Most internet users are joined up with some sort of social network. If you have never heard of Facebook or Twitter, you are probably not very up to date with the internet. If you are joined up with a social network, is it really helping you to connect to your friends and family? There are personal social networks out there, such as Fridge, Path and Google+ which have been developed for private use.
If you use your Facebook or Twitter for business, like freelancing, it is probably so full of updates and feeds, that you barely have space for friends or family. This is where personal networks come into play. They allow you to free up some space for the people you care about the most, without including business. Sometimes you will be added by people you barely know, or work acquaintances, and then you will have to view their updates and Tweets. It can seem rude to refuse to add a person, and it might cost you a valuable business contact if they are in your industry.
The general idea behind social networks is for people to share their lives with those around them. However, often they are primarily used for gossip and stalking. If you use a private social network, there will not be a problem with privacy. You do not have to worry about someone you only met once, five years ago, knowing everything about your personal life any more.
Networks such as Path, limit the amount of people that you can share your updates with. Path only lets you choose 50 people, so you have to make every choice really count. Now you do not have to worry about being rude when you do not add people you barely even know.
Fridge is focused on friends and family, as well as people who share your interests. There have been many recorded incidents where someone has lost their job because of something they posted on a Tweet or an update. This is because Twitter and Facebook are not very private. There are ways to group people on Facebook so that you can limit the amount that they can see. However, many people are not even aware of the existence of this feature, and it is seldom used.
Google+ was recently launched, but it has already gathered a lot of attention. The groups on Google+ are called Circles, and they are very easy to create. You can easily drag your contacts to your Circles, which makes it easier than ever. Features like this can make or break an application, and make people decide whether or not to use it.
You might be wondering why people use more than one social network. If your best friends use a variety of different networks, and you want to stay in touch with them, you have no choice but to sign up with the networks that they use.