Reuters Spaceand INmobile.org: These are just two examples of the new industry-specific business networking sites popping up. With social networking platforms easing the transition, many niche publications are adding their own MySpace-like worlds. "[Networks like these] will become much more common," says social networking expert Brendan Wovchko. "If you're on LinkedIn and you do a search for 'financial consultant,' you're going to turn up all kinds of results. If you're on a professional network [geared toward a specific type] of financial consultant, you're only going to turn up search results specific to people within that community. Niche networks narrow search criteria and improve the probability of quality search results."
ASmallWorld.net: Private, invite-only sites like this one may be useful in cutting the noise of wide-open networks, but you've got to get invited first--and have a high net worth. On ASmallWorld, which The Wall Street Journal called "MySpace for millionaires," you can be kicked off for aggressively advertising to the blue bloods, and you aren't supposed to contact members you don't know. But if you deal in the world of the rich and famous, an exclusive network might be the best choice.Virb.com: Wovchko says this is an excellent place for arts-oriented entrepreneurs. "It's mixing the idea of democratized social media with a bit of editorializing," he says. "[They] find the most compelling content on [their] network and feature it on the homepage, as opposed to the MySpace model, which says 'We're going to display random users on our homepage.' With Virb, what they say is 'If you invest time in your social networking profile, we'll feature you'--and that generates business."
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