Notes on Hyperlinked Society

Four top thoughts from the Hyperlinked Society at the Annenberg School, which took place about 12 days ago,  way back at the outset of the World Cup. (These are paraphrases, not quotes– I dongt tpey so good.)

  o       Professional and amateur approaches are not at odds, but rather complement each other. —Martin Nisenholtz, Sr. VP, Digital Operations, The New York Times Company

o       The future is hybrid professional/amateur models like OhMyNews and NYT’s partnership with About.com [Jimmy Wales]

o       Media literacy will be achieved through doing; an understanding of media will result from participatory media; people will perceive how other media are constructed by making their own. [saul hansell, New York Times]

o       Blogging finds most traction in counties that combine repression with digital infrastructure, Iran, e.g. [Ethan Zuckerman, Global Voices Online] (Though I wonder about Ethan's example– myarmchair reviews of the data on Iranian blogging lead me to doubt their validity.) 

2 thoughts on “Notes on Hyperlinked Society

  1. One of the questions I had meant to ask at the conference, but didn't had to do with About.com. It seems to me that the site has partly become a link farm, which really does not help a site's reputation. For example, do a search on Google for lactose intolerance recipes. The fourth hit is to this page. There is nothing relevant on it other than confusing sponsored links (Google AdWords, I suspect).

    Interestingly, the same search on Yahoo! does not yield an About.com result in the top ten. They aren't fooled so easily perhaps.

    Regarding Saul Hansell's comment, while I appreciated it in theory – and this reaction of mine should be no surprise to you, John:) – I am not sure who are all these people he is talking about who are or will be participating actively enough to learn. But it will be interesting to follow and find out.

  2. I had a terrific time at this conference, as you can see by my entry at centerforsocialmedia.org. And on the practice-makes-critics argument, which is common enough, I guess if that’s true then all the people who can type can analyze text grammatically and ideologically. Or not.
    The evidence at the outset of this phenomenon gives us no guide. The material on youtube etc at this point is mostly either made by professionals and imported into another marketing window or is so inexpertly made that it doesn’t even testify to basic skill, much less critical insight. It’s a fascinating site on the media landscape, though, and well worth attention.
    I believe that critical thinking needs to be taught and encouraged. It’s more taught and encouraged now than ever before, because employers need employees with these skills as they never have. But it’s still true that critical thinking encourages people to challenge the status quo whatever it is, so it’ll always be a contested skill.

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