What Are Social Networking Sites

As someone said, "Man is a social animal" and nothing proves it more than the Internet. Although at times people complained that the Internet actually was making people, and more often kids, social recluses. Things have surely seen a sea change since then. With the advent of social networking sites, you now have the option of not only keeping in regular touch with your friends, but also making friends and even business associates with people who you would have never known from all over the globe. The weird thing is that social networking websites are not a new concept.

In fact, in the mid-nineties, Classmates.com was established. At that time, Windows was only in its infancy with only Windows 95 being launched.

Since then, this site has become a well-known place where you can 'hook up' with your old school and college friends. Since then, the social networking concept has taken off by leaps and bounds. In fact, over the years, groups of enthusiasts consistently market their networks to other social network seekers. For instance, Friendster.com.

was launched in 2002. Then sites like MySpace.com, Orkut.

com, a subsidiary of Google, and Yahoo's 360 also followed suit in subsequent years. In 2005, just after a decade from the launch of Classmates.com, social networking sites like MySpace were already receiving more hits than a search engine like Google. Social networking websites had finally arrived and they were here to stay.

So what has been generating this tremendous interest in social networking websites? First of all, they are a wonderful place to catch up with old folks. As an individual grows older, work and other obligations force him to move to distant places where he loses contact with most of his friends. A website like MySpace or Orkut helps him to remain in touch with them whatever the geographical distance between them. Secondly, you get to meet new people. Unlike in other virtual communities, you can actually know the person's likes and dislikes before you send out a message to him or her.

In that way, you are more secure about the person you are trying to establish a link with. Social network websites are more secure than other virtual communities because of the way the network grows. Initially, a group of founders send messages out to their friends and acquaintances, inviting them to be members of the website. The new members, in turn, repeat the process and the community grows in no time.

But since every member needs to accept an invite to join the community, chances are that unnecessary elements are kept to a minimum. These days, social networking websites are increasingly becoming specialized and are catering only to select communities. Websites now allow you to network for business issues and then other sites exist for those people who ardently follow soccer. Orkut tries to be a platform for everything, allowing users to have communities dedicated to special topics where they can meet new people sharing their interests.

Lana Hampton of http://LanaHampton.com is your guide to easy, up-to-date and lucrative social networking strategies. Visit http://www.socialnetworkingstrategies.com to download her free MySpace report today.

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