What would you name a social network for the religious? That’s the question asked this week on Mashable (and a commenter beat me to “FaithBook”). The question is in response to the announcement that GodTube, which began as a religious alternative to YouTube, is adding more social networking features.
How about this name for a social network where the faithful can make an impact: Facebook.
If people are already coalescing around one site, it makes little sense to launch an identical site to compete. In the case of video sharing, it makes some sense – for instance, if YouTube tends to pull down videos with a pro-life bent, it can’t hurt to post your videos on an alternative site like Eyeblast.tv. And sites like Rebuild the Party are built around specialized, specific projects.
But those seeking to build broad-based social networks will have a bigger impact if they work within the frameworks of sites that are already popular. (In fact, both of those other sites I mentioned are active in more general interest social networks, which is one reason they are as successful as they are.)
To use another example, let’s say you drive an ice cream truck in a neighborhood with a community pool that’s full of kids every summer day. How much sense would it make to build your own pool when you could just park your ice cream truck in the community pool’s parking lot?