Web technologies and social media applications

Social networking

  • A social structure that can be represented as a directed graph
  • The nodes represent individuals and the edges (connections, links) their relationships.
  • Social network analysis (SNA) views these relationships in terms of network theory (part of graph theory that studies graphs as representations of either symmetric or asymmetric relations between discrete objects).
  • Social networks operate on many levels and play a critical role in problem solving, organisation running etc.
  • The small world experiment* (six degrees of separation)
  • A recent electronic small world experiment at Columbia University found that about five to seven degrees of separation are sufficient for connecting any two people through e-mail **
  • Sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to an undefined large group of people or community (crowd) through an open call.
  • Crowd-sourcing is particularly relevant to the social cloud. Business-driven social clouds channel online resources and social media to individual businesses, but, more importantly, can power clouds-sourcing and enable its many forms, some independent and non-profit and some particularly suitable for business development.
  • Blogs

TypePad, Blogger, Free Blog Hosting, etc.

  • Wikis

Wikipedia, Wiktionary, etc.

  • Social Network

Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendster, MySpace, etc.

  • Social Bookmarking

del.icio.us, Diigo, etc.

  • Media Sharing

YouTube.com, Flickr, Last.fm, etc.

  • Instant Messaging

Yahoo Messenger, Skype, ICQ, etc.



  1. Wordle is an application that generates word clouds from provided text. Login and visit the site at //www.wordle.net/ (follow the link Create your own)

From the module website, open the module handbook, select the whole document, copy and paste it on the interactive text box of Wordle. Click the Go button and watch the tag cloud taking shape. The button Randomize generates different representations.


  1. Visit the US presidential speeches tag cloud at //chir.ag/projects/preztags/

Use the vertical ruler to see the top 100 tags of a number of US presidential speeches over the years.







  1. Find a business-oriented website that utilises a tag cloud and identify its purpose.//ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/tag/collins-amendment/

Go through the tasks above and make a note of your observations. Based on them and on the material covered in the lecture (for more information you can read the articles in the section below)


  1. What possible applications of tag clouds can you think of?


  1. What possible disadvantages are there

Justify your answers.

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