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What is the best social network tool for me?

Paper outline:

Introduction
Issue Identification
Decision to be made
Goals to be achieved
Issue Analysis
Causes of decision paralysis
Cognitive and personal biases

Develop Alternatives

Choosing one tool over another
Not choosing any of the tools
Evaluate Alternatives
Rating of each alternative
Rating of the risk posed by each alternative
Decision
Using Optimizing Strategy
Using Max-min strategy
Implementation Plan
Decision actions
Additional actions to prevent adverse consequences

Review Plan

Risks and Drawbacks involved
Why benefits outweigh risks

Conclusion
Part 2:

Introduction of the paper
Decision Making Description

Conclusion of the paper

What is the best social network tool for me?
Introduction
The steps outlined below form a cognitive process of coming up with the best networking tool based on all the known available alternatives. The first part of the outline handles problem analysis while the next part describes the actual decision making process (Wikipedia, n.d.). The steps followed incorporate output of the planning stage decision making that precedes the actual decision making exercise (Harris, 1998).

Issue Identification

Decision to be made
Which tool is easier to navigate through and customize
Which tool has no or the least number of negative consequences when used
Which tool offers the maximum benefits at minimal costs
Goals to be achieved
The tool should form an extension of the physical social space and link the user with current friends while offering the opportunity to add on new friends
The social network choose chosen must provide a rich social capital benefit.
The tool chosen must guarantee privacy of personal information and actions taken using it.
Causes of decision paralysis
Social network tools provide similar functionality and make it difficult to select a single one over another in one instance
There is a limited knowledge of the social networks tools available and their suitability
The extend by which social networks guarantee privacy of personal data is vaguely known
Cognitive and personal biases
The visual appeal of a tool will lead to may lead to a disregard of the flows in the functionality of the tool
Peer suggestions on the superiority of a tool over another might influence the overall decision of choosing that tool
The popularity of a social network tool in the user’s age group will likely influence the user to prefer it over another tool
Choosing one tool over another
The opportunity cost of choosing one tool may not be visible during the decision making time and therefore its strengths over the chosen alternative cannot be quantified.
Choice of one infers that the other tool’s benefit do not outweigh the chosen one
Choosing one tool on whatever reason is a solution to the problem of having various tools to analyze
Not choosing any of the tools
A barren choice does not eliminate the dilemma of choosing but postpones it to a later time
While a barren choice may be cheap in the shorter term, the postponement of the decision does not totally eliminate the costs associated with making the decision
A barren choice leaves the decision maker with a familiar scenario and eliminated the need of implementation and later review
Rating of each alternative
Choice of one tool over another provides leaves the user with a new aftermath of the decision to explore
The opportunity cost of the decision will be worthy of the decision made based on the decision criterion to be used
A barren choice offers no incentive as it still leaves the dilemma of choice lingering in the decision maker’s mind
Rating of the risk posed by each alternative
The highest possible risk is to choose one tool over another based on cognitive and personal biases only to find put later that the forgone tool is much superior based on the goals of the decision
Another risk is in finding out that the overall rating of objectives was not based on the most appropriate need for the social network tool and therefore the chosen tool fails to fulfill the user needs despite meeting the objective of the decision
Delaying the choice by choosing no tool may be fatal when the utility of one or all tools is time-based
Using Optimizing Strategy
The tool chosen must meet the objectives of the decision process irrespective of its implementation costs unless they form part of the objective
A barren choice option is only exercised when all other alternatives offer a below utility threshold
If a tool fulfills the requirements stated in the most important objective then is allocated a bigger rating than the others
Using Max-min strategy
The availability of a tool will override other consideration when deciding
If there is no clear outcome of superiority the simplest advantage will suffice in decision making
A barren choice might be exercised when costs and implications seem to outweigh the benefits of all tools examined
Decision actions
A choice will be made after all pros and cons are weighed and biases are considered
A compromise of objectives will have to be considered to resolve the decision dilemma
In case a barren choice is made, plans must be laid to undergo the decision process again
Additional actions to prevent adverse consequences
Commit to have a thorough understanding of the chosen tool so that the problem of weighing pros and cons does not arise
If the option of another decision making session is not viable then a resolve to discard the alternatives analysis must be taken
Only one decision strategy will be exercised to avoid creation of another decision paralysis
Risks and drawbacks involved
Choosing a social network tool changes the existing status quo and presents an uncertainty of the actual facts of the choice made
Choice of one tool presents the risk of missing possible benefits presented by another tool
The choice made may be the best under the objectives given but may not be according to personal biases therefore the tool use will not be satisfactory
Why benefits outweigh risks
A change of current status is anticipated and therefore does not pose a huge risk
The choice made will be informed by the superiority of the chosen tool to fulfill goals and therefore the forgone alternative will be a manageable cost
Where personal biases are sacrificed, the decision maker can practice conditioning sessions to get used to the chosen tool by concentrating on its advantages.

