social network [English]

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ Technology that facilitates interaction and a sense of community among entities (individuals and organizations), often associated in self-selected groups.

General Notes

Although many communications are on the sites are one-to-one, they are effectively many-to-many as the messages are commonly seen by all members of a larger group and other members may join the interaction. Frequently billed as a service to the users, many social networks use the personal information participants share to target advertisements that pay for the services.

Other Definitions

  • ANSI/ARMA 18-2011 (†474 p.4): A special type of social media that uses web and internet technology to enable interactions between people through the use of such features as personal profiles, blogs, content sharing, and messaging surrounded by an enabling framework of file storage, navigation, searching, and access controls.
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. social network): A social structure made up of a set of social actors (such as individuals or organizations) and a set of the dyadic ties between these actors.


  • Chun et al., 2010 (†471 3): “A Web-based tool or model that allows individuals to meet and form a virtual community through socializing via different relationships, such as friendships and professional relationships, sharing and propagating multi-media information, exchange interests and communicating.” (†667)
  • Gartner IT Glossary (†298 s.v. social networking): The act of establishing online many-to-many human connections for the purposes of sharing information with the network or subsets thereof. Although one-to-one connections are possible in social network sites, the preponderance of activity engages a broader range of participants in any given network. (†995)