Friends in Bulk
Although Facebook continues it’s quest for world domination, there is room on the web for other, more targeted social networking sites.
How many Facebook friends do you have? 200? 500? 1,000? The number can be overwhelming and the term “friend” is probably a stretch in most of those cases. That number also likely includes a combination of family members, coworkers, companies, acquaintances and other people who may not be engrossed by every mundane detail of your day.
This is where more focused networking sites get their traction. Path, for example, limits your friend list to 50 and allows a smaller group of people to share photos, links, videos and status updates without the risk of widespread eye-rolling. Group Me, Frenzy, Rally Up, Shizzler and Huddl are other examples of networking sites which put a fine point on maintaining fewer, truer friendships.
Although Facebook does offer privacy setting which allow the user to control who sees what, many Facebookers find these complicated to set up. Maintaining a smaller group of friends negates the need for closely controlling your content.
Google+ uses an intuitive interface comprised of ‘circles’ of contacts. This makes it easier to strategically distribute a post without any cross contamination. There are just some things boss’s and grandmas don’t need to see.
Shizzler was created after two Graduate students, Nick Jaensch and Keith Bessette, realized how difficult it was to make plans on Facebook.
“You put out a status about weekend plans and, all of a sudden, you get your uncle commenting that he wants to go hiking with you and your friends,” says Nick, who also points out that Shizzler is not intended to compete with Facebook.
“The people that you’ve called in the past two to three weeks are the people you actually do stuff with,” he says.
Other sites, like myYearbook, cater to a younger demographic. Created by three siblings , two of whom were in high school at the time, myYearbook comprises 4.7 million users in the US. The majority of whom are kids in elementary school.
Features include flash gaming, instant messaging, a crowd-sourced interface, and a virtual economy in which users can earn a proprietary currency called lunchmoney by playing games. Lunchmoney can then be used to purchase gifts for friends, upgrades and other content or, be donated to charity.
Almost makes you wonder what a Facebook currency would be called…