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Online communities, social networking, blogging, image, funny pictures, image manipulation, "photoshopping" and forums

Blogging

Web log - or Blog - as it has been shortened to, is a website that has been created and maintained by a business or individual with something they want to say to the world. Blogs can contain photos, pictures, video, artwork, topic specific information (such as a review or event) or a dairy. Blogs appear in many forms on the net, some of the most popular attracting millions of viewers every day. Typically, a blog will have a chronoligical order of "entries" - with the latest on the first page.

As computers have become more mainstream, and internet access is everywhere now, Computing is no longer the profession or hobby of the elite - anyone with a home pc and internet line can learn, enjoy and make a career in computing. There are many computer courses available even for home users that would like to study computing courses from home. The world has woken up to the internet!

"Blogging" is the act of maintining a blog - a personal blog (usually a commentary on life or a subject by an individual) is the most common form of blogging. If you search google for the term blog, it returns over 2,880,000,000 results - there are a lot of bloggers out ther!

Blogs have become an integral part of everyday online community life - with sites set up specifically for friends to communicate via blogs - posting their thoughts, feelings and even their own creative works such as pictures, photographs and music.

Social Networking

Social networking is the building of online communities - normally with people who share a common interest in say music, art or culture. Social networking sites are extremely popular with all demographics - from the young to the old - there is social networking for everyone.

The rise of social networking across the world has opened up many new ways to communicate with people and make friends - many social networking sites have shot to fame in recent years attracting millions of users from across the globe. As well as traditional online communication methods such as emal and IM (instant messaging), social networking has given rise to the expansion of blogging and forum style communication.

Forums

Forums arrived on the net following the sucess of Bulleting Board Systems (or BBS) which started in the late 1980's and early 90's. It quickly became apparant that internet users wanted to have "their say".The basis of a forum is that a user registeres an alias or username - this can be as far fetched or as real as the user desires - giving way to an online alter ego being created.

Most forums have a free flow freedom of speech attitude, with people being able to contribute to the discussion on the "boards" - each forum will have their own rules on what can be posted and in which boad - for instance a forum on computers might have a hardware and a software board - and you would need to discuss your graphic tablet on the hardware board, but discuss your image software (such as adobe photoshop) on the software boards. On each board will be "threads" - discussion topics if you will - using the same example as above, a thread on the software board might be "I use photoshop - which image software do you use?". Adobe also provide web development software called Dreamweaver and Flash - these are hugely popular skills to have these days, and many people choose to learn dreamweaver by taking an accredited adobe course

In order to post on a board, forums require registration - but viewing the boards often is within the public domain. Some forums are private, and only allow registered users to join in and read the discussions - whilst other forums display the content of the boards for all to see.

Forums also have the ability for the users to communicate via private messaging - similar to the social networking sites. Regular forum users often build relationships and bonds with each other "on the boards", as they may have similar interests or backgrounds.

Photoshopping

"Photoshopping" or just "Shopping" as it is commonly known is the practice or digital image manipulation. The name is derrived from the popular image software Adobe Photoshop - but it is not limited to using this software to create the images.

Many photoshopped images become "virals" that passed around friends and associates via email, blogs, social networking sites and forums. These tend to be jokes and funny images that are montages of a number of original source images - one of the most famous being the "helicopter shark" which was a viral image that was said to be a National Geographic photo of the year - and later turned out to be "shopped".

Funny Images

Funny pictures, cartoons and graphics created by individual users for the amusement of themselves and others are everywhere on the interenet. Popularised by sites such as B3ta and Fark, these images play an integral pat in the online communities and forums across the globe. Every funny email you get in your inbox has come from someone who undoubtedly created that funny picture for their friends.

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