Social Networking

Resources provided by the Horizon Report 2007

Social Networking Synopsis Video

Casey C.
  • Alicia S, SAS
  • Salma, ISD
  • Kristy, WW
  • Shamistha, PLC
  • Andrew, WW

Meet the Collaborators!

Topic Introduction and Background

So·cial [soh-shuhexternal image thinsp.pngl] - Seeking or Enjoying the companionship of others.
Net·work·ing [net-wur-king] - a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.

"Increasingly, this is the reason students log on." [1] People crave connection. "The heart of social networking is fostering the kinds of deep connections that occur when common pursuits are shared and discussed." [2] Social networking offers a way for people to connect from their desktop, cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), laptop, or any other electronic device to people all over the world. Social networking websites have taken society by storm and created quite a stir: a good stir, a negative stir, and a questioning stir. The questions that have been frequently asked are "How can we incorporate this into education?" and "What kind of impact is this going to have on business? politics? arts?" Social networking sites have grasped the attention of people on a global scale. The important things currently are the implementing of internet safety, the distribution of awareness, the differentiation between the benefits and drawbacks, and the harnessing of its potential in all areas of life.
The utilization of social networking is urgent right now because most major social networking sites are not being developed by aged college professors. Creators of YouTube (Chad Hurley, 29, Steve Chen, 27), MySpace (Tom Anderson, 30), LiveJournal (Brad Fitzpatrick, 25) and Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg, 23) are all young people that possessed the desire to create something on the internet and have succeeded--greatly. All made and are making major impacts on the internet and becoming very wealthy from their ideas. This mindset is vital to the upcoming generation. Educators should be encouraging students to involve themselves with the internet and invent new ideas.

The collaborators of the Horizon Report liken teenagers' "hanging out" online to that of earlier generations at fast food restaurants or the mall. The difference now is the location. While very few places have instituted social networking into the classroom or the workplace, some people are finally approaching these websites with an open mind toward the potential they hold in the future for engaging and encouraging people to work.

external image caution.gifSocial networking websites, along with their benefits, have their drawbacks. Many teenagers, young children, and even some adults do no take privacy issues into account. Prohibiting anyone from logging on at home is no deterrrent: safety measures must be taught, applied, and practiced. Whether school administrators want to confront the safety issue or not, websites do exist that dodge school filters and allow instant access to any website. Kids can log on at a friend's home or any computer with internet access. Adults should encourage them to be smart online, not discourage them from participating altogether. Social networking websites are similar to cars: convenient, full of potential, and immediate; yet, cars are also very dangerous. Is it the car that's dangerous? In most cases, it is the driver. Social networking is the same. When used in a proficient manner, it can be a great tool for everyone, but it is important to "drive" carefully, and watch out for potential harm.

Also, many teenagers or even pre-teens are uploading things to the internet that may embarrass them (or their friends) in future years (See extra multimedia page and watch "Think before you post" as well). This comic depicts a funny, but very plausible, situation.

external image 925371[3]
external image 602421[4]

Current News

Many social networking tools are merging together. Instead of only video sites, like YouTube, websites are incorporating all of the tools of social networking into one website. MySpace has recently added videos, slideshows, comedy features, book reviews, and of course--its ever-present music reviews. This mashup of social networking's forms draws people to the website repeatedly.

Mobile phone companies are battling to gain service to social networking sites for their business. Recently, VodaFone joined Helio and Cingular in offering MySpace service to its users.

Mashable! Social networking blog

Social Software blog

    Overview of Areas of Impact

    Impact on Education

    Team Members: Salma, Alicia, Sofie

    "It is the intense interest shown by students that is bringing social networking into academia. Social networking is already second nature to many studetns' our challenge is to apply it to education. Social networking sites not only attract people but also hold their attention, impel them to contribute, and bring thtem back time and again--all desirable qualities for educational materials."

    "Social networking" automatically connotes MySpace and Facebook to most adults, teachers, and administrators. Therefore, it is usually blocked in most schools. The question being raised is "distraction or delight?" in the classroom. It is important to focus on the tools social networking sites to connect people, not the actual sites. "The goal for all of us in higher education is to identify where a good opportunity exists and to use that opportunity to make something happen." [5]
    Learning can't be fun

    As in every other new development, drawbacks and skeptics exist. People naturally resist change, but the people who conquer their natural dispositions and embrace change are the ones who are succeeding in teaching, learning, creating, inventing, and producing. Teachers disagree on the usage of social networking sites in school or in communications with their students.

    My teacher and I have discussed redefining social networking for educational purposes as "student networking." When students network in a fun, exciting way, it motivates them to become involved with their work.

    One teacher, Darren Kuropatwa, used flickr for a math assignment. This is a great example of how to incorporate social networking, subtly, into the classroom and create an innovative project for the students.

    Students can also use Imagination Cubed, an online white board, to draw together and print out the finished product.

    Slideshare is a great website for sharing presentations. People post how-to presentations, educational presentations, and fun presentations. It is set up similarly to a social networking website (picture a YouTube for Powerpoint). Slideshare is a great website to share, discuss, and learn new ideas.

    Also dealing with government, Congress considered DOPA (deleting online predators act) which makes it illegal to access not only social networking websites in school but also blogging, Skype, instant messaging, and wikis. Are we deleting online predators or online participation? Eliminating use at school will not deter predators, nor will it deter students from logging on elsewhere.

    "...the gulf between school and network looks to get even wider. Or does it? While the media fervor over Facebook, MySpace and the like has concentrated on the disruptions they often cause in the learning environment, there's a movement in education that looks to leverage the potential of social networking for educational purposes. On the grassroots level, many teachers are setting up MySpace profiles and interacting with their students through the site, answering homework questions, checking up on students who miss school and updating the class on assignments." [6]

    "Students are online sharing some great things: poetry, original artwork, blogs, stories, journals, and more. Some of them are sharing things that aren’t so great, such as personal information, and are toying around with the semi-anonymity of the Internet and not making the best judgments about social conduct online." [7]


    The Future of Social Networking

    Author - Alicia S, Shanghai(SAS) 2007
    Contributors - Interviews
    Ksenia G, Shanghai(SAS) 2007
    Kristina T, Shanghai(SAS) 2007

    nevertooyoung.jpgPeople think, "Oh, a kid in elementary having a MySpace? That's ridiculous!" Once again, it is not the website. It is the tools that the website uses that can be utilized in a young child's environment. Children should be comfortable with new technology as soon as possible. Social Networking is not only about communicating with other people, it can also be used for educational purposes.

    Through social networking, students can share their creative expressions that may be stifled in school. Sites such as imbee cater to a specifically younger audience and allows parental controls and a secure webpage, yet kids can still blog, share pictures, listen to music, and message other friends. It would be a great school asset where kids could learn, participate, and encourage each other.

    Middle School/High School

    external image _73-Other-gifted-blogs.jpgOne of the best uses of social networking in middle school or high school is to enhance collaboration. For the flat classroom project and this project, my partners and I have connected through social networking websites as well as other softwares. It gives the projects much more of a personal connection and encourages us to work together. We remain friends with people who may live in different parts of the world. Despite all the disadvantages of social networking, advantages of social networking are obvious. Social networking allows old friends to keep in touch, while not only is it social networking but it is student networking. Students from different places can keep in contact with each other from different parts of the world and talk about their studies.

    sw.jpg Youtube contains excellent educational potential. With the introduction of Teachertube, whose motto is "Teach the World", cyberworld sees the educational aspects of connecting over video sites. "Studenttube" could be next, all with separate categories for the educational and the fun, all appropriate for other students to view. It could be something schools would not have to filter. Subjects that are sometimes very boring to students, such as math which is mainly memorization, could be taught effectively through exciting videos. This is not only for middle school and high school, YouTube could be used productively in college and elementary education as well. Yet, most schools block YouTube.


