Social Software Handout SQA Amended

DW7J 11
Social Software
Social software is not just about game playing but equally it is not about learning a
language, designing a garden or other boring things like managing money or looking at
It is about interactive collaborative working and web based activities. Now
did that just go whoosh over your head?
In English social software is about:  Working with other people who share your interests.
 Using software to allow you to communicate with others.
 Using the Internet for all these activities
Many of the topics covered in the unit are only possible because of new
Internet technology that is often called Web 2.0. This allows much of the
interactivity that is found and that you will hopefully use.
We will look at the historical development of and the current state of several key areas: e-mail
 Instant Messaging
 Chat
 Newsgroups
 Blogs
 Wikis
 Social Network Services
 Social Guides
 Social Bookmarking
 Social Shopping
 Virtual Worlds
 Folksonomy
Some of these topics may be very familiar to you while others will be a complete mystery
to you. We will also try and show you features of software, like e-mail, that you do not
know very well or at all.
Throughout the unit we will try to give you activities and exercises and get you to use all
these features.
Historical Context
The first computer game was developed by Atari in
1972 and called “Pong”. The developers did not really
understand the English meaning of pong and it later
was developed to a table top game found in bars and
renamed “Paddle Battle”
Nobody can deny that is was not sociable as
neighbours descended on their relatively rich friends
to take part in Pong tournaments. The game was
basically tennis with each player having a controller
that moved their paddle up and down.
The object of the game was to play the ball and try to
Atari's PONG was the first
get it behind your opponent and therefore score a
commercially successful video
point. The first player to reach a certain number of
arcade game.
points won.
Further developments came with advent of personal
computers like the Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore and
Acorn’s BBC computer. One of the most popular
games of all time was PacMan. It was available on all
the main formats and nowadays can be found on
devices like phones etc. The social factor was not
really evident and we started to see the isolation of the
computer game player. This rather unsociable way of
working has persisted until very recently when on-line
multiplayer gaming has been possible.
How many of us use e-mail regularly and feel we cannot live without it? The answer is
probably that we all do nowadays. We can access it on our computer, maybe via our
phone, on handheld PDAs and other devices. In fact by the time you read this you can
probably access it from your MP3 player as well.
How many of us really know how to use e-mail and what all the terms mean? Probably
very few of us and in this section we are going to look at how people communicate and
work together using e-mail.
Two kinds of e-mail
There are in fact two ways you can access e-mail and they are usually dependent on your
type of connection.
Dial-up – usually used with a dial-up connection that many people still have because
they have not been connected up to broadband. Time online costs money and to save
time you log onto the e-mail program you use (usually Outlook Express), download your
e-mails and log off the Internet to read them. You can reply to e-mails, write new ones
etc. and nothing happens until you connect again via Outlook Express when replies and
new mail are sent and new e-mails downloaded to your computer.
On-Line E-Mail – This is when you go onto the Internet and do all your e-mail work on
the Internet. This is most suitable for Broadband users and has several advantages over
 Much more secure – E-mails are stored on your Provider’s server.
 Less likely to get a virus from an e-mail.
 Do not have to use the same as your ISP (you can be with BT but use Hotmail)
Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Mail
Advantages of e-mail
 Very cheap or even free to send.
 It costs the same whether it is sent to next-door or halfway round the world (e.g.,
Dingwall to Darwin, Paisley to Penang or Banff to Baltimore).
 You can access on-line e-mail from any computer that is on the Internet.
 Secure – only you can access your mailbox (if you keep your password secret)
 You need a computer or some device to connect to the Internet.
 If your Internet connection is down you will lose your e-mail
 You may receive a virus by e-mail.
 You may receive a lot of Spam or Junk e-mail
Basic Features of E-mail
All e-mail programs allow one to send and receive e-mail on a one to one basis. A
standard e-mail consists of several fields or boxes. Note the following fields : From – the e-mail address of the sender.
 To – The e-mail address of the intended recipient.
 Subject - What the e-mail is about
 The Message area – The large box where you type your message.
You may notice several buttons such as Send, Save as a Draft and Discard. Send and
Cancel are obvious enough but Save as a Draft means you can save the e-mail and at a
later date alter it and then send it.
The Attach files button allows you to sent attachments. An attachment is a file that you
attach to your e-mail. These can be Word or other similar documents, pictures, even
video files. You can send the e-mail with the attachment to friends, relatives or anyone
you know.
Some Advanced Features of e-mail
When you have several e-mail addresses of friends and family you can save them in your
address book or contact list.
When sending the e-mail to someone you can click on the To link and pick an address
from your contacts list or address book. You can group several contacts into a mailing
list like Family or Friends and clicking on this list will insert all the addresses into the To
The cc box – cc stands for carbon copy and dates from when a letter was hand written
and if more than 1 copy was required then to save time a piece of carbon paper was
placed face down over the 2nd piece of paper and anything that was written on the top
sheet appeared on the second sheet. In Internet e-mail terms the message is sent to the
main contact in the To box and a cc goes to all the address in the cc box. One potential
disadvantage is that everyone to whom the message is cc sees all the other e-mail address.
The bcc box – bcc stands for blind carbon copy and when addresses or mailing lists are
copied into it then all the people on the list get to see the e-mail but not the address of
anyone else ensuring privacy and saving cluttering up an e-mail with maybe several
hundred addresses. This is what happens when you get an e-mail from the likes of
Amazon and companies like that.
E-mail tasks
Two of the most popular e-mail programs are provided by Microsoft and Google and are
Hotmail and Google Mail
Log in to hotmail by following this link – hotmail
Log in to Google Mail by following this link – Google Mail
These two services are free and can be accessed from any computer on the Internet,
home, school, and an Internet café.
Task 1
Working either on your own or in pairs study both hotmail and Google Mail and look at
what services they offer.
 What is the size of the inbox?
 What is the maximum file size for attachments (sending and receiving)
 Do they have virus control?
 Do they have a spam filter?
 What security do they offer?
 Can you access it from your mobile?
Either make up a Web Site or a PowerPoint presentation and call it “Social Software”.
At the end of each section will be a task asking you to add to it with information about
that topic. Here you are comparing Hotmail and Google Mail using all the features above
and finally make a recommendation about which one to sign up to for a new user.
Task 2
Either log in to your e-mail account or create a new one.
Sent a short but polite message to your teacher or lecturer telling them that you
have finished the task and how many slides you have and so on.
Your teacher or lecturer should have given you an e-mail address to use for this
Task 3
 Gather together the e-mail addresses of the rest of the members of your class or
some of your friends.
