I can’t help but think Social Sites are a solution in search of a problem. They tend to reproduce a sub set of the Internet in a locked off area of the Internet. This might be okay if you have a serious email problem and only want to talk to fellow members. There is an interesting overview in the July 23, 2007 issue of Fortune Magazine.
The largest and best known social site. It caters to Kids and Musicians, but almost any one could use it. In July (2007) I set up a Profile (personal page) at myspace.com/craigmaas. I believe you have to be a member to see it.
I found the default Profile designs to be hideous. I looked at the themes offered on the Internet but they weren’t much better. I did find some minimalist themes that I looked at until I found one I could use. I choose ‘Seloquent‘ by eminent style.
Once I had a design I could work with I fiddled with the HTML and CSS, mostly just to see how it worked. This theme uses CSS to override the design of your Profile page. Then you use HTML to fill out your page. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you know what you’re doing. The entire site revolves around emailing your friends and sharing links. This isn’t my cup of tea, so I’ll just use it as a way people can find my real sites.
Originally set up at Harvard, it soon moved to all colleges and now has expanded down to High School and up into business. For a personal site you could do worse (Myspace) but you could also do better by just creating your own web site, blog, etc. Selecting the best of each.
Facebook does have an okay design and they seem to specialize in photographs. They have also opened their API so there are new tools that you can add to your homepage. Nice, but again you can find all these tools elsewhere, usually better too.
This site is set up for business networkers. I found it a cross between an online resume site, a Chamber of Commerce mixer, and business Q&A site.
My public profile