Social Networking Project

Project Length: 2-3 Weeks

Points Possible: 20

GOALS and Objectives

GOAL: This project will introduce you to social networks, the impact they are having within our society, and provide you with an opportunity to observe and interact within a social networking environment.


  1. After reviewing the project resources you will list three ways that social networking is impacting our society, and then describe your own ideas about the advantages and disadvantages of social networking in both professional and personal areas of a person's life.

  2. You will join and participate in a social networking group and then describe the experience by answering questions 4-8 below.

Suggestion: Create a new email account for this project (hotmail, yahoo or gmail) in order to protect your other email accounts from Spam. An email address is typically required when registering to join a social networking site.


A. Project Resources

    The following are online, text resources that cover different aspects of social networking including how it is impacting the workplace and seniors.

    The Dallas News just did a piece on Social Networking and Seniors 

    PEW Reports that cover this topic:
         Social Networks and Teens
         Social Networks and Work
         Adults and Social Networking 

    Wall Street Journal is writing about social networking too. In fact, it is so pervasive with teen's and young adults, that many don't even use email anymore, instead they communicate via their social networking site.

    Short, entertaining online videos that describe social networking.
    Click the picture to right of each description to launch the video in a new window.

    See how Social Networking has expanded by watching this video.

    Potential employers are looking for you online! I know of one person who did not get an offer for a job because the search committee "Googled" him and found some questionable material on a social networking site.

    Do you want to learn about Social Networking in "plain English?" This video is for you. My personal favorite!


  • BLOG
    Blogs provide a way to communicate information and allow interaction with users; users can comment on blog postings.  See Blogs in Plain English (video)

    Blogs that I contribute to include Bb9 at UIS Blog and Google Wave Blog

    Online Blogging Tools: Blogger and Word Press

  • NING
    You can join a pre-existing Social Network, but you may also create one for a hobby, business or as an alternative to a PowerPoint presentation! 

    I have personally designed a social network for those interested in Google Wave and belong to the following Social Networks: Web 2.0 Technologies in Higher Education, Web 2.0 Research Tools and
    Cloud Computing.

    Explore current NINGs and consider creating one!



B. Join a Social Networking Group

Note: No two students can join the same group.
         You cannot select a group that you already belong to.

  1. Join either an established Social Networking Site, start a NING or Blog.

  2. Select one or two that you may want to join unless you are creating a Ning or Blog.

  3. Create a New Thread in the 'My Pick' discussion board.

    - Scan the postings to make sure no one has selected the group you want to join.

    - Enter the Name of the group you will join in the Subject line.

    - If you are creating a Ning or Blog enter that in the subject line and then in the Message
      area enter the purpose of the Blog or Ning

    Make sure to provide enough detail in the subject line that others can quickly determine
    if you have selected a Social Networking Site that they were going to choose.

  4. Join the group or start the Ning or Blog.

  5. Email me the following information:
    - URL and group name
    - User ID or whatever name I can find you under in that social networking group, Ning or Blog

  6. Actively participate in the group for at least two weeks and then answer the questions below (remember to use either MLA or APA to cite your sources).

  7. Create a New Thread in the Social Networking Project Assignment discussion board.

  8. Copy your answers and paste them into the Message box.

C. Preparation

  • Prepare your answers in a word processing program. If using Word 07 you will need to Save As Word 03 prior to copying the text to into a New Thread.

  • Your answers should take up at least  1 1/2 pages in a word processing program.

  • Single spaced, 12 point font, 1" margins with a double space between paragraphs.

  • All answers should be complete sentences with no grammatical or spelling mistakes.

D. Assignment Questions

Make sure to number each answer to the question



1.  Based on the project resources, is social networking what you thought it would be?
     Do you engage in social networking? If "yes" describe your experience. If "no" why not?


2.  How would you describe social networking to someone with little or no Internet experience
     (think about trying to explain to your parents or grandparents)?


3.  Describe at least two positives and two negatives related to social networking.
     Make sure to contextualize your response. For example, how does social networking
     impact a business.


4. What social networking group, Ning, Blog or Wiki did you join or start? What is the purpose
    of the group or the purpose of your Ning, Blog or Wiki?


5. Explain the registration process and site navigation.


6. Describe how you connected with other members or found followers for your Ning, Blog
    or Wiki.


7. Describe your interaction during the span of the project. How often did you visit the site,
    how did you communicate with other members, what were the features of the site, etc.
    Make sure to provide 'snippets' of your communication with other members.


8. Now that you have had an opportunity to participate in a social networking group,
    describe the value of social networking and the future of social networking as a
    communication and community-building tool. You may want to just focus on business
    social networking or hobbyist social networking or social networking in general.
     Associate your response with the Project Resources.


9. Respond to at least three other project postings. Your response should be at least 1/2
   page in length.  A response will be worth up to 2 points. 

   Make sure to reply to those who comment on your posting.