Social Networking

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and more




In this Internet Age, it is only natural that connected computers form the basis of new communities. This is a fundamental shift in human communications. If you do not think so, take a look at this video.

Blogs or Web Logs started this phenomenon but they are not always that easy to use for the casual user.

Social Networking sites build an on-line community of people with similar interests. According to Wikipedia:

The main types of social networking services are those which contain category divisions (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust.

There are numerous Social Networking Sites on the Internet. A few of the more popular and free sites are:

There are many Social Networking sites. You can find them all here and check for name availability. Just remember that every site has its own level of security and audience.

When one is dealing with other people, many of whom are strangers, trust is always a concern. Facebook is patrolled for abuse. One can easily report abuse and there is no advertising disguised as a post.

All the Social Networking Sites have a similar account creation process but we will concentrate on Facebook.

Creating a Facebook Account

One of the first things you will need is a UserName. This identifies you versus anyone else with the same or similar name. You can check for name availability on all the Social Networking Sites at NameCheck.

So let's create a site for my dog, Maggie. First we go to Facebook and create an account. Facebook New Account

Fill out all the fields and click Sign Up, and you'll be asked to prove that you are a human by typing a word or two.

If you can't read the words, you can select different words or audio captions.

This technique will be used throughout Facebook to prevent iBots from creating thousands of accounts for malicious purposes.

Enter the words in the box and click Sign Up.

Security

 

You will then get this screen, and an eMail that you must respond to in order to create an account.

eMail Confirm

 

With this eMail you click on the blue link to confirm your email address.

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You will then be asked to invite friends. For now just click on Skip this step. We will add friends later.

Add Friends

 

And you can check your address book for friends in Step 2. We will Skip this step too.

You can go back at anytime and let Facebook check your address book.

More Friends

 

We will finally start building our Facebook Profile in Step 3 where we enter our High School, College and Company information. These will greatly assist in finding friends. Click Save & Continue.

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In Step 4 we can add a picture by clicking on Upload a Photo or Take a Photo if you have a webcam.

Add a Picture

 

We do have a Photo so we click on Upload a Photo.

Photo

 

We find the picture we want by clicking on Browse to search through all the folders on your computer. We find the picture we like and click Save & Continue.

Picture done

 

It may ask again to find friends. Just skip until your Profile is complete and you get a chance to edit it.

Fill out whatever you wish to share then click Done Editing and your profile is finished

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We have finished your Facebook Account, so let's Logout. We do this by clicking on Logout in the blue navigation bar at the top of the screen. Profile Done

 

Navigating Around Your Facebook

Now that our profile is complete, let's take a look at what we can do with it. First we need to login to our account by going to Facebook and entering our Name (email address) and Password at the top right on the page. This will take us to our Home page:

Profile Done

 

First we're going to add some friends by clicking on Friends in the blue Facebook navigation bar at the top. When we click on it we get another menu further defining what we want to do with Friends. We want to Invite Friends. We have a couple in mind.

Friends

 

Where there is a three sections defined as Finding People You Email, Suggestions and Search for People. We want to Search for People so we will enter "Michael Conti" into the box. We find the "Michael Conti" we know on the 4th screen, so we click on Add as a Friend and Add a personal message and Send Request where we are once again challenged with a phrase.

Michael

 

Next we want to look for "Robert Lunaburg". He is the second entry so we add him as a friend.

Both Michael and Robert decide whether they want me as a friend through an email.

Bob

 

Now when I click on Friends and All Friends.

Friends

 

Now I have two friends on Facebook.

Two Friends

 

Now let's click on Home in the blue navigation bar.

My Home

 

This will take us to my Facebook home page. We already know that clicking on Friends will allow me to pick more friends. Note the little red box with 2 in it at the bottom right. It is telling us that we have two notifications, so we click on it.

Notifications

 

And we get a pop up menu showing that Robert Lunaburg and Michael Conti have accepted my Friend Request so we close the box and click on Settings in the blue bar.

Settings

 

Here we are able to change our account settings or delete the account. You can try each of the items on your account. Notice the six tabs at the top. These are thing that allow Facebook to better serve us, so lets click on Networks. We are not affiliated with any Networks, so we will join the most basic, where we live. I type Atlanta in the box and choose Atlanta, GA as my home network. I can also choose High School, College and other things like Work. When done, we'll go back to Friends.

Networks

 

Where we now have a lot to choose from because Facebook knows where we live and knows the friends of our friends. We're going to become a fan of SourceForge. It's a software organization that dad belongs to. If we click on More at the bottom left we will get even more. If we know we do not want to become friends, simply click on the X to the right of the name. It's a good idea to do that every so often.

Friends now

 

Let's scroll down a little farther and find some friends. First, I know our Representative in Congress has a Facebook profile. Since I know Tom, I'll add him.

Tom Price

 

Or, if I scroll to the top of the Friends page, I can search my whole Address Book for Facebook Friends.

Addr Book

 

Everyone on Facebook has a wall to write on. If you want to send a message to someone you know, you have three choices. If they are already a friend, you have their email address and can write on their wall where all their friends can see it, or use Facebook Inbox and Compose message to compose a private message. To do that you simply click on their picture. You can find their picture in Friends or searching on their name. Then Write something and click on Share. Whatever you write will be placed on their wall where they and their friends can see.

OK, go to your Facebook Page and explore. This lesson should have piqued your interest and took you far enough to get started. The lesson is complete.