Social Networking in Popular Culture

One of the phenomena’s of today’s popular culture is the emergency of social networking. Everywhere you hear about Facebook or Twitter. With the wide spread use of cell phones, everyone from grade school children to grannies are posting or “Tweeting”. Web based social network services make it possible to connect people who share interests and activities across political, economic, and geographic borders. Through e-mail and instant messaging, online communities are created. But social networking use is not limited to instant messaging. Facebook and other social networking tools are increasingly the object of scholarly research. Scholars in many fields have begun to investigate the impact of social networking sites, investigating how such sites may play into issues of identity, privacy, social capital, youth culture, and education.

Several websites are beginning to tap into the power of the social networking model for philanthropy. Such models provide a means for connecting otherwise fragmented industries and small organizations without the resources to reach a broader audience with interested users. Social networks are providing a different way for individuals to communicate digitally. These communities of hypertexts allow for the sharing of information and ideas, an old concept placed in a digital environment.

Social networking is also influencing American politics. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace were used by 21 percent of online adults leading up to the November 2010 elections.

These adults used the sites to connect with campaigns and elections. Two percent did this using Twitter. The majority of this group, at 11 percent, used the sites to see who their friends voted for in November elections. report.
Data gathered from Twitter (courtesy of Tweetbeat) and Facebook (courtesy of U.S. Politics on Facebook) paint an interesting picture. Americans are a politically chatty bunch, if nothing else, and their web-based public messages prove it.

In fact, tweets about the State of the Union address far outnumbered tweets about other events of the day, including tweets about the upcoming Super Bowl. Tweetbeat counted around 400,000 tweets about the State of the Union address, and 100,000 appeared in the first hour of the event itself.

Social networking is also influencing governments abroad. The current unrest in the Middle East has a social network connection. Egypt’s Internet is suffering major outages, the Associated Press is reporting. A major Internet provider in the country is saying no Internet traffic is going in or out of the country. Protests in Egypt are expected to intensify with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei’s return to Cairo, and reports of Twitter and Facebook being blocked inside the country by Egyptian authorities continue to surface through the social networks themselves, and according to HerdictWeb. Users are also reporting that SMS – short message service – is being blocked as well.

Social networking is evolving rapidly. At the forefront of emerging trends in social networking sites is the concept of “real-time web” and “location based.” Real time allows users to contribute content, which is then broadcasted as it is being uploaded – the concept is analogous to live radio and television broadcasts. Twitter set the trend for “real time” services, where users can broadcast to the world what they are doing, or what is on their minds within a 140 character limit.

There is also an application for social networking in the business world. . Companies have found that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great ways to build their brand image. According to Jody Nimetz, author of Marketing Jive, Jody Nimetz on Emerging Trends in B2B Social Networking“. Marketing Jive, November 18, 2007. Accessed 26 October 2009. There are five major uses for businesses and social media: to create brand awareness, as an online reputation management tool, for recruiting, to learn about new technologies and competitors, and as a lead gen tool to intercept potential prospects. These companies are able to drive traffic to their own online sites while encouraging their consumers and clients to have discussions on how to improve or change products or services.

Once thought of as just a fun activity, social networking is becoming a useful and important tool is today’s world. It is constantly evolving, but I am sure it will be one of the things that our generation is remembered for.

Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 Plain & Simple By Johnathan Lightfoot, Chris Beckett

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Plain & Simple by Johnathan Lightfoot and Chris Beckett puts the principles and concepts of SharePoint into an easy to follow and comprehensive way. The book is well organized and easy to follow. The screen shots and tips really make this book stand out and grab your attention.

At first glance when I looked at the cover I said “Oh my gosh am I ever going to understand”.  I had just taken a training class on SharePoint and by the end of it I was lost.  So I decided to take my chances on learning SharePoint on my own and I got this book.  I decided to dive right in.  SharePoint 2010 Plain & Simple is exactly that plain and simple to understand.  As I was going through the book and looking at the excellent screen shots and reading the well thought out text I began to realize, I did get it.  I understood what I was reading. If you are interested in SharePoint I recommend this book.

American Girl

I am an all American girl, typifying the melting pot that is America.  My parents are third and fourth generations Americans.  I was raised to honor my country and believe in the founding fathers principles that we all have the God given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  I was taught by my mom that I should set goals and then work to achieve them, not depending on others to do things for me.    And in America this is encouraged.

I prefer to make my own decisions after hearing many sides of an issue.  I often think that many of the presented views are not always based on fact, or are skewered by the person’s own agenda.

The power of the press influences much of what other people think of us.  Our TV shows, advertising, and interests paint a picture of us that does not necessarily reflect who we really are.

The perception of America outside her borders is much different than how we picture ourselves.  Many people living in other countries think that Americans are all rich (and we are by their standards), shallow and self-centered.  I think some of that view is held because they do not understand the concept of free enterprise.  But some of that view is also fostered by the way that Americans act when they travel abroad.  They sometimes are insensitive to the native customs and culture.

Some cultures do not hold to the belief of freedom of religion, and so Americans are viewed as the enemy because they do not totally embrace the opposing views.  Burning  the American flag signifies their contempt of our way of life.  Many countries expect their governments to take care of them, and they cannot understand our belief that it is up to the individual to achieve success.

I am proud of my country, her flag and her symbols of freedom, but I know I must be sensitive to others.

Here is a video from YouTube you might enjoy, I did. Just click on the following link.

Toby Keith – American Soldier