Session 6 # Summary and Takeaways

The Great Wall of Facebook

The fundamental conflict of the article lies in the comparison of the advertising products offered by the two companies.  Google’s product, targeted text ads, is the single most successful product on the Internet.  The tiny, unobstructive ads have fueled Google’s dominance in multiple markets; today, 90% of Google’s revenue comes from Adsense.  Facebook’s product is nascent – it is the concept that advertising works better when it is socially mediated.  That is, we are more likely to click on ads, content, and links when the content is funneled through our friends.  This theory is sensible, but to date, Facebook’s concept remains vaporware, with a majority of their revenue coming through traditional targeted text and banner campaigns.


The Rise of Crowdsourcing

This article provided an introduction to crowdsourcing through definitions established by its pioneers and illustrated through a collection of case examples. Crowdsourcing can be explained through a theory of crowd wisdom, an exercise of collective intelligence, but we should remain critical of the model for what it might do to people and how it may reinstitute long-standing mechanisms of oppression through new discourses. Crowdsourcing is not just another buzzword, not another meme. It is not just a repackaging of open source philosophy for capitalist ends either. It is a model capable of aggregating talent, leveraging ingenuity while reducing the costs and time formerly needed to solve problems. Finally, crowdsourcing is enabled only through the technology of the web, which is a creative mode of user interactivity, not merely a medium between messages and people. Because of this, it is now the challenge of communication studies, science and technology studies, and other scholars to take up this new, hearty agenda for research.


Connecting for Success

The presentation showed lessons learned from a heritage of deploying collaboration solutions within the enterprise. For centralized destination, it’s found that users resists mandates, customization is important, and less is more. For lightweight document sharing, email and PowerPoint are dominant working tools – online is an added step. Enterprise search is not the same as internet search, and teams did not collaborate across boundaries due to silos. In self publishing, sensitive information sharing is a challenge. Culture is more important than technology.


Rebooting the Antisocial Network

The research shows that business-oriented social networking platforms aren’t living up to their promise of better communication, collaboration and productivity, even though IT has these tools in place. For example, 61% have run team or company wikis for over a year; 29% have had these systems in place for three years or more. Most, 65%, host these systems internally.

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