Social Networking: A Basic Introduction

by hmiller 7. February 2010 08:43

Social networking is currently one of the most popular Internet activities—and quickly it’s gaining popularity. It often combines many of the activities that people already use the Internet for: blogging, chatting, instant messaging, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, joining groups or clubs, advertising and marketing, learning about local events, and organizing events with clubs and groups of people. As you can see, not being a popular of the ever-popular social networking could definitely keep you out of the loop.

You may actually have engaged in or read about some form of social networking without even realizing it. If you don’t know the first thing about social networking, here’s a place to start.

Social networking is basically a website where people (and sometimes groups, businesses, and organizations) build and update a profile page with their photo and information (could be personal or professional). Depending on which social networking site you are a member of, the range and organization of the information is different. Profiles can constantly be changed, updated, and designed to the person’s current taste, mood, holiday, etc. Here are a few things you’ll usually find on a social networking profile page.

*Contact information: Addresses, phone numbers, location, work or home info
*Personal data: Interests, hobbies, relationship status, occupation, etc.
*Status: Could be anything from a quote or link to a simple statement like “going shopping today!” or “I wonder…”
*Uploads to share: Music, photos, documents, etc.

Some sites will let you post other little extras, like web applications on your profile page. Others allow you to change the background colors, layout, and music on your page. Many people change their profile pages in some way several times a week or day.

Once each member creates a profile, they can link to the profile pages of others. This is the main purpose of social networking, and the reason for the name. Each linking to other profiles is called “adding friends,” which allows you to have full view and access to their profile and vice versa. You can be friends with anyone as long as they agree to accept your request to add them. You can accept or deny any requests by other members to add you as a friend. Usually your friends consist of family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and acquaintances—pretty much anyone you know can be your friend when it comes to social networking. You can even find profiles of people you don’t know and request to add them as a friend. Here are some of the things you can do once you add friends to your network.

* You can easily communicate with your friends in a variety of ways: write a post (both long, blog-like entries, or simple short status updates) for anyone to read, chat with anyone who’s online, send a friend a public note that others can see, or a private message to one or a group of friends (just like emails).
* You can stay up to date on what’s going on in your friends lives, look at photos or videos they’ve posted, read what they’re up to or how they’re feeling, and read public messages that their friends have posted on your friends’ profiles.
* You can play or share games, photos, videos, and other web interactive applications the site features.
* You can quickly and easily spread awareness about a cause, event, or news story, etc.

Many people, and recently more and more businesses have seen the value of social networking, both as an entertainment and communication tool. As you become more involved with social networking, you better understand how it works and learn what ways it best benefits you.


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at! Check out my blog for more articles!

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to

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