Euro social networking: Full speed ahead

The social Web has solid support from the European Commission. In fact, the EC's now looking ahead to Web 3.0, which means "seamless, anytime, anywhere business, entertainment and social networking over fast reliable and secure networks" and "the end of the divide between mobile and fixed [phone] lines," said Viviane Reding, EC Commissioner for Information Society & Media, in a September 26 speech in Luxembourg, according to VNUNET. Europe "must lead the next generation of the Internet," she said. The EC is encouraging SN industry self-regulation and has created a task force to that end, reports. Participants include MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Bebo, Amsterdam-based Hyves, Berlin-based StudiVZ, and Paris-based Skyrock; "a number of researchers and child welfare organisations. The EC reportedly plans to unveil best-practice guidelines for social-network sites on Safer Internet Day next February 10. For context, reports, social networking has grown 35% in Europe in the past year. It added that 56% of Europe's online population visited social-network sites last year, and the number of regular users is projected to increase from 41.7 million now to 107.4 million in the next four years.

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