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Gather Here

Gather Here

Come gather with me at Gather.com, one of the most popular social networking sites online today. Check it out!

Gather.com is actually a great alternative to MySpace and other networking sites out there. How could anything be better than MySpace, you ask? Well, if you are asking that question, Gather.com might not be for you. If you are however, confused by HTML, find it hard to figure out what’s going on in MySpace or just want a more adult geared site, then Gather is the place for you.

Gather is pretty much just like all the other networking and profile Web sites out there today, but there are a few things that make it unique. The Web site is laid out with a simple to use and easy to understand interface. This means you do not have to worry about confusing HTML codes or how to perform even the simplest of tasks. The coolest feature about Gather though, in my opinion, is its point system.

The point system is a way for you to earn rewards by just doing whatever it is you normally do on the site. You can get points for leaving comments, posting pictures, participating in conversations and inviting other people to join. There is no catch. If MySpace were like this, I’d probably be sipping margaritas somewhere in Costa Rica by now!

Another nifty thing about the point system is that if you manage to average 3,000 points a month, they will convert your points into the money system. This means that instead of cashing in your points for gift cards, you can cash them in for actual money. They will then deposit the money into your PayPal account whenever you decide to cash out. (FYI: 3,000 points is about $50).

If you don’t manage to make it to the case incentive program, don’t worry. There are still plenty of great things to cash your points in on. They are all gift cards at this point, but you can’t really complain about getting something for free just for hanging out online and interacting with your friends, now can you?!

As for now, Gather.com offers rewards with Barnes & Noble, Uncommon Goods, Borders, Omaha Steaks, Delightful Deliveries, Home Depot, Brokestone, MyWine, Vacation Outlet and Cruise Only. Not too bad if you ask me!

The Gather Web site has a lot of cool sections as well. It is kind of a glorified blogging community. The sections are as follows:

My People – This shows you all of your friends on Gather.com and their latest sign in time. This way, you can see who has been active recently. It also offers a link to use to invite others to join Gather. You can also earn points for inviting people to join Gather.com, so be sure to invite your friends. That way, you can all earn points by just chatting away!

My Groups – This is just like the groups on MySpace. This section shows you all the groups that you are a member of. There are all kinds of groups on Gather. From TV show fan groups to writing or photography groups, you are bound to find one you like. If you can’t find a group you like, you can create your own and invite your friends to join.

Articles for Me – This is a list of “articles” written by your friends. I don’t like how they call these articles though. While some are articles or blog posts, this is what you have to use to communicate on Gather. There is no bulletin board or message board, they’re just called articles. The articles are kind of like a blog and message board all rolled into one.

Images for Me – These are all the latest images posted by your friends. You can click on the latest images to go check them out. Leaving comments on your friends’ pictures is another easy way to earn some points.

Comments – Now, I think this section needs a little help, because it doesn’t make much sense. Here you can see all of the comments left by your friends. Now, by all, I mean all of the comments your friends left period, not just your comments. I’m not sure why I would care what my friends said to someone else, but I guess it’s sometimes fun to read other comments.

What I do like about Gather though is that it isn’t infested with fake people and accounts. There aren’t live Webcam girls sending you e-mails everyday and it isn’t over taken with advertisements. I’m sure this will change in time, but for now, Gather.com is my top pick for social networking sites!

Check out Gather for yourself here.

~ Daved Brosche