It is a general term for an area of computer science that is concerned with the intersection of social behavior and computational systems.
A February 13, 2006 paper by market research company Forrester Research suggested that:
“ Easy connections brought about by cheap devices, modular content, and shared computing resources are having a profound impact on our global economy and social structure. Individuals increasingly take cues from one another rather than from institutional sources like corporations, media outlets, religions, and political bodies. To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists .
It has become an important concept for use in business:
It has to do with supporting any sort of social behavior in or through computational systems.
It is based on creating or recreating social conventions and social contexts through the use of software and technology.
Blogs, email, instant messaging, social network services, wikis, social bookmarking and other instances of what is often called social software illustrate ideas from social computing, but also other kinds of software applications where people interact socially.
It has to do with supporting “computations” that are carried out by groups of people, an idea that has been popularized in James Surowiecki's book, The Wisdom of Crowds.
Collaborative filtering, online auctions, prediction markets, reputation systems, computational social choice, tagging, and verification games. The Social Information Processing page focuses on this sense of social computing.
It refers to systems that support the gathering, representation, processing, use, and dissemination of information that is distributed across social collectivities such as teams, communities,organizations, and markets. Moreover, the information is not "anonymous" but is significant precisely because it is linked to people, who are in turn linked to other people.
It is the collaborative and interactive aspect of online behavior. The term can be understood in contrast to personal computing , which describes the behavior of isolated users.
It is a social structure in which technology puts power in communities not institutions.
Lund, A. & Rasmussen, I. (2010). Tasks 2.0: Education Meets Social Computing and Mass Collaboration. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2010 (pp. 4058-4065). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
In this paper we argue that for teachers it is becoming increasingly important to develop competence in designing technology mediated and collaborative tasks. The impact from digital technologies challenges the historically stable relationship between textbooks, tasks, and tests.
In particular, Web 2.0 technologies and social computing applications that reflect emerging media practices require that schooling addresses collective knowledge advancement and with tasks and assignments that match such practices.
Empirically we seek to support our argument by reporting from a longitudinal study of learners and teachers working with different types of tasks in wikis.
Theoretically, our research is grounded in Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) where learning is intrinsically linked to social interaction and the use of cultural tools.
The findings show that we need to examine the complex relationships between technologies, tasks, activities, and assessment in order to develop teaching using Web 2.0 applications.
Learning 2.0 – the use of social computing to enhance lifelong learning Redecker, Christine, Ala Mutka, Kirsti, and Punie, Yves European Commision, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain
The rapid emergence of social computing applications is changing the ways people connect with each other, exchange and create knowledge in different spheres.
In particular, young people entering higher education are integrating ICT seamlessly in their everyday life and call f or educational institutions to support their digital learning styles.
But also older people are increasingly taking up social computing applications in their work and leisure life.
Social computing tools thus have a potential to support both, students in higher education institutions and workers updating their skills in new ways.
However, research on the enabling and disabling factors for a successful deployment of social computing is scarce.
IPTS is aiming to close this gap with this ongoing study on Learning 2.0 practices.
Evidence indicates that social computing applications can support higher education institutions in their efforts to facilitate communication with and among students and staff and to improve learning processes and outcomes.
Further research needs to concentrate on workplace learning and professional development as well as on ways of making the benefits Learning 2.0 available to learners of all ages and backgrounds.
Social computing is essentially the application of computer technology to facilitate collaboration and working in groups.
The emphasis is on the social part of social computing: what makes this phenomenon interesting, and what is likely to make it long-lasting, is the way it facilitates an almost spontaneous development of communities of people who share similar interests.
As the typical educator’s network of contacts has grown to include colleagues who might live and work across the country, or indeed anywhere on the globe, it has become common for people who are not physically located near each other to collaborate on projects.
In classrooms as well, joint projects with students at other schools or in other countries is more and more commonplace as a strategy to expose learners to a variety of perspectives.
The essential attribute of the technologies in this set is that they make it easy for people to share interests and ideas, work on joint projects, and easily monitor collective progress.
All of these are needs common to student work, research, collaborative teaching, writing and authoring, development of grant proposals, and more.
The bar for widespread participation is very low, since the software to support virtual collaboration is low cost or free, and available via a web browser.
Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry
A virtual collaborative workspace for a class or study group can be assembled quickly using tools that can pull information from a variety of sources, including Flickr, Twitter, MySpace or Facebook, news and weather feeds, Del.icio.us, blog feeds and more.
Teachers can evaluate student work as it progresses, leaving detailed comments right in the documents if desired in almost real time. Students can use social computing tools to participate in a backchannel — an online conversation that takes place in and around a lesson.
Technology, Behavior, Culture, Policy
Blogging (Kumar et al., 2004);
Collaborative filtering (Kautz et al., 1997) and tagging (Sen et al., 2006; Golder and Huberman, 2006; Halpin et al., 2007);
Internet search (Barroso et al., 2003);
Social media and networking sites (Boyd and Ellison,2007); and Wikipedia and wikis (Priedhorsky et al., 2007; Almeida et al., 2007).
Technology, Behavior, Culture, Policy
Free-riding problems (Adar and Huberman, 2000;Beenen et al., 2004).
Motivations and social psychology (Nardi et al.,2004).
Online credibility (Metzger et al., 2003; Metzger,2007; Rieh and Danielson, 2007).
Social impacts (Katz and Rice, 2002; Kavanaughet al., 2005).
Social roles in online environments (Golder and Donath,004; Suler, 2004).
Technology, Behavior, Culture, Policy
Authoring (Pfeil et al., 2006; Emigh and Herring,2005).