What is Social Informatics?

Thanks to requests from abroad I translated the pages about Social Informatics (SI) and the workshop series SI on tosaam.de and refitted the layout of the German version. Enjoy:


Social Informatics



For your convenience find also here the answer I found and the questions that helped to find this answer.


That is SI

[Social Informatics (SI) is also known as Socioinformatics.]


SI deals with the interrelationship of information- and communication technology and social change. This affects individuals, groups, (international) organizations (companies, public authorities, associations et cetera) plus local communities, states and international communities of states.


The task of SI is to support by research and development the design, implementation and maintenance of information systems for the benefit of individuals, groups and society, so that those, who develop, build, sell and maintain these systems, tailor technology to people and not inverse. Furthermore they should take sustainability and environment into consideration. Relevant are for instance energy expenditure and re-use of (rare) primary materials. To afford this SI builds upon disciplines like sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, historical sciences, economics, law and – of course – computer sciences. 


Especially the world wide web and the internet have a lasting effect on our daily life: web 1.0 (static data presentation), web 2.0 (the reader turns into player, for instance in social media), web 3.0 (semantic) and the internet of things, internet 4.0. To be able to play an active role in the design, creation and development of a networked society students, scholars and practitioners need basic knowledge in social informatics.


(translated from Sozioinformatik, 2021, pp 20-21)


Helpful questions

Starting questions in social informatics are:

How does technology affect people?

What do people do with technology?


Additional questions can be:


What is informatics?

What is sociology?

What are social sciences?


What does individual, group, organization, society mean?

Which roles, tasks and responsibilities does informatics have towards these four?


What is a system?

What is a social system?

What is a technical system?

What is a socio-technical system?

How does reality arise?


How do we learn?

How do we develop technology?

How are we affected by systems?

How do we affect systems?


What is the internet?

What is the world wide web?

What are web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and internet 4.0, the internet of things?

What are social nets?

Ware are digital social nets?


How do we deal with information and communication technology?

o in work environment?

o in private sphere?

o in social environment?


What is a product?

What is an application?

What is an information and communication system?

For what have we to watch out in the development of applications?

What is usability?

What are data privacy & protection and data security?

How can we steady them?


Which goals do individuals, groups, organisations and society pursue?

What do you understand by product, people, planet?

What do you understand by responsibility, self-realization, fairness and sustainability?

What for can we use socio-technical information and communication systems?


How did we work in the past, do we work in the present, and will we work in future?

What do internationalization and globalization mean?

How do individuals and groups change by social nets and digital social nets? 

Which roles and tasks does informatics have in this?


How do you develop services and products in the era of web 2.0, 3.0 and internet 4.0?


(translated from Sozioinformatik, 2021, pp 14-16)



... to the colleagues that gave insights and inspiration during the work on the book Sozioinformatik and the colleagues who asked for an English version at least of the workshop series. As there is now an English and a German version today for the first time there are two blog entries on the same topic. The German version is here ...


Christa Weßel - Wednesday, 08 Dec 2021 


blog section Social Informatics


< Was ist Sozioinformatik?   this entry  Social Informatics Experience >