Gooruze is a site and a test-case for online marketers

Gooruze is a site that wants to be the Facebook/LinkedIn for online marketers. (Gawd, is there anything more tired than the description “is the the MySpace/Facebook/LinkedIn for…”?) So it has come up with the requisite weird site name sent out invites to the online marketing types and given us a space where we can post our profiles and our work.

It seems fine, if a bit generic and I have joined. That’s just a professional obligation — I have signed up for a bazillion of these sites but I actually have found little reason to participate in most of them. (BTW, I have to include a piece of code for it to track my blog on the site, so here’s the code: ConvonHoffman.gooruze.com. Hope they’re happy.)

However, it begs the question: Why should I use it? It’s just started up so I’ll give it some time to get up and running but so far I don’t see any real value being added by the people running the site. Right now there’s a news feed from stories suggested by members — but it’s not as comprehensive a feed as I would find at Mashable or TechCrunch or a number of other sites. There’s a lot of posts from members that unfortunately read like basic marketing communications — informative but basic and lacking any attitude or style or anything else that might make me want to read further.

So why go there? Can they build a community simply by saying they are the place for this community to be? Because right now that’s all I’m seeing. As with many social/professional networking sites it feels like they expect me to do all the work and that’s not going to cut it anymore. The site’s name is an ugly play on the word gurus, but as of yet it feels like I’m supposed to provide the swami myself.

Like I said, it’s an interesting test case. We’ll see.

From super models to hunters: 10 more odd niche social networking sites

Last week it was everything from Bugs Bunny to death. This week’s discovery in the world of niche social networking sites features:

  1. HunterShare — the only thing better then getting together over a real dead animal is getting together over a virtual one.
  2. travlbuddyTravBuddy — TravBuddy is one of a number of different networking sites for travelers, but to me it stands out because of its slogan. Now I’ll admit to having a few gray hairs (in full honesty at this point I only have a few non-gray hairs) so maybe this is a cultural reference that others don’t get. That said, “fellow travelers” used to be a euphemism for communists. So maybe they should have more red in their logo?
  3. Zebras — for Zebras. I don’t know how they will fill out their profiles or what they will have to chat about but the headline says: Social Networking Software Tracks Zebras and Consumers. BTW, zebras are one of the nastiest breeds of animal there is. Even nastier than consumers.
  4. MePeace — For Israelis, Arabs and Palestinians who don’t want to kill each other. Here’s hoping there are more than one of each.
  5. ASmallWorld, ModelsHotel & DarwinDating — For, respectively, super models, super models and people who think they’re as attractive as super models but not as accomplished.
  6. PropertyQube & StreetAdvisor — Where property owners can get together and brag about how much their homes used to be worth.
  7. Eons, Rezoom, Multiply, Maya’s Mom and Boomertown — So many sites chasing so many baby boomers.
  8. DiggFoot — a social network of social network sites. It’s getting awfully meta in here people.
  9. Sermo — Doctors.
  10. Refresh Phoenix — Probably the weirdest social networking site yet: It’s for tech geeks to get together IN PERSON. I am so not ready for this.

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From Bugs Bunny to Death: Social networking sites go really, really, really niche

I believe that general social networking sites (SNS) like LinkedIn, FaceBook and MySpace have run into a bit of a wall. While they are great a connecting people in general, they don’t do as good a job of connecting people in specific — that is people with a shared interest who don’t actually want to connect with those who don’t share that interest.

Now I’m not exactly unique in having this insight. As a matter of fact A LOT of people think there’s money to be made here. Herewith a list of some of the odder social networks I have come across:

Updates as I find them.

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