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Introduction of Social Software in Companies

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  • Pages: 30
  • Word count: 7262
  • Category: Internet

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 The paper focus on the latest trend in internet world such as social networking software, which could be applicable in corporates for the benefit of the company and their employees. The paper is splited into four chapters. The first chapter describes the importance of knowledge management in internet and how could it benefit the corporates. The second describes the social software deeply and also explains the different types of social software and their usage in corporates.

The third chapter explains about the latest development in social software and describes about the hype in usage of social software in recent past. Chapter four focuses on the application of social software in companies and its benefits occurring out of it. In this chapter a simple design of social bookmark is been developed and explained in detail. Finally, the thesis concludes with possibility of future work in the field and also describes the future possibilities of application of social software in companies.


  1. Introduction

Free Knowledge for free minds is the main theme of social software.”

The latest trend in online network in providing information and free services, which includes web blogs, social book marking, online newspapers and news sharing, open search engines, has drawn audiences from current services. Almost all of these resources either available for free or available for low cost to the internet users. With the increase in the internet users seeking knowledge, the competition and risk among service provider has increased terrifically.

As net surfing has become a fundamental part of the internet and in addition, usage of broadband has attained rapid growth in global market, the pressure on incumbents in adopting the new technology and robust information are often left as a challenge. Advancement in information technology has increased the knowledge purveyor such as news providers, manufactures etc to use the internet in delivering information to their customers directly, which consequently has created a factual competition among information providers. It is estimated that in next two years information industry would grow fairly of about 5.3%, which is similar to the anticipated rate of consumer index.

Among the service providers of information industry, few section face high competition from suppliers, as suppliers go directly to customers. The following graph represents the increased number of neitizens throughout the world.

The paper significantly focuses on the latest trends in the computer world which includes social networking that is applicable in corporates. Social Software is combination of technology, internet services and software. Social Software in internet is more predominant factor which is used for constructing online society and for formulating modern web services. On the other hand, Social Software in business is rarely used. The concept in the business world is yet to grow. Usage of internet and intranet seems to be more predominant in the corporate environment. All communications are been through e-mail in the corporate society.

However, the trend is slowly changing, as there is increase in competition and companies are getting more and more global and service oriented the focus is moving towards knowledge sharing activity. Introduction of social software has eased the possibilities of achieving the above said process. Social software in companies delivers a speed interaction and knowledge sharing activities, which will in turn, would result in the productiveness of the company. This paper performs an in-depth analysis on social software and its usage in companies.

  1. History of Knowledge Management

Robert S .Lynd, in “Knowledge for What? emphasized that people need to build their organizations so that knowledge flows freely to create opportunities and solve problems. The ability of a business to efficiently capture, nurture, leverage and share its knowledge resources can be the key factor that offers an enterprise with its strategic power advantage in the world. A firm’s capacity to capitalize on knowledge resources is becoming the creator of uniqueness and the differentiator of value.

If a business develops its ability to build access and leverage its knowledge sources, it is creating its knowledge advantage. Thus, the acquiring of knowledge offers a business the know-how and business ability to deploy this know-how to achieve substantial gains in performance so that it could achieve its strategic outcomes.

Business enterprise can now weave together powerful strands of both intellectual capital and knowledge management to yield sizeable increase in day-to-day performance and the related achievement of strategic outcomes. The success of a business lies on how it can mobilize their knowledge resources to create wealth. Thus, intellectual capital is the stock or content.

The advent of internet and globalization have spawned the demand for rapid –response, knowledge based enterprises. The business now understands that the intangibles of knowledge and know-how are at the core of all processes and their main duty is to frame an atmosphere that encourages the access, flow, and use of knowledge. Business is fully aware now that rather than controlling resources, they need to assist the suitable flow of appropriate knowledge resources to the right place, at the right time, to the right people, for their right outcomes, and many of these resources are intangible.

The knowledge based enterprise includes everyone inside the organization and along the supply chain and the entire customer network. It should avail the benefits of know-how that is prevalent every nooks and corner of the business to reach anywhere in the world, 24hours a day. It should facilitate to link computer programmers in Philippines with a project team in UK, and a customer in U.S.A, in a venue where each party takes on the function of co-creator of the result.

