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Networking on the Internet

This world is a different place to live in with the emergence of relationships that are not formed on the basis of race or ethnicity. The Internet has almost dissolved the cultural barriers that have existed for centuries. The formation of online communities is an example of multiculturalism at its best. These communities are the result of the ages of Reason and Enlightenment which reiterated the notions of individuality and freedom. They also favored the celebration of the ordinary. One of the most prolific results of such developments in the modern age is the advent of networks of various communities coming together at one place. Networking on the Internet to achieve common goals as well as to realize personal goals is a transforming phenomenon of the information age. A whole new field of study has emerged – social network analysis. Social network analysis studies a social structure that is comprised of organizations or individuals that are brought together by different kinds of relationships such as love, hate, friendship, finance, hobbies, careers, etc…

The first social community to be formed on the Internet was in 1995. was formed in 1997. Orkut was started by Google in 2004 and Yahoo came up with Yahoo! 360° in March 2005. They are all based on different models of networks such as Old Boys Network, Web of Contacts, Circle of Trust, Circle of Friends, etc… Craigslist is an urban community that caters to the simple needs of ordinary people living in various cities across the globe. Founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark for the San Francisco Bay Area, this group has expanded to serve 310 cities worldwide. It works with a staff of 22 people. Its unique source of income is to charge for ads in select cities, $25 for San Francisco bay Area, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Washington DC, and Seattle. The Home Page includes features like jobs, communities, housing, for sale, services, resumes, gigs, personals, and discussion forums, along with a list of all the US states and cities, Canadian provinces and cities, international cities and countries where it operates.

Internet Based Moms is another very interesting form of networking on the Internet for moms. It is designed to help moms work from home or start an Internet-based business. It provides help with information about how to run an Internet based business, design a web site, provide keywords for Search engine Optimization, and help with marketing campaigns. It features a self-help guide called “The Internet Based Family - Guide to Being a WAHM”. WAHM stands for “Work At Home Moms”.

Internet Strategy Forum is another kind of network group that focuses on management professionals and executives. Internet marketing strategies are developed and implemented by the members of this forum. Members work in such huge organizations as AOL, American Express, Bank of America, Barnes & Noble, Dow Jones, HP, Indiana University, IBM, Intel, Nike, Mercedes Benz, Oracle, Siemens, Time Inc., and Xerox.

Most of the online networks have knowledge sharing infrastructures such as Usenet that was created in 1980, the WELL formed in 1985, AOL which is the world’s largest Internet service providers, and Wikipedia which is the world’s largest online encyclopedia. Online networks are the consequence of what is known as imagined communities. These communities now find best expression in the cyberspace.

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