I’ve spent lots more time learning about and playing with social networks for my job lately (plus a couple of weeks out of town and completely offline), meaning less time actually participating in the internet culture via this blog. So here’s a great quote from Christian Lorentzen (a senior editor at Harper’s Magazine) from an article entitled “The Internet and its Enemies”, making use of a quote from my favorite author, followed by a few articles about social media that I have enjoyed recently.
“TV,” David Foster Wallace has said, “is not vulgar and prurient and dumb because the people who compose the audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.” The difference between the Television Mind and the Internet Mind is that the latter has access to the vulgar and prurient and dumb as well as the refined and aesthetic and noble elements of culture. And unlike TV, the internet fosters a culture of participation that, though it may lead the majority to public displays of vulgarity, banality, and idiocy, draws enough talented people to noble pursuits in what might be called the “online underground” to give credence to the claims of the cyber-Utopians. The Internet Mind then is a craven, stupid, obedient thing – except in the frequent instances when it is compassionate, subtle, and free.
- “Tribe Called Us” by TJ Sondermann at Social Media for Social Change (includes shortlist of web companies offering free and/or specialized services to nonprofits)
- “Charity Cases” in the Wall Street Journal
- Evidence Facebook Causes works at Beth’s Blog
- Evidence Facebook Causes doesn’t work at Pro Bono Junkie’s Blog (or it only works for the big guys)
- “The Next Step in Open Innovation” from the McKinsey Quarterly (more about product/content co-creation with customers in a for-profit setting, rather than strictly social networking…entirely applicable and completely fascinating work and lessons learned) w/ free registration required