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(from Social Media Training):
Social networks focus on online communities of people who share interests and activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are primarily web based and provide a collection of various ways for users to interact, such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, and so on. (from Wikipedia, edited)
Social networking sites allow users to create their own personal virtual space that includes applications like photo-sharing, instant messaging, Twitter and blogs. Users can connect to friends and family, but more importantly, their friends and family are connected to others, resulting in potential new networks. And therein lies the argument in favor of using these sites to promote our work in the CGIAR.
Facebook, probably the world's largest social network, boasts 800 million active users worldwide (data Dec. 2011). LinkedIn, a networking site for professionals, hosts more than 120 million members (22 March 2011). This no-nonsense site lets you form links for career growth, and creates a unique environment where talent and expertise can be sourced by people you trust in your network.
Five years since the introduction of Facebook in colleges, with many Facebook users jealously guarding their Facebook accounts as private social networks, keeping out colleagues and acquaintances, there has been an interesting development. Even in their private virtual spaces, some people are now looking for ways to engage and make a difference.
Here is a brief video explaining Social Networking.
Social Networking in plain English: http://www.commoncraft.com/video-social-networking
Tips for getting the best out of social networking sites
(add your name/contact email)
Michael Riggs (michael.riggs[at]fao.org)
Meena Arivananthan (m.arivananthan[at]cgiar.org)
Image credits: http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~ncrochet/social_networking_sites.jpg