Social Informatics: Second International Conference, SocInfo 2010, Laxenburg, Austria, October 27-29, 2010, Proceedings

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As information technology became ubiquitous, it did not take long for prac- cally minded ICT specialists to realize the technology's potential for supporting and enhancing our social activities. Today, it is a truism to say that information technology has a social dimension and a social impact-it is enough to consider such applications as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Wikipedia. Proponents of the social applications of ICT will go further and claim that information technology is - shaping the way we are doing business, working, learning, playing, and making friends or enemies. They will say that, for example, Wikipedia has the pot- tial to completely change our economy (following Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, the authors of Wikinomics). Computer science was slower than the social sciences to direct its interests towardthe social uses of its products. The concept of social informatics was ?rst invented by Rob Kling, who deemed it as an area of study of information and communication tools in cultural or institutional contexts. However, he was not the only one, as for example ethnographists quickly became interested in the ways ICT in?uences our culture (consider the studies of YouTube by Michael Wesch). Mediascienceandsociologyhavebeengearedupbytheseminalworksof McLuhan and are ready to tackle the new media created by ICT, as in the work of Manuel Castells. Psychologists quickly became interested in the Internet and computergames.Economistsrecognizedthequicklyrisingimpactofe-commerce and e-business and focused much e?ort on their analysis.