Meaning of Social Networks

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Internet Literacy – Part 10

This is part 10 of my series, Internet Literacy. In this part of the series, I explain the meaning of social network. This part of the series is a continuation of the previous part, to make you Internet literate.

Mailing List
A mailing list is a list of people with a common interest who communicate mainly by sending mails to one another. The mailing list is actually the list of emails. If you are a member in the list, from time to time, you can send email to any individual or to all the members. Communication is done mainly by emails, sending emails to email boxes of members of the list. The communication is usually on a subject; for example a profession.

The customers (not necessary all of them) of a product such as Microsoft Office may decide to always be discussing about the product. They do so either by logging into the Microsoft website or a website annex of the Microsoft website.

Here, a discussion is called a thread. A thread is displayed on a web page. A thread consists of an initial post (short informal article) at the beginning, and comments. Any member of the group can comment, including the member who initiated the thread with the first post. Comments are also called posts or replies.

In a group there is usually no profit (money) motive from any of the members or the associated company. Well, the associated company can always use the group as a feedback source. At the limit, a group may not be associated to a company. In that case, there must be someone to sponsor and maintain the website for the group. The sponsoring can be done by the group members if they so wish.

In a group, a member can also send emails to members at their email boxes in different email servers of the Internet. Alternatively, the group may have its own email server just for the group. Joining a group can automatically mean having a new email box in the group’ s email server.

A group is also called a forum.

Social Network
A social network is a group that is not associated with any company as with the normal group. If any company is involved, then it is the company who owns the group. Different types of social networks exist. A social network like the famous keeps friends in touch. Facebook has too many members, but a member only communicates with people he/she considers as friends.

There is a kind of social network called, article social network. An article social network can exist with two types of members. Some members write articles (and news) on different subjects. The articles also include tutorials. Other members are readers who read articles of their choices and comment. A writer is also a reader. Non-members of the group, that is, all Internet users, can also read the articles, but they may not have the right to comment.

As you can see, a social network is a group where members come together to exchange or gain information on a set of subjects. Different sets of subjects give rise to different social networks. Also, some social networks are general in terms of subjects, but they operate differently.

There is a profit motive in a social network. It comes from the owner of the social network. Most, if not all social networks have owners. The owner is the company of the social network. The company makes money by displaying advertisements in or near the posts (articles) of members of the social network. When a reader clicks an advertisement, some small money is sent to the account of the owner of the social network. The advertisements are from different companies independently or from companies affiliated to a search engine. In an article social network, the writers also have part of the revenue from the advertisements.

Note: the word, “Advertisements” is abbreviated, “Ads”.

Social Institution
There are a few social-network-like websites where members register to learn. There, members pay fee at regular intervals (say monthly). I call such a network, a social institution.

Signing Up
You sign up into a mailing list or group or social network, with a user name of your choice and a password of your choice. In some cases they may also require part or all of your full address. In some situations they may ask you to use your email address as your user name. In other situations they may give you a password that they believe is more secured.

After signing up, to access information at the site with all your privileges, you have to login first.

I should not end this article without talking about a new social network that is growing very fast. It is an article social network. This network deals essentially with articles and tutorials. The network was born because of the inefficiencies of the other networks to give the writers and readers and general Internet users, the best usage of an article network. Other networks cannot format text well; this network solves that problem. Other networks cannot pay their writers because of poor display of ads; this network solves that problem. Other networks do not allow short stories or article series to be written; this network solves that problem. In other networks, communication between writers and fans is not easy to do; this network solves that problem. Articles of all subjects are written in the network. The link to the network is:

Yes, today, you have to learn how to drive, how to read and write, be computer literate and be Internet literate. We stop here and continue in the next part of the series.


Other Links of the Series
Internet Vocabulary
Particular Internet

The Browser

Window for the Ordinary Internet User
The Web Page for the

Ordinary Internet User
Web Page Form for

the Ordinary Internet User
The File Menu of a Browser
Non File Menus of the

Smartphones and Tablets
Search Engines
Meaning of Social Networks
Factors to consider

when ordering a Website
Internet Payment Systems


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