What's the Next Big Social Network?

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I was playing around with the social networking CMS AroundMe this weekend and this got me thinking of what will the next big social network be. It has been a bit of time since we have seen any really huge social networks pop up and I am wondering what kind of social network would make it big. Lately most of the news has been about aggregation services like FriendFeed or our own BuddyBlend, but I haven't seen much in the new social network space.

As I see it nothing will probably happen in the spaces that huge services already have a strong hold, such as the video space and social bookmarking space. While we will see many new challengers, I don't see anybody beating a site like YouTube any time soon. So, I think that if a new social network is to gain a strong hold it will be in a space where there is no clear leader currently.

Below are the spaces that I think that there is a chance for a new social network to dominate.

  • Video Game Space
    While there are currently a few Video Game social networks, there is not yet a MySpace for gamers. I think that in order for a site to clearly win this space they will need to provide on-line games, a space for gamers to talk about their favorite games and a place schedule on-line games.
  • Music Space
    While there are a few sites that are in this space, with last.fm leading the pack, I'm not sure that there is a clear winner in this space. The tough thing in the Music Space is the copyright information if you share music. What I think needs to happen for someone to dominate this space is they need to make a deal with the record labels like iTunes has where perhaps I can listen and share music for free on the site, but if I want to download it to my iPod I need to pay a very small fee.
  • Athletics Space
    I haven't seen many good sites in this space, but think that with so many sports fans that this could be a huge space if done well. Just think of the amount of people in this audience all over the world!
  • Collectible Space
    This would be a place where people who collect items, whether they be baseball cards or cars, could connect with people that have the same interests. I haven't seen any social networks in this space, probably because of ebay, but I think there could be a large social network in this space.
  • Outdoor Activities Space
    I haven't seen many sites in this space, but with so many people enjoying outdoor activities, this could be a huge social network. Just think of a social network where you can share and find your favorite camping sites or places to go rafting.

This is just a small list of possible spaces where the next great social network will exist. I would love to hear your thoughts on the space where the next great social network will exist.

useful info, thanks

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