Social Networks, Advantages and Disadvantages

Social networks are groups of people connected by one or more types of social relationships, such as friendship, kinship or common interests.

The most popular, certainly are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Sonic, Bebo, MySpace, Hi5, Orkut, Friendster, Ning, Badoo and MyLife among others.

These social networks offer many advantages over e-mail, forums and chat, asynchronous and given his personal character, and the relative simplicity of its interfaces.

The advantages of networking

  • Socialization:

Considered by many the major advantage is that allows us to learn and internalize norms and values needed to relate with other individuals, either with friends from the past, current or new friends.

As in real life, in the virtual universe, there is a big community within each social network, in which all can participate, but with the proviso adapt to their standards, so it is necessary to know the netiquette of social networks.

Therefore users of social networks become active members of a small virtual society, where they can interact with others for the purposes they wish, friendship, love, business contacts, exchange of views, businesses, etc..

  • Job:

Since the emergence of the Internet in the world, has completely changed the way people find work.

Many companies have social environments in which communicate job opportunities, receive resumes and job interviews even realize. Besides using these platforms you can do all kinds of contacts, which can be used to find some work, they can even recommend to get a job.

A social network that focuses on this category is LinkedIn, so if you are interested in making professional and business contacts, it is important to take advantage of this network.

  • Business:

This category is closely related to the previous one, but the difference is not about getting a job, because you have a physical or virtual (Web site) you want to promote business.

It’s not just advertising to get new customers, but it also seeks to identify with the brand, important information, reviews and comments of the product or service, allowing you to correct anything that is wrong and achieve strengthen the relationship with your customers or consumers.

Interestingly, it is free, but requires time and effort, both for a small business that want to get noticed, or for a longer stay positioned brand you like on the first level.

The benefits we provide social networks are not just for businesses but for us consumers, and we will receive best deals, best deal and solutions to our problems related to products or services.

  • Information:

Although social networks are not focused in obtaining the information we provide highly relevant information through web sites, blogs and our contacts.

From minor issues like events to attend this weekend, the birthday of a friend or the latest releases at the cinema, even more relevant information and publications on topics of our interest, current news or important events in the life of our friends or contacts.

The primary information we receive is a significant advantage because the reader is facing the source, thus get better results.

Either way, social media provide us with a wealth of information, more social and personal.

The disadvantages  of Social media are:

• Exhibition of our private lives, if not properly configured privacy.

• There may be cases of impersonation.

• Lack of control data.

• They can become addictive.

• Can steal content we publish.

• Can be used by criminals for data on crime victims.

• Threats are made, discriminate, are scams and inciting violence through internet, because anyone can create a false identity that will be very difficult to discover.

No one denies the great potential of these social networks, but be very careful, especially when there are children in the home.

Therefore it is recommended to maintain certain nonpublic personal information; on the other hand, be respectful and not insulting, not incite violence or discrimination, or anything we do not like us.

Collaborative webs

Collaboration, mutual support and exchange is possible in numerous private and public spaces in the Collaborative Web. On the Web, the term “collaborative” sent to the various tools, sites and public or private social networks that allow users particularly:

Share useful information with others (eg testimony, review).

Exchange goods or services.

Communicate in real time.

Work simultaneously on projects with others.

There are different types of collaborative webs:

  • Review sites and forums:

These spaces are characterized by mutual aid: each member of the community is both producer of information (for example, review services or products) and recipient of these.

  • Wedges of services between individuals

The sites of exchange of goods and services or equipment rentals between individuals.

Sharing sites: carpooling, accommodation (eg couchsurfing).

Sites participatory project funding (crowdfunding).

  • Social networking and bookmarking sites

Public social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are already collaborative tools for sharing and keep information, exchange messages and documents, etc..

Community sites “bookmarking” as Delicious, Digg or healing of contents (Pearltrees, are also part of this group because they allow users to interesting websites plebiscite (voting) or select and share relevant information.

  • Collaborative encyclopedias

The most famous of which is Wikipedia, which features collaborative contributors. In the “high tech”, is a particularly potent collaborative space in the computer category.



Participatory Journalism

Consumers increase their participation in the new media, they share those content that best suit their satisfaction user experience.

