Virtual is real
A study conducted by the The Work Foundation in UK has concluded that the Web is much more localised, more honest and far less chaotic than it is usually given credit for.
Online communities get real
So-called social software - e-mail, messaging systems, weblogs and shared online diaries - is allowing people to make the net work for them and bring the virtual world home.The report also mentions that the existing notions that people would thrive on false personas over the impersonal Net are being borne out as people are using social software to support real world interaction and to enhance face-to-face contact rather than departing from it.
New phenomena such as weblogs have allowed people to share their interest and passions with a wider audience but often provide a quite mundane and honest view of life.
Another key aspect of online communities is the ability to generate and build up public opinions.
And people power is also being helped by online communities such as epinions.com, a site which allows consumers to give their views on any products they have bought.Will Davies of The Work Foundation sums it up best when he says, "People are finally ditching the two-worlds view, which separates the internet from everyday life and now realise the two are part of one picture".
"As knowledge management and access to information have become central to all of our social and economic well being, so it has happened that social networks have grown in power," said Will Hutton, Chief Executive of The Work Foundation.