Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More on a Long Island "Citizen Media"

News of the sale of Newsday has prompted many to worry about the potential lack of diversity in media coverage on Long Island. This clearly is a valid concern.

I think however, it misses the enormity and broad scope of the information and media changes that are upon us.

Some theorize that we have become too dependent on traditional sources of media, not only to inform us, but to think for us as well.

The explosion of blogging and other Web 2.0 technologies has given a voice to many who were previously shut out of the public policy arena, but it has also too widely dispersed and in some ways confused the general public even more. Additionally most blogging is "opinion based" and not subject to rigorous scrutiny, but so then is much of the "traditional" news we receive today.

Some have made good attempts to create like minded "blogospheres" and multimedia forums using Web 2.0. But often these "universes" are revolving around different centers and do not interact with one another.

Wouldn't it be helpful to know the facts behind the opinion? Isn't it more productive to have a flexible, collaborative system in place?

Would it be perfect? No.

Would it stop a lot of the "silliness" that currently invades our public policy discussions. I believe that it would.

So then we can continue to let other folks "think" for us, or we can develop and use the tools we require to "think" for ourselves.

The convergence of information technologies and media technologies that have accurate, verifiable information and standard and ad hoc analytical tools available to almost anyone with the will to use them is right around the corner. We can use them for positive change or allow other folks to use them to maintain the non-productive parts of the current "status quo."

Some have said to me, aren't you advocating a "lack of diversity" by promoting "One Long Island?" Just the opposite.

By creating flexible systems, collaborative tools with Web 3.0 technologies for the general public and policy makers (of all stripes) we give ourselves the best chance of keeping a representative democracy and diverse ideas alive and well.

What part does traditional media play in all this? That story is yet to be written so to speak. But it will need to balance the rise of the general public to inform itself and still maintain a viable business model.

I do not believe the two are mutually exclusive as we've discussed in many previous posts.

Here is a good article on Web 3.0 and "citizen media."

Like we've said before. Change will happen whether you want it to or not.

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