Social Media And Development Tools Computer Science Essay

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Abstract: Social media is the type of media that is based on conversation and communication between people using the internet, where media alone means videos, pictures and sound. These media can be shared in the internet to achieve social, cultural or financial value. This paper studies a range of different types of social media on the internet and different types of development tools available. It also compares the difference between these tools.

Keywords: Social Media, Social Networks, Development Tools, Web 2.0, Application, widget.

1 Introduction

According to Kaplan and Haenlein social media can be define as "a group of Internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content". Social media have many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, micro blogging, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, and voice over IP, to name a few. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

2 Types of Social Media

Social Media are characterized by the functionality that facilitates the sharing of information between users within a network or site. The nature of Social Media allows for the opening of conversation by either party, a key differentiator from established broadcast channels. There are many Types of social media; each of them has its own characteristics that differentiate between them. The most known types of social media are as follow:

Fig.1: Social Media Types

2.1. Microblogging

Microblogging is a form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically much smaller, in both actual size and total file size. A microblog entry could consist of nothing but a short sentence fragment, or an image or embedded video. The usual size of a microblog is 140 characters.

2.2. Video

Video sharing sites are where people can upload videos to share either privately with only selected other users or publicly. Creative commons licensing rights can grant permissions for others to use the videos by simply embedding the codes in their blogs. The most well known video sharing website is YouTube.

2.3. Photo sharing

Photo sharing sites are where people can upload photos to share either privately with only selected other users or publicly. Creative commons licensing rights can grant permissions for others to use the photos by simply embedding the codes in their blogs.

2.4. Book marking

Book marking applications allow users to share their favorite online content with one another while also creating online bookmarks that the user can refer to in the same way he would a bookmark created offline in his web browser.

2.5. Search

Searches can be personalized, rated and saved. This not only increases efficiency it also builds the service into a more powerful tool. Beyond that, search is getting more and more powerful and granular. Part of its evolution will be to both measure social media sites and to incorporate their features. Both of these will be able to provide very valuable data.

2.6. Forums

Forum or message board is an online discussion site. It originated as the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board, and a technological evolution of the dialup bulletin board system. From a technological standpoint, forums or boards are web applications managing user-generated content.

2.7. Blogs

Blogs are online journals where the author can write blog about any interest he wants. The blogger can also use the blog to share content picked up from other social media sites such as YouTube by taking advantage of the simple embed codes offered by those content hosts.

2.8. Wikis "Wikipedia"

A wiki refers to content created online as a result of multiple users working on the same content, but at different times and from different places

2.9. Social Networking

Social networking sites allow users to add friends, send messages and share content. People on social networking sites are grouped in communities of same interest. With all the technology out there it's easy to forget that social media is about socializing. These sites are a great source of both inspiration and warning. Inspiring because of the number of creative applications found within the sites and a warning for the same reason.

2.10. Presentation Sharing

Files can be uploaded as PDF's and they are then converted to work with the online presentation applications. These presentation tools include embed codes and email options as well, making it easy for the content to be shared online.

2.11. Live Casting

Peoples can watch live video streaming online from any channel. One of the main features of live casting that people can chat and discuss what they are watching. The most famous website is

2.12. Instant messenger

According to instant messenger can be defined as a type of communications service that enables you to create a kind of private chat room with another individual in order to communicate

in real time over the Internet, analogous to a telephone conversation but using text-based, not voice-based, communication. Typically, the instant messaging system alerts you whenever somebody on your private list is online. You can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual. There are many known applications such as MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger and Google talk.

3 Social Media Applications

Web applications are software programs designed to work on one or more platforms. The term "Application" is most commonly used to describe a platform specific program, such as a Facebook or MySpace application, which can tap into the sharing functionality or data available on a particular social network. This data includes such things as a user's friends or location. Applications work only on the platform for which they are designed. The key difference between a widget and an application is portability. Widgets are applications that can function on any site that accepts external content, including social networks, blog platforms, start pages, desktop platforms or personal Web pages. Widgets can be built to function differently on each platform, delivering varying degrees of integration with a social network, from accessing and using social data to not interacting with the platform at all. Social applications encourage connectivity, self expression or collaboration, often through games, productivity tools or interactive content.

The differences between the developments tools of social media are depend on the social media provider. Each provider has specific approach and tools to use. For example, Facebook has many tools such as video sharing, photo sharing and blogs. Others, has less than 3 tools or application to provide such as YouTube. In the next paragraphs, list of different applications will be provided and

Fig.2: Facebook Logo.

