Social Networking through Web 2.0: An Introduction

As Alice E. Marwick recounts, Time Magazine named the 2006 person of the year “You”. That’s what Web 2.0 was about. You. The era of Web 2.0 did away with Web 1.0’s focus on published content, now it was all about user generated content. It afforded a freedom of information and expression to users that was previously unprecedented, and users took advantage of that (Marwick 23). Suddenly users were no longer in the back seat, just along for the ride while professionals drove, but sitting up front with their hands on the wheel.

When users took on the role of both producer and consumer, users began communicating with each other more. Communities began to be formed based on common interests, people began to care more about their presentation online, and they began to connect with friends and other users. This is what led to the phenomenon of social networking that is such a huge part of all of our lives today.

We as users are embedded so seamlessly into the intricate network that we ourselves have woven with Web 2.0, that at this point we can hardly recall a time before social networking was a part of our lives. Social networking has become so ubiquitous, we hardly think about it anymore, because that is how necessary it is. Some of our most profound and meaningful connections are online and that is due to the shift towards user-generated content that Web 2.0 allowed.

This surge of social networking is affecting us in so many different ways, all of which can be tied back to the development of Web 2.0. Like I mentioned earlier, Web 2.0 made the Internet about you, the user, and it gave you the ability to shape your own experience. What better, and more prominent way to do so than through social media, which can arguably at this point be seen as an extension of people’s every day lives.

This blog explores the various academic articles to examine this explosion of social networking as a result of Web 2.0, and how it changed the rules of the Internet game. From group formations and dynamics, to how those groups interact with each other and why they form in the first place, to even how those professional companies that Web 2.0 usurped in the first place are now adapting to Web 2.0’s world of social networking, I am looking into the multiple facets behind social networking as a result of Web 2.0.

Works Cited

Marwick, Alice. Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age. Yale University Press, 2013.