Buddhist social networking sites need to be used with caution. The teachings rely on oral transmission and warn against idle chatter. These are 10 sites for Buddhists to consider.
Tricycle: Tricycle Magazine is a highly respected nondenominational Buddhist quarterly magazine, and offers one of the safest Buddhist social networking sites along with high quality content. The community section offers a meeting place with blogs and discussions.
SunSpace Blog: This site is part of Shambhala Sun, best known for its popular Buddhist magazine. There is good content, and even the celebrity items contain no gratuitous nastiness. You can make comments, get on the blogroll and find friends.
Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition: FPMT is a valuable treasury of Mahayana Buddhism resources. Their new online learning center is developing interactive modules that may promote social networking and learning.
Ashoka: Ashoka advertises itself as an eDharma learning center, and there is some excellent content. They are creating a new elearning community that sounds promising.
Buddhist Community: They advertise themselves as a safe alternative to Facebook. There are about 1300 members and many regional groups.
United Buddhist Networks: You have to sign up before you can view anything here except the front page. The site features blogs and forums but the latest activity is over a month old so it does not look very active. The content seems to focus on conditions in Burma and China.
E-Sangha: This site is down temporarily due to technical difficulties. The front page looks knowledgeable and promising with forums geared towards specific traditions and common topics.
OnBuddhist: You can’t view anything here unless you sign up. It says it’s a social networking site for Buddhists or people who are curious. There are conspicuous typos and a completely generic look that did not strike me as interesting.
Buddhist Passions: I thought this might be a joke given that desirous attachment is the root of all suffering. There is a headline ad about creating a social network for anything in less than 2 minutes so that may explain it. It looks like someone created multiple dating sites and inserted the word Buddhist on this one.
Buddhist Network: This scared me. This Buddhist social networking site promotes Chatter niches and carries an ad for how to meditate like a monk in 15 minutes.
Use these social networking sites for Buddhists mindfully so you don’t wind up off the path.