Reading the Cluetrain

Just another weblog

Interesting but obvious…

Networks greatly facilitate the sharing of relevant knowledge within a community joined by like interests. As a result, the lowest common denominator of informed awareness tends to be much higher online than it ever was in the context of broadcast media.

One of the reasons I started this blog was because I find the whole internet community thing fascinating. When people who don’t have any contact with this community ask me about the sort of characters who inhabit the space, (now please don’t take offence) but I generally say, well, ‘they are sort of cyber hippies’. Now it turns out that a cyber hippy is a spaced out trance junkie who travels around the globe bustin’ moves in tie dye shirt s and glitter so obviously I am using completely the wrong terms, but what I mean by this is the internet community has the ethics of hippies, caring, sharing, justice and all that stuff while being deeply ingrained and passionate about the world of technology. To me, at first glance this seemed like a complete contradiction. I mean, I have always loved Sci-Fi and for this reason I love technology and the concept of progress but it still scares the crap out of me. I have considered on occasion that one day all there will be is numbered units housing brains in jars with just a thumb left to communicate, (that’s if we have not tapped into our telepathic ability by then of course). We will be well and truly plugged into the Matrix and our eXistenz on and offline will be of equal importance, as it already is to some of my friends who are so heavily engrossed in Second Life that they refer to this life as ‘First Life’.

Anyway, I digress. My point is that I didn’t think love of technology or a tool like the internet then would be particularly social, definitely didn’t think caring and sharing. Just thought of it as something I could find stuff on and email through. I didn’t think of it as a place of conversation, a place of freedom. Thinking on it though, maybe for a normalish punter I am not so far behind. The way I saw the internet before I came here was very 1.0. Passive, information was pushed to me; I didn’t want to or know I guess that I could interact with it. And to be fair most people in the outside world are still likely to think of it that way. Yes lots of people are on Facebook or Myspace but they tend to be either young or in professional jobs where word of mouth will ensure that they are aware of this phenomenon and the constant interaction mean that they will ask questions and as CT says learn better and faster. I think the penny might of dropped a bit, hang on, so if say, the world carries on as it is, more people spend more and more time online, they will become more intelligent and more aware of what companies are trying to flog to them than they ever were and now they can fight back. Ah, right, gotcha.

I got worried there for a moment. What! In the future I won’t be able to just sit down and let the intricate world of HollyOaks and tacky Christmas ads over take me?!? No, wait a minute, it’s alright I have just remembered something an engineer I know from the BBC’s R&I department said to me. I can’t remember what the context was but it was something like, ‘well Sarah, when TV arrived they thought that people would stop listening to radio but that’s still going strong.’ This gives me hope that a) my descendants won’t necessarily end up as a brain in a jar and b) that the old and the new worlds of communication can live side by side, they just need to learn how. Finally, I don’t know if you would have noticed but there are proper bonefide links in my blog now. I didn’t have a Scooby how to do it before. I just pasted the full link in amateur style but thanks to Nick one of my blog mentors this is now cool and the gang. It’s only a small thing but I am very excited.


December 10, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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