Social network platforms

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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, June 2017


See also Blogs | Canvas learning platform (by Instructure) | Social networking | Twitter | Web 2.0

Many social network platforms are available to Internet users for the purposes of social networking. Social networking is the practice of making connections with others for professional, educational and social purposes. It is possible to distinguish between various types of social networking practices as follows:

  • Social awareness sites are typically those such as Twitter and Facebook that aim to keep users current with new information as well as socially-aware
  • Social networking sites aid people to create media-rich webpages and manage contacts or "friends" using a web platform. The best known example is Facebook and pioneers were Friendster and MySpace. A variant are platforms to create networks, e.g Ning.
  • Social linking platforms promote links between entries describing persons (profiles). A well known platform for professionals is LinkedIn.

Social network sites

According to Danah Boyd, social network sites can be defined through three features: profiles, friends and comments.


  • API standards to script platforms like Facebook and Ning (more details needed plus links to other web 2.0 standards)
  • FOAF - Friend of a Friend, a RDF standard for linking people (for which various applications exist)

Examples of social networking platforms

Examples of linking platforms

Examples of platforms to promote exchange

  • Ning "create your own social network"
  • ThinkQuest "a complete learning environment for primary and secondary schools."
  • Youfig "create your own secure collaboration communities branded & customized for your business or organization."
  • Wiggio "is the easier way to work in groups".

Examples of mashups built on top

One of the problems with social networking is that your friends or yourself are present on different platforms. One way to keep in touch is to use a mashup application that integrates elements (e.g. the latest messages).

  • AOL Lifestream "one stream, multiple networks. Read, comment and post to all of your networks from one handy place."
  • Seesmic "manage multiple accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Tumblr, etc"

Institutions and people

  • (shows researchers around the world in a 'tree' format, organized according to institution/department; shows interests and you can upload papers).



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