Thing 21. Beyond MySpace: 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:

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 created 23 Things On a Stick group, or any of the other many library groups created in Ning. Note that the 23 Things On a Stick Ning is no longer active since Ning began to charge for the service in July 2010.

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:

2. Join the 23 Things On a Stick Ning. Do at least 2 of the following:
  • 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
3. Find another social network that might interest you. Explore the ones mentioned already or one of these suggestions:


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.


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?


Nan Hoekstra said...

The link is this sentence is flawed.
How Gather hopes to be the MySpace for Books in Publisher's Weekly

Nan Hoekstra said...

I think this might be the article we are looking for -- copy and paste this link

minnemom said...

I found an interesting page using StumbleUpon, which makes it doubly interesting to the Things: 23 Useful Social Networking Tools for Librarians --

Barbara said...

I'm trying to put the 23 Things Ning badge on my blog. I'm clicking on the HTML code as instructed, but when I try to publish it to the blog, I get messages saying a tag in the code is not enclosed. Can't figure this one out! (frustration...)

Isle Librarian said...

I got the same comment when I tried to publish my badge, but I published it anyway and it turned out fine--just keep clicking.

Kristen said...

Go 2 Web2.0 is another great site for web 2.0 sites:

Shocker boy said...

Note: for anyone getting error message when trying to paste a Ning badge such as can't publish because a tag in the code is not enclosed, etc....the solution when this message appears is to just check the box that says don't show this error message again...then try to publish code without that error should work!!(at least for me)

M&M said...

Clicking the don't show this message again worked for me.

Lean 23 Things on a stick said...

The myspace article link led to login page and then a list of databases. Didn't know how to pursue further.

Lean 23 Things on a stick said...

I used the link Nan left here and that worked. Don't know if it's the right article but it was interesting.

Michael Walker said...

I was disappointed to see that Twitter was not included in the list of networking sites to try.
It is easy to add Twitter to your aggregator, and by following coleagues and experts in your field, you can gain valuable insite: in 140 characters or less.
You can now even follow things, such as the Mars Phoenix lander. Very Cool!

Anonymous said...

I've found quite a few niche social networks using

Miss Shelved said...

The Webjunction link for the MN is not in service. The correct one is now:

Diane said...

I liked Ning. I did keep getting an error message when I tried to insert the badge in my blog, but when I clicked on ignore the error message for this post, it went in fine and displayed on my computer. I don't know about the outside world.