What is social networking

What is Social Networking?

Social Networking - perhaps you've heard of it before, but are not quite sure what it means.

Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighbourhood subdivision, if you will. Although social networking is possible in person, especially in the workplace, universities, and high schools, it is most popular online. This is because unlike most high schools, colleges, or workplaces, the internet is filled with millions of individuals who are looking to meet other people, to gather and share first-hand informationand experiences about any number of topics . . . from golfing,gardening, developing friendships andprofessional alliances.

A broad class of web sites and services that allow you to connect with friends, family, and colleague's online, as well as meet people with similar interests or hobbies.

When it comes to online social networking, websites are commonly used. These websites are known as social sites. Social networking websites function like an online community of internet users. Depending on the website in question, many of these online community members share common interests in hobbies, religion, or politics. Once you are granted access to a social networking website you can begin to socialize. This socialization may include reading the profile pages of other members and possibly even contacting them.

The friends that you can make are just one of the many benefits to social networking online. Another one of those benefits includes diversity because the internet gives individuals from all around the world access to social networking sites. This means that although you are in the United States, you could develop an online friendship with someone in Denmark. Not only will you make new friends, but you just might learn a thing or two about new cultures or new languages and learning is always a good thing.

As mentioned, social networking often involves grouping specific individuals or organisations together. While there are a number of social networking websites that focus on particular interests, there are others that do not. The websites without a main focus are often referred to as "traditional" social networking websites and usually have open memberships. This means that anyone can become a member, no matter what their hobbies, beliefs, or views are.

Social Networking is to help the Internet community make friends with people around the world. Whomever you decide to speak with is totally up to you. You would just need to setup an account with a profile letting people know about you. Should a person have interest they can post messages to your profile. Both philosophies believe in creation of a network and keeping people tuned into to what each other have to share. It truly is an amazing paradigm.

Social Impacts:

The daily increasing numbers of academic are taking interesting in studying Facebook and social networking applications. Social science researchers have became an research what the impact of this might be on society. This typical investigation issues such as identity (Boyd 200), Privacy, E-Learning (Mazer, Murphy & Simonds 2007), Social capital (Ellison, Steinfield & Lampe 2007) and Teenage use.

A 2008 book published by Forrester Research, Inc. Titled Groundswell builds on a 200 Forresters report about social computing and use the term "Groungwell" to refer to "a spontaneous movemoment of people using online tools to connect, take charge of their own experience, and get what they need-information, support, products, ideas, and bargaining power-for each other."

Social Good:

Different types of websites are providing the power of social networking model for social in a good order. This types are highly successful for connecting fragmented industries and small organizations without the resources to reach a border audience with interested and passionate users. User's benefits by interacting with a likeminded community and channel for their energy and giving. Examples include TakingITGlobal, Care2, Idealist.org, WiserEarth, and FreeRepublic.

Emerging trends in social networking:

As the increase in attractiveness towards social networking is on a constant rise, new uses for the technology are constantly being observed.

One use for this new technology is social networking between businesses. Companies have found that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build their brand image. According to Jody Nimetz, author of Marketing Jive, there are five major uses for businesses and social media: to create brand awareness, as an online reputation management tool, for recruiting, to learn about new technologies and competitors, and as a lead gen tool to intercept potential prospects. These companies are able to drive traffic to their own online sites while encouraging their consumers and clients to have discussions on how to improve or change products or services.

The usage of Social Network is increasing by the college students and the services to network with professionals for internship and job opportunities. All studies have been done on the success of networking online in a college setting, and remarkable one is by Phipps Arabie and Yoram Wind published inAdvances in Social Network Analysis.



  1. You should have control over your personal information.
  2. You should have access to the information others want to share.

On large social networking services, there have been growing concerns about users giving out too much personal information and the threat of sexual predators. Users of these services need to be aware of data theftor viruses. However, large services, such as MySpace, Orkut, Netlog,.. Often work with law enforcementto try to prevent such incidents.

In the same way Google have launched dashboard in November 2009 that gives the whole information regarding the account details of every user who has their account.

