Social networking is the practice of expandingthe number of ones business and/or socialcontacts by making connections throughindividuals.
We define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to(1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system,(2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and(3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.
Idea of social networking can be traced back to Ancient Greeks. Émile Durkheim and Ferdinand Tönnies foreshadow the idea of social networks in their theories and research of social groups. Tönnies argued that social groups can exist as personal and direct social ties that either link individuals who share values and belief or impersonal, formal, and instrumental social links. Durkheim gave a non-individualistic explanation of social facts arguing that social phenomena arise when interacting individuals constitute a reality that can no longer be accounted for in terms of the properties of individual actors
Major developments in the field can be seen in the 1930s by several groups in psychology, anthropology, and mathematics working independently. In psychology, in the 1930s, Jacob L. Moreno began systematic recording and analysis of social interaction in small groups, especially classrooms and work groups. A group of social anthropologists often are credited with performing some of the first fieldwork from which network analyses were performed, investigating community networks in southern Africa, India and the United Kingdom.
One group consisted of sociologist Harrison White and his students at the Harvard University Department of Social Relations. The Harvard Social Relations department comprised of Charles Tilly, Stanley Milgram, Mark Granovetter and Barry Wellman who elaborated and championed the analysis of social networks.
Social networks are also being used by teachers and students as a communication tool. Because many students are already using a wide range of social networking sites, teachers have begun to familiarize themselves with this trend in order to leverage student interest in relation to curriculum content. Some of this includes creating chat-room forums and groups to extend classroom discussion to posting assignments, tests and quizzes, through to assisting with homework outside of the classroom setting.
Tweeting, instant messaging, or blogging enhances student involvement. Students who would not normally participate in class are more apt to partake through social network services. Networking allows participants the opportunity for just-in-time learning and higher levels of engagement.
Social Networking sites are seen by many instructors and educators as a frivolous, time- wasting distraction from schoolwork, Cyber bullying, cyber stalking are common cases now a days
Social networks are being used by activists as a means of low-cost grassroots organizing. Extensive use of an array of social networking sites enabled organizers of the 2009 National Equality March to mobilize an estimated 200,000 participants to march on Washington with a cost savings of up to 85% per participant over previous methods. The August 2011 England riots were similarly considered to have escalated and been fuelled by this type of grassroots organization.
A final rise in social network use is being driven by college students using the services to network with professionals for internship and job opportunities
Few social networks currently charge money for membership. SNSs are used by many companies for advertisements also.
Put simply, social networking is a way for one person to meet up with other people on the net. People use social networking sites for meeting new friends, finding old friends, or locating people who have the same problems or interests they have, called niche networking. More and more relationships and friendships are being formed online and then carried to an offline setting. One online dating site claims that 2% of all marriages begin at its site, the equivalent of 236 marriages a day. Other sites claim 1 in 5 relationships begin online.
Probably one of the first sites to allow for social interaction, forums have been around for a while. Forums are typically comprised of people with a similar interest. Users have conversations around a particular given topic and build up relationships with each other. They provide a great deal of information about a topic and is a great way to share your knowledge.
People like to journal, and with the internet they wanted to share their lives more openly. Originally called web-logs, these personal journals have advanced. Some personal journals still exist, while other blogs discuss a particular niche or interest.
Similar to blogs, this is a micro journal of what is happening right now. These sites can share what is going on in an individual life or can be information the individual wants to share. Major news events are now breaking online via microblogs. The best known microblog is Twitter.
Social Networking Sites are known for sharing of information, in this case photos. Users upload their pictures to Photo Sharing Sites. Rather than having to send individual pictures to family, you send a single link. You can tag your photos with keywords related to the image and allow people to comment. Some popular photo sharing sites are Flickr and Picasa.
YouTube is the video sharing site that almost everyone has seen. Videos are shared online, keywords are added so people can search for those terms or for the video title. People can comment if the video owner allows. Like other forms of social media it allows for a more personal look of the actual user.
Networking has long been touted as an asset in professional circles. Networking allows the person to connect with people and by those connections meet other professionals that person knows. Professional social media allows for that type of opportunity online. Thus if you move away from your home town you can still remain connected to your ex-coworkers and others in your profession. Linked In is one of the top professional social networking sites.
Advantages…--above all caste-creed and ethnicity--easily accessible everywhere--instant sharing and interaction--make new friends and increase your friendcircle--keep in touch with old and friends andthose who live far away--make both social as well as professionalprofiles
--easily reach to masses--magnifies advertising possibilities manytimes--helps to socialize with those we hardlytalk--helps to increase influence and insideconnections--can follow your idols and interact withthem(twitter)
Disadvantages……--has become a chit-chat forum--highly addictive in many cases--virtual world--health issues , stress--intellectual theft--can lead to mass conflicts andmisunderstandings--harassment , profile stalking--loss of personal information
Future of Social Networking….--mass movements and information canbeen spread efficiently--instant polling to get statistical resultsquickly--best option for advertising andmarketing , cheapest--companies have started demandingfamiliarity with SNS--idea of universal identity and sign-up iscoming up.