Logout casually mentions that we're in the post-information era. I
think this is kinda true and actually kinda scary. After reading
logout's phlog entry, I said to my friend (sitting here with me)
"Remember the information age?"
"Information at your fingertips!"
"The information super-highway."
"It's kind of sad that it's over." And concerning, to me, that a lot of
people haven't noticed. I guess you'd think with more ~stuff~ on the
Internet, there'd be more information, too.
Remember Web 1.0? Of course, it was never called that back then. This
was the World Wide Web. This was the era of personal Web sites about
people's interests. The era when staff and students at universities made
little educational sites about what they studied.
> I love The X-Files. There was a german website about 20 years ago
> covering all episodes and what not. It was great and I used it all the
> It's offline now.
The participatory Web was supposed to have been cool. The idea that
average people could now publish content freely and easily was pretty
exciting until it happened. Trouble is, average people don't spend a
lot of time making high-quality content, and we've grown to settle for
I feel like the mash-up of communication with media is where we went
wrong. Communication is something I value on a personal level: There are
people I like to talk to. Turning communication from an exchange between
people into a media product we can consume depersonalises it. On the
other hand, media is something I value in quite a different way, such as
when I appreciate the work of a good film-maker or a good author,
whether I know them personally or not. Turning media production from a
skilled occupation into just a ~thing~ that people ~do~ erodes its
The astute will notice that I've just described Social Media.
The idea of a video-sharing site where anyone can show their videos to
the world is kind of neat, and I'll admit it has some nice aspects.
Independent film makers can now get their films in front of people
without having to rely on a large corporate distribution network. I
think independent film makers are cool, so I like this. But everyone
else can get their content in front of the world, too, and the result is
that people on average spend a lot of time watching low-quality videos
instead of high-quality films, because that's what there's a lot of on
The irony of that paragraph is that Youtube is a large corporate
People don't demand a lot of information these days. Perhaps they never
did, and it's just that people spend a lot of time now consuming stuff
that isn't information, when before we'd be doing something that isn't
consumption at all, like gardening, or going to the market with a
friend, or visiting family. (Now you know what I've done this week.)
Either way, I think it's becoming harder to access information,
especially good quality information, than it was in the golden age of
the Web. The good quality information is hidden beneath the morass
bad-quality information and outright non-information. People who want to
use search engines to find good quality information have to deal with a
plethora of competing forces and ulterior motives. Perhaps it's still
easier that the pre-Internet era when you had to actually ~leave your
house~ to do it.