In a nutshell, a knowledge-based business is a sense and respond, intelligent firm and its work is ongoing conversation, characterized by building new knowledge capital with new players, new information, new perspectives, new possibilities and new responses to new customer needs.

Prince Henry of Portugal had made a success story of breakthrough through new knowledge acquisition. He visualized the opportunity rest in the sea route around Africa and started a step-by-step, shared national program for advancing into the unknown area, a plan that turned out to be a century and a half in the making. To achieve this, Prince Henry established an early style of a center for research and development. He deployed the experienced map makers, seafarers, ship builders and instrument maker in Portugal. Thus, Henry could able to establish his knowledge-based enterprise mainly on the objective that the unknown could only be discovered by extending the boundaries of the known.

Henry’s experiments resulted in the invention of new ship design which resisted the rigors of sea voyage and also managed to return to Portugal with wealth and intangible wealth of ‘news’. [Knowledge].  The new knowledge was continuously synthesized and resulted in the development of leadership, strategic thinking, skills, courage and innovation which resulted in the discovery of sea route to India and South East Asia which generated enormous wealth for Portugal.

Thus, Prince Henry’s experiment educates that in any century, under any condition, the strategic power of a knowledge –based enterprise has the capacity to yield a huge difference. Our effort is to exploit our advanced technology and newly possible networked enterprises to deploy the same ideas for outcomes that go far beyond our own expectations.

Knowledge management and intellectual capital have resulted in a variety of outstanding practitioners who have created the field afresh in their organizations. Knowledge practitioners like Hubert Saint –Onge, Sharon Oriel, Kent Greenes, Alex Bennet and Stephen Denning have established that broad range of approaches can create high-level outcomes, offering that principles are sound and practices are imaginative, contactful and insightful, thorough and grounded in reality. They demonstrate that, depending on situations, capabilities and resources, there are innumerous ways to shape a knowledge perspective that can successfully recast how an enterprise works and how it interacts with the world.

Hubert Saint –Onge, Senior Vice-President of Clarica, a Canadian investment and insurance firm, developed and implemented a multilayer comprehensive knowledge capital strategy during which market value of Clarica rose from $ 2.1 billion to more than $ 7 billion. Thus, Hubert was instrumental in developing strategic capabilities, instrumental in leveraging the firm’s business growth through the systematic application of knowledge management and learning organization principles. A key thrust of Saint-Onge’s effort is the development of a knowledge based environment, where technology and culture support all members of the enterprise in visualizing themselves as autonomous ‘business of one’.

Stephen Denning took the mission of transforming the World Bank from a traditional lending institution into one where its collective and networked know-how has become a central pillar and means in its fight against poverty around the world. Denning formulated an approach to tell stories that centered on how some one or some group brought about a unexpected change which would otherwise difficult or intractable situation. Thus, the story telling became the vehicle for people to be engaged in co-creating the vision of what the World Bank could become.

Alex Bennet led the development of the U.S Navy’s enterprise –wide knowledge –centric organization [KCO] effort. While he U.S. Navy has an enormous investment in ships, aircrafts and supporting technologies to operate globally, it has come to learn that it will be its knowledge superiority that will offer the advantage of its ability to carry out its mission.

It is imperative that all the contributors to ‘Knowledge Capital ‘ start from their own unique perception, bunches of ideas, experiences and capabilities developed across the sessions, which point the way to a framework for the next generation of the knowledge field. Look at the following clusters as elements of a roadmap that will guide your to the next generation of the knowledge –based enterprise.

The areas of convergence explored includes the following, a) Fulfilling the promise, b) Knowledge as a factor of production. c) Diverse in form but with common principles, d) Knowledge as a valued asset, e) Market –based adaptive / springboard enterprises, f) Knowledge capital strategy, g) Values alignment, h) Core component in place, i) Learning, j) Getting the knowledge enterprise off the ground, k) From audit to assessment, l) Alliances, m) Intellectual assets and intellectual property and  n) Future centers.

