Even though they don't have the visibility of MySpace or Facebook, the New York-based Community Connect has developed a series of niche social-networking sites that have managed to generate a significant following within the communities they represent.
AsianAve, the company's first project, launched in June of 1997. The site provides a service aimed at an Asian audience and somewhat resembles MySpace in look and feel. Since then, Community Connect has gone on to release BlackPlanet, MiGente, and Glee. Its most recent initiative, Faithbase, is a hub for Christians to meet and socialize with other Christians.
While Ning allows anyone to create their own social network, Community Connect has chosen to develop its own proprietary software and market five successive networks that each focus on a specific identity. I spoke to Kay Madati, vice president of marketing for the company, about what differentiates their networks from those created on Ning; while he wasn't familiar with Ning he pointed out that Community Connect's sites have more members than any off-the-shelf social networks he is aware of.
Faithbase officially launched in June 2007 but its "overt marketing push began about a month ago." The site currently has 51,000 members and experienced most of its growth over the past few weeks.… Read more