Did You Know 4.0: Social Networking and Information Policy

Watching the video Did You Know 4.0, identify five examples of ‘shifts’ or trends that can have an impact on how individuals behave as a digital citizens.  How can these behaviours impact on the need for, and development of, information policy in organisations to address these behaviours.

Libraries are interestingly placed in this debate, until the internet “arrived” libraries were one of the only places to go for free information. With the internet it is now far easier to get free information, both legal and illegal. It is also infinitely easier to create and disseminate information.

Dearnley and Feather (2001, p. 64) discuss how difficult information policy is to define and how far-reaching it’s coverage.  An information policy in a library will define cover regulations that are, for the large part, already defined in law and in the parent body staff regulations. Libraries need to be responding to technological innovations and developments in usage of technology. We need to be providing information and services in mobile friendly formats to meet our users’ changing needs. We need to make sure that we are following global, national, and organisational information policy but we also have a responsibility as information professionals to push the boundaries where policies are unfair or unjust. Finally, libraries should be educating our users in how to navigate effectively in an online world, teaching multiliteracy and critical evaluation skills.

1.  Americans have access to 1,000,000,000,000 webpages

With the vast swathes of information available, libraries need to be teaching users how to avoid information overload and information literacy skills to locate the right information.

2. 95% of all songs downloaded last year weren’t paid for.

The implication of this statistic is that content not paid for is stolen. This is interesting because libraries are the masters of providing free content legally. Free online streaming of legal content is also increasingly popular (Spotify, Grooveshark, YouTube), see figure 1 below.

(IFPI, 2013, p. 27)

Figure 1. (IFPI, 2013, p. 27)

In reality, the source of this statistic (Holton, 2009) does claim that 95% of songs downloaded in 2008 were illegal downloads.

2.  Wikipedia features over 13 million article in 200 languages.

Today this number has increased to almost 30 million articles in 285 languages (Wikipedia:About, 2013). Last week I watched the Wikipedia page on the Boston  Marathon Bombings, and watched as history was written. Five days later the article has over 700 individual authors and close to 600,000 views (Boston Marathon Bombings, 2013).

 3. Right now, 93% of U.S. adults own a cell phone.

Pew Internet (2013) estimated cell phone ownership in September 2009 to be only 84%. Either way, mobile ownership is high, and smart phone ownership has picked up very quickly.  

Figure 2. Adult cell phone ownership in September 2009: 84% (Brenner, 2013)

4.  The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool in 2020.

This prediction may come true sooner than 2020. This video was created before the first ipad was released. The mobile device is no longer limited to your mobile phone, it is a tablet, a wristwatch or your glasses.


Boston Marathon Bombings. (2013, April 20). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Marathon_bombings

Dearnley, J., & Feather, J. (2001). Information policy. The wired world: An introduction to the theory and practice of the information society (pp. 60-93). London: Library Association.

Holton, K. (2009, January 16). Global digital music sales up 25 percent. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/01/16/us-global-idUSTRE50F6NE20090116

IFPI. (2013). IFPI digital music report 2013: Engine of a digital world. Retrieved from http://www.ifpi.org/content/library/dmr2013.pdf

Wikipedia: About. (2013, April 20). Wikipedia. Retreived from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

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