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What exactly is social networking?

Created date

February 3rd, 2009
Social networking refers to a broad range of websites, tools, and services that allow you to connect with friends, family, and colleagues online, as well as meet people with similar interests or hobbies. Most of these sites encourage you to create a profile where you can post information about yourself such as your location, hobbies, and relationship status making it easier for people to find and connect to you. In addition, many sites let you send and receive correspondence with online contacts directly through the network, without taking up valuable space in your e-mail inbox or giving up your private e-mail address. Over the past several years, millions of people have flocked to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, which allow users to post messages; share photos, music, and videos; and update friends and family on everything from weddings to musings on politics and weather. Keeping things private Many offer very good privacy settings, which allow you to decide who sees what type of information and how much. Want to share everything with family and close friends but have a different level of access for casual acquaintances or business associates or "online" friends? It s all possible on social networking websites. Another great feature is the experience of exploring the online world discovering new interests or new people interested in similar activities. You d be surprised at how many other folks are interested in the same type of content you are. Next month I will take a look at some of the more popular social networking sites such as Echronicles, Facebook, LinkedIn, Eons, Flickr, Twitter, and Delicious. We ll explore what each offers and which audiences they target.