Give hi5 a High Five in Social Networking

Pros and Cons

This social networking site is called hi5 and it's got everything. Forums, groups, chat rooms, photo albums, music, and videos. Send other people messages and add them to your friends list. Design your profile page with the background and colors you want using either CSS or the editor provided for you by hi5. Organize your friends with circles and organize your photos with the photo album.

Pros

  • Video: Upload your own videos or choose from the very large database of other people's videos.
  • Music: If you are a band or an artist you can upload your own music and add it to your site. If you are not a band or an artist you can still add other people's music to your profile.
  • Photo Albums: Organize your photos right on your hi5 profile site.
  • Friend Circles: Organize your friends like you organize your photos.
  • Finding Friends: There are so many ways to find friends on hi5 that you just have to find someone.
  • Profile Design: Design your profile with CSS or by using the editor.

Cons

  • Forums Only on Groups: You can't join a forum without joining a group first. This is not necessarily a bad thing I suppose.
  • Chat Rooms Broken: There were numbers next to the names of the chat rooms. That usually indicates how many people are in there. I couldn't get in.

Reviews of hi5 (the good and the bad)

Cost - Free

Parents Permission Policy

From hi5's Privacy Policy page:

  • "We do not intentionally gather Personal Information about visitors who are under the age of 13. "

Profile Page - When you personalize your profile page you will be asked to fill out all sorts of information. Answer personal questions and tell about your interests. You can get an easy to use URL for your hi5 profile (ie. http://yourname.hi5.com).

The more information you add to your profile the easier it will be for friends to find you. Enter the schools you've been to so you can find other people from the same school and maybe even find an old friend.

Photos - Create photo albums and upload your photos to hi5. You can even upload large size photos if you want to. Organize your photos into photo albums so you can find them easier. Share your photos with other people right from the "Share Photos" page. Browse other people's photos by type.

Blog - The blog is called a journal. You can add entries to your journal for your friends to read. Also add photos to your journal to make it more fun for your friends to read. Journal entries can be read right from your profile page.

Advanced Design - HTML and CSS can be used in the profile. Using CSS and HTML you can make your Web page look the way you want it to. Change the colors or add a background image.

If you don't know CSS and HTML you can still use the editor to change the way your profile looks. Choose "Personalize" from the "Edit" menu and choose the colors you want.

Finding Friends - There are so many different ways to find friends on hi5. Find the people or type of people you want to add to your friends list and add them. When you request a friend you will have to wait for them to approve you before they are added to your friends list. Create a friend circle to keep track of your friends in different groups.

Old Friends - Find old friends from school by adding the school to your classmates list and seeing a list of people who also belong to that school.

If you know your friends email address you can invite them to your friends list. Add friends from your email. Email sites you can add friends from are Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail. Even search for your friends by email or by name.

New Friends - Find friends on the forum, chat rooms or groups. There is also a search that you can use to find new friends by age, gender, location and by using keywords.

Connect to Friends - Once you find someone you want to add to your friends list you can do it by clicking "Add as a Friend" and waiting for them to approve you as a friend.

Forums - The groups have message boards you can post in. Find a group and start posting.

Groups - Join a group of people with the same interests as you. There are lots to choose from. Just find a group you like and join. See who belongs to the group and join in the discussion on the group's message board.

Chat room - There are many different chat rooms at hi5.

Click on "Friends" and then "Chat" to find them. I could not get the chat rooms to work and it's a shame too because there were so many to choose from. I tried both IE and Firefox.

Live Chat (Instant Messaging) - There is no IM but you can use the chat board, leave comments or send messages.

Subscriptions - Join a group or add friends and you can go to their profile with a click from your profile.

Friends Lists - Add as many people as you want to your friends list and see it right from your profile page. Choose a top 6 for your friends list and even create friend circles to keep your friends organized.

Comments On Blogs And Profiles - Post comments on your friends' sites. You can even send them Fives. Fives are like comments except you get to choose something from the list telling what kind of relationship you have with that friend. Some of the fives include: best friend, cool, goofy, nerd, trendy, supermodel, warrier, swank and many others.

Classifieds - There is a large classifieds section on hi5. Buy and sell things, find events, apartments, talent and more.

Profile Visits - See who's been looking at your profile.

Video Downloads - Download your own videos to hi5. Then you can add them to your site or let other people use them on their site.

Video Uploads - Choose from thousands of videos to add to your site. Many hi5 members have uploaded videos and you can use them on your profile.

Are There Graphics and Templates Available? - No, but you can use the editor to add your own background graphic and colors.

Music - Upload your own music by registering as an artist or a band.

You must only upload music that you own or you have permission to use. If you upload music that you don't have permission to use your account will be closed.

Add your music or other people's music to your hi5 profile. Choose music from the database of music that members have uploaded and add it to your profile. You can have a song play when your profile is opened or you can add songs to your hi5 player so people visiting your profile can choose songs and listen to them.

Email Accounts - Send and receive messages right on your hi5 site. You can send messages to individual people or you can choose to send a message to someone on your friends list. You can also send a message to all your friends at once using the bulletin board feature.