Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Where do they find the time?"

Lecture at Web 2.0 conference by author/thinker Clay Shirky on some observations he presents in his book "Here comes everybody".

You don't have to click through and listen, though you can:




The part I don't get, which is the catalyst moment for his lecture, is his reaction to the question "Where do they find the time?" He has interesting analysis of how much time is spent on tv (though to his credit, he does later take a minor jab at video games, but not much of one), and how many Wikipedia articles could be created instead (answer: a LOT).

But I think he might totally miss the question that draws the ire. The woman, who works in tv, isn't amazed that people aren't spending their lives watching tv, but that they can possibly argue for literally thousands of hours about Pluto being a planet or not, and how to reflect this on Wikipedia.

And I'm with her.

I'm glad this is a hobby for people (I've submitted 4 book summaries to wikisummaries.org myself), and it is productive. But um, Mr. Shirky, couldn't these people be out, you know, like, talking to humans? Or exercising? Or just breathing fresh air?

But putting aside his crazy reaction, I do hope his general observation is correct, we'll all spend less time watching tv and doing something.


PS: I have to note, that watching tv can in fact be collaborative. Witness the crazy sites on "Lost", and how they are creating Wikis for the show. Or sports. That's a hugely interactive and social activity.

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