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					                               Social Networking Websites   1




  SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES:
WHO USES THEM AND HOW BUSINESSES
     CAN BENEFIT FROM THEM




             Prepared for
           Therese Viscelli
              Professor
       Kennesaw State University




             Prepared by
           Lauren Sheppard
          Domenick Barone
            Taylor Gilstrap
          Jacqueline Bennett
              Kali Cook
            BISM 2100-01
                5 Star




          November 24, 2006
                                                          Social Networking Websites     2


                                   MEMORANDUM

TO:            Therese Viscelli

FROM:          Lauren Sheppard, Domenick Barone, Taylor Gilstrap, Jacqueline Bennett,

               Kali Cook

DATE:          November 24, 2006

Subject:       Social Networking Websites: Who Uses Them and How Businesses Can

               Benefit From Them



According to Tittel and Johnson (2001) the primary purpose for social networking is for

individuals to share information and resources via the computer, with efficiency. Since

2005, the demand for such a need has resulted in the developing of over 300 social

networking websites (Wikipedia, 2006). They serve both a personal and a business

purpose. Like any business venture, there are advantages and disadvantages to social

networking websites. For instance, MySpace.com is an advantage to teens and young

adults in that it is free, anyone can sign up, and they provide online storage for weblogs,

e-mail, photos, and music.     It is also a huge advantage to businesses whose target

advertising market is teens and young adults. Unfortunately, the disadvantage to profiling

on MySpace is the risk of attracting predators, who are looking to take advantage of

unsuspecting youngsters. Another example of a social networking website is Facebook.

Facebook is more restricted than MySpace. In order to become a user, one must be a

member of any one of the affiliated organizations, colleges, businesses, etc . . . Users

can include within their profile photos, hobbies, political views, and any other desired

information.    Often times, employers search this website for hiring candidates.
                                                         Social Networking Websites   3


Unfortunately, a possible drawback to users is being discrimated against by potential

employers because of one‘s appearences, likes or dislikes.
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                                                        CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 5
MYSPACE.......................................................................................................................... 5
  BACKGROUND INFORMATION ............................................................................... 5
  BUSINESS IN MYSPACE ............................................................................................ 6
  BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES ......................................................................... 6
  CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................... 7
FACEBOOK ....................................................................................................................... 7
  BACKGROUND INFORMATION ............................................................................... 8
  HOW IT WORKS ........................................................................................................... 8
  BUSINESS IN FACEBOOK .......................................................................................... 9
LINKED IN ........................................................................................................................ 9
  BACKGROUND INFORMATION ............................................................................... 9
  BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES ....................................................................... 10
CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................. 11
REFERENCES ................................................................................................................. 12
                                                           Social Networking Websites      5


INTRODUCTION
         Social Networking is defined as a social structure connecting relationships

between individuals or organizations. ―They are connected through various social

familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds. The term was first

coined in 1954 by J. A. Barnes (in: Class and Committees in a Norwegian Island Parish,

"Human Relations")‖ (Wikipedia, 2006). Because the demand for sharing information

and resources amongst individuals and organizations was so high, many social

networking websites were created. To date, there are over 80 notable social networking

websites, some of which have users in the millions. They all cater to targeted markets.

For this reason, many advertisers and businesses are benefiting from these websites.

Currently, MySpace and Facebook are two of the most popular and fastest growing social

networking websites with a user base in the millions.


MYSPACE
         My Space‘s journey began in 1999 when Tom Anderson, now president, and

Chris DeWolfe, now chief executive, met while working for Xdrive. Martin H. Bosworth

with ConsumerAffairs.com explained Xdrive as being, a start-up company that provided

free online storage space for photos, music, and files‖ (Bosworth, 2005). After being

tossed around by a few companies, and becoming increasingly popular, MySpace finally

ended up in the hands of Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corp, for $580 million (Taylor,

2006).


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
         MySpace started as ―a ‗place for friends‘ and has grown into the definitive social-

networking phenomenon‖ (Bosworth, 2005). MySpace is a free service for teens, as well
                                                           Social Networking Websites      6


as young adults, ―that uses the Internet for online communication through an interactive

network of photos, weblogs, user profiles, e-mail, web forums, and groups, as well as

other media formats‖ (Wikipedia, 2006). ―The company is fueled by advertisers eager to

reach the teens and young adults who are the most prized demographic in the advertising

universe‖ (Bosworth, 2005).

