Users In The 'Golden' Age Of The Information Society

  • Mijke Slot TNO Information and Communication Technology
  • Valerie Frissen TNO Information and Communication Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Abstract

In the Web 2.0 era it no longer holds to think of users as ‘end-users’, as they have moved to the heart of the value chain. They have become important actors in virtually all elements of online services. In this paper we shall explore these innovative roles of users and reflect on the future impacts of this shift. To support our claims about the innovative roles of users, we have analyzed 150 Web 2.0 services into more detail. In this paper we shall argue that Web 2.0 may be understood as a first sign of what Perez has labelled ‘societal re-engineering’ and ‘creative destruction’. However, as we are still at the beginning of what Perez describes as a potential golden age of the information society, there are also still major uncertainties about the future of the web and the potential impacts this may have. At this point in time it is far from sure whether we are indeed approaching a ‘golden age’ of technological development. To explore the future roles of users, in the final part of the paper we shall therefore also highlight some future aspects from the perspective of changing user-producer relations.
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Articles