20 most useful social networking sites

For both work and pleasure, these 20 social networking sites are the most useful to any busy IT professionals.

Social networks worth trying

Don't have enough time to go looking for news and information or even to e-mail friends and colleagues? If so, then try using social networks. We've selected 20 of the most useful social networks for IT professionals. And these networks aren't just for work, either; some of them will help you find old friends and colleagues, keep in touch with family and friends, and get useful news and information for your busy professional life.

Reddit

Reddit is a popular social news Web site with a large user base. Covering a wide range of news, which focus on specific topics like programming, science, politics and business.

Digg

Digg is the largest and most popular social news Web site on the Internet. Covering all topics including; politics, entertainment, technology and general news. Includes a separate video and image section. Allows users to share articles with their friends list or post to the most popular blog sites directly on a topic through Digg.

Check out Network World's most popular stories on Digg.com .

Fark

Fark is a community news site which allows users to comment on news articles. User submitted links will be posted on the main page once they are approved by the administrators.

Slashdot

Slashdot is primarily a tech news site, Slashdot also covers topics like books, games, politics and entertainment. Users can submit stories and they may be published after editors approve it.

Mixx

Mixx is one of the newest in general social news sites which has a category for all types of news. Topics covered include business, entertainment, sports, health and tech. Also includes personalization with the ability to create groups to share news with other interested users.

Shoutwire

Shoutwire is a general news site that is well populated with a loyal group of users. Topics covered include technology, politics, entertainment, lifestyle and sports.

Newsvine

Newsvine is Web site consisting of community-driven news stories and opinions. Users have their own blogs and can write articles, save links to external content and vote/comment on other user stories.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a social network and browser toolbar which allows users to channel surf the Internet. Technically not 100% a social news site, although users can submit Web pages to be rated by other users. Here is a guide to StumbleUpon.

SWiK

SWiK is a community driven resource for and by people who use open source software. Users can find free software or read and submit news .

Del.icio.us

Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site, which invites users to organize and publicize interesting items through tagging and networking. Is a great site for documenting your favorite bookmarks and sharing them with others. Each time a site is bookmarked is "voted on" and begins to rank higher in the search ranks of the site.

Technorati

Technorati is a network of blogs and writers that lists top stories in categories like Business, Entertainment and Technology. With so many blogs out there Technorati makes it easier for users to see the blogs they want without having to go to so many sites.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a popular networking site where alumni, business associates, recent graduates and other professionals connect online. Users can utilize the network to find old colleagues, gather references, post their resume and network for career opportunities.

Facebook

Facebook is no longer just for college kids who want to post their party pics. Businesses vie for advertising opportunities, event promotion and more on this site. Users are beginning to create groups for everything from alumni associations to bird watching.

Networking For Professionals

Networking For Professionals is another online community that combines social and business networking on the Internet with special events in the real world. Post photos, videos, résumés and clips on your online profile while you meet new business contacts

YouTube

Everyone's heard of YouTube , the single largest video streaming site on the internet. But anyone can have their own channel for videos at YouTube. Create an account and upload a behind-the-scenes video from your company's latest commercial or event to give customers and clients an idea of what you do each day.

SecondLife

SecondLife is a 3-D virtual world that is so popular it makes money by selling virtual real-estate for hard cash. Several major companies have set up shop in SecondLife and Reuters has opened a news bureau there.

MySpace

MySpace is a self-publishing within your network of friends and colleagues. It's a grapevine. It aggregates opinion (what to listen to, what to watch, what's groovy) and is now the most popular web site in the United States.

Livejournal

Livejournal is part self-publishing network and part blog; but has added security, privacy and filtering abilities that other social networks are lacking, making it ideal for those who wish to utilize a single account for multiple audiences. It is one of the fastest growing and most diverse social networks of its kind

Propeller

Propeller is AOL's version of Digg and operates in a similar manner. It is a social news site that covers all topics from technology to politics and entertainment.

Dzone

Dzone is a free link-sharing community for developers. Members vote on upcoming links to determine what gets promoted. While everyone can browse, search and comment on links. Other topics commonly featured include web design and programming.

What are YOUR favorite social networks?

With so many social networks out there and more popping up all the time we can't possibly list them all. Tell us your favorite social networks and why you like them.