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Yves Punie IPTS


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The impact of social computing on public services

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Yves Punie IPTS

  1. 1. Social Computing: Research and policy perspectives on the impact of 2.0 Yves Punie IPTS Information Society Unit Public Services 2.0, BXL, 16 March 2009 The views expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the EC
  2. 2. IPTS : Part of DG JRC of the EC: 7 Research Institutes across Europe Mission : “to provide customer-driven support to the EU policy-making process by researching science-based responses to policy challenges that have both a socio-economic as well as a scientific or technological dimension” <ul><ul><ul><li>Institute for Prospective Technological Studies </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Since 2003 an explosive (viral) growth unprecedented in history. 50-60 % of global internet users engage in forms of social computing, largely because they are intuitive and rewarding and moving into the professional realm </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Facebook, YouTube & Flickr, Wikipedia, SecondLife, Blogs, Wiki’s … </li></ul><ul><li>Research needs to understand the present and future policy impacts of SC as it has strong economic, political, cultural, social and everyday life impacts </li></ul><ul><li>A “moving target” of very rapidly evolving technologies, markets, companies & users. Reliable, comparable data and statistics very hard to find </li></ul>1. Why does SC matter for research and policy (EU)?
  4. 4. <ul><li>In May 2008, more than 110 million blogs tracked by Technorati </li></ul><ul><li>175.000 blogs and 1,6 million posts created daily </li></ul><ul><li>40% of internet users read blogs (OCLC 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>17% of internet users contribute (OCLC 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>32% of companies either using or planning to take in use blogs (McKinsey 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>=> For government and politics: </li></ul><ul><li>Access to alternative sources of information & knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Room for reflection & discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on politics (Obama, Irish referendum, French elections) </li></ul>Example 1: Blogs
  5. 5. Example 2: Wikipedia <ul><li>Available in 250 languages with a total of 10 million articles </li></ul><ul><li>8 th most visited site worldwide, reaches 9.7% of internet audience (May 2008, </li></ul><ul><li>200 million unique visitors monthly (Comscore) </li></ul><ul><li>7,2 Million registered users in English Wikipedia only </li></ul><ul><li>36% of US adult internet users look for information in Wikipedia (especially well educated) (Pew/Internet 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>=> For government and politics </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate access to up-to-date information </li></ul><ul><li>User-produced content </li></ul><ul><li>53,6% of people editing entries over 45 (Hitwise 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Many global and local wiki initiatives exist </li></ul>Jan 2008 Jan 2001 2,4 million ENGL articles Source : Wikipedia 300.000 authors for Wikipedia (6% - 1.5% - 0.2%)
  6. 6. 1.3 Part of mainstream internet use Source: OfCom 2008, EIIA Mediascope 2008 <ul><li>Social networking and blogging are amongst the most popular activities on the internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>circa 67% of worldwide internet users have ever used them (Nielson, December 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Europe, 41% of internet users have uploaded information and 32% participated in a social networking site, during the last 3 months (Eurobarometer, Sept. 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New untapped demographics: 25-34 year olds but a lso silver surfers and woman users ( Pascu, 2008) </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Social Computing matters </li></ul><ul><li>2. The position of Europe </li></ul>
  8. 8. 2.1. Suppliers of SC applications <ul><li>US companies lead in SC supply: 2/3 is provided by US with similar proportions in terms of revenues and employment </li></ul><ul><li>Top ten in terms of traffic ranking: 9/10 are US companies </li></ul><ul><li>Europe is more present in social networking and gaming applications </li></ul>Source : IPTS database “ Top 99” Web 2.0 companies 99 9 63 14 13 Total 9 8 1   Others 2 2   Wiki 6 5 1 Social tagging 11 2 5 3 1 Social gaming 37 5 18 9 5 OSN 24 1 17 1 5 Multimedia sharing 10 1 8   1 Blog Total RoW US EU Asia Appl. Category / Region
  9. 9. 2.2 Innovation indicators: Patents, R&D and VC <ul><li>¾ of web2.0 patents are of US origin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority from large firms: 1. Facebook; 2. Yahoo; 3. Google; 4. Nokia; 5. Microsoft </li></ul></ul><ul><li>90% of private R&D investment from internet related companies is US-based </li></ul><ul><li>VC is much lower in EU compared to US (resp. €150 million and €550 million in 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>=> Reflects general pattern of ICT industry </li></ul>Legend: Blue colour = North American applications, green = Asian + Australia and Purple = Europe Source : IPTS key word search in WIPO Patent scope data base 2008-12-12 Search: (ABE/&quot;social network&quot;) OR (ABE/blog) OR (ABE/wiki) OR (ABE/&quot;RSS feed&quot;) OR (ABE/Widget) OR (ABE/folksonomy) OR (ABE/AJAX) “ Web2.0” patents
  10. 10. 2.3 EU Strengths…? <ul><li>Online social gaming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapidly growing market already about $ 1-2 billion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top 10 dominated by US but significant EU presence with no. 2 (Habbo hotel) and no. 3 (RuneScape) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online social networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>US sites dominate worldwide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but strong European local presence (e.g. Skyrock, Netlog) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mobile 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Market estimated at $ 0.5 billion and growing rapidly to about 6 billion in 2012, although unclear how the model will look like </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths and weakness of EU mobile operators. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Why does SC matter? </li></ul><ul><li>2. Where does Europe stand? </li></ul><ul><li>3. Key Impacts of SC </li></ul>
