Online Social Networking... a Study of the Social Networking Phenomenon

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Online Social Networks

A study of the social networking phenomenon

Yasmeen Bsaiso

July 30th, 2008

QMIS 240
Dr. Hameed Al-Qaheri
College of Business Administration
Kuwait University

Yasmeen Bsaiso
QMIS/ 240
July 30th, 2008

Online Social Networks
A study of the social networking phenomenon

Social communication has always been a vital need to humanity. At its core, social communication did not change. People still exchange thoughts, feelings and news; however, the ways they socially communicate have radically changed. Online social networking is a recent form of social communication conducted over the internet. It witnessed a huge growth since 1997 with the first social networking website (“Boyd”). Social networking websites provide a great socializing capability for their members. Primarily, they aim at connecting people with their acquaintances from all places, at all times. Such websites attract more than 1 billion users around the globe (“List of social networking websites”). Beside for personal use, social networking websites are used for e-marketing and legal investigations

One of the most rapidly growing social networking sites is, with more than 80 million users and a 270% growth rate from 2006 to 2007 (“To facebook or not to facebook”). It was founded by an American Harvard Student, Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Huge acquisitions offers were proposed for facebook reaching as high as $1 billion. This big success may be attributed to facebook’s ease of use and unique socializing features.

Despite the success of online social networking, many opponents find social networking websites as great source of discomfort and risk. Social networking may lead to psychological and financial problems. Facebook is faced with privacy-related, political and ethical criticisms.

Through this research, the writer addresses the following topics:

I. What is online social networking?
II. What is an online social network?
III. Benefits and applications of online social networking… A. for individuals
B. for organizations
IV. Facebook: an online society
V. The growth of facebook
A. The start of facebook
B. The expansion of facebook
VI. Why to use facebook
VII. Facebook features
VIII. How to use facebook
IX. Shortcomings of online social networking
X. Against facebook
XI. How to be safe with online social networking
XII. Conclusion

Online Social Networks

A study of the social networking phenomenon

Since the existence of humanity, social communication has been a genuine need. When people communicate, they exchange feelings, ideas and news. They may gesture, write or talk. Starting from the very preliminary communication techniques like smoke and pigeons, to the more developed such as the telegram and telephone, ending with the internet-based communication, social interaction techniques witnessed a big progress.

The internet technology created many new communication means. Today, we can send e-mails and instant messages. We can talk using the VOIP technology. One can write about his own thoughts and ideas and make others read them using online blogs. One of the recent ways of social communication over the internet is using social networking sites.

Online social networking is a new social communication method that is spreading very widely. Today, there are more than hundred social networking sites with more than one billion users. These sites make communication easy, cheap and enjoyable. They are being used for personal and professional applications. They keep members continuously connected to relatives, acquaintances and friends. They help people look for friends, be members in online groups and exchange ideas and opinions very easily.

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