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A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail and instant messaging services.

The main types of social networking services are those which contain category divisions (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; MySpace and LinkedIn being the most widely used in North America; Nexopia (mostly in Canadamarker); Bebo, Hi5, StudiVZ (mostly in Germanymarker), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Tuenti (mostly in Spain), Decayenne, Tagged, XING;, Badoo and Skyrock in parts of Europe; Orkut and Hi5 in South America and Central America; and Friendster, Mixi, Multiply, Orkut, Wretch, Xiaonei and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands and Orkut and Facebook in India.

There have been some attempts to standardize these services to avoid the need to duplicate entries of friends and interests (see the FOAF standard and the Open Source Initiative), but this has led to some concerns about privacy.

History

The notion that individual computers linked electronically could form the basis of computer mediated social interaction and networking was suggested early on . There were many early efforts to support social networks via computer-mediated communication, including Usenet, ARPANET, LISTSERV, bulletin board services (BBS) and EIES: Murray Turoff's server-based Electronic Information Exchange Service (Turoff and Hiltz, 1978, 1993). The Information Routing Group developed a schema about how the proto-Internet might support this.

Early social networking websites started in the form of generalized online communities such as The WELL (1985), Theglobe.com (1994), Geocities (1994) and Tripod (1995). These early communities focused on bringing people together to interact with each other through chat rooms, and share personal information and ideas around any topics via personal homepage publishing tools which was a precursor to the blogging phenomenon. Some communities took a different approach by simply having people link to each other via email addresses. These sites included Classmates.com (1995), focusing on ties with former school mates, and SixDegrees.com (1997), focusing on indirect ties. User profiles could be created, messages sent to users held on a “friends list” and other members could be sought out who had similar interests to yours in their profiles . Whilst these features had existed in some form before SixDegrees.com came about, this would be the first time these functions were available in one package. Despite these new developments (that would later catch on and become immensely popular), the website simply wasn’t profitable and eventually shut down . It was even described by the website’s owner as "simply ahead of its time." One such model of social networking that came about in 1999 was trust-based, such as that developed by Epinions.com. Innovations included not only showing who is "friends" with whom, but giving users more control over content and connectivity. Between 2002 and 2004, three social networking sites emerged as the most popular form of these sites in the world, causing such sites to become part of mainstream users globally. First there was Friendster (which Google tried to acquire in 2003), then, MySpace, and finally, Bebo. By 2005, MySpace, emergent as the biggest of them all, was reportedly getting more page views than Google. 2004 saw the emergence of Facebook, a competitor, also rapidly growing in size. In 2006, Facebook opened up to the non US college community, and together with allowing externally-developed add-on applications, and some applications enabled the graphing of a user's own social network - thus linking social networks and social networking, became the largest and fastest growing site in the world, not limited by particular geographical followings.

Social networking began to flourish as a component of business internet strategy at around March 2005 when Yahoo launched Yahoo! 360°. In July 2005 News Corporation bought MySpace, followed by ITV (UK) buying Friends Reunited in December 2005. Various social networking sites have sprung up catering to different languages and countries. It is estimated that combined there are now over 200 social networking sites using these existing and emerging social networking models, without counting the niche social networks (also referred to as vertical social networks) made possible by services such as Ning.Twitter now has recently (2009) eclipsed many other social network services and although lacking in some of what were considered the essential aspects of a SNS, has allowed add-on services to connect and supply these services via its public API.

Social impacts

An increasing number of academic commentators are becoming interested in studying Facebook and other social networking tools. Social science researchers have begun to investigate what the impact of this might be on society. Typical articles have investigated issues such as Identity , Privacy, E-learning , Social capital and Teenage use.

A special issue of the Journal for Computer-Mediated Communications was dedicated to studies of social network sites. Included in this issue is an introduction to social network sites .

A 2008 book published by Forrester Research, Inc. titled Groundswell builds on a 2006 Forrester Report about social computing and used the term "groundswell" to refer to "a spontaneous movement of people using online tools to connect, take charge of their own experience, and get what they need--information, support, ideas, products, and bargaining power--from each other."

Adam Acar, PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Sciences has studied how online social networking members are "one-and-a-half times the number expected in real life." In his article "Antecedents and Consequences of Online Social Networking Behavior" he depicts how the average user of facebook has about 217 members (Hill and Dunbar, 2003). He also states that "Perceived lower risk of accepting new members, easiness of requesting a membership, social desirability and failing to exclude members who actually are no longer contacted, might have cause online social networking to be larger than real networks."

