Social Networking Site (SNS) versus Asynchronous Threaded Conversation (ATC) Social networking site is an online platform that enables people to communicate and share information, interact with each other and build connections. The most popular ones are Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram and Myspace. They also allow users to post small updates of information as it happens in Microblogs such as Twitter. On the other hand, asynchronous threaded conversation is an online system that enables people to communicate with each other at different times (asynchronously). They include Yahoomail, Gmail, and MS Outlook. They are different from synchronous conversation that sends users messages in real time such as chats.
Both SNS and ATC are global in nature and allow free registration of users from different parts of the world. They can both be integrated with other online platforms such as virtual game world, podcasts, traditional websites and content communities including YouTube. Except for chats, the users of both platforms have the discretion of responding to messages and posts as opposed to face to face conversation as it happens in blogs. However, ATS users have more control over their contents than in SNS where the owners have the discretion of choosing the contents to be published on their sites. SNS are similar to a collaborative project such as Wikipedia where registered users are allowed to change the content of the site. Furthermore, the users of SNS are more prone to abuse than users of ATC because the contents published in SNS can be viewed by people posing as friends or followers. This is also a common challenge with social sharing sites such as YouTube. Besides, SNS are extensively used for advertisements. In this respect, they are similar to online markets such as Craigslist. However, online markets are fully for promotion, selling and buying of goods and services. ATC have a small number of adverts.
Permanence versus Retention of Content Permanence is a property of digital content that is manifested in ease of its alteration once it has been published. On the other hand, retention of content is a dimension of digital content that is demonstrated by the level of possession and control by the publisher. Permanence is mostly observed in online magazines and journals websites that give great attention to quality. These sites contain educational materials as a genre and not entertainment content as found in social sites. They have a lower frequency of advertisement and their accessibility/production is restricted to experts, professionals and institutions. On the other hand, retention of contents is common in social networking, business, individual and organizations’ sites where the administrators poses and manipulate the contents as they wish. Such sites have high population of users; provide great interaction, and have a short time lag in communication. Despite the difference between sites with great permanence and content retention, have global users.