School of Information Systems

Social Computing or Social Commerce – Part 2

In the part 1 of this article, we already explain about the benefits from Social Computing. Despite all of its benefits, social computing does involve risks. It is problematic, for example, to advertise a product, brand, or company on social computing Web sites where content is user generated and is not edited or filtered. Companies that employ this strategy must be willing to accept negative reviews and feedback. Of course, negative feedback can be some of the most valuable information that a company receives, if it utilizes this information properly.

Companies that engage in social computing are always concerned with negative posts. For example, when a company creates a Facebook business page, by default the site allows other members of the Web site—potentially including disgruntled customers or unethical competitors—to post notes on the firm’s Facebook Wall and to comment on what the firm has posted.

Going further, if the company turns off feature that lets other users write on its Wall, people may wonder what the company is afraid. The company will also be eliminate its opportunity to engage in great customer conversations, particularly conversations that could market the firm’s products and services better than the company could do itself. Similarly, the company could delete posts. However, that policy only encourages the post author to scream even louder about being censored.

Another risk is the 20-80 rule of thumb, which posits that a minority of individuals (20 percent) contribute most of the content (80 percent) to blogs, wikis, social computing Web sites, etc. For example, in an analysis of thousands of submissions to the news voting site Digg over a three-week time frame, the Wall Street Journal reported that roughly 33 percent of the stories that made it to Digg’s homepage were submitted by 30 contributors (out of 900,000 registered members). Other risks of social computing include the following:

  • Information security concerns.
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Violation of intellectual property and copyright
  • Employees’ reluctance to participate
  • Data leakage of personal information or corporate strategic information
  • Poor or biased quality of users’ generated content
  • Cyberbullying/ cyberstalking and employee harassment

By using social computing, sometimes we have to open our information to public, means that public can access our detail information. For the example if we want to use blog, social, media,  shopping website, online learning website, we have to register first and put our complete information including our phone number, email, address to send goods that we bought from online shopping website. In this case, we have to be careful when we choose the website that ask for our identity. It must be trusted website and has a good reputation in the public.

References :

  2. Rainer, Prince, Cegielski (2014).Introduction to Information Systems. 5th John Willey & Sons, Inc. Michigan. ISBN: 978-1-118-80855-9
Natalia & Marisa Karsen