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Innovation Trends: Web 2.0


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Enterprise 2.0, but also in general Web 2.0 are not a merely product …

Enterprise 2.0, but also in general Web 2.0 are not a merely product
or a ready-to-buy solution: they represent a continue evolution, a continue
innovative path in the way to give people more power, more tools and more
sense to let theme enjoy better their and others lives.

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  • 1. UNIVERSITÀ CATTOLICA DEL SACRO CUORE Sede di Milano Facoltà di Economia Corso di Laurea Specialistica in Management per l’impresa Innovation Trends: Web Prof. Federico Rajola Tesi di Laurea di: Jari Ognibeni Matricola n. 3406067 Anno Accademico 2006/2007
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  • 3. To my always loved father Nello 3
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  • 5. ContentsChapter 1WEB 2.0: The truth about the internetsecond revolution…………………………………………….171.1 What is Web 2.0…………………………………………………………………...17 1.1.1 Web as a platform…………..………………………………………......21 1.1.2 Collaboration, Network and collective intelligence.......................…21 1.1.3 Participation and Technology……..…………………………………..211.2 Web 2.0 Structure and definitions ……………………………………..……….22 1.2.1 Web as a platform. …………………………………………...………...23 1.2.2 The open web……………………………………………...……………25 1.2.3 The Enterprise 2.0…………………………………………...………….251.3 The Web 2.0 structure………………………………………………….………...26 1.3.1 The User and the Net Generation………………………….………….28 1.3.2 Input………………………………………………………………….......31 1.3.3 Technology………………………………………………………………32 1.3.4 Specific Tools: web application and widgets…………………..…….341.4 Three dynamics for the Web 2.0……………………………………..………….38 1.4.1 First Dynamic: Openness Standard……………………….…………..38 Open Source……………………………………..…………….40 Google APIs…………………………………….……………..42 Perpetual Beta…………………………………..……………..46 Creative Commons…………………………………….……..47 1.4.2 Second Dynamic: Decentralized Participation……………………....50 5
  • 6. Blogosphere……………………………………………..……..51 Social Networks………………………………………..……...54 Platform for participation……………………………………59 The Long Tail…………………………………………..……...62 But what is a wiki?....................................................................64 Hyperlinks: knowledge management in Wikis……………73 Trust…………………………………………………………...73 1.4.3 Third Dynamic: User data control……………………………………74 Control the content…………………………………………..75 Identity………………………………………………………...76 Open ID………………………………………………………..78 The Next Intel Inside…………………………………………80Chapter 2SOCIAL NETWORKS: How people decide to liveother lives on-line…………………………………………...852.1 From Virtual Community to Social Network………………………………….862.2 A brief history of Social Networks……………………………………………...912.3 Two pattern of analysis…………………………………………………………..94 2.3.1 First pattern: What people want to do in Social Networks?..............94 Leisure and entertainment…………………………………...95 The “F” factor of (in)success………………………………..100 Social Shopping……………………………………………...103 Professional Networking……………………………………1066
  • 7. Media and UGC Sharing……………………………………109 Virtual Meeting Place………………………………………..110 Specialized niche…………………………………………….115 Save time, manage information flow……………………...115 2.3.2 Second pattern: What people do on the SN Sites….………………116 Entrance……………………………………………………...117 Profiling……………………………………………………...118 Friends………………………………………………………..120 Social Matching……………………………………………...123 2.3.3 Trust……………………………………………………………………128Chapter 3SOCIAL NETWORK: goes mobile…………………….…1333.1 Mobile Social Networks………………………………………………………...134 3.1.1 Synchronous and asynchronous interaction………………………..134 3.1.2 Mobile applications of existing SNSs or Stand alone services……………………………………………...…………………135 Existing Platforms…………………………………………...136 Stand Alone Mobile Services……………………………….1373.2 Mobile Social Network: a perspective………………………………………...138 3.2.1 Status Upload………………………………………………………….139 Dodgeball…………………………………………………….139 Friendstribe…………………………………………………..140 Jaiku…………………………………………………………..142 7
  • 8. Partysync……………………………………………………..143 Twitter………………………………………………………...143 3.2.2 Geolocalization & Social annotation………………………………...144 Loopt………………………………………………………….144 Socialight……………………………………………………..145 3.2.3 Content Upload on-the-go……………………………………………146 Groovr………………………………………………………...146 Kyte…………………………………………………………...147 Radar………………………………………………………….147 3Guppies……………………………………………………..148 Rabble………………………………………………………...148 Vipera…………………………………………………………149…………………………………………………………150 3.2.4 Download Content……………………………………………………151 Gotzapp………………………………………………………151 Mobango…………………………………….………………..152 Mozes…………………………………………………………152 mklix………………………………………………………….153 3.2.5 Mobile Social Network Providers…………………………………....154 Morf…………………………………………………………...154 Mobilemo…………………………………………………….155 AirG…………………………………………………………..156 Jumbuck………………………………………………………1563.3 Social coordination matters…………………………………………………….157 3.3.1 Three simple questions about freedom……………………………..1583.4 Understand the Mobile Social Network environment………………………160 3.4.1 Usability………………………………………………………………..1618
  • 9. Design………………………………………………………...162 Infrastructure………………………………………………...163 Users’ use of the platform…………………………………..165 Privacy………………………………………………………..166 3.4.2 Sociability………………………………………………………………168 Connected Sociability……………………………………….1693.5 Online community Framework………………………………………………..170 3.5.1 Policies………………………………………………………………….172 3.5.2 Purposes………………………………………………………………..172 3.5.3 Actions………………………………………………………………….1733.6 Object and Benefit……………………………………………………………….174Chapter 4DON’T CALL IT: “ just a phone!”………………………..1774.1 It’s all about mobility………………………………...…………………………177 4.1.1 Ubiquitous devices…...……………………………………………….1784.2 Connectivity……………………………………………………….…………….1814.3 Multimedia………………………………………………………………………1834.4 Communication…………………………………………………………………1864.5 Mobility Concept………………………………………………………………..187 4.5.1 Three dimensions of mobility………………………………………..188 Spatial Mobility……………………………………………...189 Temporal Mobility…………………………………………..191 Contextual Mobility…………………………………………193 9
  • 10. 4.5.2 Fluid Environment…………………………………………………….194Chapter 5ENTERPRISE 2.0:Innovation trends behind companies’ firewalls………..1995.1 Origin of the term “Enterprise 2.0”………………………..…………………..2005.2 From “Web 1.0” to “Web 2.0 “ Era…………………………………………….2045.3 Enterprise 2.0: forces and components………………………………………..209 5.3.1 Forces for adoption……………………………………………………210 5.3.2 Enterprise 2.0 components…………………………………………...213 5.3.3 Benefit and future issues to address………………………………...2255.4 A survey and “what’s next” for Web 2.0 in 2008…………………………….228Conclusions ……………………………………..…………………………………..233Bibliography………………...………………………………………………………237List of Figures……………………………………………………………………….247Appendix…………………………………………………………………………….24810
  • 11. AcknowledgementsWith these few words I want to thank most of the people who let this work, thisimportant journey possible.First of all I want to deeply thank Professor Rajola which with his hints,opinions and encouragement has let me approach such a wonderful subject.Going on I have to thank Paolo Marenco for the opportunity to visit for the firsttime the Silicon Valley and the chance he gave me to meet the smartest peoplein the world. At these people working there many thanks for time and themany question they answered. Thank Michele, Marco, Flavio, Ettore, Vittorio,Professor Foster, Raffaele.The warmest thanks go to my family, my mother Paola, my brother Jgor andmy always loved father Nello, who have always been pushing me forward,encouraging me in keep going and believe in the things I was doing; theirsupport and humanity in these months will last forever, as my love for theme.And you, dear Sonia I thank you for all your kindness and love even the mymistakes has separated us.Last, but not least, all the bunch of my great friends and let me thankparticularly Nicolò for all the hospitality and support in my days passed inMilan and the Trentinnovation co-founder Andrea.Before ending, I don’t want to cite famous people or famous words, but asimple sentence one days before starting this work, I saw printed on a studentt-shirt:“ The thesis is not the destination, it is a journey. It’s not essential where you willarrive, but how you will arrive there “This idea has been my companion for this beautiful journey. 11
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  • 13. IntroductionIn the last decade, people have known what will be most important invention ofthe 21st century: the Web. This incredible platform continued its evolution sincearrive today in all its power and possibilities, directly in the hand of commonpeople. The web has become a platform to entertain people with a bounce offunctionalities, information, content which let people stay on the platform andshape their daily life around it.Today this platform became more accessible to people thanks to technologicalinnovation such as laptops, broadband wireless connections and advancedprotocols but also because people understood that in this platform the havepower, to create, share and explore. People are at the centre of the platform asthe main player and they can count on open and accessible technologies, onparticipative tools and on a broad control on data and information they create,share and manage.This power coming from the web platform and individuals need, give peoplethe chance to contact and organize their life around groups of people.In this way Social Networks represent the quintessential form of humanaggregation and community building, putting together people from all aroundthe world with different languages and culture but linked by the desire theyhave to “Say something”. People merge together because the desire to findsomeone similar or only some people with same interests, hobbies orcharacteristic which attract theme. Social Network are biggest Agora of thehistory, a continuum 24/7 creation, share and use of information, data and offcourse connections. 13
  • 14. Social Networks and the consequent forms of social media, enlarge theattention form the individuals to his/her relations, to the connection theindividuals have with other people, friends, acquaintances.Ever more people argue the importance of their connections and the constantneed to cultivate these precious links with others; specially this issue is crucialin the way people are becoming more nomads, in the meaning that theirrelations, their knowledge and also their life is mobile.Individuals are facing this mobilization of their relations by using advancedubiquitous hardware: guess what? The mobile phone. Mobile devices arebecoming an extension of our activities in the web platform, letting us bringwhere we want our network of people, our interests and knowledge . In ourhands we have incredibly powerful devices which are transforming our dailylife. It’s from these changes that the biggest issues for individuals and off coursefor business take off; we need to embrace this evolution, this change. Probablybecause it is too late to jump off the train or because this revolution let us enjoyour way to live our life and other lives along the pervasive presence of thenetwork. Chances are in our hands, tools are ready and off course potentialitiesof this live connected are only waiting our choice.My choice is “Yes”, I want to live connected with this beautiful world.14
  • 15. SummaryThe thesis dissertation is structured in the following way: in the chapternumber 1 will be analyzed what is the meaning of the Web 2.0; will beconsidered all the components and dynamics forming it. The three dynamicswill regard the open standards, the decentralized participation and at the endthe user’s data control. All the critical components of the Web 2.0 willapproached giving examples and precious data about theme.The chapter number 2 is dedicated to the Social Networks phenomenon and itwill enter in deep into the framework the first chapter has delineated aboutWeb 2.0. In this part after a brief digression about the evolution from VirtualCommunities to Social Networks, a large space will be give to all the differenttypologies of Social Networks, their characteristics and what users act on suchgreat platforms. The chapter number 3 will bring Social Networks on mobilephones. Here will be cited the main realities of Mobile Social Network presentaround the world, their characteristics. The mobility concept will be addressedwith a particular analysis which will consider two crucial variables like“Usability” and “Sociability”. Chapter number 4 complete the work of theprevious chapter three, going deeper in the mobility concept and dimensions,specially for what concern mobile phone ubiquitous functionalities.In the end the chapter number 5 will approach the Enterprise 2.0 concept,describing the evolution form a “2.0 to a 1.0 era” and the resulting components.The role of the enterprise inside the Web 2.0 revolution will be illustratedaccording to forces, benefits, issues to address; a dedicated survey on theEnterprise 2.0 concept will help to better understand future innovative trends inthis scenario. 15
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  • 17. Chapter 1WEB 2.0: The truth about theinternet second revolutionIn this chapter we will understand the meaning of the term “Web 2.0” and allthe components that compose it. The analysis will follow three main directionin the way to highlight the main structural characteristic of the concept: web asplatform, collaboration, network and collective intelligence and at the endparticipation and technology.The purpose is to represent the complete Web 2.0 enviroment, a realitycomposed by three main areas ( Openness standards, DecentralizedParticipation and Used Data control ) with, at the centre of the framework, fourinhabitants which are the User, the Input, the Technology and the Webapplication. 17
  • 18. 1.1 What is Web 2.0What about this new word rocketing the entire web community?Where did it come from and why?We can say that everything became more public and explicit during aconference in which Tim O’Reilly talked the first time about the new word:“Web 2.0”.1 Thanks also to the book of Dale Dougherty, from that day anythingwould be the same: thinking at this word like some promotional strategy is notall wrong, but the key point is that now everyone use this word to talk at thenew things happening everyday in the internet world. With this new word, TimO’Reilly tried for the first time to give a sense using a simple and “eyecatching” definition, to the entire growing revolution the web was experiencingafter the bubble of the year 2000. But first read a few citation of importantplayers of the web about this new technology and social revolution; than takingout some key word, we will continue to analyze the web 2.0 landscape in all itsshapes.“ The business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move of the internetas a platform and an attempt to understand the rules of success on that new platform.Chief among those rules is this: build application that harness network effects to getbetter the more people use them” Tim O’Reilly2“ An emerging network-centric platform to support distributed, collaborative andcumulative creation by its users” John Hagel31
  • 19. “ All of the action is in services. Web 2.0 is where the action is “ Marc Benioff, CEOSalesforce.com4“The participatory Web” Brad Decrem5“ Distributed technologies built to integrate, that collectively transform massparticipation into valuable emergent outcomes” Ross Dawson, Future ExplorationNetwork6“A collection of technologies that leverage the power of always on, high speedconnections and treat broadband as a platform and not just as a pipe” Om Malik7“The new Web is about verbs, not nouns” Ross Mayfield, Socialtext founder8 "eTech is where the seeds of new and interesting technologies are first discovered,whilst Web 2.0 is where they take root in the soil of business." John Battelle9 (talkingabout upcoming conferences)"...a Point of Presence on the Web for exposing of invoking Web Services and/orSyndicating or Subscribing to XML based content." Kingsley Idehen 104,39024667,39161662,00.htm5 19
  • 20. "According to the experts, Web 2.0 is on its way to the workplace soon – its aninfrastructure thats decentralized and more open than that which exists today."Wirearchy 11"Dont think of the Web as a client-server system that simply delivers web pages to webservers. Think of it as a distributed services architecture, with the URL as a firstgeneration "API" for calling those services." Jon Udell 12 (as quoted in a classicessay by Tim OReilly 13) "The conference will debut with the theme of The Web as Platform, exploring how theWeb has developed into a robust platform for innovation across many media and devices- from mobile to television, telephone to search." The World 2 Come14"The next generation of web applications will leverage the shared infrastructure of theweb 1.0 companies like EBay, Paypal, Google, Amazon, and Yahoo, not just the "barebones transit" infrastructure that was there when we started"Deep Green Crystals 15"web about making the Internet useful for computers." Jeff Bezos16"Yesterday’s challenge of producing elegant and database-driven Web sites is beingreplaced by the need to create Web 2.0 points of presence" 1710,10,1,1011,04.html20
  • 21. "They dont see that the power of Weblications is that "simplicity and flexibility beatoptimization and power in a world where connectivity is key", as Adam Bosworth putit." Adam Rifkin 18"The web browser and the infrastructure of the World Wide Web is on the cusp ofbettering its aging cousin, the desktop-based graphical user interface for common PCapplications." Mitch Kapor 19These are only a few definitions about the Web 2.0 but if we pay attention wecan look at some important key word in the way to understand better the newWeb: ∗ Web as a platform ∗ Collaborative network of collective intelligence ∗ Participation ∗ Technology innovationFrom this citations we underline some key words which will be very importantin the next steps of the work.18 21
  • 22. 1.1.1 Web as a platformIn the Web 2.0 the web is no more considered as only a broadband pipe20 inwhich flow all the bits and contents from a user to a server and back. Internet isa new place, is a new level and dimension in which people can live their livesand companies can do their business. This new dimension led people to buildnetworks with other people in which share their pieces of life was it music,images, videos or writings.1.1.2 Collaboration, Network and collective intelligenceIn this platform people live sharing their life and interests with other users.Internet now is a plain platform where there is no limitation and obstacles tofile transferring; we can throw a ball from one side to the other of the platformand we are sure it will hit the other side in a millisecond: the time to digit on thekeyword the enter button. People put their life on the table and start play cardswith it. The desire to contact people with our same interest and hobbies isbigger and now people have the tool to do it.1.1.3 Participation and TechnologyIn the web platform people can communicate with everyone only pushing a fewbuttons. People also can produce their content and information using images,videos, text thanks to simple tools ever more based on internet platform20
  • 23. accessible 24/7. The emergence of platform for blogging, Social Networks andfree video and images uploading allowed extremely easy content creation andsharing by anyone.Summarizing all the key words in a single definitions of “Web 2.0” will be ahard work because this web has many aspects and it’s changing every day,every second, every user’s click. These key words will help us to trace the roadto understand the Web 2.0 and all its main aspects. To begin we can say that:“ The Web 2.0 delineates the internet as a platform in which users, linked together bynetworks and collaborative experiences, participate in the production of contents andinformation thanks to new technologies and new tools ” I said.The work will describe the Web 2.0 as a mutating world defined by itsdynamics and forces; by its citizens and the effect of their living, contentproduction and evolution of their relationships.1.2 Web 2.0 Structure and definitionsNow we will describe the structure and framework of the Web 2.0 approachingthis new world from its basis, dynamics and forces moving then to the centre tounderstand what is the fulcrum of the new web.The Web 2.0 description will start considering the web as a platform.21 As wesad before with the evolution to the Web 2.0 the broadband and the internet21 23
  • 24. environment is considered as a platform where users, companies and webapplications coexist in a multiple evolution.1.2.1 Web as a platformInternet in the last 5 years became a platform for innovation across many mediaand devices22. Web is not more considered as the service itself but as a placewhere all services and products became commodities23 spreading over millionof users. To understand the raise of the web as platform we will do acomparison of two company and their positioning: Netscape and Google24. IfNetscape was a standard bearer for the “old Web” from now called Web 1.025,Google on the other side is most certainly the standard bearer for Web 2.0. Butlet start from the past.Netscape framed “ the web as platform” in term of the old software paradigm:their flagship product was the web browser, a desktop application and theirstrategy was to use their dominance in the browser market to establish a marketfor high-priced server products. Control over standards for displaying contentand applications in the browser would in theory give Netscape the kind ofmarket power enjoyed by Microsoft in the PC market. Summarizing Netscapepromoted a “webtop”26 to replace the desktop and planned to populate that22 post by Dimitar Vesselinov23
  • 25. webtop with information updates and applets pushed to the webtop byinformation providers who would purchase Netscape servers. At the end bothweb browser and web servers turned out to be commodities and value movedup to services delivered over the web platform. And here start the most recentstory of Goggle success.27 Google started as a native web application, never soldor packaged but delivered as a service, with customers paying directly orindirectly for the use of that service. No one of the old software trappings arepresent: continuous improvement, no licensing or sale but just usage. Noporting to different platforms so that customers can run the software on theirown machines and equipment, just a massively scalable collection ofcommodity PCs running open source operating systems plus home-grownapplications and utilities that no one outside the company ever gets to see.Google isn’t just a collection of software tools, it’s a specialized database. Andthis is the difference from Netscape: Google requires database management,something Netscape never needed. Without data, the tools are useless; withoutthe software the data are unmanageable. Now software licensing is irrelevantbecause the software never need be distributed but performed, and becausewithout the ability to collect and manage the data, the software if of little use. Infact the value of the software is proportional to the scale and dynamism of thedata it helps to manage.Google’s service is not a server and nor a browser. It happens in the spacebetween browser and search engine and destination content server, as anenabler/middleman between the user and his or her online experience.Both Netscape and Google could be described as software companies where thefirst belong to the same revolutionary software world of the 80’s28 as Lotus,27 Vise, D. and Malseed, M. The Google Story EGEA 2005, pp. 33-4528 25
  • 26. Oracle, Microsoft, SAP while Google stay closer to other internet applications aseBay, Amazon, Napster.We understand that in today internet, the platform is the battle camp wherecompanies, web applications and user enter in contact and build their webexperience. Going deeper in the framework we are developing, we see that theweb platform is divided into two important parts: the open web and theenterprise The open web29For open web we mean the entire space of the World Wide Web open to anyoneto access and participate. The open web has been the initial domain in whichWeb 2.0 technologies, applications, attitudes have developed. That’s why it is soimportant: the open web represent our knowledge of what is internet, and whatwe can do in and with it. In opposite at this free-access area where all has beendeveloped, we found the second part.1.2.3 The Enterprise 2.030There’s a piece of the entire open web that we can find in relation withenterprises: this is the space inside the firewalls of organizations and theirpartners. The power and efficacy of Web 2.0 technologies, originally developed29
  • 27. on the open web, are now being applied within enterprise to enhanceperformance and achieve business outcomes. They take inside and ledprofitable what was outside and was “only” functional. This term linkedtogether the word “enterprise” with the 2.0 number to underscore theconnection between the business world and the amount of creative applicationand services of the open web.311.3 The Web 2.0 structure Figure 1: The Web 2.0 StructureUntil now we have put the basis of what is the environment in which the web(re)evolution take off. Summarizing we sad there’s the web as a platform in31 27
  • 28. which companies, web applications and users enter in contact and build theirweb experience. Than going deeper we have described the open web whereWeb 2.0 technologies, applications, attitudes have developed. We approach theWeb 2.0 configuration by building a simple structure composed by three areasconverging to a central core. This three parts are representative of the mainforces and dynamics of the Web 2.0: ∗ Openness standards ∗ Decentralized Participation ∗ User data controlThese three parts are the flavor of the actors at the centre of the Web 2.0configuration: user, input, technology and web application. The Opennessstandards, the Decentralized Participation and User data control are theexpression of user’s interactions with information across web platforms anddedicated applications.At the centre of this structure defined by the three parts above, we find the coreof all the web: the user which interact with inputs thanks to technology andweb applications. In this core we have 4 inhabitants all connected with eachother by logical processes of interaction and information management. Let startdiscover this 4 players: User, Input, Technology, Web Application28
  • 29. 1.3.1 The User and the Net GenerationLet start by the user, his/her behavior in front of new tools of communication,production and collaboration. The user we want to describe is defined by his orher interaction with friends and people, by the desire to emerge, of being part ofa mass, community of people like him or her. Thinking about the Web 2.0 userwe have heard many words like: big consumer, voyeur, producer, specificinterested, tastemaker, trend-maker. But the one word which describe at thebest the new shape of the Web 2.0 user is: Prosumer.32 What’s the meaning ofthis word?33 This word represent the essence in which a user could be calledobserving his or her “Web Life”. 34 The word “Prosumer” has been used the firsttime by Don in his book of 1996 called “ The digital Economy “.35 He introducedthe term “prosumer” to describe how the gap between producers andconsumers was blurring. So could we accept this answer? From our point ofview it is satisfying.This word embrace the evolution started at the end of the ‘90s36 in which theinternet permitted to people to communicate better and faster, shareexperiences an emotions using the emails; where the bits and the informationstarted run fast across the globe and where the boundaries didn’t meansanything more. So with this term the object is to underscore that there arefewer differences between consumer and producer and that this two kind ofpeople are colliding in a new thrilling and powerful entity: the prosumer.32 29
  • 30. Figure 2: Typology of content different user categories accessSource: Robert Peck, Bear Stearns Internet analyst What should Yahoo! do regarding Social Networks?Bear Stearns Report August 2007However a new generation of youngsters has grown up online, and they arebringing a new ethic of openness, participation and interactivity in workplaces,communities and markets. They are the demographic engine of collaborationand their power will gather force and efficacy as they mature. Demographerscall them the “ baby boom-echo “37, but I prefer the Net Generation38, as DonTapscott dubbed them in his 1997 book “ Growing Up Digital “. Thisgeneration, born between 1977 and 1996, is bigger than the baby boom itself.Internationally the Net Generation is huge, numbering over two billion people.This is the first generation to grow up in the digital age and that makes them aforce that will dominate the 21st century. Is amazing how they are growingbathed in bits. In America 90% of teenagers say they use the Net. The same istrue in a growing number of countries around the world specially in thedeveloping and emerging ones. For example there are more youngsters in this37
  • 31. age group who use the Net in China than there are in the United States. This isthe collaboration generation for one main reason: unlike their parents in theUnited States who watched passively twenty-four hours of television per week,these youngsters are growing up interacting. They spend time searching,reading, scrutinizing, authenticating, collaborating and organizing. They arenot passive receiver of mass consumer culture. While their parents were passiveconsumer of media, youth today are active creators of media content andhungry for interaction. They are also a generation of scrutinizers because theyare more skeptical of authority as they sift through information at high speedby themselves or by their network of peers. They have greater self confidenceand they are nevertheless worried about their futures.Research shows that this generation also tends to value individual rights,including the right to privacy and the right to have and express their ownviews.39 Throughout adolescence and later in life, they tend to opposecensorship by governments and by parents. They also want to be treated fairlybecause they have a strong sense of common good and of collective social andcivic responsibility.But after all this reasoning, there is one thing that emerges which need ourattention. This is the first time in human history when children ( Net Gen ) areauthorities on something really important. Young people are authorities on thedigital revolution that is changing every institution in society. This means thatwhat this generation create, think, share, remix and reject are the key factor thatwill rewrite the rules of communities, markets and workplaces. And now wemiss only to understand how people use the web to do all this kind of“magical” things. How this user interact with the web and the technology to39 31
  • 32. arrive to communicate his or her being, his or her message? We introduce theinput.Our user or better Prosumer, is related with the web by these elements: his orher inputs permitted by a supporting technology and specific tools behind thescene.1.3.2 InputThe user generates, in his or her interaction with technology and the webplatform, different kind of inputs. We can divide the user’s input in two types:active and passive inputs. For active inputs we mean all the kind of activeinteraction a user could have also called user generated contents. The usergenerated contents are contents created directly by the user and publishedonline using specific web applications.40 In the list of user generated contentswe find: ∗ Text ( messages or all the written things a user could write and post ) ∗ Image ( huge amount came from digital cameras ) ∗ Video ( mostly self-produced and shared with platform like YouTube ) ∗ Interactive media ( all creation which involved a cut and copy of different media sources are these image or video or text ) ∗ Virtual architecture ( all content created for virtual environment ) 4140
  • 33. The UGC are the heart of the Web 2.0 because these contents express all thepower of the Prosumer, of his or her connections and interests. Let have a lookto the passive inputs that are the complementing part of the total user’s inputs.The passive inputs are essentially the so called opinions which are the normalanswer of the user to active inputs of other users. The opinions are: ∗ Links (establishing an hyperlink from an item to another item/page of interest) ∗ Clicks (opening content and exploring throughout links and pages) ∗ Tagging (attaching descriptions to information or content) ∗ Rating (giving a rate in a common scale to a content or information) ∗ Social connection (connections built by surfing pages, clicks, links with users)We created a circle built by active and passive inputs which alternate each otherin a positive dynamic of collaborative and participative creation of informationand connection between people. Here is the turn for technology which allowinputs collide and create networks, structures and information. Technology isthe skeleton of the entire web platform specially because in the last five yearsemerged innovations, implementations and new technology approaches whichtoday permit to the Web 2.0 to explode in all its stunning features.1.3.3 TechnologyWith the Web 2.0 revolution we are living a huge growth of pop-uptechnologies, usually remixed by older ones and oriented to develop new way 33
  • 34. of creation of content and interaction between human and chips. To all this newkind of technologies we will give a brief description and in the following of thework we will give example of their real use in services and products.Here are the most important technologies42 involved in the structure and life ofthe Web 2.0 with a brief description: ∗ Ruby on Rails: an open source web application framework that is frequently used in Web 2.0 website development ∗ AJAX: Asynchronous Javascript and XML, a combination of technologies that enables highly interactive web applications ∗ XML: eXtensible Markup Language, an open standard for describing data, which enables easy exchange of information between applications and organizations ∗ API: Application programming Interface, a defined interface to a computer application or database that allows access by other applications ∗ Mashups: combination of different types of content or data, usually from different sources, to create something new ∗ Remixing: extracting and combining samples of content to create an new output ∗ Aggregation: bringing multiple content sources together into one interface or application ∗ Embedding: integrating content or an application into a web page, while the original format is maintained ∗ Folksonomy: rich categorization of information that is collectively created by users, through tagging and other actions ( ex. Taxonomy )42
  • 35. ∗ Tag Cloud: a visual description of tags that have been used to describe a piece of content, with higher frequency tags emphasized to assist content comprehension and navigation ∗ Virtual architecture: the creation of avatars – alternative representation of people, buildings, objects and other artifacts inside virtual spaces. ∗ RSS: Really Simple Syndication, a group of format to publish-syndicate- content on the internet so that users or applications automatically receive any updates ∗ Tagging: attaching descriptions to information or content ∗ Widget: small and portable web application that can be embedded into any webpage1.3.4 Specific Tools: web application and widgetsTechnology is the energy and the Web application is the human-friendlyinterface machine. This machine is formed by three parts which permit alltogether to drive and enrich the user web experience. Web applications are theconclusion – or the beginning - of the interaction cycle we described before: acycle starting from the user which communicate with active and passive inputsthanks to a skeleton and invisible technology concretized in user-friendlyapplications.In software engineering, a Web application or webapp is an application that isaccessed via web over a network such as the Internet or an intranet43. Webapplications are popular due to the ubiquity of a client, sometimes called a thin43 35
  • 36. client. The ability to update and maintain Web applications withoutdistributing and installing software on potentially thousands of clientcomputers is a key reason for their popularity. Web applications are used toimplement Webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, wikis, discussionboards, Weblogs, MMORPGs - Massive(ly) multiplayer online role-playinggame (MMORPG) is a genre of online role-playing video games (RPGs) inwhich a large number of players interact with one another in a virtual world -and many other functions. Web applications dynamically generate a series ofWeb documents in a standard format supported by common browsers such asHTML/XHTML. Client-side scripting in a standard language such as JavaScriptis commonly included to add dynamic elements to the user interface like inyour Gmail account. Generally, each individual Web page is delivered to theclient as a static document, but the sequence of pages can provide an interactiveexperience, as user input is returned through Web form elements embedded inthe page mark-up. During the session, the Web browser interprets and displaysthe pages, and acts as the universal client for any Web application. The Webinterface places very few limits on client functionality. Through Java, JavaScript,DHTML, Flash and other technologies, application-specific methods such asdrawing on the screen, playing audio, and access to the keyboard and mouseare all possible. General purpose techniques such as drag and drop are alsosupported by these technologies. Web developers often use client-side scriptingto add functionality, especially to create an interactive experience that does notrequire page reloading (which many users find disruptive). Ajax, a webdevelopment technique using a combination of various technologies, is anexample of technology which creates a more interactive experience. Thoughmany variations are possible, a Web application is commonly structured as athree-tiered application. In its most common form, a Web browser is the first36
  • 37. tier, an engine using some dynamic Web content technology (such as ASP,ASP.NET, CGI, ColdFusion, JSP/Java, PHP, Python, or Ruby On Rails) is themiddle tier, and a database is the third tier. The Web browser sends requests tothe middle tier, which services them by making queries and updates against thedatabase and generates a user interface44. The Web application is the three-tirescar which allow the user to live his or her web experience. In this landscapewidgets are emerging marking their importance when we talk about Web 2.0and web applications in particular. A widget is an interface element that acomputer user interacts with, such as a window or a text box.45 Widgets aresometimes qualified as virtual to distinguish them from their physicalcounterparts, for example virtual buttons that can be clicked with a mousecursor, vs. physical buttons that can be pressed with a finger. Widgets are oftenpackaged together in widget toolkits. Programmers use widgets to buildgraphical user interfaces also known as GUIs.46 A graphical user interface is atype of user interface which allows people to interact with a computer andcomputer-controlled devices which employ graphical icons, visual indicators orspecial graphical elements called “widgets”, along with text labels or textnavigation to represent the information and actions available to a user. Theactions are usually performed through direct manipulation of the graphicalelements. Widgets could be part of Web application like small windows whichoperates different task, receive update directly from internet, give specific toolsat users. Widget are the portable expression of the bigger and more completeWeb applications.44 37
  • 38. So this three-tires car has in plus some optional we called widgets. When we aretalking about Web application/widget the first word coming out in mind shouldbe: freedom and customization. Web application and specially widgets birth inthe so called world of “Open source” which is a set of principles and practicesthat promote access to the design and production of goods and knowledge.47The term was initially and is most commonly applied to the source code ofsoftware that is available to the general public with relaxed or non-existentintellectual property restrictions. This allows users to create software contentthrough incremental individual effort or through collaboration. Open sourceculture is one where collective decisions or fixations are shared duringdevelopment and made generally available in the public domain, as made inthe successful example of Wikipedia. Some consider open source as one ofvarious possible design approaches, while others consider it a critical strategicelement of their operations. Before the term open source became popular,developers and producers used various phrases to describe the concept; theterm gained popularity with the rise of the Internet which enabled diverseproduction models, communication paths and interactive communities. Later,open source software became the most prominent face of open source practices.With this term we introduce the three main dynamics which characterize theWeb 2.0 and we need to analyze to understand at all the structure of the todayand future internet.47