It has not taken long for social networking sites to become prevalent amongst the youth. The reason for this has been brought up by Danah Boyd. Contemporary youth has consistently been presented restrictions that prohibit what they can and cannot do. There has been a rapid increase in curfew legislation along with loitering laws. All of which have been dedicated to the prevention of teen violence and to reduce their involvement in drugs. In addition to government rules and regulations teenagers face another authority, parental figures. Parents and/or guardians tend to place rules on where they can be and when they can be there. This combination of laws and household restrictions hinders and limits the area of social interaction to school and maybe with nearby neighbors. As a result the youth turns to online networks that allow them to communicate with not only their friend circle but others with similar interests. Social networks have ultimately become the best frontier for teenagers to interact and socialize. Boyd, Danah. "Why Youth (Heart) Social Networking Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life." Dokutech Eres. Web. /eres.ucsc.edu/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=3840&page=docs#>.

Social good

Several websites are beginning to tap into the power of the social networking model for social good. Such models may be highly successful for connecting otherwise fragmented industries and small organizations without the resources to reach a broader audience with interested and passionate users. Users benefit by interacting with a like minded community and finding a channel for their energy and giving. Examples include SixDegrees.org, TakingITGlobal, Care2, Idealist.org, WiserEarth, OneWorldTV, FreeRepublic, OneClimate and Network for Good. The charity badge is often used within the above context.

Typical structure

Basics

In general, social networking services allow users to create a profile for themselves, and can be broken down into two broad categories: internal social networking (ISN); and external social networking (ESN) sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Bebo. Both types can increase the feeling of community among people. An ISN is a closed/private community that consists of a group of people within a company, association, society, education provider and organization or even an "invite only" group created by a user in an ESN. An ESN is open/public and available to all web users to communicate and are designed to attract advertisers. ESN's can be smaller specialised communities (i.e. linked by a single common interest eg TheSocialGolfer, ACountryLife.Com, Great Cooks Community) or they can be large generic social networking sites (eg MySpace, Facebook etc).

However, whether specialized or generic there is commonality across the general approach of social networking sites. Users can upload a picture of themselves, create their 'profile' and can often be "friends" with other users. In most social networking services, both users must confirm that they are friends before they are linked. For example, if Alice lists Bob as a friend, then Bob would have to approve Alice's friend request before they are listed as friends. Some social networking sites have a "favorites" feature that does not need approval from the other user. Social networks usually have privacy controls that allows the user to choose who can view their profile or contact them, etc.

Social networking sites typically have a section dedicated to comments by friends. On Friendster, this section is called "Testimonials". On Facebook, this section is called "The Wall". In the beginning, this was a feature that encouraged people to write messages about the person in the profile. But over time, people started writing creative testimonials back, creating a form of conversation.

Some social networking sites are created for the benefits of others, such as parents social networking site "Gurgle". This website is for parents to talk about pregnancy, birth and bringing up children.

Several social networks in Asian markets such as India, China, Japan and Korea have reached not only a high usage but also a high level of profitability. Services such as QQ (China), Mixi (Japan), Cyworld (Korea) or the mobile-focused service Mobile Game Town by the company DeNA in Japan (which has over 10 million users) are all profitable, setting them apart from their western counterparts.

Additional features

Some social networks have additional features, such as the ability to create groups that share common interests or affiliations, upload or stream live videos, and hold discussions in forums. Geosocial networking co-opts internet mapping services to organize user participation around geographic features and their attributes.

There is also a trend for more interoperability between social networks led by technologies such as OpenID and OpenSocial.

Lately, mobile social networking has become popular. In most mobile communities, mobile phone users can now create their own profiles, make friends, participate in chat rooms, create chat rooms, hold private conversations, share photos and videos, and share blogs by using their mobile phone. Mobile phone users are basically open to every option that someone sitting on the computer has. Some companies provide wireless services which allow their customers to build their own mobile community and brand it, but one of the most popular wireless services for social networking in North America is Facebook Mobile. Other companies provide new innovative features which extend the social networking experience into the real world.

Another social networking feature in a professional aspect is Linkedin.com. This social network allows professionals to exchange information, opportunities, and ideas. Professionals are able to stay informed with new knowledge about their field.

