It seemed fitting that when I went on Twitter this morning I noticed that it had been updated to a new version. The new version is noticeably different, seeing as the Twitter feed is now on the right hand side, and all other information, including follower requests, and trends are listed on the left hand side. In addition, the area to post a tweet is also on the left hand side, whereas before it was located on top of the twitter feed. Additionally, when I updated my Twitter for iPhone app a few days ago, I noticed that the interface of the app had noticeably changed as well. The symbols/buttons are the same for both applications so they have very similar representations. I also think it gives the site a much more clean and digital-type look.
Moreover, it’s interesting to think about how Twitter will continue to change in the future. I can’t even imagine what Twitter will look like in years from now, and what kinds of features have been added. I think about how Facebook has evolved and changed drastically over the years and I really think the possibilities are endless for social networking sites.
And I have to admit, I never thought I would jump on the Twitter bandwagon, but I’m really happy that this project forced me to do so. I couldn’t imagine my life without Twitter, seeing as it has become the main way that I access information on a day-to-day basis. I also have found that I like Twitter much more than Facebook and have replaced my preference of Facebook with Twitter. While don’t tweet every day or even very often, I check my Twitter feed multiple times throughout the day and reply to any @ mentions that I get from my friends. I have obtained 53 followers and am currently following 98 accounts. So slowly but surely I am constructing my networked invidualism and online identity, which will only continue to expand in the future.
For my Wikipedia entry I decided to edit the 43 Things page because when I looked at it, it had the least amount of information provided about the site. I added the ‘Uses’ section to the page. I decided to focus on the personal pages of 43 Things and how it can be utilized to organize goal, challenge yourself, set deadlines, and help and cheer on others.
For my last blog post, I wanted to try and do something new on each of the three social networking sites that I have been exploring throughout the semester.
First I went to Google +. I have found this site the most enjoyable to use because I am most familiar with the layout. It is most similar to Facebook, which I use everyday, so most of the features I intuitively know how to use. I am impressed, however, with the outside connections that Google + provides with other Google services. Using your Google + account, you are automatically connected to searches, photos, calendar, and my new favorite, Goggle Docs. I decided to use Google Docs with my water polo team to see how it would work out. We used Google Docs as an order form to place an order for apparel. It worked out so well. Everyone was able to access the document and go back and change their order if they wanted to. I would highly suggest this to use for other sports teams or group projects.
I then went to LinkedIn. I really like the idea of LinkedIn as a way to connect with other people in a professional way and search for jobs. However, I found the site a little intimidating to use. I think that the boundaries of social networking and professional life are a little blurry and I was not sure exactly how to proceed. Even though it is in a completely professional way, I still felt strange making certain connections. For example it felt awkward to make a connection with a co-worker that I do not really talk to very much at work. For my latest visit, I decided that as a graduating senior in the spring I should look into job opportunities. I narrowed my search to specify what I was looking for in a job and was surprised how many results came up. …but then I got overwhelmed and started freaking out a little bit about the real world so I had to get outta there. I will definitely be utilizing LinkedIn more in the future though.
Finally, I revisited the most unique social networking site that I have been exploring this semester, 43 things. This site has an excellent concept I think. I really like the positive and supportive atmosphere that the site provides. I like the way that you can cheers other people and keep track of your progress on your goals. It gives a place for people to tell their life’s dreams and actually try and make them happen. The absolute best part about the site is the cheer feature. I decided that I would give out all the remaining cheers I had to give out as a little parting gift. I cheered on people that had goals like skydiving, going on a roadtrip with no predetermined destination, and my favorite, taste 100 types of chocolate. nom.
Basically I had an excellent experience with exploring different social networking sites…but the main part about them is that they need to be popular and utilized by other people too, which is why Facebook still has the upperhand in my book.
So I have only had an account on 43 things for part of the semester, so my accomplishments on the site are far from what they could be with more invested time. However, there is a tab that you can click that gives you a summery of your year in review and sums up what you have done, the entries that you have written, and the cheers that you have received and given. It shows when you were most active in the year in a graph and gives you a statistic of how many cheers you received for each cheer that you gave. Looking at my year in review, it is kind of sad. I think that with further use of this site I would be able to develop my goals further and make a more impressive year in review report.
Here’s my year (or few months):
For my practicum project, one of the social networking sites that I am looking at is LinkedIn. For some reason this is the one that is most difficult for me to use. I think it is the least intuitive for me because it mixes professional with social aspects of social networking. There is one really cool feature that I have noticed however. The main focus of LinkedIn is to make connections with other people, mainly for professional purposes. There is a tab that you can click entitled “People you may know” which helps you find people based on your email contacts, groups you are in, and field of interest. The cool thing about it is that it tells you how far removed you are from other connections that you have. For example, when I was looking under the “People you may know” tab, I found many of my co-workers. This is because I have common connections with many of these people. Because these are direct common connections they are designated as 2nd connections. When you click on someone’s profile that you are not yet connected with, it will show you exactly who the people are that link you to this suggested connection.
Here is an example:
I think that this is a really cool feature and I think that it could be really useful and interesting if applied to other social networking sites.
There are so many features on Google Plus and I have really enjoyed exploring them. For example there are so many specialized search functions for Google. I knew about Google Scholar but there are other specialized searches such as finance, patent, blog, product, and trends. By applying these searches, it narrows your results so you can more easily find what you are looking for. Pretty cool.
I noticed that there is a new function on Google + that allows people within circles to chat in real time. This adds a level of synchronous communication. It seems like this function was inevitable as it seems to be present in most social networks, however, I’m not sure if it is being used very much on Google + yet. I do not have very many friends that use Google + , so I had no one to try out the chat function with. I think that as long as Facebook has as much control over the social networking world as it currently does, it will be difficult for new social networks to make much of an impact.
One feature that I did see that I though was pretty cool was the ‘What’s Hot” tab on Google +. I clicked on it and it showed a list of kind of what was trending on Google +. It showed the kinds of things that the most people had either shared or +1’d. I thought that this was really interesting and an easy way to see what is really popular on the web right now.
When I searched Twitter on wikipedia, I found that the Twitter is extensively covered on the site. Wikipedia currently contains pages such as: Twitter, Twitter subpoena, Twittering Machine, Twitterific, Twitter usage, Twitter Joke Trial, Twitterfall, Twitter Power, Twitter Markup Language, and Twitter for iPhone. After searching through several of the pages, I wasn’t sure what or where to add. Additionally, the main Twitter wikipedia page is locked, so I was unable to add information to that page. I decided to make my contribution to the page dedicated to Social Networking Service.
After reading the first paragraph on the page, previous contributors discussed the concept of online communities and how social networking services are actually more individual-centered. I felt it was important to bring up Wellman’s concept of “networked invidualism,” since it broadly applies to all types of social networking services, especially Twitter. I even added a citation that links to Wellman’s wikipedia page where it talks about “networked individualism” and similar concepts.
Here’s what I added to the page:
A social network service better represents networked individualism. Networked individualism refers to the idea that loose egocentric social networks are based around the individual and the individual’s identity and works to connect friend circles together . Social networking sites allow individual users to share ideas, activities, events, photos and interests within their individual networks.
And here’s what the Social Networking Service page looks like now: