Sunday, September 14, 2003

Named link is

Social Networking Sites and Software

with perceived focus

The below is a simple list. Please go to the Quickbase spreadsheet and add your knowledge!

Social Networking Websites by Type

The list has been moved to here: Social Networking Sites and Software sorted by name
Please note that YOU can edit this list yourself to make it more accurate and up-to-date! I am not personally maintaining this list anymore, I am counting on all of you to continually keep it updated. Thanks very much.

Ryze: business
ecademy: business
LinkedIn: business
itsnotwhatyouknow: business
Friendly Favors: business
ZeroDegrees: business (corporate)
Accolo: jobs
RealContacts: jobs
Eliyon: business, jobs
Friendster: friendship, dating
Sona Matchmaker: friendship, dating (India)
Huminity: friendship friendship
Ringo: friendship
PalJunction: friendship, business, dating, roommates
Tribe: friendship, business, dating, roommates, classifieds
Club Nexus at Stanford - need URL: alumni, article
MeetUp: in-person
Buddy Zoo: IM social networking analysis
*PayDemocracy: political groups
* alumni
* alumni
*InfoSpace: yellow pages (references)
*SwitchBoard: yellow pages (references)
* dating
*People on Page: friendship, dating
*all of the other dating sites
People Aggregator: ???

*= could easily cross over into social networking

Spoke SW: business (corporate)
Visible Path, business (corporate)
**wwPlaxo.: contacts
**GoodContacts: contacts
**Accucard: contacts

** contact software could easily add social networking features as they have all of the necessary data

Blogs with some features of Social Networking
livejournal: blog
Expressions: visual blogging
Fotolog: visual blogging

Question Marks

Preliminary Analysis
It seems pretty clear that not all of these social networking sites or software will survive. Clay Shirky states "The *only* thing these services have to base a business on is lack of interoperability". I believe there is another part to the value proposition that they offer users -- the ability to go beyond 1 degree of separation. However, it's really difficult to think of situations where going more than 2 degrees of separation is worthwhile, unless you are a contagious disease - see my whitepaper Links and Nodes in Social Networks. Unless >2 degrees of separation and node secrecy are valued by users (maybe not everyone but an interestingly large set of users), an "open" networking service will make these proprietary services and software obsolete. before they've made a penny.

Thanks to the many people who helped me compile this list including:
  • Clay Shirky
  • Danah Boyd
  • Doug Rush
  • Sean Murphy
  • Debi Jones
  • Patti Anklam

If I left your name off let me know and I will add it.