Saturday, November 11, 2006

Two new Social Networking opportunities

Two recent announcements about new social networking opportunities are worthy of note. I believe it is very evident that we, as users of the internet, are being enabled to build specialized networks for local social and environmental topics. As we learn how to use these new opportunities citizens should have a much more active involvement in deciding future natural resource and ecosystem issues.

is developing a wide variety of useful internet applications that qualify as social networking opportunities. Google Earth, by itself, is just an amazing way for people to share photos and web site information about geographic locations people care about. Combined with all of the other Google Services and Tools Internet users are gaining new options that they have never had available to them before.

As explained in the Ning article below, Google is not alone in developing amazing new options and opportunities for individual and group networking opportunties we can learn how to use in the near future. This is an exciting time for internet users who want help change how we participate in our democracy.

October 31, 2006 - Ben Ames, IDG News Service, wrote an article in titled Google buys JotSpot, offers free wiki pages. "In a bid to grow beyond its roots as a search engine, Google has acquired JotSpot, a developer of wiki technology for collaborative Web sites. Earlier this month, Google announced it would offer online word processing and spreadsheet applications to its millions of Web searchers. The company also has a blogging service, but hasn’t yet introduced a tool for Web-based collaboration."

The Jotspot web site notes that is not accepting ..."new account registrations while we focus on migrating to Google's systems." They will notify you when registration is open if you provide an email address. On a Frequently asked questions JotSpot page "Why is Google acquiring JotSpot?" The answer is "Google shares JotSpot's vision for helping people collaborate, share and work together online. JotSpot's team and technology are a strong fit with existing Google products like Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Apps for Your Domain and Google Groups.

November 8, 2006 - Martin LaMonica, wrote a article for CNet titled Ning brings social networking to the masses. "Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini took the stage at the Web 2.0 Summit here Wednesday to publicly launch, which lets people build Web sites for online socializing." He quotes Gina Bianchini CEO of Ning, ""What's different about Ning from other services is that we give you your own video site like YouTube, or social-networking site like MySpace," she said. "But unlike being a page in somebody else's service, it's yours. You get to choose what it's about."

Lamonica also quotes Mark Andreessen, best known as a Netscape co-founder, "Our basic theory is that as people get more sophisticated and used to social networks, they are going to want a lot more flexibility and a lot more customization," Andreessen said. "We're making a big bet that there will be a lot more social networks over the next couple of years."

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