Social software

From Academic Kids

Social software lets people rendezvous, connect or collaborate by use of a computer network. The term came into more common usage in 2002, largely credited to Clay Shirky who organized a "Social Software Summit" in November of that year. Shirky defines social software as "stuff that gets spammed." [1] (

The more specific term collaborative software applies to cooperative work systems. The study of computer-supported collaboration and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (the name of the major conference on these issues) are closely associated with the software design issues.



Instant Messaging

An instant messaging application or client allows one to communicate with another person over a network in relative privacy. Popular clients include Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger. One can add friends to a contact list or buddy list, by entering their email address or messenger ID. If they are online, their name will be listed as available for chat. Clicking on their name will activate a chat window with space to write to the other person, as well as read their reply.

Internet Relay Chat

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clents allow users to join chat rooms and communicate with many people at once, publically. Users may join a pre-existing chat room or create a chat room about any topic. Once inside, you may type messages that everone else in the room can read, as well as respond to messages from others. Often there is a steady stream of people entering and leaving. Whether you are in another person's chat room, or one you've created yourself, you are generally free to invite others online to join you. When others accept the invitation, they are taken to the room containing the other members, similar to the way conference calling works with phones. This facilitates both one-to-one and many-to-many interaction. Examples of IRC networks include dalnet, undernet, and efnet.

Internet Forum

Originally modeled after the real-world paradigm of bulletin boards, internet forums allow users to post a "topic" for others to review. Other users can view the topic and post their own comments in a linear fashion, one after the other. Topic are usually displayed according to the time of the last post. Therefore, more recent posts, or "threads," and the ones with the most recent replies appear at the top of the list. Forums can contain many different categories in a hierarchy according to topics and subtopics. Other features include the ability to post images or files and the ability to quote another user's post with special formatting in your post. Forums often grow in popularity until they can boast several thousand members posting replies to tens of thousands of topics continuously. Examples include (, (

Blogs or Weblogs

Blogs, short for web logs, are like online journals for a particular person. The owner will post a message periodically allowing others to comment. Topics often include the owner's daily life or views on politics or a particular subject important to them. There are many websites that address the history of blogs, like The History of Weblogs ( and weblogs: a history and perspective (

Blogs mean many things to different people: ranging from "online journal" to "easily updated personal website." While these definitions are not wrong, they fail to capture the power of blogs as social software. Beyond being a simple homepage, or an online diary, some blogs also allow comments on the entries thereby a discussion forum, have blogrolls, i.e., links to other blogs which the owner reads, and/or have trackback ( which allows one blog to notify another blog, creating an inter-blog conversation. In summary, blogs engage readers and build a virtual community around a particular person or interest. Examples include Slashdot, LiveJournal, BlogSpot (


Examples include the original Portland Pattern Repository wiki, MeatballWiki, CommunityWiki, and possibly Wikipedia, Wiktionary (, Wikisource ( The status of Wikipedia and related projects as "true" Wikis or as "typical" wikis has been questioned. [2] (

Social network services

Social network services allow people to come together online around shared interests or causes. For example, some sites provide dating services where users will post their personal profiles, location, age, gender, etc, and are able to search for a partner. Examples include ArtBoom, Orkut, Friendster, Linkedin, Freecycle Network and 24eyes (

See also: Category:Social networking

Realtime Social Networks

A hybrid of the web-based social networks and instant messaging technologies, realtime social networks have recently emerged and are beginning to take both shape and popularity. Some examples of this include Imeem, which allows useres to share blogs, files and instant messages, which creates a social network dynamically, in realtime, depending on where the user is currently located.

Social bookmarking

Some sites allow users to post their list of bookmarks—or favorite websites—for others to search and view. The object is for people to meet others with whom they share a common interest. Examples include blinklist (,, furl ( and (

Collaborative real-time editing

Simultaneous editing of a text or media file by different participants from different internet-accounts.

See also

External links

Free Software

  • Barnraisers aroundme ( Free (GNU/GPL) social networking and group collaboration software.
  • rubric ( Social Bookmarking - Powers

Commercial Software

es:Software social fr:Social software zh:社会性软件


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