Our information structure has changed the way we work, the way think and the way we live.
The video below may be a bit shaky, but the once again Mike Wesch of Web 2.0 - The Web is Us/ing Us fame raises some great points! Whereas his previous Web 2.0 video was all about the new dynamic, this new video is about our digital information infrastructure as a whole. In a world where there are no walls and there is no "front page", a digital world without strict librarial categorizational discipline, new information ecosystems have emerged. Check out the video, then please check out my two points analysis and add your own!
- I would add: there is no structure. There are hints at artificial structure through tools like links, tags and clouds, but there can be no definitive "card catalog" in the free world of digital media. There are only organic learnings. The community as a whole is not policed, it's is not overseen, it is purely organic, growing on it's own and feeding of it's own momentum. In this environment popular misconceptions can and do become reality. Unless we are looking at an authoritative source, collaborative projects like Wikipedia, Digg and Technorati's WTF represent where we are as a culture and should not be classified as "news" or "factual resources". These outlets do not present truth or items of importance, they represent the random and at times not -so-random musings of a distracted society.
- On a similar note to the post above, I would not compare Wikipedia to an Encyclopedia. Wikipedia houses vast amounts of information, but much of it is at best useless - if not outright fictitious. This doesn't mean that I don't frequent Wikipedia as a great free resource, but I would not base any conclusions solely on the information presented therein. There is a reason that we only read bloggers in whom we have a modicum of faith. There is a reason why the NY Times has been a leader in the print newspaper business for decades. Wikipedia is what the Harvard Law Review would look like if it were written by the hosts of The View. It's a dash of urban legend tossed in with a heavy helping of popular misconception coupled with a sprinkling of reality to add flavor. While it is true those women have a lot to say, but I wouldn't consider too much of it to be well resourced or authoritative. Anyone can write, anyone can edit - but that doesn't make them a journalist or an academic. Wikipedia is a great case study in our new and emerging web structure, but it does not present the hard facts present in the real world.
Not the biggest fan of this second video (a bit too shaky to read, if anyone has a better copy please share!), but I figured I would throw it in for good measure.