At the last count, 33% of the world’s population were online. The chances are then, that out of all of those billions of people people spread across the continents of the world and over the rolling oceans, there are going to be a few interesting individuals.

So, this got me thinking about the dark recesses of the social web and where this mixed bag of creatures hang out online.

The answer is vertical networks, the types of communities that dominate Ning: hangouts based on a specific need.

Social media, of course, has aided the growth of these communities, and groups like guerrilla knitting circles, the tweeting mould collectors or photography mad ferret enthusiasts have blossomed. It might sound jokey but as far as business is concerned these verticals are a veritable gold mine, these people are focused, passionate and more import they are organised.

The following networks are just a few that I have come across in my surfing career that I thought deserved a mention.

1. Lineforheaven.com

This network offers users a direct line to the man upstairs, you earn what they call karma points for ‘blessing people’ in a Facebook type poke. The promise is that this network will reserve a place for you in heaven, you even get a handy update every Sunday to say whether your spot has been reserved.

2. Intellectconnect.com

If you’re a Sheldon Cooper and spend your nights considering the string theory or the molecular make up of your iPhone then you may wish to talk and mingle with like minded brainiacs and even find geeky shaped love on intellectconnect. One of the options is for PLATONIC: Cinephiles, which I thought meant film lovers but it actually means crossword compiler, so I guess I won’t be joining.

3. Stachepassions.com

This community promises dating and networking for moustache lovers, you get to enjoy taches via photos, forum posts, instant messages and updates. It’s the place to be if you love the Walrus, Mexican, Dali, Pencil or the Fu Manchu.

4. Farmersonly.com

If you are a farmer, a ranch hand or simply a cow lover, this community is perfect for you. It announces that “City folks just don’t get it”, and based on the amount of cattle on the site I’m not sure they’d want to. The users post photos of themselves sat atop their favourite tractors or prize mules in John Deere attire. It all looks pretty harmless, nice cowboy seeks nice cow girl to raise 10 thousand head of cattle. Although site owner Jerry Miller does admit that around 10% of the community are what they call Country wannabees, urbanites that have a farmer shaped passion.

5. Ravelry.com

Whats is impressive about this network is the sheer scale of it, on Twitter these guys have around 30 thousand followers and it exudes needle clicking passion. These are the guerrilla artist end of the knitting community, if these guys held a grudge against you, you’d find the head of a knitted race horse in your bed. As you dig deeper into the community you see just how much of a supportive network it is, people offering pattern advice, organising meet-up and joking with each other on the forum, all in all a nice bunch of knitters.

6. Myfreeimplants.com

Possibly one of the most shocking of the collection is this community where women who want large breasts and boob benefactors who enjoy looking at them, come together in a beautiful synergy of creation. The website boasts sexy photos of women who have had the op and those awaiting it. What is amusing is that the website started off with women asking for cosmetic surgery like nose jobs, tummy tucks etc, but it became clear very quickly that the men did not want to pay for nose jobs, so needs must. Its creator thought of the idea whilst on holiday in Las Vegas, bet that was a fun few days?

7. Beautifulpeople.com

This site really does what it says on the tin, if you are beautiful you are allowed, if you are not…well you’re not. The community vote on how pretty you are and that goes towards your registration. It does seam rather cut throat, but would you really want to be part of a community that purely bases your worth on how you look? If you do…“for god-sake go on a diet fatty”.

8. Hamsterster.com

If you fancy listening to the story of Mcfatty the hamster who likes to have air blown into his face, or watch the antics of Mummy McSquish and Daddy McNibbles then this is the community for you. I’m not really sure why the majority of hamsters appear to have a Scottish heritage, and that is not really explained. The good thing about the network really support each other and answer owners health questions, so if one of the members furry little friends are ill these guys will go out of their way to nurse him back to health.

9. My.microbes.eu

This is definitely one of the most unique communities out there, if only due to the request that the new user supplies a stool sample before they can register (I think Mr Zuckerberg missed a trick there). There is a reason for the sample, it is part of a study online to look into the discovery of enterotypes, the only real issue with the community is that you are asked to cover the cost of your stool analysis, which as it points out is substantial.

10. Checkmyride.com

A network based around your past cars, you can find out based on data such a vehicle registration etc. You can log-in using your Facebook account, so it makes it much easier to join up. Men and women who love cars will find this a charming site for remembering events attached to their old motors, and you know what I’m talking about Mark from Essex.

Source: BrandWatch

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