The rise of social networks in recent times has been impossible to ignore. In this period, online services such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bebo and Flickr have quickly become household names, attracting staggering numbers of users around the world.
Putting things into context
Since its very beginnings, the web has always been a place for the sharing of ideas and immediate interaction been people and businesses across vast distances. As the technology behind it improved at an exponential rate, coupled with the wide penetration of ever faster broadband connections, the ground was laid for the development of systems that would revolutionise global communication and for the medium to reach an important milestone in its evolution.
The earliest online communities largely revolved around the use of chat systems such as IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and Usenet “newsgroups”. Forum systems swiftly gained popularity as a way for individuals with shared interests to disseminate information amongst each other and develop relationships in what was affectionately known at the time as Cyberspace.