Friday, November 26, 2010

Check out this Place

Take a look at this article about YouMedia space in Chicago. An innovative idea for creative youth. This is an excellent idea to put young people constructively on the Internet and to get them together in a space where they can share their creativity and energy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Isolated by the Internet

The Internet was supposed to open the world to us, but I wonder if we are being isolated by it instead. I think we need to ask some questions of ourselves:

  • Where do you get your news?
  • What sites do you visit?
  • Who do you friend, follow, link to?
  • Who do you communicate with?
If the answers to these questions is people like me or people who share my views or people who support my views,  then I think there may be a problem here.
I just listened to a great TED talk Ethan Zuckerman: Listening to global voices  which got me thinking about this issue.  (I'm developing my thoughts on this, so by the time it gets out, this might be an old issue.) He contends that the problems today are getting more global, but the news is getting less so.
I agree. You can see it in the unwillingness of people to listen to other views or to incorporate them into their world-view. We friend and follow and like, but I wonder how many differing opinions we allow onto these lists. I wonder how much effort we take to seek out opinions which don't support our own or to discover new and interesting things to expand our view of the world? Not much, for most of us, is probably the answer.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where do you spend your time

Where people choose to spend their time says quite a bit about them. More and more people are choosing to spend their time online rather than in proximity of other people. And even when they do go out for coffee, say, they spend their time with their cell phones or laptops online with people in entirely different places.

My experiences with Starbucks has been interesting. I have had the opportunity to walk by a Starbucks in a Barnes and Noble store on different occasions at about the same time. The demographic has been interesting.

The first time, EVERYONE was on their laptop. Most of the tables had one or two people at them. But, even the tables with two people had both people on their laptop and didn't seem to be interacting. It was like your kids texting each other while sitting on the same couch or in the car. People were probably communicating, just not with those in their proximity.

Next time was much more social. It seemed that this time, there were larger groups. Some seemed to be families while others appeared to be groups who were doing something together. Perhaps the fact that they were out for other things made the social interaction more prevalent. The interaction was more on a personal level and some of it appeared to be quite intense.

The next time, there were a couple of large groups. You know, the type who pull chairs and tables together in order to be with each other. This was a very lively atmosphere with lots of interactions, some of it quite boisterous. These were groups of younger people, apparently out to have a good time. My suspicion was that this was just one point on their time together.

Social situations might dictate interaction in social spaces. More thought is needed.

The cycle of attention

I have not had a great deal of time to spend in my third place lately. Work pressures, especially, have kept me from other pursuits. This got me to thinking about the cycles of use of social media that I seem to go through and to wonder if others do so also. It seems logical that they would. After all, time is finite and often there are more things to do than there is time to do them in. I'm sure it's the same for everyone. When we reach that point, then something has to give. We need to spend more time on the higher value things and less time on the lower value things. I guess for me, social media is just lower value.