Social Networking website is a revolutionary idea with a very bright future with further scope for advancements. The opportunities provided from this medium are immense and many organisations are making use of this medium to better their practices. Organisations are no longer at the mercy of the media to advertise or convey their message. With the help of social networking they can advertise or communicate in a more efficient way. For example, Starbucks have started a very successful program in which a person from any part of the world can login to a website to write comments and discuss issues. Similarly people don’t have to rely on newspapers or TV to get their daily dose of news it can all be obtained from a social networking site. People can follow or get information from any part of the world. For example Twitter allows a user to follow anything from airline timing to the next breaking news from China. It is even used by politicians to get their message across.
Online communities and Blogs are becoming very popular and moreover since the advancement of embedded systems people can use them “on the go” with the help of handheld devices like cell phones or palmtops. They can get information which is more interactive in nature with the help of embedd photo and video. Iphone is an example of a handheld device through which people can share information. People can also take part in the social network by using many tools available to them. Users can tag particular pages of interest in an interactive manner or can just bookmark them for further interaction. The kind of interaction a user wants from these social networks depends on the type of information the user is interested in. Wikis can be used for academic purpose, it can greatly enhance the way people learn. People can watch videos to understand a topic better or look at photos which might help them to visualize a concept, after all “a picture speaks a thousand words”.
The world is getting closer everyday and everyone wants to be connected. Static blogs and websites are losing popularity. World is moving more towards "information streams". The information comes to users rather than users have to make effort to get the information. The social networks can be extended to other media, for example Television now integrates Twitter feeds. In terms of personal relationships too the social networking is connecting people. Dating sites have become very popular to find partners and to be connected with each other. Social networking can also be very crucial in medical help. Illness support communities can be created from which people can get information about common diseases and also first aid tips.
After all the advantages, the problem that arises is of information overload and security. Social networks, unlike the common media, do not have a pattern as to how much information has to be conveyed and where to draw the line. Too much of information may confuse users. Security might be another area of concern where people can get illegal access to a user’s information. The future of social networking looks very promising but still it has to deal with the problems associated with it.
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