by Yves Punie.
“Apart from the unexpected and impressive growth of social computing applications there are two fundamental aspects of SC that are expected to lead to major impacts on society and the economy: (1) the fact that users are taking the lead in the way products and services are shaped and used, leading to user empowerment and to users taking up taking up new roles in the digital society and economy and (2) the trend towards peer-produced resources and towards harnessing collective knowledge whereby the sum of the shared contributions from people are providing more added value than could be produced by groups, networks or communities that are small, closed and inwards-looking.
Social Computing poses the risk of a new ‘digital divide’, as new applications and technologies arise and people need to learn the critical skills and knowledge about information accuracy, reliability, quality of content. Major threats related to security, safety and privacy are also emerging, either new or more threatening than before.
If well managed however, social computing can have an important positive impact on the key challenges the EU is facing for 2020 and lead to increases in public service quality and democratic governance and business productivity.”