Facebook is categorized as social network sites. Facebook has many developments in the last decades. The developers have introduced many features to Facebook in additional to its main features. Facebook was known as a social network site where people can add friends to their list and share photos with others and commenting on pictures. One of the new features or tools is the video sharing and it was in 2007. Another tool that was added to Facebook is Facebook notes. This tool allows the user to import blogs and images from other websites. Another new tool is the status update. The main functionality of this tool is to let the user knows the status of a friend. This tool is used differently by the users. They can post a message to their friends to read and their friend can reply to them by pressing the "like" button to let them know if they like the message. Facebook allows the user to access their account any time anywhere using the mobile phones. They developed an application that can be installed on any mobile phone. Also there is a tool called event. This tool will inform if the users if there any coming event. Facebook also has introduced the Facebook chat. This tool let the user chat not only peer to peer, but it allows the user to chat with many other friends. Finally, the notification tool that will inform the user if there is any update on the profile or there are any new comments.

Fig.3: twitter Logo.

Twitter on the other hand, is categorized as a microblogging social site. Twitter has maintained its functionality as a microblogging service provider. Its interface uses Ruby in Rails frame work. According to Wikipedia Ruby in Rails can be defined as "an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language. It is intended to be used with an agile development methodology that is used by web developers for rapid development". The most notable Twitter tools and services is twitter client and it is called "Snitter". It is an Adobe AIR-powered application for twittering. Snitter is made on the Adobe AIR platform which is both Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows compatible. Another impressive application is TweetGlide. It is a desktop application for Windows and Mac allowing users to track their followers, tweets and direct messages plus transfer targeted traffic onto their email lists via direct ad-space. TweetGlide also has a special feature whereby members can tweet over the 140 character limit.

Fig.3: YouTube Logo.

Another interesting social media application is video sharing and YouTube is a very good example. Video sharing in general and YouTube in specific are very popular because of the limitation of ISP offering regarding the usage. In addition, the massive market of mobiles camera phones that has increased the user generated videos. Furthermore, other types of social medias such as blogs, internet forums and other interactive pages. In my opinion, YouTube has become more popular among user because of the following: Firstly, it is cost effective. Watching any video format does not require lot of bandwidth. YouTube is using flash technology that is embedded in the user browser. Secondly, in the past, uploading and playing videos online was very difficult task for normal users. But today, it is very simple and most video sharing sites support any video formats. The other important tool in video sharing in general is video blogging. This can be defined as "a form of blogging for which the medium is video, and is a form of Internet television. Entries often combine embedded video or a video link with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts". This often take advantage of web syndication to allow for the distribution of video over the Internet using either the RSS feed or Atom syndication formats, for automatic aggregation and playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

Fig.4: Flickr Logo.

Flickr is a well known as photo sharing website. The core functionality of the site relies on standard HTML and HTTP features, allowing for wide compatibility among platforms and browsers. Organizr uses Ajax, with which most modern browsers are compliant, and most of Flickr's other text editing and tagging interfaces also possess Ajax functionality. Flickr's functionality includes RSS and Atom feeds and an API that enables independent programmers to expand its services. In addition, the website supports blogging functionality. The user can comment on picture add information and so on.

Fig.5: Wikipedia Logo.

A Wiki is a social media website that allows creating and editing pages via web browser using simplified markup language. These sites such as Wikipedia, allows the user to share information with others. In addition, it is allowed to other to make update on the content or the on the information on the site. Wiki software can be used in education. An example of using its in education is university of Tasmania. UTAS allows students to use wikis for educational purposes.

4 Comparison between Social Media Tools

The main similarities between social media according to Shamra (2008) are the two main features of Web 2.0 are: Firstly, Web 2.0 contents are dynamic and proactive. Secondly, the use of XHTML,CSS 2.0,Ajax,flex and similar other rich media producing technologies have potentially helped making web services lighter, faster, less cluttered and more appealing to the end user. A great user experience plays a big role today, in making users come back again to the web service. All of these features plays very important role in attracting users to social media. Also, all social media have at least one feature from the previous features. On the other hand, the differences in development tools are very wide area. There are many tools for developing social media sites and applications, such as the development language, types of media, types of scripts and what the application is used for. Nowadays, the competition between social media sites to attract more users to them has reached to its maximum. Many sites such as Facebook have added many tools in addition to its original one. The most notable advantages that many companies provided to developer are opening the product to them by using Application Programming Interface or API. It is a way for outside people to build a product or applications off of an existing service. MySpace applications and Facebook Connect are nice examples.

5 Conclusion

In this paper, we have studied different kind of social media; also we have studied some of development tools for these media and finally, we compare some differences between these tools. The introduction of Web 2.0 has a great affect on user experience. In addition, the use of XHTML, CSS 2.0, Ajax, flex and similar other rich media producing technologies helped making web services lighter and faster to users.