  • 39. 1.4 Three dynamics for the Web 2.0The Web 2.0 framework I built is characterized by the presence of three mainareas, which represent the three main dynamics of the Web 2.0. Here thefollowing paragraphs will introduce each of the three part: Openness standards,Decentralized participation and User Data control.We can say that the dynamics are the main trends pervading the Web 2.0environment of tools, technologies and processes.1.4.1 First Dynamic: Openness StandardWeb 2.0 era writes a breakthrough page in the history of innovation andsoftware development. There is one word you have to keep in mind: openness.In the Web 2.0 structure we are describing, openness is the first of three majordynamics which influences the entire world of the web today. This openness ischaracterized also by aspects which describe its potential and importance:standards and modularity.For standards we mean that this openness is based on standards that provide anessential platform for Web 2.0. Common interfaces for accessing content andapplications are the glue that allow integration across many elements of theemergent web48. For modularity we underscore the fact that Web 2.0 is theantithesis of the monolithic. We have many components and modules that aredesigned to link and integrate with others, together building a whole that is48 39
  • 40. greater than the sum of its parts. In this open process of creation anddevelopment, standards and component’s modularity are the key factor for theWeb 2.0 success. 49The openness is considered the first dimension of this web revolution because itallows every user, every developer, everyone to enter in the developing processof a product or a service. During the last years this openness became more andmore wide and viral. Normal users became co-developer simply with theirnormal and daily use of the service, the software or the product. Companiesstart harnessing collective intelligence releasing no completed version of thesoftware or of the web application and led people using it reporting bugs anderrors.50The father of this “popular” openness is the open source which is a set ofprinciples and practices that promote access to the design and production ofgoods and knowledge.51 This word is associated most commonly with thesource code of software that is available to the general public with few ornothing property restrictions. This allow users to create software contentthrough incremental, collaborative and peering efforts with other users. Theopen source culture reside in the fact that collective decisions or fixations areshared during development and made generally available in the publicdomain, as done in the famous Wikipedia or Weblogs. Blogs are anothersignificant platform for open source culture: they make the “open sourcing”even more uncontrollable since it allows a larger part of the population toreplicate material more quickly in the public sphere.49 Eric S. Raymond, The Cathedral & the Bazaar O’Reilly, 200151 Steven Weber, The Success of Open Source Harvard University Press, 200440
  • 41. This culture is the creative practice of appropriation and free sharing of foundand created content. Participants in the culture can modify those products andredistribute them back into the community or other organizations.There are three rules of the open source: nobody owns it, everybody use it, andanybody can improve it. They are simple ones but with an impressive power ofinnovation.“Cooperate on standards, compete on solution”. That is the IBM motto tounderscore the importance of being open and permit the “hackability” of theircodes, services and products. Companies understand the power coming frommerging together different users, developers and people inside company’sproducts.The open source’s dynamic points to use the workforce for realizing thecompany mission, which more and more identifies with individual’s dreamsawareness52. Take a step forward and see from where does the word “opensource” come from. Open SourceThe term “open source” had a big boost at an event organized in April 1998 bytechnology publisher Tim O’Reilly which name was originally “FreewareSummit” but later known as the “Open Source Summit”. The event broughttogether leaders of the most important open source projects, including LinusTorvalds, Larry Wall, Brian Behlendorf, Jamie Zawinski of Netscape and EricRaymond. In the personality of Linus Torvalds, founder of Linux, we found theessence of the openness. Linus Torvalds’ style of development stand for52 Ballard, J. G. Millennium People Feltrinelli Editore, 2004, pp. 215 41
  • 42. diffusing releases fast and frequently, delegating to others all the possible andbeing open at the maximum level. Linus didn’t invent the Linux kernel, but heideated the development model of Linux characterized by the words above. Themagic key Linus Torvalds owned was to bring into play users as co-developersin the most efficiency way: Linus endorsed every co-developer for his or her jobto give them the sensation of being part of the result and success of the entiregroup.Establishing a wide base of testers and co-developers, every problem will bedefined fast and someone will find the right solution53. This is the so called byEric Raymond, author of “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, the “Linus law”. Ericin his book highlight the difference between: a “Cathedral” style, characteristicof companies which build complex structures of developments in term ofprocesses, rights management and profits, in which the problem’s visualizationof bugs, programming, development represent complex and insidious events.From here the long period of time between one release and the other, and alsothe consequently delusions when the so long attended software versionsrevealed all their malfunctions.On the other side we have the “Bazaar” style, where users and developersexchange their creations with the common object to do something great anduseful for people: different and innovative approaches embedded in a creativedisorder similar to a bazaar. The bazaar is the stage in which users anddevelopers became the main character, contributing at company success. Barrfrom Amazon sad: “the more data we put in the hand of developers, the moreinteresting tools, sites, applications will be built, and the more of those thatexist, the greater the return to Amazon”54. Not only Amazon beneficiates by the53 De Marco, Lister Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams New York; Dorset House, 198754 Tapscott,D. and Williams, A.D. Wikinomics Portfolio Penguin 2006 pp.19642
  • 43. contributes of users which produce all the product reviews so important todrive customers purchases; eBay is another example with all the comment ofusers which generate reputation and trust between sellers and buyers. Anothergiant like Google opened to developers and users its most popular servicesallowing people to mash-up, use and spread applications like Google Maps orGoogle Calendar. In all, Google currently offers more than two dozen APIs,which can be found on the Google Code site. Much like the Facebook platformor the APIs offered from widely-used startups like Flickr and Twitter, Google’sAPIs provide developers with an “in” to millions of potential users throughGoogle’s vast reach. In turn, creating applications that are both useful andprovide smooth integration with an existing Google service is an effective wayto spread your product through technology instead of relying solely advertisingor viral marketing. At the same time, as Google continues to add new APIs andexpand on existing ones, the company further expands its reach as thedeveloper community builds new products tailored to Google products andservices. Google APIsHere’s a list the Google APIs opened to people55:Google Toolbar API - The Google Toolbar is widely-used and comes standardwith Firefox. The Toolbar API allows developers to create buttons for GoogleToolbar, thus creating a way for you to add data from your web site to theuser’s web browser. For example, the Fox News – Latest Headlines button will55 Ostrow,A. A guide to Google’s APIs on 43
  • 44. display all of the latest news from the Fox News site and let you click to thestory. In addition to the more than 100 apps featured in the Google ToolbarGallery from mainstream names like CNN and YouTube, dozens ofindependently developed applications and mashups have also been created.For example, the Twitter Google Toolbar Button allows you to input Twitterfeeds and receive updates in your toolbar.Google Gadgets API - Perhaps the most important of the Google APIs for thoselooking to take advantage of Google’s massive user base, the Google GadgetsAPI allows developers to create applications that run on iGoogle (formerlyGoogle Personalized Home), Google Desktop, Google Page Creator, and the“Google Gadgets for Your Web Page” directory. For example, the CNN TVgadget streams live news, while Outlook Tasks imports your task list fromMicrosoft Outlook. Assuming you are able to get your application into Google’sofficial directory, the Gadgets API is a great way to gain exposure for yourcompany’s product.Google Base API - Google Base is Google’s service for listing things online –essentially a classifieds service integrated with the company’s other productslike search and Google Checkout.The Google Base API allows developers to both search the Google Basedatabase and input new listings. Thus, shopping sites, classifieds aggregators,and others are building applications that either expand their own listings orallow sellers to submit items to multiple sites at once. vFlyer is a service thatenables you to post to Google Base, Craigslist, and eBay, among others. For realestate listings, BaseEstate integrates Google Base listings into their service,which displays properties on a mashup of the Google Maps API.44
  • 45. Google Calendar API - The Google Calendar API allows developers to buildapplications that let users create, manage, and delete events from theircalendars. Online task manager Remember The Milk has utilized the GoogleCalendar API to enable their users to sync their task list with their GoogleCalendar. For business users, there is a mashup on that allowsyou to merge your events from with your Google Calendar. Ifyou want to sync your Google Calendar with your mobile phone, open sourceproject GCALSYNC allows you to do so. With dozens of startups focused onfinding and managing events, expect more mash ups with Google Calendar inthe future.Google Docs & Spreadsheets APIs - As announced earlier this week, theGoogle Documents List Data API allows developers to build applications thatcan upload documents to Google Docs, request a list of a user’s documents, orsearch content within a document. The Google Spreadsheets API performssimilar functions, allowing external applications to access and edit data withinthe company’s spreadsheet program. A good example of these relatively newAPIs in action is Swivel, where data can be pulled in from Google Spreadsheetsand then utilize Swivel’s community tools for analyzing and discussing data.Google Maps API - One of the most popular (and longest running) GoogleAPI’s is that of Google Maps. The API allows developers to built applicationsthat plot their own data on top of Google Maps. We recently took a look at 13Must-See Google Maps Mashups, but there are hundreds (if not thousands) ofapplications using the API, ranging from Frappr’s social maps to Trulia’s real 45
  • 46. estate search. In addition to the API, Google also recently introduced Maplets,essentially allowing developers to place Google Gadgets on Maps.Google Desktop SDK - The Google Desktop SDK (Software Developer Kit)allows developers to build plugins that extend the functionality of Google’spopular desktop search software. Some plugins add capabilities to GoogleDesktop, while others are essentially widgets for other programs that you canplace in your Desktop sidebar. An excellent example of an application that addscapabilities is the Google Desktop Search Plugin for Windows Explorer whichlinks the “Search” icon that can be found throughout Windows to GoogleDesktop instead of the default Windows search tool. On the widget side ofthings, any Google Gadget can be quickly and easily added to your Desktopsidebar, thus making Gadgets an attractive method for developers to reach newusers.Openness is present mainly in the software development, that’s why we talkabout “Open source software” because all the operations and developments arein this area. So the software and the related web applications are at the centre ofmany developers’ action with the object to improve them participating at theirmarket and user success. In the Web 2.0 momentum, companies harnesscollective intelligence in development of the software and in plus the massiveuse of applications by users permit to innovate and improve features in less andless time.46
  • 47. Perpetual BetaWe are accustomed to see in a huge number (and growing) of web applicationthe word “Beta” or “Beta version” beside the logo application. This means that,that application is in a still development phase in which users collaborate withtheir normal use to get better and improve. The developing software progressmark two different levels: the alpha version and the common beta version. Foralpha version we mean a product’s version which satisfy all the softwarerequirements. This level can be considered approximately 35% complete andusually includes temporary material and multiple product-breaking issues. Inthis phase the testers are the main players - not more the programmers –usually people internal to the organization or community which develop thesoftware.Than we have the most visible beta version which is the next steps in term ofquality, stability and richness of the software. A beta version is the first versionreleased outside the organization that developed the software, for the purposeof real-world evaluation by users-testers. This process is called “Beta Release”where the software is between 60-70% of completeness, generally including allfeatures, but also issues and bugs of a less serious variety. In this phase peoplewho use the software are called “Beta Testers” and they are usually customersor potential ones. Beta versions test the supportability of the product, thelaunch on the market, the manufacturability of the product and the overallchannel flow or channel reach. Beta versions are not ready for a completerelease in fact they are considered as preview stage or technical preview (TP).Beta versions stand at an intermediate step in the full development cycle.Developers release either a closed beta or an open beta; closed betas versions arereleased to a select group of individuals for a user test, while open betas are to a 47
  • 48. larger community group, usually the general public. The testers report anybugs that they found and sometimes minor features they would like to see inthe final version. An example of a major public beta test was when Microsoftstarted releasing regular Windows Vista Community Technology Previews(CTP) to beta testers starting in January 2005. Exploring new software and webapplications in the web, it seems that many of these versions maintain the Betastage longer than usual. For example Gmail and Google News, for example, hadbeen in beta for a long period of time and were not expected to drop the betastatus despite the fact that they were widely used; however, Google News didleave beta in January 2006. This technique may also allow a developer to delayoffering full support and/or responsibility for remaining issues. In the context ofWeb 2.0, people even talk of perpetual betas to signify that some software ismeant to stay in beta state.In the “Openness” dynamic we have observed a complete freedom in creation,share, use of software and web applications without talking anytime aboutcopyrights or “some” rights of producer, developers and programmers. Here Iwant to introduce the breakthrough energy of the complex world of copyrightsand licences: creative commons. Creative Commons56CC is a non-profit organization founded by Lawrence Lessig and launched in200157, devoted to expanding the range of creative work available for others56 Lessig, L. Free Culture New York: Penguin Press 2004 chapter 848
  • 49. legally to build upon and share. CC has released several copyright licensesknown as “CC Licenses” which restrict only certain rights of the work or none,depending on the one chosen by the creator. These licenses allow you to protectyour copyright ownership while allowing other to make derivative works, andstipulating whether you only want to non-commercial or commercial useamong many other options. For example if you have an audio track you’d liketo let other people post freely or sample, just affix a CC license and the world isnow free to use it58.The diffusion of this flexible and hassle-free option counter the effects of whatCC consider to be a dominant and increasingly restrictive permission culture; asCC founder Lawrence Lessig sad: ”…a culture in which creators get to create onlywith the permission of the powerful, or of creators of the past ”. Lessig maintains thatmodern culture is dominated by traditional content distributors in order tomaintain and strengthen their monopolies on cultural products as cinema orpopular music, and that CC can provides alternatives to these restrictions.The CC licenses’ intention is to avoid the problems current copyright lawscreate for the sharing of information; for this CC provides first several freelicenses that copyright owners can use when releasing their works on the weband for second the organization makes available a “Founder Copyright”contract intended to re-create the effects of the original U.S. Copyright createdby the founders of the U.S. Constitution.Nowadays several millions pages of web content use CC licences and here afew examples:57 Lessig, L. Creative Commons and the Remix Culture (mp3). Talking with Talis Retrieved, 7 April200758 49
  • 50. ∗ Portals, aggregation, and archives: Flickr, Internet Archive, Wikimedia Commons, Ourmedia, deviantART, ccMixter ∗ Formal publications: Public Library of Science, Proceedings of Science, Sino-Platonic Papers ∗ Instructional materials: MIT OpenCourseWare, Clinical Skills Online, MIMA Music, Second Life Open SLedware ∗ Collaborative content: Wikinews, Wikitravel, Memory Alpha, Uncyclopedia, Jurispedia, Microsoft Developer Network, Open Architecture Network and many other wikis ∗ Blogs, Videoblogs, and Podcasts: Groklaw, This Week in Tech, : Rocketboom, Jet Set Show, newspaperindex ∗ Journalism: 20 minutes newspaper, Blast Magazine, lifestyle magazine ∗ Cartography: OpenStreetMap ∗ Progressive culture: Jamendo, BeatPick, Revver,, ∗ Counterculture: Star Wreck ∗ Movies: Elephants Dream, Bumper stickers, Bumperactive ∗ Photos and images: - Search engine and member bookmarking for Creative Commons Photo, Open Clip Art Library ∗ Porn: The Good Girl ∗ Record labels: BeatPick, Comfort Stand Recordings, Jamendo, Kahvi Collective, Krayola Records, LOCA Records, Magnatune, OnClassical, Opsound, Small Brain Records, Quote Unquote Records, Thinner/Autoplate, Vosotros MusicBeside CC Licenses, the organization has spawn a new mash up platform called“” where participants can remix CC-licensed content and share itwith the community. The site offers the access at different content and this is50
  • 51. effectively creating a possibility for a kind of creativity that otherwise wouldjust not have been allowed.Many not-just amateur band are getting involved such as Beastie Boys, Nineinch Nails and many others. These bands see fan-created remixes as a way toconnect with their audience encouraging mash ups and new creations. This isonly a little step in the direction to led people being co-producers of the contentcreated and it is significantly important because the direction point to thedemocratization of content and production tools. An example are the BeastieBoys that on October 2004 they decided to get their fans involved to helpmaking a documentary film and upcoming concert. The group recruited fiftyfans selected by internet, equipped with Hi8 video cameras and set them loosein Madison Square Garden with the instruction to film all the concert from thebeginning until it was over. The resulting product was an amazing collage ofamateur videos - called “Awesome: I fucking shot that!” – produced using morethan one hundred hours of footage. That was the “democratization offilmmaking”: led people free to engage, interact and remix content thanks toeasy to access productive tools such as a video camera. The Beastie Boysexample introduces the second dynamic which studies the power ofparticipation, of sharing content and use of participative productive tools; infew words we introduce the “power to people” paragraph.1.4.2 Second Dynamic: Decentralized ParticipationDP is one of the three main forces of the Web 2.0 ( in add at web applicationsand user identity/data ) and in my opinion is the most important. Every aspectof Web 2.0 is driven by participation. The transition and evolution to Web 2.0 51
  • 52. was enabled by the emergence of web platforms such as blogging socialnetworks, free image and video uploading that collectively allowed extremelyeasy content creation and sharing by anyone. But this participation isdecentralized. Web 2.0 is decentralized in its usage, participation andarchitecture. From distributing applications and content over many computersand systems emerges power and flexibility. This potential come frommaintaining them not on centralized systems59.Talking about participation the first aspect of this powerful dynamic is the hugeamount of inputs ( active and passive ) the user share between each others. Theshare is the connection between active and passive inputs. Imagine when youupload a video for example on YouTube there are many people who watchyour creation and give a rate or a comment on it: this is the perfect “share cycle”in which there is an active inputs which is followed by an opposite passiveinput. This connection between two inputs is possible thanks to the shareplatform in which the UGC is placed. Sharing is the glue of the inputsinfrastructure of participation. The perfect example of this share of content,information, profiles comes from two creation of Web 2.0: blogs and SocialNetworks. BlogosphereA skyrocketing example of this sharing experience between users and theirinputs is made by the blogosphere: a self organized network of over 50 millionpersonal commentary sites that are updated every second of the day60. Blogging59
  • 53. makes easy to people to build their personal website in which they could talkabout whatever they want, to whomever they want in the outside world61. Itneeds only ten minutes a day to publish contents and information. At a highlevel we can say that blogs represent a simple publication system by which anindividual or small group can rapidly and regularly distribute content via theinternet with little oversight62. Today the blogging phenomenon points the wayto the most profound changes the new web will wreak on the economy. Blogshave been described as the biggest coffeehouse of the earth. In their simplicitythey capture a moment-to-moment picture of people’s thoughts and feelingsabout things happening right now, turning the web from a collection of staticdocuments in to a running conversation. This “face to face” structure interest alot enterprises which are building their own company-blog talking aboutinsight news or products releases. Firms use blogs as focus groups “listeningin” on what people are saying about their company or products. Only somenumbers: 50 million blogs registered, 1.5 million blog posts daily and a newblog created every second. Though the majority of blogs are not yet of a qualityto compete with commercial media, they point to the increasing ease withwhich end users can create their own news and entertainment and bypassestablished sources. Hundreds of communities of interest are forming wherepeople engage in lively exchange of information and views around everythingfrom knitting to nanotechnology. The potential for blogs to become richer andmore engaging will only grow as people build audio and video into their posts.Blogs and recently other forms of media, are aggregated using a technologycalled RSS. This turns the web into something programmable like TiVo – a61 Greg Reinacker, Founder and CTO of NewsGator Technologies62 Axup, J. Methods of Understanding and Designing for Mobile Communities InformationTechnology and Electrical Engineering Ph.D. Thesis July 2006 53
  • 54. flowing stream of entertainment and news choices that individual users haveasked for, perhaps stripped of commercial messages. With RSS the informationcome directly to you usually in an aggregator called RSS Aggregator likeNetvibes or Mozilla Thunderbird: no lose of time surfing dozens of websites toread and catch the last news, but a single web application which aggregate fastand all the updates of your interests. To have an idea here will be mentionedthe top ten most viewed Italian non-commercial blogs and in the second figurethe top ten most viewed blogs worldwide63: 1. Pandemia ( ) 2. Blog di Beppe Grillo ( ) 3. Manteblog ( ) 4. Macchianera ( ) 5. Andrea Beggi ( ) 6. Wittgenstein ( ) 7. Edit 8. Sw4n ( ) 9. Daveblog ( ) 10. Blog Italia Blog ( ) Figure 3: Top 10 most viewed Italian Blog Source : Technorati on August 2007 1. Engadget - technology, gadgets and electronic 2. Boing Boing - weblog of cultural curiosities and interesting technologies. Its the most popular blog in the world, as ranked by, and won the Lifetime Achievement and Best Group Blog awards at the 2006 Bloggies ceremony 3. Gizmodo - the gadget guide 4. Techcrunch 5. Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post 6. Lifehacker - tips and downloads to get things done 7. Ars Technica the Art of Technology - News, analysis, and in depth coverage of technology63 August 200754
  • 55. 8. Daily Kos: State of the Nation 9. PostSecret - PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets on one side of a homemade postcard 10. Figure 4: Top 10 most viewed Blog Worldwide Source : Technorati on August 20071.4.2.2 Social NetworksThe second amazing example of how people create content and share it thanksto the web platform are the Social Networks.A list of the major social network websites in the world here divided accordingto name, description of the main purpose, members and registration policies64give us the idea that we are “not alone”.For Social Networking we mean different abilities to manage and useparticipative tools the web is offering, building community in which peoplemeet each others, share profiles, interest, contents, images and videos. Is clearthat in Social Networks people manage a lot of information, tools and contents;they share their inputs and build connections with friends and people withsame hobbies or interests. The first thing you have to do entering a socialnetwork is creating your public profile. In this section you build the “image”the other users will have of you inside the network. Than when you are inside,a world of actions will open in front of you. You can: ∗ Invite or be invited at seminars, meetings and parties ∗ Manage a lot of online relationships with people from all over the world ∗ Find information about people, events and data from the web world64 - Remixed 55
  • 56. ∗ Share UGC – specially images, video, text and all the things you find interesting when surfing the web ∗ Meet new friends and get in touch with people you didn’t now directly ∗ Doing business and start collaborationsWhat’s the object of being part of a social network? First receive endorsementby other users and friends; cross profiling; enlarge personal knowledge andbeing upload of what is happening; exchange opinions and contents; influencedifferent audiences. Phenomena like MySpace, Facebook, flickr, 43 Things,Technorati, and aren’t just web sites, they are dynamic onlinecommunities where sprawling and vibrant web of interaction are forming. Nowthis generation of youthful users is bringing the same interactive ethos intoeveryday life, including work, education, and consumption65.Social Networks are growing much faster than the traditional “portals” such asYahoo! for example. A good question here is nice to answer is if the SocialNetworks will became the new portals: this is known as the portal paradigm. Inthe portal paradigm we underscore the difference between “companygenerated content” – the portal - and “user generated content” – the socialnetwork.Majority of youngster users are spending more domestic time ( 51% ) on user-generated sites vs. traditional sites; users with age between 25 and 41 spend35% of their time on UGC sites; last users between 42-60 spend 27% of theirtime. ( appendix 3 )Sometimes people thinks, Social Network as phenomenon for kids or youngweb users, but the data and studies demonstrate that the largest user group of65 See note 54 pp. 3656
  • 57. Social Networking is older with an age between 35-54 years66. (appendix 2 )This segment of internet user count for an astonishing 38.9% of the entireinternet traffic on the top 5 Social Network sites. In MySpace for example on thehuge number of more than 70 millions unique visitors, the 42.3% of theme arepeople pertaining at this middle age category. Until now we have understandthat Social Network phenomenon is not only a “Kid affair” but it is a global andcross ageing revolution: but how big is this social revolution? Starting toconsider the total internet users in the world: we arrive at the number of 772 Mwhich recognizes a YoY growth of 9%. In this total number of internet surfers,the Social Network traffic attracts 454 M users (59% of the total). To do acomparison, in US on a total number of more than 170 M domestic internetusers, the 64% ( 115 M users ) use and be on SN sites. Also Social Networkenvironment growth in a tremendous way; here the year 2006-2007 growthregistered from the first and most important Social Networking sites: ∗ Facebook 47M users – 235% of growth ∗ 17.2M users – 181% of growth ∗ Flickr 26.8M users – 102% of growth ∗ MySpace 109.5M users – 78% of growth ∗ Orkut 23M users – 77% of growth ∗ Hi5 28.5M users – 37% of growth ∗ Friendster 24.7M users – 74% of growthTo underscore the amazing growth of the SN sites, if we consider thegeographical shift of mix happened to realities such as Facebook’s and66 Robert Peck, Bear Stearns Internet analyst What should Yahoo! do regarding Social Networks?Bear Stearns Report August 2007 57
  • 58. MySpace’s users, we understand the global impact and diffusion of SNdynamics. In 2006 Facebook had the 99,8% of users coming from the US; now in2007 this percentage decrease to a 56,45% for domestic traffic and a 43,55% ofoutside US traffic. The same speech denote MySpace’s users composition: in2006 MySpace users were divided for a 83,46% on US and a small 16,54%outside US; now in 2007 MySpace counts a 62,94% of US users and a 37,06% ofoutside US users. According of comScore June 2007 report about SN, we canprovide the visualization of the region in which each SN is going better orworst, among internet users with an age of 15+.Figure 5: Domestic vs. International traffic on MySpace and FacebookSource : Robert Peck, Bear Stearns Internet analyst What should Yahoo! do regarding SocialNetworks? Bear Stearns Report August 2007For each Worldwide region we see a different structure of percentage and SNusers. ∗ North America: there’s a strong battle between MySpace (62.1%) and Facebook (68.4%) for the dominium of the US SN market; than follow Tagged an Bebo with percentage close to 20% each.58
  • 59. ∗ Latin America: here dominate the Google employee’s creation named Orkut with 48.9% of reached users; than follow Hi5 with a 24.1% and the other SN players with miserable percentages under 5%. ∗ Europe: here comes the truth; in Europe the market is fractioned in percentage from the 62.5% of Bebo, 31% of Hi5, 24.7% of MySpace, 23.4% of Tagged and 16.8% of Facebook. ∗ Middle East – Africa: here the market is not so crowded caused to the lower internet access capabilities of these countries and the low level of GDP; the underscore the 10% of Tagged, 8.7% of Hi5 and the 5.7% of Facebook. ∗ Asia Pacific: Friendster is dominant with 88.7% of SN users followed by Orkut with 43%, Tagged with 29.2%, Hi5 20.8% and Bebo with 13.9%. In this region the two stronger player of SN challenge are positioned on percentage respectively of 8.1% for MySpace and 7.1% for Facebook.Another important data to consider when we talk about SN, are the “PageViews” - PVs. The PVs represent the number of pages visited and surfed byusers in a defined period of time; also this “value” could be translated into theappeal of the site, the interest and fun generated into users, the time spent byusers: in few words the PVs indicate how the level of interest, use and share ofSN site’s contents. At May 2007 the total number of page viewed were close to 2BN ( 1.944.666.000 ) PVs, signing a YoY growth of the 6%; the total number ofpage views in SN site were 222 M. But let see more in specific the PVs in eachSN site at May 2007 with the relative growth from the year 2006: ∗ MySpace 50.6 M ( 76% ) ∗ Orkut 34.5 M ( 70% ) 59
  • 60. ∗ Facebook 29.88 ( 355% ) ∗ 11.2 M ( 415% ) ∗ Friendster 8.99M ( 311% ) ∗ Hi5 7.2 M ( 51% ) Platform for participationWeb 2.0, in particular the second dynamic of “Decentralized participation”underscore the importance of a platform. With these platforms, people have adestination and a “common” place where “hang out” to find their friends, talk,share and spend a good time. Having a good place to go in the Web is theperfect recipe to allow people to enjoy in deep their time, interact and createvalue like content, posts, video. UGC contribute to the single satisfaction butalso, considering a higher level, to people Web shared experience. Consideringthe term “Peer Production”67 in its purest form, it is a way of producing goodsand services that relies entirely on self-organizing, egalitarian communities ofindividuals who come together voluntarily to produce a shared outcome68. Thisis the peer-oriented approach coming from the academia, of researchers anduniversities and it is spreading to the Web 2.0 and its inhabitants. Users andpeople living in the web platform create, produce and share their ownproduction without imagine the final structure that all the user’s contributionswill draw. In this new era every act of consumption ( watching a video orsharing a picture, bookmarking a webpage or comment a post in a blog ) is67 Yochai Benkler, Linux and the nature of the firm Yale Law Journal vol.112, 200368 See note 54 pp.6760
  • 61. becoming an act of creation69: all users have private benefits but also they createcollective benefits as well. These collective benefits yield a richer Webexperience and enhance “the wisdom of crowds”70. Platforms like Google,Technorati, Flickr or merely borrow this power to create value fromthe single to all the users71.Don Tapscott was the first Web analyst to call it “collective intelligence” withthe following meaning: “…the aggregate knowledge that emerges from thedecentralized choices and judgements of groups of independent participants” 72.As the author James Surowiecki says: “The ability to pool the knowledge of millions( if not billions ) of users in a self organizing fashion demonstrates how masscollaboration is turning the Web in something not completely unlike a global brain”.73A perfect example could be the one of Amazon that harnesses the collectiveintelligence to provide better services and increase its revenues. When you shopon Amazon you don’t benefit only from the distributed rating system thatenable customers to review books but also from a sophisticated system thatsearches for similarities among the purchases of all Amazon customers in orderto suggest books that probably you’ll like to discover and read. To give anothersimple example, think about tags: as Wired cofounder Kevin Kelly describes asa “public annotation”. Tags allow people to classify and organize the Webcontent, simply affixing descriptive labels or keywords on content. This is whatin Web 2.0 dictionary is called “metadata”, or data about data. Collecting all the69 See note 54 pp. 20870 Surowiecki, J. The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How CollectiveWisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations Doubleday 200471 Jarvis, J. Who owns the wisdom of crowd?, 26 October 200672 Don Tapscott, The digital economy: promise and peril in the age of networked intelligence NY:McGraw Hill, 199673 See note 70 61
  • 62. people action and tagging, systems like YouTube could organize all the content, organize my bookmarks or platform like Flickr allow my mom toeasily find pictures about interior design.People participate with great results to other’s success and satisfaction in theirweb experience. We saw that participation is feasible thanks to the easy-to-access productive tools and the presence, upon all the stuff, of a platform whichmanage user’s interaction and permit applications to run. In this environmentthere’s no physical limitation although the time. Information and content areavailable 24/7, with infinite shades and typologies. Every user can contribute togenerate, share and assimilate information thanks to a platform which allowspeople to match their interests, passions and curiosity. Thanks to this, peopleare not fragmented, disconnected: but they are linked together in differentdimensions; these dimensions can be infinite and people can merge in multiplecategory of interests. The Web 2.0 era is characterized by the idea of “The LongTail”74, a culture not filtered by the economic scarcity. We talked that people re-organize in different dimensions, with information available and alwayssharable; with Web 2.0 we have to forget the idea of Mass Market, and embracethe revolutionary theme of a market made by a mass of niches. A person canbuilt his or her niche of interests because there’s better, faster and more efficientaccess to sources of information, sharing and creation of content. Users followtheir interest segmenting by themselves the market and giving up the idea thatin the web platform one size product fits all.75This theory is confirmed by the same Web 2.0 environment, formed by smallsite-companies which make up the bulk of the internet content and traffic. Inthe figure we can appreciate the idea that the web platform has small citizens,74 Anderson, C. La coda lunga Codice Edizioni, 200775 See note 74 pp. 3162
  • 63. but all with great product and niche solutions.76The crazy and most excitingthing is that all of these narrow niches constitute the volume of internet’spossible applications.77 Figure 6: Web 2.0 Landscape and categories of different 2.0 Companies Source : Ross Dawson, Future Exploration Network1.4.2.4 The Long TailBefore Web 2.0 “revolution”, people couldn’t follow and share at all theirinterest, but also they couldn’t find a solution to their problems or needs. Nowwith all the people connected together in the same platform, with the easy-to-access productive tools, thanks to small companies and useful web applications,76 63
  • 64. the horizon is incredibly potential. To give an example of the power of the LongTail, we start from the big ones: ∗ Amazon and eBay: think about their huge products availability ∗ this peering system let available all the music the members have in their pc; from top chart songs to the most unknown and alternative ones. ∗ Flickr: let members to show their photos and share interest on world of photography. ∗ YouTube: a “Flickr version” but for video; anyone can edit their home- made video receiving comments and find members interested in theirs creations.The idea behind the Long Tail concept, is that if you want something, you willhave it. Imagine that there’s a blank search box dedicated to every interest orpassion you have: video, photo, information, news, blog post and alsoknowledge.The best example of long tail’s effect comes from Wikipedia78: an on-lineencyclopedia implemented as a Wiki, where collective intelligence is directed toallow user to have better access to organized information, knowledge andcontent. Wikipedia was formally launched on 15 January 2001 by Jimmy Wales.Initially it was created as a complement and “feeder” to the expert-writtenencyclopedia project “Nupedia” in order to provide an additional source ofdraft articles and ideas. It quickly overtook Nupedia, growing to become a largeglobal project, and originating a wide range of additional reference projects. Asof 2007, Wikipedia includes several million freely-usable articles and pages in78
  • 65. hundreds of languages worldwide, and content from millions of contributors. Itis one of the most popular web sites and extensively used reference sitesworldwide79.Wikipedia is off course important for its content and popularity, but most forthe platform - the wiki- that allows millions of people to get free access to aopen and collective knowledge. The Wiki structure, functionality, andapplication - as in the Wikipedia - offer several supporting arguments. Wikitechnology enables collaboration of people similar to open source softwaredevelopment, while at the same time minimizing the effort of contentpublication80. But what is a wiki?A Wiki is a set of linked web pages, created through the incrementaldevelopment by a group of collaborating users81 and the software used tomanage the set of web pages. The first Wiki was developed by WardCunningham in 1995, as the Portland Pattern Repository, to communicatespecifications for software design. The term Wiki (from the Hawaiian Wikiwikimeaning “fast”) gives reference to the speed with which content can be createdwith a Wiki. Wikis are among the newest of several conversational79 Wagner, C. Wiki: Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and Group CollaborationCommunications of AIS, Vol. 13, 1981 Leuf, B. and Cunningham, W. The Wiki Way - Quick Collaboration on the Web Boston, MA,Addison-Wesley 2001 65
  • 66. technologies with an impact as knowledge management tools82. Wiki keycharacteristics are83: Figure 7: Wiki Design Principles Source: Arreguin, C. (2004). Wikis. In B. Hoffman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Technology Retrieved October 5, 2007, from ∗ It enables web documents to be authored collectively ∗ It uses a simple markup scheme version of HTML ∗ Wiki content is not reviewed by any editor or coordinating body prior to its publication ∗ New web pages are created when users create a hyperlink that points nowhere (usually simply by writing a term in CamelCase, concatenating two or more words and capitalizing them)82 Pearson, Ian Wikipedia and the new dark age, December 200583 Koblas, Jane Oltre Wikipedia Sperling & Kupfer Editori 200766