Issue Analysis

Develop Alternatives

Evaluate Alternatives

Decision

Implementation Plan

Review Plan

Conclusion

The decision process involves distinct stages of analysis from the identification the issues that warrant the decision to the review of the impacts of the decision made. Analysis of alternatives assists the decision maker to come up with the most favorable choice that fulfills the goals of the whole process. While making decisions it important to note that, the known information about the decision is not usually conclusive however, making any decision if more important than lingering in indecision (Harris, 2009).
 
What is the best social network tool for me? (Facebook or Twitter)
Introduction
Individuals form nodes interconnected by one or many interdependency like kinship or similar interest form a social network. Social networking, the act of participating in a social network, on the internet is rapidly developing and existing sites as well as new social site are increasingly coming up with newer technologies of enhancing interconnectedness. The biggest social networking sites on the internet are Facebook and Twitter. Internet social networks present a number of benefits however; their use comes with a number of implications. This paper reviews several factors to consider when choosing the best social network site. It narrows the choice to two services namely Facebook and Twitter (Muir and Criddle, 2009).
Decision Making
The main reason for joining a network is to cultivate social connections and be in touch with existing friend and be able to make new friends on the site. The site should form an extension of the physical social space. Signing up on a social network website allows one to have a virtual profile where personal details can be availed by the user for identification purposes. A user may choose to be identified using personal information, interests, school, profession and residence. When deciding which social network site to join you consider identity issues, how the site handles personal privacy, the social capital of the site. In addition, you will ruminate on the youth culture embodied in the site and the education opportunities offered.
Social capital measures the degree of cohesiveness and personal contributions in the community. Privacy looks at how much of personal information becomes public when one signs up to a social networking site (Muir and Criddle, 2009). Facebook offers a richer social capital than twitter. The site allows members to develop rich profiles that include multimedia content, information about their interests and career as well as any other information that the user is confortable to reveal to their friends. In terms of privacy, Facebook allows strangers to message you and has no automatic spam filter. The site has options of restricting the number of people who are able to view your status updates and profile. Unfortunately, the site does not offer an option of deleting any uploaded files. It also offers a tagging options on images and this can become annoying when one is tagged is an unwanted picture. Facebook provides a number of education opportunities. Interest groups and companies have formed pages that offer information about their specific subject niches. Facebook users can search for their favorite subject and join groups or view pages created on the subject (Wikipedia, n.d.).
Twitter offers a lower level of social capital than Facebook. The site structure and mechanism promotes current content without paying attention to activities in the past. In addition, a twitter user is only able to post updates of up to 160 characters just like a short messaging service. All updates posted on the site become public instantly and are searchable with internet search engines. Twitter allows users to tag their messages with specific phrases to make a collective discussion on a given topic. The site therefore offers a real-time information source on specific topics around the world. Other than the option of following other users’ updates whenever they post, one can also get followers. Private messages are only exchangeable between users who follow each other, however a user only needs to mention the other users name (call out) in their updates to give them a public message (Muir and Criddle, 2009). Twitter’s strength is in the ability to engage in conversations on any topic with anyone around the globe in real-time. Facebook strengths are in its ability to cultivate a deeper connection among people by allowing a deeper sharking of information (De, 2007).
MySpace is another social network site almost similar to Facebook. It does not offer superior news service as Facebook. MySpace is organized around demographics and users have to use a search engine to find friends. Facebook on the other hand is developed around schools and users get suggestions of friendships with former or current schoolmates. MySpace does not have an application-programing interface that allows developers to add third party functionality to the site. Twitter alternatives offer specific types of services or offer related twitter services in their native languages. These alternatives include Google Buzz, which is a social site similar to Twitter. Other sites with real time update capabilities are Brightkite and Poodz. Friendfeed offers a combination of twitter and Facebook in one tool, Hiktu concentrates on sharing video and audio files while Pownce provides threaded discussion in addition to picture and video sharing.
