With the increasing popularity of huge social networks like Facebook and MySpace, it’s easy to see why niche networks are entering the market and falling off almost immediately. There seems to be no room for networks that focus on a particular hobby, demographic, or profession. They are too small, therefore they will all fail.

Or will they?

Thinking forward, reading the trends, looking underneath the pseudo-obvious, it becomes clear that these small fenced-in playgrounds are the future. This article from readwriteweb.com shows an excellent example and six clear-cut reasons why niche social networks can not only survive, but also flourish in a virtual jungle dominated (currently) by the gorillas.

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Remember when banner ads were the thing? Now, most of these gorgeous, flashy, interactive banners get passed over, while simple text links generate tremendous amounts of traffic.

The same thing will happen with social networking, as long as there is a way to integrate different networks into a single posting interface. A 35-year-old firefighter named Henry is a father of 3 in Burbank, California, who enjoys hiking and running the occasional marathon. He cannot easily interact with similar people online through the big social networks. It’s possible, but the general themes of these networks interfere with the end goal of participating in his niche with people in similar situations.

In the near future, he can be a part of a firefighter network, a parenting network, a Burbank network, a hiking network, and a marathon network. With the right interface, if he finds and excellent article about physical fitness that he wants to share, he can post this article to his firefighter, hiking, and marathon networks, but not to his parenting or Burbank network. Later that day, her finds a video news clip about an upcoming 10k run in Burbank, which he can post to his Burbank and marathon network. That night, he hears about a change in the way that the schools are going to be grading students and decides to right a blog post for his Burbank and parenting networks.

That was a long, tedious example, but you get the point. With the right interface, Henry can have an orderly, simple series of social networks in which he can belong and interact. With the right interface, Henry can search for and find information that is shared by those who share in that particular interest. With the right interface, social networking can work well for Henry and those around him.

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Therefore, it all comes down to the interface. Is Google’s OpenSocial the answer? What about websites like Ning.com and GoingOn.com? Flux, the new interface created through a partnership between Viacom and Social Project (which I just signed up for — review coming soon) may be the answer or at least a step towards the answer.

No matter what, an answer will come. It’s just a matter of time.

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Be sure to read more social media tips right here.

Written by JD Rucker
+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.