Gamer Social Networking?

I was looking at my page at GAX Online [long since gone, click links at your peril] the other day and was trying to find the point.

I mean, I get the idea of social networking.  I have a profile on Linked In, a social networking site focused on professional relationships.  I am linked to a whole pile of friends and co-workers and I can see where they are working now and what they are up to whenever the urge strikes me.

And that makes sense to me and because I am me.  For the former, as I said, I can keep track of friends and have a method to get in touch with them, at least so long as their profile is sufficiently up to date.  And for the latter, well, my friends tend to be people with whom I do things on a regular basis and, having had a job since I was 13, there is no more regular group than my coworkers.

But other services and social sites, things like Facebook, Plaxo, or MySpace, don’t do much for me.  There isn’t anything there for me.

But GAX Online is gamer oriented, so I thought I should give it a try.  I do spend a bit of time playing online games after all. (*listens for vocal comment from wife*)  And GAX was put together by the guys from Massively Online Gamer, so I felt I ought to support their endeavor in return for all the entertainment they have provided.

I signed up early one, got my account, created my page, put little bits of information about myself on it, uploaded a picture, added an RSS feed from my blog, asked to be friends with a couple of people, accepted friend invites from a few others, joined some groups, and generally poked around.

And that was about it.

I checked in regularly at first, looked into groups, followed a few of the blogs being run on the site, and watched what was going on.  But over time I began checking in less and less frequently.  Some things I kept up with via RSS, like Brent’s Other Blog back when he was having fun with it and telling people things like their blog probably sucks or that perhaps Tolkien and/or Halo are not that great.  But then he stopped doing that.

It is not that GAX Online is dead.  Every time I go there, activity is apparent, I just have no enthusiasm for it.  It does not seem to be for me.

As a comparison, in a fit of gamer social networking enthusiasm brought on by the launch of GAX Online, I also signed up for GuildCafe just for comparison’s sake.  But GuildCafe stuck even less firmly with me, no doubt because I didn’t even know a half dozen people to put on a friend’s list.  I kept up with that site so little that while they changed their name to GamerDNA in April of 2008, I didn’t even notice until September, and I am not sure I made the mental connection that one was the other until even more recently.  The triumph of apathy.

So there I am.

But just because I can’t find any compelling reason to visit these sites on a regular basis doesn’t mean I know everything that is there.

So my question of the week is what gamer social networking site do you use, if any, and what keeps you coming back to it?  What makes a site like worth it to you?

Or not worth it, if you prefer.

13 thoughts on “Gamer Social Networking?

  1. Petter Mårtensson

    Avatars United – – is a pretty fun idea, where you use your MMO-avatars to connect with others. I signed up ages ago, put some of my characters on there…and, just like you, stopped visiting. I’m not really sure why, but probably because not enough people in my guild/kin/corp used it. Or that you still connect with all those people through the actual game or forums anyway.

    Gax, to me, looks too much like another crazed version of MySpace. I use Twitter, Facebook and recently got a LinkedIn-profile – I guess that’s quite enough…


  2. Ahnog

    I do use Myspace to keep up with friends and family. Seems to be a good tool for that. I don’t have to visit everyday because it sends me emails when someone messages me, or wants to be a friend, or comments on a photo I’ve posted (which, as a grandfather I post a lot.)

    I do feel a need to get on a gaming type site. I’m still looking for one that is useful.


  3. Tipa

    I use Twitter and LinkedIn. I used to participate in Gax Online, but then I didn’t.

    Most MMO networking sites seem to revolve around WoW, and I no longer play WoW. The friends I still keep in touch with are all from EQ — and they apparently don’t use these services.

    F/B just annoys me.

    For keeping in touch with MMO gamers, I use XFire. It’s not much, but it’s there.


