Sydney, Australia (PRWEB) October 9, 2008
Social Networking isn't just the latest online fad. According to expert web analysts and observers, it is the future of the World Wide Web.
Many of us are familiar with popular social networking sites like myspace.com, facebook.com, flickr, twitter and others. These attract mostly young-ish people and some have millions of members. Social networking sites allow people to not only communicate with each other, but also to virtually share entire aspects of their lives over the internet.
The online social phenomenon is now also beginning to reach an older generation of men and women whose interest for joining online community sites is not necessarily confined to finding a romantic partner. According to Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Flickr, a social networking site bought by Yahoo! in 2005, social networking is still in its infancy, and the future promises to be very exciting, especially as the trend is now evolving to include more selective social networking groups.
Which brings us to sites like BeadHuddle.com (http://www.beadhuddle.com).
BeadHuddle.com is a new social networking site aimed especially at people who love beading. It was founded by an Australian home-based online publishing company that put out an e-book about beading, "The Complete Bead Guide" (http://www.completebeadguide.com) in 2005. The ebook publishers ran a survey amongst its customers (which consist mostly of older, married women) and discovered that, despite the fact that most survey respondents were not experienced computer users, most expressed a great desire to participate in an online community where they could communicate with other beading enthusiasts and share their passion and knowledge of their craft.
The husband and wife publishing team decided that, rather than invest in upgrading the information contained in their e-book, they would avail themselves of emerging Web 2.0 technology that allows users to create and share content online, and set up a modern and dynamic online community where people with a common interest in the art and craft of beading can meet and make new friends online, participate and contribute to the growth of the community in so many different ways. BeadHuddle.com members can set up their own profile pages, post photos of their latest beading creations and designs, upload and share 'how to' beading videos, chat online, write articles and blogs about beading and beadworking, ask questions, share tips and participate in forum discussions and polls, post comments and rate other member's contributions, take part in quizzes, post events and announcements about beading fairs, markets and shows in their local area, and so much more. Members even have an opportunity to run classified ads and buy and sell items using e-bay style auctions that are displayed throughout the entire web site.
Although the site is fairly new, the word is already spreading among the beading community. Given the fact that most of its members are not advanced internet users, the developers were careful to ensure that the site is easy to navigate and explore. As members add more content to the site, BeadHuddle.com is tipped to become the "must-go-to" online destination for the online beading community.
Beading enthusiasts spend hundreds of dollars each year buying beads, beading accessories and beading supplies from online retailers. A targeted social networking site like BeadHuddle.com, therefore, allows beading-related businesses (e.g. beading suppliers and wholesalers) to go beyond the traditional online model of setting up a web store and then trying to attract people to what is often not much more than an e-commerce powered online catalog of items for sale. Business can participate in and contribute to the online beading community through activities like running workshops using online videos, chatting with their prospective customers via live chatrooms, answering questions and sharing tips in forums, and publishing articles through blogs just to name a few, thus building trust online with their existing and potential new customers.
As Catherine Fake recently told CNN, "far from being a fad, social networking is here to stay." Expect, therefore, to see more social networking sites like BeadHuddle.com appearing on the World Wide Web, targeting every type of market niche and demographic segmentation ... even older women who just love to bead.