Social software, also called social applications, contain highly interactive and communication-based tools usually based on the Internet. These tools usually handle the storing, managing and sharing of information, generally text and often more than visually, generally in the form of pictures and audio or video. This type of software has a number of advantages over dedicated software that are not social in nature, for instance it is much easier to update since you don’t have to create and maintain accounts for each person who needs to get access to the application. It is also usually cheaper since there is no hardware that is required.
The most common types of social software include Web browsers, message boards, calendar and contact managers, games, instant messaging clients and social networking services such as Twitter. Most allow their users to store additional material such as text, audio, images and videos and allow this material to be added to a “profile” that other people can view. In some cases this additional material can be uploaded by others who have access to the application and then these people can have an opportunity to comment on it and even edit the material. These interaction tools may be limited and most of them have very basic features.
Another type of social software is the citation indexing application. This type of social software provides electronic means by which a user can search for citations and references. Citations are usually made by other professionals and it would be difficult to find them manually. Some of the citation indexes that are available on the Internet allow users to search for citations using keywords, subject, field of study, date and citation number. When searching for citations, one has to use caution because not all databases provide accurate data.
Some of the examples of social software that includes citations are the Wikipedia, Stackel, citation indexer and the Lexis-quote search engine. The Wikipedia is considered as the first free encyclopedia in the world and it is a great source of information. One of the most popular features of this encyclopedia is its social features. Users can create articles and add information about their area of expertise, their life experience, education, sports or hobbies and so on.
The internet forums also fall under social software. There are many examples of this software and they include instant messaging and the discussion boards. For instant messaging, one can use their email address (as a username) to sign up for a chat room. They can also leave messages and post comments and other members of the forum will be able to read them.
One thing that is worth noting about social software is that they have made the process of creating an online presence quite easy but this presence does not come with a long list of skills. There are some web sites that have these real world examples in the form of applications and most of these applications are available for free on the internet. If you are looking to have an online presence that is strong and extensive, you can always opt for web sites like Facebook and Twitter.