What's up with all those requests from friends to go to their sites and Facebook pages and become a fan, a follower or to "like it"? Well, actually there's a lot to it.
Clicking all these little I like it buttons is actually one of the key things that drives the social media bus. It's like giving the sites and blogs and groups that you honestly like a little pat on the back, a little boost up the food chain, a little more visibility and respect on the search engines. You pat them and you hope that those little pats will come around and eventually pat your own online real estate on the back too. Growing their number of followers can be key to their search results, funding strategies, potential monetizing and actually even the right to keep the name itself.
StumbleUpon is one of these good tools. It helps you find things in areas of your interests and suggests sites similar to ones you already like. "StumbleUpon uses / ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages that friends and like-minded stumblers () have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn't find using a search engine."
Digg is another one but I haven't actually gotten around to trying it myself but it's on my to-do list. "Everything on Digg — from news to videos to images — is submitted by our community (that would be you). Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg what they like best. If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of our visitors to see."
If you're really keen, you'll be familiar with Twitter and Facebook which are very powerful tools but not everybody is comfortable with them. Why not start with StumbleUpon and see how you go from there? If you enjoy wandering around the web, you're probably really enjoy this one because you'll be finding all kinds of things. You get to give the site a few categories and also you can mark it as spam or adult content, too. When you get comfortable with that one, add Digg to your toolbar and get Digging.