Social Web

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The Social Web Takisha Williams INF103 Computer Literacy Jaclyn Minor September 13, 2010 Who would have thought 50 years ago that a person could socialize with complete strangers across the world with just the click of a button? The web is full of useful and important scholarly information, but it’s not just about business and education. Along with posting pictures, videos, and blogs, the web is available for a plethora of other options. It’s full of fun sites for people of all ages and with different interests. One way to enjoy the web is to visit a social networking site. Sites such as Facebook, Zorpia, Friendster, and Bebo allow you to personalize a profile, join groups, share thoughts and pictures, and add different applications. Online communities are created by people connected together to share common interests, goals, and purposes. With technology advancing at such a steady rate, the future possibilities of the social web are endless. Although these sites are full of interesting things to do, there are also some downfalls to having an account online, such as privacy issues. I will be discussing a few popular sites and ways to safely enjoy them. One of today’s most popular social websites is Facebook. In February 2004, college student Mark Zukenburg created Facebook for his fellow Harvard colleagues. It was later expanded to serve other colleges, and it has grown dramatically ever since. Today there are about 500 million active Facebook accounts from people of all ages, countries, and interests. Pretty much anyone is able to join Facebook. The site is designed for people to communicate and share just about in any way. Facebook users create a profile which typically includes a photo and any personal information you would like to add. A lot of the activity on Facebook is surrounded by requesting the friendship of organizations and other users. You send a “friend request” to someone, and once they accept it, you two become friends. Facebook’s page layout is simple to navigate and easy to use. Everything is located right on your page, including tabs to go to photos, applications, groups, and your friend list. I first learned about Facebook while attending college on a campus. I have had it for a few years now. I like to send messages to my friends and family to stay in touch. I have posted several different photos on my account also. My friends are able to view them and make comments if they like. Of all the things to do on Facebook, I think the most popular is writing on your friend’s “wall. ” This is just a space available to add comments, pictures, bumper stickers, etc. You can also update your status, to let people know what’s going on in your life, or say whatever’s on your mind. Applications can also be added to your page. They can be useful or just for fun. Some include Flickr, Email Me Instead, Fishbowls, and Graffiti, but there are numerous ones to choose from. Facebook is a great place for someone who has started a new business and wants to get their product out there. Meeting new people, who could have a potential interest in your product, could do great things for your business. Last but not least, it is always fun to just explore Facebook. Meeting new friends, finding old ones, and building a business network are just a few of the advantages of having a profile. Facebook is very popular but there have been some privacy issues here lately. Some are a little disturbing so take eed when deciding to make a profile. FACTS ABOUT FACEBOOK YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW ABOUT * that 100 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day * FACEBOOK is only a low security web service. This means that you should never use the same password for your FACEBOOK account as you use for more important services (e. g. webmails or netbanking) * that FACEBOOK “does not guarantee that User Content you post on the Site will not be viewed by unauthorized persons” * that psychologists have introduced the diagnosis FAD (Facebook Addiction Disorder) as a new kind of addiction disorder Tweet Tweet As the years go by, more new and exciting sites are being created. Twitter is one of today’s newer sites, but it is as popular as any other. Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now. Some people would consider Twitter to be a micro-blog. You are able to update your status using minimal characters. There you can say what’s going on in your life at the moment without actually having to write an entire paper, which people may not want to hear about anyway. The cool thing about Twitter is that you can have followers. These are people who are constantly updated on your status. This is a great way for a company to rally its employees or just friends trying to put a party together. You are able to use your cell phone to send “tweets” when you are on the go, so this is an added plus. Twitter is not as big as Facebook, but it is getting more popular each day. Even presidential candidates have been known to tweet. It is everywhere and you can follow anyone, even your favorite star. Be aware that some people may not be who they say they are, there have been some instances where actors/actresses have been impersonated. Another fun thing to do on the web is to join a bookmarking site. These are sites that allow its users to post their favorite websites in one place to share with others. Viewers can then add these bookmarks to their page, for even more people to use. A popular bookmarking site is Del. icio. us. This site is very popular among the blogging world, due to its easy access to tons of interesting sites. Delicious allows its users to tag any bookmark and place it in as many folders as you like. You can assign each bookmark with as many keywords as you like. You can also attach a note to each bookmark as a reminder of why you chose the site. Bookmarks are searchable and you can be viewed by tags. You can also put tags together and it will pull up every bookmark associated with it. Delicious bookmarks are easily accessed through any browser, meaning you can see them at anytime, anywhere. This is a great site because you are able to get useful information and great insight. Another fun thing to do on the web is blog. This basically consists of writing down personal thoughts on a particular subject or just about anything you want. It’s a place to go to rant or give your two cents about what’s happening in the world. Most blog sites are free to join and can also give you opportunities to make a little cash in the process. Some companies will pay you to advertise their product on your page. Online advertising offers you three main ways to earn cash. Pay-per-click pays out every time someone clicks on an ad. Pay-per-impression pays out whenever the ad is on your page, and pay-per-action advertisements pay out when someone clicks on the ad and/or buys something (Gunelius, 2010). Some of today’s most visited blog sites include HuffingtonPost, TMZ, PerezHilton, and engadget. Photo sharing on the web is a great way to take advantage of the web. SmugMug is a photo sharing site that is primarily for professional photographers, but is also available for those amateurs out there just having a little fun. This site does require a fee to join, the minimum amount is $40/year, but offers a 14 day free trial to check it out. If you are an aspiring photographer this is a great way to get your work