Research Report for Social Networking Site

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					Social Networking: Usage and Issues




            The Socialites




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Social Networking: Usage and Issues




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                     Social Networking: Usage and Issues




                                   Prepared for
                               Raymundo Marquez
              Professor, Business Information Systems Management
                           Kennesaw State University




                                 Prepared by
Maya Caffey, Wendy Grimes, Kimberly Leslie, Chucks Okonkwo, and Michael Ibibapo
                                   Students
                           Kennesaw State University




                                 July 14, 2011




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                                 Letter of Authorization

                                  Raymundo Marquez
                                Kennesaw State University
                                   1000 Chastain Road
                                  Kennesaw, GA 30144
                                     April, 22 2007

The Socialites
Kennesaw State University
Coles College of Business
BB 150

Dear Students,

The purpose of this assignment is to expose students to emerging technologies and to
create an opportunity for students to utilize their professional written business
communication skills. This formal report will be coordinated with a presentation and an
interactive web page to provide a bundled resource on this semester‟s project.

You are being asked to perform a detailed analysis of a product/concept in the area of
Internet Social Networking web sites. Think of how you would answer the question:
“Why id Google spend over $1 billion for You Tube?”

Your report should include the following Level One Headings:
    Introduction to Social Networking web sites
    Describe three different social networking web sites
    Describe three areas of business where social networking web sites are being used
       or could be used
    Describe any known issues surrounding these sites and how they are being
       addressed
    A conclusion summarizing the main points of the paper. Suggestions for future
       research and investigation

Use both commercial and academic resources. Where appropriate, you should
incorporate charts, graphs, or other visual aids to illustrate the facts you present both in
your report. This report will be submitted to turnitin.com. Your report must be submitted
through WEBCT. (Each student must submit the same final copy).

Sincerely,

Raymundo Marquez




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                                 Letter of Acceptance

                                   The Socialites
                              Kennesaw State University
                                 1000 Chastain Road
                                Kennesaw, GA 30144
                                  October 31, 2006


Raymundo Marquez
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144


Dear Professor Marquez:

The Socialites is writing to confirm receipt of the given formal report on social
networking. We are pleased to inform you that we accept this assignment and thank you
for the opportunity.

Additionally, The Socialites understands and accepts the conditions of the assignment.
We are scheduled to move forward with work on April 7, 2007. The Socialites will have
the work completed by April 27, 2007.

The Socialites are excited to move forward with the project. Thank you for your
confidence and support in The Socialites.

Sincerely,

Maya Caffey

Formal Report Coordinator, The Socialites




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                                  Letter of Transmittal

                                    The Socialites
                               Kennesaw State University
                                  1000 Chastain Road
                                 Kennesaw, GA 30144
                                   October 31, 2006


Raymundo Marquez
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Dear Professor Marquez,

Here is the complete report concerning social networking, its usage and issues. This
report was completed through the teamwork of five students. Each team member was
assigned a specific topic to research and report upon.

Upon completing our research, we feel confident that you will be informed on sites that
can be reached, their purposes as well as potential issues and resolution. Although, there
are valuable business reasons to use these sites as well as social networking becoming
increasingly popular there are potential risk regarding security. This report states the
issues and potential resolutions.

We would like to thank you for intrusting this report to The Socialites. We feel look
forward to assisting you further should you need additional information. If you have any
questions, feel free to discuss them with us at your convenience and we will be happy to
assist you.

Sincerely,

Maya Caffey

Maya Caffey, Formal Report Coordinator for The Socialites




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                             Operating Agreement

   Mission Statement: The Socialites exist to provide quality student research, report
    analysis, web design, and formal presentations of our findings for students and
    professors alike of the Kennesaw State University community.
   Purpose: The purpose of this formal report is to explore social networking and to
    state areas of business usage, its issues, and how they are being addressed.
   Decision Making: Decisions by the group will be made with input from each
    member of the group. When a member is in disagreement with the other
    members, we will take a vote to settle the issue. If there is a tie, the project
    manager will consult with the parties involved and then make the final decision.
   Team Structure and Outline of Project Requirements:
        o Project Manager- Michael Ibidapo. Michael will head up the team by
            coordinating meeting times, allotment of work, and due dates. He will
            assist and work with the Formal Report Coordinator, the Web Site
            Coordinator, and the Presentation Coordinator to get their respective tasks
            completed. In the Formal Report, he will be describing three areas of
            business where social networking web sites are being used and could be
            used.
        o Formal Report Coordinator- Maya Caffey. Maya will take on the lead role
            in organizing the structure of the Formal Report. She will assemble the
            layout of the preface pages and compile each group member‟s written
            section into one whole body of work. Maya will be writing the
            introduction on social networking.
        o Presentation Coordinator- Wendy Grimes. Wendy will organize the final
            presentation. She will decide on the format for the background slide and
            will structure the separate parts of the presentation. She will be writing
            the conclusion on social networking.
        o Research Coordinator- Kim Leslie. Kim will compile most of the research
            with help and input from the rest of the group. She will also make sure all
            the sources are valid and she will finalize the work-cited page in APA
            format. She will be writing on three different social networking web sites.
        o Web Site Coordinator- Chuks Okonkwo. Chuks will be in charge of
            making the team website. He will put the entire Formal Report on the
            website. He will make the design scheme for the web page and assist the
            other members with their individual websites. He will also be writing on
            known issues surrounding these sites and how they are being addressed.