In future, success of a business lies in its ability to leverage usable knowledge capital that will offer the knowledge-based enterprise an edge over the others. It has become necessary for the existing business to integrate knowledge value creation, value capture and the ability to realize that value into a holistic knowledge framework. They also fuse knowledge capabilities with other capacities to produce strategic outcomes.

                                          The knowledge-based enterprise has a performance -based measurement system for tracking and steering. Internally, such us system requires senior leaders, middle managers and front line employees to appreciate how best their knowledge recipes are working, where corrections needed to be made, and how they do affect and what is affected by everything else in the enterprise system . Externally, performance –based evaluation allows stakeholders, analysts and market makers a more translucent understanding of how the business is performing and thereby gives them a better basis to evaluate a company for investment purpose.

  1. Knowledge management software and growth of global organization

No doubt, knowledge management software has helped the global organizations to grow and to identify the ways for further development. The knowledge management software [KMS] has facilitated the geographically dispersed business to pool their employee’s knowledge and offers it the instantly available through the use of information technology for the company to use.

A business which lines up its knowledge management practice into its business plan will continuously share and learn that knowledge as it moves away from chaos towards clear and directed accomplishment of business goals. Further, KMS fits in with the components of the newly defined global organization. Multinational organizations should spotlight on global efficiency, national responsiveness and the diffusion of technological innovations through learning.

For example, Xerox is having a culture of knowledge sharing its efforts at enhancing its knowledge management practices have not met with significant barriers. Finally, Xerox decided to learn the social dynamics of its workforce and due to their reconditioning the technology and process of knowledge management to the workplace environment, KMS has been widely welcomed and accepted.

In 1990, Xerox re-positioned itself as ‘document company’ and formulated a 15 year strategic vision along with it’s Year 2005 plan. Xerox resolved to derive strategic advantage by managing knowledge through the use of knowledge management software better than its competitors and to change into a digital network solutions company. Xerox is of the opinion that knowledge management would be a natural extension of document management and devised to use knowledge management tools and technologies on the basis of its existing copier, scanning, printing technologies and to expand its services and products.

Xerox spotlighted on sharing knowledge and best practices, capturing and reusing past experiences and delivering knowledge both as enabler and a user. KMS facilitated them to attain their organization goals and enabled them to become part and parcel of a world wide global community. By speeding up the gathering of knowledge through KMC and by leveraging the existing knowledge and applying this synergy to spotlight the organization on attaining the goals of the organization, Xerox was able to germinate as a giant business and having attained competitive advantage and become more financially viable now .

The Second illustration where the organization achieved considerable growth is Proctor and Gamble [P & G] . Realizing that their greatest treasure was their employees, Proctor and Gamble turned the KMC to their employees to benefit about more than 10,000 employees of the organization employed around the globe. KMS was introduced in P & G as early as 1997 by creating an internet portal in order to assist worker’s collaboration who is involved in product development. P&G‘s KMS namely ‘Innovative net ‘is being used by over 18,000 employees around the globe in the areas like marketing, purchase and Research & Development. P&G employees around the world have now single platform to inquire any questions and share their knowledge.

In addition, news from Business week states that, “Companies are figuring out ways to take advantage of the Knowledge management software phenomenon.[1]”  “In fact, IBM in recent times has unveiled its new version on an internal social book marking tool, named as dogear.[2]”

Thus, KMC can generate an aggressive edge for those companies who generate, implement, and update their knowledge bases. One important factor is that those companies who do not adhere to the knowledge management may soon become runners up in the race.

  • How knowledge management in internet is changing?

Online, a parallel universe is swiftly budding and the Internet has revolutionized the globe. No information is left out and valley of information is available from the hundred of millions of websites crowding the internet. As per Rob Helm, Director of Research at consultancy Directions on Microsoft, “if the aerospace and automobile technology had detonated at the same speed as information and computer technology, ‘a new car would cost about $ 5 and it will run 600 miles on a thimble of gas.”

