Two New Social Networks to Try: and Pocular

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In case you’re not already overwhelmed with social networks, here’s a quick look at two of the latest online sensations: and Pocular. and Pocular take different approaches from other social media sites, which makes it worth a look at both. First, is, which takes a tech-savvy approach to an old school premise: the recommendation.

Though LinkedIn can allow other users to recommend you for your skills and work experience, the site has very broad aims to expand networking capabilities. focuses solely on the recommendation.

Often, a job interview can hinge on a person’s connections and how well those connections think of the applicant. takes the experience of finding every person in an applicant’s network and getting them to “review” a person’s skills by putting it all into one place.

Not so different from voting on a Youtube video or taking an online poll, people who know you can offer recommendations, rate you and allow would-be employers or clients know whether they wish to do business with you.

Bryant Park, late Apr 2009 - 21As a sort of combination of Groupon and Facebook, Pocular has taken local SEO to a new level. This social media site allows businesses and customers to register for free and then promote local specials and deals. The site tracks where you live and then, on a calendar that is integrated into the site and that you can personalize as a member, it shows you upcoming specials and events in your area.

The site, like Facebook, allows members to share what they find with one another. It can serve as a great promotional and marketing tool for businesses and also keep local residents aware of what is going on in their area. In this sense, it has some similarities to FourSquare.

An added bonus is that it is entirely organized through an easy-to-use, personalizable calendar to let you know when the deals begin and end.

What Makes Them Stand Out?

These two social media sites have latched on to a unique and specialized focus. Other sites might serve similar purposes, but these two have narrowly tailored what they do. This way, recommendations or deals are not lost amid posts about a friend’s two-year-old’s art project or industry news.

The potential is great for these two sites, since they offer specialization and focus where others do not. Both are doing a push to get more members, and getting more is key to the success of any social network; they thrive upon having a broad web of people to interconnect.

The biggest potential problem for these sites is that they must encourage membership for just this one specific area. Members will need to be interested in these areas in order to join, whereas sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can merely add a new service that might appeal to existing members, some of whom might not have gone to the effort of becoming a member of yet another social networking site.

With the right push for members, strong user experience, sharability, and commercial value, and can grow, and time will tell as these two new upstarts can gain a foothold in the social networking world.

Jason Nelson authored this post on behalf of Kanetix, offering a broad range of products with protection for small business.