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   Meeting Schedule and Attendance Policy: Our group will have one mandatory
    meeting on April 21, 2007.
   Work Quality Standards: The work submitted by all group members should
    represent careful thought and effort. It should be thorough and easy to read. All
    work should be completed in a timely manner.
   Non-Performance Contingencies: All group members are expected to perform
    their specified tasks outlined earlier in the Operating Agreement. If there seems
    to be problems, the Project Manager will discuss the lack of effort with the team
    member in question. If this does not solve the problem, points will be taken away
    and Professor Marquez will be notified. The amount of points taken away will be
    based on the seriousness of the infraction.
   Schedule of Deliverables: All work associated with the design of the website is
    expected to be completed by April 26, 2007. All written sections of the Formal
    Report are to be completed by April 26, 2007. All prefatory pages of the Formal
    Report, as well as completion of adding the Formal Report to the web site, are due
    April 26, 2007. The final project is to be submitted to turnitin.com and submitted
    to Professor Marquez through Vista Web CT on April 27, 2007.




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                                                 Table of Contents


Letter of Authorization ....................................................................................... 4
Letter of Acceptance ........................................................................................... 5
Letter of Transmittal ........................................................................................... 6
Operating Agreement .......................................................................................... 7
Table of Contents ................................................................................................ 9
Abstract ............................................................................................................. 10
Introduction ....................................................................................................... 11
Classmates.com, MySpace.com, Ryze.com...................................................... 11
Business and Social Networking ...................................................................... 12
Social Website Issues ........................................................................................ 13
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………. 14
References…………………………………………………………………….. 15




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                                         Abstract

This report explores the product, concept, issues, and potential issue resolutions regarding
social networking. It provides information on social networking websites that are
currently available and the reasons why business are using these sites and issues they are
encountering.




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                                      Introduction

Social networking is a new way of communicating. Social networking websites are
available to people across the globe to present their profile online. These sites are an
evolution of our traditional means of communicating and maintaining relationships. In
the past, if you wanted to share a part of your life with others, you made a phone call or
wrote a letter. If you wanted to a share picture with family and friends across the world,
you mailed it to them. The social networking websites allow us convenience as we reach
out to people. There are various social networking sites available to us that allow us a
virtual display of ourselves to the network world. These sites give us the liberty to
display pictures and videos and they have online forums and discussions (Netalert.net,
2006). Social networking websites usually offer free registration but may require a
monthly fee. Some Universities offer space for each student to create a personal website.
They are relatively simple to construct and publish. Students, singles, professionals and
teenagers are all attracted to these social networking sites.

Most social networking websites are available to anybody; therefore, security problems
can occur, specifically with children eighteen years and under. Recently, a Georgia
senator expressed concerns regarding teenage access to these sites and has taken
measures to restrict such liberal access. The law would make it illegal for owners and
operators of any social networking site to allow a minor to create or maintain a webpage
without parental approval (Jacob, 2007). Even with today‟s technology, it could be
difficult to create controls around who can and cannot access these websites. Many
people think parents are ultimately responsible for monitoring their children‟s interaction
on the Internet. As a world of community, connected by these virtual pages, we all have a
responsibility to contribute to the safety of the users of these sites.

Businesses also use social networking sites for many reasons, such as networking,
promoting Internet businesses, and researching applicant personal information. This
exposes another potential issue with the social networking sites. The information that is
displayed is available for anybody to use; therefore, we must remain conscientious, as we
get comfortable with our language, ideas, or experiences.


