Archive of articles published in the 2011 issue.

Promoting a National Initiative for Technology-Mediated Social Participation

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, Flickr, and YouTube have garnered a billion users and their popularity is spreading rapidly, particularly on mobile devices. Technology-mediated social participation (TMSP) is a useful term for describing how these social media tools, user-generated content sites, discussion groups, problem reporting, and volunteer systems can be applied to national priorities. Provocative examples suggest transformative applications for healthcare/wellness, disaster response, energy sustainability, cost-effective education, and economic health. Additional new missions for these sociotechnical infrastructures include cultural heritage, political participation, environment/climate protection, public safety, international development, and local civic involvement.

PCAST Finds IT R&D Critical to U.S. Competitiveness, Calls for Renewed Federal Investment

Backed by strong support from the White House, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a biennial report about the status and direction of the nation’s 14-agency, $4.3 billion Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program last month. The report emphasized the critical role of advances in networking and information technology (NIT) to U.S. economic competitiveness, and called on the nation to “continue to innovate more rapidly and creatively than other countries in important areas of NIT” in order to sustain and improve overall quality of life.