Social Web 2.0 101: Socializing the Web

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Social Web 2.0 is an internet trend that is growing by leaps and bounds. If you’ve ever clicked on the “Share This Article” link on any news media website, you’ll see numerous websites to which you can post the article in order to share it with others. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Social Web 2.0 and where the technology is headed.

The History of Web 2.0
During the dot.com boom of the mid-to-late 1990s, companies, individuals, organizations, governments, and virtually everybody else sought a home on the nascent information superhighway. Since it was so new and not nearly as many websites existed as there are today, internet surfers generally clicked links or typed website URLs into the Web browser’s address bar to get to where they wanted to go.

In other words, individuals reached out to grab links and, if they found them useful or enjoyable, saved them in their web browser’s list of bookmarks.

Today, the web has evolved into an incredible diversity of media offerings. From video to interactive Flash presentations to full-length movies to MP3 music and even Web TV, the internet continues to shape our lives like no other information and entertainment medium of the past.

As people began to consider all the Web has to offer, the old ways of clicking through dozens of disassociated links to navigate to various websites was fast becoming viewed as cumbersome. Therefore, the internet community devised ways to share links with each other; and not just links alone, but people’s lives as well. Thus, Social Web 2.0 was born.

What’s Different About Social Web 2.0?
The most fundamental change that Social Web 2.0 brought about is that the internet is a place for sharing information rather than simply extracting it. It’s all about connecting with others, meeting new people, and sharing common interests. It’s about sharing new websites; rating news stories and favorite blogs; commenting on posted videos; and indeed, sharing our lives in this increaingly interconnected world.

Spotlight on Social Web 2.0: Social Bookmarking
Aside from the perennial MySpace and Facebook , one of the more interesting forms of social networking today is social bookmarking.

Using such sites as Magnolia , Furl.net , Yahoo! MyWeb , Delicious , or Mixx , you can create an online and fully searchable archive of your favorite websites. Site members can then rate, comment upon, and share your selections.

The Future of Social Web 2.0 and Social Networking
In recent days, a number of websites have launched that feature 3-dimensional virtual worlds where users can take on a persona and walk around fictitious towns talking to others. One such site called Second Life . Some are predicting that these more personalized virtual worlds will replace faceless, two-dimensional e-mail applications and even MySpace.

Another Social Web 2.0 trend is micro-blogging where members post short blurbs of what they are doing right now. Twitter is the most widely known micro-blogging site, whose claim to fame is a 140-character or less status update. Some are saying micro-blogging updates are fast becoming the way people get their news updates. And that’s true; major media outlets including CNN regularly post daily news stories.

Indeed, Social Web 2.0 is an ever-growing trend that is seeing people of all races, ages, genders, backgrounds, and ethnicities becoming increasingly web-savvy and sharing information with the rest of the internet community at large.

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