Thus, growth of the internet and e-commerce can be regarded as a global mega trend. People now become computer savvy today irrespective of their age and internet technology will remain the unchallenged leader in cyberspace for the foreseeable future. Business have suddenly woke up to known fact that internet can save them billions of dollars in conducting their every day’s affairs.

For instance, Corrugated Supplies Corporation which manufactures corrugated sheets for boxes and other products is a low-tech image company in U.S moved to e-business and successfully computerized production system which would facilitate and fulfill the customer’s orders –to their exact specifications –and deliver the goods in less than 24 hours, with a 35% reduction in waste. Due to this, Corrugated Supplies rose to $ 100 million in 2000 from $ 40 million in 1997. Thus the Company is now teaching other companies about building high –tech factories.

American business community is able to save billions of dollars a year due to the fact that Internet’s capability to lacerate their cost of doing business. General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have created Covisint, a $ 300-billion mega market for buying auto parts and Trane Company, a famous air -conditioned parts manufacturer which had set up its own private online exchange that compelled its 5500 dealers to continually bid against each other for its business. United Nation is also proposing to provide an internet health network that will provide state-of-the-art medical knowledge to more than 10,000 clinics and hospitals in poor countries.

As per Bill gates, “by year 2018, major newspapers will ‘publish their last paper editions and move slowly to electronic distribution and that by 2020, dictionary will redefine books as ‘eBook titles read on screen’.” As per California Institute of Telecommunications and Information technology, “an enchanted world ‘of networker microprocessors will emerge during the ensuing decade, that will expand the power of individual computer processors at an exponential rate.”

According to Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems, “asserts that eventually, a phase may be reached at which the conclusions necessary to keep the system running will be so compound that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that phase, the machines will have the effective control. No one can able to turn them down because dependency is in such level that turning down will tantamount to suicide.”[3]  With the prospect of human-level computing power in about 30 years, we may be ‘working to create tools which will enable the construction technology that may replace our species.

Internet is fast changing and there are more than dozen new technologies on the sphere with promise of more bandwidth to more users which included a collection of novelty like ADSL [Asymmetrical digital subscriber line], cable modems, satellite systems and wireless local loop. These new technologies are expected to be available for consumer users within five years from now.

Internet offers wide variety of tools like Blogs which are online diaries. Wikies are editable Web pages that demand no technical knowledge of HTML or other programming language. “Like internet group offers sharing of information. Podcasts are audio or video file that broadcasts. Each uses a different way of transmitting information to the intended users,” says Joan Mccallen. [4] In near future, coaxial cable TV lines will be used to get connected with the internet since this will enable the processing of information at over 27 megabits per second on the same cable lines.


  1. Social software – an in-depth analysis

The need for socialism among employees is been explained by William Davies as following, “Neighborhoods or organizations that are rich in social capital find it more convenient to join forces on joint projects and are free from individuals who try to dismantle their efforts and thereby achieving higher levels of economic trust, vitality and happiness.”  [5]

Social software is a phrase employed with more frequency to explain the recent in a long line of internet ‘revolutions’. Some of the terms are very familiar like electronic mail, listservs or bulletin boards, letting users to post messages or comments and instant messaging on the Web.

The recent entrant is ‘Weblogs’ or ‘blogs’ which permit an individual to create a Web page consisting of individual information. Numerous features of blogs separate them from personal Web pages. It is easy to create a blog than a Web page. The contents of a blog can be associated employing a protocol namely ‘Rich Site Summary’ [RSS]. RSS employs extensible Markup Language [XML] to design a newly updated blog and allocate a link to that new information to aggregation services. Thus, the blog posting later can be distributed to Web sites and even individual users with wireless PAD’s.

In addition to blogs, social software permits embryonic activities to manage the content of the information created. Although individuals construct content, other individuals read that content and look for information on particular topics. Neitizens can select from many blog-centric search engines, e.g. Blog Search Engines.

