Social Networking Online: A Primer
This article introduces the trend of social networking online. Feel free to contribute to this article if you are a registered user (free).


There are so many choices for connecting with others online. One trend is the social networking site, a place for putting some information about yourself and then hypertext linking with others. Some have said we need to avoid only connecting with others like ourselves; the "silos of social networking" (ScottORaw).

We have also pointed out how fragmented our professional associating has become - see Facets or Fragments: The Modularization of How We Associate Professionally.

There is somewhat of an introduction to social networking sites on Wikipedia, but it needs a bit of work.

This video, from Common Craft explains, clearly, what social networking is, and why it can be useful.

Flash player not available.

Lists of SNSs

Social networking sites (SNSs) come in many varieties but here are a few of the ones that are useful for professional (business) networking:

See the list of social networking websites on Wikipedia.

There is also a list of non-English' SNSs at

Here are a list of news sites that are reporting on these:

Now there are ones that piggy back on these by pulling the information from several of them into one place.

General Articles

How I started on LinkedIn
This is a developing story of a new LinkedIn member, Olga Kellen, research professional, translator, Citizen of the World. There are postings about LinkedIn, its features and also about Olga Kellen's online development.

Are Social Networking and Social Media Threats or Opportunities for Professional Associations?
by Dennis D. McDonald
October 27, 2006

"But I do think that professional associations that do not figure out how to incorporate social networking and social media techniques with their "traditional" membership programs and services might be making a very big mistake for one very simple reason: competition. Just as "traditional media" are scrambling to compete with digital media for the "ears and eyeballs" of emerging markets, so too must associations compete with emerging institutions such as the above which start with the premise that engagement, collaboration, and participation generate value to the participant.
The simple fact is that generating personal "value" through participation and collaboration take time and, as all busy professionals know, there are a fixed number of hours in a day. Professional associations that do not pursue those hours with all the methods now at their disposal will find their membership ranks and annual membership revenues reduced."

An Inefficiency of Professional Social Networking
by Brian Balfour
January 22, 2007

"The problem is that professionals, especially young entrepreneurs, seem to have a personal network that is very vertical."

Social Networking as Professional Development
by Steve Hargadon
March 28, 2007

"It could be, for educators and students, the perfect way to test out the waters of Web 2.0 quickly and easily. Ning's social networking platform introduces you to some of the most engaging aspects of the read/write web: social networking (of course), user profiles, blogging, forums, photo and video sharing, and even RSS!"

Social Networking Goes Global: Major Social Networking Sites Substantially Expanded Their Global Visitor Base during Past Year
by Andrew Lipsman
July 31, 2007

comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the results of a study on the expansion of social networking across the globe, revealing that several major social networking sites have experienced dramatic growth during the past year.

Social Networking: Now Professionally Ready
by John S. Luo, MD
in Primary Psychiatry. 2007;14(2):21-24

And for a bunch more background reading, here's a pretty good bibliography on the subject of social networking sites:

The Psychology of Social Design
From Joshua Porter, a web designer, researcher, and writer. This slideshow looks at the potential value of interaction and the impact social design concepts may have on organizations attempting to establish better relationships.

Specific Stories

For Charity

There is an amazing story on NPR, Talk of the Nation, about how people are using Social Networking in new ways. One interesting part of the story is a site called ( that allows network participants to gives microloans in the developing world.

SNIX (XML Tagging)

SNIX is an XML language that allows users of social networking sites to update a single profile and then through XML syndication updates their MySpace, YouTube, Facebook (or whatever) profile.

Push or Pull?

Or is social networking only part of what we should be doing in a virtual community? See the questions raised by Roger Evernden, such as whether it is a push or a pull technology, in his blog at 4th Resource

Survey (for Librarians and Researchers)

Gerry McKiernan, at Iowa State University Library, has a survey that requests basic information about library and institutional presence in any of the major Social Networking Sites, as well personal and/or professional membership.

Direction and Future

Do You Want One Social Networking Profile to Rule Them All?

Slap in the Facebook: It's Time for Social Networks to Open Up
by Scott Gilbertson 08.06.07

Rethinking Online Professional Networking
by Dave Taylor

Replace Facebook Using Open Social Tools;action=display;category=Live

Socialthing, Inc. is bringing you socialthing!, a first of its kind digital life manager

Inside the Enterprise

Most of the discussion has been about social networking in the entire Web. What about inside a corporation or an enterprise? Software vendors will sell you a solution to roll your own social networking software in or out of the enterprise.


9 Ways to Build Your Own Social Network (at TechCrunch)

List of White Label Social Networking Platforms (at web-strategist)


Getting data OUT of Facebook
by Dennis Howlett
August 8th, 2007

Interesting article about how Facebook data could be used in the corporate world. We may be seeing enterprise apps soon.

"This is a topic that will become increasingly important for incumbent providers like SAP and Oracle as the light weight yet extraordinarily valuable social computing metaphor takes hold."

Sophos Facebook ID Probe Finds Users Reveal Too Much

Survey: Half of Employees Blocked from Facebook at Work;=mc&type;=textlink

Facebook and portals in the workplace


Contributors to this page: Bill Albing and Rick Sapir .
Page last modified on Thursday, August 23, 2007 02:59:37 pm EDT by Bill Albing.

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