INF506 OLJ Task 3: Reflections on the Impact of Change

This blog post discusses six ways that social media is changing the world. The task for this OLJ entry is to reflect on two of these and how they have impacted on an organisation I am familiar with.

Social media is helping us tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges, from human rights violations to climate change

Social media can be toxic at times but it seems that its best side comes out in helping with disaster recovery. Tracking who is safe, where relief aid is needed, who is available to help people is changing the normal top-down process of disaster relief to a more distributed/networked model. This type of response can often occur more quickly than state-based approaches and in some ways is more resilient as the coordination of the response is not reliant on one group. However if the infrastructure for communications were to go down, there would be difficulties. However, it has been demonstrated that even in war-torn areas, that it is not impossible for social media to be able to make a positive difference. For example The Digital Humanitarian Network was able to send warnings to l to civilians and aid workers in affected areas in Syria of impending air raids.

Across industries, social media is going from a “nice to have” to an essential component of any business strategy

I am not much of a Tweeter but I was surprised by the number of responses I got from companies when I mentioned their product. It was clear that OneNote and Evernote need to help shape the narrative about their brands. I imagine that it would be a powerful influence on people if their issues were proactively resolved and people would therefore be more likely to recommend that product. For those products that don’t have a presence then they would find it harder to be proactive in resolving an issue or even identifying that there was a widespread issue in the first place.


INF506 OLJ Task 2: What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 (dynamic or user-generated content) is almost all I have ever known of the internet and therefore my first thought when the question of “What is web 2.0?” is posed, is why is that important?

To me, defining what web 2.0 is has helped me to consider what it is to different groups of people. The 2018 We are Social: Digital Report highlighted to me that across the world the adoption of social media and other web 2.0 technologies is not consistent and although Facebook is fairly ubiquitous, different age groups and social groups use different social media in different ways.

So my definition of web 2.0 is:

Web technology that allows the user to add and interact with content on the internet.

Defining what 2.0 is, will probably only get harder as the discussions of web 3.0 start to shape the dialogue over the future of the web, eclipsing talk of web 2.0. The “distributed web” that 3.0 discusses and the tools that it produces will also start to blur the lines of what is 2.0 and what is 3.0. To some extent this is already occurring with the popularity of messaging apps. The clean definition of social media versus peer-to-peer messaging is becoming increasingly blurred and with the importance placed on privacy and end-to-end encryption will result in more and more content being held on private networks and inaccessible via the internet (as we know it today).