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Forget Facebook: 50 Social Sites for the Serious Student and Job Seeker

November 18th, 2008

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By Megan Jones

Social sites have grown in number and variety in the past years and many now offer opportunities for students and professionals to network in a serious manner. Whether you are preparing for your first job or making a change with an established career, connecting with others in your field will not only help you get started, but be an enhancement for your career as you continue to grow. These 50 social sites provide a chance for you to find others through professional networking sites, meet others in your field, find employment, and more.

Professional Sites

These social networks provide opportunities for finding and nurturing professional business relationships whether you are in marketing or academia.

  1. LinkedIn. This popular social site connects professionals who are seeking opportunities for networking, client-building, employment, and more.
  2. With such illustrious members as Stephen Hawking and Noam Chomsky, this social site provides an excellent place for those in academia to keep track of developments in their field while networking.
  3. Networking for Professionals. Join NFP for some serious professional networking that not only includes online connections, but face-to-face opportunities in several cities across the US.
  4. Ecademy. Business people can search for jobs, network, and connect with others at this site. You can upgrade (for a fee) to the BlackStar membership for extra benefits.
  5. Ziggs. Market yourself, find employment, meet other professionals, and more on this site that is specifically meant to help you "organize and connect in a professional way."
  6. NetParty. This site provides an opportunity for young professionals to network both professionally and socially at organized functions in several cities in the US.
  7. Ryze. Participate in quality business networking with Ryze where you can see and be seen in the business world through profiles, bios, groups, and much more.
  8. iKarma. Build your professional reputation with a presence on iKarma. Customers rate their experience doing business with you and leave comments on your profile. Others can then check out your reputation.
  9. XING. This global networking site allows you to find and make professional business contacts as well as participate in employment searches.

Finance Sites

Check out these social sites to learn about finances, stock market, and the economy or just to connect with others to get great tips and ideas to help your money grow.

  1. Financial News @ Tip’d.There are only a handful of social media sites related to finance. When it comes to Tipd vs pfbuzz,, &, Tip’s holds the advantage over the rest. For those interested in finance and investment, Tip’d offers news, tips, articles, and more to it’s community. Members then votes for which content goes on the homepage. Members are welcome to submit articles from their own blogs as well. 
  2. Zopa. This social finance company works to connect its members who are seeking loans with credit unions who offer low-interest rates. Zopa also has sites for Italy, UK, and Japan.
  3. Prosper. Based on a principle similar to eBay, this site allows member-borrowers to create a listing and set the interest rate they are seeking, then lenders participate in an auction to fund the loan. In addition to typical criteria such as credit scores, lenders can consider personal stories, references from friends and family, and group affiliations of the borrowers.
  4. Minyanville Financial Infotainment. Join this financial social network to meet other investors, learn about smart investing strategies, read articles, participate in forums, and read blogs.
  5. Learn about investing with this social site that helps beginners find out about stocks, trading, and more.
  6. MarketWatch Community. Members here can create profiles to help connect with others, then share information, news, tips, and more on this social networking site that is a part of Dow Jones.
  7. Wesabe. Learn to manage your money while connecting with others with the same financial needs. This community offers both online tools as well as the experience of others to help you reach your financial goals.

Science Sites

Scientists of any ilk can find a group to call their own with these sites that range from life sciences to nanoscience to engineering.

  1. The Research Cooperative. This international, not-for-profit group works to connect science researchers, writers, editors, and translators. Members have their own page as well as access to groups, blogs, and more.
  2. Teachers, students, and professional scientists will all appreciate this social site that promotes academic research, teaching, and learning.
  3. This international community is specifically for those interested in nanoscience. Members can join specific groups, read or post on blogs, participate in chats, and more.
  4. Lab Spaces. Scientists can connect with this social network that offers specific categories for biological scientists, physical scientists, environment, space, and technology. Read blogs and submit your own articles, too.
  5. Nature Network. This global community of scientists can connect through member profiles, forums, groups, and blogs. If you are in Boston or London, you will appreciate the city hubs available too (with more cities to be added soon).
  6. BiomedExperts. Biomedical researchers can come together on this social site designed specifically to promote collaborative research and development in the field. Researchers with at least 3 papers published in PubMed over the past 10 years qualify for an expert profile.
  7. SciLink. Not only can scientists network and stay on top of the latest news at this social site, there is also a job board for those seeking employment.
  8. LabRoots. A social network for scientists of all fields, including mathematics, engineering, and computer science, this site offers opportunities for networking, employment, and collaborative learning.

