social network service

A social network service is a web service that tries to facilitate social network growth. It is a very common type of social software now, with hundreds of such services in use.


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basic features

A basic minimal feature set:
  • at least one user page in a user:namespace that one controls completely and from which old or obsolete or irrelevant or annoying content can be very easily removed - this page is owned by the user
  • some revealing of the personal, professional, political or other attributes that make one unique/different
    • usually some list of pivots under ill-advised names like "communities" or "interests" or "issues" is provided so that many people can relate to the same ones and talk about them one-on-one or in group chats
      • these almost always have forums and chat associated so that conversations can be encouraged between those with potentially a lot in common
  • a list of "friends" or "colleagues" or etc that is supposed to represent one's real life social network but never does - it is a competitive sport on all such SNS to attempt to get the longest possible list so as to flatten the list of participants

features that make it useful

Of the hundreds of SNS that exist as of 2005-09, few can be expected to be running in two years. Some features that differentiate the purpose or focus of a particular service and may be key to keeping it up, running, and used:

Combinations of these features exist at LinkedIn.com, meetup.com, hotornot and net dating services.

effect on life

The effectiveness of SNS is debated and it may be a fad like CB radio in the 1970s: trying to "connect" people who have not much in common with a fun new technology, so they can realize they don't have that much in common.

Presumably it is better real lives or jobs or more effective meetings or matings that people seek by means of social networking, and not simply relief from the agony of spending too much time online, so some support for live meetings and geographic place may be considered an essential feature. See also GIS.

A local issues forum may be one of the most useful ways to fuse social network services with local political action. So too might a regional association of an NGO or political party. It would need to have the critical mass to get going, however, and so could not be too local.


Software options for SNS must take into account any integration later required with CMS or RSS/blog or wiki facilities. Accordingly share-alike or free software is advised as that will have a uniform license. The "content" (names, links, words) will be handled separately. No major SNS has an open content license on its user pages and user-authored information although most acknowledge users may put that anywhere they please. But starting a new service might require retrieval of a large database of such information without any detailed permission in advance.

It has become an issue between Wikinfo and Wikipedia whether the former should retrieve any user pages from the latter so as to give the impression that the person is using the Wikinfo, not Wikipedia, web portal to access the GFDL corpus. No one disputes the right of Wikinfo to use the material and adapt it, but, the social network that arises is Wikipedia's primary value. Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia and or a technology it is an interface to a social network, and that is its only and unique claim to fame.

Accordingly the mediawiki software it uses is setting standards in all social network service information, while fatal tikiwiki flaws prevent there from developing any substantial SNS based on tikiwiki.

Refer link en: wikipedia: social network service.