We attended the Social Web Camp at Sun Microsystems’ beautiful campus in Santa Clara yesterday. Like any good barcamp, questions were raised and theory raged. Many of the questions were fascinating, representing a lot of the problems developers and users have today, and giving a glimpse of what future solutions might be. Here are the most interesting questions explored at the event: Who ultimately owns your online presence, you or the social network? Our identities are fragmented, our likes and tastes are fragmented: how do we manage these tastes when communicating across social networks?

If you post a photo on Facebook, does the person in the photo or someone who tagged it have some sort of ownership?

When will governments begin teaching citizens media literacy, what do we as public individuals need to know when the Web makes us public figures? We’re now all public figures, so we need to know how to act accordingly.

How do you contribute anonymous information via social media (for whistle blowing, for example)?

What happens to your data when you die? Does your online presence need to be part of a will?

How do you manage reputations for citizen journalists? How exactly do we define authority in who breaks the news or analyzes it for us? How much of news is a just belief system (e.g. NPR vs. Fox), and how does that ultimately drive who we consider reliable sources?

Was Web 2.0 less dependent on technological change than a sociological one? Is it the people who have changed – becoming more comfortable with new technologies?

By Mark Alvarez