 Send a message to one person and then several others also by first putting the
addresses into the cc filed and then trying with the bcc field. Look at your friends
e-mail to see the effect each one has.
 Make these addresses into a mailing list and send an e-mail to everyone on the
mailing list.
Remember keep you e-mails polite and to the point.
Instant Messaging
Most of you probably use some form of Instant Messaging system and it is probably
MSN Messenger. Some of you probably spend hours every week “talking” to friends via
messenger. We are however going to tell you a bit about it and get you to try some
activities with it.
Instant Messaging (IM) differs from e-mail in that typed conversations happen in real
time rather than the letter format of e-mail. Special software is required and many
different applications exist. IM started with text based messages and for over 30 years
was solely text based but now includes audio chat and video chat and clients can even
exchange files.
What is Instant Messaging?
Instant Messaging allows individuals to communicate privately with one another over a
public network
Instant messaging requires the use of a client program (such as MSN Messenger) that
hooks up to an instant messaging service and differs from e-mail in that conversations are
then able to happen in real-time.
Most services offer a presence information feature, indicating whether people on one's
list of contacts are currently online and available to chat. This may be called a contact
list. A presence information feature may be a flag (usually red) or a voice message such
as “You’ve got mail!”
In early instant messaging programs, each letter appeared as it was typed, and when
letters were deleted to correct typos this was also seen in real time. This made it more like
a telephone conversation than exchanging letters.
In modern instant messaging programs, the other party in the conversation generally only
sees each line of text right after a new line is started. Most instant messaging applications
also include the ability to set a status message very similar to the message on a telephone
answering machine.
When you use software like MSN and Yahoo messenger you need an Internet connecton
but you do not need to access the World Wide web. This software really shows that there
are are other facilities on the Internet other than the Web.
Instant Messaging – Text
Most of you may know Instant Messaging as MSN
Messenger (although it is a lot bigger than just MSN). It
has grown from text only based bulletin boards to the
software we now know like MSN and Yahoo Chat
All of these applications allow you to log in, keep a list of
contacts, and converse with your friends by typing
messages in and getting their replies.
With Messenger type software you are making one to one
conversations over a private network. You have made
contact with a friend over your Internet connection and you
can have a private conversation with your friend or contact.
There is the facility for group discussions but with the basic
software only text messages can be carried. This makes it
suitable for dial-up connections although many people with
broadband use messenger services.
Instant Messaging – Audio
Skype and the latest version of MSN allow you to
have conversations over the Internet connection.
You need headphones with a microphone and then
you are basically making and receiving phone calls
for free.
Conferencing is when several people get involved
in the chat at the same time. For example three or
more people in an MSN conference and three or
more in a Skype conference call.
Advantages include:
 Free phone calls around the world.
 Meeting new people with shared interests
around the world.
 A cheap and easy way to keep in touch with
friends and relatives.
 Both people need the same system.
 You both need to be at your computer at a
specific time.
 You can find fraudsters and criminals
lurking in conferences.
Instant Messaging – Video at School or College
Video conferencing used to be expensive and require a huge investment in technology.
Companies had video-conferencing suites with expensing camcorders hooked up to a
powerful computer, hooked up to an Internet connection.
Now video conferencing is cheap, easy and can be great fun. Using a web cam attached
to a home PC and using a home Broadband connection almost anyone (with this
equipment) can make video phone calls to friends and family.
Your teacher or lecturer may be able to show you this working. There are one or two
different options available. Most schools will have acess to Marratech software that
allows one to one, one to many and many to many video conferences using their client
software and a web cam. Visit their web site to find out more about them.
This is an example from their web site and shows that you can make Instant Messaging,
Video Conferencing and see all who are online, Voice over IP that means free or cheap
phone calls and a Whiteboard to allow teachers and pupils to present their work so
others can see it..
Instant Messaging – Video at Home
At home you are not likely to have the software available that you do in school or
college. However you can download for free Windows Live Messenger that allows you
to make videophone calls over your Internet connection for free. Download a free copy
and get free phone calls – is that not awesome.
If you click on the image you
will be taken to the download
page of live messenger – don’t
try this at school or college folks
as your Internet security
software probably bans it. If
you want to see what it can do then click on this link to get a tour of Windows Live
So what can you do with Windows Live messenger?
Free video and voice calls - with free full-screen video and voice calling to 240m
Messenger users worldwide. You can also make cheap phone calls to landlines and
mobiles. For voice you will need headphones with a microphone attached and for video
you can add a web cam to that (all fairly cheap stuff)
Share files and folders - Share all your stuff easily and safely by just dragging files onto
a Sharing Folder. Use Photo Swap to share photos and more during a conversation or
even when you’re offline. Even listen to music together with Music Mix.
Offline and text messaging - Send messages to friends and family even when they’re
offline. Or text to a mobile phone.
This is surely a huge advance in social software. This software allows one to one text,
voice or video calls. Unlike Skype you can call from your PC to other landlines and
mobiles, send text to mobiles and text-enabled phones. Share photos by dragging and
dropping them on contacts. Share music in much the same way.
Tasks for Instant Messaging
Task 1
If you are allowed to try to use an instant messaging system that allows the whole class to
message with each other. Talk about this unit and how well you are enjoying it. Your
teacher or lecturer may set up an alternative system (Moodle, other VLE, Glow) and
encourage you to use it to share ideas about the course.
Task 2
See if you can take part in a video conference with other students and / or your teacher or
lecturer. It may be through Glow and Marratech or maybe some other system, but try and
make it work. Be sensible though and do not use any inappropriate language.
Task 3
Look at the features of the latest version of MSN Messenger, or any other Instant
messaging system, and add to your “Social Software” Web site or PowerPoint
presentation to advertise it and highlight the features. You can use hyperlinks to attach
to on-line demos and movies if you cannot download them. Make sure you include text,
audio, video and file sharing in your presentation.
Internet Chat is a term that strikes fear
into the heart of parents, teachers and
other responsible groups of people. To
be fair it has had a very bad press with
chat rooms being the place where most
grooming sessions start to quote an
extreme example.
Chat is the shorthand for Internet
Relay Chat that has been around for a
long time, since 1988 in fact so you can
see it predates the World Wide Web.
Find out lots more about it by
following the link to Internet Relay
Chat rooms let users communicate with many people simultaneously but users must be
aware of the dangers of a chat room. A very good web site called gives
very good advice on how to deal with these dangers and enjoy yourself in a chat room
Facilities of a Chat Room
Users usually start by joining an existing chat room that has been created by someone
else. This will usually bring together people with shared interests from around the world.
