The growing role of the Internet

Placing the spotlight on technology and information calls us to refocus our attention on the capacities of individuals, organizations and networks, as only these can implement and institutionalise sustainable practices. (Faye Anderson 1999)

The Internet is one of the main infrastructures through which the “information age” can become a reality. However, in terms of development, whether this reinforces the status quo or improves social well-being and equity is still a contentious topic. In general, the Internet is still mainly used for information display and retrieval, although it certainly has demonstrated its potential in multi-stakeholder situations to extend information sharing, learning and networking. The advantages of technology are not in creating new “virtual” communities, but in strengthening already existing social networks. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing agencies and other information managers is how best to involve different interest groups in taking a more active participatory role in the subsequent management of this information and through this to improve planning, policy analysis and decision making. While many networking sites have always aspired to this, the advent of the Web 2.0 technologies (CSS, wikis, blogs, RSS/Atom, CMS, etc) are facilitating this more interactive web future.

Also, we should not regard users as only those with direct access to computing and Internet facilities. There is often potential for facilitators, agency staff and group leaders to serve as the interface between an Internet information system and wider stakeholder groups. In itself, the Internet has the potential to form a powerful and immediate link between these key actors. Strengthening this link is seen as a key factor which will contribute towards more effective sharing of information among the diverse range of groups involved in natural resource management.

The Growing Role Of IoT In COVID-19 Response
The world today is facing an unprecedented situation. While everyone feared a crisis in the lines of nuclear war, climate-related disaster, or similar catastrophic threats, few imagined that a virus could paralyze our world. It even gave birth to a new concept  to most of us— ‘social-distancing.’ Suddenly, a good citizen is one who avoids public places and cares for loved ones whilst maintaining six feet in distance. As the number of cases started rising and death tolls increasing, technologies like Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things have become valuable tools during these difficult times. While the concept and the utility of Artificial Intelligence or AI are popular, IoT is a relatively lesser-known concept – Although because of the COVID19 pandemic, the modification and deployment of IoT devices to support the healthcare sector has advanced rapidly.

What is the future of the internet?
This 2016 World Economic Forum post looks at how the internet is changing the way we live, work, produce and consume. With such extensive reach, digital technologies cannot help but disrupt many of our existing models of business and government. As we enter the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a technological transformation driven by the internet, the challenge is to manage this seismic change in a way that promotes the long-term health and stability of the internet.

The Internet of Things and its Growing Role in Business
This short post reminds us that the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to be a core driver of business productivity and growth. But, while ever-increasing connectivity can provide you with large amounts of real-time data, its value will be negligible without a sound strategy to support the use of the data you collect. Includes a few useful newspaper links as references.

Overall I haven’t visited this resource page for some time – and many of the links here are quite dated. Nonetheless, it continues to point to still relevant topics including current Internet uses, the emerging debate of its impact on developing countries, and how its hypermedia capabilities can be used to facilitate a distance-learning environment. [Note: this section of LfS is scheduled for updating in the near future.]

Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics
This 2009 white paper by Jessica Clark and Patricia Aufderheide lays out an expanded vision for “public media 2.0” that places engaged publics at its core, showcasing innovative experiments from its “first two minutes,” and revealing related trends, stakeholders, and policies. Public media 2.0 may look and function differently, but it will share the same goals as the projects that preceded it: educating, informing, and mobilizing its users.

What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and business models for the next generation of software
The famous meme map alone is worth serious study and is the central work defining the interlocking elements of Web 2.0. In this article by the man who coined the term, O’Reilly touches on Web 2.0 as having more of a “gravitational core” than being a concrete set of technologies. He also introduces all the major planks of his vision of the next generation of the Web as a set of best practices from the first generation. Read this before starting the rest.

Are you a Yes2.0 or a No2.0?
In this article Bev Traynor suggests how you can tell if an organisation is ready for Web2.0. Ther are also some pertinent links made on the role of Web2.0 in supporting communities of practice.

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