  12. 12. 3.1 Economic impacts of SC <ul><li>(1) Growth of a new SC applications industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenues about $ 3 billion a year (2007) of 99 SC companies from IPTS database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenues from advertising, selling content/access (basic, premium, subscription), tying to complementary goods (bundling, marketing platform), donations, (acquisitions) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(2) Growth and innovation in ICT-sector </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demand for ICT HW, SW and services (Facebook $100 million to buy 50.000 new servers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New application providers & third-party application on Web 2.0 platforms (e.g. Facebook) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New SW services for publishing, syndication, commerce, content management, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(3) Disruptive impact on media and entertainment industries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less revenues (paying users, advertising) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SC diverts attention from other media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content produced for SC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media companies (and others) embracing SC </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(4) Competitiveness of other companies and the economy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprise use of SC (currently 20-35% penetration) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improving internal work processes, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a tool for customer and public relations in general: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a tool for recruitment and networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>utilising user knowledge and support innovation; </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. 3.2 Social impacts of SC <ul><ul><li>Largest identity management system of the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leisure and media time spent online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New addiction, cyber-bullying, anti-social behaviour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extended social networks: Are online friends really friends? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The glory for my 15 minutes of fame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security, privacy, data protection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risks for second level digital divide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More room for self-expression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better informed citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better performing people (consumers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced social participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social inclusion and socio-economic participation </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 4.1 Opportunities for EU policy making <ul><li>SC is here to stay: mentality change of the digital generation </li></ul><ul><li>Affecting core business of government and public administration </li></ul><ul><li>Delivers transparency , efficiency , user-involvement , user-empowerment , mass-collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Used to inform, consult, gather opinion (political and policy-making tool) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mobilize the energies of users/citizens </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engage with “niche” audience and leverage their insights </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Current SC are predominantly self-governing and spontaneous while creating public value </li></ul><ul><li>Strong potential for social and digital inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>A new way to innovate public services: user-centric transformation of public services </li></ul><ul><li>SC can help to provide new solutions to addressing the grand challenges for Europe (environment and sustainability, competitiveness and QoL, social agenda) </li></ul><ul><li>From “broadband for all” to the use of SC becoming the platform/interface for “21th century user-led service economy” </li></ul>
  15. 15. 4.2 Challenges for EU policy making <ul><li>Europe is not playing a key role globally, but opportunities exist </li></ul><ul><li>SC Innovation Paradox </li></ul><ul><li>Where public administrations ignore SC spontaneous initiatives may emerge, providing public value </li></ul><ul><li>Not a one-fit-solution to all problems (other ICT solutions needed also) </li></ul><ul><li>ICT isn’t always the key determinant for success </li></ul><ul><li>Participation: low, biased, activist, extremist, expert, elite, destructive behavior, cyber-bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Not appropriate for all cases; not sustainable and up-scalable </li></ul><ul><li>Universality of service is a challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Second level digital divide (skills) </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy, security, data protection, dependability </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge existing practice and paradigms (social innovation) </li></ul><ul><li>Needs leadership, strong support, openness and experimentation </li></ul>
  16. 16. IPTS publications on Social Computing <ul><li>IPTS Technical Reports (EUR) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation, Use and Adoption of SC Applications http:// =1684 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use and Impacts of Collaborative Content http:// =1885 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use and Impacts of Online Social Networks http:// =1884 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 in Government: Why and How? http:// =1565 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning2.0: Impact of SC on Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Projects on SC for health, inclusion, learning, mobile 2.0, PS2.0, etc., </li></ul><ul><li>See: </li></ul><ul><li>Some peer reviewed articles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The potential disruptive impact of Internet2-based technologies, First Monday 2007 March issue 12: available at </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social computing: implications for the EU innovation landscape, Foresight , Volume:10, Issue:1 (Highly Commended Award at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Papers at conference </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g.Euro CPR2007, 2008,2009, ITS2008 </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Thank you </li></ul><ul><li>yves.punie @ </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>