In the unlikely event that you cannot find a chat room to match your interest you can start
a new chat room. A very good set of guidelines can be found at and this
link will take you straight there.
Once in a chat room users can post comments. The term post means type up comment
and send it to the site.
They can respond to the comments of others by typing in their replies.
They can invite other users currently online to join them in a private chat.
Safety Rules for Chat Rooms
Here is a set of safety rules for chat rooms. They are
especially useful if you go onto them from home rather
than in the controlled environment of school or college
Be careful who you trust online and remember that online friends are really
strangers. People online, no matter how long you have been talking to them or
how friendly they are, may not be who they say they are.
Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous.
If you feel that you ‘have to’ meet, then for your own safety you must tell your
parent or carer and take them with you – at least on the first visit – and meet in a
public place in daytime.
Stay in charge in chat. Keep your personal information secret when chatting
online (name, address, telephone number, mobile number, private email address,
picture), even if people ask for this. Although it can be tempting to reveal more
than you normally would in online friendships, giving out personal information
can make you vulnerable.
Check your profile and make sure it doesn’t include any personal information
(name, address, telephone number, mobile number, private email address, and
Get away from an unpleasant situation in a chat room by logging out (this just
takes one click) or by changing your screen name.
Think before you answer private messages. It can be harder to end a
conversation in a private chat than in a public chat. A private chat may end up
being more personal than you like.
Use a nickname, not your real name, and a nickname that is not going to attract
the wrong type of attention.
Look out for your friends and do something if you think that they are at risk.
Tell your parent or carer if someone or something makes you feel
uncomfortable or worried.
Learn how to keep/save a copy of the conversation in chat – this may be useful
if you want to report something.
Chat in School or College
Although Internet based chat rooms are blocked (and rightly so) by most of the Internet
Safety software like WebSense that is running in schools and colleges there is some
software running in schools and colleges that allows chat. Some teachers and lecturers
actually encourage chat in some situations.
First Class e-mail runs in many schools in Scotland but it is generally only for staff. Ask
your teacher or lecturer to show you the simple chat facility that is there. Maybe there
are enough First Class Addresses to let you have one temporarily and you can practice
chatting with it. Remember that your teacher or first class administrator can monitor the
Glow has a chat facility that your teacher or lecturer can point you towards. You should
be able to chat with other students in your establishment or even all students in Scotland
studying Social Software.
Chat rooms can be set up for subjects and groups in schools using some VLEs like
Tasks for Chat
Task 1
Ask your teacher or lecturer if they have set up a chat facility for you to use. If so then
there should be a question for you to respond to. Keep your chat sensible and remember
that your language and the content will be monitored.
Task 2
Add to your “Social Software” PowerPoint or Web Site explaining about the dangers of
chat rooms and how to be safe in chat rooms.
Another name for newsgroups is forums. These are the Internet version of bulletin
boards that you used to see in schools and colleges.
A bulletin board originally was a pin board where people could leave public messages,
for example, to advertise things to buy or sell, announce events, or provide information.
Bulletin boards are often made of a material such as cork to easily put the pins in and take
them out.
Bulletin boards are still particularly common at universities and colleges. These public
bulletin boards are used for everything from advertisements by extracurricular groups and
local shops to official notices.
In a computerised newsgroup a user can post comments and other users can respond. A
comment and its responses are called a thread. All members of the group and often all
visitors as well can see all the posts in the group.
Many Newsgroups use an area of the Internet called Usenet and even though an
organisation may look like it “owns” groups most of these are in the Usenet area.
Computerised Newsgroups
A computerised newsgroup is slightly misnamed, as it is really a discussion area. Google
has a vast number of groups within its umbrella and if you go into Google and select
pages from the UK and then click on Groups you should see a screen like this.
Computerised Newsgroups
You can see that:  The groups are organised in categories suggesting a hierarchical structure.
 You can start your own group in 3 easy steps.
 You are told what you can do with groups.
 You can explore groups and search for a group on any topic.
You may find Google groups quite difficult to navigate and when you do find a group
that interests you may find quite a lot of the messages or posts quite hard to follow.
Tasks for Newsgroups
Task 1
Search either Google groups or any other hosting service of groups that you know.
Search for a subject that interests you and find a group to browse through. Find a topic
and its discussion and follow it through.
Write a short report saying: a)
What the group is called
What the group is about
What the topic you found was about.
What you thought of the group and the topic you followed.
Task 2
Your teacher or lecturer may have started a group for your class to use. If that is so then
log onto the group (it may be on the Internet or locally on your VLE) and either post a
comment or discussion point about this unit.
Are you enjoying the unit?
Have you found it useful so far?
Have we missed anything out?
Have you made use of it (an e-mail address, using IM, Chat)?
Task 3
Add to your “Social Software” PowerPoint or Web Site about chat. Say where you
managed to chat and include any hyperlinks to sites you used or information you found
useful on Wikipedia. Include information on who owns the chat facility, who is allowed
to post comments and replies.
Weblogs (or Blogs)
Blogs are simply on-line journals that can belong to a person or group. Owners or
authors post messages and allow others to comment on them. There are a wide range of
topics and people blog about anything and everything.
Originally blogs just contained text but very soon pictures could be added as well and we
have audio and video blogs. Blogs often contain links to blogs or websites on similar
The search engine Technocrati reports that there are over 71 million blogs in the world –
add that is before we add to the number.
Blog Ownership
Generally the person who starts a blog owns it. They can:  Post – These means type an article of almost any length and include pictures in it
 Comment – or they can comment on a post already there.
We call a post and all its comments a thread.
The owner of a blog is generally called an author and only he or she can invite others to:  View the blog
 Add comments to a post
 Post new threads
This is from a blog where the author can set permissions for others to view the blog. You
can see that this blog allows anybody to see it but it could be restricted to authors or only
people the owner chooses. You can also see that the owner can add other authors. They
are allowed to start new threads and post comments as well.
Blog Topics
With over 70 million blogs in the world there are obviously blogs on almost every topic
under the sun. A good place to start is on the web site, which is accessed
via Google…More…Blogger. Blogspot has an area called blogs of note that changes
daily (even several times a day) and if you click on the link you should be able to visit it.
Blogs tend not to be like chat rooms and you are most unlikely to find anything that will
offend even the most sensitive of you.
Most blogs tend to be from individuals who are writing an on-line diary. This may be
about their battle against an illness, an online diary of their work if they have an
interesting job like a journalist. (click for the blog space on the BBC Web Site) Many
politicians keep a blog of their activities to keep their constituents informed about what
they actually do. Many bands and musicians keep blogs of their gigs and songs they have
performed and in fact these are usually where video and audio blogs are found. Most of
these are usually found on Myspace and Bebo (with which you are probably very
familiar. A good blog space for teenagers is found at and this
appears to be a moderated site that can accessed from school or college.
