This study is anchored on the theory of phenomenon on the six degrees of separation theory by Karinthy (1921) in his short story of “Chains”. He posited that despite physical distances between individuals, the gr owing density of human networks made the actual social distance far smaller. And also he believed that the modern world was shrinking due to the ever-increasing connectedness of human beings. Because of the technological advances in communications and travel, friendship networks could grow larger. (http://en. ikipedia. org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation). Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. (http://whatis. techtarget. com. /definition/0, sid9_gci932596_top1, 00. html). Milgram (1967) an American sociologist conducted a small world experiment to test the hypothesis of six degree separation. This experiment examined the members of the large social networks of people in the United States.
That would be connected to each other through short chains of intermediate acquaintances. (http://smallworld. columbia. edu/description. html). McLuhan (1967) said, “The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village. ” Today, the global village is mostly used as a metaphor to describe the Internet and World Wide Web. The Intenet, as defined by Long (2001), is a worldwide collection of interconnected networks. This globalizes communication by allowing users from around the world to connect with each other. (http://en. ikipedia. org/wiki/Small_world_experiment#Basic_procedure). Watts (2001), a professor at Columbia University, recreated Milgram’s small world experiment using the internet. This time, he used an e-mail message to be sent to different recipients. His findings concurred with Milgram’s. This has opened up new areas of inquiry related to six degrees of separation in diverse areas of network theory (http. //whatis. techtarget. com. /definition/0,sid9_gci032596_top1,00. html). Social networking is the practice of expanding the number of one’s business nd/or social contacts by making connections through individuals. Based on the six degrees separation concept, social networking establishes interconnected internet that helps people make contacts that would be good for them to know, but that they would be unlikely to have met otherwise. This works when an individual joins one of the sites and invite people they knows to join as well. Any individual can make contact through anyone they have a connection to any of the people that person has a connection to (http. /whatis. techtarget. com. /definition/0,sid9_gci032596_top1,00. html). A social networking website is an online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users (http. //www. pewinternet. org/PPF/r/198/report_display. asp). Early social networking websites like classmates. com (1995) and Friendsreunited. co. uk (1999) focus on ties with former school mates. Others like Linkedln. com (2003) and Ryze. com (com) (2001) are mainly used as business-oriented sites.
In 1999, two different models of social networking came about, namely, trust-based and friendship-based. Innovations included not only showing who “friends” with whom is, but giving users more control over content and connectivity. In 2005, MySpace, was reportedly getting more page views than Google, with Facebook, a competitor, rapidly growing in size (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Social_network_). There are two types of social networking websites namely: open, which allows anyone to join; and close, in which access is restricted to an organization or group of individuals.
However, there are some serious issues associated with sites opened to the public, such as stalking and identity theft (http://www. higheredblogcon. com/index. php. social-networking-what -is-it-and-where-does-it-fit-in-the-alumni-world/) . With the realization of the importance of alumni, alumni-tracing systems have been conducted in different institution all over the world. Some use the traditional method of pen and paper, through emails; other use statics lumni sites; and others make use of dynamic alumni websites which allow alumni to create profiles and communications among themselves, and importantly, these allow alumni to contact their alma matter and vice versa. Actually in the Philippines, most academic institutions are using the pen and paper method, through emails, and others through static websites. The common features found in the alumni tracers systems using static websites are the provision of online alumni profile from and the capability of sending tracer surveys through email but the consolidation of results is done manually.