Social Networking Basics

We have always used social networks unwittingly. You belong to a club and that’s a social network. It’s one of people with similar interests. Your friend in the club also joined another unrelated organization. Now two separate and distinct social networks have inadvertently become interconnected because of the relationship of two friends in the first club. In such friendships we often practice social networking, especially if you discuss the two organizations, unconsciously.

For spreading news among family members lots of people call one relation to tell them to call another relation with information. Now the telephone has become the tool of the familial social network I describe. Wireless phone services have been using the concept for some time. They offer cell phone owners unlimited calls to a limited number of other cell phone users. That’s a social network using cell phones. It is seamlessly marketed by the wireless providers because they focus on humans.

Two things keep recurring in the concept of social networking and Ced Reynolds said it best in one of his blogs – “People are the essence of social networking.” If people are the first then the tools they use are the second. Those tools are phones and the Internet which means email, sites like Facebook, blogs, video and photo sharing, and micro-blogging. By merely mentioning the “entrepreneurial pastor” Reynolds and linking with his BlogTalkRadio post I’ve utilized a form of social networking. The ways we use social networks are often elusive until you consider their utility and where people fit. To get an idea of how overwhelming that can appear examine the social network of the earliest Flickr Photo users.

Broadcast Newsroom Computing is trying to take social networking to its basic components in an attempt to understand. How best do we utilize these relationships we have always had with new and changing utilities? I’ve read a number of consultants’ explanations and academic papers on social networking in preparation for these posts. Everyone has a take on it and the jury is deliberating. I used the Reverend Reynolds words because he represents, perhaps, the most basic and longest standing social network in society – the church.

Tomorrow BNC looks at major tools of social networking and some uses.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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