Liveblogging this – expect typos and halfbaked sentences 🙂
UPDATE: They never got to the interesting question – what are we suppose to do about it if the internet is really ruining our culture? I got really annoyed with the moderator and the debate could IMO have been a lot better if he had been less talkative.
Here are my notes…
David Weinberger is at stage here, at Picnic07 discussing the difference between structuring information on the internet and in the real world. Why is the internet credible – and why is it not fair to think the internet is useless just because there is so much useless information there? (He is not saying exactly that – but we are all anticipating the debate between Weinberger and Andrew Keen – who is the author of “The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy”).
Weinberger says Wikipedia gets its credibility through debate and discussions – and through the fact that Wikipedia itself says “this article appears to contradict itself” or “the neutrality of this article is disputed” – something that we never see in other places – like newspapers (why can’t an article be marked with “this article appears to be biased”?)
Andrew Keen thinks DW is messing up media and people – he thinks that because DW thinks that the web shows people he thinks we should accept that it will also show faults – and AK disagrees that we need faults – we need clarity.
AK don’t think that media should reflect the world and people – it should simplify and entertain – we don’t know what is going on other places – we need media to communicate the world to us in an understandable way – and AK thinks that the internet is to difficult and that means that we need gatekeepers to make it easier to us – the world is better with experts.
Question from moderator Walt Mossberg (The Wall Street Journal); Don’t AK believe that there are more people than the journalists who are able to communicate and tell stories?
AK answers by saying that people who are good and knowledgeable probably wouldn’t have the ressources to do as good a job as a real writer og a real journalist.
DW says that he doesn’t believe that everyone in the world is capable of doing everything (the debate is turning lame here – the moderator is talking and I don’t get a word DW is saying – sorry!)
The guy who is moderating – Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal – says that his readers want simplicity – not complexity.
DW argues that complexity is what happens when we talk together as people. And that conversations is all about unfolding more complexity. He states that if you need a new camera you go to “the long tail” of people – you don’t just read reviews from magazines and journalists – amateurs are as competent as the best journalist.
Question from WM: How do you know who they are? And what if they are paid to talk about the camera? – and to what extend can you trust the community to “out” people who are wrong?
DW tries to answer – but is again interrupted by Walt Mossberg – who is IMHO not moderating – but talking and interrupting exessively whenever DW or AK is trying to answer…
AK – talks about the entries in Wikipedia about thruthiness (a word coined by Colbert) and thruth and is sad that they are about the same lenght even though truth is very important to our culture – while thruthiness is just some funny word. AK stresses that this illustrates the problem with Wikipedia who has no context – because no one tells us if the content is important or not.
(I don’t understand how this is difficult to encyclopedias in paper? The entry on China is probably longer than the entry on thruth – and so what – if they are both usefull in the context that I am in? Unfortunately there is no time for questions afterwards so I guess will just stay puzzled? 🙂