Features of Blogs
A blog is basically an on-line diary.
Every blog has an owner who can allow other invited people to contribute.
Owners post messages and allow others to comment on them.
Posts are made and are stored in chronological order, the newest at the top.
Comments can be attached to posts making a thread.
A major feature of Blogs is the ability to link to other blogs or websites from
As well as text blogs there are also photoblogs (such as are found on Myspace and
There are also audioblogs, which are a form of podcasting.
Making Your Own Blog
Probably the easiest way to make a blog of your own is to launch Google and go to More.
Follow the link to Blogger. This is the screen you see telling you that you can start a blog
in three easy steps. It helps if you already have a Google Mail account as you don’t then
need a separate ID.
As you can see the three steps are: 1. Create an account – easier if you have a g-mail account, if not you get an ID that
links back to your e-mail address.
2. Name your Blog – You may need several attempts to find a unique name
(remember there already over 70 million out there.) You will find that your
named blog becomes part of the address and it will be like
3. Choose a template – there are many different templates to choose from and even if
you choose one that is difficult to read then you can always change it.
If you are allowed to see if you can create a blog. This can be your own on-line diary and
be as private as you want. You can use it as a homework diary or even a social diary
where you can post details of upcoming events.
Viewing your Blog
From school or college you may have problems, as the security software will
automatically block access to but your Internet administer should be able to
over-ride this
If you have a class blog where you can all view and contribute then there will only be one
blog to administer so it should be a bit easier to unblock a class blog.
From an unfiltered Internet (at home for example) you should be able to view and post to
class and personal blogs and in fact view any blog you want
If your mobile phone is Internet ready and
enabled and if you can easily Access
Google then you can access your Blog
from your phone.
Many phones can do this and it is
becoming cheaper to access the Internet
from your phone. In 2007 Nokia launched
the N95 that is really a hand held computer
with a built in phone.
Blog Tasks
Task 1
Your teacher or lecturer should have set up a blog for you either on your VLE or via
another site such as Google. You should also have access to it to add comments and
comment on other posts. Log onto the blog and enter the discussion by posting either
comments or new posts.
Task 2
You may not be able to do this task due to Internet restrictions but maybe your teacher or
lecturer has set up access for to make up a blog either on an Intranet or the Internet. If so
then please: a)
Set up a personal blog that only you can post to but anyone can see.
Keep an online diary. Summarise all that you have so far in one or two
Access it daily to keep a diary of what you have done.
Try and upload pictures to your blog (of your classroom, friends, yourself
or whatever) relevant to the text.
Similarly try and upload an audio file or podcast to the blog.
Task 3
Add to your “Social Software” PowerPoint or Web Site with a section on Blogs. Deal
with Blog ownership and posting rights and the main features of blogs. Also discuss
some blog topics that interest you. Link to a blog you found interesting and say why you
found it interesting. Include a section on audioblogs and videoblogs.
A wiki is a website that allows visitors to add, remove, edit and change content, typically
without the need for registration.
It also allows for linking among any number of pages.
This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass
collaborative authoring (that is when many people contribute to a web site pooling
knowledge and expertise).
The term wiki can also refer to the collaborative software itself (wiki engine) that allows
such a site to operate.
Wiki is often used to refer to probably the largst wiki in the world - the online
encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
What is a Wiki?
A wiki is a database of pages that visitors can edit
live. The building blocks of wikis are the comments
from visitors.
You can generally edit a page in real time, search the
wiki's content, and view updates since your last visit.
In a moderated wiki, wiki owners review comments
before addition to the main body of a topic.
Additional features can include calendar sharing,
live AV conferencing, RSS feeds and more.
What can a Wiki Do?
A wiki makes it easy to swap ideas and information on projects. A project could be that a
wiki is set up to organise a family event such as a birthday party or maybe for a family
holiday. In business this could be a complex business enterprise. Anybody with a stake
in the project, family members, business colleagues, etc, can edit the page and add their
own ideas.
Wiki page before editing.
Wiki page after much editing
Macdonald Family Holiday
Hi family. I have had a great idea for our
annual family holiday this year. Rather
than all of us go our own way and do our
own thing we can all go together and use
this Wiki to plan the holiday. That way
everyone gets a say in the final trip. We all
enjoy France and we could rent several
apartments on a complex in Brittany for the
second and third weeks in July. Gran and
Grandad can have one apartment and each
family either a two or three bedroom
Macdonald Family Holiday
Hi family. I have had a great idea for our
annual family holiday this year. Rather
than all of us go our own way and do our
own thing we can all go together and argue
and fight for two whole weeks. Can you
see Gran and Grandad using this Wiki to
plan the holiday? That way everyone gets
a say in the final trip. We all enjoy France
and we could rent several mobile homes
with air con on a complex in the South of
France for the second and third weeks in
July. This will be far better for the kids as
they can all play together.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Wiki
 A wiki allows everyone from experts to beginners and the shy silent types to
outgoing people alike to share ideas and information.
 Online you are anonymous, and this helps to increase creativity, expertise, and
productivity all around.
 Wikis help prevent many e-mails flying around and ideas getting lost in a mass of
e-mails and communication breakdowns--wikis literally get everyone "on the
same page."
 People may be worried about confidentiality and that hackers may intrude on their
private space.
 Beginners may feel a lack of confidence using a wiki for the first time.
Where Can You Find a Wiki
There is an excellent web site where you can find wikis that you can view or create your
own wiki and generally find out about wikis. It is called and if you click on
this link you will get onto it.
On the BBC web site there is an area called Action Networks that you link to. They are
essentially wikis on a vast range of community issues.
VLE’s like Moodle for example are built on a wiki engine and have a wiki feature built
into them that you may use.
Your teacher or lecturer has been asked to set up a wiki for you and you should follow
their instructions and go to that wiki now.
Tasks Using Wikis
Knowing what you now know about Wikis you can find out more about Wikipedia that
you have been linking to. Log onto Wikipedia and find out a few facts. Add them to
your PowerPoint or Blog or both and build up a section about Wikis.
Log onto to “about wikipedia” by following this link. About Wikipedia
Who is Wikipedia written by?
How can pages be edited?
When was Wikipedia started?
What do articles contain?
Follow the link to editing policies and summarise the 6 key policies.
