As reported by powerhouse engines like Google and Yahoo, social networking is the monarch of the Internet. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, Hi5, Perfspot, and others clearly dominated 2007’s search terms. Now the trend of niche social networking/interaction sites—MySpace for select markets, if you will—is on the rise. A shining example is SoccerFlow.com, giving fans of the “beautiful game” a little corner of the WWW to call home.

SoccerFlow is quite new, but rapidly gaining popularity. And once you start exploring the site, you understand why. Even those who aren’t fans of soccer (“football” to the rest of the world) can appreciate the wealth of features.

The main draw is groups, central places where SoccerFlow members gather to engage in discussions—sometimes heated, sometimes silly, sometimes thought-provoking and deep. There are new groups created every day and it’s fair to say eventually every league and club in the world could be represented. The sky’s the limit.

Like MySpace and its kin, SoccerFlow offers hosting for videos, photos, and files. Both individuals and groups contribute content; a treasure trove of live action can already be found in their growing video archive. One group even offers ring tones from the popular Setanta Sports comedy series “I’m on Setanta Sports”.

It also offers the same “profile” features as other social networking sites, but tailored to the purpose and spirit of the site. In addition to personal information, favorite club, favorite international team, and favorite player, users have the ability to add their curriculum vitae as players or coaches. As such, everyone from coaches of casual weekend crews to professional players can be found networking on the site.

Users can also express their thoughts and demonstrate their savvy in personal blogs.

A popular feature of the site is its classifieds area, particularly useful for this market. Those seeking to buy or sell gear, arrange pick-up games, or find players for teams need look no further.

SoccerFlow’s creators have been smart and bold in their marketing. They recently partnered with World Soccer Daily, one of the sport’s premier radio shows (found on Sirius and iTunes). Thanks to the show’s promotional efforts, which included a live chat with both hosts last week, the World Soccer Daily discussion group alone has 400 members—and growing.

One can only imagine the possibilities for social networking sites appealing to very specific audiences. Renaissance Faire enthusiasts? Star Trek lovers? Supporters of Barack Obama? Environmentalists? Why not? SoccerFlow’s early success shows there’s great potential in the idea. If MySpace ruled in 2007, perhaps Google and Yahoo will report the SoccerFlows of this emerging niche social interaction trend steal the crown for 2008.

SoccerFlow can be found at http://www.soccerflow.com

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