It seems what is understood as a Social Networking Site encompasses a wide range of varying concepts of “social”. In the article “Publicly Private and Privately Public: Social Networking on YouTube”, a resource is quoted as explaining. “Research on SNSs has shown that the meanings of social network site practices and features differ across sites and individuals”. In the case of Youtube, there is a page dedicated to a user’s profile called a “channel”; friending is also allowed.
Through formal interviews and analysis of videos, comments, and video responses, the author of the article “describes how participants manipulate media to maintain social networks and intimacy amid public scrutiny”.
Social networks are arguably useful for understanding social dynamics, and whether a site constitutes as a social network is dependent upon the measurements used while studying the interactions. For the most part is seems that a social network is understood as a site that allows users to cultivate a valued relationship with other users. More formerly: “Social network sites are defined as websites that allow participants to construct a public or semi-public profile within the system and that formally articulate their relationship to other users in a way that is visible to anyone who can access their profile (boyd & Ellison, this issue).”
Youtube videos may serve important social functions that is not dependent on technicalities. However exchanges of a social nature may not need to be based on information gathering. These videos may create feelings of openness and affinity to the creators. The artciel explains, “How and why media like instant messages or videos are viewed, enjoyed, and forwarded reveal much about the participants and their relationships. How they are shared also provides insight into distinctions between public and private.”
I think the most useful conclusion for the group to understand from the reading is the ” findings also have design implications. As social groups and professional organizations increasingly supplement their websites with social network site components, it is important to be alert to fractalization touch points, where greater amounts of publicity or privacy may be required to meet different individuals’ and groups’ social needs.”