Task 2
Your teacher or lecturer may have set up Wiki for you to use. It will be about aspects of
this course and will contain some inaccuracies and leave some areas for you to add more
explanation to. Edit the Wiki until you are happy with it (add some of your own
inaccuracies so that others will have something to do).
Add a section on Wikis to your “Social Software” PowerPoint or Web Site. Explain what
a wiki is and mention the fact that is an editable HTML document. Describe wiki
ownership and who is allowed to edit a wiki and also mention the collaborative software
known as a wiki engine.
Social Network Services
Social network services allow people to meet online around shared interests or causes.
Some social networks encourage you to find on-line “friends” by submitting details about
yourself. Your characteristics are compared and “friends” with similar characteristics are
shown to you and you can choose to add them to your contact list. Quite often you have
to be recommended by an existing member to join a group but this is not always the case.
This ability to find “friends” is accomplished by using social network search engines that
allow people to find each other according to the XFN social relationships. All will be
explained in the nest few pages.
Some Social Network Services
If you search in Google on Social Network Services you will get about 260,000,000
references. There are in fact somewhat over 500 social networking sites.
Basically a social networking service, such as MySpace (this link is to Wikipedia as most
Internet software bans myspace) and Facebook, allow users to create a profile for
themselves. Users can upload a picture of themselves and can often be "friends" with
other users.
In most social networking services, both users must confirm that they are friends before
they are linked. For example, if Alice lists Bob as a friend, then Bob would have to
approve Alice's friend request before they are listed as friends.
Some social networking sites have a “favourites” feature that does not need approval
from the other user.
Social networks usually have privacy controls that allow the user to choose who can view
their profile or contact them, etc.
Some major social networks have additional features, such as the ability to create groups
that share common interests or affiliations, upload videos, and hold discussions in
User Behavior
Users often try to "collect friends", or try to be linked to as many friends as possible.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for users to receive friend requests from people that they
do not know. This is like going up to stranger at a party and striking up a conversation to
try and establish some common ground. It is not unacceptable behaviour, just the way
people behave on the sites.
Some users will create additional profiles that assume the identity of someone else, such
as celebrities, politicians, or even their pets. Some will create profiles for fictional
characters, such as those from video games or Disney films. This is not dissimilar to
role-playing, and some people will even create profiles for inanimate objects, such as the
Sun or the dwarf planet Pluto.
Privacy Issues
On large social networking services, there has been growing concerns about users giving
out too much personal information and the threat of sexual predators. Be aware that cyber
thieves could be out there looking to steal data such as personal details for identity theft
or they could be phishing for financial details. There is also the threat of viruses that you
should protect yourself against.
On the positive side you find that large services, such as MySpace, often work with law
enforcement to prevent such incidents. Bebo has excellent advice on how to deal with
Cyberbullyting, Indentity Theft, Phishing and Grooming.
In addition there is the wider privacy threat in relation to placing too much personal
information in the hands of large corporations or governmental bodies, allowing a profile
to be produced on an individual’s behaviour on which decisions, detrimental to an
individual, may be taken.
There is also an issue over the control of data - information having been altered or
removed by the user may in fact be retained and / or passed to third parties.
Uses of Social Network Services
Social network services are increasingly being used in legal and criminal investigations.
Information posted on sites such as MySpace and Facebook, has been used by police and
university officials in the USA, to prosecute users of these sites. In some situations,
content posted on MySpace has been used in court to determine an appropriate sentence
based on a defendant's attitude.
Facebook, an online facebook and social network service, is increasingly being used by
university administrations and law enforcement agencies as a source of evidence against
student users. The site, the number one online destination for college students in the
USA, allows users to create profile pages with personal details. These pages can be
viewed by other registered users from the same college which often include resident
assistants and campus police who have signed-up for the service.
Main Social Network Services WebSites
Most of you probably use Bebo and Myspace on a daily basis and there is probably very
little we can tell you about them. You will also know that they are banned by the Internet
Security Software running in all schools and colleges.
Google run a Social Network Service called Orkut (named after the employee who set it
up). Orkut is a service that allows regisred Google users to join immediately and others
after filling in a Google registration. You can read about Orkut (keep orkut beautiful)
and join it. Originally it was meant to be a trial site before it became Google Social
Network Service but Orkut grew and grew and Google decided to keep the name.
In the USA Facebook is the main site for High School, College and University students
and it links them all together by different goupings e.g. all the students in UCLA, all the
Maths students in New York etc.
Social Network Search Engines
Social network search engines are a class of search engines that use social networks to
organise, prioritise, or filter search results.
There are two types of social network search engines: those that use explicit social
networks, and those that use implicit social networks.
Explicit social network search engines allow people to find each other according to
explicitly stated social relationships such as XFN social relationships. For example the
XHTML Friends Network (XFN) allows people to share their relationships on their own
sites. They look at personal data on the web sites and interrogate the data to find out
things about you (likes, dislikes, hobbies, interests and so on). They then compare them
with others they have found and can suggest the people with similar tastes to you as
friends. The Friend of a Friend project (FOAF) asks you to say a bit about yourself and
tries to link you up with people with similar characteristics.
Implicit social network search engines allow people to filter search results based upon
classes of social networks they trust, such as a shared political viewpoint. Lacking
trustworthy explicit information about such viewpoints, this type of social network search
engine mines the web to infer the topology of online social networks. For example, the
NewsTrove search engine infers social networks from content - sites, blogs, pods, and
feeds - by examining (among other things) subject matter, link relationships, and
grammatical features to infer social networks. The user may then employ the social
networks as filters to their search results.
Tasks for Social Network Services
Task 1
Have a look around Orkut or Facebook (or both) and try and get a feel for how they
operate. Then have a look a Friend of a Friend (FOAF) and see how they differ. Write
or word process a short paragraph about each of the sites to illustrate their differences and
Task 2
Update your “Social Software” Web Site or PowerPoint with information about Social
Network Services. Answer questions such as: Give examples of some Social Network Sites and explain a bit about them.
 Describe typical user behaviour.
 Mention Privacy issues
 Describe to what use Social Network Services are put.
 Describe the main Social Network Services web sites.
 Explain what social network search engines are.
 Include your comparisons of different sites from Task 1. If you did it properly it
should just be a matter of copying and pasting and formatting and adding graphics.
Social Web Services
In this section we will look at Web Services that fulfill a social function. We will look at
Social Guides that recommend places to meet in the real world, Social Bookmarking
where you can post your favourites and meet, in the virtual world, people who share your
interests and finally Social Shopping. This is not where you meet all your friends in the
mall but web sites where you find product reviews and recommendations.
