Social Networking: The Continuing Evolution of Communication

"How many networks can one person join?" -- Jon Udell, Strategies for Internet Citizens

Thanks to my new Palm Pre phone, I was able to announce the birth of my child to my friends, relatives, and associates even though I've barely been home the past few days. I didn't spread the news through individual phonecalls (although of course I did make some of those). I announced the joyous occasion through Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and emails, all from my smartphone. Wireless communication has come a long way, and the potential of cyberspace may finally be reaching its apex.

We all know that Electronic-Mail, Chat Rooms, Instant Messaging, and the World Wide Web have revolutionized how the world shares ideas and communicates. I've been contributing to online Newsgroups, Forums, and Message Boards for years, fascinated by how the Internet has transformed the dissemination of and access to all types of information. Now, however, social networking sites and social media have generated an explosion of new opportunities to connect for business or pleasure with vast networks of people across the globe. Social networks are the epitome of the very concept of the Web.

I'm on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn -- and now, thanks to my Palm Pre, I can access all those networks conveniently from one place. I receive my emails from different accounts instantly, anywhere, all compiled by the Palm Pre device.

Search engines and wikis have opened up the repository of knowledge around the world. Social media, including blogs and user-generated content sites, have overturned our concept of personal interactivity.

The knowledge of the universe is literally at our fingertips. I'm excited about the future.