Social networks are a new form of social interaction, defined as a dynamic exchange between people, groups and institutions. Via these networks we can establish contact with people even if we do not know them, each new member bringing new knowledge with them and transforming the group.
Since they appeared, such networks hace attracted milions of users, many of whom have made these websites part of their daily routine. The growth of these networks has wrought a cultural change in the way the internet is used, leading to a decline in the use of e-mail and instant messaging. This dynamism we see in social networks is due in part to the bringing together of people with all kinds of interests to exchange ideas, and in part to the ease with wich the technology allows communities to be created. They make it easier to find people and groups with similar interests and encourage interaction and cooperation between users. As a result, over 700 million people around the world, 60% of internet users, are members of a social network.
Gencat has a Facebook page www.facebook.com/gencat, and is active on a range of platforms to inform or engage in conversation with users: Twitter, Linkedin, Delicious, Slideshare, Youtube, Flickr, etc. People who have signed up as followers can keep up with gencat’s activities and leave comments. There are also forums like this one.
The Government of Catalonia’s social network activities include the Language Policy Secretariat’s creation of a Facebook group related to the “Encomana el català” campaign and t (35,000 people have joined this group!) and the Cinema in Catalan page, from wich over 2,000 people obtain up to date information on cinema programmes and new productions.