Subjects go social--Sulia
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Subjects go social: Welcome to Sulia

Logo for SuliaYes, Sulia is yet another social network.  However, unlike many of its brethren, Sulia makes no attempt to promote itself as the “next Facebook” or a “Twitter-killer.”  Which is a positive, since its chances of becoming either are just about nil.  Sulia is actually attempting to do something that no other service really has:  to organize social content by broad topics.  Sulia considers itself to be a “subject-based social network.”  It’s definitely a niche that has not been filled; the question, of course, is how popular an idea will it be, really?

In many ways, Sulia is more of a publishing/aggregation platform than a social network.  It’s supposed to feature experts in thousands of topics, without spam and trolls.  From Sulia’s “About” page:

We use a combination of network managers and sophisticated algorithms to identify the best-regarded sources across thousands of topics. We then dynamically filter content from those sources, regardless of where it’s created (a blog, a social network, a media site, through Sulia’s publishing system, etc.), into high-quality, realtime social channels. The result is streams of timely content from trusted sources that is always on-topic, readable, and relevant.

Here’s a screenshot from the channel “Israel-Palestine Crisis,” which is a major news topic today:

Screenshot of Israel-Palestinian conflict channel on Sulia

What does this mean to me, Laura?

I think that, for librarians, this site might actually have two roles.

  • First, for librarians as information consumers:  if you are looking for up-to-the-minute topic information, aggregated in one place, this might be a good jumping off point.  You can also follow specific channels and content creators.
  • Secondly, for librarians as creators:  If you have time to add to these channels, you might be able to do some interesting things.  Your library could become a recognized contributor by adding relevant links to existing topics.  After all, that’s one of the main things libraries do–provide information.

Another interesting feature is that you can post directly to Twitter and/or Facebook when you create content on Sulia.

Do you think this is something you and/or your library would use?  Can you tell us why in the comments?