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Social Networking with a Twist


Social networking can be a waste of time or a fun way to keep connected. Like most anything else, used judiciously, it can be a tool for positive change.

Although hate I Twitter, my favorite social media venue is FaceBook. I’ve reconnected with so many people, high school friends, college buddies, and even cousins! And for us old folks, the paradigm is pretty easy to understand. Even my mother-in-law is building her list of friends.

This past week, I signed up for a social networking site called SocialSpark. I was referred by a friend, so I’m still stumbling around there and not quite sure what to make of it. It opened a couple of years ago in alpha as an invite-only service.

The tagline at SocialSpark is “where we specialized in Sponsored Conversations!” Generally in internet marketing parlance, “sponsored” means “paid.” So a “sponsored tweet” would be an entry on Twitter that someone paid you to make. So, on SocialSpark is someone paying you to talk to others? Not as far as I can tell.

When I went to the home page, it looked more like an ad for Alvin and the Chipmunks than a social networking site. I actually checked the URL to see if it was correct. So, maybe it’s a conversation site that has sponsored advertisements all over it?

Without trying to resolve the actual issue of what SocialSpark is, I can tell you that is has friending function, much like FaceBook’s. But there seems to be a bug in the site. No matter which browser I use, I am unable to add some of those who have sent me friend requests. When I click “accept,” the row in which I clicked duplicates itself and bumps to the right, under the right navbar. (You can see the effect in the top row in the image, below.)

SocialSpark Bug

Once someone is added as a friend, you can find them by going to community>browse users. Then click on friends.

Although SocialSpark isn’t intuitive — nor easy to define — it does have elements of social interaction coupled with earning money online. If you go to marketplace>browse opportunities, you’ll see a list of actions that can earn you money. The first offer for everyone is to write a minimum 200-word blog post, like this one, about signing up with SocialSpark. If you follow through, you’ll get $5.00.

The rest of the offers that I qualify for from the outset, are all affiliate marketing links. But the current offers do show some great paid blogging posts available to some.

If you’d like to try out SocialSpark, let me know!

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Packrat April 20, 2010, 12:47 am

    I tried this but it has so many bugs that it wasn’t worth my time to just get a post and get it accepted. But good luck with it.

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