Hi, I’m Matt. We are going to talk about social networking today, starting at some definitions, some history, and then uses. Hopefully you will come away with some understand and uses of this technology
Here are the goals I hope to accomplish by the end of my presentation. I want to cover the history of social networking- just a brief one to get some background. Then I want to detail the benefits and concerns of social networking- why its good, and problems with implemenation. Finally I’d like to explain how social networking is used in various environments.
Okay, lets get a definition of social networking so that we can understand what is going on. The most commonly held definition is “Internet- or mobile-device-based social spaces designed to facilitate communication, collaboration and content sharing across networks of contacts”. The idea is that there is a website, accessible by either a computer or a handheld device, that has tools for users to share information- such as status updates, messages or pictures- with people they know, as well as find people they don’t and talk to them. Some examples are Facebook, Myspace, and LinkedIn. Facebook and Myspace are more just social- friends talking to friends. LinkedIn is more of a business and job site.
Lets look at some uses of social networking sites. There are three different uses:, personal, business, and educational.
Personal has really been the driving force of social networking. People make and develop contacts and friendships. They find content and information, such as pictures and movies. And they can create and share the same content for others to find. And for the people they know, they can post life updates without having to contact each one individually.
Business have now started using SN to further their interests. Not only can they increase awareness of their brands, they can actually manage their reputation and respond to unkind comments. They can also recruit employees and fans by handling themselves the right way and doing the right thing. Finally businesses can check out what their competitors are doing as well as new technologies that come out.
Education is also starting to see the benefits of social networking. Since it’s a powerful communication and collaboration tool, its perfect for teachers to interact with the students and the parents. Teachers can use it between themselves as well, for instruction and professional development.
The history of social networking is almost as old as the internet. After personal computers became popular, people would set up these systems called Bulletin Board Systems, with huge banks of modems for dialing into. The people would then post text, pictures, even software for sharing.
Later, as the internet came (which made it easier to connect, as BBS each had their own number to dial into), sites like Geocities and Tripod poped up. Users could create webpages with content, then browse to find others on those systems.
The current crop of SN sites began with SixDegrees in 1997. It was based on the “Six Degrees of separation” concept, and users could contact and see their friends, their friends’ friends, and so on.
Friendster improved upon that concept, allowing sharing of pictures and videos. While it never took off here in the US, it is huge in the Asian market.
Myspace was started in 2002 after some friends saw the potential of the Friendster idea. They allowed users not only to find friends, but they could heavily customize their homepage to their personality.
Facebook was founded in 2004, originally as a way for college students to find each other and get to know each other. Eventually it grew to allow anybody to join.
Let’s dive into to how social network sites usually work. First, there always is an account for each user. There is a profile for that user, with information about themselves (name, hometown, quotes, favorite items). These users can find and few other users profiles, and then communicate with them. It may be a direct message, or indirectly via a status update. The message can be sent to everybody, friends of friends, just friends, or just certain users. This communication can be text, images, audio, video, or even applications. This can facilitate back and forth or group collaboration
There are quite a few advantages and benefits to social networking. For starters, it allows easy communication between individuals. There are no lost emails, or formatting problems to deal with. And collaboration is easy for the same reason. It also allows for find new individuals to communicate with, and new information as well. That information can be shared, especially images and video. Finally, all relevant parties can be involved to solicite feedback from.
There are some considerations when incorporating SN into a project. First, privacy is a big issue with SN sites, especially for younger people. The site must have the ability to control access to content and user information. Another consideration is to choose a service that fits the design. Each service is a little better at different things- whether text chat, picture management, file sharing. Some sites have better interfaces as well. Finally account creation must be easy- especially for large number of accounts and for younger people.
Some of the leading tools are: Facebook- tight privacy controls, messaging and picture management LinkedIn- business SNS, find fellow people in the same industry and area MySpace- More focused on the user profile and page, messaging and pictures not so good Ning- Used to create niche SNS on specific topics.
Social networking: The most commonly held definition is “Internet- or mobile-device-based social spaces designed to facilitate communication, collaboration and content sharing across networks of contacts