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Social Networking Sites Are Now A Must Have For Everyone

Oct 15, 2007
Social networking sites offer several benefits to members, many of which are just plain fun. There are so many things to do once you register that it can take some time to get a taste of everything. For those who have not discovered social networking sites, it is definitely time to crawl out from under your rock.

What is Social Networking?
At the basic level, social networking is simply the process of interacting with those in your social group, as well as meeting new people to include in that group. Before the internet became a standard feature in many households, your social group typically included people you met at school or work, and they generally lived nearby. You went out to clubs and restaurants, or maybe had a barbecue in the backyard whenever you wanted to interact with each other.

Not to say that backyard barbecues and nights on the town are a thing of the past, but social networking sites have certainly changed the concept of social networking. Your network is no longer limited to the people in your neighborhood, or even people in your country, and socializing does not require one dime to be spent on food or fuel.

How Does it Work?
While every social networking site has its own special attractions, there are some basic features that carry across them all. Once you register for an account with a social networking site, you receive your own personal page within the site. That page serves as your portal to the outside world.

Every social networking page contains basic profile information, but not every page is the same. Remember that your page is yours, and you are free to decorate and design in any way that makes you happy, as long as you stay within the guidelines established by the site. What you put on your profile page, from your picture to your graphics, is the first glimpse that other people have of you.

Of course, graphics and text are not the only enhancements that you can make to a page. You can add videos, upload photo albums, and add music to your profile page. There are even free music players that will let you add a variety of songs to the player and then place it on your page.

Social networking sites also let you start your own blog with no extra setup. Blogs are your chance to let the world read your innermost secrets and mindless ramblings. Blogs can also be a way to market your business, promote your favorite cause, or rant about things that make you want to pull your hair out. Think of it as an invisible, non-judgmental therapist that is available at all points in time.

So, What's the Point?
Social networking sites are just plain fun. Once you set up your profile page, other registered users from around the world can look at your profile and decide whether they want to get to know you. If they would like a chance to be friends, they simply request that you add them to your friends list. Of course, you can look at other people's profiles and make requests, too. Where else can you make friends with a sales executive in London while getting to know an unsigned blues band in Colorado?

There is an old saying, though, that goes, "Make new friends and keep the old" The same applies with social networking. You can look up a high school friend or a college roommate and have the chance to reconnect. Granted, you may quickly remember why you haven't stayed in contact over the years, but you will at least have the chance to know how they are and where they have gone.

Social networking sites are also an excellent way to keep in touch with family members. While some families live in the same neighborhood, some do not even live in the same country. Profile pages can be used to give the latest news without a long-distance phone call, and family pictures can be shared without worrying about lost mail.

Some people even choose to use social networking sites to promote their businesses. Photos of the business or products allow people to see what is being offered, and the blog feature makes it possible to entice visitors to check out your business. This can be especially helpful for online businesses. Some marketers also use social networking sites to both increase their popularity and enhance their image as an expert in the field.

What's the Catch?
Social networking sites are not perfect. Because they are free of charge to registered users, site owners must find other ways to cover the cost of the site. Typically, keeping the site free means displaying advertisements to users. Unfortunately, the ads can easily become too much, and the site becomes cluttered with advertisements. When that happens, profile pages become less attractive, and users tend to be unhappy with the view.

Another downside to social networking sites is the risk to children. Not all adults on the internet are child-friendly, and there are predators on social networking sites just as they are anywhere else. Some social networking sites require users to be a minimum age, and they allow users to block their profiles from the general public. In order to see the profile, send a message, or leave a comment on a restricted profile, you must be added to their friends list. Other sites have begun allowing users to not only block a harassing member from their page, but also to report the offender.

All in all, social networking sites are a great way to meet new people, make friends, and connect with people from your past. You can build relationships, build a reputation, or build a business with the click of a button. If you haven't made the leap into the future of social networking, you may want to get started.
About the Author
Zubby.Com is a new social networking web site offering revenue share to it's first 1000 members! Zubby.Com work in the same way as the very popular social networking web site MySpace.Com
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