Students network online

Students are using social networking Web sites such as Facebook and Myspace, and video sharing sites such as Youtube to satisfy their diverse technological needs.

UH alumnus Pat Lam is a member of SoReal Cru, a Houston dance group that competed in MTV’s second season of America’s Best Dance Crew. Lam said he used Youtube to build the dance crew’s career.

‘Publicity definitely helped us. The way we marketed ourselves helped our public image a whole lot,’ Lam said. ‘There are millions of people on Youtube everyday, so we have a huge potential to gain more and more fans.’

The dance crew uses Youtube to keep fans updated. Video clips of the group practicing, traveling, or just having a good time with each other are shown.

‘Having SoRealCruTV on Youtube helped us stay relevant and it also keeps all the fans and others involved and updated with our crew,’ Lam said.

Besides using Youtube to keep in touch with fans, SoReal Cru also uses Youtube as a form of free advertising.

‘We advertise our booking e-mail on all our Web sites,’ Lam said.

Facebook has also been a way for students to connect with other students and keep in touch with family and friends who live far away.

‘I grew up in Bahrain, and have tons of family and friends still there,’ architecture freshman Caroline Sam said. ‘I keep in touch with my friends through Facebook by leaving them a message to say ‘hi’ or see how they are doing.’

Since its creation in 2004, Facebook has added new features and applications that Sam said she has found useful for staying in touch.

‘Facebook chat made it so much easier to contact people – you can reach anyone at anytime.’ Sam said. ‘Also, you can be discreet by setting it so that it tells people whether you are online or offline.’

On top of the socialization that Facebook facilitates, it has added utilitarian applications such as Marketplace, where students can buy and sell anything and advertise about available apartments or cars.

‘One of my friends sold their iPod on Facebook, and got a profit for it,’ Sam said.

Myspace is a way for students to keep tabs on each other, but it also is a way for musicians to promote their music.

‘It has been a prominent and proficient way to display our music,’ psychology freshman Eric Habibi, who is vocalist for the band Valea, said. ‘It not only shows off music, it shows what the band is doing, where they will be going. It’s a good way to communicate with fans.’

Myspace is one of the more popular sites that bands use to get the word out.
‘Purevolume is another site for musicians to tell people about their music, but it doesn’t have as much of a big online community that Myspace does,’ Habibi said.
Myspace has been helpful for the band to promote itself.

‘Myspace is helping us blow up and the only other way would be word-of-mouth, and that is hard to do,’ Habibi said.

Millions of people share photographs and updates with other online social networkers they ‘friend,’ but with the increase in popularity of Facebook and Myspace, the sites are becoming the go-to sources learn a person’s private information.

According to the survey conducted by, one in five companies look at job applicants’ social networking sites during the hiring process. Of the companies surveyed that do not check the sites, 10 percent said they plan to start.

‘My friends have had their Facebook hacked into when they had pictures and videos where everyone could see it,’ Sam said. ‘Facebook is too invasive; I put all my pictures on private. I have 400 friends; I don’t want all 400 to see them.’

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