… and while I’m picking nits off Martin’s last post, he says of Bertrand Russell:
But, the whole 2.0, user generated content world would delight him I think.
This reminded me of something I read the other day from the excellent Clay Shirky, arguing that the concept of “user-generated content” isn’t that helpful:
We misinterpret these seemingly inane posts, because we’re so unused to seeing material in public that isn’t for the public. The people posting messages to one another, on social networking services and weblogs and media sharing sites, are creating a different kind of material, and doing a different kind of communicating, than the publishers of newspapers and magazines are.
Most user-generated material is actually personal communication in a public forum. Because of this personal address, it makes no more sense to label this content than it would to call a phone call with your mother “family-generated content.” A good deal of user-generated content isn’t actually “content” at all, at least not in the sense of material designed for an audience.
Why would people post this drivel then?
It’s simple. They’re not talking to us.
Which, I think, we educators could do with bearing in mind more often. Especially as we tread in to areas that students think are their space.