Social Networking Websites

What is a Social Networking Website?

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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 Myspace.com?

According to http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=misc.aboutus 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 facebook.com?

According to http://www.facebook.com/about.php you can:

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

Bibliography:

(1), (2) Wikipedia: Social Networking Websites
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networking_website

(3), (5) – (7) Wikipedia: Myspace
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myspace

(4) USA Today Article
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006-01-08-myspace-teens_x.htm

(8) – (11) TIME Interview with Mark Zuckerberg.
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1644040,00.html

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