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Personal Media | Public Good - Facebook Report

Personal Media | Public Good - Facebook Report

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Published by Kiley Dorton

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Published by: Kiley Dorton on May 01, 2010
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05/01/2010

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MAY 1, 2010
PRESENTED BY:
NEW
MEDIA
INSTITUTE
University of Georgia
New Media Institute \u2022 University of Georgia \u2022 www.mynmi.net
Facebook
Platform overview
\u2022Developed in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg
\u2022Although originally designed only for college students, now anyone with an email address is able to become

a member
\u2022More than 400 million active users (visited the site within 30 days) worldwide (\u201cStatistics,\u201d 2010)
\u2022More than 65 million active Facebook Mobile users (\u201cStatistics,\u201d 2010)
\u2022Facebook Mobile users are 50% more active than non-mobile users
\u202294,748,820 users in the United States (largest user nation in the world followed by the UK) (Gonzalez,

2009)

\u202256.7% Female; 43.3% male
\u202218-24 year olds are largest user group (25.2%) followed by 25-34 year olds (24.9%)
\u2022About 70% of users are outside of the United States (\u201cStatistics,\u201d 2010)
\u2022Over 70 translations available on the website
\u2022Average users spend more than 55 minutes a day on Facebook (\u201cStatistics,\u201d 2010)
\u2022More than 500,000 active applications on the website (\u201cStatistics,\u201d 2010)
In March 2010, Facebook eclipsed Google as the most visited site on the Internet in the United States, receiv-

ing 7.07 percent of weekly website traffic. Despite the site\u2019s astronomical popularity, the potential of this rela-
tively new platform remains largely untapped. Although developers have experimented with Facebook as a
personal, entertainment, and business oriented social media outlet, the potential to use Facebook as a means
to encourage public health has been scarcely explored.

Wouldn\u2019t it be cool if you could use Facebook to help you lose weight? Our project transforms facebook
into a virtual personal trainer that connects users through live video feed to help them achieve their personal
fitness goals.
The MyFitness Live application capitalizes on the popularity of Facebook to encourage users to become
more active. By providing Facebook users with exercise-related content customized to their personal interests

and goals, as well as the opportunity to interact and learn from others who share these interests, the MyFit- ness Live application will motivate Facebook users to spend some of the time that they already dedicate to Facebook to being more active and, consequently, getting healthier. The MyFitness Live application encour-

ages and motivates Facebook users to persevere and master the exercise videos in order to achieve the Expert
status, wherein they will be able to help other users of the application. Therefore, the social and community
New Media Institute
Facebook | MyFitness Live
1
aspects of the application encourage users to stick with it and continue to interact with the application as they
reach their personal fitness goals.
This paper will show how we made this project possible. First, the different ways in which Facebook is used
will be discussed, including: Personal/Social, Business/Philanthropic, and Entertainment. Next is a case
study of a Facebook application that works well to help users keep track and reach their personal fitness

goals. This is followed by a description of our project, the MyFitness Live application. To better present our project, a user case study follows the project description, depicting how a typical Facebook user would inter- act with the MyFitness Live application.

Social/Personal

The most popular way in which Facebook is used is as a mechanism for social interaction and personal ex- pression. The connection that users feel with others in the Facebook community has led the platform to ex- plode in popularity. Facebook is a powerful way for users to stay connected with people that they may not typically call on the phone or see on a regular basis.

Profile

A key component of Facebook is the Profile. All Facebook users have a Profile, which allows them to con- trol how they are depicted to the rest of the Facebook community. Users can choose to include information about their relationship status, religious and political views, interests, hobbies, favorite books, movies, and quotes.

Wall

One of the most frequently used components of every Facebook users\u2019 Profile is the Wall. Users are able to leave messages on each other\u2019s Walls that can be viewed by their Friends. The Wall also displays photos that the user was recently Tagged in, Groups and Events that the user has recently joined or plans to attend, and other interactions that the user had with his or her Friends.

Friends
Users can connect with each other by sending Friend Requests. Users have the option to either accept or ig-
nore requests.
Facebook is a useful avenue for users to stay connected with people that they know and to learn more about

new acquaintances. The average Facebook user has about 130 Friends and sends roughly eight Friend Re- quests per month (\u201cStatistics,\u201d 2010). Facebook is an easy way to stay connected with people that one may not communicate with in person. It also provides the opportunity for users to find and communicate with others who share their interests.

New Media Institute
Facebook | MyFitness Live
2

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