, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 387-402
Date: 10 Jun 2008

Groups Formation and Operations in the Web 2.0 Environment and Social Networks

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Abstract

The Internet and the Web are evolving to a platform for collaboration, sharing, innovation and user-created content—the so-called Web 2.0 environment. This environment includes social and business networks, and it is influencing what people do on the Web and intranets, individually and in groups. This paper describes the Web 2.0 environment, its tools, applications, characteristics. It also describes various types of online groups, especially social networks, and how they operate in the Web 2.0 environment. Of special interest is the way organization members communicate and collaborate mainly via wikis and blogs. In addition, the paper includes a proposed triad relational model (Technology–People–Community) of social/work life on the Internet. Particularly, social/work groups are becoming sustainable because of the incentives for participants to connect and network with other users. A discussion of group dynamics that is based on the human needs for trust, support, and sharing, regardless if the setting is a physical or virtual one, follows. Finally, future research directions are outlined.