    As the Horizon report states, many colleges have their own social networking websites. This is a great way for students to become familiar with other students going to a specific college, find a roommate, create a circle of people before even attending college, and learn more about the college one will be attending. The University of Pennsylvania and Mercer University are two of many colleges that embrace the idea of creating an online social network exclusively for the students in the university.
    external image midelgg.gif
    College is very similar to high school in that it can use some of the very same tools for educational purposes. "Elgg [an educational social networking website] has already been implemented at a number of colleges, including Brighton University in England, the Graz Technical Institue in Austria and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States." [8]

    Also, "social networking services like RateMyProfessors--which allows young people to find out about professors from a student's perspective before they take a class--attract students by giving them a place to share their opinions and see what others have to say." [9]

    One of the biggest social networking websites around the United States for colleges is Facebook. Facebook lets you join networks and talk to friends in your network as well as other people in different networks. Many people today are starting to get and use Facebook because it allows them to socialize with others.

    Impact on Employment; Impact on Politics and Government

    Team Members: Andrew G, Kristina


    external image bigstockphoto_Business_People_Blog.jpg Businesses are trying their hardest to develop marketing and advertising that can be broadcast all over the internet. With sites like YouTube, businesses (or even people who just enjoy the commercial) are using video hosting sites to embed the commercial on the internet. MySpace and other social networking sites are popular destinations and goals for many businesses who want to reach a large audience. After all, MySpace does boast approximately 65 million users in America. That's a large hunk of the general population! Advertising moves with the flow of people, and people are flowing online.

    Others have entire pages dedicated to their business, often declaring that it has increased their clientele and business. Some websites are devoted to marketing via social networking.

    According to, one billion people are online. One billion. Trendwatching also states,
    • "Whatever web-based business you’re planning to set up, you now have a potential audience. And this audience can be reached with virtually no marketing budget to speak of, as good ideas will spread instantly, thanks to the blogosphere"

    • "This huge online audience actually shops online. In the US, consumers spent more than USD 200 billion online last year (including travel), while Europeans shelled out EUR 100 billion on online goodies and services. Online sales in Asia are in the tens of billions USD, too. (Sources: Forrester, and eMarketer.)"

    • "An entire infrastructure of personal profiles and blogs is now in place (for example, MySpace boasts about 150 million profiles, Facebook counts 18 million registered users, while UK based Bebo has over 8 million users), potentially giving consumers a direct, private outlet to itemize and tag their intentions. And giving them readily accessible lists of friends to group with"

    • "Combined, these sites now boast hundreds of thousands of registered members, making money from ads and/or commissions from suppliers who are actually happy to have the mobs choose their store over a competitor's."

    • [10]

    So obviously, social networking and web 2.0 as a whole are impacting the world, especially in employment. If a business wants to survive, it must embrace this new technology and distribute its marketing via internet.


    American politicians are permeating the internet in hopes of influencing a massive younger generation. Woexternal image us_politics.pngrldwide leaders may soon follow suit. Many candidates use social networking to increase their range of influence. They garner much support online. Some candidates have entire social networking sites for their enthusiasts.

    Do you really think it is the actual candidate blogging, updating, and designing his or her page? Probably not. It is most likely a young "computer whiz" who sets them up. Barack Obama has a MySpace and his own social networking website specifically for his fans. Hilliary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, John Edwards, and many unknown politicians and senators are embracing social networking as a means of reaching a younger audience.

    MySpace, specifically, has begun a campaign to impact the campaign. TechCrunch states, "MySpace has more registered members than Mexico has people. If it was a country it would be the 11th largest in the world. So while it may be a major marketing event for MySpace to say it’s holding a presidential primary next January, you can be sure the candidates will take it seriously."


    From an American standpoint
    Most government officials are not giving social networking, or any other educational tool, a fair chance. Laws that have been considered, such as DOPA (deleting online predators act) could actually hurt students in America more so than help them. DOPA proposes banning not only social networking websites, but also all video, blogging, wikiing, and communication sites. We use these websites or programs nearly every day! Online safety education is more important than prohibition because kids are going to log on at home regardless. Forbidding students at school will not deter anyone. Perhaps the lawmakers have good intentions, but it is certainly not the best thing for (mostly American) students. The most crucial thing for protecting students is to teach them how to use common sense and good judgment online. Banning all use of social networking websites is really just avoiding the issue. Cyberspace safety should be taught similarly to real world safety: "Don't talk to strangers!"