Emerging trends in social networks

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

One popular 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.

One other use that is being discussed is the use of Social Networks in the Science communities. Julia Porter Liebeskind et al. have published a study on how New Biotechnology Firms are using social networking sites to share exchanges in scientific knowledge. They state in their study that by sharing information and knowledge with one another, they are able "increase both their learning and their flexibility in ways that would not be possible within a self-contained hierarchical organization." Social networking is allowing scientific groups to expand their knowledge base and share ideas, and without these new means of communicating their theories might become "isolated and irrelevant".

Social networks are also being used by teachers and students as a communication tool. Because many students are already using a wide-range of social networking sites, teachers have begun to familiarize themselves with this trend and are now using it to their advantage. Teachers and professors are doing everything from creating chat-room forums and groups to extend classroom discussion to posting assignments, tests and quizzes, to assisting with homework outside of the classroom setting. Social networks are also being used to foster teacher-parent communication. These sites make it possible and more convenient for parents to ask questions and voice concerns without having to meet face-to-face.

A final rise in Social Network use is being driven by college students using the services to network with professionals for internship and job opportunities. Many studies have been done on the effectiveness of networking online in a college setting, and one notable one is by Phipps Arabie and Yoram Wind published in Advances in Social Network Analysis.

Social network hosting service

A social network hosting service is a web hosting service that specifically hosts the user creation of web-based social networking services, alongside related applications. Such services are also known as vertical social networks due to the creation of SNSes which cater to specific user interests and niches; like larger, interest-agnostic SNSes, such niche networking services may also possess the ability to create increasingly-niche groups of users.

Business model

Few social networks currently charge money for membership. In part, this may be because social networking is a relatively new service, and the value of using them has not been firmly established in customers' minds. Many do not charge money because these social networks are not much more novel than the forums, bbsing and USENET of the 1980s. Adaptations of the old technologies do not necessarily make them better than their counterparts that existed before the WWW. Companies such as MySpace and Facebook sell online advertising on their site. Hence, they are seeking large memberships, and charging for membership would be counterproductive. Some believe that the deeper information that the sites have on each user will allow much better targeted advertising than any other site can currently provide.

Social networks operate under an autonomous business model, in which a social network's members serve dual roles as both the suppliers and the consumers of content. This is in contrast to a traditional business model, where the suppliers and consumers are distinct agents. Revenue is typically gained in the autonomous business model via advertisements, but subscription-based revenue is possible when membership and content levels are sufficiently high.

Issues

Privacy

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 theft or viruses. However, large services, such as MySpace, Netlog,... often work with law enforcement to try to prevent such incidents.

In addition, there is a perceived privacy threat in relation to placing too much personal information in the hands of large corporations or governmental bodies, allowing a profile to be produced on an individual's behavior on which decisions, detrimental to an individual, may be taken.

Furthermore, there is an issue over the control of data—information that was altered or removed by the user may in fact be retained and/or passed to 3rd parties. This danger was highlighted when the controversial social networking site Quechup harvested e-mail addresses from users' e-mail accounts for use in a spamming operation.

In medical and scientific research, asking subjects for information about their behaviors is normally strictly scrutinized by institutional review boards, for example, to ensure that adolescents and their parents have informed consent. It is not clear whether the same rules apply to researchers who collect data from social networking sites. These sites often contain a great deal of data that is hard to obtain via traditional means. Even though the data are public, republishing it in a research paper might be considered invasion of privacy.

Privacy on Facebook is undermined by three principal factors: users disclose too much, Facebook does not take adequate steps to protect user privacy, and third parties are actively seeking out end-user information using Facebook. Every day teens go on social networking sites and reveal their most inner thoughts for the whole world to see. Information such as street address, phone number, Instant Messaging name are disclosed to an unknown population in cyberspace. What's more, the creation of a Facebook, Myspace, Twitter etc. account is a fairly easy process to do and no identification is required, which can lead to identity theft or impersonation. "For the Net generation, social networking sites have become the preferred forum for social interactions, from posturing and role playing to simply sounding off. However, because such forums are relatively easy to access, posted content can be reviewed by anyone with an interest in the users' personal information". What Anyone Can Know: The Privacy Risks of Social Networking SitesPrivacy on the net is a rare thing these days and ultimately it is left to the user to be responsible and improve his or her privacy online. A Privacy Paradox

Notifications on 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.

