Humans, despite my best efforts at times, are social beings. They rely on other's opinions and ideas to improve themselves. Through social interactions, we find comfort and validation. Simply put:

"No man is an island"- John Donne

We can't do everything on our own, and if we could, why would we? Why wouldn't we want to share our successes? Or be supported during our failures?

Societies have developed to support each other and utilize individual strengths for the greater good. We need each other, psychologically, emotionally and practically. Our relationships are built upon mutual dependencies.

We create dependencies and forms of assistance in every aspect of our lives, business networks, PTA groups, book clubs, sports teams etc. The creation of communities for specific compartments of our lives, suggests that we need to feel connections and want to be part of something larger than ourselves, in every realm in order to be content.

Therefore, when the internet became a serious form of communication, a want to create ways in which humans could socially connect on this venue was apparent. The earliest attempt at connecting people online was in 1979 with Usenet(Wikipedia Article).

Usenet was similar to a bulletin board system that was brought online and functioned as what we would call a forum today. The successors of Usenet functioned mainly through chats and connecting individuals with shared interests though emails.

In the late 1990's, PlanetAll made a social network where a user could created a personalized profile with lists of friends in your network. This changed the way online social networking worked. Once this was possible, all of the current social networks we have (or had) could be replicated and extended online.

And this is exactly what happened: Myspace, Linkedin, Facebook and others alike were created to bring groups of people together. These virtual communities have come to facilitate social ties both online and offline. Linkedin, is the business networking, while Facebook for the more personal. Just as in the physical world where many of us have divided our work and social personas, so too can we virtually.

While Facebook and Linkedin have covered the broad business and personal communities, there are still tons of sub-cultures out there that people can relate within... and there are tons. As many community groups you can think of, there is probably an equivalent virtual group: ones that bring baristas together, or workout enthusiasts, or photographers. Furthermore, Linkedin and Facebook are for people you know and have already met. Instagram and Twitter introduced a new dimension to social networking, the idea of "discovering" other people with similar ideas or interests as your own.

I love getting to know new people and connecting friends to people that can help. That's why I'm excited that our next project will be to create a social network which helps individuals connect to others.

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