Social networks connecting the dots with the power of suggestion

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Twitter has introduced a new feature that will help you find accounts to follow according to your interests.

The feature has been crafted to help new users battle the confusion and the "what do I do now?" feeling many people have experienced after signing up to the social networking site. The feature is the first of a series of changes Twitter will be implementing in the near future to "help people ease into the twitterverse."

"Two of the biggest challenges for new users have been finding accounts to follow that appeal to their interests, and finding their friends and colleagues who tweet," wrote Josh Elman on Twitter's blog on January 21.

To combat the "lost" feeling and to help people find accounts that interest them, Twitter has implemented a few new changes.

"Once a user signs up and selects what they're interested in, we show them some accounts that relate to that interest. Next, we help them find their friends and colleagues by checking their address books, and third we give them a chance to search for anyone we or they missed in this process."

Unlike the Twitter's Suggested Users List (which has now been left in the dust, replaced by the new features) list of suggested accounts will be refreshed frequently according to their level of engagement. New users are added to categorized lists as they become more engaging and others are removed from the lists when they become less engaging to new users.

Twitter will also provide a hand-picked list of staff-recommended accounts and will periodically add lists that relate to current news events, such as their "Staff Picks for Haiti" list that links to people providing up-to-date news on the situation in Haiti.

Social recommendation site Digg and social blogging site Tumblr are also planning to make major changes to their sites. Tumblr introduced the "Tumblr Directory" on January 21, providing users with a list of editor-recommended blogs in over 30 categories.

According to UK newspaper Telegraph, Digg is planning a site redesign that will see real-time content and your friend's selections integrated into personalized recommendations.

"In the next version of Digg you'll see stories being presented to you in a more real-time nature, especially stories that your friends have touched," said Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, to the Telegraph on January 22.

"It will not be just about, but also embracing all the content that your friends touch on other websites. It's about being that place where people say, ‘I'm going to take a look at Digg because it provides me insight into what's trending, what's popular, what's hot from all over these different places where people exchange information'."