There used to be these distinct principles called "publishing" and "communication." You picked up the phone to call your mom, you read the newspaper to gather information, you listened to your CD player to hear music. Nowadays, you read news on the same device that you make phone calls, you chat with people on the same software that you share music with, you play collaborative games on the same platform that you watch movies on. That's the big secret of this so-called media revolution--"publishing" (creating and distributing content) and "communication" (sharing information) are becoming the same thing.
The irony is news always should have been defined this way, as information passed from one person to another. It was creation of the mega-media empires that led to the one-to-many, voice-of-God news we've become accustomed to. The internet is partially breaking down this mammoth publishing/broadcasting system, and replacing it with something that looks more like a series of nodes, where you can get valuable information from your cousin's blog or from NYtimes.com. (MNspeak.com was started on the principle that if you can aggregate people's thoughts and perceptions, you can create a valuable news source. It's still an experiment, but it seems to be working so far.)
CP:On one hand, I have used the web to make "connections" to folks I wouldn't otherwise know. On the other hand, I've found most web social activities to be unsatisfying at best and alienating at worst. What's wrong with me?
Sorgatz: Some people seem to enjoy the internet because they can develop virtual (oftentimes anonymous) online identities. Not me. I still think the most important aspect of the internet is the way it brings people together in the real world.
For me, the organized events (the political Meetups, the Match.com hookups) aren't exciting. I prefer the random occurrences attributed to online life. I love that feeling when I see someone out at the Triple Rock who I know via their blog or their Friendster profile, and I feel like I "know" them. Nearly every person I've dated in Minneapolis was met via the internet--but not through a dating site. Rather, it was through conversations that start in blog comments, in news chatrooms, or on social networking sites.
The internet is merely an extension of the self.