Entrepreneurship and Innovation: The Crowd

 

Explore the following eight websites that make use of the crowd by reading through the site content and watching videos where appropriate. Once you have a good understanding of what each website is doing and how it utilizes the crowd, create a Word document with responses to the questions that follow (maximum 600 words).

 

 

  1. Which websites use the crowd to source and what are they sourcing?
  2. Which websites use the crowd to fund and how are they seeking funding?
  3. If I put something for sale on eBay, am I crowdfunding or crowdsourcing? Explain your reasoning for your answer.

Note: You may like to use a table to layout your answer to questions 2 and 3.

Introduction

Contemporary computing in information technology has not only allowed for faster information sharing across the world but has also enhanced the efficiency with which the information is conveyed. Computing is a form of an information technology system that has eliminated both physical and language barriers that were initially pervasive in any communication process between individuals from different part of the world as well as different cultures (Tatnall & Hershey, 2014). The information system consists of a number of systems that support the ease of communication between individuals. In addition, there are different forms of actants, non-human or human within the computing system that enables the association and interactions observed. According to Neil (2015), an actant refers to the component of the information technology system that has the power to modify the operations of the system. It is observed that modern computing systems consist of different applications and operating systems that support the association and interactions between the system and the business. Moreover, the systems support the hardware and software connectivity of the system. In essence, these applications and systems present in the modern computing system are referred to as actants. Based on the meaning provided by Iyamu (2012) of an assemblage, the fact that the current computing system is made up of interconnected applications qualifies it as an assemblage. To further justify the above assertion, the current paper presents an analysis of two samples of live news on computing focusing on the identification of the actants observed in the computing systems. Their scale and level of interaction are also determined to justify that modern computing systems work as an assemblage.

Actor-Network Theory

The actor-network theory indicates that an actor-network entails the link between the technical and non-technical elements. Focusing on the information technology system, a system network consists of both technical and non-technical elements that are linked together. Based on this theory, it is believed that both the technical and technical elements are actants that interact within the system (Latour, 2011). The interaction and association are seen as a two-way process such that the technical elements including software and other application and the non- technical elements including humans and the society all have vital roles to play within the network (Saedi & Iahad, 2013). The actor-network theory is important in studying computing since it provides a proper understanding of the interactions observed between the technical and non-technical elements. The theory is suitable in studying the effects that the non-technical actants have on the technical elements (Carroll, 2014). Moreover, the theory enables the individuals studying computing to know the levels of interaction observed between the different kinds of actants and how the effectiveness of their level of interaction with the system.

Goggle Android Device Manager

The live news on the Goggle Android device indicates how the application can be used to track tablets or android phones. The application can be installed in the phone or tablet to allow for easy tracking in case the phone is stolen. However, phone tracking is still possible even when the app is not installed on the phones. The Android Device Manager is an actant that acts in an assemblage created to allow for phone tracking. The ensuing assemblage, in this case, consists of both the technical and non-technical actants (Knoll, 2015). The technical actants in the assemblage are categorized as digital, the Android Device Manager and software the Google account. The non-technical actant is the individuals who use the application for phone tracking. The phone or tablet being tracked forms the hardware scale of the actant (Knoll, 2015). The actants in the assemblage created are therefore categorized as software, digital, hardware, and human actants.

The interactions observed between the actants identified to allow for the lost android phone or tablet to be tracked. The Android Device Manager can only work when the device is connected to the Google account of the individual. In addition, the tracking system can only be effective when the Google setting application is fed with the right information to block the phone, cause it to ring and erase all the data in case it is stolen (Knoll, 2015). It is also observed that the tracking system can only begin when the owner of the device visits the Android Device Manager and sends various commands for the tracking process to begin. From the above information, there are a number of actants that act on each other. For instance, the Android Device manager acts on the information provided in the Google account setting the app to either block the phone or protect the confidential information of the device owner. On the other hand, human actant also acts on the digital app to feed in information to allow for the tracking process to begin. The connections observed between the different actants identified in this assemblage as well as their interactions allow for the android phone and tablet tracking process to be complete.

The computing system observed in the above news is vital to the majority of people across the world. It is common for individuals to lose their phones by either forgetting to pick it up or through pickpocketing. Regardless of the means through which the phone is lost, the effects of the loss are financially detrimental to the owners. In this case, the tracking system observed is important in assisting the phone owners to access their phones as well as protect the confidential data stored in the phones.

