The following unit of information is intended for use by MAPP Trainers and is organized to provide basic information related to the astoundingly popular and rapidly expanding online phenomenon referred to as electronic or online social networking. In acquiring fundamental knowledge and deeper understanding of the many facets of electronic social networking it is expected that MAPP Leadership Trainers will be ably equipped to transfer this knowledge and understanding to foster parents, foster children and youth. Ultimately, parents, children, and youth will utilize useful social media to build constructive social networking in their daily lives.


In what ways can this learning unit be helpful to me?

If you are not well versed on social networking, as many of us are, this learning unit will help you to gain a better understanding of how social networking can be helpful in communicating with your friends and social acquaintances on a frequent, personalized or more extensive social bases.

Facebook currently has 1.15 billion users and hopes to connect another 5 billion users around the world. Gary Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook asserts that “the internet not only connects us to our friends, families and communities, but it is also the foundation of the global knowledge economy. Paul Levinson, author of “New York Media” believes that the internet “is actually a profoundly important human right in the 21st century to have access to the internet.”

Facebook, Inc. seeks to become the “entertainment hub for its 800 million members not only soaking up more of their time but giving them even more interaction and influence among their friends.” New features and partnerships have included users to share the entertainment and information choices in their lives- with music, television programs, books, games and news within the Facebook home. (TBN, 9/24/11, Guyn, Chmielewski & Pham).

New Facebook features include putting the “me” in social media according to Brian Solis, an analyst with Altimeter Group. “It is becoming the epicenter not only of the experiences that people share but the experiences they will share. People will create their own media networks that influence the behavior of others.” Two music applications, Spotify” and Clear Channel, can automatically post what their users are listening to, their favorite bands and the playlists they create. The idea is that people who see what their friends are listening to are more likely to try out the service or find music they they would like to buy. Once hooked into an app. Facebook users tend to be more apt to spend money.”

What is a Social, Electronic or Online Social Networking Service?

A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service, though in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks.

The main types of social networking services are those that contain category places (such as former school year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with American-based services Facebook, Google+, and Twitter widely used worldwide; Nexopia in Canada;[1] Badoo,[2] Bebo,[3] VKontakte, (mostly in Latvia), Hi5, Hyves (mostly in The Netherlands), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Nasza-Klasa (mostly in Poland), Skyrock, The Sphere, StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), Tagged, Tuenti (mostly in Spain), and XING[4] in parts of Europe;[5] Hi5 and Orkut in South America and Central America;[6] LAGbook in Africa;[7] and  Cyworld, Mixi,Orkut, renren, and Wretch in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

There have been attempts to standardize these services to avoid the need to duplicate entries of friends and interests (see theFOAF standard and the Open Source Initiative). A 2011 survey found that 47% of American adults use a social network.[8]

Additional Online Social Networking definitions:

Historical Highlights

The potential for computer networking to facilitate newly improved forms of computer-mediated social interaction was suggested early on.[9] Efforts to support social networks via computer-mediated communication were made in many early online services, including Usenet,[10] ARPANET, LISTSERV, and bulletin board services (BBS). Many prototypical features of social networking sites were also present in online services such as America Online, Prodigy, CompuServe,ChatNet, and The WELL.[11] Early social networking on the World Wide Webbegan in the form of generalized online communities such as,[12] Geocities (1994) and (1995). Many of these early communities focused on bringing people together to interact with each other through chat rooms, and encouraged users to share personal information and ideas via personal webpages by providing easy-to-use publishing tools and free or inexpensive webspace. Some communities – such as – took a different approach by simply having people link to each other via email addresses. In the late 1990s, user profiles became a central feature of social networking sites, allowing users to compile lists of “friends” and search for other users with similar interests. New social networking methods were developed by the end of the 1990s, and many sites began to develop more advanced features for users to find and manage friends.[13] This newer generation of social networking sites began to flourish with the emergence of in 1997,[14] followed byMakeoutclub in 2000,[15][16] Hub Culture and Friendster in 2002,[17] and soon became part of the Internet mainstream. Friendster was followed by MySpace andLinkedIn a year later, and eventually Bebo. Attesting to the rapid increase in social networking sites’ popularity, by 2005, it was reported that MySpace was getting more page views than Google. Facebook,[18] launched in 2004, became the largest social networking site in the world[19] in early 2009.[20]

What is a social network?

social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called “nodes”, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency , such as friendship, kinship common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. (Source: WIKI Social Network)

Social Networking has become increasingly popular nowadays as there are a lot of sites that offer this service. MySpace and Friendster are two of the most popular sites that aim to build communities of people who share common interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.

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A social networking site is like a virtual meeting place where people can hang out and discuss different topics. Anything under the sun, in fact. Some use these networking sites to promote their blogs, to post bulletins and updates or to use them as a bridge to a future love interest.

These are just a few of the reasons why social networking is getting a lot of attention lately — it makes life more exciting for many people.

However, it would be best to make sure that safety and security are the topmost concerns of the social networking site that you currently use. This is because social networking sites require or give you the option to provide personal information such as your name, location, and email address. Unfortunately some people can take this as an opportunity for identity theft. They can copy your information and pretend to be “you” when engaging in illegal activities. Bad news! So be cautious with what you enter into an online networking site.

You could fall into the trap of someone who pretends to be somebody else. For example, they might offer you a job or want to meet up with you just to get your money. This can lead to cyberstalking, where the stalker uses electronic media such as the Internet to pursue or harass you.

So take your time and be careful in choosing who to trust so you can hopefully avoid this sort of unpleasant thing happening to you. Apart from that, social networking is great thing.