Friday, August 18, 2006

Online Social Spaces take off

I've blogged about the significance of Social Software often on this blog and on my work blog. It is fascinating then to see the figures from the latest piece of research into the growth of the Web.

Of the top ten fastest growing websites in the US 5 (i.e. half) are user-generated content (social software) sites. As e-marketer (note access to this site is time-limited for non-subscribers) :

Image-hosting site ImageShack ranks fourth among the fastest-growing Web brands, increasing 233% between July 2005 and July 2006, from a unique audience of 2.3 million to 7.7 million., a video-sharing site, is No. 5, increasing 213%, from 965,000 to 3 million unique visitors. Photo-sharing site Flickr is next on the list, growing 201%, from 2.1 million to 6.3 million unique visitors.

"User-generated content sites have seen significant growth over the past year, owing in large part to their reliance on viral marketing," said Jon Gibs of Nielsen//NetRatings. "They also benefit from their cost-effectiveness — the content is practically free."

The trends happening in the business world, will continue to effect us in education. Social Networking is here to stay, how we best use it in learning and teaching is up to us.


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