An Introduction to Social Networking

 

A social network is a group of people, or organisations, that are connected through some mutual relationship, for example friends, school alumni, or work colleagues. 
Social Networking websites provide a way to represent social networks, for example:
  • Facebook – your friends, family and more
  • LinkedIn – your professional contacts
  • Twitter – the people that interest and amuse you
These websites provide ways to interact within these groups through sharing of content (text, pictures or video), comments, or ratings for example. 
 
BITC Connect also provides a way to model social networks developed and discovered through the work of the Business Connectors. 
 
Connections provide a way to connect individuals and organisations focused on a specific local endeavour. Members of a connection can share information through Posts and Resources, and interact through the Activity Wall and commenting on Posts. 
 
Organisations provide a way to represent the interests and concerns of a specific organisation allowing for a separation between its interests and its members. Organisations can be used to represent businesses or voluntary organisations and groups. 
 
By establishing relationships at the Organisation or Connection level, instead of the individual user level, the relationships can remain throughout changes in membership, for example after people have left or joined the membership of the Organisation or Connection. This is useful when you consider that Business Connectors work on secondments and wish to hand-over their connections once the secondment has ended. 
 
Creating these relationships within BITC Connect you are able to better target messages and information to ensure the reach the right audience, to collaborate within a group of people with shared interests, and to better report the actual connections and contacts being made in the field. 
 
These relationships are referred to as associations and can be maintained by the managers of the respective home pages, be these Organisations, Connections, or Business Connectors.