This allows users to purge undesirables from their list extremely easily and often without confrontation since a user will rarely notice if one person disappears from their friends list. It also enforces the general positive atmosphere of the website without drawing attention to unpleasant happenings such as friends falling out, rejection and failed relationships.

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. Parents have become a big problem to teens who want to avoid their parents to access their MySpace or Facebook accounts. By choosing to make their profile private, teens are able to select who can see their page and this prevents unwanted parents from lurking. This will also mean that only people who are added as "friends" will be able to view the profile. Teens are constantly trying to create a structural barrier between their private life and their parents.

To edit information on a certain social networking service account, the social networking sites require you to login or provide an access code. This prevents unauthorized user(s) from adding, changing, or removing personal information, pictures, and/or other data.

Potential for misuse

The relative freedom afforded by social networking services has caused concern regarding the potential of its misuse by individual patrons. In October 2006, a fake Myspace profile created in the name of Josh Evans by Lori Janine Drew led to the suicide of Megan Meier. The event incited global concern regarding the use of social networking services for bullying purposes.

In July 2008, a Briton, Grant Raphael, was ordered to pay a total of GBP £22,000 (about USD $44,000) for libel and breach of privacy. Raphael had posted a fake page on Facebook purporting to be that of a former schoolfriend Matthew Firsht, with whom Raphael had fallen out in 2000. The page falsely claimed that Firsht was homosexual and that he was dishonest.

At the same, genuine use of social networking services has been treated with suspicion on the ground of the services' misuse. In September 2008, the profile of Australian Facebook user Elmo Keep was banned by the site's administrators on the grounds that it violated the site's terms of use. Keep is one of several users of Facebook who were banned from the site on the presumption that their names aren't real, as they bear resemblance the names of characters like Sesame Street's Elmo.

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.

Trolling

A common misuse of social networking sites such as Facebook is that it is occasionally used to emotionally abuse individuals. Such actions are often referred to as trolling. It is not rare for confrontations in the real world to be translated online. Online bullying is a relatively common occurrence and it can often result in emotional trauma for the victim. Danah Boyd, an individual familiar with social networks quotes a teenager in her article, Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites. The teenager expresses frustration towards networking sites like MySpace because it causes drama and too much emotional stress. There are not many limitations as to what individuals can post when online. Inherently individuals are given the power to post offensive remarks or pictures that could potentially cause a great amount of emotional pain for another individual.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication has been a growing issue as more and more people have turned to social networking as a means of communication."Benniger (1987) describes how mass media has gradually replaced interpersonal communication as a socializing force. Further, social networking sites have become popular sites for youth culture to explore themselves, relationships, and share cultural artifacts" A Privacy ParadoxMany teens and social networking users may be harming their interpersonal communication by using sites such as Facebook and Myspace.

Investigations

Social network services are increasingly being used in legal and criminal investigations. Information posted on sites such as MySpace and Facebook has been used by police (forensic profiling), probation, and university officials to prosecute users of said sites. In some situations, content posted on MySpace has been used in court.

Facebook is increasingly being used by school administrations and law enforcement agencies as a source of evidence against student users. The site, the number one online destination for college students, allows users to create profile pages with personal details. These pages can be viewed by other registered users from the same school which often include resident assistants and campus police who have signed-up for the service. One UKmarker police force has sifted pictures from Facebook and arrested some people who had been photographed in a public place holding a weapon such as a knife (having a weapon in a public place is illegal).

Application 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. The Centers for Disease Control demonstrated the importance of vaccinations on the popular children's site Whyville and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a virtual island on Second Life where people can explore underground caves or explore the effects of global warming.Similarly, NASA has taken advantage of a few social networking tools, including Twitter and Flickr. They are using these tools to aid the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, whose goal it is to ensure 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 .

Social networks connect people at low cost; this can be beneficial for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand their contact bases. These networks often act as a customer relationship management tool for companies selling products and services. Companies can also use social networks for advertising in the form of banners and text ads. Since businesses operate globally, social networks can make it easier to keep in touch with contacts around the world.

One example of social networking being used for business purposes is LinkedIn.com, which aims to interconnect professionals. LinkedIn has over 40 million users in over 200 countries.

Another is the use of physical spaces available to members of a social network such as Hub Culture, an invitation only social network for entrepreneurs, and other business influentials, with Pavilions in major cities such as London, UK. Having a physical presence allows members to network in the real world, as well as the virtual, adding extra business value.

