Posted by: ateedub | June 1, 2008

Joining the Conversation

Greetings web denizens. I am excited to join you in world of the Internets.

Ok, enough corniness. Since I have been reading Dan Gillmor’s We the Media, I thought I would use this first post to reflect on my personal interactions with the Internet over the years. Gillmor’s book is a history of the Internet and its impact on journalism, journalists, and readers over the past twenty-odd years. But it also reminds us how new the web really is.

I can remember using one of the early search engines back in 1995. I’m pretty sure it was Yahoo!, but it could have been another now-defunct site with an equally nonsensical name. I cringe now at the hazy memory of that page layout. At the time, it was so cool.

I also remember visiting chatrooms – something I would be horrified to admit about myself today (no, I don’t visit them anymore). Discussion forums, G-chat, Facebook, and other social networking communities are all part of my online life. But chatrooms?! Not today. As the Internet gained more subscribers, and people I knew came online, I didn’t want to be talking to people I didn’t know. Especially not in a single mass conversation.

Then there was ICQ, my first personal email account on hotmail, voice chatting online, and Yahoo! games. AIM became the messaging system of choice in college, and now my friends, colleagues, and I use G-chat almost exclusively.

When I adopted each of these new tools, I didn’t truly reflect on the impact these new technologies had on me. Gillmor spells out how these tools made journalism more participatory and broke down old barriers between media and audience. It also created higher expectations from the audience, people like me who were just as up-to-date on web technology as – or more so than – the media.

I realize that these same expectations apply to me, not necessarily in a professional sense (although working in science and communications does create some pressure), but in a personal way. If I want to stay in contact with friends, I have to be on the same networks as them and more importantly, I have to be active. If my profile, or my blog, or my website sits without being updated for weeks on end, in a sense, I’m not maintaining those friendships.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. It is interesting how blogs have made things more accessible to us. Even today I was able to engage with a chat about an op-ed in yesterday’s post. AND there were people from all over the country participating. I am always interested in how the internet has made communicating with people around the world easier. I listen to a podcast (on Harry Potter-Geek, I know) that is listened to all over the world. I love it!!

  2. Ahhh…the days of Webcrawler, Prodigy, and altavista. I think Social Media will be a great class.

  3. Oooh, I had forgotten about those gems!

  4. See page 23: http://www.rso.cornell.edu/scitech/archive/97fal/fall97.pdf


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: