Archives for November 2011

21st-century social networks

Others were quick to see the potential for such a site, and Friendster was launched in 2002 with the initial goal of competing with popular subscription-fee-based dating services such as Match.com. It deviated from this mission fairly early on, and it soon became a meeting place for post-“bubble” Internet tastemakers. The site’s servers proved incapable of handling the resulting spike in traffic, however, and members were faced with frequent shutdowns. Members were further alienated when the site actively began to close down so-called “fakesters” or “pretendsters.” While many of these were little more than practical jokes (profiles for Jesus Christ or the Star Wars character Chewbacca), some, such as universities or cities, were helpful identifiers within a friends list. Once again, there was a void in the social networking Web, and MySpace was quick to fill it.

Whereas Friendster, as part of its mission as a dating site, initially appealed to an older crowd, MySpace actively sought a younger demographic from its inception in 2003. It quickly became a venue for rock bands to connect with fans and to debut new material. Unlike Friendster, MySpace had the infrastructure to support its explosive growth, and members joined by the millions. In 2005 MySpace was purchased by News Corporation Ltd. (the media-holding company founded by the Australian entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch), and the site’s higher profile caused it to draw scrutiny from legal authorities who were concerned about improper interactions between adults and the site’s massive population of minors.

The spectre of online predators did little to diminish MySpace’s membership (which reached 70 million active monthly users in 2007), but it did open the door for other social networking sites to seize some of its momentum. Facebook took the Classmates.com formula and turned it on its head, with a network that was initially open only to students at universities and high schools. Since its 2004 launch by founders Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes at Harvard University, Facebook has served as an academically oriented alternative to MySpace, claiming millions of unique monthly visitors. LinkedIn, furthermore, draws millions of professionals to its business-networking site. While MySpace and Facebook compete for members in North America, Bebo is a popular site in the United Kingdom, Orkut dominates in Brazil and India, Friendster has recaptured some of its former glory among users in Southeast Asia, and China’s QQ has grown from an instant-messaging service to become a major force in the social networking realm. Perhaps most adventurous has been Ning, which launched the final version of its site in 2007. Ning users create their own social networks from the ground up, using software that requires very little programming expertise. Upgrades, such as personalized domain names and revenue-generating banner advertisements, are purchased on an à la carte basis, and the network software supports a host of third-party applications. These personal networking sites are then displayed in a browsable master index, much like the friends in a standard network profile—in essence, a social networking site for social networking sites.

For more information, please visit: Britannica.com

Social networking service

A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, who, for example, share interests and/or activities. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks.

The main types of social networking services are those that contain category places (such as former school year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook and Twitter widely used worldwide, Nexopia (mostly in Canada); Bebo, VKontakte, Hi5, Hyves (mostly in The Netherlands), Draugiem.lv (mostly in Latvia), StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Tuenti (mostly in Spain), Nasza-Klasa (mostly in Poland), Decayenne, Tagged, XING, Badoo and Skyrock in parts of Europe;[5] Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America;[6] and Mixi, Multiply, Orkut, Wretch, renren and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are very popular in India.

For more information, please visit: Wikipedia