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What Is Social


Social networking is not just another fad. Social networks are here to stay. Facebook has 350,000,000 registered users; Classmates has 50,000,000; Twitter with 75,000,000 and MySpace has 263,000,000 [ 02-22-2010].  While it's true that some social sites will crash and burn on the information highway, others will spring up and blossom into smaller more specific communities.

These smaller social networking websites offer a more personalized experience by tightly focusing on the interests of its members rather than trying to build a brand. They are known as specialty networking sites or "niche" social networking sites, and people are willing to move from network to network until they find that one special site where they feel a genuine sense of connection and community.

More and more large companies, universities and small businesses are getting their own social websites up and running so they can connect with their employees and students; fans or customers; and people from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds. The types of social networking websites differ of course, due to the diverse nature of people, organizations and businesses. Naturally, then, there is a clear distinction between social networks that help you do something, like marketing your business or accomplish certain goals and those networks that offer a "social" connection.

Do It Yourself? - Are you thinking about developing your own  social site? Creating a stand-alone community social site or adding community and social networking to a corporate website?  If the answer is yes, then you most likely will need professional help.  Create your own Social Network!  The considerations one must think about in developing a social media site are endless, and most of us aren't even sure where to begin. Even though social site designs may look like normal websites, a lot more is happening in the background than most people are aware of.

What do you want to accomplish with your social network? Will you develop and host your own application, or hire someone? Are you aware of ownership and intellectual property rights? Legal contracts will need to be reviewed, approved and executed.  What about the development process and functionality of the site?  These questions and many, many more will need to be reviewed and answered by everyone involved in the project.  Plus, it will be an "on-going" project; not a one-time deal.

Things to Consider - There's layout and design, registration systems,

 creating custom signup for users, customizing fields for users to describe themselves, photos, videos, email messages, calendars, setting up user groups and so forth. Additionally, there are important security measures that need to be addressed to prevent malicious attacks, unsolicited comments and profanity filters. Least we not forget, the site needs an administrator; someone with the technical knowledge and the time to monitor the site; to suspend or remove users who abuse their membership.  Websites have the ability to run a lot of code (a set of written rules), which is responsible for it being used as a communication tool - perceived better as a two-way process in which there is an exchange of information, making websites fairly intelligent.

Online social networking is a phenomenon that has drastically changed the landscape of how people  connect and socialize with each other. That socialization is possible through the internet and the social networking websites that are built by programmers and designers, individually or through a company. People interact and connect with each other from and "on" those websites. They provide a foundation in which society reacts to new ideas through the viewpoints and opinions of others; sharing ideas and stories; finding inspiration and information relative to each particular users interests, desires, and ambitions. Social networking websites make it all happen and millions of people are happier because of them.

So, if you're seriously thinking about starting a social networking site, talk with the professionals first; someone who has experience in web development and programming. Whether it's an individual or company, tell them what you have in mind, what service you want to provide, a niche product that you want to promote, or if you simply want your own personal networking website.  Having your very own personal social site for family, friends, and your business can be fun and profitable, too.

Creating Your Own Social Site

Are you thinking about developing your own  social site or creating a stand-alone community social site?


FEB 22, 2010

Image: - Illustration by Sajith Kumar

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Recently, a pair of artists in New York put forward an unusual plan for teaching middle school students about the Internet: specifically, by teaching them how to get off it and build their own.



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