Readings 3: Here Comes Everybody: DIY, Crowds, and Collaboration

I’m not going to lie, this weeks articles were difficult for me to get through. I’m not sure if it was the lengthiness of them, the fact that they really didn’t spark my interest, or that I never heard of these topics before.

I’ll start with the articles that were the most informative to me.  ”The Ignorance of Crowds”, “Is Crowd Sourcing Evil? The Design Community Weighs in”, and “Should We Trust the Wisdom of Crowds.” They all touched on the subject of crowd sourcing. Is it beneficial or disastrous? I think there are a lot of cons in crowd sourcing when it comes to the design world.  The fact that designers now have to fight and compete with other artists through websites like crowdSpring and 99designs is horrible. I get that it is an even playing field but it devalues designers and their work.  It also makes the prices cheaper for the work. Designers put a lot of time and effort into their work and if clients receive different bids and designs for what they are looking for they can end liking two examples and but make their decision based off of the cheaper design.  However, a pro to crowd sourcing is that more can be done in larger groups. Editing and de-bugging the web for examples, goes quicker when there is a crowd doing it. Working in larger group leads to more work being done in less amount of time.

The debate between Andrew Keen and David Weinberger was really hard for me to follow. I didn’t like the tone of the debate at some points. I got caught up on thinking how rude they were being that I had to go back and re-read some parts. Overall I got that Mr Keen was arguing that Web 2.0 was taking away from talents and Mr. Weinberger was arguing that Web 2.0 was full of greatness and opportunity. I think that both men made valid points. Mr. Keen kept going back to his theory that the web consists of cockroaches and monkeys. What he meant by that is that the internet is made up of mostly trash. There might be valid blogs, posts, and readings on the web but the comments below them are mostly trash. He thinks they are mostly trash because they aren’t edited and thought out by the bloggers. He says because the web allows anyone to make comments it allows uneducated people to make ridiculous comments. Mr Weinberger makes the valid point that the web doesn’t have good taste or bad, and that is why the web so great! It doesn’t matter whether the bloggers are educated or not because everyone can still learn from that information. Mr Keen also argues that when we go online we are watching ourselves. That the web is fazing out great talents. Mr. Weinberger replies to Mr Keens argument that the web isn’t fazing those talents out. Instead the web 2.0 is allowing more talents to flourish and it allows those talents to spread to a wider audience.

I really enjoyed watching those couple of videos. The video “The Machine is Us/ing Us” was super interesting. It made me think of the Disney movie “Smart House.” In the movie a family wins a contest and the prize is owning this very top of the line ‘Smart House.’ The house does their laundry, cooks them meals, makes their beds, wakes them up, etc. However at the end of the movie, the house goes nuts because it becomes over protective and jealous of the family’s friends and relationships they have with other people. This is what I think the internet is going to do one day. Not to the extreme of the smart house but to some extent. I think the web one day is going to control us. It was once so simple. People had to manually tell the sites to connect. Now the internet makes connections by itself. It keeps track of the sites you visit, and how many times. It can even suggest new sites you should visit based on your history. Will the internet one day become so controlling that we don’t have a say?

Henry Jenkins is a smart guy. His interview about Participatory Culture really made you think. Yes, the internet gives everyone the access of participating in a variety of subjects but if you don’t have access to the internet then you can not participate. That is the idea of Fairness Participation. It is something to think about. He also asks the question “How is Technology Changing Your World?” I pondered that question for a bit. Has it changed my world that much? I concluded that I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with as many people as I do and I wouldn’t be able to be a web designer. No technology…no web…no web designer.


Some other questions to think about:

Web 2.0, is it good or evil? Do you agree with Mr. Keen, or Mr. Weinberger?

Will the internet, one day, have more of a say then we do?

How did technology already change your world?

What is your opinion on crowdsourcing?


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