The rapid growth of web 2.0, or social computing, allows users to play an influential role in the way commercial and public products and services are shaped. The report "The impact of Social Computing on the EU Information Society and Economy", published today by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), finds that in 2008, 41% of EU Internet users were engaged in social computing activities through Social Networking Sites (SNS), blogs, photo and video sharing, online multi-player games and collaborative platforms for content creation and sharing. This percentage rises to 64% if users aged under 24 only are considered.
As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle. Working in close cooperation with policy Directorates-General, the JRC addresses key societal challenges while stimulating innovation through developing new methods, tools and standards, and sharing its know-how with the Member States, the scientific community and international partners.