The Progression of the Social Web
Info103: Computer Literacy (ADD1322E)
Instructor Joan Rhodes
July 1, 2013
The Progression of the Social Web
From its humble beginning to the present day, it is mind boggling to think it has been a decade since the social web began and what is even crazier is that it has become an integral part of our everyday lives in modern society. There are now sites for virtually every special interest out there that we may have. There are now sites to share photos, videos, status updates, meeting new people, sharing recipes, sites to connect with old friends, and create new ones. It also seems there are social solutions for just about everything ...view middle of the document...
S. In 1988 the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was developed and used for file sharing, link sharing and keeping in touch. It was really the father of instant messaging as we know it today. IRC was mostly UNIX-based though, limiting access to most people. ICQ was developed in the mid-90s and was the first instant messaging program for PCs. It was at least partly responsible for the adoption of avatars, abbreviations (LOL, BRB) and emoticons. Other IM clients soon followed.
Six Degrees was launched in 1997 and was the first modern social network. It allowed users to create a profile and to become friends with other users. While the site is no longer functional, at one time it was actually quite popular and had around a million members at its peak. In 2000 it was purchased for $125 million and in 2001 it was shut down. AsianAvenue, MiGente, BlackPlanet, these sites popped up in the years following SixDegrees’ launch, between 1997 and 2001. They allowed users to create profiles and add friends (without needing approval to add people). Users could create professional, personal and dating profiles on these sites.
While they were some of the earliest social networks, there were few innovations among them.
LiveJournal started in 1999 and took a different approach to social networking. While Six Degrees allowed users to create a basically-static profile, LiveJournal was a social network built around constantly-updated blogs. LiveJournal encouraged its users to follow one another and to create groups and otherwise interact. It was really the precursor to the live updates we see in social networks currently. Major Advances in Social Networking began in the early 2000s and brought some huge developments to the social web. Friendster was really the first modern, general social network. Founded in 2002, Friendster is still a very active social network, with over 90 million registered users and 60+ million unique visitors each month. Most of Friendster’s traffic comes from Asia (90% of it).
Hi5 is another major social network, established in 2003 and currently boasting more than 60 million active members according to their own claims. Profile privacy works a bit differently on Hi5, where a user’s network consists of not only their own contacts, but also second (friends of friends) and third (friends of friends of friends) degree contacts. Users can set their profiles to be seen only by their network members or by Hi5 users in general. While Hi5 is not particalarly popular in the U.S., it has a large user base in parts of Asia, Latin America and Central Africa. LinkedIn was founded in 2003 and was one of the first mainstream social networks devoted to business. Originally, LinkedIn allowed users to post a profile (basically a resume) and to interact through private messaging. They also work on the assumption that you should personally know the people you connect with on the site.
MySpace was founded in 2003 and by 2006 had grown to be the most popular social...