The economic models of content companies become unprofitable while Internet becomes a large window of possibilities in the context of new economy. Why if many sectors of consumption are changing, journalism should be different?

Participatory journalism “is an act of a group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, creating, analyzing and disseminating news in order to provide independent, reliable, accurate, comprehensive and relevant information that a democracy requires.”

If so, there are still many uncertainties, such as whether the user can participate in all stages of the process of the news or just the selection of topics and data collection, and even know what has to be the real contribution of citizens in building today.

The participatory journalism should have:

Collective Intelligence: Beyond the competition between media and among journalists and citizens. Participation should be the factor to evolve from “the Information Society to the Society of Conversation.”

Share information: Power is not anymore in the new but in how we share it.

Quality: Participation should be safe for most contrasting information and improving the content. It cannot be an excuse to skip responsibility for possible errors.

Against job insecurity: Thinning of the essay is not an excuse to throw towards participatory journalism. Without professional and communicative means no consistency. No reporters no involvement with consistency. Readers cannot become the new journalists. Journalism develops and drags reporters and readers to new moors together.


Storytelling is a narrative form designed for children as audience and became a key marketing tool in the nineties in the United States. The technique refers to the use of stories to generate emotions, able to emotionally connect the company and its brands with their target audience.

Throughout the years, stories and narratives have been present in humanity as a way to transmit information from generation to generation and also as a way of recording events and cultural changes.

Stories have always accompanied mankind. Stories about wars, discoveries, conquests or inventions have been present in the life of humans. Marketing, advertising and communications have taken note of it to reinvent themselves.

Storytelling is the professional tool to “capture” the attention of people and connect them emotionally with brand associations. This strategy applied to qualities and benefits of the products they want to sell.

Stories have a number of elements that converge: a plot, characters, a setting, an outcome and narrative point of view. Leonardo Aguirre contends that under this idea, the Storytelling is currently defined as a narrative based communication technique to tell histories in order to generate emotions, taking into account that people can remember stories better than other information.

Companies tell stories about their products, services or persons, in order to capture the attention of the stakeholders, especially customers, fostering emotional bond with the brand that tells the story.

The combination of brand awareness with consumers’ positive associations impacts sales positively.

In that way the traditional media start to use the alternative media to communicate. Like the storytelling other alternative methods of communicate can become common tools of communication.

New Technology and Piracy

Piracy, as it is known, began with the origins of navigation and was practiced by all the seas of the globe, and still practiced in some, could not leave out of its scope to one of the seas they navigate one of the largest commercial traffic today: Internet.

The pirate’s practices were increasing while the technology was developing. Disarm security systems to outside computer or computers outside address and plunder have become the new offenses that these buccaneers have established in recent years. But, however, hackers (who are generally well known) appeared as a positive tool. Recall that the Internet was created by the government of the United States in the sixties and exclusively for military use. Then, to improve systems security, hires computer wizards to seek gaps in those systems, in order to improve it. Then those pirates made these new tools something that all the citizens can use.

Nowadays we use internet almost for everything. Is a way of communicate and express our ideas. Internet is a tool where knowledge can be share with the other users of internet also documents but when this things are on internet we lose the property of it and everybody can take it and use it.

But is that information that we share piracy if another person uses it or is just when you don’t want it to use it. Is internet a place where we can share our knowledge without care who can use it.

The only thing that is clear for me is that this should be more regulated. Internet can be a way of share or inform but when this is done when you don’t want it for me it becomes in a way of piracy.

Graffiti, a Way of Comminicate

The media have had a huge impact on the practice of street art and the historical development of it. The graffiti culture is built around a multitude of rules that determine how the sprayer has to get his tools, choose their supports, and shape the letters when writing.

The graffiti is an educational way of communication and expression by drawing symbols, icons, characters, letters and signs.

Is important to say that the world of graffiti has been influenced by the participation of young people, as they have managed to develop their own techniques for artistic creative production, using elements that have become a phenomenon, to some commercial spot, giving it a sense different from what we understand as art.

Culture is the symbolic dimension of the social that is embodied in a number of different supports: objects, actions, situations, actors, knowledge, discourses, from which you configure and order the social world (Gonzalez 1994). Also cultural graffiti manifestations are art world.