Social Guides
Social guides are web sites where you can find recommendations from other people of
social functions, such as places to visit in the real world. These can include coffee shops,
restaurants and WiFi hotspots in various towns and cities. One such web site is
WikiTravel where you can find out about towns and cities worldwide. You, the traveler,
can edit and add pages to the site in the wiki tradition.
Another social guide site is and it is well worth clicking on this link and
exploring the site further. Tripadvisor allows you to plan trips and read hotel, transport
and restaurant reviews online.
Social Bookmarking
Web sites that host social bookmarking are places where users post their list of favourites
or bookmarks so that others can search and view them. The object of the exercise is to
meet others, on the net, with which you share common interests. One site that allows you
to store your bookmarks is so click on the link and see what the site
Delicious allows you to:  Keep all your favorites in delicious and access them from home, office, anywhere.
 Share your favorites with family, friends, and colleagues.
 Discover new sites from the delicious community (browse, find, get
Rather than write out complex URLs you can use Tags to describe your favourites or
bookmarks (Internet Explorer use favourites but the generic term is bookmarks – like
using Hoover when you actually mean the Electrolux or Dyson). You make up Tags as
you need them and can use as many as you like. Tags make it easier to organize your
bookmarks and easier for others to see what you mean.
To find out a lot more about delicious then click on this link.
Task – Explore delicious and find some bookmarks that interest you (Sport,
Entertainment, Travel or whatever). Make a note of these URLs in a word processor
document and explore the sites that have interested you. This can keep you busy for
You may not want to register and log in and share your bookmarks but you can if you
want to.
Social Shopping
Social Shopping applications are web sites that allow group members to make
recommendations of products and services and also provide product reviews. Users
usually have to join and contribute in order to benefit fully from these services.
An example could be where an environment like Myspace is used to share information
about products that maybe some member has bought and used and wishes to comment on
for the benefit of others.
A very popular sit is Wists and you can visit it by clicking in the link. Wists stands for
Weblists, shareable image bookmarks for any page on the web. For example if you were
looking to buy an external hard drive for your computer you could search on computers
and select a drive.
A shopper called Jeff wrote this about it.:Reliable, attractive looking drive.
I also have 3 300Gb Maxtor ONETOUCH II drives that
have worked flawlessly with my Mac G4 and then G5
for over 3 years. Also have the Maxtor OneTouch III
600GB Turbo External Hard Drive FireWire that does
RAID 0 and RAID 1. I did have one Maxtor drive ,
believe it was a 160Gb drive that failed after about 5
years continuous use, but that just shows you should
always have multiple backups of irreplaceable data-(in my case family videos, some from 1950's 8mm film
converted to digital format. I’ve always had good luck
with Maxtor. When any of the drives reach 3 to4 years
old, I buy a larger Maxtor and back up the older
drives, just in case. For those people whose reviews
indicate they've had trouble, my guess is they did not
format it for mac. I know it's suppose to be formatted
for mac as it ships, but when I connect a new maxtor
to my mac, OS X invariably ask if I want to reformat
since it's unreadable or somesuch.
The review may or may not have been helpful (in this case he has Mac and you may want
one for a PC), but at least it lets you see that someone has bought it and can comment on
the reliability.
Tasks for Social Web Services
Spend some time looking at web sites that feature:Social Guides
Try a site like WikiTravel.Org or try and Google “Social Guides” as this concept is just
taking off and there may well be far more sites available than at the time of writing.
Social Bookmarking
A good site is delicious that at the time of writing seems to the first, biggest and best of
these sites. Again search for more and make notes on what you find. Follow your way
through the sites and search for bookmarks that interest you.
Social Shopping
Log onto a site like Wists or Sylehive (an American Social shopping site that has its own
blog as well), or the market leader, LA based ThisNext or Springwise, that features all
sorts of products including travel guides. After you have had a good look around at
products that interest you make notes about them and save them for potential use later.
Now update your “Social Software” PowerPoint or Web Site with information about
Social Guides, Social Bookmarking and Social Shopping. Mention sites that you have
found and briefly describe them. Try and link to them from your presentation.
Virtual Worlds and MMOGs
Virtual Worlds are places where it is possible to interact with other people in a virtual
Massively-Multiplayer On-line Games (MMOGs) are web sites where it is possible to
play games (usually of the shoot ‘em up variety) with many other players simultaneously.
In this section we will investigate the two different types of games and see if we can play
any of them although this is an area where we may have admit defeat in trying to
circumvent the restrictive software.
Virtual Worlds
A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to
inhabit and interact via avatars.
An avatar is an Internet user's representation of himself or herself, whether in the form
of a three-dimensional model used in computer games, or a two-dimensional icon
(picture) used on Internet forums and other communities. The term "avatar" can also refer
to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.
A virtual world is usually represented in the form of two or three-dimensional graphical
representations of humanoids (or other graphical or text-based avatars). Some, but not all,
virtual worlds allow for multiple users.
The world being computer-simulated typically appears similar to the real world, with real
world rules such as gravity, topography, locomotion, real-time actions, and
communication. Communication has, until recently, been in the form of text, but now
real-time voice communication using VOIP is available. This type of virtual world is now
most common via the following web sites (Active Worlds, Second Life, Entropia
Universe, The Sims Online and There)
These virtual worlds are actually considered as being Massively-Multiplayer On-line
Games although they are far more about interaction with other avatars than trying to
destroy some other beings.
History of Virtual Worlds
The earliest virtual worlds were not games. The first virtual worlds presented on the
Internet were communities and chat rooms, some of which evolved into Multi-user
Dragons and Dungeons type games. They attempted to create sets of avatars for virtual
Community virtual worlds allowed access to the environment and encouraged the
creating of buildings, art, and structures (and many did not include avatars).
Some early prototyptes were WorldsAway, a prototype interactive communities featuring
a virtual world by CompuServe called Dreamscape, and The Palace, a 2-dimensional
community driven virtual world. However, credit for the first online virtual world usually
goes to Habitat, developed in 1987 by LucasFilm Games for the Commodore 64
computer, and running on the Quantum Link service, the precursor to America Online or
AOL as it is now known.
The biggest virtual world games in exisentence now are generally SecondLife and There.
These will be banned as Games but one site that does seem accessible is and
it allows you to join and experiment with being in a virtual world.
The virtual world concepts
Most people think that a virtual world should be active and available 24 hours a day and
seven days a week, to qualify as a true virtual world. Although this is possible with
smaller virtual worlds, no massively multiplayer game runs all day, every day. All the
online games listed above include downtime for maintenance that is not included as time
passing in the virtual world. While the interaction with other participants is done in realtime, the real time passes at a different rate to our real time in online virtual worlds. For
example, EverQuest time passes faster than real-time despite using the same calendar and
time units to present game time.