  • 67. A Wiki is described as a set of linked web pages (and the application enablingits development), created through the incremental development by a group ofcollaborating users. The Wiki’s uniqueness lies both in its software and in theuse of the software by collaborating members84. The term wiki is applied to adiverse set of systems, features, approaches, and projects which have incommon the fact that: multiple contributors can edit, change and deleteanything; the use of simplified HTML; freely accessible information; any wikipage is never being finished and always in the process of editing. Wikis arebased on 4 elements: ∗ Content - created by users and contributors and kept on a server ∗ Template – define the wiki page structure including information of formatting ∗ Wiki Engine – is the software, write on programming language such as Java, PHP, Pearl, which manage all the logic operation of the wiki. Is the heart of the wiki ∗ Wiki Page – created by the wiki engine using the template’s content, when a user want to visualize the page in the web browserIt seems a simple structure, anyone can use and share, but behind thissimplicity and open access design there are several problems to consider.The main problem a Wiki structure is facing is about security: anyone can enterin a wikipage, modify it or delete it. To help resolving this issue, communitymembers represent the best surveillance. We talk about “SoftSecurity”, whichrelies on the community, rather than technology, to enforce order and security.84 See note 82 67
  • 68. As described on the MeatballWiki85: “…SoftSecurity is like water. It bends underattack, only to rush in from all directions to fill the gaps. Its strong over time yetadaptable to any shape. It seeks to influence and encourage, not control and enforce".Whereas “hard security” functions by restricting access or hiding pages, wikissave copies of successively edited versions; thus, work that has been deleted ordefaced can be recovered with a couple clicks of the mouse. Changes are readilydetected (e-mail or RSS alerts can announce page edits), and deleting flames orunconstructive contributions is usually easier than creating them.It’s undeniably true that determined vandals can make real pests of themselves.But an open environment also encourages participation and a strong sense ofcommon purpose, so the proportion of fixers to breakers tends to be high, and awiki will generally have little difficulty remaining stable - assuming that peoplesee value in its existence and have a genuine interest in keeping things in order."SoftSecurity" is not the only way to protect contributions to a wiki space.There’s nothing about the software that prevents it from being hosted behind afirewall, for instance. Many wiki systems employ more structured architecturesthan Cunningham’s WikiWikiWeb and feature password protection, privatespaces, IP banning, and other "hard security" measures.Coming back in specific to the Wikipedia structure, another obvious weakness86of this model is that anybody can claim to be an expert on any subject. This is aproblem of access and quality of contributions. Anybody couldn’t know at allwho was in front at the pc and wrote these things: the authority of a contributorcould be debatable. A this point will be interesting to read the contribution85 MeatballWiki86 See note 54 pp. 7468
  • 69. about the “Wiki debate” of Ian Pearson - BT futurologist - of December 2005called “Wikipedia darge age”.87“We may expect that the quality of articles will grow for a time as the resource becomesmore useful, therefore attracting more interest in quality contributions and reviewing.In fact, it could well become a serious threat to ‘professional’ information companies. Ifhigh quality information is available for free, why pay for it?”. Than Pearsoncontinues talking about the quality of the information uploaded in the Wiki. “The quality of professional information might continue to improve, but the price thatcan be charged for it might well decline as Wikipedia becomes a viable alternative.However, Wikipedia tends to get anonymous contributions, so the personal incentive tocontribute is reduced. Sadly, there is little correlation between altruism and ability, andpotentially a reverse correlation between free time and ability. Adding or improvingWikipedia articles normally requires a degree of both time and altruism. The resultcould well be that after a few years of initial enthusiasm, the knowledge on Wikipediastarts to stagnate and degrade”.Pearson argue that there’s a double danger. “…the Wiki danger is twofold. Onedanger is the decreasing signal to noise ratio as it includes more information onalternative knowledge alongside facts and scientific knowledge. The other is thetendency towards natural monopolies on the net for this sort of application. In much thesame way as Google account for a very large proportion of net searches, we might expectthat an on-line encyclopaedia is a natural monopoly too. Decreasing the signal to noiseratio in the primary reference point is much more dangerous than if it is just one sourceamong many”.The author talk than at facing issues and challenges among players in the Wiki-Market. “…of course, even though Wikipedia itself is (at least so far) a fairly highquality reference that is mostly well reviewed, there is no certainty that other, more87 See note 82 69
  • 70. popularly oriented, encyclopaedias won’t take over as the primary web reference. If thefuture primary reference is web equivalent to the downmarket tabloid rather than thequality broadsheet, then the dark age will accelerate. Finally, Wikipedia is being echoedin many niche encyclopaedias that act as knowledge sharing platforms of companies andorganisations. These niche resources are likely to reflect any existing prejudices in theowning community, and even reinforce the prejudices by providing increased exposureto other inputs that are similarly aligned”.After the Ian highlight, results simpler to understand forces and weakness of asystem such as Wikipedia. Focusing on the structure and problems this modelis encoring, we need to highlight a comparison between wikis and webpages.It’s interesting to see how and by which characteristics a wiki differs from aweb page. The chart highlight the idea a wiki is something ever mutable, neverfinished at all and always in process. In wikis, users have the same roles andnot a hierarchical structure as for web pages; the limited known authorship ofweb pages differs from the multiple, anonymous autorhsip of wikis. Theseriousness and high quality of the entries of a wiki emphasise the mainstrength of Wikis: a depth born of multiple authors working together to honematerial. This contrasts with the blog88, which shines in its ability to offer onepersons view across a vast spectrum of subjects.All the rumors about blogs as the future knowledge platform outline severallimitations. Weblogs basically are an individual user technology, enabling usersto quickly and easily publish their content on the web. We can say that blogsare an individual broadcasting technology89, operating in one-to-many mode.88 Wagner, C. WIKI: a technology for conversational knowledge management and group Departmentof Information Systems City University of Hong Kong, Communication of IAS, 2004, Vol.13, pp.256 -28970
  • 71. Also a growing interest lives in the idea that blogs and wikis one day willmerge in a single platform for knowledge creation and sharing. Wikis are farfrom being recognized as a serious knowledge management technologywhereas, over the last few years, weblogs made significant in-roads and arenow targeted as the next great conversational knowledge managementtechnology90 .With this communication design, they are well suited for a single expert whowishes to share his or her knowledge with a community, a network, but less sofor communal knowledge creation. Newer weblog technology permits multipleusers and teams, as well as reader comments attached to weblog articles. Wikis Conventional Web Pages Open editing Limited editing Simple text formatting language Conventional HTML Earlier versions stored in online database Earlier versions not automatically stored Easy to create new pages Harder to create new pages Low security High security Equal user roles Hierarchical user roles Multiple anonymous authorship Limited known authorship Communal, collaborative Individual Pages considered always in process Pages considered finishedFigure 8: Wiki vs. Conventional Web PagesSource: Koblas, Jane Oltre Wikipedia Sperling & Kupfer Editori 2007, pp. XXX90 O’Shea, William New Economy; The online journals known as Web logs are finding favor as anefficient way to communicate within the workplace New York Times, Published: 7 July 2003 71
  • 72. However, weblog traffic is distributed in log-normal fashion, with a few highlypopular sites drawing a lot of traffic, while the majority barely rises aboveInternet noise.91 Weblogs, being diaries, are organized chronologically. Newestposts usually come first, and older posts disappear in archives. This format isuseful for news broadcasting, but not necessarily the best format tocommunicate knowledge.Especially in a multi-user setting, weblogs have several limitations compared toWikis and few comparable strengths. Furthermore, the way in which theseweaknesses are addressed with newer weblog technology, results in weblogimplementations that more and more remind you of Wikis. Blogs and wikis in afuture will probably merge into a single technology, differentiating by differentauthoring rights and indexing methods. The key benefits will come up once thismerged technology take advantage, of shared community knowledge and thecommune ability of users to correct problems and errors and not only fromindividual knowledge and skills. Before this prospected merging between thetwo model, we can only ascertain that Wikipedia is a perfect story of success.91 Shirky, C. Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality on Networks, Economics, and Culture publishedFebruary 8, 200372
  • 73. Figure 9: Article Growth on Wikipedia according to different languages period 2001-2007Source: Wagner, C. Wiki: Technology for Conversational Knowledge Management and GroupCollaboration Communications of AIS, Volume 13, Article 19, 33Looking at the number of articles ( in English – red line ) we see the amazinggrowth in term of popularity, interest and importance the “ King of wikis” hasknown: April 2003 - 125,000 articles; April 2004 - 250,000 articles; March 2005 -500,000 articles; March 2006 - 1,000,000 articles; September 2007 - 2,000,000articles. With this analysis, we want to underscore two aspect which arestanding up in the Wikipedia platform: hyperlink and trust power. 73
  • 74. Hyperlinks: knowledge management in WikisThe use of hyperlinks is a fundamental aspect of knowledge management withWikis. Hyperlinks connect topics and create context (Principle: Open). Wikidesign makes hyperlinking easy. Users do not have to create and use URLs.Instead they use CamelCase (multiple words capitalized and concatenated) tocreate a link. The Wiki also automatically creates reverse links (backlinks) fromdestination pages to all pages that refer to them. This convention enables bi-directional Wiki navigation without the browser’s BACK button. Userstherefore can always explore the entire Wiki web, independent of their entrypoint into the Wiki. Hyperlinks connect concepts to other concepts, therebycreating context. Aside from the obvious advantage of allowing readers to makeconnections and to drill down into detail knowledge, hyperlinks are also apotential quality assurance mechanism and relevance indicator. Pages withmany links to them indicate a highly useful page. TrustTrust is the quintessence of the peering collaboration. People trust on each othercreation and valuation of the content published: “user trust similar users”.People are moved and characterized from the same interest of having acomplete, ordered and valuable platform designed for sharing collectiveknowledge. Off course exist vandalism and imperfections, but the most arequickly identified by the community and resolved. People trust in the othermembers ( peering trust ); members trust in the intrinsic power of the wiki-platform which allows the common and collective knowledge to be organized74
  • 75. and accessible. Simply we could say that: What Wiki does is to open the Web tothose who might not contribute elsewhere.92The Wikipedia example ofcollaboration, publication, peer review and exchange of precompetitiveinformation are now becoming keys to success in the knowledge basedeconomy.Platforms for participation represent an exciting new kind of business thatthrives in mass collaboration and embodies all the wiki-principles Don Tapscottmentions in his book: openness, peering, sharing and acting globally93.1.4.3 Third Dynamic: User data controlWeb 2.0 framework is completed with this third part, which consider the user’spower to control, manage and access to data and content; also we highlight thestrategic importance of all this data for companies.A key direction to Web 2.0 is for user, first to control the content they create, thedata captured and stored during their web activities; second their identity.92 See note 54 pp. 212 75
  • 76. Control the contentUsers now have better and more power control on their web activities, thanksto web application, a higher level of interaction and involvement of platformsuch as blogs and social networks. We have a tight control of user generatedcontent, because we can create a post, or a wikipage; we can track the path ofdiffusion of our creation in the web thanks to hyperlink and tags. The user cancreate, share, publish, mashing up al kind of data, is it personally created orfind it in the web. This control allow the explosion of blogs, socialnetworks,sites of video and pictures uploading or simply the massive use of feed reader;people feel free to accept or ignore an information, a content, a interaction: thisis called control. A pretty good example about user’s control across webactivities could find in the social bookmarking site 94 The site permitto user to attach to bookmarks, words or phrases: these are called tags.95 Thelesson of is that personal value and data precedes the network value;people find value in saving their personal bookmarks first, manage it across theweb and than share it later. Bookmarking may looks like a simple activities inour day by day, surfing across web pages, articles, posts but it’s evolution isimportant to underscore how users now have control of what they see in theweb. Control means to get track of information ( web page and tagging ), toshare it with a dedicated and everywhere accessible platform, to know otheruser’s bookmarking’s choices.94
  • 77. IdentityIdentity is a critical ingredient of Web 2.0 and also it represent the future of theentire web.96 Nowadays we can choose to represent our identity wherever welike, across interactions, in virtual worlds and social networks. Our identity isbecome, and will become moreover a critical element in our future interactionsin the web arena; probably identity will became the more important andvaluable good on the internet. Identity let us to have access, for example to ouremail accounts thanks to a username and a password: username and passwordrepresent the simplest identity translation in the world wide web of our realego. This is the beginning to start imagine the development of identity in theweb and the related system of identification. We start to consider the identitytopics from the place we use it most: social networks.Beside the power and popularity of Facebook, a stream of critics became toemerge underscoring the “Island design” of Facebook and other SN family’smembers like MyBlogLog or Twitter: they are cool platforms but with closedwalls. On your SN life, for example on Facebook, you create your profile,upload your video and pictures, write messages to friends, but all this content isnot open and accessible to people who are not logged in. The SN platformswork like independent and closed island in the Open Web: you couldn’t linkfriends from Facebook to MySpace and Bebo97 for example. All these SNplatforms work like aggregators of people: they keep you on their own platformfor as long as possible, rather than giving you freedom to take your identity andcontent wherever you like. Right now it’s hard to make money without owningthe user’s identity and content in some way: user lock-in remains the strongest96 77
  • 78. business model98. Some recent news suggest that finally, after many years ofhighly competitive play, there is the potential for more open social networkingsystems.The first key news is Plaxo’s release of a new social network: namely, Pulse. Itwas clear their ultimate business model was going to be something quitedifferent, building on the extraordinary database of members and contactinformation they were acquiring. With the recent surge in popularity inFacebook – which means that now a far broader segment of the population isfamiliar with social networks – Plaxo has decided the time is right to make theirmove. What distinguishes Plaxo’s new offering is that it is more open andoffers more user control than Facebook. On one hand Facebook is a poster-childfor openness, in that it has opened up the platform so any developers can createapplications that complement the system. Yet in many other ways Facebook is ahighly closed system, only allowing users to access profiles and content. Plaxowill allow its users to aggregate feeds and contents from any location, and totake that content and use that anywhere else. In addition, it allows a far greaterdegree of control on who can and can’t see particular information or content onyour profile, allowing you to present different faces to professional and socialaudiences, for example.The other key announcement is that Netvibes is allowing users to view theirFacebook friends and notifications within Netvibes. This means that Netvibesusers can access everything they need, including news and feeds as well as theirFacebook information in the one page. However Netvibes is still not able toaccess Facebook news. In this case the underlying functionality of Facebook isnot being replaced, but it means that the play to be the primary aggregator, or98
  • 79. space where people access their online information and activities, is definitelystill in play99. Open IDWith Plaxo the powerful trend to openness is being illustrated in practice, and itcall attention to open standards on sharing social network information wherethe data standard FOAF ( friend of a friend ) represent the perfect example. Thisstandards could be find on the foaf-project.org100 website and it belong to themainstream of interest for creating an open standard or OpenID101 and“Universal” data profiling which people could use to be identified in the weband in the different SN they frequent, but also to make their relationshipsportable. Mashable, they popular tech news site, supports the open friendformat or FOAF, citing another time the important example Plaxo is giving inthis way. As Anshu Sharma explains in article: “…many of us are getting sick andtired of creating multiple user ids, checking messages on multiple inboxes andaccepting the same 75 friends on 10 different social networks. For now here is mypersonal solution to the social networking problem - if you have my gmail address andmy blog address, that is all that you need to reach me, read about me, see my pictures,date me, send me fan letters and/or harass me”.10299 and 2007/09/06/my-data-let-me-use-as-i-choose.aspx102 79
  • 80. We are facing an identity problem, which will be a juggernaut in next years forSN structure and design. “Would be so much easier for users”, continueAnsha,” to leverage multiple services without worrying about whether they arebuilt by Facebook,LinkedIn or MySpace”. Another voice against SN walledgardens, come from Scott Gilbertson of Wired who praises Plaxo’s break in thiscontest where companies serve their business interests but not the widerinterests of consumers. Companies like Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL want theirown proprietary IM systems: they are all good but they would work bettertogether103.The iPhone would be better if it could be used with other carriers, or Facebookwould be better if you could link to friends’ pages in MySpace and Orkut.What is the most common open standards we use every day? The email. Everyone, from every platform could send a readable and standard based message:an email. Scott continue saying: “ It’s possible to replicate most of theFacebook’s features without getting into its black hole, but the single mostimportant element is missing. At this point, "friend" relationships remainunique to the social networks. The web still lacks a generalized way to conveyrelationships between peoples identities on the internet. The absence of thissecret sauce - an underlying framework that connects "friends" and establishestrust relationships between peers - is what gave rise to social networks in thefirst place. While weve largely outgrown the limitations of closed platforms(take e-mail or the web itself), no one has stepped forward with an opensolution to managing your friends on the internet at large.”Managing relations and “personal networks” need a new framework based on“open standards”. Think of it as a structure that links individual sites andmakes explicit social relationships, a way of defining micro social networks103
  • 81. within the larger network of the web”, Scott says and continue “ Such a"micronetwork" standard may sound daunting or even impossible, but nearlyall the tools weve mentioned so far started small.104 Blogging grew from a fewpeople trying to easily publish web content on a daily basis. startedwith one person looking for a way to manage his bookmarks from any machine.Even Facebook started with a few college friends looking for a better way toplan their social lives”. The Next Intel InsideData is the next intel inside.105Here’s what we mean for the data created,managed by users and the related one stored by companies. Databasemanagement is a core competency of Web 2.0 companies and the question wemay argue is: who owns the data? If on user’s side, data control means user’spower to use and interact with applications, to decide what identity use in adetermined environment; otherwise companies’ side reflect more problemsabout copyrights, use and storage of the data. Currently we are in a early stageof the future development of database management because in also nowadaysthe amount of UGC, identities across multiple SN and Virtual hangouts isincreasing brutally. A future point on which users, companies and legislatorsneed to focus will be the one about data control, ownership and database104 81
  • 82. management; specially in a moment of new web and virtual environmentgrowth.106There are some example of this “new” movement in defence of user data, which will try to begin a discussion with a sample of “Billof rights” for users of social web. The post regarding the bill has in its authorpeople like Joseph Smarr, Marc Canter, Robert Scoble, and Michael Arrington.On the post of early September 2007 first they assert that “all users of the socialweb are entitled to certain fundamental rights” 107, specifically: ∗ Ownership of their own personal information, including: their own profile data, the list of people they are connected to, the activity stream of content they create ∗ Control of whether and how such personal information is shared with others ∗ Freedom to grant persistent access to their personal information to trusted external sitesGoing on authors, they give advices to sites which will support this petition.The interest is growing and also people and user’s sensibility andunderstanding of the importance of this subject will mark the next step of theWeb 2.0.106
  • 83. ConclusionThe first chapter helped us to better understand structure and components ofthe main Web 2.0 framework. Things can be simple at a first view, but deeplyevery aspect of the Web 2.0 structure keep a complex arrangements of differentactors, technologies and approaches.With the three main dynamics is clear that Web 2.0 is about openness ofsoftware development processes and approach to collaboration; is decentralizedand diffused throughout the world network created by the web, and in thisnetwork the active participation of people to create, use and share content haveincredible consequences on our daily life; also the third dynamic remember usthat in all this flood of openness and participation, an issue to be addressed andwhich require attention is the identity, how people manage it and how the webis ready to host new form of identity management and security.The framework so created doesn’t know end, in the sense that everydaysomething change; Web 2.0 introduce more variability in every aspect andcomponents of the structure. This changes are always increasing in number andfor complexity and a future issue will be the one develop advanced models tomanage this change: for us, simple consumer, and also for companymanagement. 83
  • 84. 84
  • 85. Chapter 2SOCIAL NETWORKS: How peopledecide to live other lives on-lineIn the previous chapter we underscored the importance and the growing powerof collaboration dynamics between users across digital platform of such as websites, communities and blogs. Today on the web, people create content, shareknowledge and interests, building step by step a new way to live their lives. Atthe end of the part about the Web 2.0, the focus was on two main topics:platform for participation and democratization of the productive tools. In thisscenario we will now embrace the most disruptive and influencing formula ofthe Web 2.0: Social Networks that now for ease of use we will call SNSs.The beginning of Social Networks, could be placed in the needs and possibilityto people to get more and more connection by each other as soon as thetechnology developed more “user friendly”. Basically people are born to getconnected, to get in touch with other similar, to exchange their experience andget some value from these relations; with the evolution of technology, peopledesires of being connected come true and go more the expectations. If years agoour relations with others, were limited to our neighborhood or to our dailyroutines; now the chances to be connected with people from all around theworld are a commune thing. We can say that thanks to technology and linking 85
  • 86. dynamics, our off line life is enriched by on line living where we buildconnections, exchange experiences and share content.2.1 From Virtual Community to Social NetworkThis evolution is marked by the creation of the so called virtualcommunities.108In the web, most of the Virtual Communities are classified asrelational communities109, because their members are not physically linkedtogether and these communities are defined by the social relationships built onthe web through repeated contacts into a specific and limited web-environment.110But doing a step backward, according to Blanchard and Horan is important todistinguish between on-line or off-line originated communities. 111Most of on-line originated Virtual Communities, are based on common interestsand the computer based technology reinforced connections.112 Example of on-108 Koh, J. and Kim., Y.G Sense of Virtual Community: a conceptual framework and empirical validationInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce, Winter 2003-4, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp 75-93109 Wellman, B. and Gulia, M. Virtual Communities as communities: net surfers don’t ride alone InM.A. Smith and P. Kollok (eds.), Communities in Cyberspace. London: Routledge, 1999, pp.167-194110 Fernback, J. and Thompson, B. Virtual Communities: abort, retry, failure? Computer MediatedCommunication and the American Collectivity. May Blanchard, A.L. and Horan, T. Virtual Communities and Social Capital Social Science ComputerReview, 16, 3 (1998), pp.293-30786
  • 87. line originated Virtual Communities, are newsgroups, game sites, e-commercesites which started without a prior relationships or possible interactionsbetween members. In this case, relations, influence and ties between membersare low specially in the beginning. In opposite, off-line originated VirtualCommunities tend to be strong thanks to prior off-line experiences or sharedsituations. Example of off-line originated Virtual Communities are class forumsin the university and all the intra/inter organizational communities of practicewhose members set a series of direct and physical interactions before thecreation of the Virtual Community.113 We observe that people use the web, offcourse, to connect by each other, but also to continue a previous connectionoriginated in an off-line experience.Let enter in the different components of a Virtual Community. According toBalasubramanian and Mahajan a Virtual Community is: “…any entity thatexhibit all of the following characteristics: an aggregation of people, rational members,interaction in cyberspace without physical collocation, a process of social exchange, anobjective, property identity, or interest shared by members”. Continuing in thisclassification of Virtual Community’s components, Preece argued that: “… aVirtual Community has four components: people, shared purpose, policies and computersystems”.114In the following part of the work, we will focus in particular on VirtualCommunities, but defining them as “a group of people with common goals or112 Balasubramanian, S. and Mahajan, V. The Economic leverage of the virtual communityInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce, 5, 3, (spring 2001), pp. 103-138113 Blumstein, P. and Kollok, P. Personal Relationships Annual Review of Sociology, 14 (1998), pp.467-490114 Preece, J. Online Communities: designing communities, supporting sociability New York: Wiley2001 87
  • 88. interests, interacting predominantly in a web environment”.115 This forsimplicity but also to embrace the importance of web platform as a space forpeople to meet, share content, information, and create relations. With thisdefinition of Virtual Community we want define the merging process of on-lineand off-line activities in a unique solution do to social and technologicaldynamics. Until some years ago at the centre of a Virtual Community wasconsidered the community itself and the interest by which people joined thegroup; now Virtual Communities put at the centre the member him/herself inthe meaning of the number, the type, the quality of connection this memberestablish in the cyberspace. We argue that Virtual Communities evolved from acommunity based approach to a user based approach: if some years ago theglue in a common newsgroup was the “belonging to the newsgroup itself andthe interests shares there”; now the attention is switched to user’s personalinterests and also to connections and friendship to people this user translate inthe on-line life and activities. This switch in term of considering the idea ofVirtual Communities, is related with the emerging needs of the society tomanage and get access to communication, rather than information116; this shiftinvolves a different thinking particularly in term of networks and interactionbetween users117. Communications is the category of expenditure which knownhighest expenditures over the last few years indicating a huge growth inconsumption 118 . Internet with its vast networking possibilities has been apowerful means of expanding social relations and possibilities. In add, the115 See note 108116 Silverstone, R. and Sorensen, K. Towards the communication society In: R. Silverstone (editor)Media, technology, and everyday life in Europe: from information to communication London: Ashgate,pp.213-222117 Castells, M. 1996-1998 The information age Oxford: Blackwell118 OECD, Communication Outlook Paris: OECD 200588
  • 89. diffusion of user-friendly interfaces and platforms has provided novel modes ofinteraction and new ways of communication. As Castell argue: “…we are shiftingfrom group based societies to networked societies”.119In recent years the union between growing dynamics of communication needs,technology and user-friendly interfaces evolution, the focus shifts from groupsto network and the social scenario will introduce a new meaning of VirtualCommunity: the Social Networks Sites.This word has grown impressively in the last years and it refers to a set ofpeople, organizations or other social entities connected by a set of socialrelations, such as friendship, co-working or information exchange.120Theserelations could be strong, weak, long, short, uni- or bi-directional, and occurover short or long period of time. Following this definition, a social networkcould be viewed as a graph and a set of connection which represent peoplerelationships.121In this work we will use the term “social network sites” ( SNSs ) to refer toservices that allow people to build a public or semi-public profile within abounded platform/system that displays a list of their relationships with othermembers of the platform.122According to Boyd, a distinction is needed; we aretalking about Social Network Sites, but another common term used is “socialnetworking sites”. This last term refers to any site that allows people tocommunicate with people they don’t know, including dating sites, chatrooms,community sites and bulletin boards: it emphasizes networking. But what119 Castells, M. The rise of network society Malden MA: Blackwell 1996120 Garton, L. and Haythornthwaite, C. and Wellman B., Studying online social networks In S. Jones(ed.) Doing internet research 1999, pp. 75-105 London: Sage Publications121 Wasserman, S. and Faust, K. Social Network Analysis Cambridge University Press 1994122 Boyd, D. and Ellison, N. "Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship." Journal ofComputer-Mediated Communication, October 2007 89
  • 90. makes “Social Network Sites” unique is the ability to manage, articulate andmake visible the user social network, the people connected to him or her,relationships. SNS targets users who communicate with people they alreadyknow, who are already part of their life, their social network, from close friends,family to acquaintances. SNSs provide an online private space for individualsand tools for interacting with other people in the internet.123Let try to enter in amore clear classification of SNS.SNSs have two functionalities which characterized them in a unique way:advanced tools for sharing content and digital objects – text, pictures, video,tags, bookmarks; advanced tools for communication and socialization betweenmembers.124 These SNSs have the capacity to increase social ties and interactionbetween people.125People engage in social interaction with others, establishingtheir identity in a public profiles, building social relationships, exploring othersidentities and sharing information. Users express themselves in socialinteractions across social platforms, following common rules and policies. Theglue which holds together this amount of connections and relationships is the“network/social capital”. Robert Putman asserts that social capital encouragescollaboration and cooperation between members of groups and communitiesfor their mutual benefit.126Interaction and exchanges between members and in123 Yong Yeol Ahn, Seungyeop Han, Haewoon Kwak, Sue Moon and Hawoong Jeong Analysis oftopological Characteristics of Huge online Social Networking Services,– WWW Conference 2007, May18-22124 Cachia, R. Compano, R. and Da Costa, O. Grasping the potential of online social networks forforesight European Commission, Joint Research Centre - Technological forecasting and socialchange, 74 Elsevier 2007125 Wellman, B. Boase, J. and Chen, J. The networked nature of community: online and offline It andSociety, vol. 1, No. 1, 2002 pp. 151-165126 Putnam, R.D. Bowling Alone: the collapse and revival of American Community New York: Simon& Schuster 200090
  • 91. general across the network ties, generate network capital127: which is the socialcapital embedded in interpersonal relations that can offer resources for thecommunity sustainability, life and growth.2.2 A brief history of Social NetworksTo find the first social network site we have to walk backward in is the first one recognizable, and it allowed members to createprofiles, list friends and surf the network. was the first tomerge into its platform all these characteristics; even before these features wereavailable separated in different services on the web. For example dating andcommunity sites allow to post your own profile; in instant messaging systemyou have to list your friends into the buddy-list but the others couldn’t getaccess to your network; classmates and campus communities consent to peopleto connect with their high school, college or institutions and navigate thenetwork looking for others affiliated.128We can say that was the first platform to offer all thesefunctionalities in one single layout. The service was born and promoted itself asa tool by which people could get connection with others and communicate withthem; but the time was too early and people didn’t have yet an extended on-line127 Plickert, R. Cotè, R. and Wellman, B. It’s not who you know, it’s how you know them: Whoexchanges what with whom Gabriel – Elsevier 2007128 See note 122 91
  • 92. network of friends through the web. failed to becomesustainable and in 2000 the service was closed.129In the same lifetime of, other actors enter the web scenesupporting the growing trend of creating profiles and public friends’ list. Twogood example of the network stream pervading these years, are LiveJournal (people marked others as friends to follow their journals, not because they were“just friends” )130 in 1999 and Friendster in 2002; but also others like MiGente,BlackPlanet or Asian Avenue spread out in that period. SNSs originally spreadout and grow into small boundaries, small group of people linked together by,for example, common interests or cultural origin. Friendster gained attentionamong three groups in the beginning of its life: bloggers, attendees of theBurning Man festival and gay men.131 The site knew a giant growth in the early2002 and its objective was the one to let people to link and meet friends offriends, going over the typical two/three degrees of separation: the idea wasthat more friends you could have, better it was.In 2003 a new protagonist quaked the land of SNSs: it was MySpace. The westcoast site, growing fast supporting indie-rock bands of Los Angeles region,began to attract alienating users of Friendster who were not satisfied of theservice and policies the site was running in the last month of 2002, specially theone against the most active and linked members.MySpace registered the highest growth on subscription in 2004 and three maingroups of members emerged: bands/musicians, teenagers, urban on the age20/30-something.132 MySpace knew a proliferating media coverage in the129 Weinrich, A. Personal Communication 11 Jul 2007130 Fitzpatrick, B. Personal Communication 15 June 2007131 Boyd, D. Friendster and Publicly Articulated Social Networks Conference on Human Factors andComputing Systems (CHI 2004), Vienna: ACM, April 24-29, 2004.132 See note 12292
  • 93. following time, and its popularity exploded when in July 2005, Rupert Murdochwith his News Corporation bought the site for $580 million.We can say that MySpace opened a new era, from that moment other bigplayers started to populate the SNSs world. Friendster re-emerged and took itsdomain in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia; Orkut launched byGoogle in 2004 became the premier social network in Brazil before continuingits growth in India133; Mixi dominated Japan; Lunarstorm in Sweden; Hyvesembraced Holland; Grono tied Poland; Bebo became extremely popular in theUnited Kingdom, New Zeland and Australia. Other platform startedimplementing their structure with SNS features. For example QQ, ChineseInstant messaging service, implemented SNS tools; or Cyworld did the same inthe Korean market; in France we can mention Skyblog which started as ablogging platform; and to conclude Windows Live Spaces dominates numerousmarkets worldwide including Italy, Mexico and Spain.Many SNSs started from small group, serving their needs and interest and afterbecame giant platform attracting million of people. Now we are assisting to aproliferation of thousands of smaller SNSs, which connect people throughshared interests, geographical areas, language, sports, race, identity and foucson niche of passionate users. Facebook is an example: it began as a site forcollege students and arrived to compete seriously with MySpace. We havealready talked about Facebook fortune in the previous chapter, but its exampleunderscores the growing dynamics and trends among the web: people want tobe linked to friends, communicate, share experiences and content, cultivateinterests and add tangible value to their on-line and off-line life. What ishappening focuses our attention to the idea that SNSs are primarly organizedaround people, their network and not, as the community of intertest, around133 Kopytoff, V. Social Networks on, 16 June 2004 93
  • 94. interests. This shift is incredibly important: social network sites are structuredas egocentric networks with the individual at the centre of the scene and theirown community.134This will be analyzed when we will talk about profiling andidentity building process inside SNSs in the part of the second pattern ofanalysis.2.3 Two pattern of analysisSNS will be analyzed with two different but complementary patterns: the firstwill consider the object of the social network or better what people will go to doon the platform, why do they choose that one and not the other one; the secondpattern will approach the level of interaction that determine what people can doon the platform, which actions, personalization and freedom.2.3.1 First pattern: What people want to do in Social Networks?The first pattern of analysis could be simply described answering the followingquestion: “ What people want to do in a SNS?” Everyone can identifyimmediately that the first framework to use to analyze the SNSs is the addressof these sites in term of what people want to do on the platforms. We can dividethe SN global landscape by indicate four main trends:134 See note 12294
