Web 2.0 or Me vs. We

Web 2.0 or Me vs. We

One of my chums posted a very thoughtful piece about the Web 2.0 and how it is resulting in more ego-centrism (give the Angry African a read here). Thoughtful thoughts should beget thoughtful thoughts, don’t you think? Well, here are mine (for what they’re worth…money back if not delighted).

One great danger of Web 2.0 comes from our ever demanding ego. The temptation is great to simply feed it by tracking our followers on Twitter, reviewing our blog stats, ever checking our Technorati ratings, ad nauseum. Also, the temptation to simply post things to generate more readers is challenging. I see this thinking related to the adolescent mind. The form of thinking that only sees the group in terms of me. Group acceptance is paramount, even though it stems from a desire (or so claimed, at least) for independence.

Perhaps the issue, really, stems from the fact that the web, like all societal institutions, is accessible to people regardless of the state of maturity. Thus, we’re stuck with people focusing more on the numbers of interactions than on the quality. The members of our society are evolving at different rates, starting at different times. Web 2.0 loves them all.

The Angry African also brings up poverty, and the resulting lack of access. My sincerest hope is that Moore’s law combining with the economies of scale will bring these tools to more and more people globally. However, until that time, we are left with hoping their voices are heard. Most of that comes from those who “care”. Sadly, many of those are drowning in paternalism. Finding ways to ensure the voices of the impoverished and exploited are heard in a genuine way is deeply challenging.

For me, the medium summed up as tech, offers the world so very much. Perhaps I’m too Pollyannaish.

Carl Setzer

I'm a poet and blogger from Seattle, working to build a more just, compassionate and connected community. Seeking to magnify the good, the positive as a counterpoint to all the negative the world dishes out now.

2 thoughts on “Web 2.0 or Me vs. We

Angry AfricanPosted on  1:26 pm - Jun 16, 2009

I hope for this as well. Maybe I just need this Disney break from it all. It works when it is us sharing ideas and information – but I also see people driving for the numbers. More followers, more readers, more about the self. That is what I am weary about – that good people get seduced by the power the web gives them. And they lose their soul selling themselves for a few readers more. Or maybe I just need more coffee!

CarlPosted on  3:28 pm - Jun 16, 2009

Fortunately, most web readers see through such tactics quickly and those blogs, Tweets, etc, find themselves abandoned. Of course, I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't automatically follow anyone who lists themselves as following me. Got to have something interesting to say to garner my attention.

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