Social Computing and Tools for Collaboration

Topics: Sociology, Social software, Social information processing Pages: 4 (1230 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Organizations have always looked to their IT departments for the expertise and creativity to develop new products and services. However, the productivity of IT teams varies widely, in part because of the vastly differing access to tools and technologies that organizations provide to these workers to support the way in which they work. This fact has serious implications when we consider three major changes now taking place in the as relates to social computing since these changes are increasingly having an impact to the ways people interact with each other.

Therefore, the concept of social computing is of particular interest to this author because “a large number of new applications and services that facilitate collective action and social interaction online with rich exchange of multimedia information and evolution of aggregate knowledge have come to dominate the Web” (Schneider, 2006, p. 15).

A key feature of the new social computing trends is the use of easy-to-use, lightweight, mostly open-source computing tools. Examples include blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, peer-to-peer networks, open source communities, photo and video sharing communities, and online business networks. Many of the popular online networks have been growing dramatically; with the most spectacular examples being Facebook and YouTube, “each of which have attracted significantly high investments from leading players in the industry; both the growth and the high profile investments resemble events from the dot-com era” (Schneider, 2006, p. 16). It is important to note that despite being lightweight and mostly free, these tools do not compromise quality, and indeed many enterprise computing applications do make use of them in demanding environments.

Turban et al. (2012) define social computing as “computing that is concerned with the intersection of social behavior and information systems” (p. 14). Much of this shift to social computing is due to the wide availability of...
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