  • 95. 1. Leisure and entertainment - where people could communicate and entertain with free access with million of users around the world 2. Professional Networking - sites focused on business networking 3. Media and UGC Sharing - distribution and consumption of user- generated media content, such as video, photos, blog posts. 4. Virtual Meeting Place - 3D virtual world built and owned by its resident / users2.3.1.1 Leisure and entertainmentThis sort of SN are places in which people share their profiles and can choose,by specific tools, with which kind of people enter in contact. The user of thistype of SN is heterogeneous: from teenager to generation Y and older people.Certain type of user are aggregated in specific kind of SN. From a research135emerges that 78% of users participate in SN to meet new people, the 47% tohave fun, the 38% to learn new things and the 23% to change other’s opinions.Net generation works in networking. Young people dominate the many of thehuge, online communities we saw before, where millions of youth socializecollaborate to do everything from evaluating companies’ products and servicesto providing entertainment and services of their own. Danah Boyd136, aUniversity of Berkeley-based social scientist, provides some insights into SN.For Boyd, today’s teens spending time on places like Facebook or MySpace isabout reclaiming private space. Adults control their home, the school and otheractivities. Frequently the same home is not consider by teens as their private135 See note 54 pp. 48-49 95
  • 96. space. So the new private spaces are frequently found online in places likeMySpace, Facebook. Here people meet in mass, network with peers, and makeshared space of their own. It’s like a bedroom with closed doors. Expect that inMySpace they can invite one thousand friends in. Virtual spaces like this, arebecoming more vital and appealing also because young people have less andless access to public spaces outside their home in the neighborhood. In virtualspaces teens are increasingly free (and safe) to manage their interactions, buildnetworks, and shape their own identities. This network landscape is dividedinto few main players, everyone with different characteristics, target, structureand off course number of users. comScore137 has released the results of a studyregarding the global reach of major social networks, indicating that thesenetworks have had substantial growth in the past year.Figure 10: Social Networks Platform worldwide diffusion in countriesSource : Comscore Social Network Worldwide Research on July 200796
  • 97. Visitation to Selected Social Network Sites by Worldwide Region June 2007 Total Worldwide Home/Work Locations Among Internet Users Age 15+ Share (%) of Unique Visitors 138 North Latin Middle Europe Asia Pacific America America East-Africa MySpace 62,10% 3,80% 24,70% 1,30% 8,10% Facebook 68,40% 2,00% 16,80% 5,70% 7,10% Hi5 15,30% 24,10% 31,00% 8,70% 20,80% Friendster 7,70% 0,40% 2,50% 0,80% 88,70% Orkut 2,90% 48,90% 4,60% 0,60% 43,00% Bebo 21,80% 0,50% 62,50% 1,30% 13,90% Tagged 22,70% 14,60% 23,40% 10,00% 29,20%Figure 11: Social Networks Platforms popularity per continentSource : comScore World Metrix 31 July 2007138 See note 137 97
  • 98. Figure 12: Social Networks Total Unique Visitors June 2006 – June 2007Source : comScore Wordl Metrix 31 July 2007MySpace tops the charts with over 114 million global visitors age 15+ in June,2007. This is a 72% increase from last year. Facebook had more growth thanMySpace, with a 270% increase, going up to 52.2 million visitors. Bebo is up172% reaching 18.2 million while Tagged has seen the highest growth factor, up774%, gaining 13.2 million visitors. comScore notes that this global growthmeans that online social networking is not a fad, but a larger expression ofglobal Internet culture that’s becoming more integrated every year. The reportalso highlights the trend of Bebo, dominating in Europe while MySpace andFacebook hold the top spots in North America. Also noted in this report is thetrend that major social networks appeal to certain groups, allowing them tobecome popular in different regions. This shows, on a geographical scale, thecorrelation between physical communities and online networks139.139 See note 13798
  • 99. Its heart is the personalized profile. Members fill them with interests, tastes,values supplemented by music, photos, video clips that make their profile moreappealing. Even top-drawer music and movie stars have profiles and fans can“friend” them as well. Every user can personalize his or her homepage addingnew friends, send IM or adding images of your last trip into your profile. InMySpace there are over 114 million registered users and 79.7% of market share;230.000 new users every month. MySpace is strong in Australia, Greece,Croatia, Italy, Mexico, USA, Venezuela and its market value arrived at 12 billiondollars. The power of MySpace reside in its personalization and popularityborn in July 2003, year in which was created.Founded by a Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten, the SN counts 47 millionusers.Is the new actor in the world of SN and it’s doing a good job. Facebook count 20million users and the number is growing at high rates.Considered one of the top-line SN until 2004 when it was overtaken in term ofpages view by the emerging MySpace. Friendster counts 40 millions users. 99
  • 100. But in this battle for being the ultimate SN on the ring we have two contenders:the “Golia” MySpace and the “David” Facebook. It is incredible how thedynamics of positioning change with time and user trends’ evolution. MySpaceis seeing every day user switching SN platform in favour of the youngsterFacebook. It’s a fresh news that in the month of September 2007 according toAlexa chart, Facebook passed for daily pageviews moving to close tothe 2% level. 140 Figure 13: Msn vs. Facebook Daily Pageviews (Percent) Source : on December 20072.3.1.2 The “F” factor of (in)successFounded in 2004 by the Harvard programmer Mark Zunckenberg, Facebookrepresent a turning point in the world of SN. With its 27 millions active users,140 alexa.com100
  • 101. Facebook ranks in 16th position according to Alexa Ranking of June 2007141. A50% of these active users return to the site daily; 100,000 new users join per day;45 billion page views per month. 50 million users and lot more page viewpredicted by the end of 2007. As say Marc Andreessen: ”…the Facebook platformis a dramatic leap forward for the internet industry…”.142 He is right becauseFacebook introduces a new way to use and develop a SN platform. The crucialaspect of Facebook’s success came from its platform’s structure.Essentially for platform we mean a system that can be reprogrammed andtherefore customized by outside developers/users and in that way, adapted tocountless needs and niches that the platform’s original developers could nothave possibly contemplated. In contrast we have the application as a systemthat cannot be reprogrammed by outside developers. It is a closed environmentthat does only what their original developers intended it to do, nothing more.On May 24 of 2007 Facebook started to write a new story in the SN landscape: itlaunched the new version of the Facebook Platform, a set of applicationprogramming interfaces (APIs) and services that allow outside developers toinject new features and content into the Facebook user experience. Veterans ofthe software developing industry say that platform will always win in a fightagainst an application. This is the breakthrough in the world of SN: givingpeople a platform which users could upload in which share and use differentapplications developed by other users in parallel with all the normal life of a SN( share profiles, music, video, images…). The Facebook API enables outsideweb developers to inject new features and content into the Facebookenvironment. As we talked before the real power of the Web 2.0 era, exist in141 Il Sole 24 Ore, Nova 5 July 2007142 Andreessen, M. Analyzing the Facebook Platform, three weeks in 12 June 2007 101
  • 102. “open environment” where everyone could enter and collaborate for thesuccess of the user-experience and not of only a limited number of walledshareholders. In Facebook after signing up, the developer writes the webapplication and hosts it on his own servers. The developer than registers hisapplication with Facebook and than users can add that application to theirFacebook page. Facebook is doing something more sophisticated thanembedding web application inside its structure: it is providing a complete suitof APIs that allow third party application to integrate tightly with the Facebookuser experience and database of user and activity information. In addition ofthis complete APIs tool, Facebook provides a viral engine to spread the newand most useful web application. You as a user, are notified if your friends areusing a new application and you can start using with a simple click. After usingthe application you can inform also your friends and the cycle continue and theresult is that a useful and successful application can grow to a million userswithin a couple of weeks of creation. Looking at the business part anotherevolution of Facebook Platform is that third party applications could run adsand sell goods and services to their heart’s content. In June 2007, MarkZuckerberg in a interview with Fortune, told that Facebook is a technologycompany and not a media one.143 Today SN is fragmented; there are networksfor dating, pet owners, golfers, for parents. Each has its own ways for memberto register, describe themselves, communicate and interact. Facebook aims tomake much of that unnecessary. It will provide the underlying services – aplatform – and offer access to its pre-recruited pool of members. Facebook isproviding the ease and user attraction of MySpace-style embedding, coupledwith the kind of integration you see with Firefox extensions plus automatedviral engine to spread new applications. Facebook platform embrace a winning143 Kirkpatrick, D. Facebooks plan to hook up the world on Fortune Magazine 29 May 2007102
  • 103. strategy because everything routes through Facebook’s servers. This is knownas “proxy model”: you interact with a third party Facebook application byinteracting with Facebook servers which turn interact with the application’sservers. With this system Facebook retains tighter control of the overall userexperience, and of course of all the web traffic. Applications must conform toFacebook guidelines for appearance and content or they are disallowed. Besideall this characteristics there are three aspects of being a platform in the web erathat Facebook does not embrace. First is that Facebook itself is notreprogrammable so anyone outside company could change the Facebooksystem itself in any way; second is that all third party code that uses theFacebook APIs has to run on third party servers; third is that you cannot createyour own world, your own social network using the Facebook platform. Youcouldn’t built another Facebook with it. Social ShoppingSites like MySpace, Orkut, Facebook are only the emerged part of the leisure’siceberg of SN. If we go deeper analyzing the SN environment we could finddifferent categories; everyone differentiating by the other, for target user,functional capabilities and design. Looking at the chart we understand the hugeamount of categories in which the SN are divided. We have SN for photosharing, Anime and games, for Open Source developers, Music, for Universitystudents, business. But the one I’d like to talk about before ending this firstgroup of SN is the Social Shopping site. Mashable tech news website draw up alist of the 18 most popular social shopping websites144. The object of these144 103
  • 104. platform is to provide a continuum of the shopping experience, before, duringand after the purchases. People want to share their emotions, their wishes in anew way, with people from all over the world, with different styles and tastes.Social shopping145 sites give users: help to find what they are looking for,comments on reviewed products, a wish list the members can build, picturesand video uploads, products recommendation, price information and theflexibility of a web platform could provide. Here are some example of howshopping can be transformed in a social object and lifestyle.Allows you to easily create product wish-lists and share them with thecommunity. Wishpot allows you to add items to your list by performing eitheran internal site search or using the browser clipping utility. The internal site-search also happens to be powered by, which allows for manymore advanced search features, including search by price or category. Wishpotalso features mobile integration which enables you to add items to your listfrom your cell phone, or take a snapshot of an item and add it that way, alsofrom your mobile phone. Another features that adds value to the service isinclusion of user information for better results and recommendations.Share product recommendations with the community and discover new stufffrom users with similar tastes and styles. When you see something you’re145 Corcoran, C. Shopping Online Now More Social WWD: Womens Wear Daily 01495380, May2007, Vol. 193, Issue 104104
  • 105. interested in buying, just click the bookmarklet and it’ll fetch all of thenecessary info; you can also browse what the community’s been bookmarkingand comment on their bookmarklets.Is a women’s social-network based on shopping. Features include personalizedproduct suggestions and other elements of social shopping. While the servicehasn’t officially launched, you can still sign up and be notified when it actuallydoes.The more high-end of these services, ShopStyle features an active designermarketplace. Overall, a well-integrated one-stop-shop for all your designerfashions.Is another community based, very “web 2.0-ish” wiki, all about products. It’s agood resource for quick background and price information on a wide-range ofitems. 105
  • 106. Professional NetworkingAccording to comScore Inc., SN sites attracted more than 110 million uniquemonthly U.S. visitors in July 2007, up more than 40% from the previous July.146Social networking is blooming into the business world enabling, as written in aresearch of the WSJ, professionals from different industries and countries to rubvirtual elbows with colleagues147.There are two aspect that contributed to slow down professionals to embracesocial networks platforms: first, for many reasons, social networking has beenslower to take off in the business world because employees are wary ofdisclosing too much information to potential competitors, and loose-lippedexecutives can easily embarrass themselves and their companies online; second,business users typically have less time to devote to socializing online and arewilling to do so only if they believe they are getting a unique benefit from thesite.In this section of SN we analyze the two kind of SN frequented by professionalswe can encounter on social network platforms and in the web: one “company-driven” and the other “employee-driven”.Company driven - The first kind of SN, is the one created by the companyitself, which enables employees, partners or client to communicate and interactin a SN environment as happened in the more popular platforms like Facebookor MySpace. In this category a good example could be Reuters which this fallwill open a SN service named “Reuters Space” for fund managers, traders and146 See note 137147 Vascellaro, J. Social Networking goes professional - 28 August 2007106
  • 107. analysts. For a fee, not disclosed, they will be able to log on and create profileswith industry relevant information, check financial news feed and interact withpersonal blogs. Reuters Space will be open also to employees of Reuter’scustomer company. Having employees in a controlled and walled environmentwould be easier for a company, but we know that people don’t like chains,specially when they are doing things considered for leisure such as interact andcommunicate.Employee driven - Another kind of SN, and the most powerful, is the one wecall “employee-driven” because is created by users/employee outside thecompany firewalls and databases. Here we find SN built inside existingplatforms such as Facebook, Bebo or SN created around brand new anddedicated platform such as The common thing the two SN haveis the idea to create an alternative, efficient, casual and powerful platform inwhich users/employees could interact and communicate. A company likeCISCO has to manage a employees SN in Facebook which arrived to count 5,450users; or the Steve Jobs’ Apple has a Facebook SN of 4,898 users. This what Imean for people-power: the ability to connect each other outside the companyrules and firewalls; and companies are in front of an important revolution in theway how employees interact and in the way the company will do business inthe future. These SN have features such as profile pages showing professionalcredentials and experience, personal blogs, links to friends online, invitationtools to real or online events, IM. Here we have a list of the most interesting“outside company” SN:Online career community with 250,000 users. 107
  • 108. For 730 Wireless and related industry high level executives, users can arrangeconference calls and virtual meeting on popular discussion topics; members canchoose to pay 2,000$ a year to list promotions and ads in a special marketplacesection.More than 14 million registered users, spanning 150 industries and more than400 economic regions.For new entrepreneurs with over 250,000 members in 200 countries, with over1,000 external organizations hosting sub-networks on the site.25,000 licensed physicians interact about topics from dermatology topsychiatry.Named openBC/Open Business Club until November 17th, 2006 is a socialsoftware platform for enabling a small-world network for professionals. 4million members from over 190 countries.108
  • 109. Media and UGC SharingOften these types of SN are associated to blogs and wikis. These sites representthe media platform from which users post text, video or image directly to theirspaces. In this category we find famous user friendly application like YouTubefor video, Flickr for images, Typepad or Wordpress for blog creation andmaintenance, Socialtext for the wiki. All these SN are structured in the way tolet you upload easily and fast your content, are they text, video or images; totag information with personal descriptions; to share all these information withfriends and users; to discover new enthusiast users of your creations andinterests. Only some numbers to target our attention: ∗ YouTube has 20 million users ∗ Flickr 7,2 millions ∗ Socialtext 2000 companies registered ∗ Wordpress more than 1 million blogs under managementThis can be what Don Gillmore call the world of “We the media”. A world inwhich “the former audience”, not a few people in a back room, decide what’simportant.148 We have to think that these SN are communities focused aroundinterests like video, images or posting a blog and people registered spend timeand passion around uploading material or giving comment to friendsproductions. People create, share the content and receive endorsement bycomments or links at their work: this is the secret which explain the success ofthese SN. People need people who like what they do; so simple. And these SNare the tool which permit to people to receive this kind of precious prize. Beside148 See note 108 109
  • 110. this normal exchange of material, comments and endorsement, there is a worldwhich is more close to money. There are SN which permit to earn moneymanaging all these kind of information uploaded, are they images, video ortext. Example like Flixya, Bebo, Mingle-Now are perfect. Flixya offer to usersthe chance to earn small amount of money with a simple business model: wordof mouth. On Flixya you choose a video and share it with your friends; you willreceive half the money generated by Google Adsense advertisings. You canshare and tag videos coming and uploaded on 33 different platforms likeYouTube or MySpace. Another example of this business model we can find it inBebo. It si the first English SN which permit to users to sell music from theirprofile and share what they get. Warner Bros and Mercury Music providemusic catalog and if until now the number of band available was limited thenumber will grow fast in next months. To get back in States, Mingle-Now toinvert tendencies of young-mature US people which prefer at beer, super-alcoholic the Beer Producer Association financed Mingle-Now. In this SN usersupload images and video representing club-moment in which the beer isprotagonist. User when they upload images, share it with friends or invite themto see them, they earn point. When points arrive at the number of 40, the userreceive an invitation as a “Vip member” which permit to get access to exclusive“Mingle-Now parties” in the most trendy clubs of the West Coast. Virtual Meeting PlaceIn the above categories of SN, people engage ever a computer-user dialogue;users stand in front of a monitor and manage their networked life, sharingcontent with friends and enlarging their range of acquaintance. The so called110
  • 111. also “Casual Immersive Worlds” or “Virtual Hangouts”, are virtual platformswhere people can engage others using imaginary characters in imaginaryenvironments149. At this point is important to distinguish between onlineworlds where people hang out such as ones we will talk about and worldscalled MMORPG ( Massively multiplayer online role-playing game ) wherepeople play role playing games such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars andEntropia Universe. In this category of platforms where people hang out, thingsgoing different from other SN in the sense that users are represented in thenetwork/virtual world not only by a profile, some pictures and a briefdescription of themselves, but with a user generated avatar, a kind of virtualrepresentation/incarnation of users in the Virtual World. We will see that anavatar may have real-life characteristics of the user or only an imaginary profile;it depends on user’s choice and platform policy. Virtual hangouts have beenaround and popular in Europe and Asia for years, but they gained traction inUSA as of late. Virtual Hangouts attract a big interest by people but also evermore by companies which plan to develop new line of business in the virtualmarketplace. Taking a closer look to the Virtual Hangouts market, we ascertainthe presence of various platforms: from the most famous Second Life from theLinden Labs, to the childish Club Penguin and the miniaturized Habbo Hotel.In the figure you can find a complete list of the 18 most common andfrequented Casual Immersive Worlds on the web.Virtual Worlds are characterized and differentiated by some variables like: ∗ target audience: we have general, children, teenagers targets ∗ main premise: is the experience object the user is living149 111
  • 112. ∗ immersion level: how deep and complete is the virtual experience, depending on graphics, users’ interaction, personalization, activities ∗ graphic: 3D or 2D objects, HTML or Flash graphics, bird’s eye view or side view, 1st / 3rd person or trailing view ∗ number of online visitors and total unique visitors: the traffic of the VW depending on the number of online visitors during the research and the total of unique users who visited the site at least once during the month scanned ( June 2007 ) ∗ revenue sources: it’s the business model which generate revenue for the VW; premium subscriptions and avatar’s upgrades, virtual purchases, adsCurrently Virtual Hangouts differentiate themselves by targeting particularaudiences and providing certain types of immersive experiences. Platformssuch as Club Penguin and Barbie Girls cater to children and pre-teenagers withtheir simple interfaces, basic games, and cartoon graphic. Worlds meant forchildren are designed in concern for the security and safety of their users.For example, Webkinz only lets users chat with a preselected set of phrases soanyone can say anything inappropriate or share personal information.Other immersive worlds such as Second Life and Habbo Hotel are directed to abroader audience by providing more advanced chat capabilities, more realisticsimulations of reality and tools to design objects and surrounding’scomponents.112
  • 113. Figure 14: Virtual Hangouts Platforms with relative characteristicsSource : in add for a mature adult public ( user must be 18 years old ) there’s RedLight Center which provide more explicit breed of entertainment and behavior.Let analyze the other variable: the level of immersion the VW provide. Someplatform such as Second Life and Active Worlds, put you in a 3D-renderedenvironments with first person point of view in an attempt to replicate virtualreality. Others, such as Gaia, the world’s fastest growing online world hangoutfor teens, and Club Penguin use sprites which provides a bird’s-eye view ofcharacters moving around in largely static environments. Other worlds, such as 113
  • 114. Cyworld and Neopets are produced simply using HTML images and Flashanimations.We mentioned before at one of the most cited Virtual Hangouts which isSecond Life, the perfect example of a “Metaverse”150 that is a metaphysicaluniverse. The Linden Lab’s creation currently in this precise moment has 36,858residents online151; 9 million registered residents but the 85% of theme has beenentered once before leaving forever. According to official data at June 2007 theworld has 3,151,881 total unique visitors but rumors say that the “official”active users are circa 300,000152. This little populations generated last year 2006 atotal amount of 64 millions dollars in transactions of goods, services and lands.Part of the success of Second Life comes from the fact that it is so 2.0: theplatform permits people to enjoy an advanced experience, focused on UGC.According to Jaron Leiner, which pioneered the “concept of virtual reality” inthe 1980s and is now “science adviser” at Linden Lab, “the act of creation is theact of being social”. The popularity of Second Life reside in the chance for usersto interact with the platform’s architecture in the way to create his or herprofile, avatar, buy an island or sell goods. Second Life outlines the power ofUGC and projects it in Virtual Hangouts worlds opening new doors to thestudy of users power and creations in the real or virtual web environment.To conclude we have minor category of Social Network which consider othervariables and resolve other problems like: personalization/customization andlack of time.150 - September 2006151 FocusMagazine, Second Life June 2007 - Related data of April 2007152 Gerosa, M. Second Life Ed. Melteni, 2006114
  • 115. Specialized nicheAlong all the stand-alone SN we found before, there’s a new vertical approachat the community’s world. We have some vertical environment like Ning,itLinkz and Vox in which people participate with specific and commoninterests. A platform like Ning allows users to create their own SN andpersonalized it as they like. Also they could participate in multiple SN, forexample, each for every interest or passion they want to share and cultivate.Ning has been found by a veteran of the Silicon Valley, Marc Andreessen,Netscape founder. Ning gives to user all the “administrator” tools which permitto personalize the structure, access, accounts, interface and contents. In thesame shoes there’s itLinkz Corporation, owned by Medical Technology andInnovation Inc., has announced that it will develop 500 new SN in next yearsstarting from a number of 13 SN estimated for the 2007. Their business modelwill be focused on advertising according to a recent research which underscorethe users’ availability to accept contextual advertising in the SN or in theiraccount. This means a great chance to media and ads company to enter in thewalled gardens of SN. Save time, manage information flowIn this category the word is: save time. A lot of information impact in our dailylife and the time to manage it is fewer. People start more and more to pay lessattention to all the information flow and this could be danger because maycrucial or important contents could be lost in the frenetic shunting of data,mails, posts, comment or opinions. Thanks god in this section of SNl, we talk 115
  • 116. about the tools which permit user to save time and manage in same cases theincumbent overflow of information. Here we have aggregators of time andactivities like Netvibes, Google Reader or PeopleAggregator. They allow to re-organize information sources into a unique and handy interface. In add theseapplications permit to synchronize and upload profile information, in differentSN. Aggregator’s environments are becoming more and more important inpopularity and effectiveness because the growth of information the web needwe manage and elaborate. Netvibes offers in a single interface all theinformation you need to update your daily information flow. In your accountyou can import your feed or create new ones. The RSS aggregator works greatand you could customize and personalize your interface as your needs. In plusare present different widgets which provides different kind of services: fromweather forecast in your city, the last football news to the most viewed andcommented blogs.Blogosphere and Social Networks are the essence of the Web 2.0. Theyrepresent the highest level of expression and power of people ever: peoplecreate, share information easily, enjoy other people with same interest orpassions, participate in the creation of a new way people interact with eachothers.2.3.2 Second pattern: What people do on the Social NetworkThe second pattern of analysis will approach the level of interaction andsocialization offered by the SNSs and we can do a modular classification ofthem into four categories; the following category will hold the characteristics ofthe previous one and grow in term of level of interaction.116
  • 117. The first category we consider offers simple access to online recorded sharednetwork information (ex: Google Trend, Zeitgeits, Yahoo!Answers ); the secondallows participants to share and exchange digital content and contribute to acommunity of interest ( ex: Wikipedia, YouTube,, digg ). The thirdallows users to contribute with profiling and advanced networking tools ( ex:MySpace, Orkut, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn ). The last category introduce theidea of using avatars or virtual characters in a full 3D environment ( ex: SecondLife ). 153 Using this modular approach we classified SNSs by the level ofinteraction, participation and profiling they allow. According to us, the mostimportant category we have to focus on is the third: here we find SNSs whichaggregate and entertain million of people per day. Here is the place where themost interesting dynamics and trends emerge.This useful model could be used to analyze different moment of a SNSmember’s life: first approach and entrance in the SNS, profiling, identitybuilding, upload friends and content. The following framework will freezeevery step of the evolution of a SNS member, from the beginning to thecomplete involvement in the service: Entrance, Profiling, Adding Friends andSocial matching. EntranceThe first approach people have with SNS is the idea to login and create anaccount; people can enter in different ways into a SNS: just for curiosity, to meetsome friends who are already in the network or mostly after an invitation by153 See note 124 117
  • 118. friends or someone. This last approach is the most frequent reason why peopleenter in a SNS and build there their profile and friends network. It happenedthat someone enter into a site and first thing he/she does is to upload a list ofemails and contacts correspondent to their buddy list; here a series of emailarrive to friends inbox inviting theme to enjoy the same network/SNS. With thissystem as soon as you enter in social network you will be no longer alonebecause your friends will probably enjoy or follow you.Let assume that you received an invitation by a friend and decide to accept itand enter in the SNS your friend is inviting to. The first task you will faceentering the SNS is the profile’s building, that allow you to create your identityon the web. You need to let people find you, interact with you and for thisreason you need to have a projected identity in the social network. ProfilingThe backbone of SNSs are the profiles: unique pages where users can “writethemselves into being”.154Individuals entering into a SNS are required to fill outsome questions which will go to build his/her profile on the network. All theanswers will shape the identity of the user, including descriptors such as sex,birthday, age, location, phone contacts, interests, hobbies, favorite music andmovies and also a couple of blank boxes where describe freely their owncharacter. In the most part of social networks, the user can also personalize154 Sundén, J. Material Virtualities: Approaching Online Textual Embodiment New York: Peter Lang2003118
  • 119. his/her profile by adding some pictures, multimedia content and modifyingprofile’s design and look.A key aspect of the profile creation by an individual, is that all theseinformation could be controlled and filtered by the user’s discretion andchoices. The visibility of a profile varies by site or by user’s choices, but it’spossible to limit the access to one’s profile by selecting some options in theprofile pages. A profile, for example, could be let accessible only by friends, orby people inside user’s network; or it could be open and visible to all web usereven in the search engine results; or it could limited only to specific individualsor particular situations.The landscape about accessibility of profile across SNSs is characterized bydifferent approach to this issue. By default profiles on Friendster are visible by asearch engine, regardless an individual has an account in the social network.LinkedIn makes only a portion of user’s profile visible by internet and searchengines, another part for registered members of the network and the completeprofile to members with a paid account. MySpace give to users the choice to lettheir profile access available or limited only to “ friends”. Facebook has adifferent approach in the sense that every user who is already in the network offriends, has access to see the profile of every friends, unless the user did aspecific request to refuse to network’s members this permission. It’s commonthat SNS’s members disclose without problems a lot of personal information,just because they desire to re-create their identity in the web as precise andcomplete as in the real world. A study about disclosing personal data and in e-commerce sites demonstrate this optimism along digital profiling.155155 Ackerman, M.S. Cranor, L.F. and Reagle, J. Privacy in e-commerce: examining user scenario andprivacy preferences ACM Conference of Electronic Commerce 1999, 1-8 119
  • 120. This study is interesting because demonstrate that across 400 internet userinterviewed, only the 17% of theme were considered “privacy fundamentalist”;the rest 83% of internet users act specific strategies to approach their concernsbut they didn’t feel worries about their identity in the most of the timecircumstances. During the profiling phase, the individual upload content andother personal information which will help others members, friends oracquaintances. Next to some pictures, users upload multimedia content, such asvideo about themselves or some one interesting they want just share, links toexciting pages or blogs talking about their interest and hobbies. This is only halfthe way a user need to cover to express digitally him/herself. The other missing,and most critical part of the profiling a user fill in the next process, is the oneabout the creation of the friends’ network. FriendsNow the user is ready to add real value to his/her SNS uploading a list offriends. Imagine that these people could be seen as the main features SNSs offerto members. “Friends” are the connection between users and allow theme tomaintain an online network.156 The first invitation an individual could receivewas the one to enter in a determined SNS; the second invitation a membercould receive ( and also sent ) is the one of a user that invites you to be one’sfriend. If the invited user accept the invitation, between the two memberswould be created and established a friend relationship. Now the user has morethan just a profile, but also a friend list. Most social networks require a double156 See note 123120
  • 121. or bi-directional confirmation by the two individuals before accepting andcreating the friend-connection. The so created connection, after a confirmationis called “friendship”; but there are other sites that don’t require such a kind ofconfirmation and they create connection regardless of whether or not the link isreciprocated. In this case with one-directional connection, we use to talk about“Fans” or “Followers”, however many mix these terms - mistakenly - inside thesingle term “Friends”. The best example for describing the one-directionalconnection, are Fakesters and in a second time “groups”. The Fakesterphenomenon started from Friendster platform because the policies of the socialnetwork restricted users to view profiles of people who were more than fourdegrees away ( friend of friends-of friends-of friends ).157 People, to bypass thislimitation started adding acquaintances, strangers and all the people wereasking for a connection, with the only objective to expand their network asmuch as possible to get more access to others’ profiles.In this way growth in popularity and friends’ connections, some Fakester like“Burning Man” or “Ali G” count more than 10,000 friends each. These so called“Gateway friends” because their functionality was to go around the limitationof the initial four degrees, allowing people to get more and more connections aspossible initially. These Fakesters include characters, celebrities, objects,institutions, companies, ideas and their ability to catalyze individuals was andis also today pretty high. Fakesters support networking and connect peoplewith shared interest, hobbies, ideas; even if the trend was stopped by Friendsterby deleting all the fakester’s accounts, the phenomenon evolved in what todaywe call “groups”. Many platform such as MySpace and Orkut increase theirpopularity consenting to individuals to built and aggregate to fakester-evolution friendships labeled as groups.157 See note 122 121
  • 122. We underscore the importance of friends and buddy lists: people can receiveinvitation of being one’s friends, but also they can send as many invitation asthe number of their friends or the email they have got in their address book;and if someone accept an invitation, a link is created.Into a user’s profile, could be shown also the network of friends he/she has andthis is the breakthrough feature which distinguish the significance of SNSs.Adding friends means that the user complete his/her profile status showing toother members with whom he/she is connected with.Users represent the network in which they are involved, showing friends, mostof the time signaling the level of friendship and the dimension of his/hercapacity of being friend of others. Uploading a series of email and contacts ofpeople, the user is placed at the centre of the next network he/she is creating. Iadd my email contacts, my friends and, taking a word from the networkanalysis, I’m the first node: I’m the beginning of the following connections. Weargue that SNSs encourage firstly the ego-centric building of networks,supporting people to establish their “small-world” on the social platform.Talking about ego-centric network, according to Tarveen and McDonald “…wemean one that represent data about the relationship of a single person, the ego”.158Analyzing the development from Virtual Communities to Social Networks, theawareness of people shift from interest to people in the sense that before SNSsindividuals need to choose interest first and second people to connect with;now individuals with the “friending” process, choose people first and interestssecond.People shape and design their community and network ego-centrically: this isthe new approach we have to keep in mind analyzing such SNSs.158 Tarveen, L. and McDonald, D.W. Social Matching: a framework and research agenda ACMTransactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 12, No. 3, September 2005, pp. 401-434122
  • 123. The list of friends define three things: context and audience, profile. Friendsdefine the context in which an individual exist, in the sense that friends’characteristics are the signal of user interests. Buddy list defines the context andthe potential situation in which a user want to interact or add new friends, or inopposite, represent for external users, an indirect signal that he/she don’t wantto be disturbed. SNSs are not only a place where put your friends and interactwith theme, but it is a public space where the scope of interaction and theconsequent social boundaries are defined by friends. After defined the contextis natural that in this context will enter or will assist individuals whichunderstand and matched their interest in that context. So the audience, thepeople who follow your posts or see your profiles or agree to enter in yournetwork are influenced to do this because your friends, your list and networkby which you are linked. Concluding, friendship serves as a substitute for theinadequate structural definition of situation.159 We can going on saying thatfriends define context, audience and in conclusion they help to complete theuser’s profile. Social MatchingIt may sounds too simple but: “ we are the friends we have”. The connectionsone’s has in the profile really say something about who he/she is. Friend’s listcould be imagine as a bookmark that everybody can see and that can be used tobetter define and complete the profile; this bookmark stand for the link tosomebody which could be also seen as the link to a common interest orcharacteristic which pools the two friends. We can use the word159 See note 154 123
