Move over Facebook

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Fatigued of Facebook and Twitter? Then it’s time you opened cyberspace’s Pandora’s Box and experienced something worthwhile. If you’re looking for a social experience that caters to your specific interest and does not subject you to the clunk and junk that has become all too common with the mainstream social networks, Junisha Dama has some recommendations.

IF YOU HAVE A HOBBY

Everyone has a hobby, and every hobby has an online social network – from the usual to the downright bizarre.

LibraryThing

www.librarything.com

For the voracious book reader and obsessive book hunter, Goodreads seems to do the job quite well. However, we’d like to point out that since Goodreads has been bought over entirely by Amazon, we’re a little suspicious of the direction Goodreads will now take. Also, we’re a little tired of the clunky design and the less-than-intelligent discussion there of late (“Who’s better? Harry or Edward?”). We recommend LibraryThing instead. It’s cleaner, gives better reading recommendations and has more relevant and intelligent discussions owing to its more literature-centric reading community.

Kaboodle                                                                                                  

www.kaboodle.com

A site dedicated to fashionistas of the world, Kaboodle helps recommend, share and discover products under fashion, beauty and home accessory categories. It is different from other shopping sites as this lets you interact with others and better organize your shopping. The site provides tools that encourage you to compile ‘style boards’ displaying your favourite looks and trends, maintain fashion blogs and take pools like ‘what shoes go best with this dress?’ It also lets you create a shopping list. Not just that, you can also ‘heart’ others’ style boards or blogs.

Pixwoo

www.pixwoo.com

Game consoles and videogames have attained such a status that gamers now have a dedicated networking site too. Pixwoo is a place where videogame fans can discuss gaming, talk about their experience, post opinions, publish scores, post pictures and videos and share their passion for gaming with other like-minded people.

 

Athlinks

www.athlinks.com

Athlinks is a social network designed for athletes specialising in races: triathlons, cycling, skating, swimming, etc. With over 245,000 members, you can record your stats and compare them with others, find races in your area and even browse a shop.

Dogster/Catster

www.dogster.com

www.catster.com

Dedicated to the animal lover inside you, both websites have an online magazine portion in addition to an online community. Users can create a profile of their pets and share their pictures and videos and discuss pet care.

Meetup

www.meetup.com

The largest network of local groups, this website allows people to form groups based on common interests and facilitate meet ups in the real world. Users organise anything from political rallies to spontaneous bar hopping. The site’s mission is to encourage people to meet as they believe that a large group of people can make any amount of difference in the world if they come together.

 

 

Birdpost

www.birdpost.com

Birdpost in a network of bird watchers who record sightings of different bird species via GPRS on a map of the world. If you are a fellow ornithological enthusiast, you can sign up and connect with other enthusiasts and contribute to the sighting and recording of birds.

WAYN

www.wayn.com

An acronym for ‘Where are you now?’ WAYN is a social networking site aimed at travellers around the world. It is a lifestyle and travel website, where one can share pictures and experiences of the places they visit. WAYN helps you to realise your dreams by connecting you with like-minded people based on your past experiences, where you would love to go next and what you would love to do.

IF YOU NEED MOTIVATION

Traditionally, when you needed a pick-me-up, you would turn to a friend or maybe even your parents. Now, however, you can turn to the Internet as well, and have the whole world boost your confidence and mood.

43things

www.43things.com

Having trouble implementing goals? Seek help from others and help them fulfil their goals too. 43things gives a space to list out your goals. Members are interlinked by the goals they are going after and the goals they have completed. The other users help you accomplish goals by giving you suggestions and ideas and cheer you on.

Happier

www.happier.com

Yes, you read it right. Happier revolves around the concept of sharing happy moments. The site owners believe that there is at least one happy moment in the entire day. The site is dedicated to collecting these happy moments however small they might be and sharing them with family and friends.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The Internet is not just about passive participation. With online communities that are aligned towards social agendas and environmental causes, there are plenty of opportunities to make your voice heard and affect change.

Care2

ww.care2.com

Care2 is all about green living that is facilitated by social networking. Members can pick campaigns and causes they are passionate about, connect with others who have similar aims, take action on the issues, earn credits for those actions and then redeem those credits for gifts. The site also offers email, blogging and shopping services and more for those wishing to live green lives.

Takepart

www.takepart.com

Focused on socially relevant news, opinions and other issues that shape our lives, Takepart works on the lines of social activism. You can read about various pressing issues in the world, from environmental and cultural to political and educational, and click on the ‘Take Action’ button to show your support for the cause. The site is associated with various organisations that help deliver trustworthy actions intended to do good. It is similar to Care2, but is broader in the issues it addresses.

IF YOU NEED CREATIVE INSPIRATION

Want to create a masterpiece but are stuck? The Internet can help.

Book-in-a-week

www.book-in-a-week.com

Seeking inspiration and motivation to write? Collaborate with fellow writers and get typing. BIW is a site where writers come together and write a page every day. The website has been an encouragement for several writers for the past ten years and still continues to do so. BIW follows a simple motto: BIC HOK TAM, which means butt in chair, hands on keyboard, typing away madly.

deviantART

www.deviantart.com

If the artist inside is yearning for release, signing up for deviantART is recommended. This is an online community of and for artists. You can browse through innumerable art works uploaded by these artists, add them as friends, join groups that pertain to your artistic inclinations and upload your own work for helpful feedback from the community.

IF YOU LOVE ALL THINGS BIZARRE

And then there’s that corner of the Internet that’s just too weird.

Couple

www.couple.me

Couple is a social network phone app built for two. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? With this app, couples can privately text, share videos and photos. Couple’s ‘Thumbkiss’ feature lets couples place their thumbs together on the screen and virtually kiss. Couple also gives couples an area to sketch together. Romantic pairs can chat daily and send ‘Thinking of you’ prompts on the go. There’s also space to archive important dates, add to couple to-do lists and share precious moments. Not something we’d see be used extensively by an obsessive girl/boyfriend. No siree.

Line for Heaven

www.lineforheaven.com

What’s that you say? You’re not religious? Pffft. This has nothing to do with religion. Members take part in weekly competitions and bless each other to earn ‘karma points’. On Sundays, the points are reviewed and those with enough points are admitted to ‘Heaven’. Why this has nothing to do with religion is because the website does not promote any faith’s teachings and is open to people from all beliefs.

There really is something for everyone. Chances are, if you have a hobby, there is a social networking site all about it.

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