Today, instead of phones there is FaceTime and Skype. Anyone who thought calling without warning wasn't fairly intrusive should get the message at this point: electronically showing up in my house, even worse. FaceTime doesn't even have the choice to turn off the camera (you can turn the camera to the desk or navigate to another program, which leaves only the audio on), though Skype does. Still, when everyone has a plan to spend some time together it is really truly fabulous. When my 2-year-old niece was recently in the ICU, she Skyped with her 5-year-old brother to the great delight of both. The beloved FaceTimes my cat every night, and sometimes they even talk to me.
So clearly video chat is for the very-inside-circle, but there's a lot of stuff for the wide circle as well. LinkedIn, the professional social network. There is not an iPad app and the iPhone app is eh-eh, so I've got a link to the website. Then Meetup.com, the website for meeting in person with people you don't know over some subject. There is an iPhone app which does a couple of things well, so I've got the app and a website link. Finally, Yahoo!Groups, for not meeting people in person over some subject.
So that's what I've got. Anyone else using a social network they couldn't live without?