Throughout the unit we have learnt about many of the social tools available on the internet including blogs, wikis and the more mainstream social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
But is there more to cover? Of course there is there are many, many unique social tools which aim to increase productivity, collaboration and enforce other Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 principles. Obviously I can’t discuss them all so I’ll just mention a few I have been using.
A Pastebin is basically a site for people to share snippets of code quickly over the internet. These tools are commonly used for collaborating with people over MSN or IRC. The original Pastebin software at Pastebin.com has recently undergone a complete overhaul offering new features and a modern interface. Despite this overhaul the site has kept its basic principle of simplicity, there are no user accounts, no post deletion (there is however post expiration).
Something I have recently found interesting about the Pastebin website is the API. The beauty of many Web 2.0 platforms is the simplicity of integration and using the Pastebin API was a cinch. As part of a hobby project I made a basic tool which converts PSP (PlayStation Portable) cheat codes to different formats, upon pressing the convert button it uses AJAX to display the output and also creates a Pastebin post with the output content. Public APIs like these are a great example of reusing code which is a practice which is becoming more and more common with social software becoming more integrated.
Unfortunately the feature listed above has been removed since I started writing this due to privacy, copyright and other legal issues which was a major concern due to the inability to moderate Pastebin content.
Forums (also known as Bulletin Boards) are excellent systems for collaboration. They are similar to blogs in that 1 user creates a topic and other users then comment on it. The difference is that forums are sorted into categories and instead of only the blog owner being able to create new topics anyone can!
Forums vary forum site to site and generally have a primary focus area (eg. gaming). The primary use of a forum to most users is as a tool for seeking assistance on a matter.
One of the largest and most well-known forums is /b/. This forum was initially created for sharing anime and manga. However due to its anonymous nature it became the number 1 site for planning an internet prank. Of its many pranks some of the more recent ones are DDoS’ing anti-piracy sites, attempting to get Justin Bieber sent to Korea and many others. Many of the internet memes such as lolcats and rick rolling were also the creation of 4Chan users.
What else is there?
I’m sure there are many other platforms which encompass the Web/Enterprise 2.0 principles. There just isn’t enough room to mention them all! With new services coming and going every day the possibilities are endless and new uses for existing tools are being found all the time. As technology continues to grow and expand into new areas we are all finding ourselves more reliant on these systems which many of us now rely on every day.