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Patterns and Systems Project:
Tara Towner
Patterns Project
Social Media Evolution and Patterns
When social media or social networking first became popular, online blogs were the first to pop up. One of the earlier blog sites is called Xanga.com. On this website you could blog or write about anything. You had no character limit. You can add pictures, videos, and gifs. When you make your own blog page you get to customize the username, add your own profile picture, and also choose or make your own blog background. You also have a section to write an “About Me”. This blog site allows you to subscribe, or follow, to other blogs. You can make your posts public or private or customize it to certain viewers. When you post a weblog entry people are allowed to comment on it. The user can also see how many views a weblog entry has had on the profile page.

Next there was Myspace.com. Myspace had some of the same qualities as Xanga. You could customize your profile page background, pick a profile picture, and have “Friends”, which was the same thing as subscribers. Myspace and Xanga both also have a place where other users can leave comments on the profile page. Myspace too that a bit farther and add comments to pictures and videos. Myspace had other different things too. You could add music to your profile page. You could add photo albums and videos. Also, you could have status updates that had a character limit on how long they could be. This was different than the blog where you could write as much as you wanted. On Myspace, you could also send messages back and forth to other users. The profile page on Myspace was different than Xanga’s. You could customize it a lot more by adding different things. The profile page included an area where it displayed the most recent status update but other than that not much was very similar to the Xanga profile page. On Myspace, users could now publicly display their school and birthday. Also, relationship statuses are viewable. Users could make their page public or private, too. Users can see how many views their profile page has had on their home page. Users can also see how many views one of their photos or videos has had now too.

Youtube.com followed Myspace. Youtube was a video sharing website. Patterns that emerged here were users could have a profile picture, a customizable background and username, subscribers, and an “About Me” section. Users would post videos and share them with the world or make them private. Youtube users can send messages to other users. Users are also allowed to leave comments on videos. Users could see how many views each of their videos had and also other videos. Users could also see how many views a certain channel had. Youtube also added different features. Youtube allowed people to now “like” videos. Users could also link their video with a hash tags. Youtube also gave users an option to share their videos. This could mean to publish on their Youtube page in a favorite’s category or put the video on another website, like Myspace.

After Youtube, facebook.com followed. Facebook is very much similar to Myspace. Facebook patterns include: a profile picture, adding photos and videos, “likes”, comments on pictures and videos, status updates, messages, an “About” page, sharing stuff, relationship status, and “Friends”. Facebook does not have music on the profile. It also does not really let you customize your username. It just wants users to use their real name. Also, users are not allowed to customize their background. They are only allowed to customize their profile picture and cover page picture. The cover picture is on their profile at the top of the screen. Facebook added groups where users could like the group’s page and get updates that come up in their news feed with other user’s status. Also, Facebook has apps users can enjoy, like different games. Facebook users can post comments on other user’s walls, or profile pages, but also they can post videos and pictures to other user’s walls too. Facebook has also created private groups user’s can join and see updates from. Another addition Facebook has added is that users can now make a virtual event page and invite people to it online. Facebook also has an instant messaging system that users can use to chat with each other. Facebook allows users to share not only videos of other user’s but also their pictures too.

The next website that became popular is Twitter.com. Twitter is just basically a bunch of status updates. It has a character limit like all the rest of the sites that have status updates. It uses hash tags in the statuses. You can “follow” people, which is the same as subscribers or friends. Users can “direct message” each other privately. This is the same as saying you are sending someone a message on another social media site. You can make your profile public or private. Users can customize their username, profile picture, and header. The header is like facebook’s cover picture. It appears at the top of the profile page. Users can customize their background on the computer for their page too. This background does not show up though if users are using the twitter app on a device. Also, users have an “About Me” section. In this little area users can link other websites of their to their twitter page. Twitter has suggestions for people to follow. It also allows users to favorite, or like, a person’s status. Another new addition Twitter has added is the ability to “retweet” what another user has posted. Retweeting is sharing a status update. The original users post will now appear on the newsfeed of the person who retweeted it. Users can reply to each other in statuses. Twitter allows users to upload pictures or videos in their statuses too. Another new feature of twitter is that it will display the top 10 trending hash tags in the world or in your area. On the twitter profile page of a user it will display how many “tweets” or status updates that user has made and also how many people that person follows and follows that user. Also, celebrities or famous people can be verified with blue check marks by their usernames for others to be sure it is really that person and not a fake account.

The next big social media website is Tumblr.com. Tumblr is kind of like Xanga. It is made to be a blog site but it is more than that now. Tumblr is all about posting gifs and pictures and other users reblogging them. It has a lot of fandoms that post stuff about their fandoms on it too. On Tumblr you can customize your username, profile picture, profile background and have and “About Me”. Users can also customize other components with HTML. On Tumblr users can post videos, photos, blog entries, and music. Tumblr also uses hash tags to find other posts and to tag posts and pictures. Tumblr also has followers. Users can also use an “Ask” box on their profile for other users to ask them questions. Users can ask these questions publically or anonymously if the profile user has that option available. Also, Tumblr users can reblog posts from other users. This is just like on twitter when someone is retweeting.

The latest social media is Pinterest.com. Pinterest revolves around “repining”, or reblogging, other user’s posts. The posts are usually pictures or videos. There are no typed posts. Pinterest has followers. Users can “pin” or post their own posts. On Pinterest users can make different category “pin boards”. This means when they repin something it will only appear in the board selected. Users can have a profile picture. Most users will link their Pinterest to Facebook.

Patterns and systems can be used with children to explain processes, for example, the carrying capacity of an environment. They are helpful to students to see and understand processes. For my pattern on different social media sites, children can see how much or how little has changed through social media sites throughout the years. Every social media site still allows the user to have a profile picture. This is one pattern that is the same on every website. Also, every social media site has a version of “followers”.
My social media pattern can show just how much technology has advanced and taken over social media or social networking. People are always checking their social media sites. This shows how much our society depends on technology even when technology is not the answer for the future sustainability of the world.
My power point presentation was made on prezi.com. Here is the link to the presentation:

All of the pictures used in this paper and presentation were taken by Tara Towner.
Here are the websites I took the pictures on:

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