Social Side of Web Technologies

Internet marketers say that social networking is one of the fastest growing online trends. The number of social networking sites seems to be growing daily. So how does it work?

Social networking sites allow users to create free online profiles where they can display biographical information, photos, hobbies, interests, swap information, throw trolls and flames, and much more. After completing an online profile, users can connect or network with other users’ profiles. As they connect with more and more people, their network keeps expanding. By adding just a few friends to their network, users can end up being connected to thousands of other people across different cultures and societies. These networks can then be used for fun, for bringing together specific groups and arranging activities, and also for serious business networking.

The social networking trend through technology started back in 1998 when Amazon.com acquired PlanetAll. That was a pioneer site, providing the foundation of sharing contact information, basic biographies, and expanding networks through friends’ networks. This was followed by a mushrooming growth of social sites. Now social networking websites claim to have attracted millions of registered users across the globe. That is one reason marketers are looking at these sites with interest.

Like many others, I have been paying attention to social networking on three different sites

What are the reasons to flock on social networking sites, besides massaging one’s ego and reaching out to kindred spirits? Peter Kollock looked into the motivations for participating in online communities and interactive sites. In his research paper titled “The economies of online cooperation: gifts and public goods in cyberspace”, he outlined three motivations: “Anticipated reciprocity — the expectation that one will receive useful help and information in return. Indeed, there is evidence that active participants in online communities get more responses. Increased reputation — in general, individuals want recognition for their contributions. Sense of efficacy — individuals may contribute valuable information because the act results in a sense of efficacy… a sense that they have had some effect on this environment.”

Where is your cyber social circle?

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