The result of all of this what might be called as a network effect? For instance, some blogs experience more hits than others. The word about a popularity and content of a particular Web blog is spread easily if traffic flows and viral spreads to a popular blog. If traffic is watched within a commercial site like Yahoo!, the information linked with a particular Yahoo! Group can be identified by data mining tools or scripts that search for spikes in usage. Once a popular blog or group is identified, the message traffic between individual users can be monetized. Yahoo! has initiated in selling advertisements encashed in electronic mail sent from one user of a particular Yahoo! group to another.

A good illustration of social software in action is the Yahoo! group and if a person signup any Yahoo! group, he will be receiving automatic e-mails with a PlayStation game tip, instant messaging, a search of Yahoo’s new and enhanced search engine, offer to buy a particular PlayStation from a Yahoo merchant or starting a new Yahoo group. Social software offers fragmented interests and neitizens can utilize the services of a highly individualized utility.

The main advantages of Social software is that it offers personal and one-to-one and one-to-many communication channels that create the Internet or intranet more friendly avenue for people and their interests.

Google’s latest acquisition of Pyra Labs, creators of the popular Blogger software for designing blogs, facilitates that firm- if it so elects- to make money through advertisements by tying to the manifestation of a Pyra blog in search results.

Many business corporations have started to experiment with blogs so as to save money and as a low cost alternative to commercial social software products like Groove. Commercial applications can now be made easy through blogs by using free tools like User land’s tools .Traction software offers a commercial substitute. It is worthwhile to recall how the Howard Dean had made use of range of social software tools in the last U.S. President elections.

It is estimated that more than 1 million of blogs are in use now. Most Social software applications are being attacked on the ground that online social interface is not an alternative to traditional face-to-face interaction though it potentially enhances it.

Social software in general helps to communicate with ‘right people at the right time’. According to Bill Liao, CNO at XING.com, “Bringing people together often create value and that value in itself makes the exercise worthwhile”. Another member from Sally Nutt, Associate Analytics from XING.com express that, “Open blogs is essential to create a strong two-way relationship with the public and to hopefully receive feedback on various subjects a lot quicker than usual. Also important, open blogs helps in sharing of knowledge throughout the company”.

  1. Social Software in Future.

The invention of Social software is more of an evolution rather than of revolution. Internet may slowly lose its edge to the new tools that may be of in use in near future and it is no longer considered to be a novelty. But, the internet has become the part and parcel of the communications environment. Presently, odds and ends of Internet technology are being given new twirls in the social software environment.

For Social software, the outlook is mixed as innovators and entrepreneurs will view social software as an opportunity engine which will host products and services with zeal. One of the studies performed by Stephen E.Arnol, “suggests that personal publishing is likely to equal traditional Web page content in 18 to 24 months.”[6]

Social software assists to connect business partners, friends and others using a variety of tools like data mining and search. Social networking applications are utilized across a corporation to comb through e-mail folders, contact data-bases and other corporate content to find out whom within the industry knows someone at another industry.

  1. Different types of social software provided by various companies

Social software facilitates neitizens to come together, collaborate or connect through computer aided communication. Many supporters of social software is of the view that it generate real community and it is termed as ‘Online community ‘. The usage of term ‘collaborative software ‘refers to cooperative work systems and it is also sparingly applied to software that facilitates work functions. The older tools like mailing list and Usenet also refers to Social software whereas new entrants like ‘blogs’ and ‘wikis’ also makes to charm to this category.

Some of the advocates are of the view that social software is the mixture of two or more computer related communications that ends in ‘community formation’. Thus online communities are being formed by neitizens through e-mails, instant messaging, web pages, wikis, and blogs.

The variety of social software is ever expanding and extensive. Social software offers publishing in multimedia, collection tools and researching. The commercial importance of social software is of great magnitude as it is evident with significant internet companies consolidating their positions by purchasing the interest in smaller social software companies.

The present social software permits users to collaborate, communicate and publish in a variety of media, in a number of ways and also helps learners to act together to assimilate knowledge bases that suits their specific needs.

