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Friday, November 7, 2008

What is it: Sphinn?

Google on Microsoft
Image by egoodman via Flickr
Sphinn is a social site for search and interactive marketers. It's designed to allow you to share and discover news stories, read and take part in discussions, discover events of interest and network with others. Here's a summary of how to get started:
  • Read News & Discussions: The Hot Topics area of Sphinn is what you'll see by default when you come into the site. That's why the little Hot Topics "tab" will be colored green. This area shows you news stories submitted to Sphinn and discussions within the site that have been voted the most active recently by the Sphinn community. If you're busy and want to know what's hot, Hot Topics delivers this to you at a glance. You can even get information sent to you via email or news feed.
  • Share News: Read a news story you want to share with others? Use the Submit Topics tab to enter the story's URL, and then your submission will appear within the New Topics area of Sphinn. If enough people "Sphinn" it, the story might move into the Hot Topics area. Submit stories that got "hot" on a regular basis, and you could appear as one of the top Sphinners. To submit, you have to be come a member. It's free and easy -- takes only a few seconds and an email address. Sign-up here.
  • Start Discussions: Want to talk about something relating to internet or search engine marketing? Also use the Submit Topics tag, give your topic a title and start the discussion off with your post. Others can then add their comments to what you've said, and you can respond in turn. Like news stories, new discussions show up within the New Topics area and move to the Hot Topics area if enough members Sphinn them.
  • Network: Looking to meet other online marketers? Sphinn makes it easy. Submit interesting stories or make important points in discussions, and people might decide to stalk you. Don't worry -- stalking's a good thing at Sphinn! It means someone's interested in following what you're doing here. You can view all your stalkers at any time (and choose to share this with the public, if you want). Find some of them interesting? Stalk them back, and that turns them into friends at Sphinn. The Network page is where you can search for people in addition to finding them through news stories and discussions.
  • Find Events: Made some friends online that you'd like to meet in person? There's always plenty of in-person events going on related to search and interactive marketing. Use the Events Calendar to see what's coming up. You can also associate yourself with an event, so that others know you'll be going. Or check out those already saying they'll be there!
That's the fast overview of Sphinn. There's more you can do, such as drill-down to find news and discussions in particular categories of interest (such as Google AdWords or SEO), and the help area will explain more details about Sphinn to you. There are also tools you can use to bookmark stories to Sphinn or place a Sphinn button your marketing site, so that your readers can share your content with the Sphinn community.
Aside from the community itself, Sphinn has a staff of administrators and moderators to watch over things. You'll find them listed here on our staff page. Need to contact someone about an issue? Use the contact page.
By the way, Sphinn is part of the Third Door Media network. Be sure to check out our other sites for search marketers:
  • Search Engine Land: A hub for news and information about search engine marketing, optimization and how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live.com and Ask.com work for searchers.
  • Search Marketing Now: SMN webcasts combine the most authoritative and actionable education about search engine marketing issues with the convenience of attending online
  • Search Marketing Expo: SMX is our search marketing conference and expo offering education and networking in locations in the US and Europe throughout the year.
Finally, why Sphinn? We liked the idea of a place where marketers could put their own spin on news by commenting on stories or having discussions. But spin.com was taken, as was spinn.com and sphinnn.com was a N too far, we felt. So we went with sphinn.com, pronouncing it "sp-hinn."

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