My interest in social computing lies within blogs (web logs), social networking services, and wikis. My interest in blogs has only recently been ignited by this class. I’m fascinated with the idea of effecting social change within something that most people have regular access to. Social networking services are interesting in the way that they can either align people and you can make friends, or it can be used in a negative way by cyber bullying. Wikis, or wikipedia is an intriguing idea because yet again it is affected by regular people who can edit and change things that would normally be entirely out of their hands.
The marginalized groups that concern me right now are women, people of color, and the working-class and poor. I’ve always been involved with ways of empowering oppressed groups and these three have been my main focus, probably because they are the closest to me in terms of either being directly affected or indirectly through friends and relatives. This is my main focus in and out of this class, as I want to work in a field that empowers the oppressed.
Of course I’m going to look at the US but I’m also interested in Europe and developing countries. In Europe I’d like to look at how close in relation they are with us on these topics and if they have some ways of doing things that may be better. Also I’m interested in whether social computing can empower people in developing countries.