Friday, 22 April 2011

Thinking Web Science

thinking web science is what I have been doing for the past few days, although its a constant backdrop to the research I do :-)
As ever, on a friday, I get a little peeved , when people who have hijacked the term web science  when talking about science on the web or using the web for political science - decide to publish their stuff - but hey.
More interestingly ( I think) is a bit of speculation about a few of the manifestations of web science....
I find myself fascinated by the way in which new business models have emerged with increasing persistence of the web. I observe that the hard nosed profit oriented organisations are learning from each other, but also small organisations, concerned with rural development and sustainability are also finding out about this stuff, and turning it to their advantage.
Frequently when I chat to people about the social impact of the web I give examples of how these gains are manifested, but I thought it was time I recorded this information - if only so that I can go back and refer to it myself again in future.  Some of them were not explicitly web science manifestations when they emerged, but are now mediated and accelerated via web-based communities.
One dimension of these activities is the power of the meme - ways in which ideas catch on, and how human beings are supremely adapted for extending simple ideas
so, what are the things I am thinking of?
short list to be elaborated with links and further info
1 - aggregated translation service in african countries where contributors are paid via micro payments to mobile phones.
2 - credit union style activites in india
3 - rural self education networks in india mediated by internet connections
4 - so calle "WI degree" common foundation, then negotiated curriculum
5 - dissemination of good practice to agricultural communities

... more later, supper now

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