The study shows an alternative solution to existing efforts at solving the problem of how to centrally manage and synchronise users’ Multiple Profiles (MP) across multiple discrete social networks. Most social network users hold more than one social network account and utilise them in different ways depending on the digital context (Iannella, 2009a). They may, for example, enjoy friendly chat on Facebook1, professional discussion on LinkedIn2, and health information exchange on PatientsLikeMe3 In this thesis the researcher proposes a framework for the management of a user’s multiple online social network profiles. A demonstrator, called Multiple Profile Manager (MPM), will be showcased to illustrate how effective the framework will be. The MPM will achieve the required profile management and synchronisation using a free, open, decentralized social networking platform (OSW) that was proposed by the Vodafone Group in 2010. The proposed MPM will enable a user to create and manage an integrated profile (IP) and share/synchronise this profile with all their social networks. The necessary protocols to support the prototype are also proposed by the researcher. The MPM protocol specification defines an Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) extension for sharing vCard and social network accounts information between the MPM Server, MPM Client, and social network sites (SNSs). . Therefore many web users need to manage disparate profiles across many distributed online sources. Maintaining these profiles is cumbersome, time-consuming, inefficient, and may lead to lost opportunity. The writer of this thesis adopted a research approach and a number of use cases for the implementation of the project. The use cases were created to capture the functional requirements of the MPM and to describe the interactions between users and the MPM. In the research a development process was followed in establishing the prototype and related protocols. The use cases were subsequently used to illustrate the prototype via the screenshots taken of the MPM client interfaces. The use cases also played a role in evaluating the outcomes of the research such as the framework, prototype, and the related protocols. An innovative application of this project is in the area of public health informatics. The researcher utilised the prototype to examine how the framework might benefit patients and physicians. The framework can greatly enhance health information management for patients and more importantly offer a more comprehensive personal health overview of patients to physicians. This will give a more complete picture of the patient’s background than is currently available and will prove helpful in providing the right treatment. The MPM prototype and related protocols have a high application value as they can be integrated into the real OSW platform and so serve users in the modern digital world. They also provide online users with a real platform for centrally storing their complete profile data, efficiently managing their personal information, and moreover, synchronising the overall complete profile with each of their discrete profiles stored in their different social network sites
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