Assessing the Impact of Open-Content Knowledge Production in Web 2.0
The Dotcom-Crash at the end of the millennium has not led to the feared doom of the World Wide Web, but brought about certain new technological applications and services and a new generation of the Internet that is currently subsumed under notions such as Web 2.0 and/or Social Software. Users are now designers and active contributors and are hence treated as co-developers (e.g. “the perpetual beta“, O’Reilly 2005); furthermore they are producing content by aggregating, mashing-up, (re-)interpreting and distributing information (ProdUsers) and are hence a central resource of (common, collaborative) knowledge production. Phrases such as “giving the Internet back to the people” characterize these developments towards more user-centeredness; the Time Magazine awarded “You” (as part of any Web 2.0 community) as “Person of the Year 2006”. Whereas the early notions of Web 2.0 refer to common actions people undertake in terms of cooperative and collaborative knowledge production, dissemination and storage, we also face a shift towards a new commercialisation of the net (e.g. Second Life, “What is Web 2.0 - Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software“, O’Reilly 2005). How does this new trend effect future (cooperative) knowledge production within Web 2.0? Which role do “knowledge as a commodity” versus “knowledge as a commons” play in this context? How will property rights change? The aim of the paper is to assess the impact of certain cooperative movements within Web 2.0/Social Software in order to gain insight on future (open-access) knowledge production processes.
Keywords: DRM (Digital Rights Management), ICTA (Information and Communication Technology Assessment), IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), Social Networks, Social Software
PhD Student, Center for Advanced Studies and Research in Information and Communication Technologies and Society, University of Salzburg