In Neil Stephenson's 1992 novel Snow Crash, the inhabitants of a dystopian future spend a lot of time in something very like Second Life called the Metaverse. That's no coincidence because Second Life was inspired by this sci fi novel, by the way. Meanwhile, in the real world of the novel, society was fragmented into autonomous communities, franchises with their own sovereignity. I wonder if that will be the story of social networks next year? Communities, chat forums and blogs already cluster around localised networks defined by interests. Can the centre hold for these monster social network sites. Or will next year be the year when it splinters into social networks defined by a key interest or value; skating, zen. having twins... and of course being green. Moving from their networks (Facebook as craze) to my networks (low key places to hang out with the likeminded).
There are already plenty of green social networks. The question would be are we ready for one of these to become our hub, central to our lives and online relationships (along with probably 3 or 4 others, that define our other key interests and affiliations). That shamrock pattern is a better approximation to how we live our lives after all. We shall see. Meanwhile here's a list of the main eco and ethical social networks via ecostreet: Care2.com, Zaadz, River Wired, 2People, Razoo, Actics, Zelixy, Tree-Nation, Dianovo, Five Limes, WorldCoolers, beTurtle and Common Circle. From a UK perspective I'd be inclined to add i-Count, the Nag, Do the Green Thing, Tread Lightly, Pledgebank & others.