Applications for social networking sites have extended toward businesses and brands are creating their own, high functioning sites, a sector known as brand networking. It is the idea a brand can build its consumer relationship by connecting their consumers to the brand image on a platform that provides them relative content, elements of participation, and a ranking or score system. Brand networking is a new way to capitalize on social trends as a marketing tool.

Dating applications

see also: Online dating service
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. Releasing very personal information is usually discouraged for safety reasons. This allows other users to search or be searched by some sort of criteria, but at the same time people can maintain a degree of anonymity similar to most online dating services. Online dating sites are similar to social networks in the sense that users create profiles to meet and communicate with others, but their activities on such sites are for the sole purpose of finding a person of interest to date. Social networks do not necessarily have to be for dating; many users simply use it for keeping in touch with friends, and colleagues.

However, an important difference between social networks and online dating services is the fact that online dating sites usually require a fee, where social networks are free.This difference is one of the reasons the online dating industry is seeing a massive decrease in revenue due to many users opting to use social networking services instead. Many popular online dating services such as Match.com, Yahoo Personals, and eHarmony.com are seeing a decrease in users, where social networks like MySpace and Facebook are experiencing an increase in users.

The number of internet users in the U.S. that visit online dating sites has fallen from a peak of 21% in 2003 to 10% in 2006. Whether its the cost of the services, the variety of users with different intentions, or any other reason, it is undeniable that social networking sites are quickly becoming the new way to find dates online.

Educational applications

see also: Socio-Academic Networks
The National School Boards Association reports that almost 60 percent of students who use social networking talk about education topics online and, surprisingly, more than 50 percent talk specifically about schoolwork. Yet the vast majority of school districts have stringent rules against nearly all forms of social networking during the school day — even though students and parents report few problem behaviors online.

Social networks focused on supporting relationships between teachers and between teachers and their students are now used for learning, educator professional development, and content sharing. Ning for teachers, Learn Central, and other sites are being built to foster relationships that include educational blogs, eportfolios, formal and ad hoc communities, as well as communication such as chats, discussion threads, and synchronous forums. These sites also have content sharing and rating features.

Medical applications

Social networks are beginning to be adopted by healthcare professionals as a means to manage institutional knowledge, disseminate peer to peer knowledge and to highlight individual physicians and institutions. The advantage of using a dedicated medical social networking site is that all the members are screened against the state licensing board list of practitioners.

The role of social networks is especially of interest to pharmaceutical companies who spend approximately "32 percent of their marketing dollars" attempting to influence the opinion leaders of social networks.

A new trend is emerging with social networks created to help its members with various physical and mental ailments. For people suffering from life altering diseases, PatientsLikeMe offers its members the chance to connect with others dealing with similar issues and research patient data related to their condition. For alcoholics and addicts, SoberCircle gives people in recovery the ability to communicate with one another and strengthen their recovery through the encouragement of others who can relate to their situation. Daily strength is also a website that offers support groups for a wide array of topics and conditions, including the support topics offered by PatientsLikeMe and SoberCircle. SparkPeople offers community and social networking tools for peer support during weight loss.

