Four social networks that get it right.

I’ve got a little project happening over on my home page in the form of a proper lifestream — wherein my activities across the web are logged and presented on a single page for anyone who may be interested. It’s largely made possible by the magic of RSS, and in entering feeds from each of the various networks and services I use I was once again reminded of the ones that “get it” and the ones that don’t.

Here then, are four networks that get it. I’ve linked to my own accounts on each of these sites — just in case you wanted to, you know, friend me on one or more of them:

1. Flickr is one of those networks that’s worth paying for. My pro-level account gives me unlimited storage and bandwidth. The bandwidth is especially important, as my Flickr photos can easily be embedded into any external web page via a block of unique code that’s easy to find, copy and paste. This feature is also available to all Flickr members, paying or not.

2. Last.fm, near as I can tell, uses the music library on my desktop computer to authenticate an online equivalent. As a result I can use Mobbler to stream all of my music to my mobile phone while I’m on the go. For free.

3. Jamendo goes even further and provides a platform for up and coming artists to spread their work via free downloads and a Creative Commons License. It’s a fantastic resource for new music, especially with an open-minded podcast like Rathole Radio as your guide.

4. Library Thing is a network I joined just this week, and it’s already proven its worth — not just because it’s where all the book lovers are, but because I’m able to export my collected book titles into a .csv file or tab-delimited text. Library Thing requires users to pay a membership fee once they hit 200 titles; that sounds like a bargain to me…

Like most Web 2.0 services, these four networks adhere to the “you produce, we profit” mantra. But unlike many of them, they actually offer value for the user, even if it’s for an additional charge.

What are your favourite networks? Remember, it’s all about sharing…

2 comments:

  1. i have a LibraryThing account. Mostly because the awesome Calibre application (ahem, GPL’d, ahem!) interfaces with it. At least, I think that’s where I found out about it.

    I didn’t even know there was a social aspect to it. Not sure how to add Andrew to my Library friends.

    Last.fm suffers from the same problem. It’s an excellent service and I love it and use it almost daily. But as for social, it is kind of difficult to manage, view, and interact with friends. As a general chat board, it’s pretty straightforward.

  2. i have a LibraryThing account. Mostly because the awesome Calibre application (ahem, GPL’d, ahem!) interfaces with it. At least, I think that’s where I found out about it.

    I didn’t even know there was a social aspect to it. Not sure how to add Andrew to my Library friends.

    Last.fm suffers from the same problem. It’s an excellent service and I love it and use it almost daily. But as for social, it is kind of difficult to manage, view, and interact with friends. As a general chat board, it’s pretty straightforward.

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