Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Organized Waste of Time

"I experienced the web as a powerful tool of organizing life and at the same time as a toy for organized waste of time." These are the words I bookmarked[1] when I read Elliot's The Screen Generation at cDc.

Web as a medium of communication, hence a mere tool, cuts both ways. The underlying difference that sets it apart from other media is participating in content creation. Unlike TV for example, where you are forced to consume whatever the producers broadcast, content can be generated collectively.

I consider any attempt that tries to push content, a state where the user is passive just like a TV viewer, as hostile and destructive for Internet culture. Sharing, participating, recommending, including your own input, searching, etc are the trademarks of Internet, they are what make it tick, and wonderful.

I have recently come across a discussion about copyright, for comments to be specific. Who owns the copyright to a comment made for this post, the author or the domain owner, i.e. me? I believe neither does. Together, we have collectively produced something new. This is the area where the so-called tamers of the Internet fail to understand, or deliberately ignore. When they succeed, we will have a big toy organized by them so that we can waste our time while they reap the benefit. Sad...

[1] One of the reasons I have been using Opera since version 3.x is its Notes functionality. You highlight some text and copy it to your notes, just like a bookmark, but you know why you bookmarked it; an indispensable tool for researchers and collectors.

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