50 fresh social-networking and online community sites

Social networking sites have become so popular on today’s web. These sites allow members to register and connect with other users of the site in a real way — by sharing aspects of their lives or something specific, such as videos, photos, text or a combination of media types.

YouTube, Craigslist, Flickr, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Last.fm, Yahoo! Answers and Stickam are just a few of today’s social networking sites that are on their way towards becoming household names. However these aren’t the only online communities out there. Here are 50 fresh faces, all from my bookmarks on del.icio.us.

Academic

  • Connexions – Share educational content on the web in the form of books, reports, courses, etc. Site content is provided under a Creative Commons license.
  • LearnHub – A network centered around learning. Share your knowledge with other people, and learn things in return! For students and educators. Learn about a wide variety of topics, from colleges to individual subjects.
  • NoteSwap – A site where college students can share class notes.
  • SlideShare – Share your PowerPoint presentations with the wide web. Join groups, participate in contests and more.

Activism

  • Kiva – A network that lets you give loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries to help them get out of poverty.

Art, Film & Design

  • Artrevist – A site for artists and non-profits to create designs that convey some sort of greater meaning and/or encourages activism. Members can submit designs, rate them and the highest-rated designs will be reproduced onto t-shirts.
  • COLOURlovers – A community for people who work with and/or love colors. Share color schemes, patterns and palettes.
  • Massify – A film production company that provides tools to help aspiring filmmakers and actors to connect and make films. Members can audition for roles, pitch ideas, showcase their work, collaborate on projects, participate in competitions and more.

Classifieds

  • real people real stuff – Video classifieds. Got something to sell? Make your own commercial and post it on the site.
  • Uloop – Somewhat similar to Craigslist, this site connects students so that they may buy, sell and trade from their classmates. Use it to find textbooks, roommates, learn about events and all the other essentials that come with being a college student. You must have an .edu email address to sign up.

Events

  • Upcoming – An online community for events, brought to you by Yahoo!. Post your own events and/or find events in your area

Hobbies

  • Arcaplay – Play free online games.
  • ibeatyou – If you like competition, you may like this site. Members challenge one another (on a variety of things) and the community votes on who wins each challenge.
  • IntoFlight – A site that contains a database of general aviation aircraft. Pilots can post reviews, photos, videos and stats about their favorite planes.
  • Squirl – Do you collect keys? Old toys? Share your collections online. Provides tools to help you organize and catalog your collections. You can also join groups.
  • Train MA – An online community for martial artists (and martial arts enthusiasts). You can share training tips, photos, start a blog, learn about tournaments and connect with other members.

Journalism & Media

  • Helium – Write about topics that interest you and join a community of other writers who can become contacts. There are contests and other community events to help you promote your writings.
  • NowPublic – An online community that covers worldwide news events.
  • news // currrent – Find and share news stories and videos that interest you. There is also a Current TV Network which is broadcast nationwide.

Kids

  • imbee – Social networking site created specifically for kids and ‘tweens.

People

  • friend SHACK – Find pen-pals, efriends, chat friends and book-swappers from around the world.
  • Geek 2 Geek – A place to meet other “geeks” online, for friendship, romance or a casual date.

Pets & Animals

  • Catster – An online community centered around cats. Create a profile for your cat and post photos and videos of him/her. Join groups and connect with other cat owners. Also has information on cat care, breeds, etc.
  • Dogster – An online community just like Catster above, except it’s centered around dogs. Made by the same people who made Catster.
  • United Cats – Make a website for your cat and connect with other cats and cat-lovers. Upload photos, videos, and join clubs.
  • United Dogs – Make a website for your dog and connect with other dogs and dog-lovers. Upload photos, videos, and join clubs.

Professional

  • BabySitters.com – If you’re a babysitter, create a profile and get connected with potential clients in your area. If you’re looking for a babysitter, you can search for one in your area using this site.
  • claimID – Take control of your identity on the web by aggregating all of the sites that you own or that are legitimate reflections of your identity.
  • ideablob – Got a business idea? Submit it to this site and you can help it grow and possibly win $10K to help get it off the ground.
  • LinkedIn – the “Facebook” of the business world, LinkedIn allows you to create a profile and build a network of colleagues and other potential contacts.
  • Naymz – A networking tool for professionals. Create a profile and network with other professionals to promote your reputation.
  • ResearchGATE – A social networking site for scientists to present themselves and their research projects. Connect and network with fellow scientists.
  • WeddingWire – A community site for couples who are planning a wedding. Connect with vendors, get reviews, planning tools, ask questions, etc. Vendors can also join to network with other vendors, advertise their services and build an online storefront.

Q & A

  • Ask Me Help Desk – Question-and-answer community. Ask and answer questions. Possibility to accept money for your knowledge.
  • Defuddle – Defuddle is a question-and-answer site where users can ask and answer questions on any topic. It uses tags as a way of organizing questions.
  • wis.dm – The site’s name is a play on the word “wisdom.” You can ask and answer yes-or-no questions, and connect with other users.

Reading & Writing

  • One Million Monkeys Typing – A collaborative writing site. Read user-submitted stories, and write your own forks. The idea is of “planting” stories which must be then watered and grown by the community.
  • WEBook – Members can start a book writing project and invite other members to join the project and help write the book and give feedback. The community votes on the books and the best ones are published!

Reviews

  • Mouth Shut – A reviews site based in India that lets you review a wide variety of products and services.
  • Travel Post – Read and post reviews about hotels. The site provides information about each reviewer that gives you a better idea of his or her perspective.
  • Viewpoints – Read and post reviews on consumer products & services, local venues and more.
  • Yelp – Read and post reviews about services/venues in your area.

Society & Culture

  • babbledog – Share and discover interesting stories, and support causes (items of interest). Over time, the site learns what types of content you like and tailors content to your interest.
  • Experience Project – Anonymously share your life experiences and meet others who have been through the same things.
  • Language Exchange Community – From the Rosetta Stone language learning series, this website allows you to connect with other users to practice languages. Voice chat, text-chat. Find a partner and learn eachother’s languages.
  • MyChurch – A social-networking site for Christian churches.
  • MyItThings – Site members can blog about entertainment, technology, fashion, body and home. You can share your designs and participate in contests.
  • Zimbio – Uses the wiki format to allow users to write and edit “wikizines” around a topics of cultural and societal interest.

Video Sharing

  • Magnify.net -Start your own online video community.
  • Vimeo – A community for sharing and enjoying videos. Focuses on preserving video quality and privacy options.

5 Comments

  1. A lot of sites πŸ˜€ Seems like a new site opens every day, for every single purpose you can think of. I mean, video classifieds — where are we headed next? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  2. Hey Michelle! Long time no see…or “write.” Hope you and everyone else is doing great, I miss you guys. Anyway, I didn’t know half these sites existed, so thanks for sharing them!

  3. Hi, Michelle! I still read your site, even though I lurk most of the time. πŸ™‚ Just wanted to suggest a site for your list that I love, called Shelfari. It’s a social networking community for readers and writers. The website is http://www.shelfari.com/

    I love it! I also like the monkey vine site you posted, that’s such a cool idea. Where do people get all of these ideas for sites anyway? πŸ˜€

  4. Thanks for the comments, y’all! I really appreciate them.

    Brendan — Tabs isn’t new, it’s been around for an eternity in Internet time. πŸ™‚

    Roslyn — Thanks for the link, that site looks great. I added it to my bookmarks, so that the next time I do an entry like this, I’ll include it. πŸ˜€

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