I have been thinking over the past couple of days how much things have changed online in the past several months. Social networks have gone from early adoption stage to pretty mainstream, and now the early adopters of business are starting to really grab hold of social media as a way to enhance their online presence. Within the next little while, the business community at large is going to start to catch on in a big way and then it’s going to really get interesting.

Along with this shift has come a shift in the way that people use the Internet. For example, online media and communications wizard Jeff Pulver talks here about how he uses Facebook as a business communication tool. Lots of people, like Collective Thoughts’ Brian Wallace are talking about why Twitter is so important to the new Web.

A year or so ago, my Internet experience was as follows. My home page was the Google Home page, in which I had customized widgets for reading the CBC News, my horoscope, TechCrunch, Wired Magazine and a few others I can’t remember. If I wanted to find information on something I went to Wikipedia. I chatted with people using Windows Messenger and Google Chat. If I was bored I hit the StumbleUpon button a lot and looked at some LOLcats and cute puppy pictures.

Today, my surfing experience is entirely different. My home page is Google Reader and I follow over a hundred blogs and I comment on several blogs a week. I write my own blog and people read it and comment often. I follow and connect with people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pownce and FriendFeed, and I share lots of bookmarks in del.icio.us and lots of photos on Flickr.

Notice the words I used to describe my surfing habits a year ago. Reading, finding, looking, bored. Notice the words I used for today’s version of surfing. Following, commenting, connecting, writing, sharing. Which do YOU think sounds more fun and worthwhile?

2 Responses

  1. Hello Suzemuse,

    Thanks for the link. Agreed that the way the web works is shifting dramatically. Things have changed to a much more social world, and community has moved from a passive read as you mentioned to a full out discussion where we all contribute. Good overview and thanks for reading.

    Brian Wallace

  2. I think the key shift you point to is more than an increase in fun. It’s the bigger move from being ‘reactive’ to being ‘active’. Sure you react to others’ posts etc but more importantly you take control and shift the agenda around your issues. You set up whirls and eddies of discourse by using spaces to take the issues, ideas and conversations where you rather than others, or the software want to take it. It’s what I call becoming a ‘conversation attractor’ [http://tinyurl.com/2kjszo]. Fun definitely, more power full… certainly

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