Over the past few years, social networks has been all the rage. Sites like MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook has garnered a lot of media attention and the term has moved into the mainstream. I don't have a problem with the term "social network", but it does tickle my funny bone when I hear people talk about how social networks are new and pioneered by the likes of sites like MySpace or Facebook. Social networks has been in existence since... well, when Man crawled out of the ocean and saw that other naked person crawling out next to him. Humans are , by nature, social creatures and we tend to like interacting with others.
What bloggers and the media really mean when they talk about "social networks" is the technical application for communication on the web. I bring this up only because it annoys me when they make sound like social networks are some brand new thing (like Web 2.0? ^^) pioneered by the likes of MySpace or Facebook and any new site is just "yet another social network." Yes, any new site is just another social network, but so is MySpace and Facebook. Pick up the phone book and there is a social network application that your great grandparent probably was already using and that is probably thousands of years removed from the first social network. Ultimately it boils down to how useful each of the site fulfill their purpose which often is for improving communication.