Jordi Girona, 1-3. (Mòduls D6 i C6)
Barcelona, Catalonia

W3C Workshop on the Future of Social Networking
15-16 January 2009, Barcelona Spain

Social networks are increasingly going to appeal to people who are on the go. Whether using the mobile Web or handset applications, many "made-for-mobile" communities have a web presence available on PC; conversely on-line communities must offer their participants mobile access when the participant is without their PC and when social media is captured on the mobile device.

Social networking is a complex, large and rapidly expanding sector of the information economy. The impacts of emerging social networking tools will be far-reaching. For example, user-generated content is causing changes in the traditional content/media industry structure. In the future, community features could be an integral part of all digital (Web and other) experiences — from information/publishing to business and entertainment.

Companies providing services for social media and social networking, or adding social networking features to existing services, must anticipate and begin working to resolve barriers to industry growth and stability. W3C believes there needs to be a time and place where the various actors of this industry can gather and discuss the challenges they'll need to face together to allow for healthy market expansion in the future. See our analysis of why now is the right time for this workshop

1.1. Goal of Workshop

The high level goal of this workshop is to bring together the world experts on social networking design, management and operation in a neutral and objective environment where the social networking history to date can be examined and discussed, the risks and opportunities analyzed and the state of affairs accurately portrayed. Based on the facts and a consensus-based industry landscape, plans for the future can be made by the industry participants.

Within the W3C workshop, the issues facing social networking growth can be documented and, in this workshop in particular, will take into account social networking on mobile devices/platforms with and without PC/broadband Internet services.

The workshop should also explore whether it is worthwhile to consider the creation of an Interest or Working Group under the auspices of W3C to continue these discussions.

To these ends, workshop participants will:

* Describe the ecosystem and social networking industry landscape using relevant terms and metrics,
* Discuss current technical and/or business issues being addressed within emerging social networking initiatives, with an eye to understanding how these are or will apply to mobile social networking challenges, and how these will be integrated with existing mobile industry constraints and trends. Solutions addressing privacy, security, and monetization on mobile are of interest.
* Identify the gaps in the industry at technical and business levels so as to frame the challenges to continued and accelerated growth in the future.

1.2. Scope of Workshop

The scope of this workshop includes all aspects of social network industry needs with a special emphasis on mobile and converged (mobile/PC) community technologies, challenges and opportunities.

Topics that might serve as appropriate discussion points for position papers include, but are not limited to:

* Interoperability of Social applications and User Generated Content
* Approaches for inter-social network communication and referrals/invitations
* Social Networks and the User Experience, in particular user interface similarities and differences between desktop and mobile social applications, and solutions for making social network sites accessible to people with disabilities
* Identity federation, privacy, and security - scalable and interoperable technology to communicate metadata securely and in socially responsible fashion between and in communities
* Sharing social network features between PC and mobile, such as using social networks as addressbook, Location-awareness, Call-from-community
* Mechanisms for securely sharing location, while preserving privacy
* Secure transaction/financial and recommendation tracking specifications for commerce within social networks - how to make social networks resources for trusted relations and privacy decisions


* Landscape of existing social networking initiatives, and their relevance to the mobile world
* The role of operators within mobile social networks
* Metrics to quantify social network size and growth (user types/profiles, community size, growth, traffic/activity)
* Monetization practices (advertizing, subscriptions, etc)
* Security (profile management policies, penalties), Ethics (disclosure, privacy), Moderation practices and Accessibility

1.3. Audience

W3C encourages anyone interested in the topics listed in the scope section to participate in the workshop, in particular representatives from:

* social networks operators,
* handset manufacturers,
* mobile network operators,
* developers and providers of social applications or services,
* experts in usability, security, privacy and accessibility as applied to social networks, and
* industry organizations working on standardization around social networking.

1.4. Requirements for Participation

There is no participation fee, but registration is required. Registration instructions will be sent to submitters of position papers. W3C membership is not required in order to participate in the workshop.

Each participant must submit (or be co-submitter of) a position paper. The total number of participants will be limited. To ensure diversity, a limit may be imposed on the maximum number of participants per organization.

Official Website:

Added by multimodal on December 5, 2008