In the early days of the World Wide Web, the Internet was composed of largely static sites where information was provided by a site owner and read by viewers across the globe. While groundbreaking in terms of sharing information, there was little, if any, two-way interaction.
But the same technologies that powered the Web were also being used to create the first online social tools. Email allowed near instant communications with friends and colleagues. Instant Message brought the ability to converse back and forth in real time. Chat rooms brought like-minded people together to discuss their favorite interests. Forums provided communities to ask questions and get feedback.
As these technologies matured, they began to allow for larger and larger groups to converse together. It became clear that the Internet had the potential to bring vast communities of people together from all across the world. And soon we saw the rise of true social networking, which combined the best of all these tools and provided users with a means of expressing themselves and communicating instantly with former classmates, old friends, business associates, fellow hobbyists, or the entire world.
These days, there is a social outlet for everyone, whether you want to share your every moment or simply keep up-to-date with your peers. Regardless of your goal, there’s a tool that can help you connect. Learn more about:
- All About Newsgroups
- How to Use YouTube
- Instant Info with RSS
- Instant Messaging, Virtual Meetings and Web Calls
- Online Networking
- Web Chat and World Wide Webcams
- Your Social Media Strategy
Social Networking is for Everyone
The number and range of social networking sites are constantly growing, so it would be impossible to list all of them here. If you can’t find a social network that fits your needs, start with the sites here and see if any of them offer special groups tailored to your interest. For example, thousands of groups exist on Facebook covering a wide range of topics. Or you can form you own group.
The sites above can also help you find like-minded individuals to share your ideas with. Talk to them, and find out what other tools they use. But also remember that anyone can connect to social networks, so use good judgement and don’t overshare.
If you’re still nervous about joining the social world, take small steps. Set up a Facebook profile and add some of your friends. Start a LinkedIn account and connect with your coworkers. You don’t have to post right away. Just browse. See what other people are talking about, and join the conversation when you’re ready.