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Stowe Boyd is a well-known media subversive, and an internationally recognized authority on real-time, collaborative and social technologies. His new blog is Message.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline


Get Real
January 14, 2005
David Weinberger: Web as WorldEmail This EntryPrint This Entry
Posted by Stowe Boyd

David is in rare form in Web as world:

[...] some things become clearer if you do not start with the premise that people are fundamentally isolated and battle against noise in order to connect with others. Instead, we find ourselves in a world shared by others. Connection comes first. Isolation and alienation are withdrawals from the pre-existence of what is shared. I think that helps explain why some sites "work" and others don't. Many of the sites that work for me are ones in which I see that my participation helps create and enrich this shared world; I have that sense at del.icio.us and Flickr, at every place I leave a review or join in a discussion, and every time I blog. I can't explain that by thinking of the Web only as a medium, but I can explain it if it's a shared world that we are building together.

I believe that this is the defining figure/ground issue of our time. Those, on one hand, who see the Internet as plumbing and the junk pouring through the pipes as the real important stuff; the publishers' viewpoint, where information is pushed to a passive audience. And us, on the other, who see the Internet as a shared space, where new forms of social interaction structure shared experience; a communitarian viewpoint, where dialog and conversation within groups can reform the world.

Its all in how you look at it, or what you want to get out of it.




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