On the internet, articles are typically written and distributed by persons rather than organizations, Organizations tend to be intimately involved with issues, where people tend to be intimately involved with other people. Some think that this devalues the articles or the authors online, but one cannot deny that internet material is typically apologetically about the author. Whether we are writing online about global warming, calcium deposits in our dishwashers, abortion, or the presidential race, we are commenting on ourselves and encouraging others to comment on themselves.
Have you ever noticed that the comment section of a blog or article is typically more about the commenter than about the post? Even when the comment is directly on topic, it tends to reveal more about the commenter than anything. I love that, actually, and I wouldn’t trade it for a print circulation any day.
Internet media is certainly a new frontier, and it is creating a new voice and changing the way that people connect and share information. I watched the presidential debates online this year, and I have even caught some episodes of Lost and Saturday Night live that I missed. I am a regular Jon Stewart junkie online, and I read Slate.com daily. I am not as connected to the internet as some, but I get a significant part of my media interaction from it and I am realizing that getting information from the internet is shaping the way that I see the world. I am directly connected to the other people all ove rthe world who are experiencing the same media, perhaps at the same moment.
The internet is here to stay, as we all know, but we have not yet embraced the opportunity to explore the paradigm shift that it brings. We are still criminalizing the file sharing community, still downplaying the blogs and magazines that have sprung up across the internet, still figuring out how the intellectual property rights will be maintained – still trying to solve problems that are actually conditions of a new age that cannot be repaired, only engaged and discussed.