TatSpot: New social network gets under your skin

A "Facebook" for tattoo lovers? Surely the social-networking bandwagon is already full to tipping. But hold on--the photos section here seems tailor-made for this community. And beyond.

I pity the fool who says social networking has jumped the shark. Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

Sure, Mark Zuckerberg has a hoodie with weird totemic symbols hidden on the inside. But if he were truly hard core, he'd have a Like icon tattooed on his neck and the word "HACK" inked in all uppercase black letters from one shoulder to the other.

You can bet members of the tattoo-themed social network the TatSpot don't mess around with wussy iron-on transfers. These people go the distance, as evidenced by the photos on the site.

A tattoo-themed social network? You're probably thinking, "OK, the whole social-media thing has really jumped the shark." But why not? After all, I'd wager there's a forum or chat room or virtual who-knows-what for just about every wired subculture on the planet. In fact, the e-mail announcement I got from the TatSpot prompted a little Googling, and it seems this is far from the only such site for tattoo lovers. There's Tattoos On, Tattoo Junkie, and Inked Underground. There's even a dating site: Tattoo Passions. As they say: the more, the merrier.

Many of the TatSpot's different areas (videos, events, blogs, and the like) have yet to be filled out with posts (the site is, after all, new), but the aforementioned photos section seems to be off to a colorful start and appears tailor-made for this community.

And beyond. The photos section here and on other such sites make for a fascinating little journey for anyone, tattooed or not. As new as the TatSpot's section is, you'll still encounter a cornucopia of iconography, from Mr. T to an unknown soldier to Mahatma Gandhi.

The only problem I have with the site is its name. My CNET colleague Jeff Sparkman came up with a far better one: InkedIn. (Alas, it seems that's been claimed by a different subculture.)

Update, March 14, 1:04 p.m. PT: Adds information about other tattoo-related social networks.

 

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