The Internet is About People

Amy Gahran in Contentious blog says…”contrary to popular opinion, the internet is not really about technology. It’s about people, specifically how people communicate. Despite the best efforts of evolution and civilization, human beings still have a lot of rough edges – individually and collectively.”

Aaron Campbell in Under the Influence of Epoche points out:” blogging we are creating an online identity which partially mirrors our own self image, yet at the same time emphasizes those aspects of self that we want others to experience, while masking those that we wish our readers to overlook. …. the thoughts and images we project contain so many blind and hidden elements of self of which we are unconscious when we project. It is through the discussions we have with others online and through further reflection on the archive of those interactions, that those blind and hidden aspects begin to slowly emerge.

Yes…it is fascinating how people manage to project their image online in blogs through their narratives, the choice of subjects they write about or by the way they interact with this new environment and its tools and the people with whom they establish contact. Some do it gracefully, others are still bungling, some attack, cling to their ideas and are focused on results while others show compassion, collaboration and explore. So much a reflection of our real world, but so much more extended. Comforting but worrying as well.

Many of the people I read today and got to talk to online was thanks to blogs. These tools are open to all and foster an interactivity that is conducive to dialogue, questioning, answering…
How else would I have discovered them, managed to contact them and been allowed to view/comment on their perspectives ? Through academic papers, newspapers, Yahoo Messenger, emails, forums listservs?

Graham Stanley has just posted a discussion emerging from the BE list he belongs to. By commenting on it and opening it up to others in blogosphere, Graham brings it to a more interactive level, where not only a few participate. I am interested to know how it will develop and if people will react to it.

Blogs do not confine you to a specific environment. I enjoy this mobility, the clash and flow of different perspectives. I feel excited by this state of flux which allows me to question, create and reinvent my own meanings, connect the threads and try to figure out patterns in this expanded vision of the brave new world around me.

2 thoughts on “The Internet is About People”

  1. Hi Bee! – Wonderful post. Together with Aaron’s, it really made me stop and reflect. Could you expand a bit on “focus on results” as a negative? I’m afraid I don’t understand…

  2. I see nothing negative, Cleve, in focusing on results as long as this is the aim and we are aware of what we want and how to proceed.
    I wrote this post thinking of our workshop. What I am alluding here is to the fact that many people focus on the tool, the technology and not the essence, the process, what is behind it. Even when experimenting, trying out something new, very few people relate this experience to other fields as they only concentrate on what they see as the result…in our case…opening a blog, adding links, inserting a photo.

    I think it was Barthes who said that what is important for the writer, is writing the book, not its publishing. This is how I feel about learning (which for me is different from education and training). It is the quality of the process and the understanding of what it entails that matters. It's the people, how they inter-react, what and why they do and how these tools can help them accomplish these goals that matters, not the tools in themselves.
    See also: <a href="”_blank”>the value of weblogging


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