It will be difficult to compete with the social networking juggernaut that is Facebook, as everyone from your mom to your pet dog to your kindergarten teacher is jumping on the FB bandwagon in larger and larger numbers. Despite the company’s accusations of privacy infringement, social networking enthusiasts still flock to the site as if it is the only one in existence. The truth is, however, that there are hundreds of similar social networking sites out there that are more secure and dynamic. And many of these alternative sites have tens of millions of users, too. Here are a few you may want to look into.
Diaspora is relatively recent social network that has garnered much media attention in the past year. It is only now beginning its alpha stage, so it isn’t quite up and running yet. The neat thing about Diaspora is that it’s completely decentralized and “open-sourced”, meaning there is no central hub, ala Facebook, that stores all your info. You control all your information, and in the spirit of open-source, users can further develop the site and its capabilities on their own. For more details, check out the NYTimes article that ran earlier this year on Diaspora and its founders.
Although Diaspora has received more media attention than has OneSocialWeb, OSW is further along developmentally and uses the same basic concept of decentralization combined with open-source. It envisions enabling users to transport their data over various already existing social networks.
Powered by Google, Orkut began as an invitation-only site but is now open to all users. Some of Orkut’s unique capabilities include being able to categorize friends by level of closeness and being able to see who has viewed your profile. What’s more, Orkut is app-free. Although Orkut has several million users in the United States, it is most popular in Brazil and India.
Launched in June 2010 and now fully up and running, FolkDirect is a breath of fresh air on the social networking scene, as its main focus is user privacy. There are neither advertisers nor third-party apps that can potentially access or mess with your data. FolkDirect also has additional blogging tools so that users can maintain their own blog on the site, for private or public viewing. What’s more, FolkDirect has a question-answer system similar to Yahoo! Answers.
While it is yet to be seen if any of these sites will ever achieve the popularity of the Facebook behemoth, they offer an alternative if you’ve decided you’ve had enough of the Facebook madness. That so many new sites are popping up over the past few years indicates that now we have more choice in terms of social networking than ever before, which is always a good thing.
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Category: Internet Tips