Last week I wrote about some of the most prominent social networks for Second Life users to connect with each other outside of SL itself. The article ended with a request that any networks I overlook be shared in the comments. Well, while I'd say I hit the nail on the head in regards to many of the more popular choices among SLers, I definitely overlooked enough to warrant a sequel to the original list. So here it is! If Twitter's too blah, if Plurk's too dramatic, if Tumblr's too trendy or if Flickr's too cliquey for you, just take a look at this list of further alternatives.
A lot of popular social network choices for the Second Life community are kind of... Repurposed. The community often grafts itself onto a network that was never really designed with pseudonymous MMO avatars in mind, and sometimes that works out well (Plurk) and sometimes it works out quite poorly (Facebook). 2ndhub is tailor-made for SLers and provides features like profiles, chat and classifieds. It seems robust enough, though I can't testify as to the strength of the community there.
Avatar Social Network
Avatar Social Network is similar to 2ndhub in that it was developed as a catch-all social network made specifically for people operating through their virtual world avatars. The key difference seems to be that it has an active forum and a feed-like main page that shares photos, blog posts and the like from members. ASN also covers with more than just Second Life, and proudly displays its support of OpenGrid and even IMVU on the main page.
Canary Beck reminded me in the comments last week that although your Second Life account can't have a standard Facebook account, they can have a Facebook Page, which is something intended more for businesses and celebrities and bands to connect with their fans en lieu of using a real name account. Unfortunately this is far from an ideal alternative. Canary wrote, "... It's awfully isolated running a Facebook Page without an profile page to manage it. You will only see your Page interactions and very little else, and are limited in how much you can interact with the wider Facebook world when you can see it."
I had briefly considered including Google+ in my post last week, but ultimately I underestimated its appeal to Second Life users. However, Indigo Mertel pointed out that Google+ is where she has the largest following, greater than both her Twitter and Facebook presences combined. Google+ also has the advantage of being closely intertwined with Youtube, so it may be of particular interest if you want to share your SL video work.
The KittyCats forums are a pretty interesting phenomenon. They and the site they're associated with were intended to be used primarily to advertise and support the KittyCats line of breedable virtual pets within SL. They still are used that way of course, but the forums have also fostered a large and active community of their own. If you never got into the KittyCats scene then this would be a terrible fit... But it's never too late to start.
I'm actually rather embarrassed that I forgot to mention Reddit in my original post, specifically the active Second Life subreddit. Reddit is a site primarily about sharing content -- blog posts, images, ideas, videos, whatever. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but it's a good way to see what's going on without digging across an endless number of other sites yourself. The SL subreddit also has a variety of categories used to classify all of this content, which makes it easy to pick out exactly the kinds of things you want to find there.
Second Citizen Forums
I'd say that the same warning applies to the Second Citizen forums as the SLU forums. If you're green as can be and fairly unconfident in your virtual world skills, you'll probably want to steer clear. If you've been around for a while and can hold your own in a heated argument or two about LSL scripting techniques or the like, then this may be an ideal choice.
Second Life Forums
I originally left these out because they're an official extension of Second Life and I wanted to focus more on third parties. I was forgetting the fact that for many people Second Life itself begins and ends with the SL client. They don't scope out the website much (if at all) which is a shame because there are quite a lot of networking and communication tools built in there. Forums, chat, even a crowdsourced question answering service along the lines of Yahoo Answers. If you like the idea of joining an SL forum but are a bit wary of potential cliques or insularity, the official Second Life Forums are a good place to start.
Second Life Video Card Forum at Tom's Hardware
It's a real stretch to call this a social network for SL users. A massive, massive stretch. But if you're looking for more technical advice, particularly if you're in the market for a new laptop or computer capable of rendering SL in all of its shadowy, meshy, materialsy glory, these are the people to talk to. This is definitely not the place to ask for hair store recommendations or share snapshots of your SL family, though.
If you have any questions about any of the networks I've discussed this week or last week, leave them in the comments below. Next week I'll be answering those questions and addressing some misconceptions about several of the sites I've mentioned. Until then, happy networking!Tweet
Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart on Twitter, Iris Ophelia in Second Life) has been writing about virtual worlds and video games for nearly a decade, and has had her work featured on Paste, Kotaku, Jezebel and The Mary Sue.