    Let's travel back a few years to the "space race". Russia was the first country to launch a satellite into space after America had gotten complacent about its intelligence. Looking back, the government began to see all the deficiencies in education and attempt to explain why we had not been the first to explore space. Our hindsight was 20/20. I believe our current deficiencies in education will show up in future years when foreign contemporaries are jogging ahead of in technological savviness. Some teachers do see the power of tools (like social networking) and encourage us to use them, invent new ideas about them, research ways they could be used in certain areas, and prepare for their impact on our future.

    Also, OpenCongress is a website that uses social software to blog and keep citizens informed about each bill that is passed. In the words of the website, "OpenCongress brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give you the real story behind each bill." This truly gives the people of a country the ability to understand and participate in governmental activities.

    Impact on Arts, Entertainment and Leisure

    Team Members: Kristy, Shamistha


    Social networking websites enable anyone to possess a global audience. It also gives people a creative outlet that may be stifled in other settings. Self-expression via blogging (user created content), video, journaling, writing, analyzing, updating, and photographing have found a home on the internet. Especially for the amateur artists (musicians, photographers, poets, producers, filmmakers), social networking has opened the door wide open for them to receive recognition and a larger fan base.

    Even those aspiring to write comic strips can have their start on the internet. Toondo allows anyone to make a comic strip to enhance their blog or website.

    Also, architects and interior designers can use gliffy to set floor plans and ideas. On gliffy, a user can share with other users and contribute to the interior design of the house.

    external image FilmRoll.jpg

    Entertainment and Leisure

    Almost all movie previews you see on television have a MySpace link, for example, the new movie "In the Land of Women". Social networking sites are new, popular forms of advertisement for movies and television. Similar to the advertising and marketing aspect of employment, movies target the flow of people. The flow is obviously toward social networking websites, and the more promotion and interest that moviemakers can arouse in internet users, the more people who are likely to go see the video. There are social networking websites specifically for those who enjoy and discuss movies.

    Many bands and singers are making purevolume and MySpace profiles to introduce their music to a very large audience. Using social networking sites as a way to launch their music is simple and efficient. MySpace even began as a place for bands to target a music-loving audience. Fans love to keep up with their favorite bands' blogs, new music, pictures, updates, tour dates, and other aspects.

    external image mobile-phones-go-myspace-with-helio-20060717040952872.jpg
    Mobile phones
    Mobile phones and social networking have collided because people want to take their friends with them everywhere. With products such as Helio and Facebook mobile, people are able to stay connected anywhere that mobile phone service is available.

    People love telling everyone else what they're doing. Facebook and Twitter, as well as many other websites, allow users to updatestatus.JPG their status. With the introduction of twittervision, a mashup between social networking, updating, and Google Maps, any internet user can watch updates occur as they happen from all over the world. Some in Australia may be eating lunch when someone in New York City may be trying to sleep.

    Impact on Science and the Environment; Impact on Health

    Team Members: Sasha, Katrina


    In past years, one scientist in one country with one goal would devote his life to study and develop a rough or polished hypothesis of his lifetime of work. Then, some years later, another scientist would take his developments, merge them with new technology, and create his own hypothesis. Scientists build upon other scientists work in order to develop the most efficient method.

    Yet, what would happen if scientists across the globe unified with a common goal? How could this come about? With social networking technology, scientists could utilize the tools and solve major scientific enigmas. Perhaps in the very near future, scientists could create an AIDS or HIV vaccine and find a cure for cancer. Using the tools of the internet, especially in the form of networking, hols the power to create a massive connection of brains, intellects, minds, and people united by one goal to do what is now deemed impossible.

    One example of this connection was the Human Genome project, one of the first projects of its kind. This was a major move in science and most likely to forerunner to many more that will come about in an advanced, improved fashion.


    Global warming is the source of much concern and worry across the world. Many people are crying out for less usage of paper. If we move things toward an electronic basis, perhaps we could save the environment in a number of ways.

