Friday, April 07, 2006

What's In a Name?

Yesterday I drove to and back from Harrisburg, PA to speak to the attendees of the Keystone Library Network annual meeting. (Yes, I know...that's a crazy number of miles to cover in one day but there were good reasons for doing so. None of them is related to getting enough sleep as I set out at 3am) Perhaps I can blame the following on the 6+ hour drive preceding my talk to over 100 people: the zipper on my pants was undone the whole time. Fortunately, my jacket covered that part of me--I think. So, if you are like most of us and find yourself a little bit intimidated by speakers now and then--how thought-provoking! how fluent!--just remember, they too might have forgotten to zip up.

Continuing in the meaning musings and slippery semantics media and user generated content (very Webby 2.0 topics). Or authentic media, or participatory media [pdf]or a barrel of herring.

Tom Coates (he works at Yahoo!) at reproduces a talk he gave at the Guardian Changing Media Summit and admits he doesn't know what people are referring to when they talk about "social media". But then he deconstructs the term pretty thoroughly: "...It seems to me that the other main feature of social media is that they're looking at how each individual contribution can become part of something that's greater than the sum of its parts, and to feed that back to the individuals using the service so that - fundamentally - everyone gets back more than they're putting in. These new services are about creating frameworks and spaces, containers and supports that help users create and publish and use all kinds of data from the smallest comment to the best produced video clip which in aggregate create something of fascinating utility to all." (spotted on Susan Mernit's Blog)

So, one of the hallmarks of Web 2.0 would seem to be ambiguity. Probably more than seven kinds.

From gapingvoid

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