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Re: [NewMobilityCafe] social media

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  • Richard Layman
    The point of dumbing down is an interesting one.  Years ago I did a presentation at the National Main Street Conference (a US-based
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 24, 2012
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      The point of dumbing down is an interesting one.  Years ago I did a presentation at the National Main Street Conference (a US-based revitalization/regeneration program) on Internet applications (besides making a point that if your website is bad, you should focus there first...) and quoted from a Municipal World (Canadian trade pub) article on Internet and government.

      Only about 15% of people using the Internet are content producers.  Now the type of content that people produce has exploded and can be very complex, including video etc.  But still most people "consume" the info, they don't produce it.  Twitter changes it a little, but the 140 character limitation means that the content produced there is minimal.  Below is the slide from my presentation.


      So content producers like me like listservs (and real, qwerty keyboards) because while a-synchronous they are interactive, and I learn from others, and I get to react.  But for a listserv to be useful you need a certain number of regular commenters (and note on this list I am more likely to react and produce content in response than to generate new pieces--but my blog, which I don't repost here when appropriate, usually, is mostly "original" content--to the extent that blog content is original).

      I have noted with the rise of blogs etc. that listserv communications, at least at the sub-city level, have crashed considerably.  Most--not all--neighborhood listservs in DC just limp along now, but a few are still vibrant, with large readership and a high number of content generators.

      At the same time a lot of organizations, like Project for Public Spaces, eliminated their topical listservs (some good ones on public space and public markets, with international participation) in favor of blogs and webpages.  I look at their blogs occasionally, but I used to read every email...

      One of the things that can piss me off with listservs is that they put on limitations on how often you can post, and I don't think that should be the point if you are producing content.  I say to listserv managers that you are managing the list for the people who consume the info but don't produce it, and you end up damaging the long term health and sustainability of the list.

      FWIW, I have been observing-dealing with these kinds of issues since around 1994, and the impact of various changes to lists and the rise of the web.

      Richard Layman

      From: Simon Norton <S.Norton@...>
      To: newmobilitycafe@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 7:51 PM
      Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] social media

      I was recently referred to the blog page <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/oct/19/climate-change-facts-journalism>.

      The reason I mention this is that on the list of comments there is one, dated 19
      Oct 4.10pm, saying that the increasing use of Twitter, with its limits on how
      much one can say, is evidence of dumbing down of discussion.

      I don't know if there's anything similar for Facebook but I strongly suspect
      that even if there is no formal limit on how much one can say there's a limit in

      Simon Norton

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