Another social site with web 2.0 goodness? Yes. Fanpop may standout, however, by picking the best qualities from a number of leading social sites and bringing them together in a neat integration. As they say, “We’re a little bit of Digg, MySpace, Yahoo! Groups, del.icio.us and Yelp all mixed into one.”
Users can create topical federations on just about anything, giving it a resemblance to Tribe’s flexibility. With 24 broad ‘channels’, Fanpop leaves room for communities to cluster around a long tail of interests. In the Fanpop spots, users can add links to relevant websites or news links, like Delicious. But in addition, submitted websites gain momentum from user voting— giving Fanpop the interactive push of Digg and Reddit.
For search fans, there’s the built-in “more on the web” option of out-bound searches keyword tied to the Fanpop title page you’re on, to Google, Delicious, Wikipedia, eBay, Amazon, Flickr, YouTube—probably a list that will grow.
Fanpop also offers forums— which delicious lacks, and presents them in a more central way than Digg. It also has an internal messaging system — a feature not offered on Digg and in a more developed version than in Delicious or MySpace.
Rewarding the active members is key for maintaining a loyal membership base, and Fanpop looks like it’s learned that lesson. Fanpop rewards the most active members as “top fans” on the mainpage. It also features fans in a permanent way, versus the epherma of Digg, building communities more like MySpace, Tribe or Facebook. The main page also highlights recently updated pages, and displays a recurrently refreshed flip through existing fan bases.
What is this missing? Music and video, which are doing well on Digg and MySpace.
There are many social sites out there, too much to all survive, but aggregating the best features from specialized social sites may help this start-up rise to face the the largest player(s).
Fanpop brings together features I don’t remember having seen aggregated elsewhere: If anyone has seen this all before—please let me know—because I’d be interested in comparing. (And yes, there is a Search Engines spot.)