Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, yada, yada, yada…you know them all. Everybody does. You can’t surf the internet or turn on a TV these days without hearing about them. But as far as Social Networking sites go, that’s about it right? Wrong. There are literally hundreds of Social Networking sites out there. Some of them are great, and others are awful. Here is my top ten great Social Networking sites that you’ve probably never heard of.
So by now I’m sure you’re all familiar with Wikipedia – the online encyclopedia that millions of people use every day for information. Similarly, most of you have used Flickr – the online photo sharing site where photographers and bloggers can post high quality photos. Now take the two, put them together, and what do you have? Fotopedia. Although Fotopedia is still it the early stages, they have quickly built their photo encyclopedia with over 22,000 articles and 350,000 photos. The site allows users to search for articles or to browse by topic (Travel, People, Nature, etc.). The results give users in-depth information provided by a wikipedia article with high quality, professional photographs. So for example, I searched Fotopedia for “Australia” and found some pretty amazing photos along with a great Wikipedia article.
So you’ve set up accounts for your business of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. But what about all of the other Social Media sites? As I mentioned earlier, there are literally hundreds of them. KnowEm allows users to check the availability of their business, product, personal or brand names on over 350 popular Social Media sites. This is great because it allows you to secure your username on hundreds of Social Media sites before anyone else does. Search your name, secure your brand, and protect your image.
Eventful allows users to discover, promote, share and create events worldwide. Whether it’s a concert, sporting event or a political rally, chances are it is listed on Eventful. Users can even import their iTunes library to Eventful to receive notifications when your favorite band is visiting a town near you. Even cooler is Eventful’s Demand feature. Demand allows users to request an event or act to their town. For example, a band may decide to visit Ottawa after realizing that 1000 Eventful users “Demanded” them in that location. Eventful is a great tool for both performers and fans to communicate with each other.
Tired of Mac and Cheese? Ordering take out again? Want don’t you just cook something amazing for yourself? Nibbledish is an on-line community for cooking enthusiasts where users can browse, create, share and rate recipes. This site incorporates amazing recipes from around the globe with incredible photos that will make your stomach grumble. Maybe tonight I’ll try the Pesto Tortellini.
Calling all sports fans – check out LockerBlogger! LockerBlogger is building a Social Network between pro athletes, coaches and every day fans. Professional athletes can create their own profile where they can upload their own photos and videos as well as blog about games, practices or just their daily life. Pro coaches can also set up accounts where they can post how to videos that display training techniques or drills in their sport of expertise. Users can create their own “Locker” which puts them in the locker room and gives them an insider’s look into the day-to-day lives of pro athletes and coaches. Currently, LockerBlogger features about 150 pro athletes, including NBA star Sam Cassell. Although LockerBlogger is still relatively small, there is a lot of buzz around this new Social Networking site that brings athletes, coaches and fans together.
So you have a strong online presence. You’ve got a company website as well as accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. But wouldn’t it be great if you could create a URL that would bring you to all of your many sites? Well now there is. SocialURL allows users to create a personalized URL that aggregates all of your social profiles in one place. For example, here at WebFuel we have created our own SocialURL that brings together our homepage, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Car.ly pages. SocialURL also allows users to upload, organize and share photos and videos, add contact details, to-do lists and keep track of people visiting your SocialURL page.
Driven by user-created content, Instructables is a Social Networking site where users can share interesting and useful projects, ideas and methods with others. Whether you want to make a solar powered iPod charger or looking to create a motion sensor cat toy, Instructables has it all. Projects can be commented on a rated based on their relevance, creativity and clarity. Users can also participate in community forums and blogs to discuss projects and ideas.
If you’re like me, you love music. Not just one kind, but all genres. Classic rock, 90’s alternative, hip hop, etc. There are literally millions of artists and songs out there, some of which you will never hear in your lifetime. Thanks to the internet, accessing and listening to music is much easier now than it was 20 years ago. Blip.fm allows users to become a DJ and create their own music station. Just sign up with your very own DJ name to get your Blip profile started. Next select a few of your favorite artists. From there, Blip will compare your favorite artists with those of other Blip DJ’s. You can browse through and choose your favorite DJ’s which will be uploaded to your Blip homepage. Blip.fm’s format is very similar to that of Twitter, but instead of Tweets, you have Blips. Every Blip can contain a message and a song which other users can listen to. By using Blip, you’re allowing others who share your music preferences, to create their own personalized and unique playlist just for you. Blip is a great way to meet others with similar music tastes as well as find new music that you like. Below you can see a screen capture of my Blip feed featuring some of my favorite songs.
Ruba allows you to discover your next perfect trip. Whether you know exactly where you want to go, or have no idea, Ruba is a great starting point. Ruba features in-depth reviews, suggestions, tips and photos for travelers. Let’s say I was planning a trip to the Netherlands. I can browse through hundreds of guides, tours, hotels, restaurants and attractions in Amsterdam. Clearly, I will have plenty to do on my trip. Next time you’re planning a vacation, see what Ruba has to offer.
10. 97 Bottles
Okay, first of all I am a college student, so of course I love this one. But you don’t need to be in college to love and appreciate beer. 97 Bottles allows beer lovers to add, review, recommend and learn about thousands of beers from around the globe. Users can create lists of their favorite beers and breweries and share them with others. Browse through beers and breweries based on their rating and reviews. Learn about new beers and connect with other beer enthusiasts. Why drink the same beer every weekend? Expand your horizons with the help of 97 bottles.
So in closing, these are currently my favorite “unknown” Social Networking sites. Which ones have you seen before? Do you have any “unknown” favorites that weren’t mentioned? Let us know!