    With scientists networking together, they could create an effective, efficient, productive, and inexpensive fuel source. Scientists are studying many different alternative fuel sources currently, but none are perfect for our environment, our economy, or our wallet. The environment could be a better place if we weren't consuming so much fuel, yet we need to consume this fuel in order to travel and get from one place to another.

    Many environmentalist groups garner support by creating groups and profiles on social networking websites. Many environment sites exist on MySpace that generate support through the green-devoted across the world.



    Many times, lack of communication between people can cause someone to feel lonely, confused, and hopless. The internet, especially in social networking websites, can offer people a way to accept their illness, meet others going through the same treatments and pain, encourage others, keep in touch with loved ones, and conquer their loneliness. Support groups are already emerging for those battling the same disease or illness as well as their loved ones. Today, more and more social networks are turning toward health care. Many social networking websites, as well as technology and software programs, are making it easier for people to find health information online.

    However, due to this support, people often get addicted to social networks and, in turn, this addiction can lead to sickness or discomfort. People must not grow dependent on this communication, but they must absorb the benefits of the connection. This might could avert the focus from their disease to their friendship.

    Another health issue of social networking that brought it into public eye is the sexual dangers. Predators lurk people who disclose too much personal information. This negative aspect has overshadowed all of the good aspects of social networking to most people who are unfamiliar with it. Recently, one school in our area sent a letter home to all parents telling them to strongly discourage their children having a MySpace. They did not say anything positive about it, and a friend of my parents sent it to mine, sending them into a wave of concern and curiosity. Anyone using social networking should be made aware of the dangers and taught the importance of using common sense in disclosing information.

    Katrina H.

    Social Networking Websites

    • MySpace
      • for musicians, teenagers; for anyone
    • Facebook
      • for students (mostly college or high school), for coworkers
    • Elgg
      • for students; college, high school, middle school, elementary; for teachers
    • Purevolume
      • for musicians and fans
    • YouTube
      • for anyone
    • Flickr
      • for photographers
    • Piczo
      • for anyone, mostly teenagers
    • LiveJournal
      • for anyone
    • Xanga
      • for anyone
    • Bebo
      • for anyone; musicians, teenagers, adults
    • Beebo
      • for businesses
    • Twitter
      • for anyone
    • Campusbug
      • for students, any age
    • Rankaroo
      • for anyone
    • LinkedIn
      • for professionals
    • twittervision
      • for anyone; mashup of Google Maps and Twitter
    • Famster
      • for the family; helps parents monitor their children's social networking activity
    • Flip
      • for teenagers, young adults mostly
    • Fanpop
      • for fans of everything; to share interests
    • hi5
      • for anyone
    • CafeMom
      • for mothers
    • Friendster
      • for anyone
    • List
      • a list of all available social networking websites from Wikipedia
    • Marqui
      • for businesses

    Extra Multimedia


    Resource Documentation


    [1] Woolsey, Kristina. "Social Networking." The Horizon Report 2007 ed.12-13. <>.

    [2] Woolsey, Kristina. "Social Networking." The Horizon Report 2007 ed.12-13. <>.

    [3] Scott, Jerry and Jim Borgman. "Zits." Comic Strip. <>.

    [4] Scott, Jerry and Jim Borgman. "Zits." Comic Strip. <>.

    [5] Berg, Joanne. "Social Networking Technologies: A "Poke" for Campus Services." Educause Review 42. March/April 2007 32-44. <>.

    [6] Swerlick, Andrew. "The Virtual Campus". The Emory Wheel. 02 May 2007 <>.

    [7] O'Neal, Chris. "Social Networks". Edutopia. 04 May 2007 <>.

    [8] Swerlick, Andrew. "The Virtual Campus". The Emory Wheel. 02 May 2007 <>.

    [9] Woolsey, Kristina. "Social Networking." The Horizon Report 2007 ed.12-13. <>.

    [10] "CROWD CLOUT". trendwatching. 27 April 2007 <>.

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      Edited by Casey C.
      Standard: American English