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Social networking is the processing of building online communities, often accomplished both through "groups" and "friends" lists that allow greater interaction on websites.


Social Networking


My Space Activity

This part will take a little time but it may be very interesting. Go to www.myspace.com. Try and find students from your district and see if you can find any personal information that is posted publicly (details below). This process will serve a few purposes... Primarily, if you have never been on a social networking site before, this will give you a look at what's out there. What do these things look like? How are they set up. Be warned! You may stumble on some offensive pictures or music. MySpace does not allow pornography by there are only about a dozen moderators (MySpace employees that look for problems) for the millions of subscribers. MySpace relies heavily on users reporting problems which often does not happen. In addition to seeing what is out there, you may be able to get an idea of what's out there regarding your school. Also, if you have children of your own, you should probably search for them. Remember, as was discussed in the video, even if a child has his profile set to "private", anything he or she writes on public pages are visible.

Searching on MySpace This isn't easy... Try searching for your school name, the school district name, or unusual names of teachers, students, or mascots. One of the most important things to remember is that when you try and search in MySpace, there is a little drop-down menu at the end of the search bar that allows you to select where you are searching. Set that to MySpace or else it searches the entire world wide web. external image File?id=dfmfp25j_31cn89djdw_b
MySpace restricts minors from showing up in search results. The thing is, most kids lie about their age so they will show up anyways. When searching, you may get hits for graduates. That's not a bad place to start. If they are recent graduates, they may have friends listed that are still in school. This can be time consuming and frustrating at first but it's like searching for gold... at some point you may just stumble upon a rich vein. This can also be a complete time sink. Once you find some, you can wind up looking and reading for hours. So limit yourself to about an hour or so for this. For those of you in the same district, feel free to share. Oh... another warning. MySpace has the ability to insert music into your page (more on that in module 3). Sometimes these songs are loud and obnoxious. If you have the volume up on your computer and you go to someone's page with something loud, it can scare the pants off you. I only say this because I saw a wonderfully serene and calm librarian almost go into cardiac arrest when she visited a site that had a Lil' John song as the background music (a rapper who likes to yell... a lot). Oh, we can laugh about it now, but she literally fell out of her chair. Also, you cannot look at pictures, even public pictures, without having an account. You may do this if you wish but I would not put any real information into the account. If you create a dummy account, do not use it to pretend to be someone else and try and add students as "friends". Although many, many people do this, it is against the Terms of Service for MySpace and, quite frankly, underhanded. It's one thing to browse information that students have posted in the public space but another to pretend to be someone else and then get added to a student's private account under false pretenses.
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