Social Networking

Today, the world of communication looks totally changed then twenty years ago. It is amazing how recently the internet and social networks have taken over the way we interact. Amazingly, Twitter has only been around for five years. Yet it has well over 10 million users!

I’ve been trying out different social networks myself, because I find it enjoyable to study different ways of communication. So I’ll go through each of the ones I’ve tried so far, and give you my two cents.

This list is by no means complete, but are a list of social networking sites that I’ve used, or are familiar with.

Skype

Skype is chat software that allows you to chat, call, or have a video conference with other Skype users. I personally think that Skype is the best in all it’s respective fields. It is cross-platform compatible as well as lightweight and stable. It is widely used, and it can even be used to call phones if you pay. Skype can even be used on mobile devices like smart phones and the ipad. Other networks typically have chat features, but I’ve never seen any other network as complete as Skype.

Twitter

Twitter is designed to be a way to communicate your everyday experience with the world. Each post is called a tweet, which can be no more than 140 characters long. This makes it necessary to “tweet” short thoughts or ideas rather then long articles like blogs.

I enjoy using twitter because it is very fast and easy to use. It is easy to upkeep, and it can be used for a wide variety of things including news, resources, and for me, latest technology 🙂

Facebook

Facebook was the second social network I joined. I was nervous because I have heard a lot of bad things about Facebook. Once I got an account, I found that it has a lot to do with what you let people know, and how strict your privacy settings are. It also helps when you realize that about 1 in every 5 people are on Facebook so there will always be a lot of scams and scares simply because there are so many people on.

Facebook works kind of like Twitter, except you can have posts longer than 140 characters. This makes Facebook like a cross between Blogs and Twitter.

The main advantage to Facebook is that so many people are on it. I’m not incredibly impressed by Facebook as a whole, but from the standpoint of being able to have a large following, it doesn’t get any easier than Facebook.

Youtube

Once again, like Facebook, Youtube has a mass of users so anything you post is able to be seen by multitudes. For the few who don’t know, Youtube allows you to upload videos onto your own “channel” on the internet. Then people can find your video by searching Youtube, or Google.

Vimeo

Vimeo is like Youtube, but there are not quite as many users, and the videos tend to be art-based or have an artistic bent, while Youtube has a little bit of everything.

I use Youtube, but I don’t see too much issue with using Vimeo except that they may have some questionable terms of use (read the fine print).

Flickr

Flickr allows you to upload pictures to the internet. I use this as my primary place to upload pictures however, you can use Facebook and many other social networks to upload and organize your pictures.

There are other websites that work like Flickr like Picasa, Photobucket and Deviantart. But I’ve not used any of these.

Tumblr

I just started using Tumblr. So far, I see Tumblr as an excellent mix of most of the other social networks. I really like it’s simplicity, as well as it’s attention to ascetics. The way in which themes are created makes it possible to have hundreds and hundreds of themes to choose from. I’ve just got on this social networking site, so I obviously am just giving you first impressions, but so far, I would highly recommend Tumblr as a micro-blogging (or short blog posting) platform.

Blogs

Blog is short for web log. What this means is that blogs are personal websites designed to be like online journals. There are many different blog engines that you can choose from, but I’m going to talk about the one I use which is WordPress.

WordPress is a diverse, and robust bloging engine that can be used for much more then just blogging. Many people use WordPress as content managment system for their websites. This means they can edit content on their website the same way as you would with a WordPress blog.

I would recommend this engine for users who want power under the hood of their blog, or who want a tried and true method of blogging. The only disadvantage I see to WordPress is that it costs money to be really powerful. For those who want a simple, and elegant blog, I would recommend trying Tumblr before trying others like WordPress or Blogger.

As I said before, this is in no way a complete list of networks, but it covers the major ones, and I hope it’s been helpful in explaining what each one does.