Taking Social Networks to the Next Level

Taking Social Networks to the Next Level

Alexiei Dingli (Department of Intelligent Computer Systems, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), University of Malta, San Gwann, Malta) and Dylan Seychell (Department of Intelligent Computer Systems, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), University of Malta, San Gwann, Malta)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/jdst.2012100103


The success of social networking sites has led people to require the use of multiple accounts on different platforms which effectively increases the risks in managing them. Following and finding information about friends and family has become an issue too. Guided by these observations and by careful research of existing adaptive web technologies, the authors’ team worked on the development of SNAP - an adaptive social network integrator which aimed to amalgamate various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr) in one adaptive environment, which unobtrusively sorts the users’ feed according to his/her preference. To achieve data transfer and authorisation, SNAP uses the newest version of the OAuth protocol. Adaptivity was achieved through statistical filtering. The initial field tests show that the system works, however there is definitely room for improvement in terms of Social Network Integration, and testers generally expressed an interest in the idea of using an adaptive social integrator such as SNAP. On top of this, the authors will be suggesting a number of improvements which will change the way society uses social networks forever.
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Literature Review

Social Web

The World Wide Web (WWW) was proposed by Berners-Lee and Groff (1992) in their paper named “WWW.” The concept was that of a group of global internet users contributing to a global source but in a very limited manner when compared to the frequency of the content being queried. In this web, users were mostly consumers of information. In their paper ‘Teaching Web Development in the Web2.0 Era,’ Wang and Zahadat claimed that in around 2003 people started to use the web differently and shifted from the “read-only” environment (Wang & Zahadat, 2009).

We were all used to using the web as simple consumers by reading, filling in forms, messaging and using the internet from a fixed location. This shift introduced the concept of participating as well while using the web as end user and thus becoming co-producers(van Wamelen & de Kool, 2008). This gradually enabled us to publish content with more ease and putting the user at the centre of the web (Morato et al., 2008) by making content dependent on the users thus being more dynamic (Hailpern et al., 2009).

The field of Social Web or Social Computing has expanded after the wide scale integration of Web 2.0 and its enabling of users to contribute directly to web content (Margherita et al., 2010). This is a new dimension which brought with it plenty of motivation in the creation of new applications but at the same time opened the doors for various issues. The social web entails online platforms or website which allow individual who have an account or profile to post content (Zhou et al., 2010). This can be in the form of various products which were resultant of the web 2.0. The use of these products allows the sharing of information about personal activities and also about the expression of ideas of individuals.

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