What is Social Networking?


Social networking is all about making connections and bringing people together. Conversations that take place in social networking contexts are inherently social, and often revolve around shared activities and interests. The heart of social networking is fostering the kinds of deep connections that occur when common pursuits are shared and discussed. Students are tremendously interested in social networking sites because of the community, the content, and the activities they can do there. They can share information about themselves, find out what their peers think about topics of interest to them, share music and playlists, and exchange messages with their friends. Social networking systems have led us to a new understanding of how people connect. Relationships are the currency of these systems, but we are only beginning to realize how valuable a currency they truly are. The next generation of social networking systems will change the way we search for, work with, and understand information by placing people at the center of the network. The first social operating system tools, only just emerging now, understand who we know, how we know them, and how deep our relationships actually are. They can lead us to connections we would otherwise have missed. Early social networking systems already recognize the value of connections and relationships, and as opportunities for virtual collaboration increase, we will rely more on trust-based networks that can interpret and evaluate the depth of a person’s social connections.

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