oa South African Journal of Information Management - What drives Web 2.0 adoption in South African civil society organisations : original research



The impact and consequences of social media adoption on society are only just being realised and studied in detail; consequently, there is no universal agreement as to the reasons for the adoption of these services. Even understanding why some social media services are popular remains to some extent elusive. The practical use of Web 2.0 does not provide any answers either with, for example, a noticeable difference in the way social media was strategically used by Barack Obama and Mitch Romney in the lead-up to the 2009 American elections. However, recent studies that have focused on social media adoption within specific sectors have begun to shed some light on these emerging adoption patterns; two studies in particular are illustrative: a 2012 study on the newspaper sector and a study on social media adoption and e-government.

This study investigates why South African civil society organisations (CSOs) adopt Web 2.0 services and the perceived and actual benefits of such adoption.
A survey questionnaire was sent to 1712 South African CSOs listed in the Prodder database to explore why certain social media services were adopted and the perceived benefits thereof.
Internal reasons for the adoption of social media services by South African CSOs coalesce around organisational visibility and access to information. External reasons focus on organisations needing to become more relevant and more connected to like-minded organisations and initiatives.
The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 technologies makes it inevitable that CSOs will have to restructure themselves to remain relevant.


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