All alone, off the beaten wavelength

All alone, off the beaten wavelength
All alone, off the beaten wavelength

This article in the LA Times looks at the shift in TV viewing / consuming habits. The segment below highlights the social shift in a shared common dialogue space that is taking place. Fragmentation and decentralization can provide lots more personal choice and freedom. However, there is the danger of isolation and a divide and conquer.

“Mass media doesn’t exist anymore,” says Paul Saffo, a director at the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, Calif. “Instead we have personal media. Increasingly, people fill their information space with only what they want to see — things that reinforce their worldview. Take away channel surfing, and you never have to see anything that you don’t choose to see.”

Leavitt and others believe that people will still connect over the shows they see, but in a different form. “There will be chat rooms and blogs,” Leavitt says, “like with ‘Big Brother,’ where it doesn’t matter so much when exactly you saw it.”

Saffo finds this troubling; cyberspace, he says, enforces the idea of like-minded consensual groups, replacing the more diverse community of a city or a neighborhood. “The old idea that you had to get along with people you might not necessarily like or agree with because they live in your town is vanishing,” he says. “You can now occupy 100% of your information space with only those things that support your worldview. That is pretty frightening.”

Collaborative knowledge gardening

Collaborative knowledge gardening

It is important for community media and technology to confront the new systems of knowlege sharing, sociel networks, and content dstribution that are being made available via the Internet and newly emerging web apps. How communities of people come to share and trust the content they are moving back and forth will also become important items. As community communication advocates, it is crucial that concrete purposes for these emerging technologies be shaped for the grassroots.

The Future of Media, MIT-Style


The Future of Media, MIT-Style
:

“Maeda took us first to the Physical Language Workshop, where researchers are working on ‘tools for creating digital content in a networked environment, and the means by which the content can be leveraged.’ Their primary areas of focus are ‘general digital media service architectures, global e-commerce, distance education, and visual information display systems.’ We previewed a number of projects, ranging from ‘simple’ applets to make sharing digital images easier, to more complex systems that would make organizing, searching, and sharing all digital information (video, audio, data, etc.) quicker, easier, and more intuitive. I knew I was looking at the next generation of search and digital asset management tools.”

Tripod and the early days of Blogging


Ethan Zuckerman’s Weblog : Ethan’s Weblog – My blog is in Cambridge, but my heart’s in Accra
: “Increasingly I wonder whether Tripod was five years too early, instead of just six months premature. Tripod was interesting to Lycos as an acquisition target because it had a lot of traffic – about 15 million people looked at Tripod web pages every day when I left the company. But Tripod was interesting to me – and to most, though not all, of my colleagues – because it demonstrated that the most interesting things on the Internet might be put up by individual users, not by corporations.

Weblogs have gone a long way towards proving this point. And while they’re a damn sight more sophisticated than the pages we offered users in 1996, the basic, radical idea that individuals should have a space where they could express themselves on the net without needing to know how to administer a server is one that Tripod and others helped pioneer almost a decade ago.”

Internet Enabled-Radio in Mali


Ethan Zuckerman’s Weblog : Ethan’s Weblog – My blog is in Cambridge, but my heart’s in Accra

A description of a project in Mali linking community radio broadcasters with an internet connection that would allow them to expand the scope of their news offerings include regional, national and international offerings. During a presenatation by Promethues Radio in Lowell, MA (which is very far from receiving a low-power FM frequency and not like these countries in Mali) we discussed coupling legal extremely low watt fequenceis (10-100 watts) with high-speed internet access to link a number of very, very local (neighborhood / housing) entities into a city-wide radio station that is also streamed on the Internet. It will take some time to see if we could put such a system in place.