Social Networks: Evolution and Impact On Society
Tags: Social Networks, orkut, web 2.0, social impact of media
Vox Populi today: Don't Make Me Think! and it applies to everything. Starting tomorrow, I am going to start putting pictures of designs that I hate. That is to celebrate Usability Day!(You can send me your pet peeves as well)
And about social networks, a question was raised about blogging/orkut/ with reference to whether they are a fad/ and what is the impact on society/culture. As much as I think I don't belong to the why talk about this topic brigade , I still keyed my thoughts and here's part one:
Blogging is just one of the varied aspects of social computing:
Before we conclude whether it’ a hype or a change agent; we must try and understand what lead to it, what’s happening today and hence where it might go. Since it’s very hard to predict where things go, but when you look at them in retrospect, they seem so obvoius
A Brief History of the Phenomena: (I promise its brief)
Cheap Technology available to everyone, so youngsters used it to their advantage and elderly to theirs. Think Bit Torrent, Skype, Kazaa and SMS, MMS, Chat, XML/RSS.
What does the trend indicate: Networks erode institutional power.
Why: People love right to freedom, are more independent and less trusting. These technologies/platforms just fuelled that.
Now what happened:
Explosion of social networks like:
RSS- I want the Internet my way:
My Free Open Source Software
Search Engines and now my own search engines
User Reviewed portals
My Music/Files free
Now coming to the sub topic of Blogs, Here’s a fact: There are about 59.5 Million Blogs today that they are being tracked by technorati. So whether it’s a phenomenon or a passing fad remains to be seem. But if you look at he growth of Blogs, it’s certainly reached a plateau-ed growth as seen here http://google.com/trends?q=blogs.
Blogging has given everyone a right to express there thoughts on whatever they feel like, from recipes to travelogues.
Companies that have used this concept, have taken the first mover advantage, now every company including Google has a web log that talks to its consumers in a seemingly informal way. Every newspaper website has weblogs, every job site has weblogs, every technology has a weblog, almost every corporate has a web log. So the face of blogging has changed from being perceived as rebellious to now a contributor to the society.
It’s certainly going to stabilize, like a lot of other phenomenon, but what amazes me is that it took just a decade from when usenet appeared to when this debate started. That in itself speaks about how entrenched this has become in our society, especially in certain quartets, because of it were a passing phenomenon, it would have eroded by now.
Its certainly speaks about what our world wants, a right to basic freedom of thought, speech and experession!
But are most blogs really monologues? Will explore in part two, the impact on society and whether they are leading to more complex human behaviors.
Also, You feel iam left out something, please leave your feedback.