Friday, September 21, 2007

Social Networking is Born-Again

With the insane general appeal of MySpace and Facebook, it seems that the new growth in social networking sites is going to come from niche markets, appealing to specific types of people. Today I highlight the surprisingly longer-than-I-thought list of social networking sites that are appealing to specific religions.

Christian Social Network Holypal (holypal.com) - Calling themselves the "Christian MySpace Alternative," Holypal features all of the typical social media genres we've come to expect - a personalized profile and blog and the ability to upload video and pictures. They also offer a discussion forum and a Christian singles dating service. The homepage highlights the current forum discussions like "once saved always saved," "why do we go to church?" and "defending our faith".

Xianz (xianz.com) - I always thought saying "Xians" was meant to be a little offensive, but this site has embraced it. Xianz.com calls itself "The MySpace alternative for Christians! It's the Faith Based MySpace" and features live webcam recording and contest where they give away Nintendo Wiis.

MyChurch (mychurch.org) - This site had gotten a bit of blogger buzz recently for crossing the 10,000 mark for how many churches it features. Churches can register a church profile (featuring blogging, photos, video, audio clips and event postings) and members of congregations can be added to their church and to fellow church-goers. The profile pages are aesthetically pleasing; the layout is similar to Facebook with clean blue and white boxes. Very nice.

If you Google "Christian social networking," you'll get 13,300,000 results. But Christians aren't the only ones jumping on the social networking bandwagon.

I think it's exciting to see people of various faiths using social networking for religious support and questioning. Whether you're looking to find fellow followers and groups in your area or just explore what hot topics members of your faith are discussing, check out these sites and use the power of social media for bettering yourself and your community.

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wow. I hadn't heard of any of those, but I guess it was bound to happen. Next thing will be social networks for ethnicity, gender, economic status, etc. On the other hand, Ii guess it is good because if you are interested in meeting specific type of people, there you go. These type of networks are specialized so it narrows down the search for you. Good post!

A. Bueno said...

WOW! I had no idea. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since there are communities for everything from Apple users to people who use and love Bic pens (I'm not thaaat sure that there is one for that, but I wouldn't be surprised). I think it is so interesting that you can type in just about anything to Google and find people who care about an issue, idea, item or belief just as much as you do. It keeps us connected in a lonely world.

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