You are on page 1of 8

DISSERTATION How can we improve the visibility of the Southampton Solent University through online activities?

Some means of online communication=> petite phrase d'intro, expliquant ce que tu vas présenter et pourquoi! + note tes références en bas de page EXPLAIN WHAT’S ONLINE COMMUNICATION MEAN Social Network Websites 4.1.1 Definition Social network websites are websites where people connect with friends. Those people are person, bodies, or institutions, they which keep relationships between themselves, straight or indirectly through series of relations. Social network websites give the opportunity to people without technical competencies to broadcast texts online and interact with their friends, for free or practically. Each social network website is done with its own facilities and possibilities and each one for different objectives. Originally, the social network comes from Frigyes Karinthy’s theory, “the six degrees of separation”, in 1929 and later from the Stanley Milgram’s experiment, “a small world”, in 1967. Frigyes Karinthy (1887-1938) is a Hungarian author, poet, translator and journalist. Thanks to his short story “Chains” in 1929, he created the six degrees of separation concept: according to him, everyone worldwide can be connected with another one person by an association of private relationships with outside five other people. => reformule avec tes propres mots.


Afterwards Stanley Milgram (1933-1984), who is famous especially for the Milgram Experiment about the obedience to authority, took up the idea from Karinthy with regard to the six degrees of separation concept in 1967. He wanted to authenticate the Karinthy’s concept with an experiment. He asked to people picked at random to send a package to the same target person they didn’t know. Those people had some information about the target person, like his occupation, the college where he studied but they didn’t have his name and neither his address. Those people had to send the packet to an acquaintance of their network who might be the right person to bring the packet closer to the target person. In conclusion, to reach the target person, it needed 5,2 intermediate people on average. 4.1.2 Historical In 1980, the setting up of the Bulletin Board Systems (BSSs) allows users to share software and data. Considering the high cost of the connections, most of the use of BSSs was in local communities. At the end of 1980s and the beginning of 1990s, AOL (America Online) gives the possibility to connect oneself to Internet, create an user profile, send private and public messages, and post events. In 1995, is created in the United States. It’s the first website which comes close to the definition of modern social networking websites. It enables to the Internet surfers to meet up with schoolmates. In 1997, is get online. It’s the first to make use of the six degrees of separation concept. This social network website called upon the users to depict on the Internet their direct social links. They were able to be reunited with close relatives registered on the website, or they could invite their connections to join the website. The aim was to discover the network of indirect relationships available outside of the first circle of acquaintances. Each member had the opportunity to contact people pulling them apart up to 3 degrees. 2 permitted to create an user profile, invite friends and gain access to friends’ profiles from 1998. It’s the first social networking website allowing surfing in other user profiles in order to widen its own network. In 2001, closes owing to the over-request of indirect relationships called social spam. In 2002, Friendster opens the modern time to social networks. This website uses same means as that is the creation of a profile, friends lists, the access to these ones, as well as the six degrees of separation concept but it owns communication and extra contents sharing tools. On Friendster we can share photos, music but also videos. In 2003, a new kind of social network website is created: LinkedIn. It’s a professional network website for businesspeople who want to meet other professionals. In 2004, Facebook, the social networking website famous all over the world is established by a student of Harvard. At first it is opened only for students of Harvard University, before opening in 2006 to the general public. Since 2006, several other social network websites appeared everyone with their advantages, their own aim and their own target audience. In 2010, LinkedIn had 65 millions of users in more than 200 countries in the world and Facebook numbered 400 millions of users since February 20101.



Timeline of the creation of the major social network website2:



4.1.3 How do social network websites work? According to Danah M. Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison3, the main component in social network websites is the visible profiles. In these profiles, we can consult a list of Friends who are also users of the same social network website. After being registered on the website, the user needs to fill in a form with questions about its age, location, education, interests, and so on. In most websites, the user has also the opportunity to fill in a part of its profile with a few words about itself. Moreover one can upload a profile picture in order to the other users can recognize it. Once the first step is done, the latter can identify other people on the network with who it is already in relationships. To add somebody in its friends’ list, the requesting person has to validate the relationship between itself and the person who has requested it to be friend: it is a bi-directional confirmation. People appearing on our list are called “friends”, even if they are not really friends but rather professional acquaintances or something like that. In some social network websites, they are called “contacts” or “fans”. Through friends’ lists, we can see friends of our friends. Thanks to this way, we have then the occasion to spread our own network. As regards the visibility of the user’s profile, this one decide whether it wants that its profile to be accessible from search engines or whether it wants limit the access on its profile only to its friends on the network, or only to people being a part of its friends’ list. The profile visibility is one of the first characteristic which distinguishes each social network website: each has its own factors of visibility by default. In most social network website, users have three manners to interact with their peers.

Social Network Sites: Definition, History and Scholarship, Danah M. Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison, Michigan State University, 2007.


At first, they can talk with each other online. That is called “the chat”. Then the user can write a public message to a friend, everybody can see it. It is called a “comment” or a “post”. Finally, the third solution is to send a private message to a friend. Nobody sees it except both concerning people. This system looks like an electronic mailbox. 4.1.4 Professional uses and opportunities


4.1.5 Some examples of social network websites LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Flickr


Number and kind of users Advantages



LinkedIn LinkedIn homepage:

Facebook Flickr Twitter

Search Engine Optimization 4.1.6 Definition 4.1.7 Natural Search Engine Optimization 4.1.8 Search Engine Marketing Advertising … …