  • 124. “Hyperfriending”160 to better delineate this dynamic to link friends into thepersonal homepage or profile on the SNS. As the user’s main page in a SNSmay display the user’s friends network, this list could be seen as the samefunctionalities of hyperlinking such as in blogs or webpages: friends link otherfriends. So it’s possible that viewers, if they have permission, surf the networkgraph of somebody from friend to friend simply using friends list.This activity of link friends and surf on acquaintances profiles in search ofinteresting connections, may be called “Social Matching”.This amount of activity could be divided in two steps: one user-driven and onemachine-driven. Social browsing and social searching161 are all actions user-driven, in the sense that are all based on a simple user input that decide to act.Old friend searching or just a friends of friends profile browsing, are allactivities of the human being of connections and relations with other relatedindividuals.At this point a question could emerge: are SNS members using the site to makenew online friends, or to follow and control already offline connections?162Every user has a social life related to offline activities and experience, and mostof the time some connections are created and in a second moment cultivateddirectly online thanks to social network platform, simply by adding new offlinefriends to the buddy list. The study of Lampe, Ellison and Steinfield considerthe university students’ activity on Facebook and they argue that this platform,but also other similar, foster connections building by permitting to users tocontrol and follow activities, evolutions and beliefs of groups and network to160 Reynes Goldie, K. and Fono, D. Hyperfriendship and beyond: friendship and social norms onLiveJournal Association of Internet Research ( AOIR-6) Chicago 2005161 Lampe, C. Ellison, N. and Steinfield, C. A Face(book) in the crowd: Social searching Vs Socialbrowsing CSCW ’06, November 4-8, 2006, Banff, Alberta Canada162 See note 161124
  • 125. which they belong.163 This “peripheral awareness” function characterize theactivities along SNS and it increases offline connections and builds socialcapital.164 These activities of surveillance may be classified by the intention andgoals of the user in: social searching and social browsing.With social searching we mean that a user investigate specific profiles andpeople with they already share an existing offline connection or experience, toknow more about theme. In this search is popular to surf profiles of targetedindividuals but also to check related friends’ list, trying to absorb as moreinformation as possible. The offline connection between two people need andfind more support into the online activities of a social network; searching forprofiles, buddy list and virtual description boost the strength of an existing,even thin, connection such as attending the same class at the university.Social browsing is an activity which diverge from the social searching in theway that people didn’t already have the chance of an offline connection.Popular views, paint SNS as the way by which people date others and startonline connections to meet for real and offline the person: social browsing. Theprevious study we cited, reports that social searching is incredibly mostpopular and used than social browsing which is unlikely use by the surveyrespondents.165 At interviewed was asked about the purpose for which theyused Facebook; a 5-point scale highlight the idea that users were more likely touse social searching than social browsing. The ranking express the followingresults: first purpose ( 4.63 ) is to keep in touch with and old friend or someoneuser knew from high school; second ( 4.51 ) is to checkout user profile of163 Shoemaker, P.J. Hardwired for news: Using biological and cultural evolution to explain thesurveillance function Journal of Communication, 46 (3), 1996164 Resnik, P. Beyond Bowling Together: Socio technical capital in Caroll J., ed. HCI in the NewMillenium. Addison-Wesley, 2001165 See note 162, pp. 169 125
  • 126. someone meet socially; third ( 4.00 ) is to get information of people who lived inthe same dorm, fraternity or sorority; fourth ( 3.65 ) is to get information aboutpeople attending common classes. At the bottom of the ranking with a scoreminor to 2.5, we find what is related with social browsing. With 2.41 pointspeople who want a face to face encounter with people met online and with 1.99points people who want to find people to date.The result emphasizes the purpose of being into a social network: search formore information about people already meet in offline social activities; only asmall part of activities are related to arrange offline meetings with strangers.We saw how people and their activities of social searching/browsing led tomatch new connections and links among groups and friends, but alsotechnology come to help people match their needs of being connected.We talk about the machine-driven phase, in which friendships can be pushedby automatic social matching systems. These systems are complex softwarewhich, according to different parameters try to match individuals with similarinterest, ideas, hobbies or just with similar habits. Systems like this could befind simply by searching for a book in Amazon, or a used laptop in Ebay. Theobject of such a social matching system is to facilitate the process of joining andparticipate in online communities and ever more in social networks, with zero-effort interfaces.166In Amazon for example, when we search a book of Thailand cuisine, the systemwill show in the bottom part of the results page a list of books that people alsosearched, related with the one we were looking for. This social matching systemis based on the idea that people which do similar choices could be similarindividuals. Ebay is doing the same innovative step, by adding social-shopping166 Lieberman, H. Fry, C. and Weitzman, L. Exploring the web with reconnaissance agentsCommunication ACM 44, 8, 2001, pp. 69-75126
  • 127. features to its pages: the site will show people that already bought, or simplyrated the same product you are interest in now. But the web is full of examplesof this rocketing feature; think at YouTube with its system that show you in theright top side, during watching a video, all other users which in that precisemoment are watching the same one. This mechanism will boost the innovationand the facility by which user could match more and more their interest andbeing with other individuals. Social matching systems’ goal consists in othertwo consequences: these innovations could facilitate people who didn’t knoweach other but have shared interests, to introduce to each others; or thesesystems can enhance for example people who work in the same company, tocollaborate specifically about share interest or a particular event or conference.In conclusion social matching systems work as recommenders, filtering from ahuge network the potential matching profiles in which an individual isinterested to communicate or simply connect. 167At this point emerges a key aspect which characterize the majority of the socialnetwork: even if their capacity and functionalities increase our living and socialexchange online, SNSs are yet embedded into offline social life. In a deepmediated society, people constantly moved from mediated and non-mediatedsocial interactions; online networks support also social life offline.168What makes friendship in online networks so tricky is that it’s connected in theprofound to members’ offline social life. Each social choice an individual makesin online environment, such as add or not a friend’s invitation, has the power toincrease, complicate or demolish relationships with friends. SNSs are not digitalworlds disconnected from the society and the real values; SNSs could be167 See note 158168 Wellman, B. Hogan, B. with Berg, K. Boase, J. Carrasco, A. Cot, R. Kayahara, J. Kennedy,T.L.M. and Tran, P. Connected lives: the project In: P.A. Purcell (editor). NetworkedNeighbourhoods: the connected community in context London: Springer, chapter 8, pp. 161-216 127
  • 128. described as participants’ social world which is constantly evaluated andchecked in other social contexts such as offline activities.1692.3.3 TrustThis evaluation and constantly mixing between online and offline worlds,highlight the role of aspects of reputation and in particular the trust betweenindividuals.Using a catching definition we can say that: “ [ Trust ] is the willingness of a partyto be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the otherparty will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the abilityto monitor or control that other party”.170 In this way Meyer and Davis explainedwhat trust is. Also trust could be seen as a common or individual belief amonga group of people that other individuals or group makes good-faith-effort tobehave in accordance with implicit and explicit promise, follow honestnegotiations and don’t take excessive advantage from a situation even theopportunity is available.171169 Boyd, D. Friend, Friendsters and top 8: writing community into being on social network sites FirstMonday, Vol. 11, No. 12, (December 2006)170 Mayer, R.C. Davis, J.H. and Schoorman, H.D. An integrative model of organizational trustAcademy of Management Review pp.712, 20, 3, 1995, pp. 709-734171 Cummings, L.L. and Bromiley, P. The organizational trust inventory (OTI): Development andValidation pp.303 In M.R. Kramer and T.R.Taylor (editions), Trust in organizations: Frontiers ofTheory and Research Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage 1996, pp. 302-330128
  • 129. Trust grows and develops as individuals learn what to expect from eachothers.172 When the starting point is a past of good experiences and interactions,expectations to achieve new successful interactions boost trust. Here comeinteresting to look back at what we said about profile surfing and the custom ofindividuals to take a look at profiles and buddy list of people they met offline.All this contributes to enlarge trust and in particular the expectations of futuregood interactions: as much as you know of a friend or acquaintances, much youtrust him or her.This discussion exalt the strong relation between offline activities, trust,embeddedness and relationship-building in communities and off course insocial networks.173 Emerges continually this link from online and offlineindividuals’ worlds, that enhances members to recognize, trust and better knoweasily other members; online ties can be reinforced by face-to-face meetings.174Trust is like a glue that fasten collaborators and members of a social network,fostering faith that both parties will contribute and not behave in a172 Preece, J. Supporting community and building social capital Special Edition of the ACM, 45, 4,pp. 37-39173 Rothaermael, F.T. and Sugiyama, S. Virtual Internet communities and commercial success:Individual and community-level theory grounded in the atypical case of Journal ofManagement, 27, 3, 2001, pp. 297-312174 Andrei, D. Preece, J. and Turoff, M. A conceptual framework for demographic groups resistant toon-line community interaction International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 6, 3 ( spring 2002),pp. 9-24Hummel, J. Lechner, U. Social profiles of Virtual communities. In R.H. Sprague Jr. (ed.),Proceedings of the Thirty-fifth Annual Hawaii Int. Conference on System Sciences. Maui: IEEEComputer Society Press 2002See note 109 129
  • 130. opportunistic way.175 This idea of collaborating openly getting access toinformation and resolve personal needs, could be find in the famous article ofMark Granovetter, “The strength of the weak ties” of the 1973.176 The study openeda huge research field about how trust is conveyed through third parties andconsequently enabling individuals to gain access to specific information andresources. All this is based on the principle of the “trusted third parties”: in anonline environment such as a social network, imagine Adam and Carolineknow each other Bob; but Adam and Caroline don’t know each others. Theyonly express a similarity to Bob for example about horror movies; is thisexpressed affinity that allow Adam and Caroline to manage and conductautonomous operations, even if they don’t know directly.These events can be observed in virtual teams and collaborations, where trustemerged as a three-based component depending on: social characteristics of themembers, outcomes of interaction processes, social norms and policies.177 Inadd, the explanation of trust made by Mayer before, where the term could besynthesize as the “…willingness to be vulnerable to the action of another party…” isbased in the idea that the latter party is competent, open, concerned, reliable.178In the beginning, trust between parties is not based on any kind of experience175 Jarvenpaa, J.S. Knoll, K. and Leidner, D.E. Is anybody out there? Antecedents of trust in globalvirtual teams Journal of Management Information Systems, 14, 4 (Spring 1998), pp. 29-64176 Granovetter, M.S. The strength of the weak ties American Journal of Sociology, Vol.78, 1973, pp.1360-1390177 Gefen, D. Karahanna, E. and Straub, D.W. Trust and TAM in online shopping: and integratedmodel MIS Quarterly, 27, 1 (2003), pp. 51-90Zucker, L.G. Production of Trust: institutional sources of economic structure, 1840-1920. In N.B.Staw and L.L. Cummings (eds.), Research in Organizational Behaviour. Greenwich, CT:JAI Press,1986, pp. 53-111178 Mishra, A.K. Organizational responses to crises In R.M. Kramer and T.R. Tyler (eds.) Trust inorganizations: Frontiers of Theory and research. London:Sage, 1996, pp.261-287130
  • 131. and contact with the other party; instead it is based on the personal andindividual’s temperament to trust another without firsthand knowledge.179Trust, according to Rotter, could be seen as a stable intra-individualcharacteristic that influenced interpersonal interactions with others.180ConclusionSocial Networks can be considered for sure “The Trend” on the Web 2.0internet landscape; their impact on users’ activities and purposes on the net ishuge. Social Networks starting from be the place where people meet and sharea couple of hours of their day with friends, now are evolving fast into thedirection of being also a place where people go there and satisfy their needs andact under the idea of common purposes with other members. Social Networkswill go in the direction to select and better define their audience, their membersmore around objects and specific concepts: more around a new way to staytogether for people, create content, value and for sure work.From the big platforms like MySpace and Facebook, a new way of innovation ispervading the small realities in which the potential to built something aroundspecific concept or object reside. Here in these niche, specific and well doneplatforms we will assist at the most interesting services in the web.179 McKnight, D.H. Cummings, L.L. and Chervany, N.L. Initial trust formation in neworganizational relationships. pp. 474 Academy of Management Review, 23, 3 (1998), pp. 473-490180 Rotter, J.B. A new scale for the measurement of interpersonal trust Journal of Personality, 35, 4(1967), pp. 651-665 131
  • 132. 132
  • 133. Chapter 3SOCIAL NETWORK: goes mobileIn the previous chapter we studied what makes big and extraordinary the socialnetworks revolution. We outlined the different kind of SNSs and how peopleinteract with such a different typologies offered. All our attention has beenspent on the usual structure of SNSs we all know and use every day by postingon our blog, uploading pictures on Flickr or simply checking what’s going onabout our friends in MySpace or Facebook.In this chapter we want to enter in the evolutionary path SNSs will follow in thenext years: mobile. We will study purposes and situations why people will usetheir mobile phone and application to enlarge their experience into SNSs andpersonal life. 133
  • 134. 3.1 Mobile Social NetworksStarting simply by defining and categorising the different kind of interactionlike synchronous and a-sychronous, our attention will be shifted on the fact thatthere are two models of mobile social network: the first we have simple mobileextension for the existing Social Networks; the second represented by thevariegated environment of the stand-alone Mobile Social Networks where ourefforts has been spent.3.1.1 Synchronous and asynchronous interactionImagine you are at the bus stop and waiting to go back home; you’ve been atschool with your friends and you couldn’t wait to check out the new picturesyour friend posted on MySpace about the yesterday night’s party. Normallyyou have to wait until you arrive at home, turn on your pc and enter in yourMySpace account to check the uploads and news of your friends. This could bethe worst situation in a era where being connected seems to be the “must”, butit’s useful to describe how we manage synchronous and asynchronousinteraction.181In this example the boy at the bus stop need to wait until home to establish aconnection with other individuals such as the friend who posted the pictures;this is called asynchronous communication in the sense we have a time delaybetween exchanges: the two characters of the interactions communicated in twophases, one face to face and one delayed in front of the respective computers.181 Sorensen, C. Instant mobile connections as a way of teenage life The Mobile Life Youth Report2006134
  • 135. All the length of the communication and interaction is deployed in a time lineand not in a spot, not immediate. To close the communication circle we need tosearch and get in front of the information we need ( such as pictures) and arenot the information which follow us. This is a simple example to focalize theidea of not-being mobile. A research revealed that there are currently 45 millionpeople using mobile social network services worldwide, and the number willincrease reaching 175 million in 2012.182 Already in the USA, according toM:Metrics mobile consultancy, 33.2% of 18-24 –year-old Americans, post photosto web sites via mobile phones. The outlook considers that in next years theavailability of bandwidth and the readiness of handsets available will increase.3.1.2 Mobile applications of existing SNSs or Stand alone servicesNow it’s the turn to explain how we can be mobile and interact in mobility withour friends, interest and information. We will describe almost 20 platforms wecan call “Mobile Social Networks” ( MSNSs ) better defined by the sociologistBerry Wellman as: “…networks of interpersonal ties that provides sociability,support, information, a sense of belonging, social identity, and which always connectsits members regardless of where they go”.183 In the scenario of MSNSs we have todistinguish between two genre of services: stand alone or mobile applications ofexisting SNSs.182 Wireless Federation Research Mobile Social Communities March 2007183 Wellman, B. Physical Place and Cyberplace: The Rise of PersonalizedNetworking. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2001, 25(2), pp.227-252 135
  • 136. Existing PlatformsThe first one, considers mobile applications, such as services for picturesuploading or text messaging, of existing SNSs platforms. In this category themobile service is an extension of minor importance in term of value andnumber of users of services presented by the platform, by the way it trace animportant mark for the future evolution of the existing platforms. It’s clear thatour life and in particular the one of people addicted to such social networkingactivities is not strictly constraint in their room and in front of a computer. Lifeis outside and people love to let friends know about what they are living andlearning; our constant companion is ever more the cell phone rather than thepersonal computer.The “big ones” platforms for social network, have embraced the mobile optiontime ago, sure that it could shake their members. For big-ones we meanFacebook and MySpace for example only to cite the most active in the socialnetwork scene. Facebook mobile functionalities allows users to get Facebookmessages, wall posts, and notifications sent to the phone as text messages(SMS).184 Sending a message to the number FBOOK – 32665, you can uploadyour status or look up profile info. On the mobile upload functions, you uploadphotos and videos directly from your phone to your profile in Facebooksending an MMS to same we can say for MySpace: mobile functionalities for status upload,messaging and notification represent a growing piece in the business but it’sever related to issues of data plan and costs. Something is moving in this waybecause already in 2006, MySpace structured a partnership with Cingular, the184 Facebook.com136
  • 137. largest US mobile-phone service provider185 and with Helio. Other partnershipare established with other wireless network carriers such as Vodafone inEurope, which offers to its customers access to MySpace services.I think the most activities and dynamism will be concentred on stand-aloneservices which build networks around new objects, interests and experiencesgoing fragmenting the mobile services offer into many different and varioussolutions. In this segment of market we assist to new realities growing up everyday and aggregating million of users in a relative short period. The pervasivepresence of mobile devices, PDA and cell-phone can only boost even more thisprocess of creation and service providing. Stand Alone Mobile ServicesThe second category regards to services that are not linked directly to othermass-attractive SNSs such as Facebook or MySpace, but they provide a serviceby itself, on their independent platform, with their policies and structure.Although they provide a stand-alone service, some of the mobile socialsoftwares analyzed allow the user to upload different and well knownplatforms of social network, blogging and photos. Here we will find the mostdisruptive and innovative ways to approach the process of social networks.Here they are the platforms we have find out in the web which can respond tothe name of independent or stand-alone Mobile Social Networks.All the services have the mobile purpose to provide a service on the go; thanthey are differentiated in categories according to the service they offer. We have185 Kharif Olga 137
  • 138. simple services about text messaging and status–upload, media sharingapplications or geo-localization information.We can divide the landscape of Mobile Social Networks in categories answeringthe question “ What can you do on that platform”, in other term, what is themain needs people satisfy thanks to the mobile service.3.2 Mobile Social Network: a perspective Figure 15 : Mobile Social Network Categories138
  • 139. Here are represented the five main category of the “stand alone socialnetworks” in which they can be divided according to which service theyprovide and which kind of activities they allow on their platform: Statusupload; Social annotation; Content Upload and Download; service providers.One thing is in common: the innovative use of the mobile as a new anddisruptive personal social media device.3.2.1 Status UploadIn this category there are services which allow users to simply upload theirstatus by sending an SMS or simply connecting to the service by their mobile;user’s friends will be automataically updated on what is going on and on whatpeople is doing or want to do in precise moments. Dodgeball186What: service available in 22 cities in the USA; the platform provides fivedifferent levels of service. First you can send to your friends messages aboutwhere you are so you can meet up; second the service allows you to enter incontact, by messages, with friends of friends, also called people who are at morethan two level of friendship from you; third, Dodgeball is also a dating site in186 139
  • 140. the sense that it consent to you to receive uploads about crushes nearby adistance of ten blocks from you; fourth you can have venue information anddirection to find a bar address; and last the fifth functionality permit to you tosend a message to all your friends for example to announce you are back intown.How: create an account and insert your mobile phone; than send a SMS to thenumber “DODGE” = 36343; in automatic all your friends receive the textmessaging indicating where you are.Role of mobile: mobile phone is used in its simplest functionality: receive andsend SMS. The nice improvement is the one you can receive information aboutplace’s address. Friendstribe187What: the service works around text messaging. You send a text message to theshort code 87130 with one keywords ( AT, BLAST, GROUP…). The keywordstell the service what you want and it then contact your friends for you and letyou know what your friends are up to. Here’s a quick list of the keywordsaccepted in Friendstribe: ∗ AT (venue) - Send your location to all your friends and any friends of friends that are nearby; example: "AT Onda"187 Friendstribe.com140
  • 141. ∗ BLAST (message) - Send a message to all your friends. ∗ (venue) BLAST (message) - Send a message to all your friends and friends of friends that are near a venue; examples: "BLAST Who wants to go to the movies" or "Onda BLAST Anyone want to play pool?" ∗ GROUP (group name) (message) - Send a message to a group of your friends. ∗ FIND (venue) - Returns the location of a venue or a list of matching venues. ∗ (attribute) FIND (venue) - Returns a list of venues with an attribute near a venue. If you leave the venue off well use your home zip code. examples: "FIND Onda" or "Pizza FIND Onda" ∗ BLOG (message) - Adds a message to the Out There section of friendstribe. ∗ GET - Get the location of all your friends that have checked in with the AT keyword in the past two hours. ∗ ZIP (zip code) - Changes your zip code for search and radius purposes. ∗ RSVP (number) (Yes/No/Maybe) - RSVP to an event after you receive an invitation. ∗ ON/OFF - Temporally turn Friendstribe on or off. ∗ HELP Friendstribe - Find out where to get help with Friendstribe. ∗ KEYWORD - Returns a list of keywords.Then the service allows you to search for friends, venues and locations, events,see pictures snapped on the go by users, check mobile calendaring abouthappenings. 141
  • 142. How: create an account online and then interact with the service by sendingSMS to the short code and than browse content and information by your laptop.Role of mobile: your mobile works like a copy machine for the reality aroundyou and consent to people to get access to all the information and content bytraditional browsing on laptop. Here the mobile is used for text messaging butin plus for capturing video and pictures. Jaiku188What: create your activity stream, by add icons to your post, customize thebackground, adding web feeds, setting your location. You can also find yourfriends, checking what they are up to, adding comments to their status-uploading posts. You can set your status so nearby user with Jaiku can see ifyou are busy or free to chat. In Jaiku you can create “channels”, a sort of groupin which interact and share information such as calendar, location…How: Jaiku works in a double way, from your laptop or downloading thesoftware to your phone. In the case you download to your mobile, it will usethe SMS technology to let you post update of your activities, and send them tofriends.Role of mobile: here is used the SMS and GPRS/3G connection to send andupload information of your friends.188 Jaiku.com142
  • 143. Partysync189What: sign up in the website and create a first list of friends providing nameand cellphone numbers; invite text messages are sent to your friends. You cansend text or photos to the group and the message is forwarded by the servicefor free; any member can reply back and chat to the whole group of friends.Users have a web account in which they can chat and send free text/picturemessages to other users.How: sending an SMS or MMS if you want to add pictures to Partysync groupand than the service will forward the message to people.Role of mobile: works as a tool to contact, interact and chat with groups ofselected friends using the SMS/MMS technology. Twitter190What: using it when you want to let your friends, family and co-workers whatyou are doing. The simple interface and the length limitation at 140 letters letusers to express quick, easily and frequent about they daily life and humour.How: you register online, create your account and profile; than you can searchabut people you are interested to follow what they are doing. Also people cando the same with you adding you to their friends’ list. Also twitter could beintegrated with SMS and IM technology and platforms so you can upload yourstatus every time you want, even if you are out.189 Partysync.com190 143
  • 144. Role of mobile: mobile phone is used as an uploading tool to communicatewhat’s up to you, using SMS technology and data wireless network to supportIM service.3.2.2 Geolocalization & Social annotationSocial mapping si the evolutionary trend coming form the booming us if peopleif map services online. In this category we have services which leverage thepower of maps, to let users customize and use theme as a giant billboard wherepeople can access, put their landmark and let others to use theme. All theinformation members pickup simply by walking in the street merge to thesekind of services: information and geo-localization, there’ s the secret. Loopt191What: the service connects people and places; you can connect with friends andget alert when they are nearby, you can share your location, status, photos witha few or all friends. Also you can explore places and events recommended byfriends and get a complete control of all the information you want to share (ornot).191 Loopt.com144
  • 145. How: you can access the service by web or your mobile as you wish. On themobile the service works by SMS and data. The service will deliver soon a 2.99$/month fee subscription.Role of mobile: mobile is complementary to web accounts extending thepotentiality of being on the go. Socialight192What: is a guide book written by people, about nice places people have been;you can add, share and get access to advices and experiences of your friends.These information are geolocated and you can visualize theme in a Google map;also you can create your own “sticky” to post on places you have been and youwant to share with other people. The service integrate functionalities to uploadcontent to the main social network sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo andblogging platforms.How: you download to your mobile the application, create your profile and justwalk around receiving advices of places nearby matching your interests. Alsoon the go you can upload new places, localizing theme on the map and alsoincluding an audio file to describe better what it is.Role of mobile: mobile works as a GPS for places people like and want to talkabout; also the mobile works as an agent that provide to user push informationand advices. The service works downloading data from the wireless network.192 145
  • 146. 3.2.3 Content Upload on-the-goIn this category services allow users to get access to tools which let themeupload every kind of content they have in their mobile, is it a picture or a videoor a text message. These services let their members to feel ever connected and tolet theme share on-the.go content with friends at home or other users of themobile service. Groovr193What: the service lets you tell the world where you are and what youre up to;you can snap and send pictures or video, send text messaging to friends list.The service works as a mailing list deliver, forwarding in automatic all theinformation you want your friends receive by email.How: the system works with email, this implicate you can interact with Groovrservice by home or mobile.Role of mobile: here the service involved the email technology and this needsyour phone to be able to set up an email account to receive forwardedmessages.193 Groovr.com146
  • 147. Kyte194What: the service allows you to create multimedia content and shows, sharetheme instantly across web and mobile. In add you can create live content withchat if you couldn’t wait people see you.How: you create content via web or mobile, you share it immediately acrosssocial networks such as Facebook, MySpace or on blogging platforms such asWordpress and Blogger. On your video creation you can get ever the control inthe way to interact live with video-audio-.text chat with viewers and youraudience.Role of mobile: imagine to have in your hands a video camera connected to theweb and your social applications which allows to upload instantly contentcreated by you. Radar195What: imagine you are able to do an instant picture conversation with favouritepeople.How: create an account and a profile and then download the application. Youcan do pictures, send it to friends and let them share and comment it on the go.Also every time you upload an image, Radar works for you sending it directly194 Kyte.tv195 147
  • 148. to your account on the web, so you can find it later. The service is integratedwith Facebook.Role of mobile: mobile phone works as an advanced, connected and handycamera. 3Guppies196What: capture the moment, is it a picture, a video or simply a text message andpost it directly to your profile and let other friends share it on their mobile. Theservice is integrated with MySpace so you can send content directly to yourMySpace account, even away from your computer.How: the service works on MMS technology that allow user to send the content, and it will be uploaded in the personal moblog.Role of mobile: here the integration with MySpace platform gives to 3Guppiesan astonishing market to approach. The mobile phone is used as an editor todeliver moblog posts to your friends. Rabble197What: Rabble is a location based social networking application you downloadto your mobile device; the service offers a wide fan of applications andfunctionalities such as:196 3Guppies.com197 Rabble.com148
  • 149. ∗ Blogging - Update your blog from anywhere. ∗ Messaging - Send and receive messages – its free within Rabble. ∗ Social Networking - Create a profile and connect with others. ∗ Community - Get fans, join groups and share interests. ∗ Search - Find people, places, bands and more using Rabbles keyword “SEARCH”. ∗ Share Pictures - Create and view galleries. ∗ Find Places - Discover cool new clubs, restaurants and stores. ∗ Web Integration - Instantly import content from your web based blogs and update from the handset.How: you register on the website, create your profile and download directly toyour mobile the software dedicated; create content on the go and share it onyour Rabble channel. Than you can search and connect to friends.Role of mobile: mobile phone works as your extension on the web to getinformation and being up to date about your friends’ blogs and new contentthey post. The service leverage on SMS and data download. Vipera198What: as written in the website, the service let you publish the world, from yourmobile. The service is made by three components: Vipera mobile application, aJava application you install on your phone; the web site; the mobile-optimizedsite on WAP. With the service you can connect to thematic channels, where youcan create your own blogs and post multimedia entries.198 149
  • 150. How: after you download the application from the website to your mobile, youneed to create a profile and than it’s time to upload content in a blog o simply inyour profile and share it with people.Role of mobile: the phone is essentially a mobile browser for content centredon media sharing and blog uploading. Sms.ac199What: the service allows users, previous registered to the website and aftercreated a profile to send and receive SMS using mobile or the dedicated area inthe website. The service is based on data plans with the major wireless networkcareers around the world: you can choose two data plans, one “standard” andone “complete”. There are limitations for the amount of messages you cansend/receive included in the data plan.How: using your web account you create your category for video, pictures andtext and then add friends mobile number; the system allows members to sendand receive SMS notification to and from friends about what’s going on.Role of mobile: the service use the SMS technology and monthly fees to delivercontent to users.199 Sms.ac150
  • 151. 3.2.4 Download ContentAs mentioned before in the previous category, mobile phone became ever morea connecting device form the user and his/her world of friends, content,information and knowledge. In this particular category people downloadcontent from their mobile such as video, wallpapers, ringtones but ever theinteraction require a direct involvement of the members for pushing things ontheir mobile and create content to share and let other to download. Gotzapp200What: send and receive combination of photos, graphics, audio and animationsto your friends mobile phones with a single download also called “Zapp”. Thecontent is characterized by user generated content such as pictures ofthemselves or mash ups of celebrities and video clips taken on the web.How: you have to create your profile on the web and then upload friends to letthem know you are using the service; than you have access to friends contentdirectly sent to your mobile and also to others “Zapp” available on the mainwebsite of the service.Role of mobile: is used as a browser device to sent, receive downloadable filescontaining pictures, video, audio.200 151
  • 152. Mobango201What: the software to download to your phone allows the user to convertcontent such as video, audio, pictures, ringtones, software, games on yourmobile and send them to your friends; also with this service you get access to1GB space of storage and free mobile messaging with friends.How: you need to download the content via GPRS/3G and for this is better to besure you have a data plan profile activated with your mobile carrier.Role of mobile: the mobile phone works as a converter of content you can sharewith everyone registered to Mobango. You use the mobile to generate contentand get access/enjoy content of others. Mozes202What: the service is focused on music and bands. You send a SMS with akeyword to the 66937. This keyword could be the name of a band, an artist orsomething you like. The system will provide to your account some contentrelated to the keyword you typed in. For example if you type the band name“Oasis”, some content related to the band/keyword has been sent to yourdashboard. In the dashboard you can collect ringtones, wallpapers, pictures,audio files; also people who are interested in the same keywords or content canshare files and communicate with each others building a “mob”. On the otherhand Mozes offers to business operator the chance to create their own201 Mobango.com202 Mozes.com152
  • 153. keywords and related content, as a new way of promotion. Social and businesspurposes will merge in a single service.How: to interact with the service you need to sent the keyword by SMS andthen all the content will follow like data to download.Role of mobile: the phone is used as mail inbox to send to the user content ofhis/her interest and let people merge into groups linked by the samekeywords=interest. mklix203What: the service offer via SMS, WAP and web the access to exclusive mobilecontent and activities. Subscribers can download or share free mobile content,make friends, form communities, create WAP sites. mklix offers to users toembed in their content advertising and gain revenue for this. mklix offers on thebusiness side ( advertisers and producers ) the same features of selling theirproducts and services.How: users create their account and space according to their interests, friendsconnections and objectives. By SMS and keywords users get access to premiumcontent, chat with other users and friends; with mobile download users canenjoy java applications, games and interesting content.Role of mobile: the phone is a destination of most of the use a user do of theservice; receive content, download games. Only a small part is leaved forcommunity building and socializing.203 153
  • 154. 3.2.5 Mobile Social Network ProvidersYou may ask you how all these thing are possible: thanks to such companiesthat provide all the structure and organization to create ad-hoc mobile socialnetworks. Increasing demand in this market let players to enter the game andbecoming the referents for mobile social networks creation, management anddevelopment. Morf204What: allows business or a brand to create and run an own social network. Noone software need to be installed on the users’ phone. The consumer of client’smobile community will enjoy the best of todays social networking featuresoptimized for their mobile phones. The community features include: ∗ Web and Mobile registration options ∗ Personal profile ∗ Friends by invite only ∗ Photo albums (optimized for the 3rd screen) ∗ Video albums ∗ Photo blog ∗ Mobile links ∗ Hookup messages ( one to one, and one to many )204 Morfmobile.com154
  • 155. ∗ Mobile phone previewIn add, Morf offers another type of service for mobile content only andadvertising pages; here also the package offered by the company includescustomization of text, logo, source code and content.How: the service works with wireless data networks connected to the internetwhere sites and content are specifically shaped for mobile use.Role of mobile: the phone has the double function as tool to which delivercontent and by which user share and spread out the word. Mobilemo205What: the service is oriented to consumer and business/institutional clientsboth. With the service you can create, customize, manage a mobile site with allthe advanced features such as messaging, guestbook for visitors, voting andpolling, sharing files and photos.How: the service after logging in, offers a series of tools easy to use to create byyourself, starting from templates and themes, personalized web pages which fitperfectly with the mobile screen.Role of mobile: mobile is at the end of the process; after the creation of yourown mobile site, the next step is the one to spread out the buzz and let peopleuse and share what you created.205 155
