Social Networking-what is it and who cares?

And I guess what I mean here is the academic study of social networking, including how it works for business, leadership, politics, culture, etc.  It has evolved as a field of study outside of those disciplines, but I would be remiss as an instructor if I didn’t point it out as meaningful to the web 2.0 “revolution.”  Here’s a good link to get us started talking on it:

“One of the hottest topics in the online world in the last couple of years has been the growth of social networking services such as Facebook and MySpace, as well as the addition of a social element to existing user experiences.  Despite riding several waves of hype, it’s now clear that the social networking space will only get hotter in 2008 according to most watchers.  Social software has come fully into its own as of 2008 — for all appearances permanently — and understanding the reasons for this rapid rise as well as figuring out how to leverage it best is the job of everyone who wants to make the most of the Web 2.0 era….”


3 Responses to “Social Networking-what is it and who cares?”

  1. brahmsisbetter Says:

    Personally, though I can definitely see the benefits of Web 2.0-style social networking, I find it all very depressing. For one thing, it replaces some more personal forms of social networking, such as the family, and face-to-face introductions from mutual acquaintances. And there is the issue of quantity vs. quality. How valid is a connection to a person with 8 degrees of separation through a website? I just feel like all this technology is further isolating us from one another. If you spend all your time on your cell phone, but ignore all the people around you, isn’t that kind of lonely?


  2. katiejoyi Says:

    I agree that sites like Facebook and Myspace are lowering the amount of face to face time with others, I believe this is only true with people closer to you such as classmates and family members. However, I do feel these sites have been able to connect us with people all over the world. It gives us opportunities to join together with others who value the same things, even if we are countries apart. So what we have to ask ourselves is when do the costs outweigh the benefits.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    I agree that sites like Facebook and Myspace take away from time spent with people face to face, and I can also see how they can help connect us with people, too. The thing that bothers me the most about sites like these, and is probably one of the reasons I myself do not have a Facebook, is that people have become addicted to looking at other people’s lives. Yeah its a cool way to talk to your friends when you don’t wanna pick up the phone, but it is also an easy way to care more about what other people are doing than yourself. To me, that can get carried away.

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