Social Networking – A Tool For Online Socialization
Web 2.0 is a broad term encompassing a variety of new design approaches that are emerging across various sectors of the Internet including social networks, online communities, online collaborative tools and open source development. The ability to design user-friendly, search engine friendly and content rich web portals is now possible with increased focus on usability and sociability in designing websites. This approach has resulted in the growth of many new communities on the Internet that have used these communities as a platform for facilitating, strengthening and promoting their cause and activities.
Web 2.0 thus refers to sites that stress user-created content, convenience of use, user-based interaction and compatibility for end users. The concept is also associated with the idea of an information highway – a network of high speed, low bandwidth connections that enables users to exchange large volumes of information without compromising costs or slowing down the speed of the web. Today the Internet is so vast that it is virtually impossible for any user to visit each and every site available. However, the benefits derived from the increased use of Internet services such as email, chat rooms, online journals, forums and newsgroups to make the experience very pleasant. Many people are happy to connect to the Internet for the purpose of shopping online, obtaining health advice, connecting to distant relatives, paying utility bills, reading books and magazines and searching for information of all kinds. All these activities are facilitated by the social networking sites that connect people through these websites.
Social networking is very easy to implement in a website design. All you need to do is add a feature wherein the visitor can create a profile about himself/herself which will allow the online community to establish bonds of friendship and trust by letting the person write about his/her interests, favorite things, views on various issues, favorite music and movies and so on. The more the visitor interacts with the other members, the better the chance of getting his/her ideas accepted, since these individuals share the same ideas and values. The web user may not like the ideas of others but with a little effort he/she will be able to accept the views of someone else on the subject.