As a Web surfer one can think of some of the social networking sites with some trepidation – sort of a popularity contest in the Cloud. Judge your Flickr friends by the quality of their comments more than the number of their image postings. Facebook – look for Friends that investigate whats up in your images, postings and events. Twitter … hmmm well StumbleUpon and Digg seem more helpful. In fact one can easily recommend looking for more targetted sites that feature topics and references which cluster around your interests. Such is the case with Business Week’s Business Exchange
This is Business Week’s take on a social media site which allows users to join for free and add postings on the dozens of business topics that are covered there. A posting consists of the URL/address of a website article you have found helpful. BX-Business Exchange, which is much like Digg or StumbleUpon, then checks if this is the first posting of that sites URL – and if so allows you to edit the quick RSS-like summary of the site that they automatically pick up from the the site’s posting. This is the key feature. You can then amend that headline and/or description plus add your own 120 character Twitter-like comment. If the web page has already been posted on BX then you can only add a 120 character comment.
Its these postings that are the real strength of BX. The best posters change the headlines and the description to give users a good feel for the value of the web page that they are posting (some are from their own website). The 120 character comment forces posters to be concise in their evaluations/reactions to the postings. By checking these reactions I can get a good feel for what stories are of value. The downside to BX is that there is no way to edit your postings or reactions/comments after you have submitted them – so edit edit edit. Also the view on what are the available topics and which are most active is quite limited. Finally BX has decided not to have a forum-like conversation on topics or postings. Having been to Slashdot and other public fora – one can see why BX might be cautious on this approach. But the bottom line is that BX has proved to a be a great resource for solid Web info(not just Business Week articles) on a wide array of business, economic and techology topics. I come here first on business before Google or Wikipedia.