  • 156. AirG206What: it says to turn audiences into communities. AirG offers a completeservice in term of creating, manage, monetize and sustain a mobile socialnetwork.How: The service has more than 20 million users and it has interconnectionwith more than 100 mobile operators in over 40 countries. AirG offers a wideand professional range of service: Mobile community, community content,mobile video platform, integrated voice service, community marketing engineto deliver targeted promotions, community patrol to monitor and filter allcontent, community storefront of content service with 1,500 products, mobilemarketing solutions to keep going marketing campaigns.Role of mobile: the mobile is the aggregator of all these features. The companyup in the value chain have a reference to deploy the best and most attractivemobile solutions to their mobile customers. Jumbuck207What: the company provide mobile community services since 2000. Jumbuckoffers a variety of products including: fast flirting, power chat, live chat,Jumbuck Island, chat del Mundo, Chat do Mundo, TXT n’Pic Chat, Moderationon content and user activities, Jumbuck BlogHow: it has agreement with 80 supporting carriers and support a community inexcess of 15 million users.206 Airg.com207 Jumbuck.com156
  • 157. Role of mobile: mobile phones are their first customers; it runs differentapplications all centred on chat systems and entertainment such as JumbuckIsland.3.3 Social coordination mattersFrom a first sight emerges that the platform analyzed respond for the majorityat the category of “status upload” also called of social mapping. People areinterested in keep connection with best friends, family or just acquaintancesduring the daily activities and experiences; here comes the success of servicessuch as Jaiku or Twitter. Talking about social mapping what best example thanthe urban areas as environment where users want to be connected. It’s in urbanareas that social mapping platforms underscore their success: people movingand work but being uploaded about what’s going on with people they areinterested in and keep other informed about themselves. In this landscape wecan call this powerful system of uploading status and information flow pushedto friends, as “social coordination”.208With this term we want to describe how much is important to communicate in afast and simple way specially in urbanities where coordination is essential. Thiscoordination could be facilitated, or not in same cases, by the use of mobiledevices as PDA and cellphones. In coordinate daily meetings or simply a coffeewith friends is important to keep the interaction not too much pervasive in the208 Humphreys, L. Out with my mobile – exploring social coordination in urban environments ReceiverVodafone 2006 157
  • 158. other activities and space of a day. Status upload services privilege pushsystems where the information comes directly pushed to the user in the way tokeep a low level of pervasive interaction and information overload. The phonerole in this scenario, is to exchange information to concretize casual socialinteractions ( “..I’m going downtown for launch, do you come ?...”). and to giveurbanities a useful tool for coordinate meeting with friends. But what makes thephone a unique communication tool is that its capacity to deliver multipleSMS/MMS messages to a list of people; this transforms the usual interpersonalcommunication pattern, by voice and messages, between two people in a multi-personal communication system where text messages can be broadcast fromone person to several/many people.2093.3.1 Three simple questions about freedomTo coordinate activities and daily life in urbanities, some question need to beanswered: when, where, who: ∗ When: with this question is defined the duration of the activity, when it start and finish; exactly in the moment I switch place I can send a message “I’m @ the bar”, and the time switches to another location. ∗ Where: the most important question that define and geolocalizes the place in where the actor is; the “where” part of the coordination is more complex than just an address or a venue. Location doesn’t include only spatial information and position, but also includes social information according to people who will meet up.209 See note 208158
  • 159. ∗ Who: is another complex negotiation in casual social interaction. With messages broadcasting people can see who is coordinating meeting up, and who will be invited or not.Managing social coordination means a constant negotiation by users referringat their freedom and efforts’ functionality in coordinate meeting up. In this case,for freedom we mean the ability of people to choose and decide withoutconstraints; in a era where our phone follow inevitably our life, the obviousconsequence is that the phone create a voluntary and involuntary connectionwith people. Than managing this connection and continuous being linked topeople and decision, is not so easy: the problem is that we can beeverywhere/anywhere reachable by individuals. On the other side of freedomwe find that an intermediate communication via mobile phone is different thana face to face meeting and talk with a friend; in this way people using amediated communication channel by phone are permeated by a sense offreedom in the way they can choose to go out, looking for the next cool place togo or just stay longer where they are. Thanks to this freedom to changemeetings or just think different from other people about where is cool to go orbe seen, it needs more communicative exchanges and an overload of wirelessinteraction in order to meet up. In social coordination, emerges the figure of the“coordinator” which tends to be highly conscious about what and how tocommunicate with others. This kind of people are usually early adopters intechnology and also they are positioned ahead in the social curve, drivingactivities and people; this attention to how manage people and broadcastmeeting, led a user to be branded by his/her choices and be seen as good byothers by the choices he/she made. This amount of information, in most casesstarting from a motivated and “early adopter” user, serves as a functional effort 159
  • 160. in order to facilitate meet up and to prepare people about things to do forincoming appointments ( dressing code, formalities, party..).3.4 Understand the Mobile Social NetworkenvironmentThe previous overview of mobile social network, gave us the idea of what is themarket and landscape of the various mobile applications. Now is time to take adeeper breath into these platform, starting analyze their structure according to asimple but precise framework.210 This pattern is divided in two parts: ∗ Usability211 aspect of the social network, its design and infrastructure and how these variables influence community’s efficiency and effectiveness; ∗ Sociability212 and it means how people socialize, interact, create connections, policies and purposes of the socialization;210 De Souza, C. and Preece, J. A framework for analyzing and understanding online communitiesInteracting with computers, The interdisciplinary Journal of Human-Computer Interaction,2004211 Preece, J. Thriving Online Communities: Usability and Sociability John Wiley & Sons, 2000212 See note 211160
  • 161. 3.4.1 UsabilityThis first category represents and defines the structure of the mososo; its designand the impact of it on the users’ daily action on the platform. Usability is thekey ingredient for the success of software in even more of mobile socialsoftware. A good usability supports people’s creativity, boost their productivityand makes theme enjoy the time spent using the software. In opposite poorusability frustrates people, make theme feel like wasting time, money andenergy. In the study of “user interface”, usability is seen as a systemcharacterized by three principles:213 ∗ Consistent: sequences of actions concerning the use of the software should follow the same format. This is worth for colour, typography and terminology. ∗ Controllable: users want to keep control of their actions in the software so they can do what they want, when they want and are not constrained in any options by the software. ∗ Predictable: a software enables users to build experiences and using this progress to build confidence and skills on this experience.The usability is concerned mostly with what happens at the human-computerinterface, and it effect the mobile social network by impacting on three differentareas: design & infrastructure, users’ use of the platform, privacy.213 Shneidermann, B. Designing the User Interface: strategies for effective Human-ComputerInteraction (Third Edition) Reading, M.A.: Addison – Wesley, 1999 161
  • 162. DesignTalking about design means we are approaching the one to one moment whenthe user is in front of the computer or the mobile device and is managingactivities and operations. Design may affect all the user’s experience on theplatform, transforming the time spent on the service in a good or in a badmoment; but also influencing a future use and diffusion of the mobile serviceitself.The navigation structure could be represented by the click-stream of a user andhis/her working on different pages and links. This is a key variable for anywebsite and in particular for any mobile service, which need to be able toprovide what user wants and to allows a quick and easy navigation throughtools and different services.In mososo navigation could be limited by missing hardware functionalities andspecifics such as screen size, qwerty keyboard and mouse, wireless connection.All these specifics may change the user’s experience on navigating suchplatforms. In this case is important to limit to the essential actions andoperation the use and navigation of the mobile service.Users navigate into a structure which host information and in particular, andever more, it host other users’ information such as profiles uploads and usergenerated content. Information presentation is crucial if you want that navigationworks properly: tagging, templates to fill in, advices on how to complete themare key point to address. If navigation is limited to essential and basicoperations, information presentation need to follow this pattern of use, gettingthe user uploading and share information using well known and usualframework of action such as typing an SMS or simply snapping a picture. Theinformation presentation process follow operations and activities that a162
  • 163. common user has already interiorize and in this way they don’t influenced andlimited the right and correct use of information.All these activities are possible thanks to a good software with advanced featuresthat includes: search for friends and network members, send messages, filesand chat, communicate emotions and status upload. In mobile social networks,basically the power is kept behind the scene, in the sense that the needs of asmart, fast and natural navigation are supported by a software that works forthe user providing simple information and tools to achieve the best mobileinteraction. We need to keep in mind that someone who is walking around thecity, for example need to get access to more valuable information as possiblebut with the minimum overload of interaction, which means a minimum levelof input and a satisfactory level of information received/output. Software withgood usability supports rapid learning, high skill retention, low error rates andhigh productivity; translated in a more simple way, a good software makespeople enjoy and being entertained by the service. InfrastructureThe infrastructure here works as the key actor providing the backbone in whichall operations may be concretized. The infrastructure usability is represented bythe media type which is used to carry messages and allows interactions. Themedia type can be seen as the driver of all the communication and users’exchanges, its characteristics and properties may influence the impact of themessages and the evolution of the social network. In the mobile social networksanalyzed, the media which carry the interaction between people is the mobilephone associated with a web platform which allows to better complete and 163
  • 164. enjoy the previous mobile interaction. In mobile social networks, the most usedmedia is the text messaging, thanks to its easy creation, sending and reading;text message has a deep and long curve of use by the users and this makes it themost useful media to carry a simple message such a status or an emotionupload. Other media types follow in term of usefulness the SMS but precede itin term of capacity to carry more complete and valuable information: here wehave the MMS and the data connection with the wireless network or mobilebrowsing.These two technologies allow users to exchange more complete andsophisticated interactions, in term of information and richness of contenttransferred. Here comes a first but important obstacles in the evolution path ofthe use of these two last technologies: network capacity and individual capacityto get access to such of technologies. The network is the highway whereinformation circulate and interaction happened; the slowest is the networkworst is the interaction and the gap between creation, sending and receiving ofthe content or the message. Network access and in particular data connectioncosts may be seen as a problem especially in countries like Italy where doesn’texist a unique tariff for unlimited mobile data connection. This networkinefficiency goes to influence individual capacity of being connected and getaccess to the social network, with mobile devices but also with a “simple” homewired connection. This topic needs particular attention where people don’t haveaccess to high bandwidth computing facilities.Imagine thousands of people, or better million of users connecting in the sametime in the same social network; how is it possible to guarantee the same leveland standard of quality to the users? Here comes a key aspect of social softwaredesign and infrastructure: scalability. This term refers first to the softwarecapacity to host multi-conversation and interaction in terms of interface and164
  • 165. usability itself; second to the governance of the software represented in thefigure of human or “electronic” moderator which manage the information flowand problematic issues; third the backbone network, and in the mososo thewireless network should be ready to enlarge its range to a ever growingnumber of potential users. Users’ use of the platformUsability design may impact and affect the community and the social networkin a series of aspects. When a user enter in the platform, actions follow one bythe other building what makes remarkable an experience from another. On theuser side, design and infrastructure of the service works on several variables: ∗ Conviviality: it refers to how people communicate inside the platform and how this communication may do users behavioural reactions to each other. ∗ Efficiency: how quickly and easily members of the social network reach operational goals and communication tasks with others; this efficiency may be seen as a prerogative to the success and the use of the platform. ∗ Effectiveness: how well people execute the previous goals and tasks and how well the software support these activities. ∗ Belonging: satisfaction users feel in belonging to a specific community or groups; belonging to a defined group makes people experience a common sense in the purposes and goals the community follows and realizes. This is a special glue which makes community lifetime longer and stronger. 165
  • 166. In the social network creation is vital to understand and approach an analysisfollowing the categories shown before. Design and infrastructure represent thebackbone where all the experience and social life will act; characteristic as thescalability of the software and efficiency aspects lead to a development of thesocial network and the extension of its lifetime, power of aggregation and valueperceived by users. PrivacyIn the word “privacy” are included many other terms and meanings, but theone that social networks ever associate with it is “security”: the major technicalissue for many social networks and communities. In this section two main areasof concern will be approached: first the one about the conflict betweenidentification and privacy/anonymity; second the one about copyrightprotection.In a social network and also using a Mososo, the problem of how a userrepresents him/herself inside the platform needs some reflections. When youcreate an account in somewhere service on the web, you need to give some ofyour personal information the system will use to create a “virtual image” of youon the web; the choice on what kind of information and the use others may dowith it is extremely sensible in the existence and sustainability of a socialnetwork. People don’t want that their personal information will be seen andused by strangers or simply they don’t want show their real identity in the web.The problem is approached inside the first chapter where the user control on166
  • 167. personal data and identity in particular is a peculiar aspect of the Web 2.0 andsocial network revolution.How a user is represented in the web or simply in a social network is a powerthat people want to carry and use as they wish; in this case a social network andin particular a mobile social network allows users to create a kind of level ofprivacy that only restricted friends, for example, can cross. The privacy, securityand identity issues are more critical in a MoSoSo where people are outside theirhome and probably away from it, in an open environment and are exposed to adifferent series of potential meetings and contexts. Imagine to use ageolocalization service: if you inadvertently allow people to check your statusupload and geolocalization, this could be dangerous for example because yousend information about your status and precise position. This issue needsparticular attention in the case of people minor of 18 years old or for examplegirls and teenagers; this, in many Mobile Social Networks is written and madeclear to the user during the service subscription, where is mentioned to payattention to whom and how give personal contact and positioning to others. Asymmetric privacy issue to address, is represented by the potential actions andpromotion that companies may do to customers and individuals using MobileSocial Network and, for example geo-positioning systems. Here companiesneed to reserve a particular attention and study on how approach the mobilecontact to the final users and potential customers. The promotional object maybe substitute or simply camouflaged by a service that allows individuals to rateshops or simply discos and restaurants and than share these kind ofinformation; another example can be the one about a service that, giving a freeand high value perceived service to the final user, transfers advertising ortargeting information. 167
  • 168. 3.4.2 SociabilityThe term Sociability is related with social interactions happening inside onlinecommunity and social networks; in the term are included different aspects ofthe social behaviour of people including policies, purposes of the interactionand constraints to a good sociality.In this part we will talk about sociability as the art of “living together”,214 in thesense of all the modes of interaction with others, our interpersonal behaviour,the temporal moments characterized by presence and absence, the rhythms ofactions, communication and comparison between individuals.215 Sociability isbasically composed by the interactions and exchanges people have and the tiesand connections created by these interaction: in other words we associate theterm Sociability to the exchange of information and content happening insidesocial networks. Ever more thanks to development of mobile technologies andproducts, these exchanges, communications and ties creation can happened on-the-go, while your are long away from your home or simply from a computer.This evolution lead to the creation and proliferation of different “technologiesof encounters”216 like mobile phones and PDA working with mobile socialnetworks; people are ever more connected with services, other individuals andcontext of interaction.214 Barthes, R. Commet vivre ensemble: cours et seminaires au College de France (1976-1977). Paris,Suil (2002)215 Licoppe, C. and Smoreda, Z. Are social networks technologically embedded?How networks arechanging today with changes in communication technology Social Networks 27 (2005) pp. 317-335Elsevier216 Thrift, N. Remembering the technological unconscious by foregrounding knowledges of positionEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space 22 (1), pp. 175-190168
  • 169. Connected SociabilityHere we can start talking about the “always connected sociability”217, acondition in which people live ever more and its importance is growing goingto influence communication coordination and interactions. People areconnected with each others by text messages, phone calls or with social networkplatform and, more important, via mobile social software and services. In thispattern, absence from the communication or interaction, doesn’t means,consequently silence. Development of technologies and softwares that enablesocial coordination and interaction, switch and evolve the term “alwaysconnected sociability” in the “always connected presence”. People areconstantly online, connected with the social stream of activities related to closefriends or acquaintances and in every moment they can enter in discussions ordecisions; but on the other side, this always-on presence means that peoplearound you want to count constantly on your words or support. “Connected”presence realized in its most emotional and expressive register, underscore thedemand of people to have attention but in the same time allowing a deferredresponse and answer. In this communication pattern emerges the non-dialogicmeans of communicational purposes, where messages don’t require animmediate response but permit a lack of time and interest in the answer. Theevolution of this reasoning will go in the direction of a reshaping ofinterpersonal sociability, where presence is mediated and “connected” by theuse of non-intrusive message systems: this idea of pervasive presence seemssufficient to be sure of being connected to others.This overload of information to manage and interactions to accomplish maycause to people the sense of not have control of their own spaces and time.217 See note 216, pp. 322 169
  • 170. These constraints are better described by sampling conditions in whichconstraints materialize in, such as:218 ∗ co-presence, perception of sharing similar physical environment ∗ visibility, members of the same social network can see each others ∗ audibility, members can listen to what someone is sayingIn this scenario the evolution of system of auto-presence and auto-computing ofmobile devices will allow people to feel ever more connected but notoverloaded of actions and responses.3.5 Online community FrameworkPeople belonging to social networks, are they mobile or “classics”, or simply tocommunity based on internet follow a pattern of being connected that is formedby three principal themes: policies in yellow, purposes in red and interaction inblue.219218 Clark, H. and Brennan, S. Grounding in communication In R.M. Baecker (Ed.), Groupware andComputer-Supported Cooperative work, pp. 229 San Francisco, CA: Morgan219 See note 210, pp 8170
  • 171. Figure 16: Online Community Framework - Policies, Purposes and ActionsSource : De Souza, C. and Preece, J. A framework for analyzing and understanding onlinecommunities Interacting with computers, The interdisciplinary Journal of Human-ComputerInteraction, 2004This framework freeze in a single shot the idea of what components enter in thecycle of a community or a social network life. The framework above indicatesthe existence of three main areas in which the games happened and where atthe centre are the individuals, members of the social network. People,individuals and actions are entities and between them we have relations andattributes of the two. 171
  • 172. 3.5.1 PoliciesPeople’s interactions are conditioned by policies which build the conditions tosustain a community and in our case a social network too. One of the mainpolicy of online communities is represented by the privacy; we have alreadytalked about this important aspect when we described the usability pattern.Policies are needed to guarantee that host operators, service providers andmaintainers are required to follow fundamental privacy rules. Also these socialpolicies need to be understandable, acceptable and practicable to ensure thatthey be followed.220Following the framework, policies are composed by norms and rules: a norm isrepresented by the registration criteria in a social network and if thisregistration is available for such a kind of user; a rule can be find in thememberships circumstances available.3.5.2 PurposesIndividuals interact and create connections of value and knowledge betweeneach other with the intention to achieve different objects. These kind of “social”purposes are formed by goals and aspirations and, anyway they influence thesocial life of individuals. These goals and aspirations are shared inside thenetwork and the platform where gravitate users in their daily online activities;220 See note 211172
  • 173. sending a message, a picture or simply create a new connection with a friendsyou didn’t see for a long time: all these things happened because there’s apurpose, a goal to achieve and some personal value to create and keep from theoperation.3.5.3 ActionsFollowing the framework, actions operate in both side of policies and purposes.Actions foster goals and practical aspirations, but also they follow precise rulesand norms we have already described; operations and communicationcomposed the mix for individual’s actions.Operations are related to task-oriented goals221 and can be divided in four broadcategories that contribute to achieve these tasks and goals: generate, choose,negotiate and execute.222 Communications compose actions and are required byoperations to accomplish tasks; we also distinguish two kind of communication,one oriented for interpersonal purposes and one for social-emotionalpurposes.223 The first serves the users’ needs to create connection with peoplethey don’t know; the second serves as a tool to underscore status, emotions andfeelings with friends and close members of the network.221 Wenger, E. Communities of Practice Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1998)222 McGrath, J.E. Groups: Interaction and Performance Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Morgan KaufmannPublishers, Inc. (1984)223 Bales, R.F. Task roles and Social roles in problem-solving groups In E.E. Maccoby & T.M.Newcomb &E.L. Hartley (Eds.), Readings in Social psychology, pp. 437-459 New York: Holt,Rinehart & Winston 173
  • 174. 3.6 Object and BenefitEntering this topic we shift immediately to a related aspect of purposes: objectand benefit. About object, a growing idea about social network is that theseplatforms are created to support relationships around objects: in this case anobject can be a video, a photo, a movie or simply posting in a blog. All theactivities related to creation, uploading and sharing of content are painless aspossible, boosting the success of these platforms. YouTube, Flickr, MySpace andFacebook: they all move around objects. Their success reside in the way theyallow a simple and enjoyable social life on their platform. In the frameworkabove, is recognized such real-world dynamics and connections even if thenotion of “sociality” is limited to just people; the players are people, purposesand policies.224Try to think about Facebook: every time you add friends to your network, thesystem ask you how did you know this person. It want to know if you workedwith them, if you went to school with them, or if you met them trough andacquaintance. These items, the school, the job and the other friend, are the veryobjects of sociality that make the relationship works and of course the socialnetwork platforms. The idea of object of sociality in MoSoSo will be touchedlater in the work because its importance and in the same time, lack of studiesand level of adoption along final users.From purposes and objects came out benefit: it can be seen as a compensatoryeconomy. People in their attempt to maintain a connection and relations orsimply a tie in the network, they allocate scarce resources like availability,224 Engstrom, J. Object of Sociality on Bokardo – Joshua Porter Blog 22 September 2007 ( )174
  • 175. presence, time, physical effort to find an equilibrium between interaction andabsence. Butler225 introduce the idea of social structure sustainability: socialstructure, communities can be sustainable if their dynamics and purposesprovide benefits that outweigh the cost of membership. Is a simple reasoning,but if a community or in our case a social network, don’t have resources, theycannot provide benefits and without benefits new members are not attractedand existing one are not retained.Object, purposes and benefits are ingredient of sustainability and life of a socialnetwork, and in general they contribute to the success of every aggregation ofpeople.ConclusionMobile Social Network represent the exponential development of the existingsocial platforms allowing people to achieve the ambitious state of ever-connection. This means that people will be increasingly connected to thenetwork, with contact and information sources. This complete new way ofliving is starting pervading our lives more and more thanks to hardwaredevelopment, bandwidth connection and new people habits to live their liveson the social network platforms.We understand that the mobility concept behind the social network evolutionregard a bounce of interesting but sometimes complex dynamics; studies in thisscenario are continuing and better result will come out, better solution andproducts the market can be offer to users.225 Butler, B.S. Membership Size, Communication Activity, and Sustainability: A Resource-Based Modelof Ondine Social Structures Information System Research, 12 (4), 2001 pp. 346 175
  • 176. 176
  • 177. Chapter 4DON’T CALL IT: “ just a phone!”4.1 It’s all about mobilityThe mobile phone, is it a simple one or a fully-features-packaged PDA, is thevirtual and physical extension of a social network platform which every personcan carry out with. The mobile phone is ever more established as the switchinginnovation from a “laptop social life” to a “real mobile” one.This device is became during the last years the most interesting and preciouscompanion of our daily life; if we go out and we forget the phone at home, I’msure you go back to take it. People couldn’t live without their mobile phone; orbetter they can, but with some important social limitations.Mobile phones and in general all the media portable devices are penetratedinside our daily routines and activities, and they are transforming everydaycultural, social practices and also spaces of interaction.226226 Mc Mullan, J. Richardson, I. The Mobile Phone: a hybrid multi-platform medium In Procedings ofthe 3rd Australasian Conference on interactive Entertainment. ACM International ConferenceProceeding Series, vol. 207, 103-108. 177
  • 178. The distinction between communication, content creation, face-to-face andtechnology mediated interaction, and real or virtual environments has becomeever more thin and unclear. The pervasiveness and ubiquitous presence of theseportable technologies and in particular the one of mobile phones is increasingevery day adding to our activities advanced functionalities in terms ofconnectivity, entertainment, media creation and computing portability.4.1.1 Ubiquitous devicesThe origin of the term ubiquitous come from Kleinrock which embrace the ideaof “anytime, anywhere computing”227 in relation with the “Nomadicity”, a termused to underscore the nomadic arrangements that assume a convergence ofsystems and a compatibility of services across devices and operating systems.228The more interesting applications and ideas in the market of mobile application,are spreading out from new start ups which understand the potential of mobilephones and people needs related to social life and mobility. In this innovativeapproach to problems, opportunities and solutions there are many aspects toconsider related to the overall mobile experience reached.A mobile phone is becoming ever more a multi-platform medium thataggregate functions, interfaces, physical features and content: all these things227 Kleinrock, L. Inventor of the internet technology UCLA Computer Science Department (2003)228 Kietzmann, J. Mobile Communities of Practice Department of Information Systems LSE London(2005)178
  • 179. merge into a unique multimedia device for produce, play and share content, isit voice, pictures, video or text messaging.Being mobile means acting as in front of our laptop at home, adding at thisexperience new features and let other ( the old ones ) evolve in different way ofliving our life, our interests and social connections.Different features seems to merge into a single device, or better into a single,common and easy to use device: the mobile phone. On the technology debatethere’s the idea of the ubiquitous computing, where complex technologiesdisappear in the single background of our life and activities.229 Technologies arerelated increasingly to the social context in which they are used, the socialaspect is merging with the technical one. The simple action of sending a textmessage or snapping a picture and send it to our blog by the mobile phone, goover the approach to a technical action and reach directly the fact that we aredoing a social action. The most profound technologies are the one thatdisappear230 and are mixed inside social, daily activities and uses at the pointthat is difficult to distinguish one from the others. Technologies and inparticular the ones in the consumer electronic industry ( mobile phones ),became more and more person-centric technologies.231 The person-centric era isthe evolution of the mainframe-era where many people were around one singlecomputer; than came the PC-era where were one person-one computer. Weiserconclude with the last era, the one we are living today, where ubiquitous229 Sorensen, C. and Gibson, D. Ubiquitous Vision and Opaque Realities: Professionals talking aboutmobile technologies The Journal of Policy, Regulation and Strategy for Telecommunication,Information and Media, vol.6, no.3, pp: 188-196230 Weiser, M. The Computer of the 21st Century Scientific American Ubicomp Paper, September1991231 Kalakota, R. and Robinson, M. M Business: The Race to Mobility McGraw Hill (2002) 179
  • 180. computing is characterized by one person-many computers.232 Anotherdistinction can be made on ubiquitous computing, distinguishing between thedegree of mobility of the technology and the degree of the embeddedness. 233Figure 17: Computing categories according to variables of Mobility and EmbeddednessSource : Lyytinen, K. The Next Wave of the IS Research Design and Investigation of UbiquitousComputing in Panel presentation on “Mobile Interaction and Pervasive Social Technologies”Panel at ECIS, Naples Italy (2003)Ubiquitous computing is positioned in the upper right side of the chart,characterized by a high degree of mobility and a high degree of embeddedness.Imagine to be around walking with your PDA or mobile phone and chattingwith friends on the go, uploading some nice pictures on your blog, andchecking out the arrival time of your mom’s airplane in the afternoon. Highmobility and high degree of embeddedness, it doesn’t involve a variety of232 Weiser, M. Ubiquitous Computing on Lyytinen, K. The Next Wave of the IS Research Design and Investigation of Ubiquitous Computingin Panel presentation on “Mobile Interaction and Pervasive Social Technologies” Panel at ECIS,Naples Italy (2003)180
  • 181. complex actions or a long time to learn: technical aspect and technology itselfdisappear into simple actions and daily social activities.Starting with this ubiquitous view, we will analyze main mobile phones’features highlighting potentials, weakness, and future development related tothe rocketing dynamics of social networks: connectivity, multimedia,communication, physical features.4.2 ConnectivityMobile connectivity is composed by a wide fan of different protocols andtechnologies which in a close future will probably merge, not in a uniqueconnectivity standards but better in a transparent and a high bandwidth mobileconnectivity.234If the mobile phone is evolving in a multimedia device, the same process needto be followed by the connectivity aspects transforming the mobile phone in aevery-connection available and ever-connected device. This evolution willconsiders in its path advanced protocols and technologies to led devices beingconnected and switch allowed to different connection technologies. Here are themain connection technologies we can find in our mobile phonesThe 3G is the third generation of mobile phones standards after the 2G ( GSMand GPRS ). 3G technologies enable network operators to offer to users a widerrange of services, more advanced and completed and in the same way234 See note 226 181
  • 182. achieving greater network capacity and spectral efficiency. In this thirdgeneration standards we find: ∗ UMTS or called 3GSM to underline the evolution of GSM technology and the third generation of standards. ∗ HSDPA will represent the evolution of the 3GSM and it usually called as 3.5GSM working with a downlink of 7.2 Mbit/s. ∗ WiMax is long-range system which will offer bandwidth access to a long distance under the 802.16e standards. WiMax works on licensed spectrum. The main purpose of the WiMax will the one to offer mobile internet access with a 70Mbit/s connectivity. This in theory, but in a range of 10 Km the connectivity will reach 10Mbit/s.Figure 18: Comparison of connectivity technologies related to Speed and Mobility variablesSource : Finneran, Michael WiMax vs. WiFi: a Comparison of Technolgies, Markets andBusiness Plans dBrn Associates Inc. ( June 2004 ) ∗ WiFi is a short distance system that provide internet access commonly used in final-user networks such as home or office and it don’t require a licensed spectrum. WiFi compatibility allows mobile phones to connect182
  • 183. to local area network and experience a acceptable connectivity in a range of several meters from the radio source. A typical example of WiFi areas are the one in airport, hotel lounges or in an Internet Cafè. ∗ Bluetooth is the shorter range connectivity technology of a mobile phone; it is used to connect peripherals and transfer mobile-to-mobile data such as business cards. The connectivity is established until the distance of several meters and now it’s embedded in every mobile phone starting from entry products until high-end ones. ∗ GPS connectivity is a different technology because it involves the use of satellite triangulation giving a geo-positioning related to maps if the mobile phone is running a dedicated software such as Nokia Maps or simply TomTom. An increase number of mobile phones ( specially in the high-end segment ) are equipped with a built-in GPS antenna expanding the chances of geo-positioning applications and features which will surely expand the mobility concept of social network platforms.4.3 MultimediaThe multifunctionality of mobile phones and the connectivity to high-speedthird generation and WiFi networks, means that the game is moving far beyondpredicted. Mobile phone carriers and handsets makers are moving beyond thevoice market and into that of digital content and data creation, aggregation andsharing.Mobile phones are becoming an amazing media platform to access, create andshare content, data and information. Let start to see how many features mayhave our mobile companion: 183
  • 184. ∗ Built-in camera: is the main source by people record their experience and daily life, is it in pictures or video. Cameras resolution vary from 2 to 5 megapixel depending from device model; by 2010 camera phones are expected to account for 87% of all mobile phone handsets shipped.235 To boost this growth will participate improvements in imaging functions ( zoom, resolution and auto-focus ); dropping prices of mobile phones with this functionality; higher speed wireless bandwidth; and easier-to- use handsets, services, and peripherals. Mobile Social Network leverage their success thanks to these factors and the outlook will see for the 2010 a total of 288 billion of images captured by camera phones in a market value of $ 7.0 billion.236Figure 19: Mobile Phone with camera/not growth during period 2004-2010Source : InfoTrends Releases Camera Phones Account for 87% of Mobile Phone Shipments in 2010Mobile Imaging Study Results, 18 January 2006235 InfoTrends Releases Camera Phones Account for 87% of Mobile Phone Shipments in 2010 MobileImaging Study Results, 18 January 2006236 See note 235184
