Social Networking Reality
Nicholas Carr writes:
Everyone has – and always has had – interests and hobbies and opinions. Everyone has always been a “producer” as well as a “consumer” of culture, and the Internet offers new (if not necessarily better) opportunities for self-expression. And that’s good. But it doesn’t amount to a reinvention of media. Today’s new media, as Steven Johnson writes, “are not historically unique; they draw upon and resemble a number of past traditions and forms, depending on their focus.”
What we are learning, day by day, is there is no such thing as “many-to-many” when it comes to media. Or, as one blogger recently put it, in a different context, “community doesn’t scale.” The Internet is a party line and a broadcasting medium and a mall. Sure, it puts a different spin on each of those things, but it’s fundamentally the same, not fundamentally different. If you want social networking, go to a cocktail party. Or a church supper.