For an example of why social networking might not be the perfect idea for every website, let’s first look at the social network for dead people.
Respectance.com marks the latest attempt to create a workable website for online memorials. The goal is to create a site where people can post online tributes to the departed; the Respectance twist is to add Facebook-style features to the effort.
Some of these are genuinely useful: For instance, given its owner’s blessing, anyone can upload photos to a Respectance tribute page. And it must be said that the site is a fair sight classier than many of its overwrought predecessors.
But this isn’t just a tribute site: It’s a social network. This means that, alongside the condolence book and the wall of memorial photos, there’s a list of the departed’s “friends.”
If nothing else, it’s trendy. To contribute, you first have to sign up for a Respectance account, then request to be added to the deceased’s buddy list. Once you’re on the list, your name links to your profile page, on which all of your deceased friends are listed, as well as the tributes you’ve made to each of them.
It also means that you can send and receive private messages from other members, and check out their own networks of friends, living and otherwise.
Photo by Respectance.com.