Social-networking sites: the complete guide

Facebook, MySpace et al, find the right site for you

Mobile social-networking

Dada.net

A kind of mobile MySpace, Dada.net lets you create and customise a personalised home page to which you can upload photos, videos, music and blog posts. You can do all of this from your PC's or your phone's web browser.

The service makes some of its income from the Google Ads its members view.

You can share in the revenue if you've got a Google AdSense account: the greater the number of people who see your profile and its ads, the more money you and Dada.net make. For that reason, you'll start receiving friend requests straight away from people you don't know; however, the site's privacy settings let you screen out most unwanted enquiries.

Dada.net also specialises in hooking you up and provides a 'Love' profile separate from your 'Friendship' profile. Many of Dada.net's mobile services are available for free. Others, including Love chats and mobile-phone ringtone and wallpaper downloads require a monthly subscription that can run as high as $US10, so be sure to click cautiously.

Media-sharing social-networking sites

eSnips

Some people like to attach Microsoft Word files containing poems, reports and other kinds of text to their mass emails, hoping that someone on the list will read them. Undoubtedly, most recipients simply delete those messages, because email is not the most convenient way to share files.

Online file storage has boomed in recent years, but eSnips goes beyond simple storage, combining it with networking and creating online communities centered on content categories such as musical styles, painting, poetry, photography, animation and humour. After you've uploaded your text, audio, image, video or other type of file to eSnips (using a handy browser toolbar, if you wish), you can opt to share it with the world or with a more select group by email invitation. You can even sell your work through the eSnips Marketplace.

eSnips helps you find like-minded people among its reported four million users by creating a statistical analysis of your uploaded content, called your 'SocialDNA', and matching it with that of other users. Each account receives 5GB of storage for free, currently with no additional storage options.

Scribd

This media-sharing service differs from its competitor eSnips in one important way: it has no storage limits. You don't even need to sign up for an account to upload files. Just browse over and click the big green Upload arrow. You need to sign in with a user account if you want to maintain ownership of the files you upload, however, and you must designate who can see them or delete them later on.

Logging in lets you specify whether your files are kept private on Scribd, either making them invisible to everyone else until you send out email invitations or marking them as publicly viewable.

Used in combination with Scribd's bulk file uploader, the service can act as a handy limitless online backup tool, or as an alternative to Flickr's limited accounts.

Scribd arranges your uploaded content into topical groups, as eSnips does, but Scribd doesn't suggest files it thinks you'll like — a feature you may be willing to give up in exchange for unlimited storage.

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Scott Spanbauer

PC Advisor (UK)

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