Social networking is a set of personal relationships formed from family, friends, colleagues and online identities that communicate via web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook. Traditionally a social network has been an individual’s personal social connections and face-to-face social interactions (Grieve, Indian, Witteveen, Anne Tolan and Marrington, 2013). A social network is a fundamental component of personal socialisation and De Rosa, Cantrell, Hawk and Jenkins (2007) report that Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook have facilitated the interaction between users who share interests. Ellison (2007b) highlights the varied interests of social networking sites (SNSs) as focus areas for scholarly discussion because as well as supporting pre- existing relationships SNSs connect strangers who may share interests. The shared interests of SNS users focus on diverse topics such as partnerships, politics, recreation, religion, education and pop culture news. Concern about children from ‘Generation Like’ being manipulated by marketing tools via their online interest groups is increasing (PBS 2014). Research by Grieve, Indian, Witteveen, Anne Tolan and Marrington (2013) that investigates children’s use of SNSs has also found positive health effects on the wellbeing of participants.
Howard Rheingold (cited in Ishizuka, 2010) suggests that there are a range of digital literacies required for using social networking applications such as twitter because a sophisticated approach is needed to judiciously discern through the flow of feeds. Social media aggregators such as Gwibber, Hotot and Friends are savvy applications for desktops, tablets and phones that assist in keeping up to date with Facebook and Twitter timelines. My main social networking experiences have been in forums such as Ubuntu forums where collaborative approaches to technical ICT issues are approached. If Duolingo ticks all of the ‘social networking’ boxes then it would be an important collaborative way to develop my social network as well as my linguistic skills. I am currently developing the use of social media plugins for students with our MOODLE and Mahara websites so that they can sign in, get updates and message using their preferred identities. I have also developed JOOMLA websites with blogs, community forums and twitter feeds for my classes where notifications about the course can be sent to the members. Our school has recently developed ‘official’ Facebook and Google+ business pages after years of discussion and sporadic negative student experiences with social networking websites. Navigating through the challenging online environments, official policies and community concerns is a demanding task that this subject can help with. Providing the best education experience for our school community through the use of social networking (rather than social media using us) is a skill that I would like to develop while completing INF506.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/IainHocknull
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/iain.hocknull.5
De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J. & Jenkins, L. (2007). Sharing privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC.
Ellison, N., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007a). The benefits of Facebook ‘‘friends’’: Social capital and college students use of online social networking sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12, 1143–1168.
Ellison, N. B. (2007b). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.
Grieve, R., Indian, M., Witteveen, K., Anne Tolan, G., & Marrington, J. (2013). Face-to-face or Facebook: Can social connectedness be derived online?.Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 604-609.
Ishizuka, K. (2010). People Who Need People. School Library Journal, 56(2), 32.
PBS Frontline (2014) Generation Like http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/