Apple Watch App for Monitoring Glucose Levels

The recent development of the Apple watch was to assist in the monitoring of blood sugar levels to assist those with diabetes to manage their condition. Apple in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration came up with a watch capable of measuring the blood sugar levels of the wearer. There are a number of applications within the watch that interacts and associate together to allow for measuring the sugar level. The computing system-generated consists of both technical and nontechnical elements to enable the detection and quantification of the blood sugar levels observed.

The apple watch app and a sensor are the main technical elements observed. On the other hand, the non-technical element is the patient with diabetes.  The sensor, in this case, is the digital actant while the Apple Watch App the software actant (Gokey, 2015). The hardware actant is the watch while the human actant is the patient involvement. The identified computing network, therefore, consists of different actants that act at the digital, software, hardware and human scales.

There are interactions and associations observed between the different actants identified. The sensor detects the blood sugar level every 5 minutes. The Apple Watch App then uses the information collected to draw a graph that will illustrate the changes in the blood sugar levels within a certain period. The patient has an opportunity to know when the blood sugar levels have changed to unacceptable levels (Gokey, 2015). The interactions of the actants indicate that there are certain actants that can only work in the presence of the other actant. For instance, the Apple Watch App only measures the blood sugar levels when worn by the patient. In addition, the app can only indicate the glucose levels after getting the information from the sensor (Gokey, 2015). The actions of the sensor and the human actant in the system, therefore, influence the nature of results that can be reported by the Apple Watch app.

Continuous monitoring of the blood sugar levels for diabetes patients is important to both the patient and health care providers. The information is relevant to the patient in assisting them known when to regulate blood sugar to safe levels. On the other hand, the process also assists the health care service providers to offer quality care to those with diabetes. The Apple Watch App is therefore important in ensuring that quality life is attained by diabetic patients.

From the analysis of the aforementioned computing story, there is a form of interaction between the human and non-human actants. Just as asserted in the Actor-Network theory, it is true that the current computing network consists of technical and non-technical elements that interact to achieve a certain goal (Saedi & Iahad 2013). The computing systems identified in the news focuses on addressing issues within society. As Carr (2008) indicates information technology and the internet have enhanced the reasoning and thinking of humans such that they do not just use the systems for communication and interaction with others, but also to solve serious issues emerging within the society. The development of information technology systems has therefore enhanced the ability of people to think and design applications that can offer solutions to the problems experienced within the society.

 

Conclusion

The above story analyzes are forms of the current computing systems. There are a number of actants both human and non-human that have been identified in the computing systems. An assemblage can be seen in the computing system based on the association and interactions observed between the actants. It is also observed that the human and non-human actants act on each other and influence the operations of the other; a similar view is held by the proponents of the actor-network theory justifying the theory as the most appropriate in analyzing the level of actant interactions observed within the computing system. The fact that the computing systems identified consists of both human and non-human actant that interacts within a network, justifies that the current computing system can be viewed as an assemblage.

 

 

References

Tatnall, A & Hershey, P, 2014, ‘Technological Advancements and the Impact of Actor-network,’ Theory Information Science Reference, pp. 11-12

Neil. B, 2015, ‘Human Service Technology and the Theory of the Actor-Network,’ Journal of Technology in Human Services, vol. 33, no.1, p104-117

Iyamu, T, 2012, ‘Institutionalisation of the enterprise architecture: the actor-network perspective’, Social and Professional Applications of Actor-Network Theory for Technology Development, p. 144.

Latour, B, 2011, ‘Network Theory| Networks, Societies, Spheres: Reflections of an Actor-network Theorist’, International Journal of Communication, vol. 5, p. 15.

Saedi, A., & Iahad, N. A, 2013, ‘Future Research on Cloud Computing Adoption by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Critical Analysis of Relevant Theories’, International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation (IJANTTI), vol. 5, no.2, pp.1-16.

Carroll, N, 2014, ‘Actor-Network Theory: A Bureaucratic View of Public’, Technological Advancements and the Impact of Actor-Network Theory, p.115.

Knoll, M, 2015,  How To Track Your Lost Android Phone Without Installed Tracking App

http://trendblog.net/how-to-track-your-lost-android-phone-without-tracking-app/ accessed on 1st  August 2015

 

Gokey, M, 2015, Apple Watch app aims to monitor glucose levels to help people with diabetes, http://www.digitaltrends.com/wearables/apple-watch-app-glucose-levels-diabetes/accessed on 1st August 2015

Carr, N, 2008, The shallows, Norton and Company:London