Newsletter May 2011
Need a friend? The internet can help...

The use of the word 'friends' has changed dramatically over the last few decades. Once friends used to be the people you grew up with, went to school with, or even worked with people you saw on a regular basis or spoke to on the telephone; people you would invite to your birthday party, wedding, or the christening of your new baby; people you liked and knew intimately and who, in return, knew and liked you back.

Friendships today are an altogether different beast. Since Facebook came along and made it possible to have up to 5,000 "friends" in cyberspace, the way we conduct our social lives has taken on a whole new spin. No longer do friendships have to be restricted to the same small intimate circle for the rest of your life, you can now be friends with anyone in any part of the world literally!

As cyber friendships become more and more common, so too are the companies hoping to capitalise on this trend. AllJoinOn is one such company which describes itself as "an online social club" and offers users the opportunity to "make new friends from the comfort of your PC". AllJoinOn is predominantly a social networking site for stay at home parents and self-employed workers in need of like-minded friendship but its remit is limited to the virtual world., on the other hand, is a worldwide network of local groups that allows for offline friendships based on online connections. Once you sign up as a member, you can join several Meetup groups of similar interests or causes and start attending face-to-face meetings which are held on a regular schedule (at least once a month).

For those based in the capital, CitySocialising offers a similar service to Meetup for just Londoners with a more social angle to it. If however you are the sporty type and after something even more specific, you can head over to Fitness Friends Network to find your perfect exercise partner for the occasional jog, tennis match or golf game. So next time you find yourself with more time on your hands than friends, the solution might just be to switch on your computer to instantly improve your social life!


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