May 14, 2003

The Dark Side of the Social

Insiteful discussion, on Don Park's Blog, about the potential dark side of social software. Shades of the suburbanization of information?

Posted by Abe at May 14, 2003 08:13 PM


Insightful, at times, yes - but also an almost-stereotypical tech sausage party.

What the social-software discussion is highlighting for me is the painfully obvious fact that these sites do a shitty job at appealing to half the human race, and yet make all sorts of claims to universal appeal.

Holy blindspot, Batman!

isn't that the definition of a blog - half a conversation?

Seriously though, your observation on the social software debate dovetails right into Don Park's main point, that social software has the potential to be used to create groups of people believing in very select flows of information. In other words what I call the segregation (or suburbanization) of information. People go online and select what they what to here about and from whom. It produces a reality just as distorted as that dictated by TV news. Hopefully its not as distorted as the one created by the National Socialists using radio and movies.

The South Korean kids generate their own distorted information flow, just as the tech evangelists create their own distorted world view. For all the talk of technology bringing us together it could just as well bring us apart.

Krebs analysis of the buying habits for political books on Amazon points to a potentially divisive future. I'm hoping its not true, not to mention working at preventing it...

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