Endless Conversations: What’s the point?

Endless Conversation: The Unfolding Saga of Blogs, Twitter, Friendfeed, and Social Sites [Dion Hinchcliffe’s Web 2.0 Blog]

Understanding How Conversations Are Changing

The challenge today is that while the size of individual contributions to online conversations is getting smaller, the frequency of conversations are increasing on these new social media platforms. Making this point, Sarah Perez over at Read/Write Web wrote […] that there are too many choices, and too much content. Users of the latest social media tools are far more likely to post several times a day, more likely dozens of times, each one forming a new conversational beachhead. This can be overwhelming, but it can also be enormously stimulating and rewarding, as a form of collaboration, cross-pollination, brainstorming, serendipity, news gathering, and countless other activities provide one with a continuous connection to the broader world.

Thus wrote Dion Hinchcliffe in his Web 2.0 blog (my italics).
I’m worried about the noise effect. I’m troubled about the frequency, size, and hence quality of these online conversations. Fine, not all conversations need to be “serious” or intellectual, and dialogue has an intrinsic value in itself. But I can’t avoid asking what’s the point of all this conversation, collaboration, brainstorming, serendipity, etc?

Wouldn’t some silence -ie absence of noise, be of any importance?

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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One Response to Endless Conversations: What’s the point?

  1. Barbara Dieu says:

    I totally relate to Dion Hinchcliffe’s view and worry of noise amplification. Silence to think and reflect can be reached by just unplugging or by being an observer and not taking part.

    Our longing for silence and unplugging might not have happened had there not been conversations. They may be short, shallow or even futile but they just express desire to connect and humanity for what it is worth – whether we like it or not, they illustrate the feelings and the logic of “we the people”.

    As Tim Berner’s Lee puts it:
    “People often quite successfully compare the web with a growing person, and it’s certainly had its years of adolescence when it’s been trying to push the boundaries, see how far we can go”

    We still have a long way to go before we find the balance. In the meantime, we keep trying 🙂

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