Social software is inherently more social and the gains of using social software are advantages that arise from collaboration. There are various types of social software services available including newsgroups, mailing list, wiki user pages etc. The best example for social software is Yahoo! groups. Let us focus what are all different types of social software is available now:

7.1 Social Network Services

This is an online service which facilitate neitizens to come together to share interest. For instance, some sites like www.alibaba.com post merchandize available and also who looks for them .These sites classifies merchandize in to various categories and it is useful to both buyer and seller as there are offers and quotes which one could negotiate to tailor his needs. Other examples of such service providers are XING, Ryze, and Azoola etc. Some other categories under social network services are social event meetups, psychologically supportive phone counseling or recreational hobbies like astrology etc. Social network service is also refers to some giant wikis which encourages user portals and pages and permits them to edit, post, update and modify the contents.

7.2 Social network search engines

These search engines are tailored to utilize social networks to arrange, organize, customize, prioritize or filter search results. Again, this is divided into two sub categories such as explicit social networks and implicit social networks.

The explicit search engines facilitate users to locate each other as per explicitly expressed social relationships such as XFN social relationships. For instance, XHTML Friends network permits users to exchange their relationships on their own Web sites thereby resulting in distributed /decentralized online social network. This is totally in contrast to the technique adopted by centralized social network services.

If search engines facilitate users to filter search results founded on classes of social networks they are in confidence, then such social network is named as implicit social network. The United Nations University has termed this as epistemic filter which it predicts that this will become more leading ways of search for most users in near future. Further, this kind of social network search engines excavate the web to deduce the topology of online social networks. For instance , the News Trove search engines detects social networks from blog sites, contents pods and feeds by exploring link relationship, subject matter and grammatical features to detect social networks. Neitizens may deploy the social networks as sieves to their search results.

7.3 Social Book Marking

       Social book markings is one of the hottest trend of ‘pop-tech’ and social software that has been flourishing on the internet and fastly gaining fame. The most widely used social software tools are del.icio.us and Flickr which offer free-use tools for sharing and tagging photographs and web resources, respectively.

Conventionally, bookmarks are being stored in a client’s browser such as Firebox, Netscape or Internet Explorer. These bookmarks can be displayed as a list and can be segregated in separate folders. There is no facility to share the bookmarks stored in one’s computer with the friends or other people.

Social book markings vary from the conventional book markings in many ways. Annotation of bookmarks is possible by identifying tags or keywords for easy retrieval later. In addition to the bookmark URL and title, users can also insert their own free-text commentary to the bookmark to offer significant metadata. Users can retrieve bookmarks by tag or comment or title without having to trace down on the folders. Further, user can retrieve social book markings from any browser and any machine as they are stored in a central repository.

            According to Business Week[7], The corporate are started to reap the benefits of the social book marking. For instance, IBM has recently publicized its own version of an internal social book marking tool namely dogear. Users currently share corporate knowledge via various means like technical exchange meetings, email lists and share Point. Social book marking will definitely going to complement the above existing tools.

The salient features of social book marking can be summarized as follows; It offers research analysis and allows to share research findings, helps to know expertise findings and user’s outline. It assists to build and support social networks around interest areas. Social book marking be of assistance in retrieving other information and aggregation capabilities on user’s intranet. In addition, the surfacing ‘folksonomy’ will increase or influence corporate subject taxonomy strategy.

Social book marking is a web tool that offers neitizens the facility for tagging web pages thereby successfully book marking them which allows sharing of the same with others through a centralized service. In Social book marking, neitizens can leave useful notes and annotations for other users so that they benefit out of it. Under Social book marking, the websites are tagged under category wise and after some time, enormous collection of websites are congregated together and then easily be searched by the neitizens thereby making use of social booking marking services.

For instance , if one wish to explore some immense content on the subject of ‘online collaboration’, the neitizens can tap this phrase into a social book marking search  and would be able to find all the recent pages tagged under this category by thousands of net users across the web. The main idea behind the social book marking is that it is differentiate itself from the web search as in the web search, user relies on a system to select out keywords from online fields of text whereas as under social book marking, the user is tapping into the web browsing knowledge of other users.

