Friday, February 20, 2009

Catching up on Internet studies: Thoughts on the present theory direction of the social impact of the Internet

I am reading
Katz, James E. and Rice, Ronald E. Social Consequences of Internet Use: Access, Involvement and Interaction (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, 2002).
I have read now the introductory chapter critically and find a comment. In terms of community involvement I would add that, in fact, if we open the Internet up to include computers used offline and call it simply ICT's we could add organizational power of ICT's in building the processes of volunteering and the work needed to volunteer as a plus to Internet access. Rather than just recruitment of volunteers ( mentioned in the first chapter) the Internet does much more for a volunteer group. I spend hours volunteering every week. It is not the Internet alone amongst ICT's that allow me to be a better volunteer and for our group to do its business. I am now thinking of multiple group membership and multiple group participation. Almost all these groups must do writing. The other basic skill reading it not as fully aided by ICT's in the context of reading in volunteer work. Whereas, writing benefits from the Internet, Palm pilots, web pages, pdf's, word processors, spreadsheets, calendaring software. I guess what I am finding is the social capital thesis is less important than the work organization thesis.

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