Tech Talk: Social media

Michael Duncan.

Michael Duncan. (Marissa Dederer / Ryersonian Staff)

With Twitter’s IPO having gone bananas, some analysts wonder if we’ll see more advertising fused between our favourite tweets and facebook photos. Perhaps it’s time to step back from the major social media platforms that have most of us hooked … or maybe it’s just time to try out some other emerging platforms. Here are three free social media platforms that might get you hooked — again.


Path is a photo sharing and messaging service based only on smartphones. If you’re wondering why it’s so special, it’s because it focuses on quality rather than quantity. Path only allows you to have a maximum of 150 contacts. If you’re still unclear about the big difference, you can think of Path as more of a private life-sharing platform, whereas Twitter and Facebook are arenas that broadcast to thousands about how mad you are that your bus is late. The app design is gorgeous as well.


DeviantArt is more of a niche social network — some call community — that focuses on allowing any artist to share their work or collaborate. Its list of art categories includes photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, Flash and filmmaking. DeviantArt has been around much longer than the other dominant platforms, having launched in 2000. If you haven’t heard of it and are worried about a lack of popularity, don’t be: the site has an estimated 25 million unique visits per month.


Simply put, LiveJournal is Facebook for writers. It describes itself as an online journal service with a focus on sharing and interactions. While it might not be wise to scrawl your darkest secrets online, it seems like a great social media tool for writers of any genre or skill. LiveJournal has many notable users, including George R. R. Martin, Billy Corgan and a bunch of professional wrestlers for some strange reason. If you’re into writing (or wrestling), LiveJournal could be a great tool to help you kick the Facebook crack.

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on November 13, 2013.

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