Social book marking systems, which is getting more popularity during the recent past few years, offers searches results from renowned social book marking systems like CiteLike.org, Look smart’s Furl.net and Zniff.com, a search engine for the Spurl.net. Thus the novel search category will be pre-installed in all new downloads and will be accessible via update for the existing users of First Stop web Search.

Under social book marking, the web tool merges popular services into one meta-search category which permits users of such services. Book marking web tool also merges popular services into one meta-search category, which permits users to query multiple social book marking systems all at once and accept an aggregated list of search results. Some of the examples of social book marking web sites are reddit, Netvouz, furl, digg, Connectedy and del.icio.us.

7.4 Social citations

This is more or less analogous to social book marking software. This tool facilitates the net users to record a citation for an article which they came across on the internet. Thus these citations can be organized into pre classified categories or a new category explained by the user. Some of the famous social citation web sites are BibSonomy, CiteULike, and Citeseer.

7.5 Social libraries

This tool allows the user to store the books, DVD’s and records. Users thus can share their book collections through this web site. This tool also evaluates the collections on the basis of ratings deploying network theory and statistical computation. Some of the examples of the social libraries are Library Thing, discogs.com and lib.rario.us.

7.6 Massive –Multiplier online games {MMOG’s} and virtual words

The above are services which allow to interact with other users in a virtual world as if in reality.  Some very popular commercial worlds are World of Warcraft and Everquest. The Dotsoul Cyberpark is considered to be most innovative non-commercial worlds.

7.7 Text -based social software

The best example of text-based social software is Weblogs which can be updated easily and can be utilized as personal journals. The interactive of Weblogs facilitates to post comment by readers, to post connecting links to other blogs and further use of ping back or track back functions, to keep track of other blogs referencing their posts.  This will facilitate bloggers to understand who is referring to and building on what they comment in their blogs. According to The Guardian [11 March 2006], there are about more than 30 million bloggers.

One interest thing is that young people and children are becoming authors of blogs and this has led them to spend their time more on creative basis. One of the negative aspect is that as they leave their personal information on the blog, it has raised privacy and safety concerns to some young people.

As per Observer [11 December 2005], youngsters who interact through blogs are already know each other. The youngster blogs is revolving around like and dislikes, friends, hobbies, current mode and certain times issues of intimate personal relations also.

Wiki software facilitates users to upload their contribution to the internet. One of the major advantages is that it allows editing by other readers. The best example is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is based on the knowledge sharing by group which also creates, edits and updates the same. As far as a small group is concerned, wikis is being used by them as a kind of asynchronous social notebook.

Another, text based social software is Web 2.0 which is a corroborative synchronous web-based creation tools such as collaborative word processor. It is visualized that further corroborative tools will emerge in the near future. Recent addition to the text based social software is social book marking and tagging. Thus, this tool enables to store bookmarks on the internet itself instead of on a particular computer.

Tagging facilitates to add a key word to the book marked link. The main underlying principle here is that searching by keywords assigned by other member’s means that it enables searching in a social context. This type of tagging is also known as ‘folksonomy’. Folksonomy refers to bottom-up style of organizing information. Thus, tags can be descriptions, categories, comments, opinions and use of mixture of tagging is feasible for any one tagged item basing upon their objects and perceived audience at the time.

Certain sites support playful and personal tagging and best example for this is Flickr, the photographic site. There are other academic oriented sites like CiteULike or Connotea. Clay Shirky [2005] “writes that thrusting a defined structure on a social tagging system may be impossible to implement.” Shirky [2005] “in his essay ‘Ontology is overrated’ vehemently supports the case for the organic organization that emerges from user-made tagging. Thus, it is based on reviewing on user’s ideas rather than built on pre-determined structures”.

A complement to tagging tools is known as clipping tools.  A clipping tool sits on the tool bare of your computer and permits you to either clip the resource you are interacting and add it to your social book marks or blogs. Thus, clipping facilitates to add annotation to information that one have come across and if one wants to keep a reference to and then to share this message and added value –tags and annotations with the others. Two new tools namely BlinkIt and BolgThis are available now.

