Social Web: Opportunities for Learning, Working, and Communicating

The social web is growing and evolving rapidly with changes happening daily. For example, it has expanded to be accessible by a variety of devices which allow people to connect with their social sites to post text, video, and photos and interact with their friends on the go. Anybody can suggest an idea, and it could become the next great trend. That’s one of the most exciting things about web content driven by the masses; it morphs very quickly!

Due to the rapid changes, the functions and features of the different social website overlap, making it challenging to define the technologies precisely. However, grouping them into the following broad categories provides a way to examine them and understand their value in our digital world:

  • Blogging: An online journal that anybody can use to express ideas and opinions online. A blog may be focused around a particular topic or simply be a random collection of personal thoughts.
  • Social Networking: Includes a blogging-like feature, but what has traditionally differentiated social networking sites from other social sites is the ability to share contacts and build a network of friends. Some popular social networks include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Social Bookmarking: Allows you to make note of online content in the form of tags called bookmarks and share those bookmarks with others. Some popular social bookmarking sites are Digg, StubleUpon, and Reddit.
  • Wikis: Provide a way to share knowledge about every topic under the sun in the form of online visual libraries, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. The most popular wiki is Wikipedia.
  • Media Sharing:  Gives you the opportunity to view, download, or exchange media files, such as music, pictures, and videos, over the Internet.

Our Digital World: Introduction to Computing Third Edition by Gordon, Lankisch, Muir, Seguin and Verno says, “From social networking sites that contain networks of friends to collaborative wikis, blogs, and media sharing sites, social websites represent a revolution in how people connect, learn, and work together.”

Have social websites changed the way you connect, learn, and work with your peers? If so, how? Share in the comment section.

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