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Everyone is a publisher. So, what’s the problem?

Cat
2006 was the year of the people (Time magazine said so) In 2007 the elite joined the discussion, and more outspoken than they had been in the last years. In short, the web is crap! Or at least a lot on the web is crap.

Andrew Keen talked about how everyone has the same voice, we don’t check facts or sources and basically create an environment with so much * useless * information that it could have a negative effect on culture in general.

I don’t believe public / universal access to information and publishing can have a (lasting) negative effect on culture, creativity or anything else. What I do believe is that the discussion is connecting the problem to the wrong cause.

What’s the problem?
The real problem isn’t that everyone has access to information or can publish anything he or she wants. The problem is you can’t find what you want and are confronted with the things you don’t want to see or know.

In an ideal situation the web only gives you the correct answer to what you need or want.

The discussion shouldn’t be about the mass joining and filling the web with everything and photos of their cat. The discussion should be about how do we enhance our filters.

The discussion only emphasizes that filters and thus search engines aren’t yet good enough, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Developing the signal to noise ratio
2007 was about social recommendations and social networks. The social web works with filters by like minded and ‘friends’. Mix this with the power of a search engine like Google and we are closer to the next stage of navigating through information on the web.

Don’t say that what people make or do is not good enough or wrong. Just be happy they tried.

I have updated the original photo in this post with a new one.

2 replies on “Everyone is a publisher. So, what’s the problem?”

I personally also opt for better filters, not less content. Music has the same ‘problem’: since software can replace hardware, everyone can (and often is) a producer of electronic music. In the past, anything that was released was ‘good’, since it already passed the filters of a record company and investments in a studio. That meant that I could safely buy any drum ‘n bass album I found, since it was deemed to be good.

Nowadays, anything can be published by anyone. Picking up everything from a genre I like is not a safe way. I therefore use filters (music mags, weblogs, friends) to filter out the quality content. I think that via this way the average quality of music (and its level of progress) has increased. It only takes a bit more time to find the proper content.

Ps: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/12/28/social_media_blog_problems/ has 3 additional points regarding problems of social media / the fact that everyone can publish everything.

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