                       Classmates.com, MySpace.com, Ryze.com

If you‟ve ever wondered what happened to your friends from high school,
Classmates.com can help. Founded in 1995, Classmates is a wholly owned subsidiary of
United Online, Inc. (Classmates, 2006). This leader in online social networking is
designed to connect millions of people with their long lost friends. It can even be used to
plan reunions or rekindle past romances (CBS News, 2003). Members may also post
photographs, biographies, and gain access to message boards. Anyone in search of the
past can become a member of Classmates. It is free to register for the basic membership;
however, subscriptions are available for a monthly fee. The company‟s only sources of
revenues are from paid subscriptions and advertising sales (Wikipedia, 2006).



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A newer social networking website that has become widely popular is MySpace.com. It
is an online community that is designed for anyone to use. The key features of
MySpace.com include; making new friends online, singles interested in meeting other
singles, families wanting to keep in touch, and networking among business people. The
site also boasts blogs, forums, email, games, and events (MySpace.com, 2006). Over
230,000 new members register each day, making MySpace.com the third most popular
website in the United States. MySpace.com was founded in 2003, purchased by New
Corporation in 2005, and is solely supported by advertising (Wikipedia.com, 2006).

For business networking, Ryze.com is among the top visited websites. With more than
250,000 members worldwide, Ryze.com aids people in make connections and growing
their networks. The website also provides resources for building your career, finding a
job, and making sales. The founder of Ryze.com, Adrian Scott, launched the website in
2001 with the intent that people in the business world would help each other „rise up‟
through quality networking (Ryze.com, 2006). The idea is simple and effective.
“Imagine pulling up a list of contacts and seeing everyone they're connected to, and their
connections, in an ever-expanding web. Click on a name and instantly see where that
person has worked, who he's worked with, and who he knows who might be able to help
you find a job,” (Lehoczky, 2004). Ryze.com users can create their profiles for free;
however, the company generates its revenue by offering subscriptions to advanced
features for a monthly fee. (Hopkins, 2003).


                             Business and Social Networking

Social networking websites are becoming more and more popular as the time goes on.
There are thousands of people visiting these websites on a daily basis. It is no wonder
why there are many businesses that are being established as a result of these social
networking websites. Websites such as; Classmates.com, Matchdate.com, Myspace.com,
Yahoo360, Ebay.com, Singles.com, Menseekingmarriage.com, and many more are
creating a buzz among young teens as well as people in their twenties to late forties.
These social networking websites are great for businesses involving real estate,
entertainment, and match making.

Myspace.com is great for real estate professionals to spread the word about their
business. Real estate marketing is all about who you are and what you have to offer and
myspace.com is where many people can go to get information about anyone they find
interesting.

The entertainment industry can also benefit from mysapce.com by posting the upcoming
artists‟ bio, the title of the CD, the drop dates, as well as information about tour dates and
so on. Samples of the music video could also be released on social websites in order to
generate buzz about the artist. Hollywood could tap in as well by showing clips of
upcoming attractions.




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Finally, these social websites are best for meeting new people. Websites such as
singles.com and menseekingmarriage.com are creating a common place for people to
socialize from the comfort of their own homes. With these websites there is no guessing
game because everyone knows and understands what they are searching for.


                                      Social Website Issues

Social networking website environments tend to have the undertone of a place where
individuals and or groups feel it is acceptable to be liberal. Despite highly publicized
reports of the need for Internet privacy and cyber crimes, users of these networking sites
appear to be indifferent to these warnings. This is due in large part to the vulnerability of
the age groups that frequent these sites. “Information that individuals share at these sites
is potentially available to the whole world …friends and strangers alike. Although social
networking sites may create an illusion of intimacy, they are not private,” (Herzog,
2006). Personal detail and information are casually exchanged between strangers.
Information, that otherwise would have been cautiously exchanged or in most cases
restricted. The undertone of these websites present issues and undermines the advantages
and praises for the convenience and usefulness of these website. Teenagers and a large
percentage of unsupervised preteens often are victims of the crimes perpetuated in direct
relationship to these social sites.

One of the key issues with these sites is that they present an outlet for criminals to
perpetuate crimes. Cases of severe crimes reported from these sites continue to escalate in
number. Many of the crimes related to these social sites go unreported primarily because
of “feelings of embarrassment or guilt, ignorance that the incident is a reportable act,
and/or, ignorance of how to report it”, (US Department of Justice, 2006). Complex cyber
laws also make it hard to persecute criminals; thereby, encouraging repeat offenders of
cyber crimes.

