Introducing computing and IT
Introducing computing and IT

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Introducing computing and IT

2.2 Communities

Break point

This would be a good point to take a break if you need to do something else before returning later.

As well as revolutionising the commercial world, the internet has had an enormous impact on the way we communicate. While there are still people in many parts of the world who do not have internet access, many of us have access at home or at work. As a result, we have the opportunity to communicate with others using email, instant messaging and online discussion groups (in online forums). Existing communities have created new ways of communicating, and new online communities have developed. Social networking plays an increasingly significant role in the lives of many people.

The recent pace of communication change has amazed many of us, and there is no reason to think that things will slow down. Figure 6 illustrates the relative size and significance of online communities in 2010. The first version of this map appeared on the web in early 2007 when MySpace was the most important social networking site and the micro-blogging site Twitter didn’t exist. Over time, new online communities may appear and grow and the current ones may decline, or others which were declining may increase in size and importance.

Described image
Figure 6 View of the world’s online communities in 2010 (go to 802/ [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] for a version you can zoom in on)

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371