Making the most of conferences via social networking


Panel Summary:

Social computing has ushered in a new way for people to interact on the World Wide Web. Rather than having to adapt to corporate or institutional views of the world, the opportunities facilitated by social computing software have permitted people to organize information and themselves according to their own worldviews, thus “facilitating organized human endeavour in fundamentally new ways” (Parameswaran & Whinston, 2007). One example of a social computing utility is Facebook which has seen phenomenal growth since its launch by Mark Zuckerman in February 2004, when it was available only to Harvard students, to today (January 18, 2008) when there are over 60 million active users (Facebook statistics). The widespread acceptance of this means of interacting on the web suggests a significant impact on how people conduct their social lives. Nevertheless, little empirical research has been conducted to understand how these interactions have affected social behaviour (Bumgarner, 2007).