  • 185. ∗ Multimedia Player: enjoy content on the go is becoming ever more completed thanks to screen resolution and size, and media content compatibility. On a mobile phone now you can watch videos, listen to the music and watch your favourite pictures. The level of immersion in such a kind of content enjoyed on mobile devices is still low, but things started to change since the iPhone was introduced in the market in June 2007. Screen sizes and resolution can only increase the level of efficiency and quality of mobile phones as multimedia platforms ∗ Web Browser: in this simple features probably reside the future of mobile phones; surfing the web is becoming a better experience in term of quality, speed and level of interaction and researchers will point the idea that in next years the mobile phone will become the primary means for internet access.237 From a M:Metrics Research emerges that in Europe there are nearly 19 million unique browsing subscribers and in the US 23 million238 and the number is increasing year by year by double digit percentages. ∗ Radio continue to be an essential features in a mobile phone and it is ever appreciated by final users, in particular with the ones not so friendly with uploading music to their phones. ∗ Audio Recorder a minor features but for some professional figures essential ones, which allows to record phone calls or simply audio notes to collect and send by attachment in MMS and emails.237 Levinson, Paul. Cellphone: The Story of the World’s Most Mobile Medium and How It HasTransformed Everything! Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2004238 Weather information is most popular among american mobile subscribers, while europeans preferbrowsing sports information on mobile web M:Metrics Press Release 24 July 2007 185
  • 186. 4.4 CommunicationThe mobile phone at the beginning of its introduction in our daily life, was amere extension of the land-line telephone; it was seen as a device to providevoice communication, with a simple keypad and screen able to visualize onlynumbers. From this prehistoric device the evolution was short and really fast:now mobile phones continue maintaining a communication purposes onlyadding “some” interesting features in term of connectivity, multimediatechnology and of course in term of communication options.Beside voice communication a huge variety of methods and trends areemerging supported by ever more sophisticated but user-friendly devices.Here are the main communication system by which people can exchange amobile interaction: ∗ Voice: the downside trend of voice revenue of carrier company is growing and becoming faster; phone calls are less than text messages sent by a user. ∗ SMS: text messaging has penetrated all ages of mobile users and in the US revenues coming from this communicative features touch the amount of $ 34.3 billion in the first quarter 2007 with 620 billion messages sent in the same period analyzed.239 ∗ MMS: can be seen as the evolution of the SMS, in the sense that in a MMS you can attach more data like pictures, audio files, small video; but two aspects limit its diffusion and they are costs and devices compatibility/carrier configuration.239 Capobianco, F. Mobile data is not killing SMS Mobile Open Source Blog 18 July 2007186
  • 187. ∗ Email: is a technology for asynchronous communication and it’s use is increasing also for consumer users and not only for business people. In most mobile phone users can set their email accounts information and get direct access to their messages without connect to the website and email client. ∗ IM: differs from emails, Instant Messaging stands for synchronous communication and need people attention and virtual presence to answer messages and get conversation alive. IM is called the SMS-killer because its better features in terms of costs, interaction level and speed in the conversation.4.5 Mobility ConceptThe idea of being mobile, in recent years started to be far from the humanmovement single concept, and is going straight in the direction of amobilization of the interactions themselves.240 People use an incredible andamazing number of interaction technologies – such as the mobile phone,internet, email, test messaging, IM – and all these technologies are more andmore interconnected.We are mobile, our society is mobile and of course our interactions are mobile:people can communicate, interact and share content, information without beingconstrained by boundaries, space and time; a culture of mobility is emerging240 Sorensen, C. Digital Nomads and Mobile Services available on (2002) 187
  • 188. where movement is a regular part of life and the world is increasinglyinterconnected and perceived small.241The most incredible and innovative aspect of this mobile revolution is that weare facing the mobilization of our inter-personal interaction. We areexperiencing every day the mobile concept, and in the same way an oppositefeeling of connection, ( virtually ) presence in others people’s or friends’ life.“Being Mobile”242 is not just an issue of people traveling around but, themeaning is far more associated to the interaction people do in their social lives,using for example a mobile phone, a social network platform or anotherinteraction technology. The social environment is modified and many socialvariables which are the base of interactions, now can be socially negotiated: it’ssimilar to say that there are no ( or only few and not important ) limitations tosocial interaction. Space and time for example don’t represent any more alimitation, but they represent only a pair of negotiable variables between peopleentering in the interaction. An example can be the one of the email, anasynchronous interaction technology which sustains social interaction withoutimplicate remarkable limitations related to space and time factors.4.5.1 Three dimensions of mobilityWe here want to expand the concept of mobility, by looking at three differentdimensions of human interaction related with the mobilized social241 Axup, J. Methods of Understanding and Designing for Mobile Communities InformationTechnology and Electrical Engineering Ph.D. Thesis July 2006242 Sorensen, C. Kakihara, M. Mobility: An Extended Perspective Proceedings of the HawaiiInternational Conference on System Sciences, January 7-10, 2002, Big Island, Hawaii IEEE (2002)188
  • 189. environment. The three dimensions have been deeply mobilized by the use ofmobile technologies, in particular of mobile phones, in our social and workinglives. The three interrelated dimensions of human interaction are: spatial,temporal and contextual mobility. Dimensions of Mobility Aspects of Interaction Extended Perspectives Geographical movement of not just Spatiality Where people, but objects, symbols, images, voice Clock time vs. Social Time Temporality When Monochronicity vs.Plychronicity In What way Multi modality of Interaction Contextuality In what circumstances - Unobtrusive vs. Obtrusive Towards which actors Weakly / Strong tied Social NetworksFigure 20: Three dimensions of human interactionSource : Sorensen, C. Kakihara, M. Mobility: An Extended Perspective Proceedings of the HawaiiInternational Conference on System Sciences, January 7-10, 2002, Big Island, Hawaii IEEE (2002) Spatial MobilitySpatial mobility denotes immediately the most direct aspect of mobility in oursocial lives, and is described by the increase in international tourism andbusiness travel. We can move everywhere we want (and can), and remain 189
  • 190. connected to what we were doing before, are they friends, working fellows orsimply interests. Moving into a physical world doesn’t necessary means to cutvirtual connections, we can be mobile and continue being connected into ournetwork. People changed their perception of space and mobile connectedness isbecome more of a necessity; in this way we shifted our attention andimportance from location to a “socio-informatic space”243 where people cancollaborate, feel connected and share their experiences as they were at the sametable. It has been argued that people are becoming independent geographically,nomads supported by the use of both old and new social media technologies.The term nomadicity244 underscore the fact that people are ever moreautonomous without depending from a single location and defined space; thisdynamic is visible geographical movements such as tourism and businesstravels, but also in work environments and in urban life. The same spatialmobility, can be divided and analyzed in three different aspects depending onwhat is mobilized in the space dimension. First, the mobility of objects. Objectsbecame ever more portable and can deploy their functions and task in mobility,following the people who use theme. Think only at the Walkman-Sony245arriving to the Apple iPod: they indicate the interplay between object andcorporeal travel/mobility.Along the mobility of objects, we need to consider the mobility of symbols.Global broadcasting television or the internet platform have become a placewhere a huge amount of information, data, content, video, images and soundscross borders and reach simultaneously billions of people; symbols used in our243 See note 228, pp.8244 Makimoto, T. and Manners, D. Digital Nomad Chapter 4, Chicester: John Wiley & Sons, 1997245 Du Gay, P. Hall, S. Janes, L. Mackay, H. and Negus, K. Doing cultural studies: The Story of theSony Walkman, London: Sage Publications, 1997190
  • 191. social and economic activities need to be exchanged because this continuummixing and filtering by billion of different people.Third aspects regards the mobility of space itself; traveling in the internet ourinteractions and communications are dematerialized and can be placedeverywhere there is a server or a computer connected. A bulk of severalcomputer connected to the web can create a spatial dimension by themselvesfor example creating a virtual community or a social network: the boundarybetween “here” and “there” dissolves. Some studies marked the idea thatthere’s no “where” in these kind of cyberspace communities, and theabstraction from a physical space is replaced by other types of values such asknowledge, information, common beliefs and practices. For example in socialnetwork, the notion of “space” is shifted and mobilized in relation withmembers interests, similarities rather than geographical proximity.The spatial mobility refers not only to the geographical increasing movement ofpeople, but it also means the physical flux of objects and the virtual one ofsymbols and space, defining a complex and interesting pattern of the socialinteraction among people. Spatial mobility is not the only one measure that candescribe the mobilizing dynamics of human interaction, and in help come othertwo dimensions to describe the mobilization of our lives, namely, temporal andcontextual dimensions. Temporal MobilityWith the introduction of such a high a different range of mobile ICTs, theconcept of a linear clock time remains but it perception by people has beenchanged. To remain in the work environment, people with these technologies 191
  • 192. started to structure in a different way their workdays, accelerating the speed ofwork and saving time. People workdays’ dynamics has been influenced by amix of asynchronous ( email ) and synchronous fast internet chatting and voicecommunication patterns, which underscore the comparison between the usualclock time and the social time. Coming back to the previous cited evolution andrestriction of a linear meaning of time only, we can argue that time is measuredever more by social interaction time, phases and rounds. This idea is supportedby the studies of Barley, which describe temporality with the dichotomy:monochronicity and polychronicity.246The first term defines situations in which people allocate specific slots of timefor specific events or occurrences ( For example, one slot of time for planning atrip, another one to answer at some emails and so on ). The second term, refersto situations in which people accept divergences of structural and interpretativefeatures of temporal order; slots of time are used to achieve different,consequent tasks and activities. Today because a continue and increasingmobilization and instantaneity of time in the society, the polychronicity ofhuman activities seems to be the emerging trend characterizing the timing ofmobilized interactions.246 Barley, S.R. On Technology, Time and Social Order: Technically Induced Change in the TemporalOrganization of Radiological Work in F.A. Dubinkas ed. Making Time: Ethnographies of High-Technology Organizations, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1988Hall, E. The Hidden Dimension New York NY: Anchor Press, 1962192
  • 193. Contextual MobilityConsidering the various aspects of mobilization of social interaction helped bytechnologies including mobile ones, another dimension need to be addressed:contextuality. The term refers to interactional aspects such as “in what way”,“what circumstance” or “toward which actors”247 actions are performed; thesecharacteristics can be defined as crucial in the full human interactionframework. From the context perspective we extend our view to differentmodality of interaction belonging to this dimension248: ∗ Unobtrusive vs. Obtrusive: an interaction can be more or less obtrusive depending on how strictly it forces users/people to react, answer or notice.249 ∗ Ephemeral vs. Persistent: the first related to “unfolding activities” and the second one “which define an interaction that leaves behind a trace for further inspection and discussion”.250All these types of interactions lead to understand the importance of connectionsamong people and the strength of the ties between theme. Technology andcomputer mediated communication mobilize weakly tied social networks,providing people a wider access to a wide number of weakly tied actors and a247 See note 242248 Schmidt, K. and Simone, C. Coordination Mechanism: An approach to CSCW Systems DesignComputer Supported Collaborative Work: An International Journal, vol.5, No. 2 & 3, 1996, pp.155-200249 Ljungberg, F. and Sorensen, C. Overload: From Transaction to Interaction in K. Braa, C. Sorensenand B. Dahlbom eds., Planet Internet, Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur, 2000, pp. 125250 See note 249 193
  • 194. broader number of contacts expanding communication and interaction beyondcontextual constraints.251 Context is became a changeable pattern in humaninteraction, where technologies let people to be freed from contextualconstraints, interacting with people in different co-existing contexts.Talking about mobility needs to approach mobilized environments ofinteraction in particular contexts and relation of social lives.4.5.2 Fluid EnvironmentToday our social “mobilized” environment can no longer being exemplifiedand appreciated using static spatiality, linear clock time, or rigid contextuality.A new way is required to appreciate the evolution and dynamics of socialenvironment and the human interaction happening inside it. To delineate theevolution we are facing everyday in our sociality, and the social consequencesof mobilization of human interaction we use the idea of social topology, and afluid metaphor.252Interaction among people, is increasingly mobilized by the diffusion and use ofinteraction technologies and devices, switching from the pre-ICTs era where thesocial environment of people may be limited by a local area or neighbors. Thesenew approaches in the way people interact, require new ways to understandand analyze the social patterns of human interaction.251 Haythornthwaite, C. Tie Strength and the Impact of New Media in Proceedings of The 34thHawaii International Conference on System Sciences ( HICSS 34 ), Maui, Hawaii, 2001, IEEE252 Mol, A. and Law, J. Regions, Networks and Fluids: Anemia and Social Topology Social Studies ofScience, vol.24, 1994, pp. 641-671194
  • 195. In this idea of social topology, three different degree of social environment canbe explained. Mol and Law propose three metaphors coming from their studieson the spatial properties of blood condition anemia in which there are few redblood cells in the blood. The three metaphors are named regions, networks andfluids.The region is a topology where objects are aggregated together and boundariesare drawn around specific or particular regional cluster. The region metaphor,can be applied to the traditional and geographically clustered humaninteraction in the pre-ICT era. All social interactions at that time were definedand restricted into variables of geographical distance, linear clock time, andrigid contexts.Second, the network is a topology where relative distance defines therelationship between nodes, the members of the network. All the relativeconnections between people/nodes, create the network. This metaphor candescribe the modern life styles where interaction and communication amongpeople has been mobilized thanks t the telephone and the use of internet whichdefine mobile media networks. Networks walk beside the post-industrialsociety and “…constitute the new social morphology of our societies” as argued byManuel Castells in his book.253Looking at the diffusion, technology improvement and “domestication” of ICTdevices, technologies and applications like mobile phones, SMS, IM, email,PDA, laptop, and wireless connections in our daily life a network definitionseems insufficient to approach and support present-day social dynamics.Interaction among nodes/people of networks are acted with increasing spatial,temporal and contextual mobility. Today people can access others “anytime253 Castell, M. The Rise of the Network Society Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1996, pp. 469 195
  • 196. and anywhere”254 using mobile devices and interaction technologies, and at thispoint the relational disposition of human interaction among networks, isbecoming obsolete and transitory. We are moving to another, more advancedand fitting dimension which consider the daily negotiating activities of peoplemanaging interactions unchained from spatial, temporal and contextualconstraints. Here we introduce the fluid metaphor, supported by Mol and Lawdefinition which argue that a fluid world “…is a world of mixtures, variationwithout boundaries and transformation without discontinuity”255.In this pattern of fluid interaction, there’s no center and no peripheral; peoplebelong at the center of their clustered collection of relations, but at the sametime they belong to a unlimited number of potential connections which redefineboundaries of potential interactions. In this way the centre and the peripheraldoesn’t no more exist; their borders are continually mixed and shook by thecontinue flow of content, information, objects, images, video, blog posts,communication and building relations an connections. This fluidization ofsocial interaction is boosted by the use of technologies as our fellow mobilephone: fluid conversation and awareness of spaces, time and contexts are thevariables that will define the idea of mobile human interaction.254 Klenirock, L. Nomadicity: Anytime, Anywehere in a Disconnected World Mobile Networks andApplications, vol. 1, 1996, pp. 351-357255 See note 252, pp. 658-660196
  • 197. ConclusionMobile devices are becoming ever more ubiquitous, they allow people tomanage an increasing number of task and solve different needs, from taking anice picture or managing some spreadsheets or simply sending email.The most interesting point is that mobile phone are becoming “the mobileplatform”: on the base of a mobile environment, considering interactions,functionalities of the device, status of the user a huge fan of concept,applications can be deployed easily in such platform.A fluid environment is emerging around us and we with our mobile can beprotagonist of such a big revolution; no more boundaries will separate peoplebecause pervasiveness of mobile devices and habits has already touch all of thethree main dimensions of “wireless life”.Space, time and context mobilization are redefining how people interact: from awide perspective we are assisting at the mobilization of our interpersonalinteraction under all the three aspects 197
  • 198. 198
  • 199. Chapter 5ENTERPRISE 2.0: Innovation trendsbehind companies’ firewallsIn the last chapter we will describe how Web 2.0 processes and technologieswill affect future development of enterprise life and business models., inparticular we will focus on the well-before analyzed Social Networks Platformsand in general on Social Media.Previous chapters were mostly centred on the “user side” of the Web 2.0landscape, our every day use of platforms, applications and solutions that led tous live a better and “more-connected” life.In this chapter will be analyzed all the main innovation trends that will impact(or already have) the company-side of technology, the enterprise structure, itsorganization and future development. In other terms we will embrace theinteresting and exploding concept of “Enterprise 2.0”.After a brief description of the origin of the term, we will face the mainevolution from a 1.0 era to a – actual or better approaching – 2.0 era with thetypical dynamics, problems and opportunities of a evolution process. Than theattention will be shifted forward to the core topic: Enterprise 2.0.In the dedicated paragraph will be illustrated forces, trends and components ofthe Enterprise 2.0 framework.In doing this, a dedicated survey will be mentioned and relative results whichwill help us better focus and understand this evolutionary stream of 199
  • 200. corporations. Concluding this chapter and the my entire work, I will describesome future trends which companies need to pay attention for this year 2008.5.1 Origin of the term “Enterprise 2.0”At a first sight, the term “Enterprise 2.0” remember us something in commonwith the Web 2.0 landscape, but going deeper we have something more todiscover. Enterprise side of the 2.0 era, take inspiration and influences from theWeb 2.0’s powerful ideas such as user generated content, peering, collaborativeproduction all lead into the workplace.The term has been introduced in early 2006 from Professor Andrew McAfee ofHarvard business School and the concept has evolved until the generous andvisionary article titled: “Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of EmergentCollaboration”.256Born initially as “..the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, orbetween companies and their partners or customers”257, the term Enterprise 2.0 hasbeen expanded and re-shaped by press releases and the growing interest acrossthe corporate market. But the essential meaning remained the same: “...Socialapplications that are optional to use, free of unnecessary structure, highly egalitarian,and support many forms of data” 258.256 McAfee, Andrew P. Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration Management ofTechnology and Innovation, Reprint 47306, Spring 2006, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 21-28257 See note 256258 Hinchcliffe, Dion. Enterprise 2.0 Redux ( 19 November 2006 )200
  • 201. To continue the interesting McAfee reasoning, Enterprise 2.0 new wave ofprocesses and communication technologies, collectively allow better andspontaneous collaboration around information and knowledge.An interesting highlight emerges from the article, and it’s a concept-wordwhich embrace all the dynamics Professor McAfee thinks related to theEnterprise 2.0 phenomenon. The paradigm used by the author is SLATES,which refers to the leading characteristics of these new technologies. SLATESstay for: search, links, authoring, tags, extensions, signals. Let talk quickly abouteveryone of these components also referring to the previous chapters. Searchmeans the true discoverability of the information stored and present inside theenterprise ecosystem, allowing to connect content with context where theinformation/data are located. Links will be used to create connections betweenenterprise content as it is happening today in common blog platforms; in thisway can be identified a “hyperlinking” concept which enable employees tocreate ties across content and corporate elements. Authorship is already a criticalissue in the “consumer web” where a huge amount of content is created everyday, every hour easily; in the Enterprise 2.0, authorship stay for ensuring thatworkers may have easy access to platforms and tools. This issue need particularattention because evermore in next years people entering the enterprise as newemployee, bring their web 2.0 skills and customs; giving theme the chance tohave access and controlled freedom to engage in such tools and processes canonly boost collaboration and value creation across the entire corporatestructure. In the open web, or if you want to say outside companies, there is atotal availability of social software which allow people to easy create a blog or awiki page: outside in the web is full of accessible and open solutions tocollaborative and communicative tools. Tags are the essential Web 2.0 toolswhich allow people to organize on-the-go every content and they manage on 201
  • 202. the web; a precise and contextualize use of tags will led to a more efficientmanagement of data and information inside the company. Extensions availablein software and common tools such as web browsers or IM platforms, will let abetter experience to user/employees but in the other side, allow enterprise tobetter understand and promote employees daily work. Signals component stayfor the technologies and emerging trends in the way people, tools in particularwidgets and mash-up application manage their access to information and data;switching from an old pull-view of content to a contemporary push-view ofcontent: simply the idea behind Signals word stays for “..tell me whensomething is changed..” and adding the word “..immediately please”.The article continue highlighting a series of prerequisites and issues which needto be addressed in order to actuate “2.0 practices”, and the extension of theseissues will constitute the next analysis of Enterprise 2.0 dynamics.Inspired by the words of Professor McAfee, four things are essentials to boostnew practices adoption and development: first a receptive culture which willwelcome the new practices and processes; second a common platform whichwill allows collaboration and harness collective efforts; third an informal rolloutof technologies and tolls will be preferable to a more formal and rigid one inorder to taste humours, initial feelings and collect sincere feedback form users;fourth managerial level support, supervision and leadership are of vitalimportance. We don’t have to forget that every time new technologies andpractices appear, they are followed by positive changes and improvements butalso they hide the commitment to deal with new challenges.These hidden challenges are well counterbalanced by the potentialities of usingWeb 2.0 technologies and processes across and inside corporate firewallsleading to a superior use and share of knowledge and data; using a simpledescription we can say that Enterprise 2.0 is providing a way to open up the202
  • 203. previously inaccessible corporate information and let people to discover,navigate, use and share theme all inside a pattern inspired by Web 2.0 modelsand web-based solutions.Now is coming to my mind a simple and easy question: is Enterprise 2.0 amerely Web 2.0 for business? I think no, and here I will explain you why.Enterprise structure of computing and process is far more complex than finaluser and personal computing. Enterprise means an amount of environments,different and mostly mismatched data sources, variable numbers of usersaround the globe and precise policies and regulation.State of art today lack in a acceptable number of case studies, mature Enterprise2.0 products and feedback and humours on the use of such new technologies.The early stage and immature environment, limit most of times the discussionof Enterprise 2.0 to blogs and wikis technologies. We have to affirm that blogsand wikis inside companies mark a evolution in communication andcollaboration processes by enabling to capture information for a huge amountof people and let all this mass of data be used as man times as needed. Imagineonly the information added daily in wikis and blog that can be reused andreached simply from a search blank box; in opposite the old high effectivecollaboration tools such as the phone, instant messaging, emails whereinformation couldn’t be leverage to create sharable, reusable value.Enterprise 2.0 goes beyond a simple bunch of tools borrowed from the Web 2.0and usual customers’ daily use of collaborative technologies; Enterprise 2.0know an evolutionary process which is already started but that is not alreadyended, or for some visionary people the evolutionary process is just begun.Branding the corporate solution of the Web 2.0 only with images of blogs andwikis is not an error, but it is a limited vision of the spectre of potentialapplications and solutions represented by the name “Enterprise 2.o”. This fan of 203
  • 204. potentiality and changes can be visible highlighting the enterprise factor insidethe web evolution from the “1.0 era” to our “2.0 era”.5.2 From “Web 1.0” to “Web 2.0 “ EraIn the evolutionary path of the web structure and models we are facing in theselast 5 years, the enterprise factor has known a huge shift, a upside downshocking revolution. Old business models needed a review, the old competitiveadvantages changed and the market overall move forward following newdynamics of development and sustainability of respective business. In the chartwe describe visually the evolutionary path from a “Web 1.0” to a “Web 2.0”status of the web. In this evolutionary curve enterprise’s structure is shiftingand moving up towards new vibrant market variables in term of products andcompetition variety, where changes happens in a bottom up process and wherepeople/customers have more power, have better access to information and arebetter aware about your company. The old web structure has move andnowadays is still moving to a 2.0 recipe where the ingredients will be: people, apervasive two-way network, a no-stop activity on the web of close to 1 billionusers, products and services that leverage the previous three aspects to enterand serve a market. After having draw the line where we will arrive in this webevolution let start exploring the web development from the bottom of thegraph, from a web-configuration of approximately 5-7 years ago.204
  • 205. Figure 22: From the “Web 1.0” to the “Web 2.0” for the EnterpriseIn this “old” configuration of the web, we call it “Web 1.0” to easily follow afterthe evolution of the term, all the production was centralized in the hand ofcompanies, few management teams which decide what people and marketneeds and how they will get access to products andservices. “Web 1.0 “ era is described in the enterprise scenario with a “push “business model, where people receive what others decide the people need toreceive; this is the era of the “bestsellers” of the WalMart shelves where alltastes was pre-defined ( by WalMart off course ) and all the accessible productswere placed in the early part of the curve described well in the book of ChrisAnderson.259In this scenario of “limited shelves space”, traditional media were dominantsuch as television, magazines, papers and Hollywood’s movie industry; it was aera of the “one-way” and “one-to-one” pattern of communication in thecustomer relations but also in the business relationships of companies. Thenetwork still couldn’t leverage the amount of power it would have released innext years. In other words for companies the “first internet era” was259 See note 74 205
  • 206. characterized by centralized production, development and where the controlwas strong in the hand of company boards members and stockholders, not topeople and customers.It’s from this aspect of control that we enter in the next web era for theenterprise: the Web 2.0 era. Control started to shift dramatically position,moving from the board of companies to communities of people, to collaborationnetwork and in the end to final customers, internet users connected everybodywith the idea to create, get and obtain by using better products and services.In this path of changing, “ Web 2.0” pattern take all the good aspects of theprevious web era but it add some new features and resolve some issues of vitalimportance. In the “Web 2.0” era the business model changes moving from a“push” to a “pull” business model, where people decide with their choices andweb activity what to get access, which information and data have to reachtheme and how these activities need to be accomplished: user now are at thecentre, not more products and off course revenues. In this shifting scenario ofcharacters, the open source software developing model come to the scenegiving to developers and companies which leverage the use of developers kitsand their support, to open up the soul of software products and services,letting a huge amount of brains to take part at the evolution, improvement andrelease of better products in the market. Following and inspired by the “opensource way”, the product development and the production shifted position to amore collaborative environment, where usually the peer collaboration andproduction between users, customers, members of communities and socialnetworks led people to put together common efforts participating at thedeveloping process of products and services. Released products and servicesbegin to be more user-friendly letting people to manage theme without a deeptechnical knowledge, letting a self-service process in which people can do what206
  • 207. before they were not able to do. People like to be together in this is shown bythe amazing development and growth of social networks platform, and in thisnew amount of aggregating forces customers, for example people using all yourcar or your flying company decide to create connection between theme. “Web2.0” era is explicitly the time of communities and networks people whichconnect with each others socially around interests, products or also aroundcompanies. We have already mention in the previous chapters about socialnetworks inside and outside companies, and is this aspect that put a landmarkin the web evolution.We can summarize all these social dynamics inside Web 2.0, calling themesocial media: patterns and processes of communication and value creationwhich allow people to get a more social experience, sharing ideas, comments,opinions and get connections with other users.Companies increasingly observe their output to be the result of a variety ofactors and forces and where the unpredictability variable is ever more presentin their value chain. At this point a Forrester research highlight this pattern ofanalysis, calling what is happening and what is happening: SocialComputing.260The research define Social Computing “… (a) new social structure is emerging inwhich technology puts power in communities, not institutions”.Basically this definition can be found in three aspect: innovation moving from atop-down to a bottom-up model; value is shifting from the idea of ownership toexperience a service, use it; power going from institutions to communities ofpeople, of users. This two-way network effect, where communities of users260 Charron, C. Favier, J. and Li,C. Social Computing: How Networks Erode Institutional Power,And What to Do About It Forrester Research of February 13, 2006 207
  • 208. have power and move the vision of companies and institutions, is changing theexisting social structure of organizations and market.We continue now to enter in the “Web 2.0” era by highlighting some trends wewill analyze in deep in the next paragraph dedicated entirely to “Enterprise2.0”.The framework about “emerging-2.0ish” trends in the enterprise landscape,will consider, first of all, the two main dimension of the situation: productionalso where and how products and services are produced ( central or peer ), andconsumption also described by an internal or external to the company use of theservices ( employees or everybody ).Let start from the bottom left part of the graph, defined by and internal use anda centralized production of goods; here we find APIs, web services andsoftware releases produced and developed inside institutions and accessible toan internal public. Moving up to the external use and consumption of productdeveloped and released by a centralized core, we find widgets, RSS pulltechnologies, blogs and podcast. In this up-left area, the use is available toexternal users and customers and the technologies and process leverage mainlythe below components ( open APIs, SOA, Mashups..).Let have a look to the bottom-right part where dynamics move from acentralized production to a peer production/collaboration; here things harnesscollective efforts and developing solutions, and the first important trend wefind is Enterprise Wikis. This product exploit the collective intelligence to letpeople edit, publish, enrich with content and share information and data in acommon and friendly interface such as a wiki page we all know. Moving to thetop, internal boundaries loose their strength letting to external influences andaudiences; here social networking platforms and peer-to-peer networking write208
  • 209. a remarkable trend in the Enterprise 2.0 landscape of processes andtechnologies.We have figure out a smooth and simple scenario of Web 2.0 products,applications and technologies mainly taken form the consumer web andadapted or apparently adapted to the enterprise environment. Business arestructured differently that the consumer Web we all use everyday, and in thisgap of structure, culture and functionalities exist the main barriers. Examples oflimitations in the adoption of consumer customized web inside enterprises, arethe scarcity of optimized enterprise search, walled systems, facing problem ofsecurity, of low integrated applications and divergences in system’s models andstandard protocols.Introducing this early Enterprise 2.0 scenario, in next paragraphs present andfuture of Web 2.0 inside companies’ firewalls will be examined.5.3 Enterprise 2.0: forces and componentsThe previous introduction to the Enterprise 2.0 framework, will be here betterdefined and traced; variables like internal/external use and central/peerproduction will remain but in plus we will define another categorization aboutthe Enterprise 2.0 components about processes, technologies and tools whichcan be of social or technical source.First of all we enter in the environment of forces, dynamics which influencegrowing introduction curve of such technologies of collaboration andinnovative production, with forces for adoption and impedance of theadoption. Than will be the time to understand in deep the Enterprise 2.0 209
  • 210. framework, with all the components of the Web 2.0 environment behindcompanies firewalls; in particular we spend few more words on the mostcommon application like company’s blogs and wikis .At this point the result of a survey elaborated specifically for my work, willdescribe with a real point of view problems, potential or already existingbenefits, level of knowledge of Web 2.0 tools and the state of the art of adoptioninside companies of 2.0 technologies. The survey has been taken on a base ofmore than 100 people, mainly composed by employees (46%), entrepreneurs(23%) and professor/researchers (14%).The chapter will be closed with a final outlook on the future of the Enterprise2.0 with a particular attention to the next trends for the year 2008 in term ofWeb 2.0 tools and technologies adoption for companies.5.3.1 Forces for adoptionAs all the main changes happening in markets and different realities, there area lot of forces blowing in different direction and for different scopes thatinfluence continually purposes and potential results of changes.210
  • 211. Figure 23: Forces Influencing Enterprise 2.0 adoptionAdoption problems and desires of adoption of Web 2.0 tools and processes, isever more present spreading virally inside heads of IT managers and CIOs andboards members. Looking around, there is a limited number of case studies wewill mention later, and many people thin time is right for changes andinnovation in the direction of a Web 2.0 state of mind: but barriers andobstacles remains. Forces for adoption and other in opposite of impedance arefighting a strong, every one bringing a good and possible solution for do, or notto do actions in the direction of a more collaborative, open and user-orientedcompany.The first couple of opposite forces coming out in the “Forces Framework” are inone side, the push adoption because the easy to use characteristics of Web 2.0tools and technologies; at the other side of the barricade, is the fact that such ofkind of tools are not adequate to the enterprise context, they lack incontextuality aspect of customization for a business-acceptable internal, and of fcourse external use and image. 211
  • 212. Than we arrive, in my opinion, at the most strong force against the adoption ofinnovative way to work and doing business: control. We already know thatmany of the 2.0 trends in work and everyday life environment are characterizedby a collaborative work, a peering production and a consequently loose ofcontrol of institutions on many aspects starting from the product and servicedevelopment going until the business model of companies themselves. Is thisidea to loose control, a give a piece of it in the hand of people, users andcustomers that represent the main obstacle. Loosing control to give to peoplethe freedom to enter inside your company plans and dynamics is the price topay for a more innovative product development, a better a more effectivemarket positioning and to give a more attractive product/service experience tocustomers. The pro-adoption trend, in opposite leverage its idea to open up,loose control in same key aspect of the company chain to the fact that in thisway a lot of hidden and unknown enterprise information can came up, can besearchable and reachable by employees first and, in a limited part than also byexternal people. To conclude, the last force we can mention is off course relatedto people, user habits in the use of old, present and future tools specially on thework place, in the office and in general in the business market. Habits in thiscase are referred to a different fan of receivers: final users of company’s productor service, business partners and not to forget employees which are the mainactor in this change directed to Web 2.0 technologies. Here companiesmanagement need to concentrate its efforts and investments, because these newseries of tools and processes guarantee a higher level of productivity and aincredible level of knowledge retention. Pull-models, personalization, betteraccess and share of information inside and outside company boundaries canonly boost the learning and productivity curve upwards.212
