Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Social Network Websites
Except for a brief period in their nascent stage—when was an emergent tool designed to create community offline—social networking websites have become the venues in which young people interact in cyberspace. With their ease of access and increasing cache of tools for self-expression and communication, these sites have become one of the most popular ways for youth and others to engage each other and anyone who cares to visit a profile. While other forms of social media—such as blogs, content communities and podcasts—bring together Internet users online, only social networking websites facilitate this interaction primarily for social interaction. One of the essential characteristics of social networking websites is participation—outside of the basic support infrastructure of such sites, the content is entirely user-generated and user-aggregated. A second is community formation—networking sites form the basis of many virtual communities among friends or by commonly shared interests. The sites allow users to create ...