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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lectures as conversations

A great 3 part series in the Economist about New Media, where it talks about a new mindset ... open-ended, horizontal conversations that can fail - and not just top-down broadcasting of "truth". Part one partially relates, to my previous post about presentations and also to what I said about learning as sense-making in the post before that.
In the words of David Sifry, the founder of Technorati, a search engine for blogs, one-to-many “lectures” (ie, from media companies to their audiences) are transformed into “conversations” among “the people formerly known as the audience”. This changes the tone of public discussions. The mainstream media, says David Weinberger, a blogger, author and fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Centre, “don't get how subversive it is to take institutions and turn them into conversations”. That is because institutions are closed, assume a hierarchy and have trouble admitting fallibility, he says, whereas conversations are open-ended, assume equality and eagerly concede fallibility.

I see people still using New Media, including blogs, as a way of transmitting information to a greater audience ... rather than as conversations ... but that's to waste their potential.

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