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Nearly every article you see here on MakeUseOf that relates to social media features Facebook and Twitter (and occasionally — but ever so rarely — Google+). But is that really all there is? What about the smaller social networks? What about the niche markets? Are they even out there? Is there something beyond the world of Facebook?

Simple answer: yes.

We’ve found a few that you — our most amazing readers — may be interested in. Take a look at them, share what you think, and if you happen to know of a few other similar sites, tell us about them!

Dribbble

Freelancers, unite!

Dribbble (yes, that’s with three b’s) is a small social network aimed primarily at designers looking for a proper place to show their work. Dribbble is for designers and by designers, and because of this, there’s an extra level of professionalism when sharing your crafty creations. With Dribbble, you can connect with other like-minded digital artisans and share your inspirations with the rest of the design-oriented world.

dribble

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Better yet, Dribbble even acts as a job-finder for those of you who are looking for work, so you can essentially consider it to be Pinterest’s and LinkedIn’s love child. Potential clients scour the Dribbble seas in search of a visually-gifted designer like yourself, and meanwhile, you can lurk the job boards yourself for the next big thing.

Härnu

I can’t look at this social network’s name without saying it really loud and in a grunted voice. HÄRNU. 

Sorry. Had to.

Härnu is a social network designed to help people from all over the world find other people from… well… all over the world. It may sound obvious, but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill social network, by any means. Not only is it meant to connect people from all over the world — it’s meant to connect knowledge and culture as well. You won’t see these types of status updates: “OMG so i m so tired of ppl constantly asking me if im going to date todd — everone KNOWS we are just bffs and i lov jon lol.”

Instead, you’ll get this: “Where do people in Brazil like to go on vacation (inside your own country)?”

harnu

That was taken from the site itself — pretty cool, right? The site incorporates a global map along with geographically-based status updates to help you connect with (and learn about) people outside of your local community. If you’re finding the Facebook culture less than appealing, Härnu may be just what you’re looking for.

Tagged

Tagged is something else. I’m not going to say it’s the best social network out there, but I’m not going to say it’s the worst either. Let’s put it this way: remember how MySpace A New, Completely Redesigned MySpace Is Now Open To The Public [Updates] A New, Completely Redesigned MySpace Is Now Open To The Public [Updates] The new version of MySpace, or the "New MySpace", is a completely re-imagined version of the pioneer social network, and it’s now officially open to the public. Anyone who’s up for a second round of... Read More turned into a massive wall of people taking pictures of themselves in rather provocative states? Essentially turning it into a literal cyber-breeding ground? That’s how I would describe Tagged.

tagged

Don’t get me wrong, Tagged is a small yet active social network that can indeed connect you to people in your area. Keep in mind, though, that the site does have undertones that reek of hook-ups, online dating, and other romantic endeavors. It doesn’t necessarily market itself that way, but Omegle doesn’t market itself as a sex chat site, either.

If you’re interested in meeting new people, Tagged will definitely help you do that. Then again, some of the people you’ll meet might be a little sketchy.

Fitocracy

Are you a fitness nut? Alternatively, are you absolutely the farthest thing from a fitness nut possible? (Don’t worry, we — the staff of authors who make their entire living from working on a computer — completely understand.)

fitocracy

Fitocracy is a website for both sides of the coin. Anyone who’s interested in fitness is welcome, whether they’re newbies or old hands. By merging elements of social networking with gamification Points For Everything: How I Tried to Win At Life With Gamification Points For Everything: How I Tried to Win At Life With Gamification My brain is stupid. It thinks I can get done tomorrow what I need to do today, and that I can do this afternoon what I need to do this morning. It puts everything off.... Read More , the developers of this site have created a safe environment where anyone looking to better themselves can connect. The main function of the site is to help you “level up” by earning points based on your fitness activities. Meanwhile, you can look to the support of members from your group while taking on your personal challenges, or you can “duel” other users in fitness competitions that will benefit you both

All in all, Fitocracy is a niche site that does things right. By pairing a fun environment with a serious mission, I’d imagine anyone who desires to participate will find some form of success.

Path

We’ve written about Path Path: A Personal Social Network For Real Friends Only Path: A Personal Social Network For Real Friends Only Read More before, and in the three years since it hasn’t come much closer to the mainstream. In short, Path is a mobile oriented social network for friends. No, your real friends. The people you actually talk to in real life.

If you had to pick five people that you personally know to put up with you in the event that the apocalypse ever occurs, who would they be? Those are the people Path should connect you to. In short, it’s designed for a more localized experience.

path

The app connects you to others by allowing you to put together a journal that incorporates all forms of media — photos, written word and videos. Basically, you show the ones you are closest to what’s currently happening on your path of life. Path is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and the Kindle Fire.

Are There More?

If all these smaller social networks are a bit much, and you’re still trying to decide between Facebook and Google+, don’t forget to check out our final showdown The Final Showdown: Google+ vs. Facebook, Which One Is REALLY The Best? The Final Showdown: Google+ vs. Facebook, Which One Is REALLY The Best? Which is better, Facebook or Google+? Even here at MakeUseOf, we can't quite agree. When it comes to social networks, especially big ones like Facebook and Google+, we all have our opinions. Some think Facebook... Read More to finally find out which one is really better.

What other social networks can you recommend for us here at MakeUseOf? Are you part of any offbeat social networks we should know about? We’re always looking for news ways to connect, and we love hearing how you are staying in tune with others. Give us your insight in the comments section below.

  1. Patrick Ciriello
    September 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I am going to "second" the suggestion of Zurker - it is designed with Freedom of Speech, Democracy, and Privacy as part of it's core mission. Our ranking on-line is improving daily (we've already broken the sub-20,000 mark on Alexa), and we have over 300,000 users at this point.

    Joining Zurker is free, but you can also invest to become one of the owners.

    http://www.zurker.com/patcii (you can connect with me right away and I'll be glad to help you with any questions or suggestions.)

  2. Lu Mace
    September 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    You can also check out zurker.com . We at Zurker have funny.

  3. Mondaye
    September 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Diaspora, which is meant to give back to users the control of their online privacy. You can link your different social network accounts on that platform.

    • Daniel E
      September 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Last I checked, which was a coupl'a years ago, Diaspora was invite-only. And from what I understand, it's not exactly a single site but a federation of sites.

      Or am I confusing it with another service?

      In any case, how are they doing now? I don't expect them to kill off Facebook, but having control over your data would make it compelling

  4. Chandanlal Chouhan
    September 10, 2013 at 5:36 am

    You can also check out JumpBook. It's much similar like Facebook with more features.

  5. Kar
    September 10, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Härnu, the social network wich needs another social network to socialize. Yeah, great idea...

  6. Charlene F
    September 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I might check out Path. Also Fitocracy is awesome. The ranking system is especially great!

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