Surfing online will no longer be a question of browsing the same sites as everyone else in a vast online library of resources — the sites you see may be predetermined or preselected to suit your tastes in advance.
The future social web may see users driving innovation and development in new applications.
In the information economy, Pete Cashmore, editor of Mashable (a key information portal for social media services), suggests that your friends may become content curators for your consumption, filtering information such as movies, books and television shows and making recommendations for your leisure time online.
He cites Facebook’s Connect programme as one early example of this.
Historically, it used to be enough to have an online presence on the Internet for the one-way broadcasting and dissemination of information.
Today, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are driving new forms of social interaction, dialogue, exchange and collaboration.
Twitter enables its members to post or send short (140-character) messages called “tweets”, whereby users can broadcast what they are doing or thinking to the world, to closed “list” groups or to other individual Twitterers. ”) has been reinterpreted as: “What do you find interesting or funny? Other community sites include Skyrock in France, VKontakte in the Russian Federation, and Cyworld in the Republic of Korea.
There are also numerous smaller social networks that appeal to specific interests, such as Research GATE, which connects scientists and researchers, or to languages or nationalities (for example, the Polish service with 11 million users or Tuenti in Spain, with 4.5 million users).Facebook passed the historic milestone of 500 million users on 21 July 2010 — if Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populous nation in the world after China and India. My Space concentrates on music and entertainment, while Linked In targets career-minded professionals.Figure 1 shows how many users are drawn to some popular social networks in early 2010. Orkut, a service owned by Google, is used mainly in India and Brazil, while in China, Qzone is reportedly one of the largest social networking sites with over 380 million registered accounts now.Over the past seven years, Internet data traffic has grown by a factor of 56, driven partly by people uploading more data.On average, people uploaded fifteen times more data in 2009 than they did just three years previously.Social networking sites (referred to more broadly as social media) enable users to swap ideas, to post updates and comments, or to participate in activities and events, while sharing their wider interests.