Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Multiplayer games as part of social Web - Daniel Cardoso

Daniel Cardoso, a researcher for Portugal's part of the multi-country project EU Kids Online, emailed me his comment, adding a reminder that MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft and Entropia (not to mention the Xbox Life community and Sony's Home in a different way) are contributing in a major way to this user-driven Web. I'm glad he points that out. So, here are Daniel's likes:

"Well, it allows for a much greater overlapping between what is usually referred to as "the real world" with the online reality.

"We must not forget that MMO games are also part of the social web, and they are the ones who most effectively reinforce the idea of cooperation and working for a goal.

"This overlapping will start inserting technology into people's lives in a much more seamlessly way, making the use of what is now a novelty into something more than normal - necessary. While this could be viewed as neither good nor bad, the fact is that mass usage of something tends to perfect that same thing. So we'll see more features, more interaction, more difference from analog media.

"That in itself is an interesting point: that something that will grow to be fundamentally different from our analogic reality will (probably) be present in such a seamless way. Virtual worlds of today tend to emulate the real world (contrary to what common sense would dictate, it seems), but as the new generations become more and more accustomed to the Web 2.0 (which will eventually be Web x.0), they will develop and expand the characteristics of this soon-to-be Metaverse."

'The good, the bad, and the ugly' - Linda Criddle

Linda Criddle, author of Look Both Ways, sent me her Top 10 (good and bad things) on the social Web. She also put them in her blog, so I'll post her Top 5 here:

  1. I like the ability the Web gives everyone, not just the ‘geeks’, to easily create content and share their thoughts and ideas.

    I don’t like that it can be difficult for people to discern what is factual vs. opinion vs. idiocy vs. deliberate misrepresentation.

  2. I like the interactive nature of the Web that allows and encourages dialog.

    I don’t like to see attack comments by people too cowardly and ashamed of their own actions to leave their names, or when ignorance tries to shout so loudly that meaningful discussion is drowned out. Leaving anonymous comments is fine if they are constructive and respectful; if you want to sling mud, allow others to return the favor.

  3. I like having so much information at my fingertips 24 hours a day.

    I don’t like having to sift through the trash to find it.
  4. I like the opportunity to access the Internet from a variety of devices and be constantly connected.

    I don’t like always being reachable – though this is something I control, I confess to not always being particularly good at shutting ‘off’.

  5. I like the ability to set up information feeds on topics I care about and have information automatically flow to me.

    I can’t stand the bombardment of information I don’t want (spam) through every conceivable format.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thumbs down ok, too

Over at PBS Teachers, Andy Carvin mentioned this blog and suggested that I let people say what they don't like about the social Web, too. Well, sure! Far be it for me to set up a barrier to participation if my visitors don't like anything about the fixed and mobile user- and youth-driven Web. I do think, though, that - where youth is concerned - the public discussion about Web 2.0 has been weighted more on the negative side. I've been traveling in Europe for a few months now, and when I talk to people about this Web and related technologies, there's a better balance, I think. There hasn't been a predator panic over here. And people have been working through what to do about cyberbullying much longer than we in the US have. Feel free to disagree (I'd love to hear from people across the Pond too here), but I think a better balance needs to be struck in our country. I do try to cover both the positives and the negatives in my regular blog, NetFamilyNews.org.

Anyway, let's have fun with this - Top Five, Bottom Five, it's all good. Please post your thinking! All best,

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So I'll start it off....

Why do I like Web 2.0 so much? Here's my preliminary list:

  • It has a way of keeping the professional media providers and traditional publishers honest (as it buries their work in a landslide of user-produced content that forces all media consumers to think).

  • It empowers the nonbranded and uncredentialed.

  • It trains kids better for the "real world" than traditional education does.

  • It exposes truth as well as evil for people to find and take action for and against.

  • It is the place where our children - natural information "hunter-gatherers" that they are, as MIT's Henry Jenkins puts it in his book Convergence Culture - can dig around endlessly for the information they crave, and it's the place where we can help them approach it critically and intelligently.

  • It's necessarily bringing ethics back into the public discussion and citizenship back into public school curricula (I think, I hope).

  • It subverts false authority and secret power.

Now I have to email all my friends and get them to weigh in!