Debating the social web
There is a debate about the merits of social web tools in our society. The SF Chronicle hosts a discussion between Andrew Keen author of “The Cult of the Amateur” and Chris Anderson author of “The Long Tail“.
They discuss wikipedia, democracy (direct v. representative), the masses vs. the niche, groupthink, advertising, citizen journalism and much more.
I am particularly interested in their discussion of filtering. Anderson talks about how he gains access to a million voices by layers of filters “I have time for perhaps two hundred voices…but collectively I’m filtering a million voices…as a result I get a richer, higher-quality diet of inforamation better suited to me from a wider pool adn wider variety of sources.” Keen contends that these layers are what more mainstream media does for us – filer, edit.
Anderson counters that the mainstream media is not interested in addressing individual narrow interests, but that others are and when they are found, it’s a benefit.
That makes sense. But, for some reason I want to know what the NYT finds important too and I’m more likely to spend my limited time there than sifting through layers. These layers, choices and bounty of content also can overwhelm and after an hour frustrate.
As we develop the project and progress in our learning we may want to include this discussion.