Social Software Published 2006-09-18 under

Perhaps the best of day one at the "Future of Web Apps" was the presentation by Tom Coates - Directions in Social Change on the Web.  (for comprehensive notes on the session, visit CenterNetworks -thanks Allen!)

The tag line of the presentation, and for social software in general is "The sum is greater than the parts".  When blogs were first being noticed outside the geekosphere, they were panned and largely viewed as irrelevant.  This was because it was easy to point to individual posts and even whole blogs that were crap.  Taken by themselves, blogs looked amateurish at best.  As we have seen, blogging is much more than just individual posts.  This blog, though I try, does not reach that many educators, nor is what I post so important that it will change education.  However, if you combine all of the blogs of those in my blogroll and all the blogs in those bloggers' blogrolls, you have a community that is making a difference.  Ideas are introduced, discussed, and perfected.  Educators are trying new techniques to enrich their curriculum because they are part of a bigger community and that they are not out there on their own.

In his presentation, Tom likened the reaction MyS%*#@ is receiving to that which blogs got when they first emerged.  People are focusing on individual pages and saying this site is full of junk with no value at all.  But when viewed as a whole, it is remarkable.  Hitwise puts MyS%*#@ as the most popular website (based on US usage) above Yahoo! and even Google.  So what is it about the site that folks (mainly under 25) like about it?  It is certainly not its appearance - most pages are ugly. It is all about community or the social aspects of the web.

[Note: obfuscation of the actual name of the enormously popular social networking site that has the words my and space in it is to allow those people in districts that band content mentioning this word a chance to read this post.  Oh yes, and I want to be uber-DOPA compliant]

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