social network

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social network

(communications)
Any website designed to allow multiple users to publish content themselves. The information may be on any subject and may be for consumption by (potential) friends, mates, employers, employees, etc. The sites typically allow users to create a "profile" describing themselves and to exchange public or private messages and list other users or groups they are connected to in some way. There may be editorial content or the site may be entirely user-driven. Content may include text, images (e.g. http://flickr.com/), video (e.g. http://youtube.com/) or any other media.

Social networks on the the web are a natural extension of mailing lists and buletin boards. They are related to wikis like http://wikipedia.org/ but typically do not allow users to modify content once it has been submitted, though usually you can publish comments on others' submissions.

Different sites have different emphasis. For example, http://friendsreunited.co.uk/ (one of the earliest such sites) focusses on listing former acquaintances; http://myspace.com/ is music-oriented; http://linkedin.com/ aims to connect business partners; http://del.icio.us/, http://stumbleupon.com/ and http://digg.com/ are for exchanging links to favouirite web sites. There are many more.

Sometimes the social aspects are a side-effect of bringing together people with shared interests, e.g. http://slashdot.org/ (IT), other times they become more important than the original purpose, e.g. http://worldofwarcraft.com/ (fantasy gaming).

social network

An association of people drawn together by family, work or hobby. The term was first coined by professor J. A. Barnes in the 1950s, who defined the size of a social network as a group of 100 to 150 people.

On the Web today, social sites such as Facebook and Twitter have expanded the concept of size by orders of magnitude. They allow families, friends, colleagues, celebrities and politicians to communicate with each other and the world. See social networking and social networking site.
References in periodicals archive ?
Muscat, April 7 (ONA) The Information Technology Authority (ITA) organized a three-day training seminar at Best Western Premier hotel under the theme "Safe Use of Social Networks and Enhancing their Level of Security".
Accordingly, the 20th event calls for researchers in the field of social networks to provide research that deals with the impact of social networks, and which analyze its social security issues and intellectual dimensions in the current context.
According to Boyd and Ellison (2007), social networks are Web-based services that allow persons to construct a public or semipublic profile within a system, to articulate a list of other users with whom they share connections, and view and move through a list of links made by themselves and others.
Unlike social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are public, enterprise social networks are closed communities.
Overall, 42% of online adults use two or more of these social networks, while 36% use only one.
Its latest comprehensive report, 2011 National Business Ethics Survey[R] (NBES), included a series of questions about social networks and the people who use them.
For students, Barnes (liberal arts, Rochester Institute of Technology) details the theoretical and historical background of computer-mediated communication, focusing on social networks, concepts associated with them, and how and why people use them.
For an increasing number of Internet users, social networks are the Internet.
12 ( ANI ): Participating in online social networks can have a detrimental effect on consumer well-being by lowering self-control among certain users, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Social networks serve as seamless communication channels, but at the same time they are ideal launch pads for malware infections.
There's no denying the popularity of social networks, especially as the number of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter users consistently grow.