Getting bored with Facebook? You’re not alone! Luckily, there are some really exciting, more niche social channels that can put some fun back into networking!
It seems that the kings of social media land, such as Facebook and Twitter, have grown so large that users tend to get a bit dizzy and feel lost in the overload of trivial and often uninteresting information. A new research for example has shown that Britains are suffering from ‘Facebook fatigue’. Many users describe it as boring, not relevant or not useful. Users are increasingly looking for a more personalised experience, which bigger networks with a one-size-fits-all approach simply cannot offer.
In the shadow of the dominant networks, new social networks are springing up everywhere and pushing social networking into more specialised directions. These niche social sites allow users to connect with fewer people who share the same interests. They embrace the fact that they are different, so find your own niche and get personal:
Are your goals and hopes piling up in front of you as a huge mountain? List your goals and accomplish them with the help of 43Things. Discuss your goals with others, share how-to stories, write about successes you’ve had and cheer others on towards achieving their goals. Don’t forget to set up a designated e-mail reminder in case you are forgetting about your life-changing plans. Through the website you can also find other users who are working towards the same goals and maybe even make some friends along the way.
After you achieved a goal, you can give yourself a pat on the back and finally make the long-awaited 'I Have Done This'-click, but you can also ask yourself if the goal was worth accomplishing and how exactly you achieved it. Your responses are not only a good tool for some self-reflection, but they can help others who are seeking to achieve the same goals. Best of all, your profile comes with a ‘Year in Review’ page that keeps track of all your goals! Finished? Simply browse the network to get inspired by thousands of goals that others have created and list some new ones!
Goodreads unites bookworms around the world! The site revolves entirely around users’ ‘bookshelves’, a list of books they have read or are currently reading. Goodreads allows users to discover new books to read, browse through what others are reading, discuss literature, recommend books they love and keep track of what they have read. You can even start your very own online book club. Users can also integrate their lists and groups with Facebook and Twitter, but probably the best thing about Goodreads is how it allows authors to connect directly to their readers.
“Do you feel guilty tossing those spent toilet-paper rolls into the recycle bin? Check out some crafty ways to re-use them instead!” says a post on Care2. Well, do you? Then this website for the social philanthropist might be something for you. It’s the place to be for people who want to make a difference. Whether you want to go green, live healthy or take action on important causes such as human rights or animal rights, visit Care2 to: get informed about important causes; share tips; ask questions; and even start online petitions. Interestingly, the butterflies on their logo stand for the "butterfly effect", of course the concept where one small change in one place can cause a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena in the future.
Looking for a job? Vizify, a visually-dominant online resume, might prove to be a big help. Although CEO Todd Silverstein, the website’s co-founder, doesn’t believe Vizify should be labelled as a social network, it retrieves all its information from a sea of social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram). Once you set up an account and grant Vizify access to your other social media accounts, it will create an entire profile page showing the best of you online.
But Vizify goes further than that. You can also list your past jobs, education and photos on your profile. Vizify gives your prospective employers a visually pleasant overview of your personality, interests, education, achievements and work history. So, for example, when you are applying for those ever-growing niche IT jobs, your well-designed Vizify profile can act as a showcase for both your skills and understanding of new media technologies.
Imagine attending an event that gathered only people who share the same interests as you? Well that’s exactly what Meetup does; the network allows you to get in touch with other people in your niche and plan to take part specific events in your area. Meetup describes itself as the “world’s largest network of self-organised clubs and community groups.” No matter how extravagant or obscure your interests are, the chances are big that there is a Meetup for you. If not, you can always start planning your own event!
Haven’t found your niche yet? Don’t despair; there are plenty more of such targeted social networks out there, and the old-kid-on-the-block, Google, will probably help you find it.