Danah Boyd gave an interesting talk recently at Blog Reloaded about the
significance of social software. I like her thinking and
she’s great at picking out key aspects and expressing them in
down-to-earth terms.

“Regardless of what you think the term should mean... The fact is that
social software has come to reference a particular set of technologies
developed in the post-web-bust era. In other words, in practice, social
software is about a movement, not simply a category of technologies.
It’s about recognizing that the era of e-commerce centered business
models is over; we’ve moved on to web software that is all about
letting people interact with people and data in a fluid way. It’s about
recognizing that the web can be more than a broadcast channel;
collections of user-generated content can have value. No matter what,
it is indeed about the new but the new has nothing to do with
technology; it has to do with attitude”.

I’m not sure I agree with her about ecommerce-centred
business models being “over” - i think they need to re-evaluate and evolve to include more than a product rating or comment sections... But certainly, I agree with the rest and
think that it’s one of those subtle but profound shifts in attitude to
which we still haven’t fully grasped the practical ramifications.

You can read the full transcript of her talk here:
www.danah.org/papers/BlogTalkReloaded.pdf

ON: Social software is a movement not just a technology via @jpenabickley