Jun 132018

This post extract suggestions from lecture n. 1 of week 2 and discusses their impact in the context of support to information systems of institutions and organisations in developing countries by not-for-profit international organisations.

This is the fourth post of a series of six posts according to the mid term assignment titled “Digital Portfolio and Written Assignment”.

The slide n. 10 of the lecture suggests the reading of a paper through the following link1:

The paper is a crucial key for understanding the lecture and for interpreting its suggestions.

I chose a paragraph, particularly intriguing, about the analysis of Web 3.0: “The celebrated phenomenon of reblogging and retweeting, of being part of a crowd from which data are sourced, turns “users” into channels – the cogs of a machine, part of the network and elements of a wider “application”.”

People as cogs of a machine, the concept is not new, for instance we can find it with The Luddities2
a political group fighting against machines, but in a very negative and pessimistic view. In most cases the representation of a human like a cog, a cogwheel part of a bigger mechanism, was a metaphor for slavery or an uneasy human condition.

Web 3.0 creates the will, the desire of being a cog, the big mechanism becomes a sort of community, group of people and things, a place where to find part of one’s identity, a true modern topos (τόπος), in the meaning of common place.

One of the fundamentals of philosophy states that in order to create an object is necessary to figure it first. The “cog” concept is already there, users are now part of databases, they come with their own data and they collect data all time, they are active “devices”. Users are also part of mechanisms through specific applications, for example network games. The preconditions for new applications software exist.

New applications integrate users and objects as part of the application itself, now the main concern is how to integrate applications through interoperability. This requirement became very popular.
In this new context is quite difficult to think about an information system as being an instrument for single users satisfaction, but an instrument for mutual satisfaction, user get something from IS, IS get something from user, together they grow and adapt to different environments.

Is the beginning of a new era where the individuals disappear for the sake of collectivities ? Probably not really, but the interaction between individuals and collectivities does not seems to be the same as in past. Further reflections are necessary for IS professionals.


1) David Kreps, Kai Kimppa, (2015) “Theorising Web 3.0: ICTs in a changing society”, Information Technology & People, Vol. 28 Issue: 4, pp.726-741,

2) see Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite

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