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Social Networking sites have redefined the meaning of personal portals

Web-based social networking is the place implemented with variety of tools to connect with individual and group. Those tools are included of email, instant message, texting and sharing the video or audio format (Wink. 2010). The new combination idea of those tools has been truly achieved and implement into the social networking sites, where the milestone sites people are familiar with are Facebook, Friendster, MySpace, LinkedIn and so on. Those social networking sites attracted millions of user, people integrate those sites into their daily life in order to support their interested and practice. Different sites are based on the fairly consistent technology features, but it has culture variety (Boyd. 2007). Social networking sites have been evolved since 1995 (Davies. 2010). It has been rapidly developed during more than 15 years. The great feature and power is attracting more and more user to adopt it, even it has significant impact on redefined the meaning of personal portal during it evolution.

Statistical study the usage of Social Networking sites
According from Wink, the statistics based on the study of Pew Internet & American Life Project has been report that in the December of 2008, around 35% of adults has their own profile on the social network sites (Wink. 2010). Another study of Pew Internet: Social Networking indicated that there was 66% of adults use social networking sites as February 2012 (Brenner. 2012). Those statistics seems like a huge jump during the development of sites. The table from study visually shown the most popular group of using sites with ages around 18 to 49, between the 2005 and 2006; the usage of sites among young ages from 18 to 29 had been increased from 9% to 49% (Brenner. 2012). Moreover, the study shows that women seem like use the social networking sites more than men since 2009 (Brenner. 2012).


The evolution, feature, power and benefit of Social Networking sites
According to the study of Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, the definition of social network sites as “web-based services that allow individuals to 1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, 2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and 3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from sites to sites” (Boyd. 2007). The evolution history timeline of social networking sites is from since 1995. The first social media website had been created by Randy Conrad is called “Classmates.com” (Davies. 2010). The website help student to keep in touch with other student from their school life; this sites were most activated in US and Canada; however, it has the weakness to create profile or list friend (Boyd. 2007). “SixDegrees” had fixed this problem and launched in 1997. It was the first manifestations social networking sites in the similar format as we are using today (Davies. 2010). But due to the limited function after user accepted friend request, it failed to be a sustainable site, and closed in 2000 (Boyd. 2007). Move back to 1999, there was South Korean social networking service called “Cyworld”, which the most features were in Korean and most of users are from Korea (Boyd. 2007). In the 2001; Next wave of site had been launched and called “Ryze.com”. It was the sites help people to make connection in business networks (Boyd. 2007). Move to the mainstream of SNS, the Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook are the key sites playing the important role of social networking. Friendster had been launched in 2002; the site is used for “dating, discovering new events, bands and hobbies” (Davies. 2010). However, due to the technical and social difficulties, “servers and databases were ill-equipped to handle its rapid growth” (Boyd. 2007). The competitor of Friendster was named “MySpace” that launched in 2003. “MySpace was able to grow rapidly by capitalizing on Friendster’s alienation of its early adopters” (Boyd. 2007). MySpace added more feature based regarding with users’ demand, and also allow people to personalize their own space and page. MySpace did not have any restriction on banding the HTML implement into forms. In 2005, MySpace acquired from New Corporation for $580 million; afterward, the moral sexual predators had been a serious issue happened into MySpace (Boyd. 2007). Facebook obviously is the most popular social networking site has been implied into user’s life. In the early of 2004, it started as a “Harvard-only SNS” and founded by Mark Zuckerberg, who is the student at Harvard University. At the beginning of stage, only Harvard student can register by using their Harvard email addresses; and then open to support other school and institutions’ student. In the September 2005, Facebook extent their services include “high school students, professionals inside corporate networks, and eventually, everyone" (Boyd. 2007). The special function compare with other sites is Facebook allow outside developers to design and personalize their profile and perform different task as they preferred (Boyd. 2007). In the meantime of Facebook, another SNS launched and named “Twitter”. This is also a popular one has been used since 2006 up to now. “Tweets” has been known as user send and read message, which is based on up to 140 characters text show on the user’s profile and only user’s followers can track on those messages; it has another name called “SMS of the internet” (Davies. 2010). The most updated one named “Google.com/buzz”. It was launched in 2010. This SNS integrated the G-mail. User can share the message, photo, video and link with other people (Davies. 2010). 
Social Networking site has been rapidly developed during around those 15 years. More and more people like to active and create their own profile in a least one SNS. They may use it as entertainment channel, or they may integrate all the features provided from sites to support and satisfied themselves. The good SNS features will attract more and more user to be involved. Using the Facebook as an example to introduce the feature of social networking sites that will be the best symbolic illustration. People should familiar with page ask you when you log into the site “What’s On Your Mind?” This feature is called “Status Update” refer to the screenshot at the bottom (Patterson. 2012). User can write some update information that you want to share with other friend. 
Another Facebook feature is “Facebook Messages”, it has the same functionality as regular email, it connect message with profile of sender (Patterson. 2012).
The third feature of Facebook is “Wall Posts”. People like to use this feature to “congratulate, wish happy birthday, or share other newsworthy items”. The posted messages not only on the user’s profile, it also automatically shows on News Feed (Patterson. 2012). 
“Facebook Pokes” is the fun feature has been implemented in order to reminds people you are online. People can choose “poke back, ignore it or contact the person by another mechanism” (Patterson. 2012).  
The most common and important feature of SNS is “Commenting”. People allow to make comments on whether the single news or any update information or photegrapg (Patterson. 2012). 
The last but not the least feature we are going to illustrate is “Games and Other Applications”. User can apply those applications as multitude activities. Such as “’Which Disney character are you?’ or ‘pick you top five celebrities’”; also, people can send the “virtual cupcake” or “virtual hugs” (Patterson. 2012).
Social Networking site has great power and impact on the society. It attracts million and million people to get involved with it. For example, when people get into the office in the morning, the first thing they do is open the Facebook and Twitter to check if there is any update news and information they may interested in. moreover, in the working place, people like to use the Facebook message feature to share their information or task, use it as the instant message. Why people are so addicted to use those popular social networking sites? There are must be some reasons, the answer is there are great amount of advantages of SNS. Based on the study of SHRM India, it indicates that possible advantages of using SNS are “Facilitates open communication, leading to enhanced information discovery and delivery” (SHRM India. 2011). People use the SNS as a media to share and gather the information and idea among people they know or they don’t know. The information exchange and integrated have positive impact on the social network. The second possible advantage is “allow employees to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions and share links” (SHRM India. 2011). Social networking sites are not only use for fun, it also wilding implement in the working side. SNS also “provides an opportunity to widen business contacts” (SHRM India. 2011). SNS is the worldwide platform, there are huge amount of opportunities. SNS help to “expands market research, implements marketing campaigns, delivers communication and directs interested people to
specific web sites” (SHRM India. 2011). 

