It used to be if you wanted to win more friends, influence more people or make more money, you bought one of those self-improvement tomes and tried to pump up your personality. These days, all you have to do is go online and join a "social networking" site. The pumping will be done for you. If you haven't yet heard of social networking, stay tuned because it's the Next Big Thing. New Economy magazine Business 2.0 named it "technology of the year" for 2003, and venture capitalists have started throwing money at social networking startups with a zeal not seen since the first generation of dot-coms came down the pike.
Don't be surprised if a year from now your everyday conversation is peppered with references to Friendster, Spoke, Ryze, LinkedIn, Tribe.net, ZeroDegrees — or to other sites not yet launched. The phenomenon is new and it's hot, but it has a very old soul. In fact, the process that drives social networking is found at the heart of all societies and civilizations: the human need to make common cause, to cooperate with others of the species to achieve a whole variety of goals and meet a whole variety of needs — physical, emotional, social, economic, political.
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News source: WinBeta.org