Kansas State University Digital Ethnography department has posted “Web 2.0 : The Machine is Us/ing Us” piece on YouTube. The video is short, but leaves us with a some thought-provoking questions. Watch it, it is worth it.
Thought-provoking indeed. We work in a sector where our clients are working to build communities in order to advocate, fundraise and otherwise motivate people to take action. It seems that the rise of social tools on the web can cut both ways.
How do we address client concerns regarding a consistency of message and balance that with the undeniable power that Web 2.0 is delivering into the hands of all users?
To what extent can organizations more effectively advocate with a constituency technologically empowered to a greater extent than ever before?
Are these new social tools helping to build communities, or are they making it easier for people to remain solitary and pull what they want from hundreds of different sources while keeping their distance from the organizations providing the data?
Are we at such an early stage in this new game that adopters of these Web 2.0 technologies are still hopping from tool to tool to find just the ‘right’ system for them? Can we recommend solutions to clients that are independent enough of the tools that people are using to ensure that if their users hop off to use a different tool, they will carry their historic data-relationships along with them? Or are people starting over fresh every time they test the waters of a new aggregator/reader/social networking site/etc.?
I know that my methods of interacting with the internet have changed a lot in the past year. How common is that?
And perhaps most importantly: Is this new social web merely a face of the internet that we can choose to participate in, or is it powerful enough that it really IS the internet, and not joining in will leave us behind?