Popular press coverage of SNSs has emphasized potential privacy concerns, primarily concerning the safety of younger users (George, 2006; Kornblum & Marklein, 2006). Researchers have investigated the potential threats to privacy associated with SNSs. In one of the first academic studies of privacy and SNSs, Gross and Acquisti (2005) analyzed 4,000 Carnegie Mellon University Facebook profiles and outlined the potential threats to privacy contained in the personal information included on the site by students, such as the potential ability to reconstruct users' social security numbers using information often found in profiles, such as hometown and date of birth.

Notifications of websites

There has been a trend for social networking sites to send out only 'positive' notifications to users. For example sites such as Bebo, Facebook, and Myspace will not send notifications to users when they are removed from a person's friends list. Similarly Bebo will send out a notification if a user is moved to the top of another user's friends list but no notification is sent if they are moved down the list.

Access to information

Many social networking services, such as Facebook, provide the user with a choice of who can view their profile. This prevents unauthorized user(s) from accessing their information.

The FifthInternet, Law and Politics Conference(Pros and Cons of Social Networking Sites), 6-7 July 2009, (Barcelona, Spain) was organised by The Universitat Oberta de Catalonia (UOC) - Open University of Catalonia, School of Law and Political Science.UOC is the Spanish Network Representativeorganisation the European Public Sector Information Platform.

The Conference provided a forum for learning about and discussing the impact of social networking sites in the areas of intellectual property, personal data protection, privacy and intimacy policy and governance of the web and the right to access public information.

Potential for misuse

Teenagers will freely give up personal information to join social networks on the Internet. Afterwards, they are surprised when their parents read their journals. Communities are outraged by the personal information posted by young people online and colleges keep track of student activities on and off campus. The posting of personal information by teens and students has consequences. This article will discuss the uproar over privacy issues in social networks by describing a privacy paradox; private versus public space; and, social networking privacy issues. It will finally discuss proposed privacy solutions and steps that can be taken to help resolve the privacy paradox.

Risk for child safety

Citizens and governments have been concerned by a misuse by child and teenagers of social network services, particularly in relation to online sexual predators. A certain number of actions have been engaged by governments to better understand the problem and find some solutions. A 2008 panel concluded that technological fixes such as age verification and scans are relatively ineffective means of apprehending online predators.

Applications Domains:

Government applications

Social networking is more recently being used by various government agencies. Social networking tools serve as a quick and easy way for the government to get the opinion of the public and the keep the public updated on their activity. They are using these tools to aid the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, whose goal it is toensure that the nation ison a vigorous and sustainable path to achieving its boldest aspirations in space.

Business applications

The use of social network services in an enterprise context presents the potential of having a major impact on the world of business and work (Fraser & Dutta 2008).

Today... new transportation and communications technologies allow even the smallest firms to build partnerships with foreign producers to tap overseas expertise, cost-savings, and markets... The scarce resource in this new environment is the ability to locate foreign partners quickly and to manage complex business relationships across cultural and linguistic boundaries... The Chinese and Indian entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley... are creating social structures that enable even the smallest producers to locate and maintain mutually beneficial collaborations across long distances.

Dating applications

Many social networks provide an online environment for people to communicate and exchange personal information for dating purposes. Intentions can vary from looking for a one time date, short-term relationships, and long-term relationships.

Most of these social networks, just like online dating services, require users to give out certain pieces of information. This usually includes a user's age, gender, location, interests, and perhaps a picture.


Currently social responses to privacy in social networks do not tend to deal with the potential misuse of personal information. Instead the response is based on the protection of children against predators, which is only one aspect of the privacy paradox. Similarly, a legal response has been the proposal of a bill to protect underage children. The government and industry responses tend to focus on the issue of predators and this focus distracts from the actual privacy issue the social behaviour of teenagers on the Internet and the use and misuse of their private information.


Boyd, Danah(2006). "Friends, Friendsters, and MySpace Top 8: Writing Community into Being on Social Network Sites".

Ellison, Nicole B.; Steinfield, Charles; Lampe, Cliff (2007). "The benefits of Facebook "friends": Exploring the relationship between college students' use of online social networks and social capital".Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.

Fraser, Matthew;Dutta, Soumitra(2008).Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World. Wiley.ISBN978-0470740149.

Mazer, J. P.; Murphy, R. E.; Simonds, C. J. (2007). "I'll See You On "Facebook": The Effects of Computer-Mediated Teacher Self-Disclosure on Student Motivation, Affective Learning, and Classroom Climate".Communication Education.






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