Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is Social Computing Sustainable?

RW -- http://luddites-or-laggards.blogspot.com/2007/02/social-computing-is-it-sustainable.html -- posted a comment on my site posing the question:

Is Social Computing Sustainable?

In the article above, RW raises three further questions:

1. Will we be able to distinguish between true consumer generated content and organisational content in the future?
2. Will consumer content become lost amongst a battle ground for organisations and brands to gain share of voice?
3. Will Governments around the world hinder the chance of social computing to grow to its full potential?

Here are my thoughts on the topic and welcome yours:


Thank you for visiting bizblogreview.com and directing me to your site. You raise three complex questions -- here are some thoughts on each:

1. In attempting to distinguish between organizational content and consumer generated content, we need to look at the source of the content, the platform hosting the content and its "filters"/"moderation" and as you've mentioned - regulation too.

Some organizations are genuinely soliciting and publishing all types of consumer generated content/feedback to improve product innovation and sales. There are cases though, such as sites with guest hotel reviews where subjective filtering is occuring and this raises ethical questions when customers make choices based on reviews. I think it will become harder to distinguish between what is consumer vs. organizationally-driven content, and that there will be criteria eventually to evaluate this.

2. The battle ground is in gaining visibility and attracting the DESIRED consumer to generate the DESIRED content for your site. Organizations will specialize in targeting certain consumers to contribute specific kinds of content. I think, in terms of marketing, it's just a different playground and those organizations with the best techniques will succeed.

3. A country like China (or any other) with its regulation cannot alone hinder the social computing evolution that's occurring. I don't personally think regulation and jurisdiction issues can keep up with the pace of technology.

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