Health and Medicine Sites

Whether you are in med school, are a practicing physician, or a patient, there are social sites to help you connect and expand your network.

  1. SocialMD. Whether you are a med student, resident, or physician, you can connect with others on this site. Those in school will find the study groups and study aids of benefit.
  2. Ozmosis. Physicians can participate in peer-to-peer networking for sharing information, learning about recent developments, and more.
  3. SurgyTec. Surgeons can share their knowledge on this social site that includes videos of procedures and forums to keep surgeons and students up-to-date with the latest techniques and developments in the field.
  4. PatientsLikeMe. Patients looking to connect with others facing similar diagnoses or health issues will welcome this community. The emphasis here is information sharing between patients, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device companies.
  5. Healtheva. This organization is for physicians and researchers who are interested in research, paper collaboration, and start-up opportunities.
  6. TiroMed. This social networking site is designed specifically for med students and physicians who want to "research and learn, and connect with others" in the same field.
  7. The Student Doctor Network. Med students can connect with others through the blogs and forums as well as find plenty of articles that offer information and support.

Social Sites

With a vision beyond the flash and glitz of some social sites, these sites promote social networking with a more focused approach.

  1. Care2. For those looking to combine social networking with supporting the environment and those who campaign for the environment, this site offers opportunities to make the most of both.
  2. Gather. Come together with friends, family, and colleagues through this social site that strives to provide more down-to-earth connections than some of the other social networking sites.
  3. FriendFeed. From videos to news articles to web pages, share what you find interesting with friends and family at this simple, streamlined social networking site.
  4. Plaxo. Stay in touch with family, friends, and business contacts with this social networking site. You can also share all the items such as photos, blog posts, and tweets you’ve posted from a variety of other sites right here.
  5. tweako. For those interested in computing and technology, this social network site will provide information as well as social contacts.
  6. Pixel Groovy. If you want to find the best resources and tutorials for computer usage, this site relies on member rating for what information makes it to the home page. Find help with Photoshop, Flash, Ruby on Rails, and more that you can know will be quality information.
  7. The Whole 9. Artists can connect with others, post portfolios, and find something to do in a specific geographic location with this networking community for the artistic types.
  8. Green Friends. Whether vegetarianism or environmental consciousness is your thing, this site that is part dating and part social networking will help you connect with others equally devoted to the cause.
  9. eons. A popular social network for Baby Boomers, eons offers plenty of ways to connect with others through profiles, groups, blogs, videos, and photos.
  10. ReZoom. This social network that looks beyond age offers articles on music, activities, going green, money, and more, as well as ways to find and stay connected with friends and family.
  11. Multiply. This site features media sharing for those who want to connect with people they really know. Create your own website, a social calendar, and more to help you keep in touch.
  12. Maple and Leek. For those 50+, this community is one of adventure and entrepreneurial spirit. Connect with like-minded people at this site for friendship as well as professional connections.

Employment Sites

Whether you are looking for employment or want to stay connected with some of the top job seekers to staff your company, these employment sites will help you meet your networking goals.

  1. YorZ. This site allows professionals looking for employment to connect with employers. Job seekers can join groups by university, professional interest, and by company.
  2. Freelancers can create profiles here that employers can search. Employers can also post their projects and freelancers then participate in a bidding process to be awarded the project.
  3. Monster. This popular site is a great place for job seekers and employers to come together. Not only can you find a job, but the resources here will help you do it professionally and efficiently.
  4. Another popular career site, job seekers and employers shouldn’t pass up this opportunity for connecting.
  5. Recent graduates or students looking for internships will love this site where thousands of opportunities await as well as many job search resources.
  6. GoFreelance. Freelancers and those looking to hire freelancers will both find this site helpful. From writing to web design to programming and technical projects, there are opportunities for many different types of freelancers.
  7. Sologig. Contractors, freelancers, and consultants can find employment at this site that allows job seekers to post their resumes and employers to post their projects.


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