MySpace social networking site as an alternative to Facebook is mainly popular in the United States; therefore as a user, one is limited to the number of international friends they can access. MySpace offers little technical support compared to Facebook and is therefore difficult to resolve problems when using it, as a social network tool (Liccardello, 2008) .Hi5 is another alternative to Facebook, however its appeal is also limited and therefore it offers a lower social capital than Facebook.
Identi.ca and Gatorpeeps are yet to become popular worldwide and therefore do not provide a desirable human capital as Twitter does. Niche focus based Twitter alternatives provide a closed social network that cannot be expanded when reasons for joining the network change. Documentation on the use of twitter alternatives is limited and therefore it is difficult for a new user to solve problems associated with frequently asked questions about the tools.
Facebook stands out as the best social network because of its social capital capabilities and education opportunity. Its configuration based on affiliations like school and work place allow users to easily scale up their connection by finding mates in the physical world. Availability of an application-programming interface makes increases the options for using the site for social, education or entertainment purposes. The worldwide appeal of Facebook makes it the best alternative for finding new friendship networks across the world.
The niche appeal of twitter and its ability to provide real time updates shall be considered. However, any future use of twitter shall be on anonymous grounds and will be discontinued after the service sought is obtained. Formal use of twitter will only occur once a resolve has been made to sign up for the site. Twitter may be used as a business feedback system with customers because of its low cost nature and its ability to be used as traditional text service on phones.
Sign up for a Facebook account and search for friends I know on the site and become connected to them. Identify topics of interest and look for their Facebook page to follow and join related groups. Develop a timetable for using the site within the evaluation period and informs peers or the intentions for using Facebook as the social network tool of choice. Identify network nodes that build up in the initial stages of using Facebook.
The considerations made on Twitter shall be exercised. Matters that could not be grasped during the analysis of issues presented by Twitter as a social networking tool shall be exploited practically. A time log of twitter use will be maintained and compared with the use of Facebook. Activities carried out using the two tools shall also be noted to determine personal bias on the choice of each social network tool. If the comparison agrees with the initial choice, Twitter signup will be put on hold, however is the comparison shows an equal or overwhelming bias to twitter, then sign up decision for the site will be accelerated.
Facebook engagement will only be minimal for the first two months. During this period, only the basic functionalities of the site will be used. In addition, only mandatory user information shall be provided. An analysis involving personal physical connections with friends on Facebook will be piloted to determine the most appropriate way of using the tool in future engagements. Peer reviews of Facebook shall also be sought and evaluated to approve or disapprove the decision to use Facebook.
Twitter will also be used anonymously to check real-time updates on topic of interest. There will be a continued review literature available on the two social network sites. These efforts will allow for the affirmation of the decision made. Other alternative yet to be considered shall be looked into in additions to looking out for other alternative uses of Facebook. In the literature review, harmful effects of social networking and its benefits will be noted so that continued use of Facebook is in line with best practices of personal involvement with social networking tools.
Conclusion
After careful analysis, Facebook has stood out as the best social network for an individual to join. The site offers a cohesive network of friends that mimics that of the physical world and therefore offers an unmatched social capital. Twitter serves as the best social network for a person not willing to connect deeply with other users. The site offers an alternative to mainstream new channels, by presenting access to first person reporting however; it limits the amount of information sent between users.


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