A very interesting post by Steve Rubel entitled Thomas L. Friedman Says “Uploading” Contributing to Flat Earth got me thinking about the kind of world that technologies such as Web 2.0 are enabling. Rubel’s post gives me a renewed sense of optimism that some of the early hopes of the information revolution are now finally coming to fruition.

Here, then, are just a few comments on Rubel’s post. 

First it’s great that Americans are starting to see that they’re citizens of communities that physically exist outside of their national borders. Isn’t that what the Internet is all about? We in other lands like to think that we can also make a contribution to the development of ideas. 

Second that Web 2.0 phenomena, such as blogging and Wikipedia, are being thought about in a wider context. Something profound is happening in terms of content generation and consumption and the really exciting questions are “what does it all mean and where will this take us?”. Perhaps this is a situation where McLuhan’s “medium is the message” catch cry can help us understand the meaning of what’s happening.

Third, the concept of uploading begs the question “what is the driver underpinning this activity?” Why are people generating content? Is it for novelty value, self-indulgence, prestige, the hope of commercial gain, or is there a more deeper need being met (at least for some people) – the need to reach out to other people – or dare I say it, the quest for fulfilment?

Posted Monday, April 17th, 2006 at 9:36 am
Filed Under Category: Uncategorized
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