Get social the German way!
Germany consists of 16 states and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres and has around 80.3 million inhabitants making it the most populous member state in the European Union. The country is a major economic and political power in Europe and is a leader the field of technology especially in car manufacturing. After the fall of the Third Reich and the end of World War II, Germany was divided and separated into two countries, West Germany and East Germany, both of them having separate capitals which were Bonn and Berlin respectively with the latter being divided by a wall and separating the two. In 1990 Germany was once again re-united and has now grown to have the world’s fourth largest economy. It is the second largest exporter in the world and the third largest importer and therefore is known for having a high standard of living including social security that provides a healthcare system. It is known for its rich culture and political history and has been the home of many famous and influential philosophers, music composers, scientists and inventors. Although the language is not spoken much outside Germany, there are several sites for social networking as well as forums dedicated to the people and the language and below is a list of ten of the best social networks and forums on the Internet today.
1. Studivz.net – http://www.studivz.net/Default
This is a social networking platform for students in German speaking countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Students can maintain a personal profile containing their name, age, interests and study subjects as well as upload photographs to their profile. Searches can be made for classmates and fellow students as well as people with the same common interests and there are organisations and discussion groups to join. Members can send private messages to each other and reminders are sent when it is a friend’s birthday.
2. Netlog.com – http://de.netlog.com/
Netlog.com was formerly known as Bingbox or Facebook and although it is a Belgian social networking site, it is very popular with young German users. Members can create their own profile page, extend their social networks, publish music playlists, share videos and post blogs. The site is available in 40 different languages and has recently joined forces with Twoo.com, which is another free social discovery platform. It has a localisation technology ensuring that all content is geo-targeted and personalised to each member’s profile.
3. Stayfriends.de – http://www.stayfriends.de/
This site is a social network service that helps members find, connect and keep in touch with friends from kindergarten, primary school and high school in Germany. There are more than 13 million users and members can perform searches on the database by last name, first name, city or school. Other features include organising class reunions and viewing old class photographs, but there are restrictions as only premium members can view all photographs and profile information and messages can be sent only if the sender or the recipient is a gold member.
4. Topix.com – http://www.topix.com/forum/world/germany
Topix.com has a forum dedicated to Germany where you can start a discussion or create a poll. German news can be found in articles containing links and the facility to post a comment, a tip, start a new topic, ask a question or just say what is on your mind is given. Current hot topics are highlighted in the spotlight section and you can subscribe to receive the latest updates in the forum in the form of alerts.
5. About.com – http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=ab-german
About.com has a page dedicated to Germany which contains a forum to assist in learning the German language. The forum contains posts in both English and German and recent posts and new additions to the forum are highlighted. Current discussions can be chosen from categories such as grammar and vocabulary, literature, poetry, articles and translations and there is also a section for other topics such as films, music, games and TV programmes. There are links leading to information to further explore the language and you can sign up to receive the German language newsletter.
6. German-way.com – http://www.german-way.com/for-expats/german-way-expat-forum/
This site has a forum for expats to learn the language and culture in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Discussions concern daily life and information is shared about business practices with the facility to ask questions and gain answers and knowledge from the experienced community. The topics are constantly changing and you can ask questions as well as start new topics after registration, providing the subjects concern life in German-speaking countries. The site is free to join and there is also a blog available.
7. Dict.leo.org – http://dict.leo.org/forum/index.php?lp=ende&lang=en
This site is a popular German forum with chat rooms for asking questions, meeting like-minded people, commenting on topics and following threads. The forum is specifically for translation topics, languages, culture and vocabulary, but there is also a section for users to discuss entertainment. You can change the view and browse pages chronologically as well as search for keywords, grammatical problems, customs and expressions.
8. Wer-kennt-wen.de – http://www.wer-kennt-wen.de/
Wer-kennt-wen means who-knows-whom in English and is a popular German social networking site with over 9.6 million users. The site allows users to write blogs, chat with their friends and write in their guest-books as well as make new friends and connections. Photos can be uploaded and added to profiles and users are attracted to each other by common interests and hobbies. There is a search facility for schools and associations as well as people and updates are sent with invites for new friends.
9. Massgate.net – http://www.massgate.net/list.php?181
This site has a game called War of Conflict with a forum attached that is very popular with German users. It is an action-packed game with the emphasis on military control by building infantry, armour, support and air roles and is played in teams. The forum is for discussing tactics in the game such as ground control and users can follow the posts and threads as well as meet other members interested in playing the game.
10. Nexoneu.com – http://forum.nexoneu.com/forumdisplay.php?1645-German-Discussions
Nexon produce games such as Combat Arms, War Rock and Navy Fields which are popular in Germany and the site has a forum for German speaking members to communicate. Users can post about the games and ask questions, but all posts and threads are in German with the most recent highlighted. Registering with the site is required before being able to post and the forum is updated regularly.