Anyone interested in exploring what is social networking will be seeking an understanding of the way that many individuals make new friends and keep connected with existing ones through the use of the Internet. The different types of websites that cater to this need may do so in a variety of ways. Simple Internet message boards or bookmarking websites may serve as a very basic way to form connections with others through the web. Other sites take a more direct approach by offering features that are specifically geared toward making and keeping friends. Directories that feature a list of members can be used to build a social contact list on the user's personal profile page. Some account holders will draw these contacts from friends that they knew previously who happen to have an account on the same website. It can also be possible to meet new contacts through online forums, chat rooms or various interest groups. One of the benefits of learning what is social networking may be the ease of coming in contact with other like minded individuals. It may be very difficult to meet friends in a safe environment in today's world. The Internet allows connections to be made from a distance and to build through regular communications. Of course, there can be dangers associate with this level of anonymity. Not all participants on such websites will be honest about their intentions. But with sufficient safe guards, many users find social networking sites to be both rewarding and beneficial ways to interact with others. And it is not uncommon for relationships that were begun online to blossom into genuine face to face friendships.
Many volunteer organizations have learned to take advantage of finding out what is social networking to enhance their organization's profile and to enlist new members. The fund raising efforts of many of these groups have been greatly improved through the use of profile pages on social networking sites. There are a number of websites that are geared toward specific interests. For example, if a philanthropic group finds that they need to raise money for an animal shelter, they can make this need known through their organization's profile page. Any fellow members who have affiliated themselves with an interest in animal care may be likely to respond. Many of these individuals might not have even heard of the organization had it not been for their participation on a friendship website. They may have even been informed of the need through fellow members. These sites can be extremely effective when it comes to getting the word out on a particular topic. And the responding individuals will usually have a preexisting concern for the cause at hand. Understanding what is social networking can mean gaining an appreciation for the work of other organizations or individuals. In addition to raising money and meeting goals, information about jobs in a particular field may be circulated through these sites. Thanks to the world wide web there are forums and platforms for communication among groups and individuals that never existed before. Websites that cater specifically to the socialization needs of participants are a big part of these opportunities.
If an Internet user is wondering what is social networking, they might be surprised to learn about the wide variety of websites of this nature that exist. Some sites can be very serious in nature and may be geared toward those with interests in politics or philanthropy. Other sites might center on an interest in sharing digital images over the web. These organizations might attract professional or amateur photographers who are interested in meeting fellow enthusiasts. Valuable exposure for a participant's work may be available through these websites as well. A good number of sites are more general in nature. The aim of these websites is to provide members with the opportunity to communicate with friends and may attract members of a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. Within these websites may be opportunities for contact and fellowship among fellow members who share the same interests. Professional contacts may be the focus of still other organizations and such websites may offer valuable services for occupational development. Online forums that zero in on a specific topic can be very popular. Understanding what is social networking will generally involve maintaining a grasp on the powerful community building possibilities that the Internet offers to users.
A complete answer to the question what is social networking would need to include the elements of a typical personal profile page. These elements can include the profile, the friend's list, and the comment area. The profile is generally created by the user and contains basic information and a photograph. A friends list will consist of others who have agreed to be included and named as supporters of another member. Friends are able to leave behind messages and comments in a designated area. The Bible encourages believers to trust God and not become afraid, even in stressful times. "But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled." (1 Peter 3:14)
Gaining information on what is social networking should include the impact that this activity has had in other areas of media. Social news websites are starting to gain popularity. These sites invite the participation of users through blogs, forums, and a new style of reporting called citizen journalism. Citizen journalism invites readers and website users to contribute their own coverage of news events. This interactive quality may be one of the main drawing cards associated with social networking.
What Is TwitterSo, what is twitter and why are so many people talking about it? Well, the answer is amazingly simple. In a world of complex technological advances where cell phones not only make phone calls, but also take pictures and play music, where families have multiple remotes to operate the multimedia equipment housed in the entertainment unit, and where even a car can have its own phone number, twitter asks its users to answer the friendly question: "What are you doing?" And members of this networking community answer the question in mini-posts known in the twittering vernacular as tweets. The system limits the answering mini-post to only 140 characters. Write more than that and the message will be truncated (a fancy way of saying that not all of it will appear on the screen). This limitation is part of the appeal, however, and has led to a new internet term microblogging. The number of internet blogs seems to grow almost exponentially as more people create their own personal websites either for personal or professional reasons. Microblogging isn't going to take the place of the longer, more indepth posts found on blogs. But the appeal of microblogging has people asking, what is twitter, and signing up as a user.
Becoming a member of the twittering community is an easy process. It's free to join in on the fun. Similar to joining other networking communities, the website asks potential members to create a user name and password. Members also provide an email address so that they can receive notifications about other members who are now following them and of direct messages sent only to them by other members. The member also creates a profile that tells a little bit about interests, hobbies, occupation, or whatever else the individual wishes to divulge. A photo can also be uploaded and added to the profile. Answering the question, what is twitter, requires an explanation of the "follow" model. Once a person has set up a twitter account, she can use the search feature to look for family members, friends, and colleagues who are also part of the community. Once she finds these people, the new member can choose to follow them. This means that the new member will receive the tweets posted by those in her circle. Other members will choose to follow her tweets. In this way, overlapping circles are created. Friendships can be formed by heeding this advice from King Solomon: "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24).
One way of explaining "what is twitter" to nonusers may be to give an example of how the circles work. Let's say a stay-at-home mom named Beth creates a profile. Beth knows her sister Jill has an account, so she conducts a search and then clicks on Jill's "follow" button. Now Beth will receive every tweet that Jill posts. Jill returns the favor by following Beth and now receives all of Beth's tweets. As a newbie, Beth wants to enlarge her circle beyond one person. So she looks at Jill's followers and reads their profiles. Beth chooses certain people to follow who have similar interests. Though Beth and Jill do not have identical circles, the sisters now have people that they both follow. Additionally, the two sisters will be followed by others; perhaps some users will follow both women, but not everyone will do so. When others ask Beth, "what is twitter," the young mom replies that it's a quick and easy way to communicate with other young moms without taking much time from tending the babies and the home.
Professionals are also finding the benefits of joining this microblog community. Through 140-character tweets, professionals are able to promote company websites, entrepreneurial blogs, and important events. Important executives, even publishing company CEOs, have joined the twitter network. How exciting is it for an aspiring novelist to follow and/or be followed by such an important individual in the publishing industry? When professionals are asked, what is twitter, many will answer that it's a marketing tool that increases a company's exposure. And another exciting aspect is that it's not just the important executives who can benefit from the marketing power of the network, but so can the sole proprietor. Perhaps the aspiring novelist is also a web designer. His blog contains articles on this topic in addition to a menu of the services he provides to other small businesses. Through this microblog network, the web designer can connect to potential customers as effectively as the CEO of the world's largest conglomerate.
Asking twittering friends and colleagues, what is twitter, and wondering why all the buzz about it, isn't unusual for those who haven't given the microblog network a try. But those who have become members enjoy the simplicity of keeping friends updated with a few short sentences. They've found the network to be a great place to meet new people, to follow trends, and to promote themselves in an unobtrusive way. Additionally, third party applications have been created that connect this microblog network to one of the more popular social networking sites. Individuals who are connected to both websites can send a tweet and have the same message appear on the other site, too. Desktop client applications help users monitor and update their circles. So, just what is twitter? It's a fun and easy way to connect and keep up with family members, friends, and colleagues.