If you run a business, there are benefits to being social, to getting involved in your community. Building friendships and business relationships with others not only means having a richer social life, but also becoming part of the whole community.
Getting involved in a local chamber of commerce or main street business association can provide networking opportunities, and also a chance to help strengthen and enrich your community, and improve the standard of living for the people around you.
The internet expands our ability to be social beyond the scope of our local communities. The Web is a social place, a medium which allows people to communicate and interact regardless of differences in distance or timezones.
There are a lot of folks who have written about different aspects of the social nature of the web. I thought it would be interesting to find some papers from the last year that take a closer look at social networking online.
Before looking at those, I wanted to point out a conference on successful online communities and social networks, happening at the Stanford campus on – Community Next: The Present and Future of Online Communities on February 10th, which is filled with some great speakers. If you’re in the area, and free that day, it appears that they still have openings for attendees.
These are some of the papers I found on the subject. There are many more, but a number of those are hidden behind subscription based services.
Social tools are developing rapidly upon the web, from blogs and wikis, to social network sites and file sharing services. This paper gives a broad overview of some of these different tools and how they can enable consumers to become producers.
Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries
Considers a view of a library as a social network, with users collaborating on knowledge building efforts.
While this paper begins by exploring alternatives to the major search engines, it quickly shifts focus to an exploration of how people can share information with each other through social bookmarking sites.
What inspires someone to join an online social network? How do groups evolve within those networks, why do some communities grow quicker than others, and what happens when the network changes? Those are some of the questions explored in this paper.
When you enter information about your interests into a profile at a place like MySpace, you may not have anticipated that people would look for ways to mine and aggregate that information, and try to find relationships between people. The project described in this document describes one effort to do just that.
I haven’t tried Google’s Dodgeball (Internet Archive link) because it is limited to 22 cities, none of which I live in, but it’s interesting looking. This paper describes the evolution of online social networks, and what next steps might take place in the development of social mobile networks.
Steve, over at SEOPittfall, has a thoughful article on The Value of Trust involving trust and social networks. He talks about how trust is built online through links and commentary about other web sites. He also discusses the value of getting involved in social networks to help build social value and trust for your site. In this paper, concepts of trust and trust relationships are explored on social networks themselves.
A great collection of papers presented at the CHI2006 conference on social software for mobile devices. For why this is important, see Web 2.0, Dude, Who Cares, Where’s Phone 2.0?