  4. Petter Mårtensson

    I’ve always had an aversion against MySpace, it’s too cluttered and the design is horrible – Facebook, although far from perfect, at least looks better. :) But yeah, if friends and relatives are on MySpace I can see why one would use it, it never got big here in Sweden due to the rather long tradition of our own Internet communities. It took Facebook to deal those quite a blow, I think.

    If you manage to find one, feel free to blog about it. A good gaming community would be nice to find.


  5. Armagon

    Tried some of those myself. Allvatar (might be German only, now has a new name that escapes me), raptr and GamerDNA.

    But there was really no point in using them, there are hardly any people I’m trying to “keep in touch with” – most are still on my friends list in WoW. And the contact to the people from my quake clan 10 years ago already vanished long ago.

    Twitter and blogs are better for keeping up, then again hardly anyone I know blogs :P


  6. Sam "QforQ" Houston

    Hey Wilhelm451, hope things are going well :)

    I encourage you to come back to gamerDNA and check out some of the latest additions to the site. We’ve made a lot great progress on making the site much more useful, turning the site into a great way to keep up on what your friends on doing within games (without being spammy), discover new games and keep track of your gaming to share it with others.

    Our latest game activity functionality is something I’m pretty excited about, we’ve got some details in our gamerDNA Member Newsletter that we put out about a week ago:

    I encourage you to check it out and stick around, we’re doing some pretty big updates to the site every 2-3 weeks that add a lot of great features. We also always welcome feedback and suggestions on what we should add next :) If you have any questions or need anything feel free to email me or shoot me a message on gamerDNA.

    Have a great one!
    -Sam Houston
    gamerDNA Community Manager


  7. Kilanna

    I am a fan of facebook. I have managed to connect with people I have not seen in over 10 years and it is great to catch up Have dabbled in Livejournal but it is all private and just for my self really.

    Since I sepearated from my husband a little over a year ago now, Facebook has been great – even though I moved interstate I can still keep in touch with the day to day goings on in the lives of my one or two closest friends.


  8. bluelinebasher

    I used to use XFire — and ironically just loaded it up again (accounts are permanent I guess). Unfortunately there is no Xbox Live inclusion as most of the people I play with have made the transition from MMO to console. XFire was fine when other friends were playing PC games, I was able to see who was playing what game. But now I have one on Steam, some on skype, some on vent, and most on XBox Live — so it’s not terribly helpful. Does GAX network all things like Xbox, Steam, Xfire into one place? I could see a use for that — but I’m sure there’s a massive headache in trying to secure licenses from all of the different companies. Definite upside for a network of casual gamers — but if you already have your instance/guild/clan/corp/etc pre-planned tho with its own website and forum, it probably doesn’t matter so much.


  9. Green Armadillo

    Social networks begin, end, live, and die on critical mass. The whole point is that they aren’t providing the bulk of the content, the users are. If your friends aren’t also on the same site, using their applications/features and generally posting things you want to see, there is no reason to go back. This makes them very hard to get off the ground in the first place, because your friends probably won’t already be on a site that just opened.


  10. JC

    I used to use myspace a ton, but now I can’t remember the last time I went there. I hit up Facebook daily. I used to be on myyearbook also, but that was even more of a “let’s hook up” site than myspace, so I not only stopped going there I deleted my profile from it entirely.

    I have an account at avatarsunited, but I don’t recall the last time I went there. I’m also on, but again… it’s been a while since I’ve gone to it.

    Never heard of GAX before, but now I may check it out. I’ve heard of xfire, but don’t have any desire to look at it. Don’t know why, since it sounds decent overall, just. . meh.


  11. Hortinstein (Demiurgis in EVE)

    does anyone know when the EVE specific network is supposed to launch…sounded like a really cool idea


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  13. Matt

    I think we do have something to prove if we want a “true social network for gamers”. Understanding the webpage has to feel more like a game than some stiff site would help as well. Lots of great sites here but let’s not forget one of the original pioneers CharacterPlanet now undergoing renovation.


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