Last week for class (Tech 621, The Social Internet, the main reasoning behind this masterpiece of a blog) I, along with others had to find 20 social media sites that I was previously unaware of. I did learn several things from this research project, such as if you can think of it, there is probably a social media site for that interest. Two things I did find out specifically were as followed:
1. There is a dating site for men who have/ladies who love guys with mustaches I can not begin to define the awesomeness of this. If me and my fiance, Amanda, ever do come to an end then the first thing I will do is grow a Fumanchu and join this site if for no other purposes then to garner a good laugh.
2. Never, under any circumstance join the website Badoo. During my research this was depicted as being the "European version of Facebook." It even allowed me to sign up using my Facebook credentials which I thought was ok and piqued my interest. However, once entering this site, it was on par of not wearing a costume to a Halloween party, you felt out of place. Long story short, it's mainly a dating site and now I'm continuously getting updates about how many people in my area want to meet me (its like an older version of to Catch a Predator). I am still figuring out how to discontinue these emails but at the same time I will admit I've been to busy to give this problem my full attention.
Now, as far as creating an umbrella to put these varying category of sites together, there seems to be a couple of categories you could go for.
For sites like Linkedin, it would be easy to classify sites like these for Professional use. The main goal is to act grown up and use network connections for your company or to further your career.
Another group for me would be Personal, this could include your sites like Facebook and Eharmony. These are the sites where you can "express yourself" or at least your online equivalent of yourself and post likes, dislikes, stay in touch with friends, meet new people, etc.
The "Common Thread" umbrella would consist of sites (mainly forums such as Topix, Ebaum's World, Youtube, and even my beloved KSR (Kentucky Sports Radio)) are the sites where you visit to discuss (or attempt to discuss) issues or topics with those that you have mutual interest in.
Lastly would be "Other" though I'm not currently for sure what would compromise this group, give me time and I will try to come up with something I forgot for the other groups.
Now you may be saying, "Hold on Scott, can these overlap" and the question of course is yes, yes they can. For example on Facebook even though most people are on there for personal use, they can still join groups with others who they do not know to discuss "the common thread." That is one of the advantages/disadvantages of social media's continuous improvement, that it is constantly blurring the line between categories.