Social Networks

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Social Networks
Do the names MySpace, Facebook etc. ring a bell? They probably do because they are some of the most popular sites on the internet today. These sites are all called 'social networking' sites because they help people meet and discuss things online. Each of these social networking sites has its own strengths: MySpace is especially popular among teenagers, Facebook is popular with college age people. The common thread between all of these social networks is that they provide a place for people to interact, rather than a place to go to read or listen to 'content'. Web 2.0

Social networks are considered to be web 2.0. What does this mean? To understand this, it's important to understand what the original web did (often called web 1.0). Back in the nineties, the internet - or web - was a place to go to read articles, listen to music, get information, etc. Most people didn't contribute to the sites. They just 'browsed' the sites and took advantage of the information or resources provided. Then blogs (from web log) were introduced. With blogs, many more people began writing 'posts', as well as commenting on other people's blogs. MySpace Surprises Everybody

In 2003 a site named MySpace took the internet by storm. It was trying to mimic the most popular features of Friendster, the first social networking site. It quickly became popular among young users and the rest was history. Soon everyone was trying to develop a social networking site. The sites didn't provide 'content' to people, they helped people create, communicate and share what they loved including music, images and videos. The key to the success of these sites is that they provide a platform on which users create the content. This is very different from the beginning of the internet which focused on providing 'content' for people to enjoy. Key Vocabulary

to ring a bell :- to sound familiar.
common thread :- an idea or theme that is similar to others
the nineties :- the period of years...
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