Personal Portal and Social Networking Sites
According to the online dictionary, personal portal is “personal home page on the web that is customized by user” (The Free Dictionary). For example, like iGoogle, My Yahoo, My MSN, Window Live and so on. The special feature of personal portal is single entry and customized.  The smartphone interface is another personal portal, such as android, EIP. A hardware and software was operated by person is belonging to personal portal as well. Compare the personal portal with social networking sites, it easy to figure out that those two types of portal are different to each other. Even they have some similar functions. People easy to category the Facebook as personal portal, but actually it belong to the social networking sites. As we discussed before, the social networking sites have many advantages for the user. Personal portal also have the advantages that may have the great impact. According to the study, accuracy of information and security are the two big advantages and benefits for individual user who has the personal portals. “The accuracy of information is created by only having a single definitive version of information which can be accessed by all parties” (Gam). Individual held the environment of their portal. Another advantage is security. Security has been considered as a serious issue for those portal users. “Portal concept has an inherent security element whereby the individual has control over who accesses their information” (Gam). This control need to be achieved by authorize the access right either by user or the trusted third party.

In conclusion, as we discussed in the paper, we indicates the evolution, feature, power and benefit of social networking sites. Also, we introduced the concepts of personal portal and the comparison between those two different types of portal.  In this worldwide based, using different type of portal can make convenience and improve the quality of people life. People can take advantages from implement those portals into their daily life. However, we still need to be aware of the downside of using those technical-based tools. People should minimized the negative effect and maximized the positive side in order to optimized the value of implement those portals.