This movement is developing by alternative media, publishing their work in a network that they create. It is the invasion of a plastic culture with spontaneous invented roots, like fashions, musical styles, alternative social worlds, complicated tools that facilitate human life, etc.., Technology is the channel through which it has spread throughout the world, this can be corroborated with the same mass media such as the telephone, television, and especially the Internet, which are the most important. The internet is the “new meter” of graffiti,  is the support carrying the works from one end to another scene, and not limited to a city, but spread throughout the world.

Between the alternative way of communicate there us the graffiti, as registration or drawing made on any surface in public places, the purpose is to attract the attention of people. The sprayers are groups that transform walls into spaces for community expression, developing and characterizing their identity.

Community Radio

The participation of the audience in the radio has its origins almost at the beginning of the radios when the audience starts to send letter to the programs. But it becomes more relevant when the telephone becomes popular on the 60’s. Since then the participatory of the audience in the radio is increasing, especially with the new technology.

The new technology gives the audience the opportunity to take part of the radios in many ways, but are they really doing it?

The radios still having the call and the emails section where the audience can get in contact and give their opinion but also the new media makes the communication and the participatory easy for the public who wants to take part of any radio program.

Those sections were the audience is taking part of the programs is becoming every day more relevant. The radio programs can have different topics and different structure but almost all of them has a section were the public can participate on it.

Some of the radio gives really importance to this and this makes the audience takes part of the radio and feel it in a different way. There is no someone talking or putting music is a community where the opinion of the public is relevant.

Definitely the audience is participating every day more in this media in many different ways and more radios are starting to be not just that also community radios.


Underground Press in Spain

Nowadays the underground press is something that you cannot find in Spain because the people are allowed to express their ideas and opinions, but in the period when the dictator Franco had the power those kind of press where really important.

These materials are essential to understand the political activities of clandestine groups who opposed the Franco regime specially the Communist Party. During the leadership of Franco he was using the press like the “fourth power” and it was the propagandistic method more use. This kind of press tries to reflect the good image of Franco to society also in that way he transmit the ideology of the “New State”.

However, the underground press could hide from Franco’s control. More than 1000 publications per day, from different ideologies, compete with Franco’s press and create their own language.

In that period there was some handmade magazines written from the jail and different concentration camps. Those magazines gives hope to the opponents to Franco to still fighting and to don’t accept the defeat. Like out of the prison those magazines were done to help the prisoners to still supporting their ideology despite the strong pressure of Franco’s ideology that they were spouting in the jail. One example of this kind off press was “Solidaridad Obrera”

This is just a story from the past for us because we believe that we are free to express our ideas and also the press is not controlled but is really like this? Are the magazines and newspaper free for express their sincerely opinion? In my opinion if it will be like this there wouldn’t be alternative press media.

What is alternative media?

The alternative media begin to have recognition in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century. This is when journalists begin to become independent from traditional media creating web portals, transmitting the same information but from another point of view.

At the beginning all the public did not have access to this information for non-technological advances totally opposite to what happens nowadays.

Alternative media are those formed by journalists away from the traditional and conventional means of communication. Those media has a particular and different way of communicate, in most cases those who resort to visit these Web sites do in order to find deeper and more accurate information about a specific topic depending on the tastes and preferences. Those journalists try to give real information to their lectors without any economic or political influence. The television, magazines or radio were the economic influence from companies or political party is very strong their mean goal is not to inform, it is to have the best rating, sales or audience for each case respectively.

Without judge or offend the mainstream media, it is no secret that the “realities” that claim to sell these media are full of misinformation and interests.

With alternative media that supposed reality becomes almost a myth, as the field of communication is so broad that there are portals for all interest, ideology, political, cultural, economic, ecological, social ideologies, religious; creating accessibility to information a little easier and faster not to mention that is getting wider.

Unfortunately the society has allowed television, radio and print media to be handled in different ways, then coming to not be as informative, which is why the alternative media have generated impact of critical, creative and social way, with communication skills that make the receiver understand the news with real facts and credibility to the information.

Georgia Mihaita