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April 08, 2006

Global Conversations Cloud Creative Content

Jeremiah Owyang posts on the topic of Global Conversations in his blog Web Strategy by Jeremiah. It continues our discussion on free speech and the technology that will enable greater communication worldwide.

Jeremiah makes some good points. He says,

"I’ve been fascinated with the concept of mass empowerment for the global conversation. A few days ago, I discussed the anticipation of the 50 dollar laptop, and how it can benefit humanity. Where everyone has the opportunity to be online, communicate, grow and learn --That’s what healthy web geeks should think about."

I would agree that everyone has the right and should have the opportunity to be online, communicate, grow and learn. Technology may ultimately be an equalizer in reducing the racial divide by creating opportunities in poverty-stricken communities by giving hope, knowledge and access to resources. This is all good.

My concern is more-so that the proliferation of websites, blogs, and other online tools will increase the number of web pages to a point that it will be difficult to cut through the morass of chitchat, gossip and rumor-mongering. The quality of content is likely to plunge dramatically even as the enlightened online thoughts of intelligent thinkers emerge.

Don't get me wrong, the march of technology will continue. This is as inevitable as snow in winter. In referencing Seth Godin on Small is the New Big, Jeremiah ensures us that,

"Even with increased content, we’re not in the state of Information Overload, we’re approaching the era of Information Control. "

I honestly hope so,  but my personal experience has been that it is getting more difficult to find quality information, especially when using search engines like Google. There are tools like Squidoo that intend to offer avenues to locate quality content. And, of course, bloggers have become online guides purporting to hold your hand in exploring the online world. Even technology expert Dave Taylor grumbles about his dissatisfaction with RSS Readers.

I have no concerns for the tech-savvy as they have a greater knowledge of online tools and resources. My concern is for the untold millions that are trying to grasp the infinite possibilities available on the Internet and are often overwhelmed by the seemingly endless content. As an expert on PDAs and mobile technology, I know all too well how frustrating it can be to search for online information in a mobile browser. This will improve as high speed connections become more available for mobile users and people begin opting for tablet and mini-tablet PCs (such as Origami) which will offer a more satisfying online experience.

Younger generations are now born with the tools of technology placed in their hands. The tech-savvy will inherit the earth. However, the silent majority still struggle and will be left further behind as online content spirals out of control. Free speech is overrated, although it is our inherent right. Global conversatons will lift spirits and improve life, while at the same time fueling hatred and encouraging strife. This is the nature of things. Let us exercise responsibility and practice patience as we encounter people from other cultures. Let us appreciate the diversity that is mankind. And, let us pray that things will improve and let's make it happen!

So, the debate rages on. What do you think? Are we on the path to information overload or information control? Will the global conversation become a shouting match? Chime in and stay tuned!

April 8, 2006 at 10:21 AM in Future Tech, LinkedIn Bloggers, Moblogging, Weblogs, Wireless Web | Permalink

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