Thing 19: Other Social Networks

MySpace and Facebook may grab the headlines in social networking, but there are many other social networks. Social networks are online communities created around interests with people-to-people recommendations and communication. These specialized social networks allow like-minded users to find and interact with one another, whether around crafts or cars or any other shared interest. In this Thing, we'll take a look at some of these networks.

The first three have broad appeal:

WebJunction is an online community and portal that supports library staff with technology and library development materials; provides courses for online learning and professional development; and brings the library community together in online discussions and programs.

Ning is an alternative social network that is meant for a higher level of customization by users. The networks are created around special interests, and any user can easily create a network. You can visit a Library 2.0 group or any of the other library groups created in Ning.

Gather describes itself as the “leading social networking and media site for adults, with some of the highest quality user-generated content on the internet.” Most of the discussion on Gather is in a debate format, focused around a single issue, book, or theme to appeal to busy professionals. American Public Media is heavily invested in this site as an outlet for National Public Radio listeners.

Other social networks provide recommendations and reviews, focus on various politicians, promote career development, or revolve around an interest like music, pets, or food. Even AARP has gotten into the social network sphere.

For this Thing

1. Read these articles:
How Gather hopes to be the MySpace for Books in Publisher's Weekly
WebJunction article: Building a Social Networking Environment at the Library
2. Find a social network that might interest you. Explore the ones mentioned already or try one of theses:

Classroom 2.0 Ning
College 2.0
Teacher Librarian Ning

Project Playlist

Bake Space
Open Source Food

Film Crave

Whats On My Bookshelf

Yelp (local reviews/recommendations)

You get the idea; there is a social network for everyone. And, on the chance you can't find a social network that matches your interests, start one of your own.

Wikipedia list of social network sites
Nine Ways to Build Your Own Social Network, TechCrunch July 24, 2007 Tips and tools to help your nonprofit get the most out of online networks, TechSoup, May 5, 2006
My Guide to Social Networks, a satirical article on social networks in PC Magazine

Blog Prompts
Are you a member of any online communities?
Are any of these social networks appealing to you?
What did you find that was interesting and that you might use later?

1 comment:

BFant said...

As a result of joining the TeacherLibrarianNing I have been asked to be part of a research project about what students read. I am so excited to meet authors, teachers and librarians with these new Things!