Dustin Brewer

8 Great Digg-Like Social Networks For Designers In 2008

By: Dustin Brewer
December 17th, 2007
There are a lot of social networks available for every niche you can think of, some of them aren't as good as others and the good ones always need a little attention. I'm sure a lot of you have been to a few of these but should be members of all of them. Interaction is important when it comes to social networks. Ensuring that you do your part as a member and contribute to them by voting on content or contributing to a conversation.

When it comes to social networks for designers the design of the site is a huge selling point, we don't want to look at a poorly designed web site frequently. We need style in our social network designs.
The list of great social networks for designers

#1 designfloat

Designfloat is an excellent social network that provides a ton of information all within separate categories that designers and developers would be interested in. This rising star has really got quite a bit of attention lately from the design community at large. It seems to have mostly good topics that are actually interesting and worth voting for.

The topics range from web standards, branding, marketing, advertising, design resources and print design. The site is simple and straight forward and even allows users to vote on the article without ever creating an account. A handy feature that ensures good content can easily rise in popularity without having to entice visitors to become a member.

#2 9rules

The 9rules site is more then just for designers, it has a wide range of topics for just about anything. It gives you politics, anime, Web++, blogging and even humor. The site typically leans towards design and technology though. 9Rules is a full circle social network with forums (notes) and RSS feeds from 9rules members. It has blogs and a point system that allows you to give points to notes and comments. You can easily spend a ton of time on the site, it is a web 2.0 forum with extras.

#3 design:related

This is an excellent site to find designer related articles. You must sign up to vote for the articles but you can find a wide arrange of topics on the front page regarding any number of different topics. A good portion of them aren't necessarily web related or even computer related design fields. They still provide some great topics and inspirational articles from all over the web about nearly anything.

#4 design snack

This site allows visitors to vote on web designs and discuss improvements or their opinions on why they might not like the design. A great site to find some fantastic advice or inspiration for web design. The system is very subtle and provides featured sites on the front page that have received good reviews and ratio of positive votes.

#5 pixel groovy

Another excellent site to find design topics of any kind. It is all tutorials about how to create various design elements or CSS objects. You can usually find fantastic design tutorials on this site and vote them up if the tutorial is well done. I have always recommended that even if you feel you have mastered web design to do at least one design tutorial a week for inspiration. I find them to be very helpful for discovering news ways to do things in your design field.

#6 Command Shift 3

This is less of a digg-style social network for designers then a fun way to look and vote on various submitted web sites. It works just like Hot or Not did but without voting on girls, you vote on websites. You can find some of the very best designs and some of the very worst designs on this site. Overall it can be a fun little game to go through the site and choose which design you like better. Some of them are a no-brainer but others it can be tough to decide which site is better. It really can make you think about "why" one site is better then the other. You can truly find some good self-created inspiration from choosing which site you like the best.

#7 Dzone

This site is really less for designers as it is for developers. It goes over very intimate topics on programming and code heavy topics. You can still find some pretty good news on it. There is limited sorting though, because it has such a focused topic it seems that pretty much all of the articles simply get listed on new links or popular links. A wonderful site for developers and programmers to find topics that will spark their creativity.

#8 Developers Niche

This is a great site for web designers to find and vote on articles related to coding, markup and design. The site itself really needs a facelift, but the overall quality of articles submitted seems to be pretty good. The site is relatively new so it needs some time to grow but it could easily develop into a real player in the digg-like social networking scene.

Designer social networks can provide hours of inspiration

It is easy to feel inspired when you go through some of these sites. It seems for designers the most difficult part of the job at times is to find inspiration. Whether it be from nature, other designs or a box of cereal we all have to find it somewhere. These sites are a fantastic starting point for any creative task and should be the first place to start when searching for a little quick and dirty inspiration (after you visit this site of course).

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About the Author: Dustin Brewer is a web designer located in Oklahoma City, OK specializing in aesthetics in design, web standards, accessibility and usability. He also enjoys helping others to discover CSS and web design best practices through his web site, dustin brewer, a web design news site.