Social Networking Websites from A to Z

From Facebook and LinkedIn to the less widely known Advogato developer site, CIO offers a primer on social networking sites that may benefit business professionals.

Is social networking just a buzzword? Maybe, but it offers a great opportunity (and potential liability) to an organization. Here's an A-to-Z list of professional and personal social networking sites to help you network your way around the world.

MORE ON Social Networking

Discovering the Power of Social Networking Sites

Tips and Advice for Writing a Corporate Blog

A: Advogato—free community dedicated to open-source software development

B: Blogger—popular blogging website (owned by Google)

C: Classmates.com—helps members keep in touch with classmates from school, college and military service

D: del.icio.us—a website dedicated to managing bookmarks through storing, sharing and discovering

E: Ecademy—online networking for business, offline networking events and global networking groups

F: Facebook—site once limited to connecting only college students has expanded to include the general public

G: GuildCafe—community for computer and video game players (funded by IDG Ventures)

H: Hi5—personal global social networking site that focuses on membership of young people

I: IMVU—instant-messenging software using customized 3-D avatars

J: Jobster—social networking intersects with job searching

K: Kwout—a way to quote a part of a webpage as an image with an image map

L: LinkedIn—site dedicated to strengthening your business contacts and professional network

M: MySpace—originally focused on musicians, this general social networking site has mass appeal

N: Nexopia—formerly known as Facebox, this Belgian site is popular among young Europeans

O: Orkut—known for its easy-to-create discussion forums, this is one of the most popular sites in Brazil (owned by Google)

P: Plaxo—online platform that allows auto updates of business address book information

Q: Quotiki—a social quotes site that lets you quickly find and enjoy quotes

R: Ryze—site designed to connect entrepreneurs and other business professionals

S: Second Life—a 3-D virtual world where users can use voice and text chat to socialize, connect and create

T: Twitter—micro-blogging service focused on connecting friends, family and coworkers

U: Utterz—allows users to update their blog via short-message service (SMS) and multimedia message service (MMS)

V: Vox—blog platform built with extensive permission settings

W: Windows Live Spaces—(also known as MSN Spaces) this is Microsoft's social networking platform

X: Xing—(formerly known as Open/BC—Open Business Club) displays how each member is connected together, creating an "it's a small world" network for professionals

Y: Yahoo 360—Yahoo's social networking platform

Z: Ziggs—allows users to professionally market themselves online

Of course, there are many, many others. What social networking sites are you finding helpful professionally? What about personally?

Keith Hanks received his MBA from Providence College, where he wrote "Non-Traditional Marketing Impacting Multi-Collaborative Networks." He works at Atlanta search engine optimization agency TwentySix2 Marketing.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 secrets of successful remote IT teams