Another feature is syndication which updates any change in content and the same is directly to user. These feeds include RSS and ATOM ‘feeder software’. For individual user, an aggregator has to be installed in blog pages.

For education purpose, social software offers an appealing online learning environment. Tutors and learners can connect each others ‘work and view progress over time. Thus as corroborative interacting tool, this assists tutor and students to know the updates. Harresch [2003] “has commented on syndication services as it is the next ‘killer app’ for education. Fan fiction sites are also known as communities as people of like mind gather together and offer each other support and criticism for their efforts.”

7.8 Audio- visual social software

Other than text based social software, there are also available of blogs with digital media which primarily facilitate for sharing of knowledge, ideas and collaborative activity. The best example of this type of software is Flikr. This website permits a user to keep a blog of situations captured on a camera -phone, to share the family photos with the others. This software permits to download or upload the photos from mobile phones, web or from computers.

Shared audio data is now possible due to availability of digital audio players. One of the best examples is Apple’s iPod. IPod can be used for visual as well as audio capabilities, this has lead to video pod casting.

As far as education is concerned, Synergy TV’s websites Radiowaves and dbass provides edging tool for education. Radiowaves offer facilities to publish radio online within a safer atmosphere. Dbass provides an opportunity to publish music, interact with the other musicians and compete in national music charts within an engaging and safe environment. Radio waves have become fastest developing global network of school radio stations. If the bandwidth is more available, then there is a chance for collaborative and social production and distribution of video.

Melinger [2004] states that, “CoDECK or Community Deck is a tool for social sharing and critique of video installation of art and based upon the notion that it is feasible to democratize television distribution by intertwining present network technology, social software and enhanced user interfaces.”

Users can publish video files and create internet TV channels on a website through software called Broadcast machine .As it is being open source software that facilitates to create a browsable archive of videos on website, integrates with RSS syndication software and offers a tool for making channels that work with DTV.

  1. References

Carter Henderson, (2001, July) “How the Internet is Changing our Lives “, The Futurists,         Vol 35. Iss 4.

Gladwell, M. “The Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference, Little, Brown, 2000

Green, Heather. (2005, September 9). Tagging: Keeping tags on Net in Business Week.

IBM dogear, www.domain.research.ibm.com/cambridge/reasearch/nsf

Joan Mccallen, (September, 2005) “How communication tools are changing! – Public Management, Vol 87, issue 8

Matt Marshall, (September, 2004.) “Success of Bloglines’, San Jose Mercury News [CA].

Michael Masnick. (Jan 26, 2004). A Collaborative Difference. www.computerworld.com

Ross Mayfield, Jan 26, 2004. A Collaborative Difference. www.computerworld.com

Stephen E.Arnol. (Oct, 2003), “Social Software “Searcher, Vol.11, Issue 9, P.30.

Shiv Singh , “ A Web 2.0 Tour for the Enterprise ‘ –  www.boxesandarrows.com

William Davies. (Oct, 2003), “Welcome Social Software”, Computer Weekly, P 37.


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[1] Green, Heather. September 9, 2005. Tagging: Keeping tags on Net in Business Week.

[2] IBM dogear, www.domain.research.ibm.com/cambridge/reasearch/nsf

[3] Carter Henderson, (July, 2001) “How the Internet is Changing our Lives “, The Futurists, Vol 35. Iss 4.

[4] Joan Mccallen,(September ,2005)  “ How communication tools are changing ! – Public Management , Vol 87 , issue 8

[5] William Davies , [Oct, 2003] , “ Welcome Social Software” , Computer Weekly , P 37.

[6] Stephen E.Arnol [Oct, 2003], “Social Software “Searcher, Vol.11, Issue 9, P.30.

[7] Gladwell, M. “The Tipping Point: How little things can make a big difference, Little, Brown, 2000.

[8] Matt Marshall, “Success of Bloglines’, San Jose Mercury News [CA] : September,2004.

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_social_software

[10] Shiv Singh , “ A Web 2.0 Tour for the Enterprise ‘ –  www.boxesandarrows.com

[11] http://innovationcreators.com/wp/?p=176

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