Web 2.0 (3D?) is a media-level improvement to a good communications tool – in a long line of improvements. Just as paper and ink are the media for both philosophy and pornography, so is the digital community of Web 2.0 a medium for the useful and useless, trivial and monumental. We can not blame the medium for the lack of message, but the community is the message, rather than the medium (McLuhan). As the community learns the power of the new medium, the level of creative involvement and utilitarian purposes will grow.
We are a pack species. Communicate and community have the same root, and Web 2.0 is about community in a virtual and digital sense. Even though we like to press the flesh at real life meetups, there is also a very strong sense of community in Web 2.0 as well. And it is growing. Eight months ago, I began blogging, networking, metaversing, tweeting, meeting. I have gathered a very active and robust core of new contacts and friends, and have reconnected with a few old treasures. Some of the connections I have never spoken with, or even emailed to, but only ‘friended’, or ‘tweeted’, or ‘myrled’. Is this real community? Yes, of course.
Adding a note here about Marvin Argyle (1909-1990). He instilled in me the burning curiosity that got me here, and taught me the most important lesson in my life: “You don’t have to know all the answers. But you do have to know how and where to find them. Look it up.” He was a crossword puzzle freak, knowing at least 17 different 3 letter words for a river in India. Here’s a picture of him from a half a century ago. He would have loved the Internet, since he was the living analog predecessor of Google. I’ve often thought that if I had invented a gozillion dollar search engine, I would have named it marvinargyle.com.
Just as the revolution of papyrus made communication and writing more mobile and accessible to more people, so will Web 2.0 and 3D bring the community to power in the digital revolution we are experiencing today. I’m in awe. A thousand lyrics from a thousand songs come to mind. I can’t wait for the next wave of gamers, philosophers, poets, artists, musicians, thinkerers to help the merely mundane world to its feet and show us how to walk under the water and fly through space where no parachutes work, or are even needed. Let’s rodeo.