Background Note | HBS Case Collection | February 2008 (Revised June 2011)

Social Networks: The Portals of Web 2.0

by Stephen P. Bradley and Nancy Bartlett


Social networks have evolved into influential, compelling and persuasive systems, the portals of Web 2.0 and one of the most powerful media phenomena in 2008. This note provides a brief background and description of various social network sites including MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. We also discuss recent trends and strategies stemming from the social network phenomena including widgets and online advertising.

Keywords: Web; Technology; Networks; Information Technology Industry;


Bradley, Stephen P., and Nancy Bartlett. "Social Networks: The Portals of Web 2.0." Harvard Business School Background Note 708-488, February 2008. (Revised June 2011.)