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Social Networking Websites

What is a Social Networking Website?

 Eye  Myspace Screen  Hands&KeyBoard

Social Networking Websites have been created to enable people with the same hobbies and interests to find each other and interact. It mostly involves setting up a profile for other people to see, on which you can write about yourself, your interests and give other details about who you are and what you do. This way the people that have a social networking website can build up a virtual friendship base inside a cyber community and easily share information or stay in contact with them.

Currently social networking websites are very popular, especially with teenagers. Furthermore, the ways in which you can stay in touch while using one of these sites is growing rapidly. Right now it is possible to interact with people from the same social network via chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, etc. (1)

The most popular social networking websites currently include Bebo, Facebook and Myspace, two of which will be introduced further on down this page. (2)

Examples of Social Networking Websites:

Myspace Icon

Myspace is a social networking website that is particularly popular in the United States, but also around the world. Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson founded Myspace in August 2003 and ever since it has its headquarters in Beverly Hills, California, US. (3) After launching Myspace in January 2004, DeWolfe and Anderson were able to sell Myspace for 580 million dollars in July 2006 and up until today are still the CEO and president of the website. (4)
As of September 7 2007 Myspace provides 200 million accounts to people all over the world, including musicians and other artists. (5) Furthermore, it continues to grow rapidly at a rate of 230,000 users signing up for an account every day. (6)
In addition, Myspace is not only the 6th worlds most popular website in any language, but is also the 3rd most popular website in the United States, where 62 % of the people have a Myspace. (7)

Why join

According to you can:

• Stay in touch with your friends
• As a single you can find other singles
• Stay in touch with your families
• Join as a businessperson or co-worker that is interested in networking
• Easily stay in touch with classmates and study partners
• Find long lost friends or classmates

Facebook Icon

Facebook is also a social networking website (often known as the rival of Myspace). It was created by a Harvard student named Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg created what he calls a “social utility” instead of a “social network” to enable people at Harvard to stay in touch in an easy and efficient way. (8) Later Zuckerberg made it possible for college and university students from all over the world to sign up for a Facebook account. Today anyone may sign up and they do indeed, at a pace of 150,000 users signing up daily and the Facebook network is growing as it has never done before. (9)

The concept of Facebook is that it is and stays authentic and that people who have connections in real life join Facebook to stay in touch, instead of building their friendship base online. It is in fact a violation of company policy to misrepresent yourself on your profile. (10) In September 2007 Zuckerberg got an offer of nearly 1 Billion Dollars, which he declined because he wants Facebook to be run by him and his staff of 250 people that all make sure the website continues to be an authentic and tasteful site that distinguishes itself from other social networking websites with just that. (11)

Why join

According to you can:

• Keep in touch with friends
• Upload an unlimited amount of pictures
• Share links and videos
• Learn more about the people you meet


(1), (2) Wikipedia: Social Networking Websites

(3), (5) – (7) Wikipedia: Myspace

(4) USA Today Article

(8) – (11) TIME Interview with Mark Zuckerberg.,8599,1644040,00.html


What is a Chindogu?

Chindogus are gadgets invented to solve a particular everyday problem. However, due to their unpractical or silly nature, they cause even bigger problems while using them and therefore are mostly only used once and are usually not reproduced in a higher number.
The origins of Chindogu lie in Japan, where it is regarded as a form of art. Literally translated “Chindogu” means “Valuable/Priceless Tool” (1).

The concept of Chindogu was introduced by the Japanese inventor and writer Kenji Kawakami (2). In the nineties he published a book called 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions: The art of Chindogu . The book was so successful that he later on published a follow up called 99 More Unuseless Japanese Inventions(3).

The 10 Rules of Chindogu
In general, anyone can design and produce a Chindogu. However, in order for it to be excepted as such, 10 key tenets have to be followed. These tenets are:

1. “A Chindogu cannot be for real use” (4)

A Chindogu must be an invention that is almost useless. If it turns out to be practical and that one can use it on a daily basis, it is not regarded as a Chindogu.

2. “A Chindogu must exist” (5)

A Chindogu must be something that you can make and theoretically use. It cannot be just a mere idea or concept.

3. “Inherent in every Chindogu is the spirit of anarchy” (6)

It is important to keep in mind that Chindogu is seen as a form of philosophy. The idea behind it is to challenge the “suffocating historical dominance of conservative utility” (7) by producing something that is almost completely useless.

4. “Chindogus are tools for everyday life” (8)

Since Chindogus contain a certain critical philosophy behind them and thus are a “form of nonverbal communication” (9) they must be understandable to everyone. If it turns out that the philosophical idea behind the invented object is only understood by e.g. computer technicians, the invention cannot be called a Chindogu.

5. “Chindogu are not for sale” (10)

Chindogus are not allowed to be sold to anyone, not even as a joke, otherwise the purity of the intent is surrenderd.

6. “Humour must not be the sole reason for creating a Chindogu” (11)

Although Chindogus might seem funny or silly to people who look at them, they should not be produced for humorous reasons; they should fundamentally created to solve a problem.

7. “Chindogu is not propaganda” (12)

Chindogus are invented to solve a potential problem and to be used theoretically. “They should not be created as a perverse or ironic comment on the sorry state of mankind.” (13)

8. “Chindogu are never taboo” (14)

Chindogus are not allowed to cross the line. Their concepts may not contain any vulgarity, cruelty or “debase the sanctity of living things” (15). E.g. sex toy inventions are not allowed: they are not a Chindogu.

9. “Chindogus cannot be patented” (16)

Chindogus cannot be patented or copyrighted. They are produced to share a certain idea which is there to be shared with everybody.

10. “Chindogu are without prejudice” (17)

Chindogus must not discriminate against anyone and should be able to be enjoyed by everyone, not matter what race, age, gender or ethnic group they come from.

Examples of Chindogu

1. Fake Cross Walk

Fake Cross Walk - 1 Fake Zebra Walk

2. Back Scratch Scale T-Shirt + Matching Grid

Back Scratch Scale TshirtBack Scratch Scale Tshirt2

3. Watch View Jacket

Watch Window in Sleeve Chindogu


(1) – (3) Wikipedia: Chindogu

(4) – (17) The 10 Chindogu Tenets