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Production Report Tara Beeforth



Social Networking and Online Communities

Social Networking and Online Communities
An investigation of the phenomena of Online Networking



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Production Report Tara Beeforth Production Report Tara Beeforth Presentation Transcript

  • Tara Beeforth
    Social Networks and Online Communities
    An Analysis of Online Networking Phenomena
  • Overview
    • A definition
    • What sites are classed as Social Networking?
    • Millions of users
    • Why Social Networking?
    • “Social Networking in plain English”
    • The Statistics
    • Age distribution
    • The History
    • The positives
    • Privacy concerns?
    • Stranger danger
    • Something to think about..
    • Online communities
    • The Future
  • Social Networking
    A Definition:
    Social networks can be defined as web-based services that allow for individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system and articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection. It also allows for users to view and transverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. Slight variations exist from site to site.
    (Boyd, 2007).
  • What types of sites are classed as social networking?
    Examples of ‘Social networking’ sites include;
    • www.facebook.com
    • www.twitter.com
    • www.bebo.com
    • www.youtube.com
    • www.tumblr.com
    • www.myspace.com
    • And the list goes on!
    Online communities are created within these
    social networking sites and for a variety of
    reasons/to fill a variety of complex social needs.
  • Millions of users
    Since their introduction, social
    networking sites such as
    Myspace, Facebook and Bebo
    have attracted millions of
    users, many of whom have
    integrated these sites into their
    daily practices.
    (Boyd, 2007)
  • Why Social Networking?
    Social networking fulfils a
    variety of needs across many
    different online communities.
    Most sites are formed to
    support pre-existing social
    networks however others help
    strangers connect based upon
    shared interests, political
    views or activities.
    (Boyd, 2007)
  • “Social Networking in plain English”
  • The statistics
    An American study of youth social
    networking discovered that over half
    of youth aged between 12-17 use
    online social networking sites like
    Myspace or Facebook.
    The study also discovered that girls
    are more likely to use these sites. The
    study also determined that generally
    girls use the site to reinforce pre
    existing friendships and boys use the
    sites as opportunities for flirting and
    extending their social networks.
    (Lenhart 2008)
  • Age Distribution of Social Networking users
    Research conducted by pipl.statistics (2006) found that while most
    other social networking sites have a mixed range of demographics,
    Bebo and Xanga had the lowest demographic aged from their teens to
    early 20’s.
  • Online Communities
    Lesser (2008) outlines four types of
    electronic communities.
    • Communities of Transaction
    (facilitates buying and trading of goods)
    • Communities of Interest
    (individuals with common interests)
    • Communities of Fantasy
    (create new personalities, environments)
    • Communities of Relationship
    (centre on intense personal experiences)
    (Lesser 2008, p85)
  • The History
    The first recognisable social
    network site was launched in
    1997 and was called
    sixdegrees.com. This site allowed
    for users to create profiles, list
    their friends and as of 1998, surf
    their friends lists. One complaint
    with sixdegrees was that after
    accepting a friend request there
    was little to do on the site.
    (Boyd, 2007)
  • The Positives
    Social networking offers an array of
    benefits to its users. Some of these
    include; maintaining relationships
    when people move from one
    community to another, to support
    already existing relationships, for use
    as a ‘venting’ device, as well as a tool
    to increase capital gain. Staying in
    touch with community members is in an
    easy and effective manner and is of
    great benefit in both social and
    economic manners (eg. Employment
    (Ellison, 2007)
  • Privacy concerns?
    Public vs. Private spaces
    Recently, there has been much concern in regards to the personal
    information that youth are posting on social networking sites. Teenagers
    will freely give up personal information to social networks on the net,
    yet are suprised when their parents read their journals.
    “The posting of personal
    information by teens and students
    has consequences”
    (Barnes, 2006)
  • Stranger Danger
    Gross (2005) emphasises the point
    that although participation in
    social networking increases the
    ability for individuals to network
    with their friends it also exposes
    users to unknown amounts of
    strangers who can view their
    personal information. Gross (2005)
    also outlines the fact that very few
    users of social networking know how
    to/ have changed the highly
    permeable privacy preferences.
  • Something to think about...
    “Social networking sites create a repository
    of personal information” (Barnes, 2006)
    Social networking sites are cumulative and
    persistent, the data that users enter
    exists forever if the users do not delete it
    themselves. Adults are less likely to disclose
    personal information, however teenagers
    freely give up personal information which is
    commonly used by marketers to target youth
    groups. This collection of social networking
    data for use in marketing, adds a new
    meaning to the phenomena of social
    networking .
  • Is all of this
    connectedness a BAD
    thing or a GOOD
  • This is SUBJECTIVE!
    Different individuals/different uses/ different
    sites all bring about separate issues...
  • Convenience!
  • Stay Connected (or too connected?)!!
  • Going too far?
  • ‘Twitter Life Cycle’- The addictive nature of ‘life streaming’
  • The Future?
    Social networks offer a way for people around the world to
    communicate with each other. Users can share their information and in turn
    meet new people with shared interests (Seppa 2008). However there
    are many issues that have risen since the invention of social
    networking that complicate online social networks such as; privacy concerns,
    inappropriate use of social networks, internet bullying, and
    exploitation by marketing teams. These are all issues that should be taken
    into consideration for the use of social networking in the future. Social
    networking proves to be extremely beneficial for a variety of reasons,
    especially for creating online communities for individuals to find support, share
    common interests, and create relationships. The proper utilisation of social
    networking should be encouraged (teaching users how to use privacy settings etc)
    for the successful and complication-free experience of social networking for the
  • References
    Barnes, Susan B. A privacy Paradox: Social Networking in the United States. Peer Reviewed Journal of the Internet. Volume 11, Number 9. 2006.
    Boyd, Dannah M. Ellison, Nicole B. Social Network sites: Definition, History and Scholarship. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. Volume 13, Issue 1 pp: 210-230. 2007.
    Ellison, B. Nicole. Steinfield, Charles. Lampe, Cliff. The Benefits of Facebook Friends: Social Capital and College Students’ use of Online Networking Sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Volume 12, Issue 4 pp: 1143-1168, 2007
    Gross, Ralph. Aquisiti, Alessandro. Information Revelation and privacy in online social networks. Privacy Issues in Practice; pp: 71-80. 2005.
    Lenhart, Amanda. Madden, Mary. Social Networking sites and Teens: An Overview. Pew Internet and American Life Project. 2008.
  • Lesser, Eric L. Fontaine, Micheal A. Slusher, Jason A. Knowledge and Communities. Butterworth-Heinemann Publications, 2000.
    Seppa, Ville. The Future of Social Networking. Helsinki University of Technology. Seminar on Internet Working. April 2008.