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Social Networking Websites

Jessica Van Hattem

David Jia
Celete Kato
Won Shim
Ami Tian

Social Networking Websites

What are they?
Tool for:
Expressing interests
Nodes and Ties
Recent phenomena
Digg, 2004
Youtube, 2005
Myspace, 2003
Facebook, 2004

How the Technology Operates

Specialization vs. Integration
Youtube, Digg,,
Myspace, Facebook
Web 2.0
Change in trend
Enhanced creativity,
information sharing,
collaboration, and functionality
Users submit content for other

Early social networking websites:
1995 -
focused on ties between former
focused on indirect ties

History, contd
Modern social networking websites:
2002 Friendster
now mostly used in Asia
2003 Myspace
bought by News Corporation (parent company of Fox)
in 2005
most popular social networking site in 2006

History, contd
2004 - Facebook (founded by Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard
largest and fastest growing site in the world
membership initially limited to Harvard students, but was
expanded to other colleges in the Ivy League; later
expanded further to include any university student, then
high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and
2005 - Bebo
stands for blog early, blog often


Third-party applications
Privacy settings
Instant messaging
News feed (Facebook)
Music (Myspace)

Positive Aspects for Social Networking

Ease of access to recent trends/topics
Faster communication over longer distances
Facebook, Myspace, Digg
Big audience
Blogging (Blogger, Livejournal, Youtube,
Equating computer to sociability; second life
Facebook, Myspace

Criticisms against Social Networks

Promoting False Identities
Site Security
Lack of customer service
Accessibility and reliability
Child Safety
Party gatecrashing
Crashing uninvited parties which were
advertised through sites like Myspace
and Facebook where anyone could see
the invitation.

Criticisms against Social Networks, contd

Social Exploitation and Censorship
Social and Cultural
Dave Itzkoff and his experience
MIT and 70,000+ Facebook profiles

Our Opinion?
Social networking sites have caused much debate among users across
the globe. They help us to connect more easily to others, display our
interests in a public forum, and allow us to forge connections despite
vast space between users.

Positive aspects:
Simple, user friendly set up and
Usually cost efficient/free
Easily accessible and globally available

Our Opinion? contd

Positive aspects notwithstanding, there are some
arguments against social networking sites, including:
Lack of privacy/ control over what is public
and not
Encourages procrastination
Tendency to compartmentalize and make
vague and occasionally unfair assumptions
about others
Generally speaking, social networking sites are seen
as positive among the CMU community.