Another web-based experiment in networking and community is underway at Gather.com, a web site designed to bring together writers and readers seeking to connect around topics of mutual interest.
Currently in its beta version, Gather.com allows visitors to register, create a profile, upload images, publish articles, establish a network of friends, colleagues, and family, and make contact with others. Just for participating, members of Gather.com can even earn “Gather Points”, similar to frequent flyer miles, which will eventually be redeemable with online merchants.
Gather.com functions much like a gigantic, multi-author blog: Writers can create and publish articles using a WYSIWYG editor, with the option of uploading images to include with the text. Publication is instantaneous and writers retain the ability to edit articles or delete them entirely, while readers are allowed to post comments. And, if you enjoy the work of a particular author, you can subscribe to them and receive notification by email whenever they publish.
The Gather.com directory of articles is arranged by topic and is fully searchable, so visitors can easily locate articles of interest. Although right now the web site only permits the publication of articles, the plan is to enable members to publish all kinds of files–podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, and even shareware–to bring a wide range of content to what Gather.com anticipates will be a rapidly growing audience.
To see what kinds of connections are possible, read this essay on Gather.com by writer Marin Amundson-Graham.
And for more information about Gather.com, click here.