Category Archives: democratization of information

Democratizing Information and Speak

I continue to read, ponder, and research the role technology and society has played in the democratization of information.  I am trying to understand if there is a difference between the democratization of knowledge and the democratization of information.  What is certain is that communication technology has changed the communication and information models.  What once was a many to one model has shifted to a one to many model.

I am also thinking about the success of YOUmedia.  YOUmedia is about so much more than books, writing and print, but they are still a part.  Other forms of information creation, beyond the printed word (and even including the printed word), were so complex that the layperson could not create or share them.  If they could not create than they could not communication.  Their voice was rendered mute.  Technology has changed that.  Just like everyone is note a gifted painter (me for example) the same would hold true for a reader or writer.  Everyone does not have the gift of writing, or reading for that matter.  But everyone does have a voice.  They may share that voice through other means.  And herein lies the power of social and communication technologies.  The masses of silent citizens are suddenly given a voice.  A voice to…

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die. (Auden)

There is currently a campaign by Laurie Halse Anderson taking place on twitter #speakloudly about the attempted ban of her book Speak.  What has happened as a result, is thousands of people rising up to let their voices be heard.  They are rising up to share their story and how their story has been affected by Speak.

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Web 2.0

Tonight I am thinking, again, about the impact of web 2.0 on the democratization of information.  To think that this simple tool helps break down information barriers on a massive level is inspiring.   I hope that we, librarians, continue to embrace the radical trust necessary to encourage the people to control the creation, organization, preservation and dissemination of information.  Yes, we have a role to play, but it really is their information!

I only wish that more 2.0topians would discuss the democratizing effect of web 2.0 on information.  Every persons’ voice has it’s place.

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Experts versus people

Today I am thinking about the wisdom of crowds versus that of experts.  The wisdom of crowds is typical known as statistical groups.  The theory holds that large groups of people (the larger the better) are statistically more accurate than experts.  This is ONLY true when any one person within the group is likely to be more than 50% right.

This principle underlies the philosophy of our democratic system.  So my question is what role do experts and/or librarian play in this type of information system?  Do we provide a check/balance to the crowd? 

I guess from my point-of-view, I believe that people are good.  That they want to add to the information flow in an honest manner.  That they don’t change wiki pages they know nothing about.

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Filed under democratization of information, social media, statistical groups, wisdom of crowds