The word social is currently in vogue, we have social networking, social software, social bookmarking, and now social algorithm. Social networking is the activity, social software are the tools which make p2pėˆœėœ„ social networking possible, but what is a social algorithm?

The following tries to define what a social algorithm is.

Social Networking.

Let us look at the examples. Famous social networking sites include Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Friendster, Wikipedia, Facebook, and the the virtual gaming world of Second Life. Bookmarking and tagging are considered social network activities. The purpose of the network is for people to rendezvous, collaborate, or just sharing something (photos, music, movies, information, etc).

Social Software.

Social software are the tools which make it possible for people to network. These range from email, mailing lists, RSS, IRC, instant messaging, Napster like P2P, blogs, wikis, AJAX, Web 2, etc. Their characteristic is that the networking must be interactive, and bottom-up (users provide content). These software used to be called group-ware. Some of these software are quite old, but some others like blogs are more recent. Wikis have been around ever since Ward Cunningham, the father of Wiki started it, but it was then considered for geeks only, and have been accepted widely only in the last couple of years. Some software are documented using wikis, and businesses, educational institutions have started to make use of it.