         MySpace now has 54 million registered users, with at least 180,000 new members

every day (FOX News, 2006). The site has only been active a little over two years, and

has two and a half times the amount of traffic that Google Inc. receives (FOX News,

2006). It also ―ranks 13th among all sites, two notches above Google Inc.‖ (FOX News,

2006).


BUSINESS IN MYSPACE
         Music is what really got MySpace popular (FOX News, 2006). Greg McIntosh, a

guitarist, says that MySpace is ―like being at a giant music conference 24 hours a day

every day‖ (FOX News, 2006). Using MySpace, McIntosh can ―update fans on new

gigs‖ and people can look them up after being to one of their performances (FOX News,

2006). ―MySpace has even started its own recording label, and it is now hoping to bring

that magic to filmmakers, and later to comedians and fashion designers‖ (DeWolfe, FOX

News).


BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES
         Although MySpace is a wonderful place for up and coming musicians and artists

to share their stuff, there are downfalls to the site. There have been reports of classmates

being threatened, grown men meeting up with teenage girls, and faking other‘s identities.

To deal with these issues, DeWolfe said ―the company has worked with WiredSafety to
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create guidelines and improve practices—dozens of employees now monitor profiles and

images 24 hours a day‖ (DeWolfe, FOX News).


CONCLUSION
       Again, MySpace is a place where anyone can join, chat with friends, share videos,

pictures, and music files to anyone they choose. MySpace is especially important to

rising music stars. They are able to advertise on MySpace for modest amounts of money

while getting noticed. Bosworth, with Consumer Affairs says MySpace is ―a media

model that sells and it‘s not likely to go away anytime soon‖ (2005).


FACEBOOK
       One of the most popular college social networks of all time, Facebook, originally

called thefacebook, was created by former-Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg ran Facebook part time as one of his on the side fun-time projects. With some

financial guidance from his good friend, Eduardo Saverin, a fellow Harvard student, the

invention became a hit. Within no time, Facebook and its main idea spread across the

campus and dorm rooms of Harvard University where it was amazingly accepted.

Shortly, the phenomenon reached out to Stanford and Yale where, along with Harvard, it

was widely endorsed. Zuckerberg and Moskovitz quit school and dropped out of Harvard

to follow their dreams to produce Facebook as a full time job. ―In August 2005,

thefacebook was officially called Facebook and the domain facebook.com was purchased

for a reported $200,000‖ (Yadav, 2006).
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION
       Unlike Myspace not everyone is able to use Facebook. This concept explains its

relatively lower user accounts when compared to different opponent social networking

sites. ―To create a user account with Facebook you must be a member of one of the

30,000+ recognized schools, colleges, universities, organizations, and companies within

the U.S, Canada, and other English-speaking nations‖ (Yadav, 2006). The process takes

having a valid email identification that is properly linked with your appropriate school.


HOW IT WORKS
       The first thing people will see when they look you up, is your profile. Facebook

has created your profile so you can choose to include ―a photo, your likes and dislikes,

your relationship status and sexual preference, political views, interests, and you also

have the opportunity to join groups of users who share the same interests you do‖ (Noll,

2006). Another benefit for facebook is that you have the ability to create a huge picture

album that other friends have the ability to look through. You also have the option to

pick whether or not to accept different users as friends. If you choose to accept someone

as your friend, their name and photo will be printed on your profile. To talk to your

different friends, Facebook has created a feature called The Wall. The Wall allows other

users to leave you comments and questions – ―and talk about everything from your

favorite TV show to the party the night before. It‘s a cool way for busy students to stay

connected to each other‖ (Noll, 2006).
                                                          Social Networking Websites         9


BUSINESS IN FACEBOOK
       In today‘s society employers have gained a reputation for doing different

background checks on potential employees through social networks like Facebook.

―Maybe you‘d rather not let a potential boss know that you are a member of the ―Beer

Bonging is for Champs‖ group‖ (Noll, 2006). All the user has to do is go to the ―My

Privacy‖ section and change their settings. Change your settings so only students can

view your information or the user could really limit his/her settings where only friends

can see the information on their profile.


