April 6, 2012 Post a Comment
photo by GOIABA (Goiabarea)
We all use it every day, but how has the well-known social network evolved and how it became so successful? Yes, we are talking about Facebook of course, but not as yet another guide on how to use this or that… Facebook as the social engine, as an initiatives promoter with all the present do and don’t.Facebook isn’t just an award-winning and very much used social network. The social network or social networking is primarily a mental approach. In January 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, who was still an anonymous Harvard student, had to prepare an History of Roman Art examination within 24 hours, of which he knew nothing. Instead of going to the library, Zuckerberg created a website where he posted lot of pictures of the course, asking other students to comment on them. In short time the site was filled with so much original remarks that Zuckerberg did very well in the exam, cutting a dashing figure. The social network exploded with Facebook is the natural continuation of the Tim Berners-Lee idea, when was born in 1992 the www.
But what is a Social Network?A social network indicates the connection between groups of people united by any kind of bond that, making relationships, constitute a community. Today the term is most commonly used to indicate the tool to create and maintain virtual networks and online communities, also known as Social Network Sites (SNS). The notion that, through individual computers linked electronically could be formed an extensive social interactions network, was already hypothesized by the end of the Seventies. With the birth of the World Wide Web in 1992 many initiatives were developed, such as the first online community sites (Geocities in 1994 and Tripod in 1995) to gather people interested in common subjects and allow them to interact using chat or personal homepage where publishing contents created by the users, a sort of forerunner of today’s blog. Other communities focused on links between ex schoolmates, like Classmates in 1995 and Facebook in 2004, born in the Harvard University and developed in fast-growing becoming the most successful social network in the world. Then were born also some social network models with the aim of sharing opinions between consumers, such as Epinions in 1999, Friendster in 2002 (now used mainly in Asia), MySpace in 2003 and Twitter born in 2006, but affirmed between 2008 and 2009, which has become the third most visited social networking site after Facebook and MySpace.
“Now Myspace is dead to me and Twitter seems to have new life, indeed a bright future, notwithstanding the wrong use done by us”.Since Fiorello (an italian showman) used it on his show, Twitter seems exploded. It was actually very much alive well before, but as always the Italian doesn’t know and doesn’t consider the problem (the Italian non-user of new media). Returning to the world’s most popular social network, its history can be enclosed in a short period, that sounds like this: it was the year 2004 and a young boy, not unbeknown to him, would changed the world forever. Founded in February 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, at that time a nineteen student at the Harvard University, the name Facebook refers to the yearbooks with the pictures of every single member published at the beginning of the academic years in some colleges and distributed to faculties students and staff as a means to know the people on campus. Facebook had the initial aim to maintain contact between students from universities and high schools around the world, but today has become a social network that spans across all the web users. In 2010, the number of active users has reached and exceeded 500 million worldwide and anyone who is more than 13 years can join it. In 2012 data predict that Facebook will reach one billion users. Let’s look at what can be done.
On Facebook, you can:Communicate with your personal contacts (friends) exchanging private or public messages (on the wall) or accessing to the chat, sending and receiving messages in real time. The vision of the profile detailed data is restricted to your own network users (confirmed friends).
- Load contents: you can post or upload pictures, videos, links on your profile.
- The mini-feed shows all the actions in a public timeline (from 2011), where each one is monitored and transmitted to all the contacts in the personal friends list.
- Connecting with the phone: Facebook includes some services that are available on your mobile device, such as the ability to upload contents, receive and reply to messages, send and receive “poke” and write on the users wall using SMS and the opportunity to browse on the network.
- Joining in groups: groups are the Facebook inner communities where all the users that feel represented by the group can join in it. Inside there’s a wall or discussion forum where you can upload contents.
- Playing: there are many applications that have enabled the rapid spread of simple interactive online games, like Pet Society (classified as the most popular Facebook application in April 2009), Farmville (which reached 11 million daily active users) and Mafia Wars, arrived in June 2009 to 5 million users.
- THEY ARE CHEAP: as time goes by, media improve and the services’ prices decrease. In addition, schools, universities and public libraries offer free access.
- INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION IN REAL TIME: it’s a fast method that allows you to communicate in real time anywhere in the world. Information is exchanged instantly and you can always be updated on the facts.
- GLOBAL COMMUNICATION & INFORMATION: with the new communication media you can make contact with all the people around the world, using them directly at home.
- THEY MAINTAIN & INCREASE INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS: they are a great way to renew lost contacts, but also to make new friends and expand our personal network.
