The Strength of Weak Cooperation: an Attempt to Understand the Meaning of Web 2.0

Aguiton, Christophe; Cardon, Dominique
March 2007
Communications & Strategies;2007 1st Quarter, Issue 65, p51
Academic Journal
This paper examines some continuities and ruptures in the use of Web 2.0 such as blogs, social media, user-generated content services etc. vis-à-vis earlier web services. We hypothesize that one of the sociological characteristics of Web 2.0 services is that making personal production public creates a new articulation between individualism and solidarity, which reveals the strength of weak cooperation. Web 2.0 services allow individual contributors to experience cooperation ex post. The strength of the weak cooperation arises from the fact that it is not necessary for individuals to have an ex ante cooperative action plan or altruistic intention. They discover cooperative opportunities only by making public their individual production. The paper illustrates this phenomenon by analysing the uses of different services and by looking at the new process of innovation that appears through Barcamp and Coworking spaces.


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