LINKED IN
       Social networking has taken many forms in the world that we live in today. We

are no longer constrained by the one on one discussion, or group meetings ―on the

greens‖ of Americas golf courses. The limitations that we have now are almost endless,

and now incorporate what was only illusion in the recent past. Virtual networking is

quickly becoming a way that many business professionals communicate with potential

employers, look for new social networks in current jobs and even begin new networks

through complete strangers around the world.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
       There are many websites that exist for business professionals to network without

ever meeting one another. One such virtual network is www.linkedin.com.

Linkedin.com is host to millions of subscribers, and the numbers increase daily. The

users of Linkedin.com are business professionals looking to build a career, find potential

employees or network with others in similar industries to compare and contrast the ―best‖

way to do business. Linkedin.com is set up primarily for those already in the work force;
                                                            Social Networking Websites 10


however, college graduates and those on the verge of graduation are welcomed by this

enormous networking machine.

       Linkedin.com is a free service host, and has two major public investors to

generate revenue. Sequoia Capital is already a major sponsor in many companies that

millions use each and every day. From Atari to MP3.com, Sequoia Capital has helped

dozens of business maintain the finances that they need to succeed. Another major

investor for linkedin.com is Greylock Partners. Greylock Partners is a leading capital

investment firm, and also has a very diversified portfolio of companies that it has backed

financially.

       In addition to the two investors, linkedin.com also has over one dozen Angel

investors, including founders and cofounders of such companies as Paypal.com and

Half.com. Linkedin.com also offers a paid subscription for users that wish to utilize the

full capabilities that linkedin.com has to offer. Paid subscriptions to the site allow the

user update his or her homepage and add additional URL‘s for his or her company.

Additionally, a paid subscriber has the bonus feature to allow that mail messages have an

attached ‗mini profiles‘ of the sender, so you have some background information on them

or their company.


BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES
       Like, Myspace and Facebook, Linkedin.com has its respective advantages and

disadvantages. Pros for the site include its vast amount of users which accounts to over 8

million. You are able to find old colleagues and are able to network comfortably from

home. Linkedin.com is a free service where business professionals are able to find people

with similar goals and objectives. Despite these advantages, there are drawbacks to the
                                                             Social Networking Websites 11


site. There are so many users and it is often difficult to locate individuals. Also, since all

communication is done over the web, messages can sometimes be misinterpreted.


CONCLUSION
       Social networking has, literally, brought our world together. Through websites

such as MySpace and Facebook, people across the world can communicate with each

other with the touch of a button. While these respective websites offer many various

benefits, they do possess certain disadvantages to their users. Nevertheless, it is

indisputable that the various social networking websites have enhanced and improved our

world as we know it.
                                                       Social Networking Websites 12



REFERENCES
Barnes, J.A. (1954). Class and Committees in a Norwegian Island Parish. Human

       Relations, 7, 39-58. Retrieved November 1, 2006 from

       http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/classics1987/A1987H444400001.pdf

Bosworth, M. H. What‘s Inside MySpace.com? ―Murdoch‘s Latest Media Marvel May

       Be His Biggest Yet‖ ConsumerAffairs.com. April 8, 2005. Retrieved November 1,

       2006 from

       http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/03/myspace_inside.html

FOX News. Social Networking Site MySpace Is Latest Online Darling. February 13,

       2006. Retrieved November 1, 2006 from

       http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,184607,00.html.

Johnson, D. & Tittel, E. (2001). Introduction to Networks and Networking Concepts. In

       Guide to Networking Essentials, (Second Edition, p. 2). Boston: Course.htm

       Technology.

Linked In. Retrieved November 1, 2006, from http://www.linkedin.com/.


Noll, K. (2006, March 20). Facebook: The Pros and Cons. Northampton NOW.

       Retrieved November 8, 2006 from

       http://www.northampton.edu/news/topstories/Facebook


Sequoia Cap. Retrieved November 1, 2006 from http://www.sequoiacap.com/.


Taylor, R. (Superintendent). Living On the Edge. March 2006. Weekly Newsletter.

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. MySpace. Retrieved November 9, 2006 from

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MySpace
                                                     Social Networking Websites 13


Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Social Network. Retrieved November 1, 2006 from

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network

Yadav, S. (2006, August 25). Facebook- The Complete Biography. Mashable. Retrieved

      November 8, 2006 from http://mashable.com/2006/08/25/facebook-profile/

				
Jun Wang Jun Wang Dr
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