In a broad response to the readings and Anderson’s Smithsonian webcast, I’m wondering how much of the community, organizing, learning that’s taking place online and via digital tools is new and how much is just a different ways of doing things that people have always done. How much has Facebook, for example, fundamentally changed the social experience? Or, to what extent is Facebook just a reflection of the fact that people have always had a small group of close friends and a lot more not-so-close friends that we sort-of keep track of?
I felt similarly about Rosenzweig’s article and his evaluation of Wikipedia– yes, Wikipedia is completely unlike any source of information that has ever existed before but, on the other hand, it’s still an encyclopedia, sometimes a shotty encyclopedia at that, and no encyclopedia should be cited in a term paper. That part really isn’t new and the pressure is still on us – the individual, the scholar, whoever – to evaluate the things we read, hear, and see.
How much of the digital age is about a fundamental change in society? How much of it is about the speed and degree to which old relationships and communities are taking place via new media? Does the latter create the former?