David Warlick offers interesting insights into what he thinks are the differences:
- There is a difference (right now) between social networks (or social network sites), and social networking. In my mind, a social network is a single site with features that facilitate social experiences. Social networking, on the other hand, is what is done in social networks, but can also be done with smaller and personally combined tools, such as blogs, wikis, podcasting, aggregators, twitter, etc. Neither (at this time) fully encompasses the other.
- Facebook is an example of a social network site. They are not synonymous. What frustrates me about Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, is that their feature sets are way to limiting. I think that a social network has enormous potential, especially to education. But not in its current form. I’m afraid that if we are limiting our notions of social networks to what’s already been developed in FB, MS, and even Ning, and dismiss them as a result, then we may just miss a wonderful opportunity.