Report: 'The Impact of Social Computing on the EU Information Society and Economy'

Report: 'The Impact of Social Computing on the EU Information Society and Economy'

The European Commission JRC, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
released a comprehensive report on social and economic implications of Social Computing [aka Web2.0, social media].

'The Impact of Social Computing on the EU Information Society and Economy'
(Eds.) Yves Punie, Wainer Lusoli, Clara Centeno, Gianluca Misuraca and David Broster
Authors: Kirsti Ala-Mutka, David Broster, Romina Cachia, Clara Centeno, Claudio Feijóo, Alexandra Haché, Stefano Kluzer, Sven Lindmark, Wainer Lusoli, Gianluca Misuraca, Corina Pascu, Yves Punie and José A. Valverde

A very interesting report.

An excert from de preface::

"In this context, this report, and the research that lies behind it, focuses on “Social Computing” that enables user-centric, collaborative knowledge sharing, community-building activities using the Internet.
Globally, the Internet is used by some 1.7 billion people1 (24.7% of the population) and by some 318 million Europeans (64%).

Social computing has exhibited a prolific growth since its genesis in the early years of this decade and, since 2005, has achieved unprecedented levels of EU and global usage. Current estimates indicate more than 130 million Europeans3 are involved in social computing and are interacting in a broad spectrum of commercial, leisure and social domains. It is very likely that all readers will have had some social computing experience in either an active or passive role as encounters with Social Computing have become mainstream for the vast majority of Internet users. Searches for information will frequently transport us to Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook or similar, or else to Blogs and other forms of collaborative on-line applications that have adopted the so-called Web 2.0 paradigm. For the younger generations, social computing has provided a medium for expression of interests and opinions, for collaboration and for building communities unbounded by locality.

Beyond the initial wave of “getting involved”, social computing is now in a period of consolidation and maturation enabling individuals, and groups, to access and contribute to knowledge on an ever increasing and already vast array of topics. Examining the evidence in this report and elsewhere, it is relatively easy to see how, over the coming years, social computing could play an increasingly important role in re-engaging citizens in political debate, in securing social cohesion and harmony, and it could provide a platform for dialogue on the grand challenges of the EU and the rest of the world."

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