Thinglink - social design catalogue
by Mark Allred
Thinglink calls itself a "conversational product catalog", but it's basically a social network based around products.
It's currently in private beta, but allows its members to upload images of design pieces in the hope of creating a sort of user generated product catalogue. Users can then comment on designs, "like" them (imagine that!) and add chosen designers and brands to their favourites.
I guess the aim is to eventually develop a network where design fans (for want of a better phrase) can interact with designers and brands, creating a product catalogue that maintains itself. Forming a catalogue in this way ensures that it stays at the leading edge of design.
This is where things get really interesting; Thinglink isn't just a design social network. Its catalogue represents the coming together of a wiki (with input from both the general public and creators in the industry) and the social aspects of the networks we're now so familiar with.
It also represents the opening up of a sector that can be quite exclusive. Just as soon as it gets out of private beta (I've got a couple of invites going if you're interested; just comment!).