Heinous crimes such as kidnapping, rape, assault, and fraud are increasing from and
directly related to these sites. According to Janet Komblum of USA TODAY, police
across the country are examining social websites, including MySpace‟s 55-million-
members, in investigations of crimes such as statutory rape, molestation and murder. This
is good news for parents whose children use these networking sites. However, many
critics believe intervention by law enforcement may not be enough to curb crimes related
to the sites. Lawmakers are under pressure to find solutions to the crime epidemic related
to these sites. Most notable is a recent endorsement of a legislation that will “cordon off
access to commercial websites that let users create public „Web pages or profiles‟ and
also offer a discussion board, chat room, or e-mail service”, (McCullagh, 2006).
MySpace.com continues to be under government scrutiny because of the escalating
number of crimes directly related to its site. The most recent case occurred in January
2007 in Newark, NJ where a 14-year old girl was found strangled in a garbage bin,
(Komblum, 2006). Sources from the media have linked her death to MySpace.com.




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There are measures being taken by some of the networking sites along with online
businesses to provide online security to users. Recently, the state of Kentucky passed a
“New Law Requiring Email Registration of Sex Offenders”, (Glass, 2007). This move by
the state of Kentucky is one of many by stakeholders in the prevention of crimes on
networking websites.


                                      Conclusion

All in all, social networking has become known worldwide and is used by many. With
many different websites and outlets to choose from, it makes it almost impossible not to
use a network. It has become one of the most explored Internet entities known to man.
Although there are many advantages to social networking, we have also found that there
are several disadvantages as well. Social networking opens you up as a person to the
public, for millions of people to get to know you, whether you are looking for a date, a
job, or just simply surfing the web. Unfortunately, this allows predators into your
personal life that indeed have bad intentions. So as with any means of the Internet, one
would have to take necessary measures in protecting oneself. The upside of social
networking allows individuals to be in the comfort of their own home. An individual can
do just about anything through social networking from home. Social networking is a
beneficial tool if used with correctly and with caution.




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                                      References


CBS News, 2003. In Search of the Past. Retrieved April 7, 2007, from
     http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/05/60II/main552363.shtml

Classmates, 2006. About Classmates Online, Inc.Retrieved April 7, 2007, from
      http://www.classmates.com/cmo/about/;jsessionid=0IPML2IKTVCUICQKWZV
      SPJQKBK1GYIV3?_requestid=345439

Glass, V. (2007, April 3). MySpace Speaks about Kentucky‟s New Law Requiring Email
       Registration of Sex Offenders. Commonwealth News Center. Retrieved April 26,
       2007, from
       http://www.kentucky.gov/Newsroom/ag/myspacesexoffenderregistration.htm

Herzog, H. (2006, November 30). Penn State Launches Fall Take on Control Campaign.
      The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved April 26, 2007, from
      http://css.its.psu.edu/news/nlfa06/takecontrol.html

Hopkins, J. (2003, December 9). Investors court social-networking sites.
     USA Today. Retrieved April 7, 2007, from
     http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2003-12-09-meet_x.htm

Jacob, S. (2007, January 26). Senator wants restrictions on social networking sites.
       Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Retrieved April 26, 2007, from
       http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/sharedblogs/ajc/georgia/entries/2007/01/26/sen
       ator_wants_r.html

Komblum, J. (2006, February 12). Social websites scrutinized.
     USA Today. Retrieved April 26, 2007, from
     http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/internetprivacy/2006-02-12-myspace-
     predators_x.htm

Lehoczky, E. (2004, January 18). Business networking gets a boost from the Internet.
      The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 7, 2007, from
      http://bostonworks.boston.com/globe/articles/011804_network.html

McCullagh, D. (2006, May 10). Lawmakers take aim at social networking sites.
      CNET News.com. Retrieved on April 26, 2007, from
      http://news.com.com/lawmakers+take+aim+at+social-networking+sites/2100-
      1028_3-6071040.html

MySpace, 2006. About Us. Retrieved April 7, 2007, from
     http://www.myspace.com/Modules/Common/Pages/AboutUs.aspx



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Netalert, 2006. What are Social Networking Websites? Retrieved April 26, from
       http://www.netalert.net.au/03604-what-are-social-networking-web-sites.asp

U.S. Department of Justice, 2007. Youth Internet Safety Survey. Office for victims of
       crime. Retrieved April 26, 2007, from
       http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/publications/bulletins/internet_2_2001/internet_2_
       01_6.html

Wikipedia, 2006. Classmates.com. Retrieved April 7, 2007, from
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classmates.com




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