Social networking services has become the latest hot thing to have and participate within the last couple of years.
Here's a list of sites and services I have used the last 2-4 years with mixed results.
The first site I started using was LinkedIn. LinkedIn started as a networking site where you could only become a member by being invited by somebody already a member. LinkedIn started growing quickly in 2004, becoming one thing on the net you had to be a member of. LinkedIn has evolved, adding more web 2.0 type services, become open and has more than 17M users.
LinkedIn is based on the concept of how many degrees away you are from a person. People you are connected with are your 1st degree of contacts. You can get introduced to others through your network or become a premium subscriber and (depending on your subscription level) get access directly to people not in your network. LinkedIn also allows you to create groups and join groups others create. LinkedIn has a job search and listing service for those of you looking for a new job. Many listings are also unique.
LinkedIn has some restrictions by default, no blind mass introductions using find colleagues or mass introductions resulting in a high percentage of refusals. You are also allowed max 3000 invitations to be sent out. After that you have to ask for more, 300-500 at a time.
Check it out if you are not a user, http://www.lidforss.com/in/tlidforss (my public profile) and send me an invitation.
This was a service started by university students to keep in touch with friends. Facebook is a lot more of a social networking site than LinkedIn. Facebook also publishes an application developer API allowing 3rd party applications to work as plug-ins on Facebook. This has resulted in scores of applications available for almost any service. This is both good and bad, you have to be careful about not accepting too many applications, if you do, you will get bombarded with messages and notification requests. The good thing, YOU CAN LEAVE and REMOVE your appllicatios. The same goes for groups. Facebook is a good site when you want to experiment and try new services. Facebook has a restriction for max 5000 users.
Facebook has nowadays more than 60M users.
Connect with me and send a friend request to tlidforss at yahoo.com and check out my profile;
Ecademy is a boutique style UK based site that has worked as an "exclusive club". Ecademy is the oldest networking site, celebrating its 10th year of operation now. Ecademy has a lot of quality contacts, with clubs, local (geograpically speaking) clubs, news, blogs, marketplace. Ecademy is very interntional, the only restriction being English language only on the site. For people who are used to US based sites, I can recommend Ecademy as an excellent English speaking alternative. Try it out, you have nothing to loose, view my profile to see what kind of infomation Ecademy provides;
Ecademy has 300K+ users.
Plaxo is for most people known as the MS Outlook contact and address book synchrinization service. Plaxo started a very web 2.0 developed service more than one year ago, allowing networking, with RSS feeds, groups and sharing of info. Plaxo Pulse has a very simple and easy to use interface. Unfortunately, Plaxo only allows 1000 connections, then you get a stupid message, you have more than 1000 connections, please delete some so you can connect!!!
So, my question is how do I know which connection to delete just so I can accept a new one? Right now I have probably about 100+ connection request I cannot even reply to. Another restriction is also, max 10k contacts in your address book, after that synchronization stops and Plaxo effectively quits working, so I have not used it a lot lately, even though I still like their services.
Plaxo has 10M+ users.
Spock is a relatively new site. Spock has based their services on the concept of "tags". You build up a list of tags for yourself and people you connect with. Your connections can also add tags on your profile. Spock has a fast and easy to use userinterface. Try it out; see Spock profile info:
Spoke is a US site that very much looks like the European Viadeo and Xing. I have not used Spoke that much but they have more than 30M users.
See http://center.spoke.com/profiles/ThomasLidforss to view profile data information.
Ryze is another US site that has been around the last 5 years. I have not used it very much but if you would like to view type of information in a profile, seehttp://www.ryze.com/go/mpnow1
Myspace is the world no. 1 site for social networking. Unfortunately you can eaily get too much junk request and info. Very social site though. I use mainly because of relatives of mine.
Myspace has more than 230M users.
See, http://www.myspace.com/tlidforss for profile data sample.
Xing started using the name OpenBC and changed to Xing. Xing is a German company but with a very interntional approach allowing you to have and choose between different languages. I personally like Xing, very good search functions, matching functions for your haves and wants in your profile. Suggestions on people and business opportunities you should look up based on your profile. Xing is also as a premium user cheaper than most sites, about 6 Euro/month.
See, http://www.xing.com/go/invite/3233530.693c4a for profile data sample.
Viadeo is a French based company to some extent like Xing. Very international with multiple languages and profile languages.
See, http://www.viadeo.com/en/profile/thomas.lidforss for profile data sample.
Doostang is a career and job oriented US site where you have to get invited to become a user. See http://www.doostang.com/ for a look.
Naymz is a relatively new site building up your network based on a "trust" concept. Once you reach trust level 9, you get power features search wise and Google submissios. One good thing, Naymz sponsor links on Google and cross references your blog, homesite and linkedin profile page which improves your visibility on Google.
See, http://thomas.lidforss.name/ or search directory using
GoBigNetworkGoBigNetwork - This is a network focusing on networking among business people interested in growing their businesses, start one or work for one, little activity though, don't really know
if a lot of people are using this site see, www.gobignetwork.com/profiles/Thomas-Lidforss.aspx
CollectiveX - semi-active user, this is a site where all sites are open for open networkers. CollectiveX allows you to create or join groups.See, http://www.collectivex.com/
TheMetaNetwork - this is a site organized by Christian Mayaud in the New York area. Christian is number 2 in the world on LinkedIn, got mad at LinkedIn restrictions and started his own networking site; http://www.themetanetwork.com/
You can register, join the LinkedIn group LIONS and update your "The Lions' Lair" status. You will be listed on the LION's excelfile list over members and your willingness to be more or
less a fully open networker. This is one of the most used services from TheMetaNetwork site.
Ning - This is the site where you can so far for free create your own networking site, open or closed depending on what you want to do including creating groups for your networking site. I
am an active user in a couple of ning sites just to experiement and see if I would like to create my own site with this service. See one example,
Konnects is a new site with an intersting concept for matching leads based on your profile, creating and managing groups and communities.
ZoomInfo is a reverse personal and business networking site. ZoomInfo builds your profile based on public internet site information, you can claim your profile by updating or correcting the information Zoominfo has put together.
Biztribe is like a European version of Ryze with networking and job information. I have not used it very much so I have for the time being no further comments.
Jobster is a career oriented website like Doostang but open. You get pretty good matches (based on skills matching and skills keywords you choose)for your profile plus you can network with others.
Friendster is a mix of Myspace and Facebook, have not played with it much and I am no longer a user.
I will add a new post and come back with comments about SiliconIndia, WirelessFactors, PartnerUp and HireAbility and Vasutown (both for people who actively network for recruiter job purposes).