Thanks to social media, it's become almost too easy to maintain your friendships. You can log on, like your friends' statuses on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and get updates on their weekends via Instagram -- all in the efficient span of a couple of minutes.
But if that's starting to feel a little routine and less-than-rewarding, we have another suggestion: Find some new friends.
Of course, we're not recommending that you ditch your old ones. But with a little digging, you'll find that the web abounds with vibrant communities of people who share your most obscure hobbies and consuming obsessions. If you branch out into forums, familiarize yourself with the community, and participate in thoughtful debate, you just might come out with some cool new buddies.
In the spirit of making new friends, we've partnered with Nissan to compile 10 of the most passionate -- and eccentric -- communities that exist online. It just goes to show: there's someone for everyone.
Nissan's Passion Genome shows how you're connected to your friends -- and the world. Create your interactive Passion Portrait and share the passions that make you, you.
Some people are into sneakers, and some people are into sneakers
. Sneakerheads flock to online forums
to buy, sell, trade, and argue about all matters of function and design. It's a collector community that flaunts both flash and substance--sneakerheads may love posting photos of their fresh kicks, but you'll also find them philosophizing about the historical evolution of their favorite brands.
Given the countless movie adaptations
and literary reworkings
, it's a given that the Jane Austen fanbase is alive and thriving. If you're truly obsessed, websites like The Republic of Pemberley
allow you to engage in (polite!) discourse with your fellow fans. The site's creators lay out explicit rules of engagement, calling their forum "one of the most civil places on the internet...one which is cultivated through an emulation of Jane Austen's own honest, moral and forthright ways."
These train enthusiasts, recently made famous by the so-called "Excited Train Guy
," are also known as railfans, rail buffs, rail nuts, and ... "foamers." (In the community vernacular
, a "railfan" denotes an "otherwise normal person" who enjoys railroad-related activities, while "foamer" is a somewhat pejorative term for one who "foams at the mouth" at the prospect of seeing a particular train or piece of "railroadiana"). The active online forums
teem with photographs of real as well as model trains, updates on train whereabouts (for optimal "spotting"), and, of course, endless arguments about the fine distinctions between being "just a railfan" and a "total foamer."
Let's say you like to hunt big game--really Big
game. You can gather with other Sasquatch obsessives to report sightings, compare field recordings, and debate matters of biology and philosophy, like "How do they drink water?"
and "Why are we here?"
has created a universe--and an accompanying fanbase--that is seemingly inexhaustible. What you may not know is that you can recreate the magic by becoming a part of the Rebel Legion
, which calls itself an "international Star Wars costuming organization that promotes the Star Wars franchise and helps others through charity work and community service." On the forum, you can have a debate over which costumes meet Legion standards
, mull over your Sith/Jedi wedding plans
, and connect with custom sabersmiths
Because balancing on one wheel isn't tricky enough, you may want try it while someone is trying to physically harm you. You can keep up to date with general discussion
and local events
, but the truly hardcore will go ahead and join their local football league
The nail-art trend seems here to stay
, and its fans have taken to the web to trade tips and flaunt their seriously out-there
designs. If you have inspiration but need a little training, YouTube is an awesome place for step-by-step