Formspring.me is centered around asking questions and receiving answers. Quora is focused on exchanging knowledge. Favo.rs is a new social network that hopes to build online community around a single concept: founders and professionals can gather here and offer each other help. It's so simple that it just might work. Serial entrepreneur Adam Rodnitzky co-founded Favo.rs, which is focused on entrepreneurs, small business people and independent workers who don't have the benefit of a large company's built-in network.These days there really is a social network for everything.
Favo.rs looks a lot like LinkedIn and Facebook. There's a central news feed, a home navigation button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, a centrally located search bar and notifications. Users gain a reputation through earning points. Favo.rs brings in a gamification element with four status levels (rookies, participant, advocate and benefactor) that users can achieve if they help one another enough.
Don't people already use Facebook or Twitter for these types of questions? Yes, they do, but because of the huge quantity of information on both of those sites, it's easy for stuff to get lost. Plus, while Facebook is focused mostly on friends, family members and work friends (you don't necessarily want to be Facebook friends with your boss, for example) and Twitter is more about interests, Favo.rs bills itself as a space entirely dedicated to asking favors from other professionals. It aims to both build and facilitate professional relationships right on the site. That's not to say Facebook friends and Twitter followers can't help. Favo.rs gives users the option to broadcast their favors to Facebook and Twitter in order to cast a wider net. In fact, Favo.rs also works as a Facebook app.
Transparency will encourage users to share more. Each user has a profile that includes who helped, who the user helped, who is following the user and who the user follows. Theoretically, the relationship starts off on the right foot, with a favor, and is easy to build from there.
Will Favo.rs fulfill that tiny ease-of-introductions niche need that LinkedIn lacks?
Favo.rs, however, is a network for professionals, thus making it seem more like LinkedIn. While it is easier to "meet" people on Favo.rs, it's hard to say right now because the community is still relatively small. The "introduction" mechanisms that Favo.rs provides does make the approaching new contacts feel much simpler than on LinkedIn, where it's difficult to connect with someone you don't know.
The site currently has about 1,200 users who have asked about 450 questions over the site's six-month-long private beta.
Favo.rs is an interesting idea, but will it actually take off? If it does, it will need to make clear why professionals would want to use it in addition to LinkedIn and Twitter.