As an Internet skeptic, it always does my heart good to read pieces like Chris Wilson’s recent Slate article on Wikipedia and Digg and the much-hyped Web 2.0, a supposedly more democratic version of the Web (which, if you remember, was supposed to be a more democratic version of the older media forms it was going to replace.)
If I had blogged this entry when it first appeared (which is what I meant to do), I would have ended it about here, with some snide comment to the effect of “how are the cyper-utopians were going to try to spin away
(Your point being, perfessor?)
(Uh, not much, I guess. Maybe just this:)
The Internet is not inherently democratic: not in its 2.0 version or any version that is likely to appear in our lifetimes. While it may reduce the importance of some forms of social inequality, it builds upon, perhaps even heightens, the importance of others. At the same time, it would be misguided to ignore the ways in which the new media environment has increased the scope for human creativity, and opened up possibilities for human interaction that most of us couldn’t even have imagined as recently as ten years ago. It would be nice to see more media scholars working at the intersection of those two claims.