Growing trends in digital citizenship

There are a number of growing trends evident with the rising use of online technologies and this shift is having a major impact on how individuals behave and how we interact with what can seem like an overwhelming amount of information. 

On watching the video below it is possible to identify five current trends.

  1. Newspaper print circulation is down, online newspaper readership is increasing.  Book sales reached a peak in 2007 but have decreased steadily since then.  Digital book sales are reducing traditional book revenues but not adding to an overall increase in sales.
  2. Traditional forms of advertising (newspaper, TV/radio and magazine) are declining and digital advertising is growing rapidly. More and more people are using the internet to find information.
  3. The amount of video content uploaded to YouTube has exploded to around 60 hours worth of content every minute. The site streams 4 billion online videos every day and  revenue generated from display ads running with the videos equates to $5 billion annually. 
  4. The use of mobile technologies is increasing.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in Australia at the end of June 2011 there were 9.7 million mobile handset subscribers in Australia. The volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets increased from 717 TB (Terabytes) to 3,695 TB in the 12 months to June 2011.
  5. The use of twitter has grown exponentially.  The nature of twitter is such that information on topics such as current affairs, breaking news and politics can reach a global audience within a small period of time – often before these events are reported through traditional media.

So, how do these trends impact on the need for an information policy in organisations to address these behaviours?  Because information is so freely available online to increasing numbers of people who can easily use, redistribute and change that information it is important for those of us working in organisations such as libraries to make people aware of issues such as copyright and the creative commons – what constitutes responsible and fair use of information as well as the possible legal consequences of any breaches.  This also extends to educating our users as to the proper referencing of others work and attributing ownership to the legal creator of a resource.  This information can be displayed prominently in areas where people access information, be provided in the form of instruction or as part of an ‘acceptable use’ policy that must be agreed to before accessing the internet within the library or organisation.

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