The Effects of Social Networking on Today's Society
Social interaction has long been a main feature of the internet ever since its creation. Once individuals got over the conspiracy theories that the computer was a military weapon that was used to control them, they soon began to recognize the immunity capacity and potential of the computer.
One such capability which is now, so pervasive among almost every human being, that it has become a way of life in this the twenty first centuries. Is, the ability for computers to connect to each other that enabling the creation forums. These forums allowed for discussions among various groups, about different topics, in addition to the ability to send messages. Even though, those days the messages took ages to send.
In the early days the messages were delivered very slowly and were limited to persons within a particular locality. Since, to send messages to other individuals that were not in the same area code would require a long distance charge. This was due to the fact that the computers were then linked to the land line telephones. But soon technology improved and social networking sites become more and more popular. The closely knit groups were now expanded into large global networks, which enabled free communication with individuals even in different countries. Without strongly opposed to technology and this new phenomenon, Social web sites appears to now basically dictate and control how groups meet, greet and reacquaint themselves, with friends, families and other organizations.
Structure of a Social web site
Social web sites are structures made up of individuals or organizations within a network called nodes. These nodes are tied or connected by a number of specific types of interdependency, such as kinship, financial relations, sexual relations, religious relationships, friendship, common interest, dislike, knowledge or prestige. Research has also shown that more females join social web sites than men and they tend to be younger than the men who join.
The benefits of Social Network sites
Because of the wide interdependency these networks tend to operate on many levels, from the lower level of families and friends to the level of nations. Thereby playing a critical role in determining the way organizations are run, the manner in which problems are resolved and the degree to which individuals succeed in attaining their objectives.
According to researchers the usefulness of these networks are usually determined by their size. A network that is not open to outsiders tend to not be very beneficial to its users, as they will be limited to what and who they already know. On the other hand a network that is open to outside members, offers their members the opportunity to meet new people with quite possibly new ideas, and new and interesting cultures. This affords organizations and businesses the opportunity to market their goods and services to a wider populace.
Social network sites have been able to bring families close to gather, long lost relatives and friends have been able to find each other using sites such as Face book, MySpace, and Hi5 amongst others. Elections campaigns have been afforded a competitive edge from the use of social networking sites. It is said that the American President Barrack Obama depended heavily on social networking sites such as Facebook to steer his campaign for the presidency of the United States of America in 2009.
Organizations have recognized the competitive edge that can be gained, when using these networking sites to market their products. These sites have been known to assist in research about competitors, providing information on the existing and potential staff of an organization.
Another benefit of these sites is the social capital that is gained from their use. This social capital is amount of users that is signed up to use these sites. Sites such as Facebook and MySpace have mentionable social capital since they have over one hundred million users signed up to their sites. The market value of these sites are also determined by how much the market will pay for the site, its online brand-building potential, advertising earnings, the number of users sign up on the site and search engine optimization among others.
In recent times there has been a consistent increase in the number of sites submitting patent applications to protect new technologies that have been created for social networking sites. There are approximately one hundred social networking sites in operation currently ranging from dating sites to religious sites, and even sights for specific professions.
With the economic down turn there will certainly be less of these sites being created or launching until there is some improvement in the global economy. Those that are still around and are doing well will find themselves getting better, as organizations continue to recognize the value that is added to their goods and services when they utilize these sites to market their products.
Since majority of these web sites do not charge a fee for joining their income is earned from the advertising posted to the sites. In 2010 Facebook earned an estimated $ 1.1 billion dollars in advertising revenue alone.
Tips to attract and retain users
Many users will use a site for the first time but they may never return. One of the factors that advertisers look for in determining whether or not to market their goods and services on a particular site, is the number of users signed on to it. Therefore attracting and retaining users becomes very critical to the creators or owners of these sites.
Because there are so many sites to choose from, owners will sometimes need to find creative way to get users to sign up. Some ways that site owners can attract and retain users are to offer free entries to contests, offering them the opportunity to enter more than once and also offering them attractive gifts so that they will want to sign up. Users must be able to trust the site that they sign up to. So privacy settings must be set so that users are constantly reassured that their privacy will not be breached.
Creators should also ensure that their sites have the capability to support the uploading videos in any format, as this feature is usually critical to users. This is the feature that most organizations use to market their product. But not everyone knows how to create a video that will generate millions of hits.