What Is A Social Network?

The “social network” concept is not a new one. Human beings have formed social networks ever since they were able to communicate with one another. These relationships and networks have long been acknowledged and studied and form a core component in the study of sociology. With the eruption in popularity of sites like Facebook, the phrase social network has become a part of our vernacular. It was even chosen for the title of the movie focused on Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook.

Since the commercialization of the Internet, it has been utilized to build and increase human interaction through networking. Usenet (newsgroups) and Listservs (mailing lists) were the early forms of social networks; places where you could meet and hold discussions with people with similar interests, hobbies and goals. Later, web-based forums became the solution of choice for those seeking to build an online community. Coined “Web 2.0”, the current approach to online social networking involves an entire site being the result of users interacting, sharing and creating the content. Social networking now includes a broad spectrum of applications including sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The most broad of definitions would even include MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) like World of Warcraft.

Social Network Reviews is currently focused on one particular niche of social networking; the development of social community sites. Specifically, a site where a user community focused on a general or specific interest is created through the participation of the users. While an organization may be the originator of the site, the majority of the content itself is generated by the users. This includes profiles, forum discussions, events, and even the creation of Sub-Groups within the main group. (For more on this, read the About Social Network Features page).

Even with this narrow focus, people's perceptions of a social community network vary widely dependent on their particular group's needs. While one group may be focused on sharing video and require an account with a lot of bandwidth and storage space, another may be mostly concerned about local gatherings and events which don't eat up as many resources. Thus, Social Network Reviews seeks to give the most general editorial reviews while allowing users to speak directly to how each solution did or did not meet their specific needs.