a major website or talks about our partner program, etc, this is something we’d likely be interested in reading and sharing with the community.

That’s it.  This is sort of a “beta” right now but we’re hoping it becomes another useful tool in Helium’s toolbox.

Hope that helps.

One of the features that has been on Helium for awhile but isn’t talked about much is our social networking buttons. You find these at the bottom of articles and when expanded it looks something like the following:

Social Networking Icons on Helium

Social Networking Icons on Helium

So what is social networking and what do all those icons mean?

Social networking is, basically, a way to store and share online content.  There are several basic “buckets” that sites fall into:

  • Social Bookmarking: These sites usually use a bookmarklet that allows you to store a link you find online to your account.  Unlike browser bookmarks which can only be accessed from the computer they are saved from these can be accessed via any computer.  Many also allow you to share them with friends – either via a share function or, with delicious, with a special tag (for:[username]).  Many e-mail providers have their own version so you can merge services – like google, yahoo and microsoft live.  Examples include delicious, magnolia, and stumbleupon.
  • Social News: These sites allow users to submit and upvote interesting stories.  Users can then view the content via the home page or a feed to see highly ranked, new, or upcoming stories.  The attempt is to compete with traditional news services like CNN.  Getting to the front page of these sites causes what’s typical called the “Digg effect” or “Slashdot effect.” Examples include Digg, Reddit, and Mixx.
  • Social Gathering: Typically referred to as traditional “social networking” this refers to sites in which uesrs can create a profile and assemble friends that functions as a website for themselves including interests, friend list, etc.  They may include other social features as part of this including blog, IM, or bookmarking feed.  Examples include MySpace and Facebook.

There are many, many smaller and “clone” sites I didn’t talk about but most fall under one of the 3 variants I mentioned.

So back to the icons – what are they good for?  Well, if someone is a user of those services and logged in when they click on the icon (be it Digg, Facebook, Delicious, etc) then it will save your article to their account.  If they are not logged in (or not a member) most direct them to a join/login screen.

Now, most of these employ a nofollow link strategy – which basically means that you won’t get any link juice from these links.  However, many will give you traffic – which earns you revenue.  Also, many employ tagging – which search engines may use to associate keywords to your article and are how the search engines of those sites typically parse their index (in part).  Remember to follow the proper netiquette when tagging – improper tagging or “tagword stuffing” (putting in a bunch of high value tags that have nothing to do with your article) will only hurt you in the long run.

Have a feature you want me to explore further?  Let me know via my contact writer link at Helium.  And no, I won’t go in-depth on the rating and ranking algorithm, even if I had that knowledge, so don’t ask 🙂 .