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A common property of Web 2.0 technologies is that they facilitate collabora-
tion and sharing between users with low technical barriers – although usually on
single sites (e.g. Technorati) or with a limited range of information (e.g. RSS,
which we will describe later). In this book we will refer to this collaborative and
sharing aspect as the ‘Social Web’, a term that can be used to describe a subset of
Web interactions that are highly social, conversational and participatory. The So-
cial Web may also be used instead of Web 2.0 as it is clearer what feature of the
Web is being referred to4.
The Social Web has applications on intranets as well as on the Internet. On the
Internet, the Social Web enables participation through the simplification of user
contributions via blogs and tagging, and has unleashed the power of community-
based knowledge acquisition with efforts like Wikipedia demonstrating the collec-
tive ‘wisdom of the crowds’ in creating the largest encyclopaedia. One outcome of
such websites, especially wikis, is that they can produce more valuable knowledge
collectively rather than that created by separated individuals. In this sense, the So-
cial Web can be seen as a way to create collective intelligence at a Web-scale
level, following the ‘we are smarter than me’ principles5(Libert and Spector
Similar technologies are also being used in company intranets as effective
knowledge management, collaboration and communication tools between employ-
ees. Companies are also aiming to make social website users part of their IT
‘team’, e.g. by allowing users to have access to some of their data and by bringing
the results into their business processes (Tapscott and Williams 2007
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owner: pavestonelaboringuntitled - (no access) - John G. Breslin, Alexandre Passant, Stefan Decker (auth.) - The Social Semantic Web (2009, Springer) [10.1007_978-3-642-01172-6] -, p21


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