Social networks on the Internet


The rapid development and expansion of the Internet and the social–based services comprised by the common Web 2.0 idea provokes the creation of the new area of research interests, i.e. social networks on the Internet called also virtual or online communities. Social networks can be either maintained and presented by social networking sites like MySpace, LinkedIn or indirectly extracted from the data about user interaction, activities or achievements such as emails, chats, blogs, homepages connected by hyperlinks, commented photos in multimedia sharing system, etc. A social network is the set of human beings or rather their digital representations that refer to the registered users who are linked by relationships extracted from the data about their activities, common communication or direct links gathered in the internet–based systems. Both digital representations named in the paper internet identities as well as their relationships can be characterized in many different ways. Such diversity yields for building a comprehensive and coherent view onto the concept of internet–based social networks. This survey provides in–depth analysis and classification of social networks existing on the Internet together with studies on selected examples of different virtual communities.


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Musiał, K., Kazienko, P. Social networks on the Internet. World Wide Web 16, 31–72 (2013).

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  • online social network
  • taxonomy of social networks
  • internet identity
  • virtual identity
  • internet relationship
  • homogeneous social network
  • system-based social network
  • internet multisystem social network
  • social networking site
  • survey