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Social Networks

Let’s Gift It – Group Gifting Made Easy

letsgiftit Logo Let’s Gift It is a relatively new website launched back in December 2010. It implements a simple business model giving users the opportunity to send gifts to other people. You may be wondering how this is different from other gift services. Well, it is, because it allows the gifts to be sent as a group.

The process is simple. All you need is a free account to start the process. Then it is up to you to choose an appropriate gift and send out invites to your friends or colleagues directly or via social networking websites like Facebook. Users can then visit the link and chip in with whatever amount they like. The contributions are anonymous as far as the recipient is concerned although the organizer can see this information. Everything from packaging to shipping is then taken care of automatically through the service interface.

Let’s Gift It uses Authorize as the payment processing system. The service also provides APIs for merchants to incorporate this functionality in their websites.

What they say about themselves

We help people buy and gift as a group. Lets Gift It is innovating in social commerce and gifting. We are one of the best social media apps enabling retailers and wish lists by providing a technology solution for social buying in electronic commerce. E-business and online merchandising sites are using social media campaigns to reach and engage with groups of buyers. Let’s Gift It taps into social networks to provide our e-Commerce partners with an alternative payment solution by deploying our SaaS group gift technology.

Why it could be a success

Simply put, small contributions pooled together can be used to buy something nice for a person you care about. Instead of individual gifts, people can use group gifting to buy something big and relatively expensive like iPod or a PS3.


FameHog – Showcase Your Talents

FameHog Logo The entertainment industry provides employment to a host of professional needed for making any sort of presentation possible. People usually see only the presenters like actors, directors, editors and musicians etc. Few, if any, know about the people who work to make all this possible in the background.

I am talking about the people who work day and night during the projects durations like agents, engineers, designers, makeup and hair professionals and stuntmen. They rarely get the exposure they deserve to show the world what they are capable of. Well, FameHog is just the place for such people.

FameHog provides these professionals with the opportunity and tools to present their creations for everyone to see. Besides being a social networking site, the place provides audio and video player, news service and even email facilities. An easy to use content management system allows for professional looking profiles and resumes.

What they say about themselves

The vast majority of film & TV professionals don’t have management. These are the set designers, animators, makeup artists, sound engineers, etc. To date these professionals have had limited options to promote, market and manager their careers. FameHog levels the playing field and digitizes this distribution model, eliminating the need for printed headshots, portfolios and messengers.

Why it could be a success

People need to know how much work goes into making a TV or film production possible and how many people make it so. Everyone should get the exposure they deserve for their creative talents. FameHog may inspire others to follow these professionals by providing them the platform to get together and discuss ideas. I believe the website could benefit by launching a marketplace for people to monetize their talents.


Legal Playground – Professional Law Portal

LegalPlayground Logo A new entry into the social networking niche, Legal Playground provides a portal for the lawyers and legal fraternity to interact with people seeking them out for their needs. The process is simple. Both the service providers and clients get a chance to signup and seek each other out.

Legal professionals can make their profiles on the website. They can provide people with blog posts and list their expertise in the relevant field. Clients can seek out these professionals through searching or posting their problems eliciting a response from the appropriate professionals. Clients can also post their testimonials about the quality of service they got from anyone from this website.

What they say about themselves

Recent studies show that when looking for an attorney, consumers now search the Internet, review blogs, and watch online videos to help them decide. Legal Playground provides a way to connect consumers and lawyers in this digital revolution. Lawyers can easily create a profile, blog and upload multimedia. And, consumers can easily search for attorneys by name, location or practice area. The app is also revolutionary for the legal community, and the closest lawyers will get to having their own free app.

Why it could be a success

Targeting the legal fraternity and allowing them to easily interact with their prospective clients is a nice business model. The service is free and only charges when a professional is actually hired. For legal professionals who are new and need a place to build their portfolio, Legal Playground provides an easy to use and manageable platform.


Flapon – Topic-Based Social Networking

Flapon Logo Flapon is a new and upcoming social networking website providing users with the ability to interact with other people based on their interests. Like most social networking websites, the idea is to create connections. From personal friendships to business affiliations, Flapon can help you to grow your network of friends.

Flapon is a topic-based social networking site. It works by allowing users to choose from a wide range of topics matching their interests and interact with people having similar tastes. The main theme revolves around creating Flaps, which are similar to forum or blog posts and can be used to write personal thoughts, reviews or just random tidbits of information which you feel can benefit others. The Flaps are then posted and streamed to users who are either following the person writing the Flap or the topic, the Flap is based on.

An interesting feature is the event notification. Users can inform others interested in a particular niche about an upcoming event. The event can both be online or offline in the real world. A marketplace to setup a business presence for a brand is also provided for young entrepreneurs as a launching pad to introduce others to their services.

What they say about themselves

Flapon features include an interactive blogging/forum function called “Flap” which allows users to write about and discuss topics of mutual interest. Users can easily meet new people based on those mutual interests without muddling through thousands of forums online.

Why it could be a success

The ability to make it easier to find people with similar interests by connecting them through Flap topics may give an edge to this new website. By posting useful information for others, people can easily find friends with similar interests in life. The idea of an integrated marketplace for business is an added advantage.


MumbleIt – Fun With Twitter Trending Topics

If you haven’t worked out how to have fun on Twitter by taking part in games and meeting likeminded gamesters then MumbleIt could be a good place to start. MumbleIt takes advantage of the way keywords can be used on a website and Tweeted, or vice versa, so that Twitter users can join together to collaborate in joking discussions.

To do this you log in on the MumbleIt page, and this uses your Twitter login details. You can also take part on the MumbleIt webpages anonymously. The idea is to come up with topics that will get other users posting brief comments or pictures, and the posts are automatically posted to Twitter so all your followers can join in or see what’s happening. I couldn’t quite see how interactive this was but my start posts were definitely Tweeted.

