Email is dead and message board communities no longer have the pull that they once did. A number of social networking sites once thought as influential simply no longer matter. If you believe these statements then you have fallen for a number of oft-repeated, but inaccurate statements about the way people interact online.
Alive & Well
Yes, email is alive and well and so are some forums based on vBulletin, phpBB, YaBB, and other platforms. What is more, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter may dominate social networking, but plenty of other sites have their avid followers too.
Let’s take a look at 5 social networking sites of varying degrees of significance, important to their users and maybe places you’ll want to visit when you have tired of the crowds found elsewhere online:
Social Vibe – Why not use your current social network to help a favorite charity or cause? That’s the idea behind SocialVibe which partners with social media users to advance more than 40 causes including the World Wildlife Federation, Donors Choose, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and The Trevor Project, among others.
For example, when I joined, I chose to support the American Diabetes Association as I have a number of family members who are battling this disease. Once I started, I began to earn points for my cause including filling out a survey and sharing my results via Facebook and Twitter (you can choose MySpace too). Those points translate to real dollars which are contributed by participating companies to your cause. You can add a widget to your blog to get other people to support your cause and you can track your influence as well as interact with other members via the forum.
Taltopia – You’re talented and you want your aspirations to be made known. Most importantly, you want your talents to be seen or heard by the right people. That’s where Taltopia comes in. Create a free profile and you’re considered to be a fan. Add a video, audio, or picture and you’re considered to be a talent.
Promote yourself, vote for others, and do whatever it takes to help get your talents out there. Supposedly, the site attracts people who are looking for fresh talent including a new band, model, or other artist. Be careful: as with any social networking site you’ll want to make sure that the people you interact with can really deliver on their promises.
PartnerUp – If you’re ready to graduate or considering ditching college altogether, then starting your own business is one way to move forward with your life. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need their place to connect, which is exactly what PartnerUp says that they offer.
Promote your business idea, find partners, and locate property for lease or sale. Network with similar minded people to ensure your success in life.
MyHeritage – Although Facebook provides a great place for family members to interact, it doesn’t allow you to find your ancestors or build a family tree. MyHeritage allows families to connect across many generations and track their family history.
Free Family Builder software makes tracking your ancient relations an easy task; share your thoughts and findings with others on their popular discussions board. Discover if you have royalty or rogue in your blood!
Couch Surfing – Take your love of travel to the four corners of the world! This community is popular with people who enjoy visiting distant lands on faraway shores, plunking themselves down at night on a spare couch in a stranger’s living room or finding rest in a spare bedroom.
Not for everyone, but interesting nonetheless, the couch surfing phenomenon continues to expand, allowing world travelers to connect with each other in a bid to find free places to stay while making the rounds of the world.
Email & Forums
Sure, email has taken a hit lately as people prefer the back and forth action of social networking sites. Forums have passed their prime, but you can still find some very active communities across a wide spectrum. Bumping topics is a forum past-time, not something easily replicated elsewhere.
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