Here's an excerpt:
In parallel with these investments, it has become evident that users in the higher education and academic sectors in Australia are choosing to use main stream Web 2.0 technologies in their daily work activities. However there is limited knowledge about who is using which Web 2.0 technologies and for what purposes. Moreover there is little information about why specific tools and services are chosen when institutional or nationally-funded services are available. JISC recently funded a study in the UK to investigate the adoption of Web 2.0 services by the higher education and academic sectors. The aim of this report is to survey the situation in Australia and hence enable comparisons with the UK. This survey therefore focuses on the current and active users of Web 2.0 tools and services in Australian Higher Education institutions and aims to identify what they are using and why.
Although the UK leads Australia in the development of collaborative eResearch services, the results of the survey indicate that the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in the higher education sector in Australia is not significantly dissimilar to the situation in the UK. Users prefer to use Web-based services that are already adopted by the wider community and that are free, robust, simple to sign on to, and easy to install and use. Examples include: FaceBook, YouTube, Skype and Twitter. Although the most active use of Web 2.0 has been by early adopters (people who are not afraid to try out new tools, experiment with them and promote them to colleagues and peers), this situation is changing as more Web 2.0 technologies are becoming broadly adopted by mainstream users. Because Australia has not had the same level of investment in cyberinfrastructure and lags behind the UK in the development of services, it has been able to take advantage of services developed in the UK and USA (e.g., RoMEO, Shibboleth) – as well as the recent explosion of free, open source Web 2.0 technologies. In some ways, this delayed investment has been an advantage because there is not an established pool of services that is being superseded by commercial and open source Web 2.0 technologies.
See also the related report: Shared Infrastructure Services Landscape Study: A Survey of the Use of Web 2.0 Tools and Services in the UK HE Sector.