With the close of Hollywood award season, we look back one last time at the success of The Social Network.
This is not a reflection of the outcome of the Academy Awards but the
effect Facebook has had on the internet and society itself. As the
internet grew exponentially throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, much
of that growth could be attributed to a desire of its users to connect
socially to one another. Whether it was via email, chat rooms or
bulletin boards, the internet helped bring people closer together.
Today, with dramatically increased bandwidth and accessibility via
handheld devices, social networks have become extremely accessible. With
Facebook being The Standard, most internet users have an account in at least one social network.
with an enormous user base, many adults choose to avoid Facebook since
it appears to be overrun by teenagers posting pictures of themselves
taking their own picture in a bathroom mirror. Social networks need not
be a generic virtual candy store. They can actually be built to allow
members to collaborate on creative endeavors or share knowledge on
common interests. Thanks to the success of Facebook, a number of
software vendors have jumped into the market with software to produce a
rigid social network. So, there are now small social networks developed
for company personnel, dating services and sports leagues. While the
development time is decreased with these offerings, they do not allow
for much flexibility.
Maximum Fantasy Sports faced that obstacle when tasked with developing a social network for the Lingerie Football League.
It was a goal of the LFL to bring their fans closer to the talented
stars of the LFL and allow them to get a first-hand account of game
action, behind-the-scenes details of training camp and practices, locker
room speeches and any personal thoughts of its players. This goal was
realized with the LFL FanZone.
complete the design flexibility that was needed, MFS eschewed
pre-packaged software solutions in favor of building the social network
application from scratch. This approach allowed for integrating
registration, security, blogs, personal statuses, chat and sharing of
pictures and videos with other members. Writing all the code enabled MFS
to build multiple types of users, each with different roles and
authorizations. Member types include multiple levels of security
administrators, writers, league office personnel, coaches, players and
fans. The FanZone contains common networking features with the code
written in a fashion that its components could be ported for use in
other types of networking applications with further customization.
Social networking is not a fad. It is an interactive environment that
will continue to grow and mature.