Changing Trends

Social Networks

The first online social networking that appeared on the internet was community based. Theglobedotcom and geocities are some of the first. But all these communities had only one initiative that was bringing people together to share information.

*Geocities was bought by the internet Giant Yahoo

* was bought by another company but is still in function providing other services was another website that was created basically to link peoples addresses and
personal information to one another. And now continues to have more and more features, including one which allows tagging and first time voice communication features. It now has a different approach and according to the RHET 334 terminology its audience has now shifted up a notch. It is now a webpage that is currently promoting the bringing together of people from the 50s and 60s before computers were invented.


Other clubs and groups started coming out as more technological features started to appear.
the makeoutclub was another webpage which was created for music junkies where people who like a certain genre of music could meet others and find reviews on music by artists of similar styles. Members could comment on and rate tracks they liked.


Recently, with advancements in features like video uploading and streaming, there are now sections on the website that deal with new artists uploading their personal work on the website. Others would rate it and the top most votes over a period of a month would be recognized.

Friendster then appeared in 2002. And it was them that the link between virtual identity and a real person's identity seemed to merge. Similar to the older, above mentioned websites, Friendster allowed its members to share videos, follow music bands and maintain contacts. Many of today’s social networking websites consider Friendster as a platform on which they built their platforms.


After Friendster, myspace and Linkedln shortly followed.
Myspace is seen as being intended for an artist. "Myspace is powered by the passion of fans. Music, movies, celebs, TV, and games made social." says the main line under the page itself.


Linkedin is a business related social networking website.

Users can to look for jobs, people and business opportunities. This is claimed to be particularly useful when recommended by someone in the users contact list on the page.
Any Employer can list jobs and search for potential candidates on the same webpage.


Mark Zuckerberg started the Facebook Effect since 2004 and has since then become the largest social networking site in the world.


Emerging trends in social networking


As technological advancements take place and people try to become more "real time" new features are developed which are seen in several of todays online social networking sites.

Twitter is text based and is the most real-time I have seen. With a fast and efficient broadcast of tweets that are shown by those that you follow. Facebook too has recently developed a "live feed" which shows members on their homepage a live stream of content being uploaded by their respective facebook friends. Similarly, Clixtr is also another social networking site that focuses on sharing of media, particularly group photos. Photo streams are uploaded by users and similarly friends and nearby users can add their own photos and comments. Therefore there exists a real-time aspect of the entire photo experience.



Then there is a new aspect of networking that was introduced in recent social networking sites. This allowed for users to "check-in" to places that they are currently at. This service was possible with the advancement in the GPS technology and therefore gave social networking sites like Foursquare and Gowalla the chance to rise.



Many Companies and Brands have found that social networks are great ways to spread the word amongst the masses. I’m sure many of those who are reading this know exactly what i am talking about; daily I see several new brands showing up on the right sidebar of my facebook page. Creating brand awareness, improving and change products or services is the main goal of companies.



Another trend followed recently is the use of social networks by Students and Teachers. They are used mainly as a communication tool. Since student activity is high on social networking sites such as facebook, teachers have taken an initiative to set up their communications hub there. Also teacher-parent meetings are being held via these social networking sites.



There is no need to elaborate heavily on this issue after the recent revolutions in the Middle East. Facebook and Twitter have already written pages in history. Activists were able to use these social networks as a low-cost and extremely effective means of organizing their marches and protests.

An example below of the revolution in Myanmar



This trend of looking for internships and career opportunities is mainly driven by college students who use the social networks to keep in touch with professionals. It has worked out, and I personally was involved in an internship at Vodafone which I found out about and applied to via Facebook.



And last but not the least, social networking going mobile is an exteremely important breakthrough. The fact that you can tweet and facebook from a small mobile phone using the 3G technology that mobile phone service providers provide is a great deal on its own. "Clearly, the iPhone has kick-started this trend, but with the rise of smartphones the practice is becoming more popular." says Patrick Stafford.



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