Sunday, November 05, 2006

Social Networking: What is it?

The first question is a "what" question--future questions to include who, where, why, when, and how.

When you hear the phrase "social networking" what comes to mind and what is included.

You may want to check out the links on the right had side of the screen for a sampling of popular and new sites.


Stephen said...

According to a "technical" definition from the dictionary, social networking is the use of a website to connect with people who share personal or professional interests, place of origin, education at a particular school, etc.

Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Copyright © 2003-2005

A good overview of the "what" from a technology perspective, check out Generation Y Hits the Enterprise

At the base level this includes any form of communication, whether written, spoken or otherwise recorded between one or more people. Can be on any personal or professional topic. And uses technology as a delivery mechanism.

kenderso said...

Social networkig seems to be the process of building relationships "electronically" with like minded people. When we select the site or "community", we are usually selecting people with similar interests. Social networking eliminates the physical boundaries and allows us to network with those from many other cultures, with different perspectives.

Lori said...

I see social networking as a means to stay in touch with people. I have some friends who have blogs and there are great stories about the lives of their kids, their work day, and their thoughts. I also see it as a means to instantly connect. Instant Messaging is a great example of that. The word "ping" is now an everyday verb. I also think we are on the edge of more in this arena.

gk said...

I checked out Stan Gibson's video Generation Y Hits the Enterprise ( and he made a subtle, yet very important comment about Gen Y-ers preferring the "informal/homespun quality" of podcasts because, "...[it] lends a feeling of greater credibility."

I think he (or the research)is right-on and the message I got was this: Any SN setting -- be it podcasts, wikis, blogs, etc. -- MUST have this quality or Gen Y-ers will turn away.

Think about it -- when are we most at-ease and comfortable with ourselves and others? In formal or informal settings?

Stephen said...

GK - i think this is a very good point and one that comes out in Lisa Johnson's book as well.

The idea that seems to be dealt with in addition to "informal/casual" learning is also the anti-institution concept. If it is too overly polished, then big brother must have been involved.