That is wikipedia's definition of the word. The key phrase here being "lets people collaborate and share information online." Now, that would include all sites such as del.icio.us, YouTube, digg, and so on. Blogs are the biggest part of this whole revoltion with the Web 2.0. However, something that refuses to make itself clear, is that how in the world did social network sites catch the bandwagon, and not only catch, but claw themselves over to the passenger seat next to the driver?
The rise of social networking
Suddenly, there are so many of these sites with the pack being led by very public contenders like Myspace and Orkut. The thing is not that people who feel left out are the ones looking to sign up at these sites and meet new people. Its perfectly normal people who have a blooking social life who are also looking at sites such as hi5, to keep in touch with near ones gone afar or finding new people to interact with! I thought blogs were the choice personal content publishing platform today, not these sites! Where would you place Myspace in this entire boom. You can't call just a blog, neither can you call it a forum. Social network site? Well, you could call it that, but why create a completely different category for them if blogs are present. Why do people look to them at all? Because its easier? C'mon, what can be easier than making a Blogger blog? It helps them invite their friends, add them to the list and just generally be one of the cool people on Myspace. We have seen all the controversies involving Myspace that keep popping up now and then!
If its just kids seeking voice, then weblogs are much safer and much more personal than any Myspace site. If you don't have any markup knowledge, pick up the default templates and cook up a blog! Myspace sites are nothing but memory leaking, horrible looking shams for personal web pages. When was the last time you saw someone get into trouble because of a weblog? Myspace is less than a year old, and already its got the reputation of one of the least safest sites on the internet. I'm not saying circles like Orkut and Google Groups is fine, but atleast they're more secure.
The death knell
Its time to abandon these so called networks. If you want to keep friends, get their e-mail addresses for goodness sakes. I know people who have an account in every one of these social circle services. However, its not friends who reply to your profiles. The perfect example being this one my friend got (Its kinda weird, but you get the idea). Keep out of all these ruts, security hassles, controversies. If you want a platform to voice your opinions, click here, and breathe easy!
Please! Be a little cooler than the rest of those Myspace geeks?