As virtual world is a fairly vague and inclusive term, the above can generally be divided
along a spectrum ranging from:
 Massively multiplayer online role-playing games or RPG's where the user playing a
specific character is a main feature of the game.
 Massively multiplayer online real-life/rogue-like games or RLG's, the user can edit
and alter their avatar at will, allowing them to play a more dynamic role, or multiple
 Games that allow for open editing of the terrains if the "source file" for the terrain is
 Emerging concepts include basing the terrain of such games on real satellite photos,
such as those available through Google Maps.
 Single player games usually allow you to save the current state of this world instance
to allow stopping and restarting the virtual world at a later date. (This can be done
with some multiplayer environments as well.)
Virtual Worlds In the classroom and film
Some teachers and lecturers have adopted virtual worlds for educational purposes.
Educators create an online community that students can log into and interact in. Within
these educational virtual worlds, students will use their avatar to learn about new
assignments and to create projects that are viewable within the virtual world. For
example, students taking a computer manufacturing class can log into a virtual world in
which they are the inhabitants of a burgeoning village that needs their expertise for the
construction of houses, furniture, machines, and other goods. An example of such a
program is AWEDU, a project started by Active Worlds, Inc.
A popular example of a virtual world in fiction is The Matrix, a virtual reality so realistic
that the great majority of those humans plugged in think they are living in the real world
and do not know that they are living in a virtual world.
A Massively Multiplayer Online
Game (also called MMOG or
MMO) is a computer game which is
capable of supporting hundreds or
thousands of players simultaneously.
By necessity, they are played on the
Internet, and feature at least one
persistent world. A persistent world
is a virtual world that is used as a
setting for an online role-playing
game. The world is always available
and world events happen
World of Warcraft – Probably the most popular
MMOG in the world just now.
MMOGs can enable players to cooperate and compete with each other on a grand scale,
and sometimes to interact meaningfully with people around the world. They include a
variety of gameplay types, representing many video game genres. Many MMOGs require
players to invest large amounts of their time into the game. Most MMOGs require a
monthly subscription fee, but some can be played for free.
Tasks for Virtual Worlds and MMOGs
Task 1
Click on this link to get onto IMVU homepage. It is probably the only virtual world site
you can go onto. The previous link to IMVU takes you a bit further into it and if you
click on screenshots you can watch videos about it and see the look of the virtual world.
You may be allowed to join in and play around on the site. Check with your teacher or
lecturer if they will allow it and if you have enough time.
Now back to the PowerPoint or Web Site about “Social Software”. You have almost
finished it and if you can make up a slide or two or a web page about a virtual world (try
IMVU) and World of Warcraft. You cannot play it but you can get screenshots and
describe the system requirements and cost implications of playing it.
A folksonomy is a system where users can set up their own definitions to classify
themselves. One user may talk about their personal characteristics (height, hair colour,
build etc.) and another about their interests. These open ended labels are called tags and
the tags become keywords in the search that is made. A search made using these tags can
retrieve web pages, photographs on web sites and web links depending on the
Typical Folksonomies
Typically folksonomies are Internet based and make use of Web 2.0 technologies. A
good example of this is the Web Site Flickr which is a photo sharing web site. On its
front page it directs you to commonly used tags. You can see that a tag is just a keyword
typed into the search box. A better use of folksonomy exists on our social bookmarking
site delicious and now that you know what we are looking for re-visit the site and look
for tags. A more complex set of tags can be found on sites like facebook that we looked
at earlier. Some sites have a set of tags that you fill in with data; others allow you to
define the tags as well.
Folksonomy and The Semantic Web
The Semantic Web is an evolving extension of the World Wide Web in which web
content can be expressed not only in natural language, but also in a form that can be
understood, interpreted and used by software agents, thus permitting them to find, share
and integrate information more easily. It derives from W3C director Tim Berners-Lee's
vision of the Web as a universal medium for data, information, and knowledge exchange.
At its core, the semantic web comprises a philosophy a set of design principles,
collaborative working groups, and a variety of enabling technologies.
A popular application of the semantic web is Friend of a Friend (or FoaF), which
describes relationships among people and other agents in terms of Resource Description
Framework (RDF). Follow the link to find out about RDF if you are interested. It is
worth following the link to the Friend of a Friend web site and having a look around it.
Loosely defining a friend as someone you may have met once even on the Internet never
mind real life it was suggested at an FOAF seminar that you are only 5 steps away from
somebody famous like George Bush. Because you may have a teacher or family friend
who may have met Gordon in Edinburgh a few years ago and Gordon was best friends
with Tony and we all know Tony was best friends with George Bush you can see how
easy it is to get there. The trouble is that you don’t often know that someone was even on
the first step of that chain. That is where the folksonomy tags on a web site can find that
out for you.
Folksonomy may hold the key to developing a Semantic Web, in which every Web page
contains machine-readable metadata that describes its content. Such metadata would
dramatically improve the precision (the percentage of relevant documents) in search
engine retrieval lists.
Task for Folksonomy
Revisit Web sites like delicious, Flickr, facebookand Friend of a Friend (the links are all
repeated here) and this time make a note of the site and write down the tags you used to
find information on the site. Also describe the purpose of the site and try and write a
short paragraph on each site from the point of view of folksonomy and tags.
Use the information you have just gathered to make a final update to your PowerPoint or
Web Site for “Social Software”.
It is appreciated that this may have started as fun, become tedious and now may be a
chore, but what you have created is an excellent personal revision guide.
Revision and Assessment
You will have to carry out four assessments in order to pass this unit and the assessments
are: 20 multiple choice questions and you need at least 12 to pass.
 You have to write a short paragraph describing five types of social software including
their characteristics.
 You have to review at least one example of three different types of social software.
 You have to perform some practical tasks based on the unit using three different
social software applications which use a variety of media.
In this section we will summarise the theory that you need to pass the first two sections
and then we will look at various practical tasks that you can do to help you with the
Assessment 1 will be 20 multiple choice questions where there are 4 choices and only 1
is correct. There will never be more than one correct answer. In each paragraph the
section is summarised with enough information to allow you answer the questions.
E-Mail is one of the earliest forms of social software. As well as one to one
communication there are also the one to many communication features such as cc: bcc,
mailing lists and the use of contacts lists or address books.
Instant Messaging allows individuals to communicate privately with one another over a
public network. Communications were originally text based but now include audio and
video over real time and clients can exchange files such as pictures and music files and
even short video files.
