Social networking is an idea that has taken interactivity on the Web to the next level. Not only are people able to explore the wealth of information available on the Web, but they are also able to engage in two-way communication with others via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Yammer. Social networking is changing the way that people communicate—giving individuals the opportunity to connect with long-lost friends or engage in easy file sharing via social networking platforms.
When the first social network SixDegrees was launched in 1997, I wonder if the creators had any idea that the site, which folded three years later, would lead to an upsurge of social networks between the years of 2003 and 2006—including networks linked to specialized interests. Social networks have given users the opportunity to find a place online—whether it be through connecting with old friends, or through forming discussions with others around a common interest such as a non-profit organization or a particular hobby. Now, anyone can create their own social network on Web sites such as Ning, which gives users the opportunity to create multiple networks and potentially rally people around a common interest, such as fundraising.
For the above reasons, I would choose social networking as my great idea for interactive media. To be a bit more specific, I think that LinkedIn is an example of a particularly safe and useful social network that allows people to connect with peers and form relationships in a competitive job market either geographically or based on a specific industry. Social networks have both enhanced communication on the Internet, and provided an outlet for users with specialized interests.