The first three have broad appeal:
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. Minnesota Public Radio Groups: Minnesota Readers and Minnesota Life.
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. Minnesota has its own customized version of the site, as a collaborative effort of Minnesota State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, MINITEX Library Information Network, and Metronet, a Minnesota Multitype Library System; and WebJunction. Click on Partners to go to WebJunction Minnesota.
Ning is an alternative social network that is meant for a higher level of customization by its users. The networks are created around special interests, and any user can easily create a network. You can visit the Library 2.0 group, our specially
Other social networks provide recommendations and reviews, focus on various political candidates, promote career development, or revolve around an interest like music, pets, or food. Even AARP is getting 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
- Leave comments for another member
- Upload your photos or video to the Ning
- Add the Ning badge to your blog
- Add another of the Ning widgets to your blog
Getting Things Done
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
- 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?