Aspects of Participation in the Social Web
transparency of rules identiﬁcation
and power dynamics
individual vs. network value
format of contributions
tone, passion, humor, personality
low threshold engagement trust
type of content relaxation
“I give because I am
group belonging social capital great” (agonistic giving)
job emotional support
sharing the experience contributing to
access to information
of one’s time & place the greater good
translation mobile computing
pleasure of creation
intellectual property reciprocity
embodied and networked sociality signal-to-noise ratio
privacy of content
Trebor Scholz 2007
Preconditions for participation within the US
(and beyond) include:
access to technology,
ability to read,
author in a digital environment
(i.e. knowing how to use a wiki),
remembering the URL of a website, bandwidth,
cost of equipment,
the ease of use of the technological infrastructure,
time management, and
vast issues of age,
Participation in the Social Web is yet another thing to do for
already busy people. It takes time to consider the issues, to
figure out the software, and author a contribution. In
addition, it takes time to go through a large number of posts
from high-participation mailing lists, for example.
Worldwide, for the people who have the time and who are
highly motivated there still exists the problem that most
sociable media environments online are predominantly in
English and the basic rules of most systems (i.e., having to
register in order to participate.)
For non-native speakers it is hard to retain subtleties such as
ironic connotations of certain expressions. Flaws in translated
texts may also make the author appear less educated, which
prevents some people from contributing.
Apart from time and language concerns, the politics of the
software architecture is an equally crucial parameter of
participation. Just like moving around in a physical building,
the software code regulates the behavior in an online
United States 208,000,000 Internet users in 2006
Countries where Internet access is
available to the majority of the population
Internet Usage by World Region
A list of 13 quot;enemies of the Internetquot; has
been released by human rights group
Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Distribution of the Users of Social Networking Sites
The Digital Divide Is Not What It Used To Be
The growth of cell phone use in Africa is indeed explosive: the lack of
an extensive landline telephony infrastructure makes mobile phones a
good alternative. But consider this: In 2006, the Washington Post
published an article showing that quot;worldwide, there are more than 2.4
billion cell phone users... and [a]bout 59 percent of these users are in
developing countries, making cell phones the first telecommunications
technology in history to have more users there than in the developed
world.quot;  Cell phone usage in Africa, the article continued, is growing
faster than in any other region and jumped from 63 million users two
years ago to about 152 million. This is not some kind of mobile business
evangelism: life in Africa is changed drastically for those with access.
User Generated Content in China
100 mio net users in China, many gamers
huge difference between city (40%) and rural areas (3%)
400 million mobile phone users
emphasis on mobile Internet
4 out of the top ten sites online are Chinese
an alternative Internet (not technically)
The young are not the dominant users of net technology
(they have to study for college)
Greetings from the 3.1 billion people of China
Technological solutions to social problems?
Computers are addictive: do they detract resources
rather than solve problems?
Africa’s women can enter the public sphere as speakers
through blogging (where available).
Runs on Linux
Internet and India
100 millon people in India
most people get access through Internet cafes
many people access the net first on a cell phone, not a PC
most investment goes into telecom development
even small villages have cell phone signal
70% of under 23 Iranians send over
10 SMSes daily
Tehran, Feb 28, 2007 Taliya News – 78% of those that send more than ten
SMSes per day are singles, and in other words the singles use this service
more than married people in Iran.
According to ILNA, based on the findings of a research work conducted by a
graduate student, the majority of SMS senders are the university students
and they mainly do so to have fun, including sending jokes and messages
related to other recreational activities.
This journalism major graduate student has surveyed the method of taking
advantage of SMS as a communicational means among 435 university
student and come up with interesting results.
Among them, more than 70% of Iranians under 23 send more than ten
Meanwhile, the unemployed individuals send more SMSes than the
According to the research results, jokes, making appointments, expressing
feelings, information dissemination, inquiring about friends and relatives'
health, sending congratulation and consolation massages, notes related to
work and academic affairs, and finally, ads, are the highest tanking SMSes
sent by Iranians respectively.
quot;The number of
Africa is in t he grip of a mobile phone revolu t ion.
mobile phone lines in Africa rose from 15.6 to
135 million between 2000 and 2005quot; OhmyNews reported
how women in South Africa fight for their human rights with cell phones.  This report
continued: “In a culture where people travel long distances to find work, the mobile has become
the most useful and ubiquitous piece of technology since the bicycle. Just as bicycles are used in
rural Africa to transport bananas or paying passengers, the mobile is changing lives in ways
unimagined in t he developed world. I t links dis t an t families and allows t he poor t o
In Africa each cell phone actually
represented several users, as the phones
are shared in a variety of ways, giving
penetration figures in Kenya of closer to
Oneworld.net set up one project in Nairobi, for example that was a kind of SMS job bank
that allowed workers to connect with employment quickly and successfully. Significantly,
oneworld works directly with local operators to design socially useful mobile platforms.
Reuters Africa takes an interesting approach. Its
design resembles the rest of the Reuters site, but the
content is presented by country. You can select
countries from an image map of the continent, or
from a drop-down menu.
Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006
The Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 (DOPA) is a bill (H.R.
5319) brought before the United States House of Representatives
on May 9, 2006. The bill, if enacted, would amend the
Communications Act of 1934, requiring schools and libraries that
receive E-rate funding to protect minors from online predators in
the absence of parental supervision when using quot;Commercial
Social Networking Websitesquot; and quot;Chat Roomsquot;. The bill would
prohibit schools and libraries from providing access to these types
of websites to minors.
The bill is considered controversial because according to its critics
the bill could limit access to a wide range of websites, including
many with harmless and educational material.