Posts Tagged ‘Socialinformatics’

Spirit of Web 2.0

In a conversation with my supervisor today, there were some interesting reflections on the spirit or value of web 2.0 ans what that means for my PhD and the new unit on social informatics.

Path 1: What’s the spirit of web 2.0? Web 2.0 at a lowest level is technology (some new, some old, some revamped). web 2.0 at secondary level is a set of applications that enable new uses and provides a platform for mass collaboration. web 2.0 at third level is economic values and convenience it brings to the business world e.g. adsense, google ads, marketing & promotional activities, commercial blogs, customisation and personalization. Web 2.0 at the user level is social values e.g. users as producers, collaborate, crowdsourcing, collective intelligence and ……Web 2.0 is a disruptive technology and after the disruption stage what form it might take? one PhD could be looking at defining the spirit of web 2.0 – not in terms of technology, but in terms of the social values, the spirit of collaboration, the ability to now use highly technical tools with a press of a button and connect to the rest of the world. Web 2.0 is empowering people – it is about people. Web 2.0 is nothing but the values it brings with it – the new collaboration platform, the connectedness, the networked world, the small changes in the way things (anything!) are done, the new ways of doing old stuff. This could take the form of going around and talking to people informally/casually about this, asking them to reflect on instances of new use in line with the spirit of this new innovations, and then trying to formulate/speculate the future form of web 2.0. Also look at relationships with other related concepts and their complex interrelationships. the method could be grounded theory – asking questions to people and then finding the best fit theory to it.

Path 2: Continue to work on government – look at adoption and adaptation but based on the theories. driven by the theory, find what do I need to ask and to whom (stakeholders). To be credible I need access to organisation, access to stakeholders, need specific questions to operationalise the theories. Need a project plan for each case study. this is quite hard if it to be formal and credible. Solution – look at theories, what need to be asked for the data collection and plan each case study. Difficulty may arise for keeping both internal and external use. Think of the relationship of programme, portfolio and projects for web 2.0. workforce report should be my reference point.

Social informatics – the unit may take many forms:

The unit may look at the existing examples of web 2.0 (as defined above) – concentrating on what technology is bringing in change and the impact of it on its stakeholders. Students may start with a known domain like library starting off with UC, then look at powerhouse museum in Sydney, NLA, then look at virtual libraries , talk about impact on libraries in general. These could form the basis of first two/three tutorials.

Students each week can twitter about an application or new innovations of web 2.0 use in any domain e.g. government, entertainment, business, research, collaboration etc. students will require to use a common hastag so that we can create and bring the tag results in the unit webpage. This will help the class to create a list of social applications that are changing the way we operate.

Students then can write about a specific application of web 2.0 in these domains and blog/wiki about them using a template. This can also be used to create a wiki in a tabular format and can become a rich resource for applications of interest.

Then students may be asked to envision future uses of these tools, either existing or visionary, some instances of such new forms of interactions in the spirit of web 2.0 and then write a report on the new ways of doing the task and impacts on stakeholders. This can be synthesized in a wiki and in future in a paper “new ways of doing old things” using web 2.0 tools and technologies. A good resource to get them to generate new ideas would be the Us Now video – excellent examples of what’s happening in each industry/domain of interest. Student or groups then pick a domain and write about visionary uses of web 2.0.


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