This week, we’ll be reading about some fundamental components of online and social communication: The link and the group (or crowd).
In chapter 3, Briggs is concerned with the connective aspect of online communication. His three focuses are “crowdsourcing,” “open-source reporting,” and “pro-am journalism.” Crowdsourcing is the main one to understand. What’s meant by this? How does it inform the rest, and the world of communication you all are entering into?
The term “The wisdom of crowds” owes credit (if not its origin) to James Surowiecki, but it’s been around for a while. Sit back and enjoy this short (and catchy) tune on the subject from Nova:
There’s a useful idea here in what groups can know. On the other hand, others like Carnegie Mellon’s Vassilis Kostakos take issue with “the wisdom of crowds,” arguing that those online crowds are often a very small percentage of highly engaged users. With these viewpoints in mind, how do crowds factor into your approach to connective journalism?
Thinking About Linking
Next, move on to links and linking. The simple hyperlink is an obvious use of linking, but it’s not the only kind – social media applications employ linking in their own way. So let’s read about links:
- David G. Post, in this 1997 essay (ancient history!!!), lays out some common questions and criticisms of the humble link that are still pertinent today.
- Bill Thompson talks about links as the key component of “the semantic Web.” We may argue, as he puts it, “a link is just a link,” yet often there is more going on in the way the link is used.
What do you think about links? What is the nature of a link, and what are the ways in which we use them? What are the similarities and differences of hyperlinks and the social links involved in crowdsourcing? Finally, how should you link ethically and with good etiquette in your own work?
Remember to respond to this post by noon on Monday, September 9. As always, responses should be around 200 words, links to arguments or evidence on your own blog or elsewhere are strongly recommended … and don’t forget to integrate Briggs!