Social Web

Social Web
INF: 103 Computer Literacy
Susan Meckert

Like the telephone, the Internet was not created as a communication tool to interact socially, but evolved to become a part of everyday life (Watkins, Craig). However, social interaction has been facilitated by the web for nearly the entire duration of its existence, as indicated by the continuing success of social software, which at its core centers around connecting individuals virtually with others whom they already have relationships with in the physical world ( Porter, Joshua). Email dates from the 1960s, and was one of the first social applications to connect multiple individuals through a network, enabling social interaction by allowing users to send messages to one or more people ( Porter, Joshua). This application, which some have argued may be the most successful social software ever, was actually used to help build the Internet ( Porter, Joshua). The web got its start as a large but simple Bulletin Board System (BBS) that allowed users to exchange software, information, news, data, and other messages with one another (Won, Kim; Ok-RanJeong, Sang-WonLee), Ward Christensen invented the first public BBS in the late 1970s, and another (named "The WELL") in the late 80's and early '90s arose as a popular online community

( Porter, Joshua).The Usenet, a global discussion system similar to a BBS that enabled users to post public messages, was conceived in 1979 the system found tremendous popularity in the 1980s as individuals posted news and articles to categories called "newsgroups" ( Porter, Joshua). By the late 1990s, personal web sites that allowed individuals to share information about their private lives with others were increasingly widespread (Won, Kim; Ok-RanJeong, Sang-WonLee). On this fertile period of the web's development, its creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote that:

    “The Web is more a social creation than a technical one. I...