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FP7

An empirical analysis of the creation, use and adoption of social computing applications - IPTS exploratory research on the socio-economic impact of social computing

Funded under: FP7-JRC

Abstract

Over the last few years, the take-up of social computing applications has been impressive. These digital applications are defined as those that enable interaction, collaboration and sharing between users. They include applications for blogging, podcasting, collaborative content (e.g. Wikipedia), social networking e.g. MySpace, Facebook, multimedia sharing (e.g. Flickr, YouTube), social tagging (e.g. Deli.cio.us) and social gaming (e.g. Second Life). The importance of social computing has been acknowledged by European policy makers. It is considered to be a potentially disruptive Information Society development, in which users play an increasingly influential role in the way products and services are shaped and used. This may have important social and economic impacts on all aspects of society. There is, however, little scientific evidence on the take-up and impact of social computing applications. The objective of this report is to provide a systematic empirical assessment of the creation, use and adoption of specific social computing application areas: blogging, podcasting, collaborative content, social networking multimedia sharing, social tagging and social gaming. In addition, the report offers a definition of social computing in order to clarify what is meant, in the face of many different angles, and points to the new area of mobile social computing. The dynamics of user participation in social computing are also discussed. Finally, extensive empirical data is presented in the Annex to this report. Research into social computing presents numerous challenges. Social computing is a moving target, with rapidly evolving technologies, markets and user behaviours, all of which have emerged and developed over just a few years. The measurement issue is a crucial, in particular in the context of policy implications.

Additional information

Authors: PASCU C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 23415 EN (2008), various paging. Free of charge
Availability: http://bookshop.europa.eu/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/EU-Bookshop-Site/en_GB/-/EUR/ViewPublication-Start?PublicationKey=LFNA23415 (Catalogue Number: LF-NA-23415-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-79-09453-8
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