The Guardian discusses whether social software’s (re-)emergence is being driven by weblogs.
There is a web-based platform emerging, based on weblogs, Wikis (web pages that any user can edit), and RSS feeds (either Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication – a way of sending messages when a site’s contents are updated). Another is ease of use: “ridiculously easy group-forming is really new,” says Shirky. A third is ubiquity. In some cases, he argues, all the people in a group will have web access, so they can take its use for granted.
If there is a new type of social software emerging, it is clearly emerging from the blogging world. Weblogs that started as simple collections of links rapidly developed into diary-like personal platforms, and many have already turned into group discussions, as members of a clique list one another on their blogrolls and leave comments on one another’s blogs. Links, RSS feeds and new protocols such as Trackback are increasing the number of connections between groups of people and their blogs, creating a parallel universe that is already known as the blogosphere.