Social Network – Origins and Evolution Concept
December 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
Every social network is based on the theory of six degrees of separation, under which an individual can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances with no over five intermediates.
One can say that the origin of social networks is creating regarding “classmates.com” in 1995, a website creator by Randy Conrands, claimed that its users could contact former classmates, school , university, etc.
In 2002 it began to appear that provide network based websites which connect circles of friends, a step forward in the traditional relations of virtual communities themselves. In 2003 this kind of websites are popular references as Friendster, Tribe.net, MySpace, Xing or LinkedIn.
Therefore, and given the huge growth that occurred in the popularity of such sites, major Internet companies like Google or Yahoo environment! developed their own social networks projects (Orkut and Yahoo 360). From that moment, there are countless social networks dedicated to specific sectors that have been created.
Concept and evolution
The concept of community has developed over the entire human existence and social networks have been employed for years as a tool for the analysis of individuals and their social relationships, mainly regarding their tastes, habits and ways of relating.
However, recently empowerment and virtual spaces as a means of developing them has been possible only in the XXI century with the development of the information society, and more specifically, internet-and the generalization of tools like email, blogs, chats, etc. which have helped to develop the concept of social networking as we know it today, increasing its degree of popularity among the different types of users. The network, due to increased levels of content sharing has become a more social medium, allows extending the number of contacts, similarly promoting union among users with common interests.
Internet represents a scenario that plays a significant role increasing user participation and in which, therefore, are very present social relations. Visitors are no longer willing to be mere observers contents determined by others are switching to a model in which users are generating content and share with people who want regardless of location.
This proactive participation of users is embodied in two aspects:
- The editing, validation and publication of a wide range of content in different formats (audio, video, comments, text …)\
- The content specialization. There are countless websites involving users, producing a segmentation of the same,-plus by age (youth, adults, etc.) – the kind of place in which these relationships take place: communities generic, entertainment, professional content .
Another factor that contributes to the development of virtual communities is the business model behind them there and that in recent years has led to a high number of large companies as economic and media power Google, Microsoft, Yahoo. who see virtual communities of pathways more revenue growth for the coming years and one of the most profitable online projects of recent times.
This companies as large and consist well-established business is justified business models that sustain virtual communities. In this sense, the revenue streams of virtual communities can be varied, but mainly take the form of two:
- The generated through exclusive and subscription services, where the user to access content and more advanced features or unique, you have to enlist in a service with a monthly cost associated.
- The generated through online advertising, it also is the most relevant. The desire of the Internet to communicate and stay connected with people around the world makes the community members themselves, voluntarily, manifest in their profiles personal data (name, age, marital status …) and information about tastes, hobbies, consumption patterns, etc..
This data is extremely valuable as it allows generating databases with all relevant information for further characterization, segmentation and allows companies to develop a more efficient online advertising.
The social networks allow direct, advertising segment and align according to the tastes and needs of users.
Among the various services Internet collaborative tools-fruit of the phenomenon of Web 2.0, offering users (forums, blogs, wikis) highlight the social networks and other similar platforms, services based on the collaborative activity of its users. So, have the common bond of being supported by the fact a content base whose scope can be modified by users of the service, either by incorporating new content, modifying or deleting existing ones.
The virtual communities are formed by groups of individuals to freely associate to achieve a particular purpose, where each user contributes content and interact with other users. Unlike social networks, often moderate or directed by someone and the topic is driven, centralized and structured..
The social networks have become one of the greatest phenomena of boom in recent times, both by the high number of people involved themselves and by the fact of having become one of the growth engines of the Internet on society.
The rise and rise in popularity of social networks has been promoted among others as the following:
- Growth model based on the viral or “word of mouth”, where users, using e-mail, inviting to join the social network to acquaintances, family, friends. These will do the same, causing the total number of members is increased rapidly. This is what in the field of marketing is known as viral marketing, a strategy that encourages outraged that quickly convey a message (commercial, for marketing) to others, so that it creates an exponential growth in exposure that message. It is advertising that propagates itself.
- They offer various applications and features such as automatic updates the address book of email accounts, public profiles and visible to all users, ability to create new contacts by filing services and other online social networking
These applications are based on the three variants as known as the “3Cs” communication (knowledge sharing), community (help to find and integrate communities) and cooperation (allow joint activities).