Optimizing Information Use through the Internet and Social Media
Unprecedented recent progress in information and communication technologies (ICTs) is enabling people and organizations to overcome personal and regional restrictions on information acquisition. The Internet and social media are particularly important for facilitating access to an unparalleled wealth of information, as well as providing opportunities for new innovative activities and social interactions.
But technological progress in itself does not automatically lead to efficient application of the tools. The challenge is how people and organizations can be motivated to apply the Internet and social media efficiently to optimize information use. Addressing this challenge will require dramatic behavioral and organizational changes throughout society, as well as improvements in the overall distribution of information supported by ICTs.
Which behavioral and organizational changes are needed to stimulate efficient and beneficial use of the Internet and social media? What drives people and organizations' resistance to change and how could resistance be tackled effectively? And how can information overload be avoided to optimize the distribution and use of relevant information among Internet users?
How can Internet users be encouraged and trained to use social media to interact with others in a socially responsible manner? How can their privacy and intellectual property rights be better protected? And what are the solutions to emerging conflicts between government regulation of the Internet—such as US initiatives for a "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) and a "Protect IP Act" (PIPA)—and Internet users' freedom of speech and rights to share information?