1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is the Social Web and What Does It Mean to Be a Part of It?

Exploring How to Get Started or How to Enhance Your Social Web Presence


What is the Social Web and What Does It Mean to Be a Part of It?
Photo © Getty Images

The “social web” is kind of a laidback term we use to describe how we communicate and interact with each other online. Gone are the days of describing the Internet with the "web 2.0" term. We’re now moving toward a much more personalized and social web with a shifting trend toward going mobile.

Are You a Part of the Social Web?

If you use the Internet, chances are that you certainly are part of the social web. Even if you don’t use any popular social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, sending a simple email from an email address is enough to put you on the social web.

The social web describes any piece of technology, website, app or software that supports online communication between two or more people. This could come in the form of a social game, a social online shopping site, a social music streaming site, a social network, a video sharing platform or anything else that integrates social interaction into its services.

Why Join the Social Web?

So, are you missing out on a ton of great stuff by staying disconnected largely from the social web? That kind of depends.

Both of my parents, who are in their mid-50s, refuse to join any social networking site. They both enjoy surfing the web, reading news sites, watching interesting videos on YouTube and of course using email – but neither one of them care to share information about themselves on a public platform like Facebook or Twitter. I’d describe them as social web minimalists.

Being deeply connected to the social web opens you up to a world of endless information. If you feel the need to share information of interest to you and check out information shared by people you know and respect, getting yourself on a few good social sites might be a good idea.

Warning! Don’t Become a Victim of Information Overload

There’s one major pitfall that most of us face when we dive deeper and deeper into the social web: instant access to an overwhelmingly massive constant flow of information. This is not always a good thing.

Web services boast their own social web benefits often encourage their users to add as many friends as possible, follow hundreds or even thousands of accounts, share everything and never stop interacting. But all of that information can suck up valuable time that you need to be productive in other aspects of your life.

Ease into it. Don’t go crazy and follow everyone and everything just because you can. Humans are strange creatures that feel the need to know everything, all the time – but if you don’t even realize that you’re missing out on something and it doesn’t affect your life in any significant way, do you really need to know about it? Probably not.

Getting Started on the Social Web

So, you’re ready to consume information, share stuff of interest and be more connected while keeping an eye out for too much information overload? Awesome. Here are a few places you can look to get started, or to simply just enhance your current social web experience.

13 popular social networks: Here’s a brief list of the social platforms that are the hottest right now. You won’t find Friendster or MySpace on it. People have shifted more toward sites like Twitter and Instagram these days.

10 cool social bookmarking tools: Did you find something you want to save for later? There are tons of great bookmarking tools online for everything from blog posts and photos to videos and music.

10 RSS aggregator tools: If you have a collection of sites or blogs that you like to read regularly, you can get that content instantly delivered to you by using an RSS aggregator.

10 amazing mobile web apps: For the social networker, who’s always on the go, take a look at some of these popular web apps available for both Android and iOS devices to help make your mobile web experience more enjoyable.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.