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As 2010 winds down, we look back on the year that was – the highs and the lows. From Canada winning Gold in Vancouver to the devastating events in Haiti, 2010 was quite eventful. Through triumphs and tragedies, the World came together as a community to celebrate – and donate. Social Media provided us with more information and more outlets to help support people in need in Haiti, Chile and Pakistan, for example. And don’t forget Movember. Almost entirely socially driven, Movember raised over $59 million worldwide for prostate cancer research. Over the past 12 months the World has shown how we’ve been able to use the power of the social web to come together and make a difference. Social Media’s scale and scope make it one of the most amazing tools in the World. It enables us to be more connected with each other than even before.

With that said, which Social Media sites do Canadians visit the most? Facebook took home top prize on last year’s list. Where will they stand this year? Which new sites have emerged? Before we begin I’d like to define what I consider a “Social Media site”. Yes, we all know the usual suspects – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. But this year I’m adding blogging sites. This past September I attended The Art of Marketing in Montreal. During the afternoon session, one of the speakers explained how blogs are inherently social. You share thoughts through your blog, and people respond with comments. It begins, and encourages an open, and social, conversation. So without further adieu, here is our list of the top ten most visited Social Media sites in Canada in 2010.

10. Blogger

Ah, what a way to kick off our list – with a blogging site! Founded in 1999, Blogger is the oldest site on our list. The blogging site took off in 2003 after it’s acquisition by Google, which enabled visitors to use the site for free. Blogger has thrived under Google as they have integrated several simple, yet useful features that enabled users to integrate photos from Flickr, Blogger for Word and AdSense which helps generate revenue from blogs. Blogger saw impressive growth in 2010, doubling it’s user-base. If you’re new to blogging and looking for a quick and easy way to start, check out Blogger!

9. Photobucket

Often overlooked by it’s superior Flickr, Photobucket has gained some attention in recent years. Photobucket is an image, video and slideshow hosting website based out of Seattle. However, after an extremely strong start to 2010, Photobucket’s popularity in Canada continually plummeted throughout the year, leaving it at number 9 on our list. This leaves us to wonder what is has in store for 2011 in the Canadian market? Will it crack the top ten again?

8. MySpace

The original darling of Social Media as still alive – but struggling. The former number one has been slipping year after year. Last year they were number 5 on our list, but have since fallen to number 8. MySpace has slowly been edged out of Social Media dominance by the big guns such as Facebook, forcing the site to rebrand and focus in on a niche market – music. MySpace’s acquisition of music sharing site iMeem in late 2009 was key to keeping them alive. By specializing in music, which has always been their bread and butter, MySpace has given users a reason to stay on board.

7. Flickr

Flickr is the king of photo sharing on the web. Originally founded in Vancouver, Flickr is now home to over 5 billion unique user created images, making it the largest photo sharing site in the world. Now owned by Yahoo!, Flickr has become an outlet for budding photographers to showcase their work. Up and coming photographers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of Flickr’s service. During the United States presidential race in 2008, Barack Obama and his campaign team took full advantage of Flickr by populating Obama’s page with hundreds of amazing photos that brought voters inside the life of the man who would eventually become their leader. Well done Barack.

6. LinkedIn

Okay – enough with the “fun” Social Media sites. Bring on the serious one. The one that helps you brand yourself, showcase your skills and helps you get a job. Yes, it’s true that you can use many, if not most Social Media sites to build and maintain your personal brand. But no site allows you to do so better than the professional networking giant, LinkedIn. And with a global audience of over 80 million, the opportunities are endless. Last year, LinkedIn didn’t make our list, coming in at number 11. My prediction? It will crack the top 5 in 2011.

5. WordPress

With the addition of blogging sites to our list this year, it is no surprise that WordPress is at the number 5 spot. If you’ve never heard of it, climb out from under that rock you’ve been living under and listen up. WordPress is amazing. WordPress is an open source Content Management System used by millions of bloggers and web designers around the World. Sporting a wide variety of engaging themes, incredible widgets and plugins, Trackback and Pingback features and a search engine friendly interface, WordPress has become the go to blogging sites for professionals.

4. Twitter

Twitter jumps from number 7 last year to number 4 this year. Is anybody surprised? As an avid Tweeter, I am quite familiar with Twitter. But outside of the Twitter bubble, people never seem to get it. Twitter’s ability to share information in real time, and eliminating the ability for users to be long winded by confining them to 140 characters per Tweet has made Twitter one of the most popular, and powerful sites on the web. My favourite thing about Twitter is that I get my news as it happens. Expect Twitter to remain in the top 5 for next year.

3. Wikipedia

Similar to blogging sites, Wikipedia falls into a grey area when it comes to Social Media. There are over 17 million articles using information submitted by millions of users worldwide. It is collaborative social information sharing at its greatest. Face it, we all use Wikipedia at least from time to time. And, to be honest, most of the time the information is pretty accurate – just make sure you double check with the sources listed at the bottom of every article. Not only is Wikipedia the 3rd most visited social site by Canadians, it comes in at 6th overall. Not too shabby.

2. YouTube

The runner-up once again! Just like last year, YouTube came in at number 2 on our list. YouTube’s immense library of video content serves over 2 billion videos per day. Furthermore, 35 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Think about that. That’s almost a day and a half of video content uploaded every minute of every day. It’s no wonder that YouTube has become to go to site for video. Here are the top ten most watched videos on YouTube for 2010. Enjoy!

1. Facebook

Surprise, surprise. Facebook is back for the repeat in #1 spot. Not only the #1 spot for Social Media sites, or even for Canada – but this year Facebook surpassed Google for most web traffic worldwide. They even had a movie made about them! And their founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year! Facebook is undoubtedly a celebrity all in it’s own. They hold a press conference, not only do the media show up, but hundreds of thousands users watch it live online to see what changes are coming. With over 500 million users worldwide, Facebook is one of the most popular and powerful entities in the world. And at 26 years old, Mark Zuckerberg and his team of geeks (I call them geniuses) aren’t going anywhere. Expect Facebook to be back in the #1 spot next year.

There you have it folks, our Canadian Social Media Top Ten of 2010. Which of these sites do you use? Do you have any favourites that didn’t make the cut? Let us know!

In closing we invite you watch Google’s 2010 Year in Review. Have a safe and happy holiday season everyone!