Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mighty Morphin' Social Networks!


Photo credit: http://bit.ly/dgB2yM

In case you didn’t catch this from the title, I was a huge Power Rangers fan when I was little. Long story short (and yes, I had to look this up-thank you Wikipedia!) an evil monster gets released, a wise sage named Zordon hears about it and makes his sidekicks find five “teenagers with attitude.” Jason Lee Scott, Kimberly Hart, Zack Taylor, Trini Kwan and Billy Cranston are given the ability to morph into Power Rangers complete with kick ass moves, weapons galore and modes of transportation known as “Zords,” which, of course, combined into a Megazord which was basically the coolest toy ever.

Anyway, for some reason I was thinking about the Power Rangers yesterday, and I realized—choosing your favorite Power Ranger (or any superhero really…batman vs. superman, batman vs. spiderman, batman vs. anybody) is a lot like picking a social network. They all have something different to offer, and they all appeal to a different sort of person.

Jason Lee Scott - The Red Ranger - your stereotypical jock. Jason was the man’s man on the show, but he was also a total sweetheart. The girls loved him, the guys wanted to be him-you know the story. Jason was the favorite Ranger of sports fans-he was a martial arts master, and according to Wikipedia.com, “an accomplished atlete, weight trainer and certified scuba diving instructor.” Totally cool right? Who knew? If the Red Ranger was your kind of guy, you probably love that ESPN is now on Twitter and that they show tweets during the show. ESPN has so many Twitter accounts you can stay up to date on anything in the sporting world you want. ACC_ESPN, ESPN_CYCING, ESPN, ESPN360—the accounts are seemingly endless.


iPhone apps like those made by Citizen Sports are also probably right up your alley. Fantasy Leagues, real time score updates, bracket challenge, news updates on any sports from NCAA football, to Golf, to Cricket to Futbol-Citizen Sports provides it. These apps also allow you to connect with friends, chat about games, or request that $10 dollars you won by betting your team would beat theirs-all from your handy dandy iPhone. Citizen Sports will also be adding new data, due to a very recent merger with Yahoo! Sports. (Have an iPhone? Want the app? Click here and check it out.)

Kimberly Hart – The Pink Ranger – I got Pink Power Ranger gloves for Christmas the same year I got a toy guitar. It was awesome. Kimberly was a gymnast, a musician and an artist. Kimberly was a valley girl, popular and witty.

Kimberly is a pop-culture blog. If this is your style, but Perez Hilton isn’t cutting it for you, check out this website, the “blogger’s choice awards” which lists some top ranking blogs from every category! Another Web Site to visit would be www.buzznet.com, which seems to be a site for everything. According to its "about" section, “Buzznet.com is a social media site where passionate fans interact in thousands of music communities.” But it seems to be so much more--It has tabs for music news, photos, galleries, videos, community, artists and contests. It has a live twitter feed, one of the cover stories is about LOST, there’s a picture of Megan Fox and another of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter-this website seems to have all of its bases covered!

Zack Taylor – The Black Ranger – Wikipedia describes Zack as: enjoying athletics, dancing, parties, girls, good jokes, his friends and the people around him; confident and positive; created his own fighting style; resourceful. AKA Zack did everything. So what’s a social network that will combine anything and everything for you, according to your own specific interests? www.stumbleupon.com. I’m new to StumbleUpon, so I had to do some researching. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a website that allows you to browse things on the web-at the click of a button. You tell Stumble your interests, and it “stumbles upon” pages you might find interesting. You can like things, share things, and save favorites. I clicked through four pages and got a recipe for crispy broccoli, a video about stairs that people turned into a piano, cool 3-d art, and a site with ghost stories on it. This may be the ultimate time waster.

Trini Kwan – The Yellow Ranger – Like the others, she is a kung-fu killer. Trini is an intellectual, soft spoken, polite, and an environmentalist devoted to saving the Earth. I had to do some real research for this one. I’m all for protecting the Earth, but I’m not active in the Green movement, and didn’t even know where to begin looking for a “GREEN” social network. (p.s. the Yellow Ranger was green before green was cool.) And then I found this article from 2007, discussing how social networking may be a place for the Green movement to spread its roots. Then I found www.treehugger.com. Wow. “TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.” This site is popular too! Check out the numbers:

People can comment, start a forum, interact with others, or just read articles, watch videos, or find out “How to Go Green” while visiting the site.

Billy Cranston – The Blue Ranger – AKA The brains behind the operation. Wikipedia calls him the stereotypical “nerd.” Nonetheless, the other Rangers loved him and he was part of the big happy crime-fighting family. Billy wasn’t just smart, he was super-smart, and the team knew it. Billy would create all the gadgets the team used throughout the years to beat the bad guys. Billy would probably enjoy a site like ResearchGate, a social network for scientists. It allows scientists, researchers and creators to post info, analyze other’s information, comment, collaborate, meet virtually etc.

So I know this post was long, but the point is, there’s a social network out there for everyone. Your options are not confined to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or MySpace (though the Power Rangers would obvi be Facebook friends). To find the social network for you, or just to explore the other social networks out there, check out this list compiled by Mashable.

Oh, and Happy Thursday!

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