out there for the world to see. For those of us who don’t have the extra money or dedication, there are sites like Flickr. It was created in 2002 originally as a video-game screenshot website, but it has turned into one of the web’s most active sites. You have the option to start a free account which offers you limited uploads and features, or pay $25/year to receive unlimited uploads, features, and sets. They now offer video sharing on their website, which gives you one more way to socialize and network. For those who are handy with a camera or likes to waste time capturing life’s moments on film, there are video sharing sites. Without a doubt the most popular is YouTube. Here you can start a totally free account and post videos of just about anything. In 2009, YouTube reached the ultimate record of having 1 billion views in one day. That’s at least 11,574 views per second, 694,444 views per minute, and 41,666,667 views per hour. You can go to YouTube to learn just about anything. Type in any random activity and chances are they have a video. A lot of artists have been discovered and received record deals by posting their talents for everyone to see. It’s fun, free, and could potentially be the pathway to living a lifelong dream. Newest artist discovered on YouTube include R&B singer Dondria and Journey’s new lead singer Arnel Pineda. This is a great site because everyone has a chance for their fifteen minutes of fame. As if that isn’t enough to do on the web you can even make your own social website. Ning offers you the chance to build your own website and customize it just the way you like. It’s the number one place for organizers, activists, or any Joe Smoe to start a social website. It has several different themes available to choose from and you can make it private or viewable by the entire web. You can add features, customization tools, and Ning applications to make it your own. You also have the option to make a little income by adding advertisements, donations, and storefronts to your website. Online dating has become very popular over the last few years. Tons of people are now turning to the web to find that special someone. There are countless sites to choose from, but the most popular would be Match. com. Match. com was launch in April 1995; it is now servicing 24 countries and has websites in 18 different languages. They offer several free writing sections to express yourself and you’re able to upload a maximum of 26 photos and include preferences. You never have to worry about obscene photos because they have a customer care team that inspects every photo before it is allowed on the site. Members can see these photos and read about potential matches in their area. Communication occurs in an anonymous email network, and all of your personal information is kept private until you make the decision to share it with someone else. Of course with any new development, there are advantages and disadvantages; here I have compiled a list of each. ADVANTAGES| DISADVANTAGES| You are able to meet people with characteristics of your liking. | People may post incorrect or fraudulent information (misleading photos, age, etc. )| You can meet people from the comfort of your home. Someone’s personality may be different in person than on the internet. | Anonymity makes it easy to communicate with strangers. | You may come across scammers looking to steal from you or potentially hurt you. | You can meet as many people as possible over a short period of time. | May fall for someone too far away to have an actual relationship. | It is always a good idea to know the proper netiquette while enjoying each of these sites. This is basically treating a person the way that you expect to be treated in the real world and online. Following a few simple rules can minimize any misunderstandings and enhance your online experience. Here is a list of common courtesies to use while enjoying the web. 1. Use Computer Courtesy 2. Use Emoticons 3. DON’T SHOUT (All Caps) 4. Be Brief Online 5. Pay Attention to Language Issues 6. Think Before Posting 7. Keep Personal Issues Private 8. Obey Copyright Laws 9. Help Internet Newbies 10. Be Aware of Cyber Bullying Today emoticons are used in the place of writing what you are feeling. This can minimize any confusion on the web while chatting or messaging. Some can be created by using different symbols on your keyboard or you can download cartoon emoticons for free on various websites for a more colorful approach. Emoticons| Meaning| -r | Sticking tongue out| =^D | Big grin | :-d~ | Heavy smoker | :-||| Very angry| =:-)| Punk| ~:-(| Flame message| d 😮 | Hat’s off to you! | B:-) | Sunglasses on head| I have discussed a number of social websites that can be enjoyed by anyone, if one is not for you then you have plenty to choose from. I must say though that the web is not always a fun place to be. There is the issue of privacy and security on these sites. The thing is, it is hard to be active and have 100% privacy. To join many of these sites, they ask for personal information. This could lead to identity theft and fraud in some cases. You have to be safe when posting pictures and videos because criminals could use these to commit crimes against you without your knowing. To protect you from identity theft, try to make a password that could be difficult to break and try not to use birthdays, email addresses, or names because those could be easily guessed or found. Stalking and bullying have also become popular on social websites. If it isn’t bad enough that you have to sometimes worry about these things in the real world, they can also become a threat to you or your child online. Simply blocking an annoying “friend” can put an end to this. If threats are made to you, print out the actual page for evidence if you plan to press charges against this person. These fears are well known by the makers of these sites and they are working around the clock to find better ways to protect your privacy and have added security while using their sites. In April, Sen. Charles Schumer and two other senators called on Facebook to change its privacy policy. They also urged the Federal Trade Commission to set guidelines for social – networking sites. In May, a group of 15 online-privacy groups filed a formal complaint with the FTC accusing Facebook of “unfair and deceptive trade practices” (Lyons, 2010). Facebook gives you options in your Privacy Settings to block applications, control who can see what on your page, and what information is showed on your profile. There are many other options to set your profile just the way you like it to better protect you. The simplest rule is to not post or say anything personal that you don’t want the world to find out about. REFERENCES https://www. match. com/cp. aspx? cpp=/cppp/corp/aboutus. tml&ER=sessiontimeout https://www. squidoo. com/Meet-People https://www. facebook. com/group. php? gid=5585067263 https://www. flickr. com/search/? q=blue+bird#page=3 https://twitter. com/about https://www. pamorama. net/2010/03/03/35-great-social-media-infographics/ https://www. compete. com/maintenance. html https://allaboutyoutube. blogspot. com/ https://www. ning. com/ https://www. facebook. com/press/info. php? factsheet https://weblogs. about. com/od/monetizingablog/p/BlogAdvertising. htm Lyons, D. (2010, June 7). The high price of Facebook. NewsBank, 155(23). Retrieved from NewsBank database.

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