Le Web 3: New Democracy or New Media?

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Dave Weinberger
Dave Weinberger started with the acute observation that politicians don’t own the internet – we do. And that many of today’s visitors seem to have missed that.

But moving on, he’s talking about the Howard Dean as an example of the potential power of the internet in bringing people back into democracy. Broadcast has a distorting effect on democracy, he asserts.

There are three key ideas in his argument that the web and mainstream media are very different:

The media is self-contained. Media sits on its own. Blogging is built out of links and a little bit of generosity. Gives an example of the NYT not linking out. It is �narcissism�. �We’re bigger than they are!�

The web uses metadata to help determine what is good and relevant, which is the distributed equivalent of the panel of white middle class men making decisions.

Externalization: We’re building an infrastructure of meaning by externalising opinions and information.

(Of course, one has to ask if there’s any good reason why professional media can’t do all this.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.