MumbleIt also lets you upload pictures so a topic could ask for photos rather than comments, or both. For example, one of the popular topics is ‘Show me your refrigerators!’ which has a surprisingly intriguing set of fridges photographed and revealed by other Twitterers. ‘Useless Facts’ also had a number of people joining in, and the person who started it used the hashtag to make it an easy-to-find trending topic on Twitter, as #uselessfacts.

I tried it out by starting a topic called #MyChihuahua and put a photo of my own dog. When I looked later my topic had become popular with other MumbleIt users posting comments and photos of chihuahuas. These were very comical and I recommend having a go. Along with which I reviewed a while ago, and still play every day, this is a great example of how Twitter can work with an application to get people making friends and having fun together.


SocialSiteCreator – Your Own Social Network

These days it seems you have to have social network features to add real interactivity to many types of website. In fact if you have a website and a social network site to back it up you can soon find that the social network is the one getting most of the traffic. With a social network for a specialist interest it’s possible to encourage networking between members, and also links to other sites, in a way that’s complicated on Facebook due to its massive scale. It has never been easier to set up your own social network, although getting members to join may be more tricky unless you already have access to a group of potential members, so SocialSiteCreator has plenty of competition.

With SocialSiteCreator you can quickly set up your own fully customisable social network starting off with their templates. It doesn’t take great technical skills to use this kind of social network creation tool to get a social network up and running and to tailor it to your own needs, both visually and also in terms of what you want to allow members to do. Do you want them to be able to upload photos and videos and comment freely, or do you want to give approval and moderate to a greater extent?

There are major competitors – mainly and – and these start at free subscription subsidised by Google ads. With Ning and Socialgo you can opt to upgrade to a monthly payment and sell your own advertising. SocialSiteCreator has no free option on offer on the website, and starts with a similar monthly subscription to its competitors. For this users can fully customise the site, sell advertising themselves, and also charge a membership fee.

Some social networks don’t allow adult content, and this includes Ning. Others direct anyone with adult content to SocialSiteCreator seems to leave it up to the user, and it’s worth checking which social network platforms allow the content you want to include. There is also more cross-promotion between social networks on some established platforms, and this may be an advantage or a limitation depending on your content.


IdentEngine – Find and Aggregate Profiles from Social Networks

This site has a downloadable software tool that lets you make use of the identities individuals have constructed on various sites on the internet. It can find and aggregate these profiles in ways that can be used for a variety of tasks and analyses. At the very simplest level you can feed in the names of people you’re searching for and find their profiles on social networks. Then you can collect a number of profiles from various social networks to get a more complete picture of each person. By combining profiles you can construct as detailed a picture as possible for each one.

The tool also has automatic options to fill in profile forms with data and photos, and by using it I managed to trace profiles for individuals I have previously found hard to locate. IdentEngine works with the main social networks, but also many others – a total of 87 at the time of writing. The designer, Glenn Jones, describes it as part of a year-long personal project into combining social graph data with other open data sources.

He gives presentations on the use of social graph data in combination with other open data sources and videos and slide shows of these talks are available on the website. To get a full idea of the usefulness of this tool it’s best to take a look at the site.


Backupify – Back Up Social Network Data

Social networks contain much of our important information and take time and effort, so a service to keep this all backed up and secure is worthwhile. Backupify lets users sign up to automatically keep backups of all their online data from main sites like Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Google Documents, Gmail, Zoho, Flickr, Photobucket, Blogger and more.

Some services have mass email deletion, and password hacking can lead to data loss, while it’s also possible for services to go down or for others to edit or delete your account. Once you sign up with Backupify you fill in your preferences and will get regular emails to let you know backups have been completed. The service is free until the end of January and the Backupify designers say they will be able to keep costs low after this initial period.


TwitLay – Add Pics and Customise Twitter Profiles

Adding a photo and changing the colours on your Twitter profile can make a massive difference to the visual effect and also the way you present yourself. TwitLay makes this easy by letting you upload a photo to go in the top left of the screen, plus a smaller photo to overlay if you want. You can also add a title and subtitle. If you don’t have your own photos there are also some layouts provided by TwitLay.

To customise your profile, go to the TwitLay site and follow the prompts either to use one of their layouts or to upload one or two photos. Then you will be given the option to change the rest of your standard settings, including the colour settings for your photos and also the background to the whole screen display. You can leave a lot of this alone if you only want to add photos or use a ready-made design. If you want to customise in more detail, you can change the colours in detail for sidebars, links and more.

This is all free and quick to do, so you can experiment with designs and change them as often as you want. It makes your Twitter profile page more appealing, and it’s easy to see how it could help authors and musicians to put an attractive book or CD cover with an overlapping picture of themselves performing to help promote their work. There would be many more uses, including the obvious one of just looking much more individual and attractive than a standard Twitter page.


SocialStreets – Social Network for your Local Community

socialstreets-comSocial networks are all very well but some of us want to be building a virtual community network with people we could actually meet locally. This is particularly important if people are using a social network to build up contacts for a shared interest or activity, or if they want to use it for business or educational reasons. For those using social networks in order to find friendships and personal relationships it would also be of benefit to have their virtual contacts living within travelling distance. For these reasons SocialStreets will appeal to many who can’t find what they want on the usual social networks.

If you take a look at SocialStreets check on the first page to see if your country is available. The US, UK and many other countries are already there. After that you can narrow down to your local region and type in a key word to become more specific. This will let you connect with people and activities in your actual area. At a glance SocialStreets seems particularly useful for listing your work or business activity and also for finding businesses and services in your local community.


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