Popular In Cyberspace
Today, when people think of the term, "social network," the image they have is of online social networks. The reason for this is that online social networks, also called social networking sites, have become popular beyond anyone's imaginings. Websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn are among the top 20 websites worldwide. A website achieves this type of designation based on how many visitors it receives. The fact is that online social networks are not just a way to touch base with friends; they now function as parts of our daily lives.
Right now, there are more than 300 social networking sites in cyberspace and they share some common features. All of these websites give you the tools to make a personal profile and to share this with others. A typical profile includes your photo, your basic personal information such as your name, sex, age, and location, plus space in which you can list things like your favorite books, movies, TV programs, websites, hobbies, and music.
After you've set up your personal profile, you're set to start posting videos, blog notes, music, and photos right on your profile page. However, the main feature that these online social networks share is the ease with which you can connect with friends, both old and new, as long as they too, have set up memberships. Others can click on links that allow them to browse through the names and photos of your online friends.
The different online social networks have their own rules and setups for seeking out and making contact with others. MySpace is considered to be the most laid back or easygoing in terms of being able to search for others. You can search the entire network rather than only friends of friends already on your network. Of course, anyone you contact and ask to befriend must agree in order for you to be able to view their complete profile.
Facebook began as a social network for college students and started out a bit more selective and cliquish. Facebook used to limit your friend search to people who belonged to your own network. The online social network has now enabled members to search for any names at large. One of the nice features of Facebook is its many groups and causes. Some of them are more about the statements that the names of the groups make, some of them serious, and some of them funny. In the latter category, you have for instance: "Raisins, Get the **** out of My Cookies!"
The focus of LinkedIn is to help you make contact with business professionals and old college friends. You can browse or search for all the members of this network, but you can't view full profiles or the contact information of the members you browse unless they have either accepted your invitation to join your network, or you have accepted their invitation to join their network. Despite this limitation, contacts you make on LinkedIn can lead to introductions to other LinkedIn members.