Haystack, a Cerado product, is a social networking utility that is even more stripped down than CrowdVine. Networks (or “haystacks”) built on this platform are very simple, both visually and functionally. The main features consist only of profiles and group blogging.
Haystacks are so plain because their intention is fundamentally different from those of most social networks. While we generally think of social networks as ways for people to interact with one another within a network, haystacks are more outwardly focused as they are meant to provide visitors with detailed information about people in a particular organization. According to Christopher Carfi of Cerado, the initial idea for Haystack was to enable organizations, and particularly businesses, to present interactive information about externally-facing individuals (such as those in sales and support).
Like CrowdVine, Haystack makes good use of tagging as a way to find people according to criteria. Members across all hosted haystacks can search for each other by the tags they have assigned to themselves, and there is even a handy Google Maps integration that shows you where the people in your search results are located across the globe.
Recognizing that the default haystack layout may cramp some people’s styles, Cerado provides an API that can be used by developers to take advantage of the haystack data structure and create applications on one’s own sites.