Alternatively referred to as a virtual community or profile site, a social network is a web site on the Internet that brings people together in a central location to talk, share ideas, share interests, make new friends, etc. This type of collaboration and sharing of data is often referred to as social media. Unlike traditional media that is often created by no more than 10 people, social media sites contain content that has been created by hundreds or even millions of different people. Below is a small list of some of the biggest social networks used today.
- Bebo ( http://www.bebo.com/ ) - A popular social networking site where users can share photo's, stories, their journal, and more with friends and family privately or publicly on the Internet.
- Classmates ( http://www.classmates.com/ ) - One of the largest and most used web sites that brings together and allows people who graduated from high school and allows you to keep in touch with them and any future reunions.
- Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/ ) - One of the most popular social networking websites on the Internet. Facebook is a popular destination for users to setup their own personal web pages, connect with friends, share pictures, share movies, talk about what you're doing, etc.
- Friendster ( http://www.friendster.com/ ) - A popular social network that brings together friends, family, and allows you to meet new people who share similar interests to you from all over the world.
- Google+ (http://plus.google.com/) - The latest social networking service from Google.
- LinkedIn ( http://www.linkedin.com/ ) - One of the best if not the best locations to connect with current and past co-workers and potentially future employers.
- MySpace ( http://www.myspace.com/ ) - One of the most popular social networks and one of the most viewed web site on the Internet. See the MySpace definition for further information about this service.
- Orkut ( http://www.orkut.com/ ) - A popular service from Google that provides you a location to socialize with your friends and family, and meet new acquaintances from all around the world.
- Pinterest ( http://www.pinterest.com/ ) - An upcoming and popular picture and sharing service that allows anyone to easily share pictures, create collections, and more.
- StumbleUpon ( http://www.stumbleupon.com/ ) - Another very popular community of Internet users who vote for web pages they like and dislike and allows users to create their own personal page of interesting sites they come across. See the StumbleUpon definition for additional information about this service.
- TagWorld ( http://www.tagworld.com/ ) Great clean social networking site that brings users together who enjoy similar music tastes or other similar interests. In addition to allowing users to create their own blog users can post videos, music, etc or browse other users videos and music.
- Twitter ( http://www.twitter.com/ ) - Another fantastic service that allows users to post 140 character long posts from their phones and on the Internet. A fantastic way to get the pulse of what's going on around the world.
- Windows Live Spaces ( http://spaces.live.com/ ) - A service by Microsoft that allows any user to create their own personal blog and social networking site.
- YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/ ) - A great network of users posting video blogs or Vlog's and other fun and interesting videos.
Because of the increased popularity of social networking sites, especially among younger kids and teens, some social networking sites have become a popular location for online predators who stalk out young kids. Parents should always be active with their children and know what they are doing while online.