Broadcasting House had an interesting discussion this Sunday, looking at how things are changing. They had Andrew Keen – who is pretty vocal in his antipathy towards blogs, RSS and podcasts – seeing it as killing culture. (The differences in the straplines on the US & UK books is interesting. US: “how today’s internet is killing our culture” – UK “How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture And Assaulting Our Economy” – Does he think that mentioning assaults on the economy will prevent Americans reading it; or does he think that we’re more obsessed about the economy than your average US citizen? Did his shift key break on the US version? Or, given that the UK version also has a picture on the front, maybe it’s just bigger!
Further comments came from Jimmy Wales – founder of Wikipedia, (I’ve just seen a Pew Internet Report, showing that the more highly a person was educated the more they were likely to use WIkipedia – at least in the US. Of course, it didn’t go on to see if they were using Wikipedia to support other research, as a starting point, or as an end point).
The next speaker was looking at online anonymity – how to achieve it and how to trace users.
The last speaker, Stephen Coleman from Leeds University presented a pretty good overview; as with all things, there are some users who take things to extremes, but in the majority of cases, people use and gain from their experiences online interacting with both known and unknown others.
The programme can be downloaded – I’m not sure how long they leave them up. It’s a big download – about 22MB, the actual section is in about the first 20 minutes or so.

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