There are a number of niche social networks out there that are hugely popular among their constituencies, but mostly unknown to the general public. There are networks for doctors, artists, comic book collectors and even dog owners. We are even seeing brands jumping on the trend and creating their own networks aimed at a specific consumer group for their product.
Niche networks are really a great way to build a community around a specific vertical or cause. They filter the noise of the larger, more general social networks and create real peer-to-peer relationships. Often, if they are genuine and include useful features, these networks take on a life of their own and experience a decent amount of organic growth.
Mashable wrote about a really awesome niche social network that is building a community for individuals with breast cancer. MyBCTeam is a free social network for women who have or are going through breast cancer treatment. It connects these women and gives them the opportunity to offer the support and advice that only someone who has experienced the treatment and recovery can.
According to the article, the company that created MyBCTeam has created a number of other health-related disease and conditions including one for Autism.
Check it out and be sure to recommend the site to anyone you know that is dealing with this dreadful disease. It may be a real comfort for them to be able to talk to someone who knows what they are going through.