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Eight Social Networking Sites You Might Not Know About (But Should)

Find your unique social networking community on the Web!

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One of the primary concepts underpinning the move towards a more social Web has to be that of community: sharing content and ideas with others on the greater Web. Social networking sites on the Web offer the searcher communities in any topic imaginable, from fitness to cooking to personal finance. Here are eight social networking sites that you might not know about yet, but should.

1. Mint

Mint is a finance management site centered around personal finance; the premise is that you share your financial struggles and successes with others and learn from each others mistakes and triumphs. There are loads of great user tips (you can also submit your own best financial suggestions), plus, Mint is a fantastic Web-based money manager; you can actually use it for financial planning and personal finance management. Mint takes your financial info and compares it others (completely anonymously), and shows you where you could trim the fat or stand to spend a little bit more, it's like a free, personalized budgetary consultation.

2. Stylehive

stylehive
Basically, Stylehive this is where all those really cool style setters and trend mavens hang out and share their shopping wisdom with you. Stylehive is built on the concept of discovering and sharing the hippest stuff out there, from jewelry to apparel to shoes. Once you join the Stylehive community, you can build your own personalized hive that reflects your own personal style, chat with other Stylehive members, subscribe to other Stylehive-ers specific picks, and more. I always find something beautiful here.

3. Foursquare

Foursquare adds a unique physical dimension to the Web; you download the free Foursquare app or participate online and then the service is able to automatically detect you and tell the world where you might be at any given time. You can use Foursquare to connect with other people in your area more easily, follow where your fellow Foursquare users are, or make new friends all over the world. One of my favorite Foursquare activities is just people-watching: I love to see what people are up to all over the world.

4. 43 Things

Make personal goals and find others to work toward these goals with you at 43 Things, a collaborative goal-setting social networking site. Want to lose some weight? How about travel to Europe, learn Spanish, or spend more time with your family? Once you write down your goals at 43 Things, you can explore the community to find other folks who share the same interests, and then invite these people to help you along your journey. I really like this concept: it's a positive way to accomplish your success in tandem with other people.

5. SparkPeople

Studies have shown that if you want to lose weight and get fit, you will do better with a buddy or with a community. SparkPeople is a site built on that concept. You get motivation and support from others who share your same fitness and/or weight loss goals, as well as accountabilit. You can also use SparkPeople to count calories, track your workouts, and visualize your fitness progress, as well as swap tips that have worked for you or share your struggles with the greater SparkPeople community.

6. BlueDot

bluedot
BlueDot is a social bookmarking community much like del.icio.us or Netscape, but with a few twists. You can share anything with friends and the greater Web community simply and easily by “dotting” what you find, create a holiday wishlist (handy for sending to people who don’t know what to get you!), and you can even add a BlueDot widget to your blog or Web site, making it easy for your visitors to get to know you and take part in what kind of content you’ve already discovered.

7. Cafe Mom

Parents need other parents, right? Well, Cafe Mom aims to serve this demographic with their very own social networking site. You can use Cafe Mom to get advice from other parents, get your very own family page (upload your own pics!), and make friends with other community members. The best thing about Cafe Mom is that the advice comes from other parents that are “in the trenches”, so to speak, instead of glossily produced parenting magazines that make you feel somewhat inadequate for wanting to duct tape your toddler’s feet to the floor…not that anybody reading this has ever thought about doing that (of course!).

8. Pinterest

Pinterest provides a way to find interesting stuff on the Web and visually bookmark it. You can also browse within the Pinterest community and bookmark other peoples' finds, if you want. Pinterest couldn't be simpler. You sign up (free), and you can choose between searching through the community for good bookmarks (and believe me, there's some really awesome stuff here).

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