Chat an abbreviation for Internet Relay Chat (IRC) lets users join chat rooms and
communicate with people simultaneously. Typically users can join a chat or create a chat
room of their own on any topic that interests them. In a chat room members can post
comments and respond to the comments made by others and invite other users to
participate in private chats
Newsgroups or forums are the Internet version of electronic bulletin boards that were
popular among computer users long before the Internet. A user can post comments on a
topic and other users can respond. Messages are visible to all members of a group and
usually to visitors as well and some services provide extensions such as file storage and
Weblogs or blogs are on-line journals or diaries for a particular person or group of
people. Owners post messages periodically and allow others to comment on them.
Topics can include everyday file, computer related topics, politics or just about anything
else. Links to other weblogs often on similar topics are a significant feature and
variations now include photoblogs and audioblags, a type of podcasting.
A Wiki is a group of web pages that allow users to add their own content and permit
others to edit the content. It provides a simple method of producing HML content and is
an effective medium for collaboration. The term is also used to describe the collaborative
software know as a wiki engine used to create such a website.
Social Network Services allow people to meet on-line around shared interests or causes.
In some cases it is only possible to join a social network by being recommended by an
existing member. An offshoot of social network services is social network search
engines, which allow people to find each other according to their XFN (XHTML Friends
Network) social relationships.
Social Guides recommend places to visit in the real world such as coffee shops,
restaurants and WiFi hotspots. There are also many sites that allow visitors to write
reviews of services such as hotels, restaurants, airlines and other tourism related services.
Social Bookmarking sites allow users to post their list of bookmarks or favourite
websites for others to search and view. It also allows a user to get access to their
favourites from any computer they are using as long as it is connected to the Internet
(Internet cafes on holiday, work or school computers and so on). The object is for people
to meet others with whom they share a common interest.
Social Shopping applications allow group members to give recommendations and give
product reviews.
Virtual Worlds and Massively-Multiplayer On-line Games (MMOGs) are places
where it is possible to interact with other people in a virtual world. In a virtual world
users create an alter ego called an avatar that interacts with others while MMOGs allow
users to play games against opponents who can be anywhere in the world.
Folksonomy is the name given to the informal classifications, sometimes known as tags
or keywords that Internet users invent to categorise the objects with which they interact
on-line. Social software makes these classifications available to other Internet users, so
folksonomy can be viewed as distributed classification system.
Preparing for Assessment 1
When you have read these short explanations of the topics you need make your revision
active. Take a piece of paper and write down what you know about each of the
categories in turn. Start with e-mail and write down what you can remember about email. When you have finished go back to the e-mail section, read it again and fill in the
gaps in your revision notes. Continue the process with Instant Messaging and so on until
you reach folksonomy. You now have a complete set of revision notes for yourself.
If you have made up your web site or PowerPoint presentation and kept it up to date you
will also have a good revision guide.
Your teacher or lecturer may have set up a practice assessment for you on a VLE like
Moodle or Glow or may have made the practice available as a web page. Ask them to
show you where it is and then do it until you are confident you can do the test and then
ask your teacher or lecturer to let you sit the assessment.
Preparing for Assessment 2
Assessment 2 wants you to write a brief description about 5 types of social software from
the list – e-mail, instant messaging, chat, newsgroups or forums, blogs, wikis, on-line
communities (including Social Network Services, Social Guides, Social Bookmarking
and Social Shopping).
You will be given a table to either complete by hand or it may be a document on your
system that you can complete on-line. At least it gives you the titles so you do not need
to remember them.
Read your revision notes again and try to write the descriptions. Make sure you mention
how you can connect to the service, the collaborative nature, or one to many aspects of
the software and how you can interact with the software..
Preparing for Assessment 3
In assessment 3 you have to review at least one example of three different types of social
software. You could for example compare Hotmail and Googlemail giving you two
examples of e-mail or evaluate the latest version of MSN Instant Messenger. A third type
could be a blog or wiki or probably more interesting one of the sites you found in the
Social Network Services section. You must use the criteria given to you and a sample of
the table you must complete (either by hand or on-line) is shown below.
Type of Software:
Quality of Information
Use of Multimedia
Frequency of update
and Archiving
BT Yahoo Mail
This e-mail system has a well designed easy to use
interface with all the functions represented as buttons and
all clearly labelled and easy to find.
The system is very easy to use with all the e-mails in the
inbox in a list when the application starts up. When you
click on an e-mail it opens up in the pane below the list.
The only problem is that you have to select the show
graphics button every time you get a picture on the e-mail
but somewhere maybe you can turn that on permanently.
The different boxes (inbox, sent etc.) are in a list down
the side and are easily selected. Other functions are all
represented by buttons and easily found.
There are one to many functions available (cc:, bcc:,
contacts and mail-lists).
There are many links to news items on the front page and
links to other useful parts of the site like updating your
account or details.
The quality of the information depends on who is sending
you the e-mail but BT have an excellent Spam filter that
keeps out all unwanted junk mail.
You can view text and graphics on your e-mails as
standard and some include animations and video clips.
The news service is very up to date and topical. You can
choose exactly which services you see and customize
your front page to give you up to date information.
When e-mails arrive they come into your inbox instantly
often within seconds of being sent. E-mails are stored as
long as you want and have enough storage space.
In the assessment use your own words and do not use the BT Yahoo mail system. This is
just to give you an idea of what is required.
Preparing for Assessment 4
This assessment is primarily practical in nature except that you will have to stop and
gather evidence. You can take a note of the URLs you have visited, either print out the
home pages of the site direct from the Internet or if you cannot (animations on the page
etc.) you can take a screenshot and paste into your word processor.
The tasks in each section are all perfectly suitable for this assessment and you do not
need to think up new tasks. Go back through the unit and pick 3 tasks that interest you
and use a variety of media (e.g. text could be e-mail; pictures could be used in blog or
social networking sites and animations or video in a Virtual World).
Make up a document in your word processor and use it to make a note of the type of
software you are using, the name and URL of the site and then any screen shots you want
to put in.
Final Checklist
Make sure that you have:  Completed satisfactorily the multiple-choice test.
 Finished writing about the 5 types of social software and get a printout or hand in
your written form.
 Three completed review sheets for different types of social software.
 Evidence from 3 tasks.
Collect these all together and hand them in to your teacher or lecturer who will mark
Well done because if you read this you have finished Social Software. We hope you
have enjoyed the unit and are using some of the sites we have shown show at home as
well and are not just spending all your time on Bebo or Myspace anymore.