- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 

Social software

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities.

Broadly conceived, this term could encompass older media such as mailing lists and Usenet, but some would restrict its meaning to more recent software genres such as blogs and wikis. Others suggest that the term social software is best used not to refer to a single type of software, but rather to the use of two or more modes of computer-mediated communication that result in community formation.[1] In this view, people form online communities by combining one-to-one (e.g., email and instant messaging), one-to-many (Web pages and blogs), and many-to-many (wikis) communication modes.[2] In many online communities, real life meetings become part of the communication repertoire. The more specific term collaborative software applies to cooperative work systems.

Common to most definitions is the observation that some types of software seem to facilitate "bottom-up" community development, in which membership is voluntary, reputations are earned by winning the trust of other members, and the community's mission and governance are defined by the communities' members themselves.[3] Communities formed by "bottom-up" processes are contrasted to the less vibrant collectivities formed by "top-down" software, in which users' roles are determined by an external authority and circumscribed by rigidly conceived software mechanisms (such as access rights).

Also social software systems create persistent links between users, and through these persistent links, a community is formed. The ownership and control of these links - who is linked, and who isn't - is in the hands of the user. Thus, these links are asymmetrical - you might link to me, but I might not link to you. Also, these links are functional, not decorative - you can choose not to receive any content from people you are not connected to, for example. Social software therefore by design reflects the traits of [social networks].

Tools for Online Communication

The tools used in social software applications include communication tools and interaction tools. Communication tools typically handle the capturing, storing, and presentation of communication, usually written but increasingly including audio and video also. Interaction tools handle mediated interactions between a pair or group of users. They differ from communication tools in their focus on establishing and maintaining a connection among users, facilitating the mechanics of conversation and talk.

Communication tools are generally asynchronous, interaction tools synchronous (phone, Net phone, video chat) or near-synchronous (IM, text chat).

We can add to this distinction one that describes the primary user experience of each: communication involves the content of talk, speech, or writing; interaction involves the interest users establish in one another as individuals. In other words, a communication tool may want to make access and searching of text both simple and powerful. An interaction tool may want to present as much of a user's expression, performance, and presence as possible. The organization of texts, and providing access to archived contributions differs from the facilitation of interpersonal interactions between contributors enough to warrant the distinction in media.

Instant Messaging

An instant messaging application or client allows one to communicate with another person over a network in relative privacy. Popular clients include Gtalk, Skype, Meetro, ICQ, 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.

Text chat

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and other online chat technologies allow users to join chat rooms and communicate with many people at once, publicly. Users may join a pre-existing chat room or create a chat room about any topic. Once inside, you may type messages that everyone 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 (communication) and many-to-many interaction.

Internet forums

Originally modeled after the real-world paradigm of electronic bulletin boards of the world before Internet was born, 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. Most forums are public, allowing anybody to sign up at any time. A few are private, gated communities where new members must pay a small fee to join for example the Something Awful Forums.

Forums can contain many different categories in a hierarchy according to topics and subtopics. Other features include the ability to post images or files or the ability to quote another user's post with special formatting in ones post. Forums often grow in popularity until they can boast several thousand members posting replies to tens of thousands of topics continuously.

There are various standards and claimants for the market leaders of each software category. Various add-ons, including translation and spelling correction software, may sometimes be available, depending on the expertise of the operators of the bulletin board. In some industry areas, the BB has its own commercially successful achievements: free and paid hardcopy magazines, professional and amateurish sites.

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.

Blogs mean many things to different people, ranging from "online journal" to "easily updated personal website". While these definitions are technically correct, they fail to capture the power of blogs as social software. Beyond being a simple homepage or an online diary, some blogs allow comments on the entries, thereby creating a discussion forum. They also have blogrolls (i.e., links to other blogs which the owner reads or admires), and indicate their social relationship to those other bloggers using the XFN social relationship standard. Pingback and trackback allow 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


A wiki is a webpage that is easily editable using relatively easy to use wiki syntax. This means that everyone can edit, change or delete text. Examples include the original Portland Pattern Repository wiki, MeatballWiki, CommunityWiki, Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikisource.

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. Other shared goals or interests include business networking (Ryze, Ecademy and LinkedIn), emotionally supportive phone counseling (Phone Buddies), social event meetups (Meetup), or recreational hobbies.

