Social Networking: Cast Your Social Net on the Web
Joining an online social network is pretty simple. In general, you’ll go to the site, create a username, add information about yourself to your profile, and search for contacts. How you interact with other users is up to you. On some networks you can send private or public messages, on others you can proudly display your friends on your profile page, and on some social networks your contacts receive an update every time you change details of your profile (and vice versa). Just like in the real world, once you’re in a group of contacts, your number of connections can grow exponentially.
- Many social networking sites develop their own sets of lingo to describe the actions performed on the site. For instance, on Facebook, public messages can be written on someone's "wall," while on other sites, this feature might be called a "message board." Each space serves essentially the same purpose (for other users to post comments on your profile) but each site (for branding or other reasons) may call them something different. Many sites use the term "friending" to describe the act of adding another user to your list of contacts. However, it’s not uncommon to see terms such as “connecting," "linking," or “adding” used. If you are unsure of what a social networking word means, check the site’s “Frequently Asked Questions” section to find a definition.
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