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August 21, 2007 / compassioninpolitics

What is Web 2.0??? Technology? Hype? Or Human Conversation and Community


Trendspotting Online: Web 2.0 and Social Networking (Digital Natives: the MySpace and Facebook Generation)
A shift is occurring beneath our feet as more people are actively leaving the ranks of mass media consumers and followers to new media pro-sumers who actively voice their opinions in the newer, more interactive web environment.  

This weekend at BarCamp Nashville new media guru Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation pointed out that consumers are spending 48% of their free time online.  This, alongside the millions that are hopping on the Facebook bandwagon and that are daily joining of the diverse ranks of the bloggosphere.  

Mitch also pointed to the incredible diversity in users and methods of communication.  With mega-events like Blogher and the sprouting up of unconferences like Barcamp this trend will only continue.  Events like these and virtual collaboration and communication is increasingly flattening the earth, such that you don’t have to be a tech geek in San Francisco to have social networking access to the stars of the digital world.  And far from being withdrawn wizards behind the curtain that may characterize other industries, these folks generally seem to be women and men of the people. The monumental and viral Free Hugs video is really a metaphor for the diversity and community, that are embraced  by this change is far more human than the top-down culture and one-way communication of the era that came before it.

The Mass Media and Commercial Shift:

One more sign that the old guard might be crumbling is “You Tube Killer the Video Star” with some Steven Colbert love.  Corporations are seizing this opportunity too.  Tracking the Influence of Conversations: A Roundtable Discussion on Social Media Metrics and Measurement is a manifesto and testament to this shift.  I highly recommend it for anyone looking at the cultural or commerce ramifications of this fundamental shift in the way we communicate and do life.

“The advent of social media–blogs in particular–thus brings with it at least the potential for removing the barrier between a sellar and buyers who are likely remote–geographically, economically, culturally, and otherwise.  The social media platform truly leverages the Web’s massive scale to carry information–fact or opinion–globally and instantly.” 

Jeremiah Owyang of and Matt Troll of Down Jones 

The Personal Shift or What this Means for You, Me, and the Human Community:
I guess the balls in our court now.  We are no longer sitting on the bench, we are potentially active participants in the game.  In our hands, we have the power to forge or disrupt conversation and community. 
What will you do?

Oddly enough Mitch Joel has a great post about linking up via social networking communities.  Thats a great start.  Whats next??


Ps.  If all Canadians are as nice as Mitch Joel, it might not be half-bad place to live.  Like Nashville, but with French accents and pronounce “about” like “a boot.”  Diversity is lovely indeed.


Leave a Comment
  1. Mitch Joel / Aug 24 2007 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. This is a great post because it provides a top-level view of your thoughts from within the trenches while, at the same time, allowing people who might not understand what’s happening to dip their pinkie toe into the conversation.

    Thank you!


  1. You Tube and New Media as a means of social protest « Compassion in Politics

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