Social network search engines

Social network search engines are a class of search engines that use social networks to organize, prioritize, or filter search results.

There are two subclasses of social network search engines: those that use explicit social networks, and those that use implicit social networks.

Explicit social network search engines allow people to find each other according to explicitly stated social relationships such as XFN social relationships. For example, XHTML Friends Network allows people to share their relationships on their own sites, thus forming a decentralized/distributed online social network, in contrast to centralized social network services listed in the previous section.

Implicit social network search engines allow people to filter search results based upon classes of social networks they trust, such as a shared political viewpoint. This type of social network search engine mines the web to infer the topology of online social networks. For example, the NewsTrove search engine infers social networks from content - sites, blogs, pods, and feeds - by examining (among other things) subject matter, link relationships, and grammatical features to infer social networks. The user may then employ the social networks as filters to their search results.

Social guides

Recommending places to visit in the real world such as coffee shops, restaurants, and wifi hotspots, etc. One applications is WikiTravel.

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 digg,, Netvouz, furl and Connectedy.

Social Citations

Much like social bookmarking, this software, aimed towards academics, allows the user to post a citation for an article found on the internet. These citations can be organized into predefined categories or a new category defined by the user. This will allow academics researching or interested in similar areas to connect and share resources. An example of this software is CiteULike.

Social Libraries

Sites that allow visitors to keep track of their collectibles, ranging from books, records and DVDs. Users can share their collections and recommendations are generated based on the ratings using statistical computation and network theory. Some sites offer a buddy system, as a well as virtual checking out of items for borrowing among friends. Folksonomy is implemented on most sites. Examples include for music and LibraryThing.


Peer-to-peer social networks

A hybrid of web-based social networks, instant messaging technologies and peer-to-peer connectivity and filesharing, peer-to-peer Social Networks generally allow users to share blogs, files (especially photographs) and instant messages. Some examples are imeem, Bouillon, Wirehog, Grouper, and Soulseek. Also, Groove and WiredReach have similar functionality, but with more of a work-based, collaboration bias.

Collaborative real-time editing

Simultaneous editing of a text or media file by different participants on a network. SubEthaEdit and Google Docs & Spreadsheets are examples of this.

Virtual presence

Virtual presence means being present at virtual locations. In particular, the term virtual presence denotes presence on World Wide Web locations pages and Web sites which are identified by URLs. People who are browsing a Web site are considered to be virtually present at Web locations. Virtual presence is a social software in the sense that people meet on the Web by chance or intentionally. The ubiqitous (in the Web space) communication transfers behavior patterns from the real world and Virtual worlds to the Web.

Virtual worlds and Massively-Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs)

Virtual Worlds and Massively-Multiplayer Online Games are places where it is possible to meet and interact with other people in a virtual world - which looks somewhat like reality. Some popular commercial worlds are Second Life, ActiveWorlds, The Sims Online, and There. Some commercial MMOGs (or, more accurately, MMORPGs) include Everquest and World of Warcraft. The Dotsoul Cyberpark is one of the more innovative non-commercial worlds, with the look and feel of Second Life and Active Worlds but an adamantly anticorporate stance. Other open-source and experimental examples include Planeshift, Croquet project, VOS and Solipsis.

Other Specialized Social Applications

There are many other applications with social software characteristics that facilitate human connection and collaboration in specific contexts. Project Management and E-Learning applications are among these.


  1. ^ Stowe Boyd, "Are You Ready for Social Software?"
  2. ^ Clay Shirky, "A Group is Its Own Worst Enemy".
  3. ^ Matt Webb, "On Social Software".

See also

  • Social bookmarking
  • Folksonomy
  • Motivations for contributing to online communities
  • List of social software
  • Online identity
  • Online deliberation
  • Pseudonymity
  • Usenet
  • The WELL
  • Wiki software
  • Wikipedia's implied constitution
  • Enterprise 2.0
  • Web 2.0
  • Participatory Media

External links

  • James Seng's wiki page on Social Software
  • Tracing the Evolution of Social Software
  • Social Protocols: An Introduction
  • Tom Coates' Definition of Social Software and Revised / Simplified Definition of Social Software
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