See also





References



Notes

  1. "Social Nets Engage in Global Struggle" - 66% of MySpace and Facebook users come from North America: Adweek website. Retrieved on January 15, 2008.
  2. Nexopia stats on Alexa.com
  3. Bebo - most popular of its kind in UK,(August 2007): TechCrunch website. Retrieved on January 15, 2008.
  4. German Xing Plans Invasion of LinkedIn Turf: article from the MarketingVox website.
  5. Elevator Pitch: Why Badoo wants to be the next word in social networking, Mark Sweney , The Guardian, December 24, 2007 , Accessed March 2008.
  6. Hi5 popular in Europe: article from the PBS MediaShift website. Retrieved on January 18, 2008.
  7. "Why Users Love Orkut" - 55% of users are Brazilian: About.com website. Retrieved on January 15, 2008,
  8. The Network Nation by S. Roxanne Hiltz and Murray Turoff (Addison-Wesley, 1978, 1993)
  9. David Andrews (1984). The IRG Solution, Souvenir Press, 1984.
  10. A. Weinreich, 2007, cited by
  11. Steve Rosenbush (2005). News Corp.'s Place in MySpace, BusinessWeek, July 19, 2005. (MySpace Page Views figures)
  12. "Social graph-iti": Facebook's social network graphing: article from The Economist's website. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.
  13. News Corporation buys MySpace: BBC.co.uk website.
  14. ITV buys Friends Reunited: BBC.co.uk website.
  15. Over 200 social networking sites: InfoJuice website. Retrieved on January 19, 2008
  16. Nine Ways to Build Your Own Social Network, TechCrunch, July 24, 2007
  17. Gross, R and Acquisti, A (2005). Information Revelation and Privacy in Online Social Networks (The Facebook case). Pre-proceedings version. ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES)
  18. For example Mike Thelwall, MySpace, Facebook, Bebo: Social Networking Students, ALT: Online Newsletter (January 2008)
  19. danah boyd, (2007), Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites, MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning - Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). MIT Press
  20. Journal of Website Promotion; 2008, Vol. 3 Issue 1/2, p62-83, 22p, 3 charts
  21. A New Generation Reinvents Philanthropy, Wall Street Journal website.
  22. "Companies warned not to rush into social networking", implications of internal social networking in a business environment: News.com website. Retrieved on January 22, 2008.
  23. "Facebook, MySpace, and Co.: IHEs ponder whether or not to embrace social networking websites", implications of external social networking in education: TheFreeLibrary.com website. Retrieved on January 22, 2008.
  24. boyd, danah. "Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life."
  25. Search for "e-commerce, social networking". Google Trends. Accessed 26 October 2009.
  26. Nimetz, Jody. "Jody Nimetz on Emerging Trends in B2B Social Networking". Marketing Jive, November 18, 2007. Accessed 26 October 2009.
  27. Liebeskind, Julia Porter, et al. "Social Networks, Learning, and Flexibility: Sourcing Scientific Knowledge in New Biotechnology Firms". Organization Science, Vol. 7, No. 4 (July-August 1996), pp. 428–443.
  28. Arabie, Phipps, and Yoram Wind. "Marketing and Social Networks". In Stanley Wasserman and Joseph Galaskiewicz, Advances in Social Network Analysis: Research in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1994, pp. 254–273. ISBN 0803943024
  29. Chambers, Clem. "Murdoch Will Earn a Payday from MySpace". Forbes, March 30, 2006. Accessed 26 October 2009.
  30. Tynan, Dan. "As Applications Blossom, Facebook Is Open for Business" Wired, July 30, 2007. Accessed 26 October 2009.
  31. Flor, Nick V. (2000). Web Business Engineering: Using Offline Activities to Drive Internet Strategies. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. ISBN 020160468X; Flor, Nick V. "Week 1: The Business Model Approach to Web Site Design". InformIT, March 2, 2001. Accessed 26 October 2009. Description of the autonomous business model used in social network services.
  32. Social network launches worldwide spam campaign E-consultancy.com, Accessed 10 September 2007
  33. http://www.facebook.com/policy.php?ref=pf
  34. boyd, danah. "Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life"
  35. Fatal MySpace internet hoax mother is charged, Herald Sun, 17 May 2008
  36. Banned for keeps on Facebook for odd name, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 September 2008
  37. ;
  38. "MySpace exposes sex predators", use of its content in the courtroom: Herald and Weekly Times (Australia) website. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.
  39. "Getting booked by Facebook", courtesy of campus police: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.
  40. "Police use Facebook to identify weapon carriers" The Journal (England) website. Retrieved on May 11, 2009
  41. Government Agencies Establishing Presence on Social-Networking Sites
  42. OSTP Press Release Announcing Review (pdf, 50k)
  43. Latest LinkedIn Facts
  44. MySpace, Facebook Add Opportunity for Love, Trouble to Online Dating, FOXNews.com website.
  45. MySpace Adds a Security Monitor, NPR.com website.
  46. Dating: Can Social Networks Cut In?, internetnews.com website.
  47. Dating vs. Social Networking – Which Will Emerge as Premier Matchmaker?, WRAL.com website.
  48. networks vs. dating sites Commentary: Fragmenting may save online dating sites, marketwatch.com website.
  49. Love Around The Web , Forbes.com website.
  50. learncentral.org
  51. Social Networking: Now Professionally Ready, PrimaryPsychiatry.com website.
  52. Social Networks Impact the Drugs Physicians Prescribe According to Stanford Business School Research, Pharmalive.com website.
  53. Comprehensive listing of medical applications using social networking via Dose of Digital


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