  • 213. We have to admit that limits, barriers on one side and benefits or better forcesfor adoption are on the same level and time, experiences will tell us what willhappen. About one thing we are pretty sure and it is that the opportunity tocatch the Enterprise 2.0 tools’ adoption is veritable and the market forEnterprise 2.0 tools and business social software solution in 2007 top the level of$ 1 billion and projections say that it will arrive to over $ 3 billion in 2011.261 Theopportunity is outside, for both providers and services and tools companies’adopters, the only variable yet to be approached in deep by business marketand off course companies, is a conscious, strong, capable planning of specificand new business models and a growing strategy.5.3.2 Enterprise 2.0 components Figure 24: FLATNESSES, stands for SLATES evolution Source : See note 263Enterprise 2.0 technologists and developers are developing tools and servicesthat try not to impose to users, and off course companies employees how towork, how things should be done, or processes structured.262 “2.0 tools” arepositioned in the way to let all these rules of knowledge be written directly by261 ( July 2007 )262 213
  • 214. the people; in this condition we can introduce an advanced solution comingfrom the previous and famous McAfee’s “SLATES” model: we introduce the“FLATNESSES” one.263 The funny word, is quite complete to let us understandwhat are the main factor and characteristic of Enterprise 2.0, and here willfollow a brief introduction of the more important ones; some components wehave already found theme in the “SLATES” previous model, but there are someadded. In add, the “freeform” aspect come in the beginning of the word,because its importance in the way to guarantee in the minimal upfrontinterfaces with simple lists, tags at a first level, and later offers more structureand options.Than we have the “network oriented”, in the sense that a “2.0 tool” need to beweb based, 24/7 accessible form everywhere, reusable, and addressable; this isthe golden rule of SaaS, or better “Software as a Service”. In a networkconfiguration, software and all its information and setting is accessible fromany computer, from any workstation around the world and it is the mostproductive software now available in the market. Don’t forget the emergingand disrupting aspect of “Social software”, a configuration which harnesscollective intelligence and efforts sustained by a pull-based system; all this in atransparent and non-hierarchical structure: two undeletable words in thedeveloping path of the business social software.In the paragraph 5.2 we started mention at the trends happening in theEnterprise environment thanks to Web 2.0 influences and technologiesadoption. Continuing this pattern of analysis, a suggested key to describe all thedifferent components, involved two axes: one composed by internal or externalusing/facing; another dividing between social and technical components. We263 Hinchcliffe, Dion. Enable richer business outcomes: Free your intranet with Web 2.0 ZDNet (July26th, 2006 )214
  • 215. have to keep in mind that here are involved final solution ( tools, software,interfaces…) but also technologies which constitute the backbone for tools andprocesses. I want start by describing what I think are the four main “Enterprise2.o Platforms”: Wikis, Blogs ( business & employees ones ), Mashups and SocialNetworks.Wikis nowadays start to be a presence in most of organization’s intranet; thetechnology consists simply in web pages than everyone can edit, public andshare. Thanks to their easy of use they are the most used Enterprise 2.0 platformadopted inside company; they are the field where let growth any usergenerated content or architecture. A good example is the IBM platform called“QEDWiki”264 which stands for “ Quick and Easily Done Wiki”. The “Big blue”system is essentially three things in one: it is a Mashup maker which allows tocreate canvas and in this way build situational application; it is also a Wikiwhich aggregate all the well known wiki-characteristics; and at the end it is aBrowser in the way all content can be accessed achieving a rich user experience.A wiki system is a self-controlled system and it looks like a continuum meetingroom where people enter and get out as they want, they leave in the room theirideas and compare theme with other ones; if something wrong is committed orif someone tell something incorrect, the system and in this case the other peoplepresent in the room provide immediately to remove the wrong information andreplace it with one commonly accepted and verified.Blogs are the most disruptive result of people need to communicate to as manyindividuals as possible; “from me to everybody” may be the motto of thisdiffused publishing and communicative technology. As in the users-web,264 (QEDWiki) 215
  • 216. enterprise use the blog to publish information and interesting syndicatedcontent in a structure which promote collaboration with comments, links andtrackbacks. Usually the corporate use of a blog consists in corporatecommunication, reports on product releases or projects. Enterprise Blog todayare used in the following way inside the company:265 ∗ Knowledge Management ( 44 % ) ∗ Internal Information Dissemination & Project Collaboration ( 42 % ) ∗ Customer Communication ( 28 % ) ∗ Content Management ( 26 % ) ∗ Marketing and Public Relations ( 25 % )A final issue to be approached talking about blogs, regard the fact that alsoemployees want or can create their blog; this fact opens another problem interm of control, of auditing of content crossing from inside and outside thecompany boundaries, and finally of searchable and available information topublish and use. The key point stay in the need to add some features to thenormal blogging activities and in particular to give an enterprise context totheme. Solutions can consist in the introduction of a system for security andidentity so only employees or authorized people can publish and edit a blogcontent; in add a preferably automated auditing process can guarantee previoushypothesis even if all the services will be offered in a open environment forcreation and consumption.265 (Gilbane GroupResearch about blogs inside companies)216
  • 217. Social Networks is “the Trend” in Web 2.0 era; the rise of this kind of socialmedia destroyed all the old pattern of communication, information sharing andcollaboration between people. Social Networks represent the big promise ofWeb 2.0 stream of innovation: a two-way web where people have the power tocontrol theme and the information they bring inside the network. We havealready given a complete and satisfactory view of the consumer socialnetworks’ landscape, but also something is moving for business. Near popularplatforms such as Facebook or MySpace, other realties are emerging above thename of social network providers for business: an example is for sure VisiblePath266, a company specialized in providing social network platforms forbusiness purposes in enterprise environments, which refers to these kind ofplatforms calling theme RCM, or Relational Capital Management.A primary issue to solve before we can see real social network in action, is tominimize the personal aspects of corporate social networks, will ends up forlimiting their native usefulness. We know that social platforms work thanks toaffinities people can match in filling out interest or simply talking aboutthemselves: in other word the information which create the personal socialsurface that other can access and see. The issue for social media companies likeVisible Path and others to success in this new market, will be the one toguarantee an increasing personal social surface to employees, for example, butwithout disturbing the business itself. All these tools mentioned above describethe platform view of Enterprise 2.0 next potential applications and here we talkabout benefits and also issues of such a new kind of innovative trends. In thebenefit these social media applications offer, first there’s the more ad hoc andcontextual collaboration between employees; second a discoverable, usable andmore sharable business information; third capture and reuse institutional266 217
  • 218. knowledge thanks to innovative interactions and situational applications;fourth a hyperlinked, tagged and syndicated structure where information canbe literally followed and used more efficiently inside and outside the company;fifth a more productive and innovative environment, which was unthinkablebefore.Beside benefits, there are several issues to address in the way to guarantee asmooth development and more aggressive introduction of such technologiesinto daily business work. First there’s the productivity issue, becauseemployees using social media platforms may use these platforms for non-productive tasks such as socialize; second a security and control issue, whereinformation, identities and actions inside company social platforms need to beaudited; third and essential issue is the one about trust, to solve there’s the wayhow content, people and information can be trusted inside these platforms.So go back and start exploring the missing components of the Enterprise 2.oframework built above; the 4 main platforms mentioned before represented thecore where technologies, applications, efforts of technologists and usersexperience will merge.218
  • 219. Figure 26: Enterprise 2.0 FrameworkBut this core we don’t have to forget is made by different and variouscomponents, that here in the graph are divided by their characteristics likesocial/technical, and their main use destination like internal/external.To continue in the are of social and internal tools, after wikis solutions we have:Collaboration 2.0: it refers to tool more complicated than wikis and built aroundworkflow; SharePoint, ClearSpace provide structure where user generatedcontent can be accumulated and leveraged to achieve specific outcomes. Allcollaboration 2.0 products have one thing in common: they are simple, becausecomplexity kills collaboration and people contribution; that’s way tools forinnovative collaboration use the wiki format.Collective Intelligence and Prediction Markets: this component may merit the firstposition in the Web 2.0 framework, because its importance and power. Theterm refers to turning a mass o people into a collective intelligence driver, 219
  • 220. directed to built the best products or solution in the market. Companies startedto use this approach by using people daily use of software for example, the firsttest base by which start to provide solutions, upgrades and better products onthe market.Emergent backbone: the use of technologies such as tagging, hyperlinks,syndication is creating a sub-structure which enable a better use, search anddiscovering experience of information and data. Tagging is not nearlyappreciated inside companies but the time and potential returns in itsintroduction will not wait to emerge.Let’s continue to stay in the limited environment inside companies and look atthe technical components which let the social part exist and emerge.Enterprise Mash-ups: these business applications built on the fly to satisfyparticular purposes or situation start to be called “situational software” and it’sin this overlap that solutions like QEDWiki of IBM are positioned. Mostmashups are created just copy-and-paste components and desirableapplications inside personalized canvas; users can create real value simplyaccess the open web for applications using what satisfy their needs in aparticular moment.Rich User Experience: the Web and in particular the browser held such importantposition thanks to its ability to be adapted and enriched by let a ever more easyand efficient use of it by users. When we talk about a rich user experience, wecan proof their existence inside web pages which allow interactivity and animmersive time spent on theme; thanks to technologies such as AJAX or220
  • 221. Silverlight, today users’ experience using web as a platform to run software,application and updated tools represent an astonishing result.Data Aggregation: companies are over flooded by data and information, many oftheme kept inside firewalls and segregating data warehouses, difficult to bereached by employees. Following Web 2.0 stream, data need to be let be free,used daily and that its value is used and leveraged by every product or serviceexiting companies buildings.Perpetual Beta: every application, every software and technology is in aperpetual and continuum “BETA” phase, in the way that the product iscontinually changed, adapted and co-evolved by the use and collaboration ofmillion of users: products seem to be never finished. Companies which arebranded in their logo with the word “Beta”, innovate faster and attract moredevelopers and community interest in keep things going, and better!Syndication: content is ever more not located in a single place and thanks to thistechnologies like RSS started to be introduces in a useful way. With all thiscontent around the world, warehouses, databases the most intelligent way toget this content ever available but more important updated is to let the contentcome straight to. RSS solve in an excellent way this process using feeds anddedicated web software called “Feed-reader” to get a more easily andeverywhere access to content.SaaS: say goodbye to the installed software era, typical to the ‘90s and early2000. Now software is used simply like a product or better a service, it runs onthe network, it is available on the web and on your browser. This is known as 221
  • 222. “Software as a Service” ( SaaS ), a new model of doing software and alsobusiness thanks to low costs of promotion, distribution and positioning.SOA and WOA: service oriented architecture represent the top of a vision of anintegrated enterprise. SOA is largely based on web technologies, but thesupposed integration with the open web is already on working. We can say thatWeb 2.0 applications and in general its approach to software and userexperience, put a face to SOA in the way to feed situational applications, assiston-the-fly integration and in the end bring to the “People, Process,Information”267 vision typical of the SOA.Now we shift to the other side of the destination use of components andtechnologies, going out company’s doors looking at what is accessible in samecases or anyway that faces its life externally.Customer Communities: often people passionate about some product or companybuild their own community, and start to share ideas, opinions, comments oncompany activities and news. This kind of dynamic will represent for companya bridge for an innovative and powerful customer-company interaction.Network effect: linked to the collaboration 2.0 and the collective intelligence, thenetwork effect is reflected in the fact that a “2.0 product” is better and has morevalue as more people use it or have it. A more formal definition of the term is“networked applications that explicitly leverage network effects”268267 (QEDWiki Video Demo and introduction)268 (Neartime, the Enterprise Web 2.0 Engine)222
  • 223. Push vs. Pull: also mentioned above in the chapter, a shift is happening; we aremoving form a top-down control and decision model where company “push”down information, strategies, rules to a model where decisions, control andvalue move from the bottom to the top: here the idea of a “pull” content,information and leveraging people power are in the way.Product development 2.0: companies are deploying ever more to people and usersthe development of products and services. Company renounce to a bit ofcontrol but receive back an incredible amount of information, tests, data andcustomers opinions, comments all things vital to arrive in the market with asuccessful product.Architecture of participation: peer production and previous entry about productdevelopment boost a richer and direct user participation in designing patternfor enterprise success and products’ quality.Also here in the external view of our Enterprise 2.0 framework we havetechnical aspects to mention, and here they are.Open APIs: open up data of a site or software and let other people access anduse theme. APIs transform a product into a platform, and giving a productassociated with its API can only let to a great business result.Mashable Products: here reside the open APIs success, by allowing people cut-copy-paste string of code simply dragging widgets and applications in existingcanvas such as blogs, wikis or a website. Google Gadgets is one good exampleof the mashed content phenomenon and it can be proved by you simply look at 223
  • 224. how many Google Maps based application, software services exist outside. Theanswer: a lot and everyone provide a useful and more complete service.Ajax, Flash, Silverlight: a big battle is starting and contenders are the open-standards based AJAX and the Adobe and Microsoft solutions. The run for thelast Rich Internet Application (RIA) started.Office 2.0269: it is a new software category, completely web-based and anevolution of the SaaS configuration. Office 2.0 leverage all the Web 2.0characteristics starting form the collective intelligence, peer collaboration, realtime interaction arriving until the use of RIA interfaces.Lightweight platforms: how many time we mention the term “simplicity”.Keeping software and products simple, let enterprise to be focused onproductivity aspects of the solution and on the idea of innovate and continuedeveloping in a cheaper way.Mobile: is ever more the “Mecca” for the software and in particular for themajority of web applications; the opportunity to address a multibillion mobileusers market is not so simple as sending a SMS or an email. Going mobilemeans the idea of being close to people 24 hours a day, close to customers andsocial trends; companies are watching at the mobility trend and some areworking on the right direction, but the market is composed by many essentialand key players ( mobile producers, protocols, carriers, service providers,limited bandwidth connection…) and also a common path of development willkeep things going for everyone in the right way.269 (Ismael Ghalimi, January 25th 2006)224
  • 225. 5.3.3 Benefit and future issues to addressManaging such a great and complex mechanism particularly inside a companyis because there are remarkable benefits driving innovation deployment, butalso problems and issues to solve and address also need to be considered.Let start form the good news, as usual. In the graph I highlight some of themajor benefit of the introduction of the Enterprise 2.0 platform, and with themethe relative outcomes generable by their use. From the bottom to the top thelevel of value and richness of both benefits and outcomes will increase. Figure 27: Benefits and Outcomes of Web 2.0 processes and technologiesWe find at the bottom the “Open communication”, which stand for the fact thatall conversation and communication patterns can be visible and accessible byusers in the way to gather interaction on the go simply entering relevantconversation or simply be updated by theme. As outcome, transparency acrossenterprise and awareness will spread around employees creating a positive 225
  • 226. feedback loop by which built interesting and usable analysis. Going up in thevalue ladder, the “Shared knowledge” happening thanks to such technologieslet people create, mashingup and use content created by others; this pointunderscore the collective intelligence consequence and the importantknowledge retention consequence. Now with this configuration, “Anyone canparticipate” at the success of the wisdom of crowds; authorships increasinglevel and democratization of communicative processes are the outcomes. Herenow we find one of the best valuable benefits that is the “Network effect”, aextremely powerful dynamics which leverage the collective intelligenceconfiguration arguing that a product or a service is better as more people use it.At the top of our graph, remains the dominion of blogs, wikis and mashups;people are continually increasing their ability to work, manage and createcontent with Web 2.0 tools and technologies. The continuous share of contentpresents in blogs, wikis the awesomely use of applications and mashups allaround means definitely that a new era has begun: power came back to people’shands and enterprise needs to manage fast this shift.From the technologies and processes analyzed before emerge the incrediblebenefit which companies can leverage to enter in a new business era, wheredynamics and forces are completely changing business models, strategies,internal and external assets.We saw before how introducing these kind of innovations needs a strong andunitary effort of every components of the company; form the employee dailywork until arriving to the top management strategic choices.If we can suggest a potential path companies may follow, we surely start fromoutlining main issue to solve before make things more complicated.226
  • 227. State of mind – Enterprise 2.0 is more a state of mind, a way to think aboutpeople, processes and solutions, than a product to purchase. From a Forresterresearch emerges that CIOs would prefer to but a single-ready to use Web 2.0solution, but also the better Enterprise 2.0 suite is still missing keycharacteristics. The idea to buy a single or more ready to use solution and suitesis possible, but also inside company things need to start changing beginningform a good enterprise search of information and data, platforms to createsituational applications and Mashups easily even by employees.Control - The big problem for the future of the Enterprise 2.0 is represented bythe fear of the company to loose and give up some control to users; nowadaysthe web is in the hand of user generated content and in the collaborativepeering work and activities of users. Companies can loose everything, but theworst thing to leave is control and in particular the one related directly with theso amused company brand. The message is clear: companies need to startdealing with this issue because all the forces are driving in that direction.ROI - Another issue which keep management wake up at night, is for sure ROIon the innovation investment. With Web 2.0 technologies, lightweight softwareplatforms developed harnessing crowd intelligence and peering collaborationwill deliver better and regular results in term of ROI, but also in term ofproductivity and efficiency of the solution they provide. BU give time to time.Return on investment came form better and more efficient processes, andprocesses cam from a better use of time, knowledge and organizational habits:here things will take a time, not so long, to be formed because the processesbehind the simple introduction of a new collaborative tool involve actors andaspects which need to be coordinate in the development. 227
  • 228. Educate employees – Companies will need in most of the cases to educateworkers about the use of new Web 2.0 tools and techniques. The big issue is notto teach people how to entry a blog post or a comment in the social network,but the significance, the meaning of such actions in term of internal andpotentially external impact on company brand and responsibility.Keep what works – Enterprise 2.0 doesn’t mean to throw old PCs form hewindow and old IT systems out of work. It seems strange but Enterprise 2.0works better when it reside close to existing IT systems than alone and isolated.Old IT infrastructure can provide connection between information and datawith Enterprise 2.0 tools, in synergic work and collaborative effort. Result canbe a blog post where financial data can be viewed, than the table of data can bevisualized also in a RSS feed and let everyone employee updated.5.4 A survey and “what’s next” for Web 2.0 in 2008Before conclude the Enterprise 2.0 chapter with an interesting outlook for 2008innovation trends, I conducted a survey to test the perception among peopleabout Web 2.0 technology and processes. The survey was taken in the periodfrom the 1st until the 20 of January 2008, and it includes more than 70+respondents; question screenshot can be seen on the appendix. The surveypurpose was to understand and highlight how Web 2.0 is perceived amongdifferent typologies of players in the business market, from employees toentrepreneurs; people were asked to answer using their point of view but alsoto refer to their company’s strategies and feelings on the new 2.0 trends. The228
  • 229. survey has bee taken using a free 2.0-ish web service for surveys managementcalled and the link where people can find and fill in thesurvey has been sent to emails of direct acquaintances and friends of friends.The result was interesting because the relevant topic but also because theamount of email in add I received of people want to going deeper in thediscussion. The survey, as mentioned before, received more than 70 answerswith a complete percentage of 80% of the surveys; people interviewed age wasfrom 20 to more than 60 years old, because the idea to cover the more vast,differentiated and generational spectrum. I followed a “Prediction Market”270approach conducting the survey, in the way that if you want to catch thewisdom of crowds you have to satisfy three simple conditions: diversification,independence and decentralization of respondents; sending and inviting peopleform around the world, of different ages and covering different work positionsto fill in the survey was the right way to follow.Respondents profile: people answering the survey was aged from 20 to 60+ yearsold and the position covered by these people vary from people working mainlyas analyst and employees (46,2%), entrepreneurs (23,1%), professor andresearchers (15 %) but also senior job position levels of with managers (8%).Roles where differentiated and positions covered belong most to Marketingand Sales (31%) followed by Finance and IT (15% each); other minor roles inpercentage mentioned were about customer service areas, strategy and businessdevelopment. Allocating the survey invites, I keep in mind the idea of being asmost as differentiated also in term of geographic position of respondents; mostof surveys where filled form people working in West Europe (35%), EasterEurope (15%), Latin America (20%) and finally North America (30%).270 See note 70 229
  • 230. The profile of respondents cover partially the purposes to achieve the “wisdomof crowds” but the industry information part asked in the survey provide acomplete frame of differentiated respondents.Company information: industries targeted with the survey belong mainly to ITand Technologies (46%) and of Financial Services (30%) but series of smallpeople groups representatives work in other industries such as Manufacturing,Energy and Natural Resources, Public Sector, Telecoms, Automotive andRetailing. Now to understand the action area of industries involved in thesurvey, organization’s global annual revenue in US dollars were so composed: abig part of companies also because the percentage of entrepreneurs inside thepool of respondents, gain less than $10 million (41,7%); than we have two maintarget kinds of companies which are positioned in the are included between $10and $500 million (25%), than in the area between $500 million and $1 billion(8,3%) and finally a remarkable percentage in the are over $1 billion (25%).Company frame gives back us a differentiated potential spectrum of what willthe meaning of Enterprise 2.0 and the impact of such technologies insidecompany boundaries. We pass from the small startups, to the medium/smallcap company until the multinational giants; results will give us a general ideaof “what’s now and what’s next” condition of innovation Web 2.0 trends.Results: first answer to underscore in the survey and in particular in thisdedicated part about Web 2.0 inside company’s boundaries, is the one about theconcept people associate most with Web 2.0 environment. People questioned toselect the at least three term which express at best the idea of Web 2.0, emergesthat social network is the most selected in addition with the RSS technology.This verify the fact that Social Networks are “The trend” most known between230
  • 231. business people; in addition the fact that RSS is the most associated technologywith the Web 2.0, probably refers to the fact that business people do a massiveuse of blogs, wikis and news reader in the way of being ever informed andupdated, also because business people do a intense use of emails thanks withPDAs and Blackberry devices. At the second place, respondents choose thecollaborative production linked with the resulting outcome of the usergenerated content (UGC). The third concept is more than an idea but accordingto me is a consequence of the previous two other concepts: web 2.0 dynamicsleverage the power of crowds, the collective intelligence which allows toproducts and services to be developed better as more people use theme, foronly cite the famous network effect. Than the survey went deeper in the senseto understand, after if people know or think are the concepts which characterizemost the Web 2.0, if such tools and technologies are used or not insidecompanies and the results was interesting. Blogs, Wikis and onlinecommunities are the main platforms to be used in companies: approximately50% of companies under $10 million annual revenue already use theseplatforms and the same scenario is observable in the second level of companies,the ones which are in the level under $500 million. This observation isinteresting because can be interpreted with the fact that majority ofsmall/startups company leverage their success and sustainability frominnovative platforms of communication. In the multi billion company categoryseems that the process to integrate employees’ work and management decisionwith 2.0 platforms need a little more time because dimension, complexity andvariety of components in such giants.The main functions will use most the Web 2.0 solutions, according torespondents are represented in the Figure above are Marketing and Sales, ITand Strategy which are and will be shortly the main recipients of Enterprise 2.0 231
  • 232. revolution. To conclude the brief survey, I wanted to taste people feeling onfuture increased revenues and cutting cost thanks to Web 2.0 solutionsintroduction. The most efficiencies were found in three main areas: reducingcosts of acquiring new customers and leveraging new technologies to increaserevenues determined by new customers acquisition; cutting costs in marketing,advertising and customer service, summarizing the way how companies talk topeople is significantly changing in the way to leverage viral and more usercentred communicative patterns; increasing revenues in the online sales andonline services, thanks to more traffic to company website or relateddistributors and most ability of people to harnessing collective intelligence inthe way to find the better solution at their needs.ConclusionsIt would be pretty challenging to finish this chapter by describing the comingtrend for Enterprise 2.0 in next year, because things change so fast and rapidlythat Web 2.0 can change our workdays in every single day, hour and minute.Information production is huge and uncountable, near 1 billion people arecreating content daily by posting on their blogs or by tagging some pictures oradding a comment to someone video on YouTube and the number is counting.Managing such a great change like this is extremely difficult but at the sametime essential for the sustainability if companies, business models and thewhole market; here the first issue to address is the fact that Web 2.0 ishappening now, with or without you it will shake existing organizations and232
  • 233. structures, so be ready to change. The story of Enterprise 2.0 many think willbecome in a close future (starting now) a standard, an adopted approachcommon to all the companies to embrace innovation and driving trends amongorganization rules, strategies and result achieving. Enterprise 2.0 will faceinevitably problems but also triumphant experiences, and will be in this peak ofopposite feelings that a standard and an adopted innovative way to think aboutbusiness model and at the company environment will emerge.After this brief intro I want to introduce, really, six trends I expect for thecoming new year will characterize enterprise efforts.One: Information and SearchThe amount of information present nowadays inside companies and the otheramount coming in next periods, will increase monstrously so this will drive thedemand for solutions to manage, consolidate and organize this daily flood ofcontent and data. Mass of wiki pages, blog entries all for sure incorporatingprecious information like products information, teams status, project progresswill continue to grow. The demand about information is related to the aspect ofget effective and off course to organize all this content. This under-leveragedarea of corporations composed by information warehoused somewhere, willneed to be covered by search engines inside companies and finally get all thepower of this aspect. Also an emerging trend in this way, will be the onecomposed by applications of social media data mining which will try, forcompanies which have been early adopters of Enterprise 2.0, to centralize,normalize and aggregate social media information and content flow.Two: Social Networks 233
  • 234. In this year many intranets will enabled to get social networking capabilities inthe way to leverage and take the value back inside companies of employees’connections; the number of company driven and employee driven socialnetworks will increase drastically in their number in 2008, thanks to integrationof existing consumer social networking platforms into mobile operators andmobile devices. Mobile Business Social Network in this way are entering theEnterprise 2.0 scene; their potential impact on sales force, travelling managersand all activities requiring periods away form office and colleagues will bemassive.Three: SecurityKey aspect will addressed by companies will be the one about security andidentity verification tools and processes. People are intensively and all roundinvolved inside company strategies and key issues, so the chance to get an openwindow where blogs and wikis can be transformed into gun pointed to theheart of the organization. Saas and applications extend the surface of thecompany, its opportunities and off course its frailties; more and moreemployees will start self-servicing their need by importing inside companiesfirewalls applications and mashups coming from the open web. Enterpriseinformation will be ever more visible and exchanged in the web, ever more thefrontier between data coming form inside and the one coming from outsidecompany will demand security solutions for next generation Enterprise 2.0platforms.Four: SOA and Mashups234
  • 235. SOA will represent in 2008, the core of IT departments thanks to its evolvedcharacteristics of being (finally) lightweight and web oriented.Design principles will be addressed in the way to create new and moreeffective solutions also to satisfy the increasing demand for ROI of companies intheir SOA investments. The same light approach will be followed, in particularby early adopters, in the use of mashups inside companies; mashup buildingwill be slimmed down but for a complete or heavy use by a critical mass ofemployees we need to wait. Situational applications this year will face theirevolution to become “personal business applications” and their road to changepeople working’s habits.Five: Collective IntelligencePlatforms which leverage collective intelligence and applications formanagement decisions, will see important adoptions. For example the rocketing“Prediction markets” will represent the first real Web 2.0 applicationintroduced in companies, because its capacity to harness collective intelligenceleveraging the power of the networks.Concluding, Enterprise 2.0, but also in general Web 2.0 are not a merely productor a ready-to-buy solution: they represent a continue evolution, a continueinnovative path in the way to give people more power, more tools and moresense to let theme enjoy better their and others lives. 235
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  • 247. List of FiguresFigure 1: The Web 2.0 Structure 27Figure 2: Typology of content different user categories access 30Figure 3: Top 10 most viewed Italian Blog 54Figure 4: Top 10 most viewed Blog Worldwide 55Figure 5: Domestic vs. International traffic on MySpace and Facebook 58Figure 6: Web 2.0 Landscape and categories of different 2.0 Companies 63Figure 7: Wiki Design Principles 66Figure 8: Wiki vs. Conventional Web Pages 71Figure 9: Article Growth on Wikipedia according different languages period 01-07 73Figure 10: Social Networks Platform worldwide diffusion in countries 96Figure 11: Social Networks Platforms popularity per continent 97Figure 12: Social Networks Total Unique Visitors June 2006 – June 2007 98Figure 13: Msn vs. Facebook Daily Pageviews (Percent) 100Figure 14: Virtual Hangouts Platforms with relative characteristics 113Figure 15 : Mobile Social Network Categories 138Figure 16: Online Community Framework - Policies, Purposes and Actions 171Figure 17: Computing categories according to variables of Mobility 180Figure 18: Comparison of connectivity technologies 182Figure 19: Mobile Phone with camera/not growth during period 2004-2010 184Figure 20: Three dimensions of human interaction 189Figure 22: From the “Web 1.0” to the “Web 2.0” for the Enterprise 205Figure 23: Forces Influencing Enterprise 2.0 adoption 211Figure 24: FLATNESSES, stands for SLATES evolution 213Figure 26: Enterprise 2.0 Framework 219Figure 27: Benefits and Outcomes of Web 2.0 processes and technologies 225 247
  • 248. Appendix 1248
  • 249. Appendix 2 Total InternetUniqueVisilors 178,839 70,478 27,965 1,667 4,083 2,914(000)Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0AudiencePersons 10.1 6.6 15.2 6.8 27.2 11.112-17Persons 12.0 18.0 26.9 11.2 9.7 16.118-24Persons 16.0 19.4 11.5 21.2 13.6 21.125-34Persons 38.9 42.3 34.4 44.8 34.8 37.935-54Persons 14.8 10.0 6.6 10.7 7.1 8.255+ 249
  • 250. Appendix 3 Registered Name Description/Focus Registration Users43 Things Tagging 1,007,433 OpenAdvogato Open Free Software and 11,000 Open Source developersAmina - Chechen Republic Online Chechens 3,500+ OpenaSmallWorld European jet set and 150,000 Invite-only social eliteBebo Schools and colleges 34,000,000 African-Americans 16,000,000 OpenBlue Dot Link sharing 80,000 OpenBolt General (music and 4,000,000 Open video) Video sharing and 26,000,000 Open webcam chatBuzznet Music and pop-culture 500,000+ OpenCarDomain Car enthusiasts 1,600,000 OpenCare2 Green living and 7,151,375 Open School, college, work 40,000,000 Open250
  • 251. and the militaryConsumating "Consumeetings" 21,000 OpenCouchsurfing "Couchsurfing" 192,000 OpenCyworld Young South Koreans 15,000,000 OpenDandelife Collective narratives Unknown Open or "shared biographies"LiveJournal Blogging 490,310 invite or Mobile Status Upload Unknown OpenDontStayIn Clubbing (UK) 235,000+ OpenDoostang Careers 173,000 Invite-onlyEcademy Business 100,000 OpeneSPIN Teens 4,400,000 OpenFacebook Started for colleges, 34,000,000 Open then high schools, and now everyone.Faceparty British teens and 20- 5,900,000 Open to somethings people 16 and older.Flickr Photo sharing 4,000,000 Open (Yahoo! login)Flirtomatic Flirting/Dating 265,000 Open to people 18 and older.Fotki Photo sharing 1,000,000 OpenFriends Reunited School, college, work, 12,000,000 Open sport and streetsFriendster General 29,100,000 OpenFrühstückstreff General 11,600 OpenGaia Online Anime and Games 7,000,000 Families, genealogy 100,000 Open 251
  • 252. GoPets Virtual pets 400,000 School, college, and 650,000 Open Poland 1,000,000 Invite-onlyHi5 General 50,000,000 OpenHyves General Dutch social 3,266,581 Open networking website.imeem IM Unknown OpenInfield Parking United States NASCAR fans 36,000 OpenIRC-Galleria Finland 400,000 OpeniWiW Hungary 1,500,000 Invite onlyJoga Bonito Football (soccer) Unknown Music 15,000,000 OpenLibraryThing Book lovers 214,425 OpenLinkedIn Business 11,000,000 OpenLiveJournal Blogging 12,900,000 Open (OpenID)LunarStorm Sweden 1,200,000 OpenMEETin General 72,000 General 2,000,000 Latinos 3,600,000 OpenMixi Japan 9,830,000 Invite-onlyMOG Music Unknown OpenMultiply "Real world" 5,000,000 Open relationshipsMy Opera Community General (blogs, photo 834,753 Open albums, forums, groups, etc.)MySpace General 189,000,000 OpenmyYearbook General 950,000 OpenNetlog EU young adults (14- 18,000,000 Open 24) known as Facebox252
  • 253. Nexopia Canada 1,019,372 Openorkut Owned by Google 57,431,788 Open Google IDOUTeverywhere Gay Unknown OpenPassado General 4,700,000 OpenPiczo Teenagers, Canadians, 10,000,000 Open photo sharingPlayahead Swedish teenagers 530,000 OpenProfileHeaven British teens 100,000 OpenRateItAll Consumer ratings + Unknown Open social Locating friends and 28,000,000 Open family, keeping in touchRyze Business 250,000 OpenSearchles Social Search + Social Unknown Open Networking ( hybrid )Sconex American high schools 500,000 OpenShelfari Online community for Unknown Open book Mobile users Unknown OpenSoundpedia Web 2.0 based music 1,500,000 Open communitySportsvite Recreational Sports 18,000 OpenStudivz University students, Unknown Open mostly in the German- speaking countriesStumbleupon Websurfing 2,750,000 OpenTagWorld General (tagging) 1,850,692 OpenTakingITGlobal Social action 145,000 OpenThe Doll Palace Cartoon dolls and 2,500,000 Open dress up games 253
  • 254. The Student Center Teens and colleges 800,000 OpenThreadless Custom T-shirts 364,474 Travel 420,000 OpenTravellerspoint Travel 90,000 General 602,876 OpenTwitter Update friends with Unknown Open your status (SMS, IM)Vampire Freaks Gothic industrial 1,020,500 OpenVox Blogging Unknown OpenWAYN Travel & Lifestyle 8,000,000 18 and olderWebBiographies Genealogy & Unknown Open BiographyWindows Live Spaces Blogging (formerly 120,000,000 Open MSN Spaces) (Windows Live ID)Xanga Blogs and "metro" 40,000,000 Open areasXING Business 2,000,000 OpenXuqa Colleges 1,000,000 OpenYahoo! 360° Linked to Yahoo! IDs 4,700,000 Open to people 18 and older (Yahoo! login)Yelp United States adults Unknown OpenZaadz Social consciousness 76,474 OpenZooomr Universal Photo Unknown Open Sharing (OpenID)254
  • 255. 255