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Vy Phan

Social Networking

Here are links to Wikipedia: Social Networking

Here are links to social networking sites:  Facebook     Twitter     LinkedIn     MySpace

Social Networking

           Using MIS defines social networking as, “The interaction of people connected by friendship, interests, business associations, or some other common trait that is supported by Web 2.0 technology” (Kroenke, 2011).  We can say that social networking allows people with similar interests to connect with each other.  Popular social networking sites that people use today are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace.

According to Using MIS, social networking supports two fundamental services: N:M communication and social collaboration (Kroenke, 2011).  With N:M relationships, one entity has many connections to another entity, and each connected entity has many other connections.  Social networking facilitates communication among such a network.  For example, when you post “Today is a good day” on your social networking page (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or MySpace), your message is communicated to all N of your friends and appears on their sites.  Meanwhile, each of your friends has M friends, all of whom can visit your friends’ sites and see your message. 

If you have 20 friends and each of them have 20 friends in addition to you, then with one message post, you have communicated to 400 people.  Even more important, however, is that you may not know these 400 people by name but rather you know them by their relationships to your friends.  N:M communication makes viral marketing possible.

The second service is social collaboration.  According to Using MIS, social collaboration is collaboration activity done for the purpose of enhancing relationships (Kroenke, 2011).  Like business collaboration, social collaboration is characterized by feedback and iteration.  Relationships on social networking sites grow as you post something on your page and your friends respond, thus providing feedback.  You then duplicate by responding to their feedback.  Over time these conversations enhance the quality and strength of your relationships.  Or when it does not, the social collaboration (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or MySpace) has facilitated you to reduce your interests in someone or some group.


According to Wikipedia, a social networking group is an association of social networking members related to a particular topic, event, activity, or other collective interest.  In addition to members, social networking groups have resources such as photos, videos, documents, discussion threads, a wallboard, and features.  In some cases, groups have one or more events. 

According to Using MIS, three types of groups are possible:

·         Public: anyone can find the group by searching, and anyone can join.

·         Invitation: anyone can find the group by searching, but members must be invited to join.

·         Private: the group cannot by found by searching, and members must be invited to join (Kroenke, 2011).

People or businesses can use groups to strengthen relationships among their networking friends or customers.  Also, social networking groups make viral marketing possible. For example, companies and businesses could create a public group, an invitation group, or a private group to promote and market their products or services.  Social networking groups can be used for more than marketing.  Some social networking groups can help connect people with similar interests.  For example, groups of people who enjoy riding bicycle can use social networking groups to build connections with other bicycle riders where they can share their experience or go riding together.

According to Using MIS, social networking application is a computer program that interacts with and processes information in a social network (Kroenke, 2011).  For example, consider Survey Election 2012, a Facebook application created by CNN.  Users who install the application on their page can survey their friends on topics of interest.  Social networking applications run on servers provided by the application’s creator.  The application provider exposes a service that interacts with a service on the social networking vendor (for example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or MySpace).  Using MIS explains that when you run an application on a Facebook page, Facebook passes your application request to the application vendor’s server.  The application service calls back to Facebook (or other social networking vendor such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or MySpace) to create friend requests, find your existing friends, generate email, make requests, poke your friends, or take other actions (Kroenke, 2011).  During this process, the application vendor can collect data about you and your friends for individualized marketing or for data mining.

The New Google

Applications give the application vendor more control over the users’ experience than groups do.  An application can be developed to require passwords and user accounts.  A company, for example, could have different versions of one application—one for prospects, one for current clients, and one for past clients.  The key to success is to make the application compelling, engaging, and useful.

            Despite all the benefits of social networking, social networking might put many people in troubles with their workplace, coworkers, family and friends.  Companies are concerned with the potential damages employees’ comments and photos can pose on the companies’ public image because of their visibility and accessibility.  Today, unhappy and dissatisfied workers often use social networking sites to attack the companies’ reputation.  Many workers get fired for negative comments they post on their social networking sites about their workplace (job, managers, or coworkers), even when this is done on their own personal time.  For companies or businesses, social networking sites can have negative impact on worker productivity.  Employees may use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace and waste valuable time instead of working.

 Social networking can be extremely time consuming.  For this, interpersonal relationships and communications between people has become a growing issue as more and more people depend on social networking as the way to interact with other people.  People are spending more time each day checking their social networking sites instead of having face to face communication and interaction with their family and friends.  Lastly, social networking sites can bring about harassment, cyber-stalking, online scams, and identity theft because of their lack of privacy and anonymity.  People using social networking sites should be extremely careful with the information they provide or the comments they post on their pages.


Kroenke, David M. Using MIS. Third ed. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2010.