The European Commission JRC (Joint Research Center), Institute for Prospective Technological Studies released last week at the EU Ministerial Conference on e-Government 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.
For anyone interested in social media and the impact it has on both society and economy, this is a very worthwhile report.
This wide report covers different thematic areas. In addition to a cross-cutting analysis across areas in Ch1: Key findings, Future Prospects and Policy Implications
It contains thematic analysis:
Ch2: The adoption and Use of Social Computing
Ch3: Social Computing from a Business Perspective
Ch4: Social Computing and the Mobile Ecosystem
Ch5: Social Computing and Identity
Ch6: Social Computing and Learning
Ch7: Social Computing and Social Inclusion
Ch8: Social Computing and Health
Ch9: Social Computing and Governance
In Part II: On defining Social Computing, its Scope and Significance, you have a chapter (chapter 4) which is completely dedicated to mobile social computing and which offers some great tables and analysis. You might want to click on the image to enlarge the picture, it gives an overview of the techno-economic activities in the mobile content and applications ecosystem. So just taken out two quotes from the report:
"Learning from users (user-driven innovation) is the response increasingly adopted both by the new mobile industry and by new public policies (e.g., by providing wide access to “living labs”). At the same time, it could also be argued that users are still not empowered enough in the mobile
domain. Currently, users are not in control (or even aware) of the information that players cross the mobile value chain have about them and how this could be used."
With a relevant quote to low resource areas: "it must not be forgotten that the base conditions for the success of any mobile advanced service are the availability and affordability of mobile broadband connections and the availability, affordability and usability of mobile devices. In particular, these conditions have an inclusive angle for those people who are under served by market priorities."
From their website: "The rapid growth of web 2.0, or social computing, allows users to play an influential role in the way commercial and public products and services are shaped. The report "The impact of Social Computing on the EU Information Society and Economy", published today by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), finds that in 2008, 41% of EU Internet users were engaged in social computing activities through Social Networking Sites (SNS), blogs, photo and video sharing, online multi-player games and collaborative platforms for content creation and sharing. This percentage rises to 64% if users aged under 24 only are considered.
The report shows that social computing goes beyond individual networking and entertainment, as it empowers tens of millions of Europeans to support their work, health, learning and citizenship in innovative ways.
The research found that social computing is reshaping work practices, as employees join communities of interest outside their organisations to improve their knowledge and skills. Social innovation enabled by social computing contributes to improved lifelong learning processes, business competitiveness, social inclusion and integration of immigrants, among others."