50 most bizarre social networks

We pick our favourite 50 from the world of niche social networks, where the socially marginalised, mutually interested and just plain weird can get together

Social networking: you may have heard of it. A social network is a Web site that allows people from all over the Interwebs to create their own profile and interact with others of similar interests. All the kids are doing it. And the kids' mums and dads, and their pets. And, apparently, nurses, goths, wannabe Jordans... everyone.

But with the bloated behemoths of the social network scene prompting hysterical headlines and user desertion, many people are looking elsewhere. That's where the niche networks come in. We've picked, in no particular order, 50 -- count 'em -- of the most obscure and bizarre social networks we could find.

MySpace is still standing purely through sheer weight of numbers despite a backlash against its hideous layouts and sprawling membership, while even the apparently unstoppable Facebook is slowing down. Bacn and zombies are turning people against the bigger networks, and anyone looking to downsize can look around for a network of friends that reflects their specific interests.

And there's something for everyone. We know: we checked. No matter how weird, worthy, dull or deranged you are, there's a social network for you. Click through and come with us on a tour of the more obscure corners of the Web, then tell us about your favourite niche network in the comments or our forums. -Rich Trenholm

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