By Ric Shreves, Michelle Krasniak

Keeping current in the ever-changing world of social media is a key aspect of your social media optimization strategy. Myspace was the largest social networking site from 2005 to 2008, surpassing even Google at one point. But just six years later, Myspace found themselves in 392nd place on the list of most visited websites in the United States.

The problem was that over time, users wanted bigger and better and faster and cooler‐looking, and Myspace couldn’t keep up with those demands. Other social networking sites like Facebook could, and everyone knows how that turned out.

Social media users are constantly on the hunt for the newest thing, whether that thing is the hottest website, tech gadget, or fashion trend. Brands rise and fall at breakneck speed. How do you keep up? The bad news is that you really don’t. The good news is it’s not hard to follow closely behind. How do you manage the complexity of this shifting landscape?

Luckily, several sites can do all the legwork for you. To know what’s going on in the social world, all you have to do is log on to the Internet and head to one of these sites:

  • Mashable: One of the most popular sites for social media users, Mashable reports on everything from technology and social media to business and world news.

  • CNET: Head over to CNET for technology news for business‐oriented readers. This site is a great place to go for computer‐related news.

  • TechCrunch: Another popular news source, TechCrunch offers web 2.0‐centric content. If something is happening on the Internet and trending on Twitter, it’s most likely on the front page of TechCrunch.

  • Geek.com: If you love to be on the front lines of the latest hardware, software, and mobile device releases, be sure to bookmark Geek.com.

  • Social Media Examiner: This site is all social media, all the time. Some big names in the social media marketing world write for this site, so you’re sure to be kept up to date on the ins and outs of SMO.

  • MarketingProfs: Online marketing folks should have this site on speed‐dial. It does a great job of keeping you up to date on the latest tips and trends in marketing in the social media age.