Social Networking


The current trends and technologies being witnessed over the Internet and particularly over the World Wide Web (Web) are an evolutionary step forward compared to the Internet and Web during the 1990s and at the turn of the century. This new character of the Web, defined as its uses and technologies, is embodied in the term Web 2.0 and what exactly is implied by Web 2.0 must be defined before the privacy concerns related to social networking and social networking sites can be adequately discussed.

The basic concept of Web 2.0 as a definitive evolutionary step from a Web 1.0 began to emerge following the dot com bust in the United States (US) in 2001. Many researchers admit that the massive shakeout in Web companies during this period resulted in a fewer but more specialized Web based companies than previously existed (Ellison 83). Thus, the implication is that these Web based companies that survived this tumultuous era in the Internet’s history either had a stronger business model or a unique business model that allowed them to survive. The combination of these surviving Web companies and the companies that emerged after them which followed their lead led to the creation of the platforms that now comprise Web 2.0. In this sense, Web 2.0 could be characterized as a shift from utilizing the Web as a signpost as during Web 1.0 to utilizing the Web as a platform for operations and interaction. Some of websites that characterize Web 2.0, according to this rationale, are Flickr,,, and a host of others that integrate such concepts as tagging, user contributions, user participation, and a reliance on services rather than packaged software (Coutar, Hanley & Zimmerman 24). Additionally, other Web based companies have dramatically altered how the Web has come to be utilized by both consumer and company alike. While Web 1.0 companies such as Yahoo! revolutionized the Internet in terms of content and search, Web 2.0 companies have evolved...