Social media network allow users to create, share and converse online at the click of a button. The focus of a social media network is a community (network) of people.

Social Network Applications

Social media sites are built on a social network application, which offer features such as user profiles and connections (friend/follow) with others.

Social networks are set up in a manner that focuses all about the people one is connected to. When you first sign in for example, you are presented with the current feed stream.

A Web feed or news feed (often just referred to as a feed) is a data format used for providing users with regularly updated content.

The feed displays all the latest activity/posts from the individuals in your network, as well as comments, likes and ratings on your on activity.

Like blogs, users can post a variety of content to their feed, depending on the limitations of the network. Often one can post text, links, images, and short videos.

A user profile page offers users a central location for all their own personal posts (feeds) and displays information about them and their connections.

Social networks are all about community conversation and the here and now. Posts are short and get to the point. The let your connections know what you are doing or provide  a snap shot of information.

Micro-blogging – the term micro-blogging refers to very short and precise blog type posts. Twitter has made micro-blogging popular by limiting posts to 140 characters.

Privacy Concerns

The whole concept of social media is to share your “status” with others. Give your connections a glimpse to who you are, what you are doing and what you are all about. The idea to generate a connection of like-minded people to work, play and share with.

Of course this very concept has brought up many privacy concerns. All social networks have some sort of privacy policy, which is a legal document that describes how your information, whether it be profile information, uploads or a status update, can and will be used.

When you post something online it basically becomes public to the whole world. On traditional websites, the content creator had the control to remove the information at any time. There is some similar control for deleting and editing blogs.

However, most social networks, limit this control. Once the publish button is sent, often times a post/update cannot be retracted.

Furthermore, the idea behind social media is to connect people, so many of these networks will use user information to help others find new connections. This is the basis for finding connections, but it could also allow for some individuals to be found by people they are trying to avoid.

When signing up for a social network it is important to be aware of what profile information, such as interests, activities, birthdays and so forth, can be viewed and publicly.

In most cases there are user settings that help individuals fine-tune how much profile information they are willing to display publicly and limitations to who can connect to their connection.

Why should I join a social media network

The primary reason to join a social media network is to communicate with others. They are a great way to meet new people, connect with old friends or converse with colleagues.

Social media is all about the here and now, and because of that it’s a great place to get instant feedback and make connections that can ultimately expand your professional opportunities.

Business can instantly advertise a new product or sale, employers can post job openings as they come available and designers can ask for feedback on their latest project. The instant response can sometimes be overwhelming but can also make for a very successful outcome.

10 Reasons to join a social media network

  1. Connect and Network
  2. Keep up with industry news
  3. Endless supply of resources
  4. Instant feedback
  5. Professional advice
  6. Virtual Office
  7. Relatively low cost
  8. Branding Tool
  9. Inspire others
  10. Competitive Advantage

Top Social Media Networks

  1. Facebook – Friends and family
  2. Linkedin – Professionals and colleagues
  3. Pinterst – Inspiration and ideas
  4. Twitter – News and Trends
  5. Instagram – Inspiration and ideas

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