IV Congress of CyberSociety: Digital Indicators for the Information Society

The IV Congress of CyberSociety is taking place from 12nd to 29th November 2009.

The Congress has since the first edition become a virtual agora to debate about how Information and Communications Technologies are transforming the Society as we know it, making it become a CyberSociety, an Information Society, a Knowledge Based Society, a Network Society… whatever!

The event is structured in 6 topics that gather more than 40 work groups.

The Fundació Observatori per a la Societat de la Informació de Catalunya (Catalan Foundation Observatory for the Information Society — FOBSIC) has put up a work group about digital indicators and has kindly invited me to be part of the coordinating committee. Despite what is stated in the schedule, the call for papers is still open, as the work group was created past the deadline. Here comes more information about the work group:

Digital indicators for the Information Society

Keywords:

digital divide, information society, ICT, e-government, e-administration, technological convergence, inclusion, new economy

Initial questions:

  • Are current indicators useful for measuring the Information Society?
  • How do we measure the social networking sites usage level?
  • What are the best indicators to measure the effective usage of Web 2.0 tools like youtube, myspace, facebook, twitter, flicker, eyeos, etc.?
  • How do we analyze early adopters and advanced users in matters of ICTs?
  • What are the attitudes that motivate intensive ICT usage for leisure purposes?
  • Should the focus be put on data provision, or on building websites to enable access to data?
  • How is it that statistics from reference international institutions, like Eurostat, do not measure data from microenterprises?
  • What is the optimal periodicity to generate ICT stats?
  • What are the parameters that should be taken into account so that comparisons can be made possible?
  • What sort of diffusion should statistical data and indicators on the Information Society have?

Work Group description:

Reflecting about the indicators that measure the degree of development of the Information Society is a most interesting exercise indeed.

Nowadays, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are a crucial part of our daily lives and talking about the “Information Society” really means talking about the “Society”, as almost everyone has access to digitally generated content that they get and visualize by means of mobile phones, TV sets or the Internet. Thus, issues related with measuring the degree of access and usage of ICTs by the society have a larger relevance than often goes unnoticed.

Useful indicators, new Internet tools at people and organization’s reach, effective usage of ICTs, the bridging of the digital divide in some aspects vs. its increase in other ones, or the possibility to compare indicators are issues that well deserve talking, reflection, contrasting and sharing different opinions and points of view.

Coordination:

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