Make friends, raise social issues. A list of five popular Indian social networking sites.
•allindians.com: The name gives it all away. A site dedicated to Indians, complete with the usual profiles, networking, pictures, blogs and videos, one interesting feature of allindians.com is that it constantly updates its ‘happenings’ sections: this includes the newest blog posts, uploaded videos and communities before you log in. This way, you don’t need to log in to see new developments on the site.
•streetanchor.com: A perfect site that gives you a platform to voice your opinion on the woes of living in a city. You think the colony you live in wastes too much water? Make a short video clip with your mobile phone, upload on the side and you are ready to build a community dedicated to solving water woes. Unlike most social networks that are centred around people using their computers, streetanchor.com encourages people to use their mobile phones as a device to capture and upload content.
•yaari.com: This is as simple as it gets. The site offers you three tabs to browse: ‘home’ the main page, ‘me’ your profile and, of course, ‘flirt’. This simplicity is almost refreshing, as most networking sites have too many confusing options that require hours of study to understand and use. Unfortunately, most of the video content on this site seems to have been copied from YouTube or simply ripped from music videos. While fans of various female artists will undoubtedly enjoy this, the lack of user-generated content means that the site needs to encourage more users to put up content created by them.
•indiasocialnetwork.com: This site seems to harness the ‘wisdom of crowds’ that most web 2.0 sites, such as wikipedia, propagate. Once you put in all the relevant details in the short sign-up form, you can raise issues close to your heart to the entire community. Yet, unlike yahoo answers, where users are encouraged to write long and explanatory answers, this site gives you the options of clicking on a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ tab. This makes the entire process rather pointless, as no opinions, consensus and, therefore, no communities are created. The absence of photographs and videos makes the entire experience rather drab.
•bigadda.com: Like its name, bigadda.com is like an ‘adda’ for youngsters. The entire ethos of this site centres around making friends and having fun. The colour schemes, the flurry of pictures and flashy videos only add to this. The best part about the site is its Indianess, the main page is full of the latest news in india, from upcoming movies to the updates at the Beijing Olympics. An in-built music player also lets you stream music straight from the site to your speakers, giving you a glimpse of the newest melodies while maintaining a library of classics.
•bharatstudent.com: The Indian version of classmates.com, this site helps you stay connected to your school/college batchmates. The structure of the site also helps, as instead of standard communities, it has a list of educational institutions. All you have to do is search for your school, and join your batchmates. Unfortunately, the site looks dated, and an uninspiring design and boring colour school just end up reminding you of that peculiar dullness that most classcrooms excell at.