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JesseHobby – A-level – Online Services Coursework

Communication services General:

There are many different varieties of online communication which the world usesevery day to communicate one with another. These include a variety of Internet based applications, which work over the Internet (evidently) and allow many forms of connection and communication between users. Instant message,blogging, emailing, videoing and podcasting are all examples of types of social networking that allow communications over the Internet. Most online communication services today involve instant messaging due to the modern, fast pace of the world. The applications that are more dedicated to this form of messaging are MSN Instant Messenger, Facebook, Skype and Twitter. Other messaging systems like emailing, blogging and podcasting take longer for messagesto be received and acknowledged, however these messagesare easier to store and can be stored and saved as records of information. Applications with these availabilities and features include Mobile Me, Hotmail, BlogSpot and iTunes (for podcasting). The list advantagesof online communication could theoretically go on forever. The main advantage is being able to store information in bulk through the high speed of the messaging systems. This is done by storing temporary files (which are recorded in a file each time a link is clicked on the internet), but also as visible data on websites such as facebook that will always have the information stored, when inserted into profiles and accounts of friends and family, work colleaguesand even customers. Another advantage is that the way communication is developed in the modern day; there are always ways which online social networking can be improved. Maybe in a few years from now social networking will progress so that everyone can experience ‘tele-presence’ as a standard social networking availability. Despite the cost of this, there is a possibility that it might happen. Many of the online communication methods have free running costs. Another advantage is that updates for these Internet applications are available to download on a regular basis to make the services more efficient and modern with new features. Online communication is also very effective for advertising events and products. The disadvantagesof online communication include high expense of start up costs and some running costs (broadband), the hardware that is used to produce these services can become aged, which means the technology may not work as affectively, for example if someone has an old Windows 98 PC,it may struggle to keep up with the modern technology, connection speeds and memory available of the Internet. Another drawback of online communication is the need of having to keep updating software or even hardware, although this can be very rewarding, it can also be a very long processand not very cost effective at times. Furthermore some updates may in fact be worse than what level the software/hardware was already at. Another disadvantage of online communication is that it can be misused and abused so that cyber-


JesseHobby – A-level – Online Services Coursework

bullying occurs in quick succession, which can be detrimental for very sensitive or very aggravated people. In conclusion, online communication has many advantagesand disadvantages. But overall if online communication continues to be used for good through socialising, then further development of online communication can be assessed,which will bring the world to the next level of communication through the Internet. FACEBOOK: Statistics and facts of facebook: http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php? statistics “Facebook is the most popular online social networking website in the world.” The founder Mark Zuckerberg and his co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin founded Facebook in February 2004 as a small utility to help friends, family and co-workers communicate better. They launched this online service from their dorm room at Harvard University. It then began to expand to other areas such as Stanford, Columbia and Yale in March and in June their main HQ was moved to Palo Alto, Calif. In September of that same year Facebook began to develop their ideas further with a “Groups” application alongside the “Wall” which was added to the Profile features. Later on in December of that year Facebook reached nearly 1 million active users. Since 2004, Facebook has continued to grow and is the fastest growing social networking service in the world, as they currently have over 500 million active users. Its network revolves around real-time and real-world social connections, which is what makes Facebook so popular. Facebook is a multi-million dollar company, with Greylock Partners leading round three of the funding scheme at $27.5 million. Facebook’s services are all managed by the 1,700 + employeesthat work 24/7 to provide this service around the world in over 66 different languages. Part of what makes facebook different to other social networking sites is the ability that users have to edit their account settings and private settings. Due to this availability, more and more users are attracted becauseit is a simple and safe way to stay connected with friends, family and co-workers. Facebook is “TRUSTeCertified” which means that people have control over what information they share with others.

Some of features of facebook include (note: some content has been blurred for privacy purposes):


JesseHobby – A-level – Online Services Coursework 1) News Feed

This is the news feed, where it shows all the different activity that a user’s friends get involved in, whether it be posting things on peoples profile walls, becoming friends with others or even liking someone else’s activity. From the news feed (home page) a user can accessthe chat feature to his/her friends, advertisements, applications/games, events, messagesand the profiles of other others. The advantagesof this are that users can overlook all the different areasof facebook and access almost every facebook feature. The drawbacks of the news feed page is that it is not particularly private, as anyone from a friend to a friend of a friend can see what a user posts on his/her friend’s profile wall. This may allow people to see conversations, which are the source or social disturbances and argumentative friendship break-ups. However it can also be effective to advertise upcoming events such as festivals and celebrations. But this can again be a downfall, when too many users have visual accessto the details of these events and decide to physically attend the events when they are not invited. An example of this was presented on the news when a girl posted an event on her wall for a party while her parents were away. More people attended the event than was planned and as a result her house was trashed, and many valuable items worth thousands of pounds were stolen. Facebook can be unsafe if users are irresponsible and post inappropriate content on their friend’s walls. 2) Instant Chat


JesseHobby – A-level – Online Services Coursework Instant Chat is a competitive alternative to the instant messaging from MSN. Although the efficiency and quality of the instant chat isn’t as good as MSN it is a more effective way of multitasking while on facebook. Many friends like to talk on facebook quickly, and the instant chat feature enables them to do so. However the downfall of this feature is that the quality is not very good and it often freezesor errors occur while it is processing. This is perhaps an issue the facebook engineering team will investigate and fix in the near future. 3) The ‘Like’ button

The Like button is a popular feature. It allows users to show their friends when they like a comment they have made, a group or a wall post. There have been many disputes about how this system works and certain users have made their own groups and pagespartitioning for a “Dislike” button. However they have been unsuccessful as facebook determined that an unlike button was not needed becauseif a user doesn’t like something, they just evidently don’t click the “like” button. Despite the advantagesof this feature, there have been online scamswhere administrators have created their own groups/games and have hidden viruses in the coding behind their group. When another user then clicks the “like” button to like the group or play a game they are immediately infected by a virus being installed on their computer. Usually these viruses cannot be detected. Other administrators of businessadvertisements may encode a link to the “like” button (the creation of a fake button) makes a link that will go directly to their website or that will sign a user up to getting notifications from that business. This is a common practise with online browsing today and users must be very aware of this.


JesseHobby – A-level – Online Services Coursework

4) Requests, Inbox Messaging + Notifications

Requests are also known as invitations where other users of Facebook invite you to join groups or to be their friend on facebook. The advantagesof these requests are that users can connect with each other and become friends on Facebook. This is particularly good to get back into contact with old friends from school for example. It also gives you the opportunity to join a group that gives u regular updates on news, events, videos and various other forms of information. Inbox messaging allows users to send each other messagessimilar to a simple emailing system. The benefits of this system are that it is easy to use and the messagescan be sent to a group of users or to a single user with confidentiality. The disadvantage is that it is not instant and some messagescan fail resulting in an error. Notifications

5) Groups. 6) Applications/games. 7) Adverts/pages. 8) Profile Pages. 9) Events


JesseHobby – A-level – Online Services Coursework

Online Communication  

Abridgement of reserach based courework

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