social_change

Making History with the Interweb, 2009 to 1649

There's some nice histories of the Internet knocking around, like this animated documentary using PICOL icons . The Internet changes so fast that webheads use the word 'traditional' for stuff we were doing 2 years ago.

And there's an upsurge in people figuring out how to use the Interweb for social change which was my deepest hope when I started this blog.

It seems like the Interweb is ready to make real history, influencing social and political upheavals. But a lot of the talk puts the Interweb alongside Guns, Germs, and Steel; a technical determinism that ignores the cultural history of socio-economic change.

Why aren't people closest to the curve talking about the currents that are resurfacing through the gaps rendered by social media? Maybe Net generation insiders have a narrow perception of what's going on. On the Netsquared blog, Alex Steed questions the narrow conformity of ideas being circulated:

Q: What books have you read this year?
A: Here Comes Everybody, Groundswell, Tribes ... you know - the usual.
Q: Anything else?
A: I've been meaning to, but not yet. Hopefully in 2009! [Nervous, embarrassed giggles]

As he puts it - "Social change has a history. It didn't begin with Twitter, or Barack Obama. I think that 2009 will really be a year in which we go back to the history books in order to figure out how to move forward".

Here's to a history of the Interweb where The Diggers doesn't refer to people voting web stories up and down...

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