Lately, I have felt that the discussions have ended and I am no longer a part of a community online. With the advent of tools like twitter and even the changes to facebook, I feel that we have reverted back to "I'm going to give you sound bites and it is up to you to listen or not. I'm not really interested in your opinion."
I felt that when the new web tools first were established (blogs, myspace, etc...) that there was a renewed engagement between people in cyberspace. Suddenly those that never had a voice were given a voice to craft their message and engage in dialogue. Time was not as much of a factor. A deeper level of understanding between writers and readers was established.
However, I currently have three facebook accounts. One is actually my daughter's, the other is just for family and friends, and the last is for students and colleagues. I post, but there is always a resounding silence after. I am sure for many of my students, I my comments are hidden. With so many comments coming in, many of them just have very superficial conversations.
Now don't get me wrong. I see a valuable service in facebook and twitter, especially when you want to communicate information to a large group of people quickly. But there is no two way communication the way a blog or a ning or even the original design of facebook allowed. And what two way communication there is usually private, so there is not the same level of community. I also feel that the people that originally embraced the Web 2.0 to give themselves a voice they never had have been pushed aside for commercial and mainstream opinion leader's use. It is a bit like starting a conversation with someone in the popular group when you were in high school and having the rest of the popular group join in and push you out to the side because you aren't part of their group.
I hope we go back to the idea of community on the web and the feeling of belonging in an online community. But I'm not sure that can happen in today's battlefield over users (how many friends can YOU collect?). What do you think? (I have a feeling without tweeting this, there will just be a big resounding "silence." Oh, well).
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.