Friday, December 5, 2008

ANDREAS EKSTROM: Virtual Socializing

1. What about YouTube? I love YouTube! It's just better than television in every way. Some things can still get better from a technical standpoint, but that happens as we speak. As with everything on the internet – parental advice and guidance is necessary, of course. But that is no different with YouTube than with Google.

2. What about Facebook and those guys? I use Facebook exclusively to stay in touch with a well defined group of friends: people I have met through Up With People. For that, it is a great tool. I might have to reconsider my policy though – a lot of ”addings” are coming my way, and I feel a bit hostile each time I ignore someone. Plus, so many things actually happen on Facebook, invitations, planning... Yes. I might have to reconsider. As far as outing my private self, yes, that is something I always take into consideration. I am probably not very generous with very private matters, compared to some.

3. What about Wikipedia? As a journalist, I am VERY careful when I use Wikipedia. I am often downright suspicious. In ”real” encyclopedias, some things may be wrong. But they are never wrong on purpose. Wikipedia is full of ”facts” that people contribute for kicks. One example that might entertain you: I interviewed English talk show legend Michael Parkinson a few weeks ago. It said on Wikipedia that he was a ”keen beekeeper”, and I asked him about that. He laughed, and said ”yeah, that's on Wikipedia, isn't it?”. I wrote that in the interview, that is available here, in Swedish of course – and within hours, the beekeeping was removed from the Michael Parkinson article. This shows a great deal about both strengths and weaknesses in a wiki system.

4. What about blogging? I am a big fan. For fun, for networking, for learning. And to have a place to dispose the amount of text I produce every day. I am a write-o-maniac.

5. What about internet as a whole? It is indeed a change going faster than any changes mankind has experienced before. It's worth analysis and care, but it's there, and there is no going back in that sense. But the changes, long term? As a Chinese partyman said in the seventies about the impact of the French revolution – it's to soon to tell!

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