#18 - Explore social networking

You've heard of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. In this Thing, we will explore these two sites.

According to the Wikipedia article on MySpace, it is "currently the world's sixth most popular English-language website and the sixth most popular website in any language, and the third most popular website in the United States. ... The service has gradually gained more popularity than similar websites to achieve nearly 80 percent of visits to online social networking websites. It has become an increasingly influential part of contemporary popular culture, especially in English speaking countries."

Facebook is another popular social networking site. Launched in 2004, it was originally intended
as a network for students at Harvard College. The site quickly expanded to other Ivy League
schools, then other universities. In 2006, the site was opened up for anyone over 13 to join. According
to Alexa, a web site that monitors web traffic, Facebook increased in popularity from September 2006
to September 2007, moving from 60th to 7 (right behind MySpace).

Discovery Resources

What Is MySpace? from about.com
Create a Myspace Profile from about.com
YouTube tutorial - How to Set Up a MySpace Profile

About Facebook
How to Use Facebook video series from ExpertVillage.com

Discovery Exercises

1. Set up an account with MySpace or Facebook and post the link to your profile in your blog. If you are uncomfortable using your real name, use an alias.

2. Search for libraries, authors or people you know and add them to your friends list.

3. Write a blog post about your experience that addresses these questions. Why is it important that educators know how social networking works? What new insights did you gain about these popular sites? What did you like or dislike about each of the sites you explored? Which site had the most useful features? Can you see a library or school application for any of these sites?


You're more than halfway through! Still having fun?? I hope so! Leave us a comment and let us know how you're doing so far...

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