Provocation: Unprecedented opportunities in a Digital Economy

Posted by chichi | Digital Economy | Friday 23 October 2009 3.19 pm

Jump on the social media bandwagon

Prof. Jon Whittle, Chair of Software Engineering, Lancaster University offers this provocation on the Digital Economy:

Twitter, Bebo, Facebook, mash-ups, web 3.0, delicious…. where does it all end? Are all these new technologies really improving our lives? Or are they just a drain on our time and resources, keeping us away from the things that really matter….?

The time is ripe for developments in technology to change society for the better.  There are unprecedented opportunities to solve some of society’s most complex challenges through the appropriate use of technology. But we must be careful to focus on substance not fads.

Unless we understand the impact of technologies on society, we may never fully realise their potential.

Wise words indeed.  How can we start understanding the impact of technologies like Facebook on society?  Where does one start?

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Image Credit: ICTKM


  1. Comment by Nigel Barlow — October 27, 2009 @ 5.18 pm

    Wise words indeed as you say.

    It is amazing how technology has yet to free us depsite the dreams of our childhood when we all thought we would be holidaying on the moon.

    We don’t have the paperless office,we still commute to work and we are tied to our jobs 24hrs a day all due to technology.

    The problem is that we have been unable to understand the effects of technology because it moves too fast to allow that analysis.

    Don’t get me wrong.Technology’s potential is great,just look how the internet has enabled knowledge to be acquired from almost any source,opening up learning opportunities worldwide and creating a communication system that can almost instantly alert us to news anywhere in the world

  2. Comment by Erinma — October 27, 2009 @ 10.25 pm

    Facebook and skype have been pretty pivotal in being able to connect me with my family who are spread across the world – copenhagen, athens, lagos, edinburgh – but i love it that my mum can comment on what i am upto everyday and interact in some small way in my everyday life and with skype we can see one another – it doesn’t replace the face to face entirely – but it helps knowing people are a ‘click’ away. And as for work – its increasingly easier to have those ‘watercooler’ moments on facebook (being online at the same time) than face to face – again – its crossing the boundaries of space and time…

  3. Comment by Liz — October 28, 2009 @ 9.51 am

    Technology is only as clever or creative as the people who use it… I pick and mix the technologies that I choose on the basis of how much benefit they have to me and how much time they free up for me to do the things I want to be doing in the real world.

  4. Comment by Nigel Barlow — October 28, 2009 @ 10.14 am


    I totally agree with all the positives of social networking.But there is a massive negative especially along the younger population and that is the lack of any face to face contact to the extent that picking up the phone say in the office situation is becoming more and more scarce.

    This is one of the problems that technology has given us and I believe that its contribution is going to be ,in this issue,a major negative factor.

    Liz,you are spot on with the mix and matching.

  5. Pingback by Comixed Event Live Blog | Comixed: A Networked Conversation — October 28, 2009 @ 12.59 pm

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