Thursday, July 05, 2007

About Web 2.0 and Online Social Networking

Thought I share this in my blog too.

My new immediate boss emailed me this - "k*a, can you please provide some background info on social networking sites, what web2.0 means, what the latest developments in the online world are etc to CFO and COO please?"

So, based on what I have read and am reading now, as well as from the resources of the Internet, I mashed all the infos up and wrote the below for my bosses. Hope you'll enjoy reading it too.

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These 2 articles are pretty good to explain how the term web 2.0 is derived, what web 2.0 means and what it is all about. I needn't explain more :-)

This is my illustration of what is Social Networking Sites. Happy reading!

Social networking is an everyday thing which we human have been doing all along. We go to gatherings or parties or even business meeting to meet other people, meet our friends or make new friends. We call our friends or family to update about our lives or to keep in touch. We go on holiday, we take photos. When we are home again, we write to our friends to inform them about our trips. We send photos too.

Now everyone can perform all the above through the Internet. That is what social networking sites are all about. There are specific social networking sites for specific activities such as blogging, photos, favourite links, videos, etc. And there are social networking sites that provide all these functions for its members such as MySpace, Friendster, MSN Live Spaces, etc.

For e.g. is a site where people store, share and organize photos. It is so simple. With the advancement of digital camera and cheap yet huge storage card, everyone can be a pro in photography. We no longer worry if we have sufficient film rolls. We are not limited by the 36 pieces per roll. So we tend to be trigger happy, camera that is.

We often have hundreds of photos after a holiday trip. Isn't it so convenient that we can just post them all up online and share with all friends and family? We save money from printing hard copy of photos, which are to be given away or burning them ito CDs for our friends or family. Through these photos sites, we can easily allow access to view the photos only to people we know. We can even sell some of our artistic shots online and make some money.

One of the biggest social networking elements is Blog. and are examples of sites where people can write about almost anything. Let me illustrate how big is Blogging in this current time.

Blog is such a mania. People are blogging shamelessly about their private lives. It is like an online diary for some. They blog about what they eat, what they see/hear, what they think, about their dreams, their hopes, their fears, their lack of lives, their anger, their frustrations and about their alter ego.

It is speculated that a blog is created in every second. At this moment, it is estimated that there are 60 mil blogs in the cyberspace and by 2010, there will be 500 million blogs. They have become authority in opinions from arts, politics to health and culture. Blogs have became so infinite that it blurs what's true and what's false Most kids are unable to differentiate between credible news written by professional journalist than what they read on Kenny Sia is a celebrity blogger and he resides in Kuching. He is such a hit and most blog readers love him. I think people might have withdrawal symptoms if he stop blogging.

Another big Web 2.0 thing is Wikipedia. It is an online encyclopaedia where anyone can publish just about anything from apple to zoology. It is estimated that more than 15,000 contributors have 3 millions entries in over hundred over languages. Mind you, none of these are vetted or edited for accuracy. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are estimated to surf to Wikipedia for information. The contents of Wikipedia is trusted by readers, although it has no experts or editors.

And let's not forget You Tube. All of us have, one way or another, view at least 1 video clips from You Tube. The video (via a hyperlink) could be sent to you through email by your friends. You Tube is definitely a haven for amateur videos. It is estimated that 65,000 videos are uploaded to You Tube and 60 mil video clips are being watched per day. Most of the videos you get through You Tubes are absurb and it is again an infinite gallery of people showing off themselves. Well, actually you can almost watch anything through You Tube.

Through a more diverse social networking sites such as Friendster or Mutiply, users can easily do all the above and store them in one area, in their own personal pages, created by themselves for themselves. And share all of their blogs, photos, videos, music, etc with friends or anyone they want.

It is pretty common these days, if you asked someone how his /her holiday trip was, he/she will reply - "Hey just go to my blog or my Mutiply to read about it. Oh btw, I have posted up my photos too. Go check them out!"

That's what online Social Networking is like these days. It is no longer just about publishing, but it is participation. It is not about what the experts say anymore, but it is about you, me and everyone - all free to express ourselves, free to share, to connect, to comment and to communicate - all through the Internet, quite easily too. It is an extremely democratic ecosystem.

Alright, that's all folks, think I will copy this and paste it to my blog and share it with my friends :-)

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I didn't mention all the virtual world sites that are mushrooming these days. A place for you to escape, to do things you can't in your real life. A second life for you. And there is a site called Really, you can do almost anything you want there - further your studies, be a pop idea, run a succesful business and even fulfil your wildest sexual fantasies.

Anyway, wiki away anything you want to know ;)

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