Social Network for Business

Background

Social network sites are becoming increasingly popular, and have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practice. Some sites cater to diverse audiences, while others attract people based on common language or shared racial, sexual, religious, or nationality-based identities. These sites also vary by how they portray themselves by posting new information and using communication tools, such as mobile connectivity, blogging, and photo/video-sharing, live text chat, comparing people, etc.

There are business-oriented social networking sites mainly used for professional networking and job search, such as the popular Linked In, and there are many others as can be found with a Google search on "professional networking sites". There is also considerable information on how to advance your business with social networking sites, see for example The-Best-Way-To-Advance-Your-Business-With-Top-Social-Networking-Sites. And social network sites have emerged that focus on science and engineering, some perhaps trying to become the Facebook for engineers and scientists, see for example Social Networks for Scientists and Social Networking for Engineers.

Project

As a case study of extending the social network idea for science/engineering and business purposes, this project will explore the possibilities and begin to develop a social network site for a particular business, Accumet Materials, that deals with advanced materials.

This company has a continuing influx of email from engineers and scientists from all over the world and knows most of the free world labs that might be interested in doing business with them. The company also knows most of the other companies that would be interested in selling their products to these engineers and scientists. Thus, the following ideas have been suggested for the social network:

As we get further into the semester we might build a prototype Social network for a generic business.

Fast Agile XP Deliverables

We will use the agile methodology, particularly Extreme Programming (XP) which involves small releases and fast turnarounds in roughly two-week iterations. Many of these deliverables can be done in parallel by different members or subsets of the team. The following is the current list of deliverables (ordered by the date initiated, deliverable modifications marked in red, initiated date marked in bold red if programming involved, completion date and related comments marked in green, pseudo-code marked in blue):
  1. 2/1 (first week). Read the background material to become familiar with the project and make an initial comparison between typical social networks like Facebook and the targeted business social network. Your comparison should include a table of characteristics with indications of what is similar and what is different. Then, plan the semester's work with your instructor and customers Brenda Lyons and Jenny Li.