There's lots of buzz flying around in traditional and new media channels about the proliferation of Facebook. Some people feel it's not personal enough and that there are too many people registered. They want something more akin to a niche social network. But how do you find these niche sites and and more importantly, how do you find one specifically suited to your passion whether it's hashing or Barry Manilow or Netflix? The answer: Ning.
The brainchild of Gina Bianchini and Marc Andreesen, two of those Silicon Valley smarties, Ning allows you to join any one of the many niche social networks registered on their site, or if you have an interest that doesn't yet have a network, you can create one. With the way social networking is going, combined with Ning's niche network feature and great design, there seems to be no end of Ning's value. It's one of those inventions whose value proposition is so simple, you wonder how no one thought of it sooner. But isn't that the way with all good design?
Check out Ning at http://www.ning.com/.