Monday, January 8, 2007
Techcrunch recently featured social networking sites which focussed on" Friendship between Men". True these sites are among the few niches in a segment that in increasingly beginning to look crowded with me too Friendship social networking sites that are being launched almost daily .But it is precisely the diversity that makes up the social networks and it is that niche segment that it targets that make up their USP .

Marshall Kirkpatrick of Techcrunch talks of the potential of these niche social networking sites when he says that Niche social networks are likely a viable business because they allow specialized functionality and a subjective community feel as opposed to general interest sites that defer to either the lowest common denominator or the 15-25 year old demographics

I decided to take a look at the few Friendship Networking sites that focussed on "Men Friends"and find out how they reach out to Men Friends : This has all the features of a Social networking Friendship site with a blog,classifieds,Forums, Picture rating,Groups and events .One feature which I liked was the News headlines" which mainly focussed on Gay news . This site is free and suported by ads. : This site calls itself as the Largest Gay Comunity with almost 30,000 members . Unlike other sites this site allows its members to get as much commercial benefit out of our technology as possible. In other words one can advertise their company, for jobs, sell stuff on the forums, or just use it to meet new people. It would be interesting to see how this site manages the downside of allowing its site to be a sort of free commercial medium when some SN sites are coming down heavily on spamers and fake profiles .Iwas also impressed with how it sucesfully created trusted and constructed profiles .Watch out this site in the days to come . :Techcruch lists this as probably the most widely discussed of all of these social networking sites. It calls itself “a unique social network” but in fact it’s just one of many similarly branded copycat sites from JuxMedia Ltd. ManJam offers listings for rooms and houses for rent or to live in rent-free. There are listings from all around the world. There are job and business listings, many of which are in the Middle East. There are personal profile listings with text and video comments enabled for members. Free membership gets users access to rental listing details, IM, video and audio messaging. There is also a mobile component to ManJam. Profiles on this site support transgendered identities.
Premium members get entries in any of the categories moved up to the top of their respective listings. Paid accounts are $20 per month, $42 per quarter or $90 per year.

Mashable reports that social networking sites for friendship between men and women are going to be lauched by Mid january is a “social and professional networking site” for the LGBT community. It’s a product of Community Connect, which already has more than 16 million users on its niche social networks BlackPlanet, MiGente and Asian Avenue. The company conducted a survey of LGBT people who actively used social portals and found that 76% would prefer a gay social and professional network to either generic sites like MySpace and Friendster or existing gay dating is the social network spin-off of the Showtime series The L Word. As mentioned previously, the name “OurChart” derives from a chart in the series created by the character Alice, who uses it to map her relationships.SocialButter - This gay and lesbian social network is set to launch in mid-January, providing a platform for “online socializing and real world connections”.

Friendships between men social networking sites are still a niche . However I feel this should be one of the most well targeted and segmented markets in the days to come . It would be interesting to see how these sites can monetise their traffic and how many of them survive thhe social networking boom.

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Posted by Jessica at Monday, January 08, 2007 | Permalink | 0 comments