I’ve been noticing a lot of blogs and news reports talking about how users are fleeing from Facebook to other social network services, like Twitter*, because they are fed up with ads. First off, for the record, Facebook serves noninvasive and minimal amounts of advertising. Besides the annoyance that Beacon may have caused for a week or so, Facebook is relatively respectful of their users, and only has intentions of serving truly relevant advertising to them in the form of social ads.
That being said, people are still shooting off to other networks, some niche, others wide open. As I stated in a pervious post, I feel that people will always belong to massive social networks like Facebook, but will be more inclined to participate more frequently in smaller, more niche groups that aren’t necessarily hosted on a sophisticated technology platform (e.g. email, comment sections, groups, etc).
So, if you are one of those users who intend to deviate from the world of Facebook or MySpace (please tell me you aren’t still using MySpace), there are a ton of services out there that allow you to create your own mini-networks.
Top of the list goes to Ning, for its ease of use and great interface. I can’t vouch for the others, but here they are (click on the picture to go to their site):
* I still hate Twitter and find it useless. Out of all the friends I have in the city that are all about staying in touch, none of them use Twitter.