Production report 3079506


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Social Networking and Online Communities
An Analysis of Online Networking

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Production report 3079506

  1. 1. Tara Beeforth 3079506 Social Networks and Online Communities An Analysis of Online Networking Phenomena
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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).
  4. 4. What types of sites are classed as social networking? Examples of ‘Social networking’ sites include;        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.
  5. 5. 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) Millions of users
  6. 6. 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)
  7. 7. “Social Networking in plain English” Click this link to watch an informative Youtube clip that simplifies Social Networking!
  8. 8. 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)
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. 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)
  11. 11. The History The first recognisable social network site was launched in 1997 and was called 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)
  12. 12. 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 opportunities) (Ellison, 2007)
  13. 13. 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)
  14. 14. 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.
  15. 15. 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 .
  16. 16. Is all of this connectedness a BAD thing or a GOOD thing.......?
  17. 17. This is SUBJECTIVE! Different individuals/different uses/ different sites all bring about separate issues...
  18. 18. Convenience!
  19. 19. Stay Connected (or too connected?)!!
  20. 20. Going too far?
  21. 21. ‘Twitter Life Cycle’- The addictive nature of ‘life streaming’
  22. 22. 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 future.
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. • 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. • •