- INTERNET ENHANCHED SELF-DISCLOSURE HYPOTHESY: this hypothesis foresees that the Internet positive effects on social connections and subjective well-being in adolescence are explained by the fact that online communication promotes “self-openness” creating deeper social ties that become well-being. “Self-openness” concerns the explicit expression of feelings, fears and vulnerabilities.
- LOSS OF THE REAL WORLD CONTACT: we have completely lost the direct relationship (vis-à-vis), looking in the eyes while we are talking to somebody revealing our emotions, and this increases the possibility of lying and keep a more detached and cold relation.
- CREATION OF A NEW IDENTITY: the physical detachment has led people to want and be able to build a new ideal identity that doesn’t reflect what they really are.
- INTERNET CONCEALS MANY DANGERS AND CREATES ADDICTION: this dependence, called “Social Networking Addiction”, is very widespread in Italy and causes many problems. The social networking addiction causes headache, tachycardia and sweating. This dependence concerns especially young people who, lacking in certainties and in a definite identity, spend most of their time on the web, losing all contact with reality and even the will to live relations in a more concrete and “human” way.
- LOSS OF PRIVACY: on these sites you can share all of your life, from a simple photo, to the private thoughts, read indiscriminately by anyone who has the access. It’s obviously very subjective choosing what to publish and to whom giving the chance to find and comment. Besides the privacy risk, there’s also the danger of the “identity theft”, because it’s easy to create fictitious identities, appropriating the name of another user, and even his identity, thanks to the personal data published on the site.
Social network, for example, means that you can stay at home, in your room, to communicate outwardly with everyone else, but in reality, Internet is not something external to you. When you turn off Internet, you turn off yourself too, or at least a part of yourself. Maybe an ideal projection of yourself. All this involves a strong physical and psychological addiction, creating a parallel reality.(Daniel Luttazzi)Here’s the true genius, the so strong marketing and potential of a social network. Facebook will soon go down in history, which is already written, as the largest stock market price: $ 100 billion (expected by analysts in May). This is because Internet user has become increasingly multi-channel, expressing himself and sharing experiences on and off the Web, forcing companies to rethink their marketing strategies. Having a presence on social networks has become a requirement for companies, 75% of Italians between 18 and 35 uses social media daily and every day more than a million and a half of contents are shared on Facebook. The breaking point with the recent past of the web is that today’s users aren’t just contents consumers, but opinion leaders and authors able to influence the perception of the brand and the purchase decisions of others. Thanks to easier interfaces and services and a greater chance of interaction between people, users can comment, exchange ideas, experiences and describe products, comparing them publicly in the social networks. The secret and the novelty of this new method of communication consist in the pervasiveness of the message on the web, immediately visible to a wide and targeted public, based on the theory of the “long tail” where the discussions on a topic are collected and fed by the interested parties (in marketing called “target”). The social network’s development has inevitably changed the social interactions, with both positive and negative consequences. The negative one is about Privacy and data management, the positive is that Facebook, and more generally Internet, are excellent tools for brain health of older people, especially to stimulate memory. The study conducted by the Italian Association of Psychogeriatric (AIP) says that the constant use of the social network allows people over 65 to get the benefits with regard to memory. The results have revealed that older people using Facebook for an hour a day had a better memory than others, improving the mood too. It is once again evolving. After the transformation with Timeline in a logbook (loved, but also much hated by users), the newest revolution is the partnership with the British company Moo.com. The Timeline team, working closely with the Moo team, has translated the concept of “Cover Photo”, to create a business card format, that reflects its layout and iconography. Each package contains all the personal “cover photos” and each card shows your name, your company or university, the place where you live, your phone number, your Facebook profile URL and the email address. On the back of the ticket you can add a personal message to describe yourself or some favorite quotes. Facebook is expanding in real life like never before and here’s the last focal point of the Facebook success. Creating profiles with real names and the vehicle to looking for people who we love or relatives to stay in touch with them even after tens of years. Friends, old friends, acquaintances, showbiz personalities are all connected in a place where reality joins the virtual in an unstoppable way. It is based on some basic human logics: humans are a communicative mammal, needs to communicate. Zuckerberg has given to the world, first and in the better way, the greatest power of interaction.
“The web is in a very important turning point. Until short time ago, the norm on the web was that the majority of things weren’t social and most people didn’t use its real identity. We are building a new web based on the “social”. Zuckerberg