We the Media is a great read even though it is already a bit old news. But it is a thorough introduction to social media and the idea of “by the people for the people”. Gillmor wrote the first edition in 2004, at a time where no one could imagine the impact of YouTube two years later. I was fascinated by his analysis of how social media could reinforce citizenship and his account on open source politics (chapter 5). Since then I have been wondering why I have not got into this field before because social media, open source or collaboration touch a fundamental part of my belief in democracy as public deliberation (inspired by among other the German philosopher J. Habermas).
Garrett Graff asked us to think about: How much of what you read is traditional media versus something like Gawker or Pink is the New Blog? For me this semester has changed my (social) media habits. Before this semester I was using email, Facebook, LinkedIn, and surfed traditional media’s Websites like New York Times and Washington Post. Politico and Huffington Post were also among my favorites. Recently, I have not read any of the papers that are outside of my door every morning because all the news I am interested in are in my GoogleReader. Well, I have also been a bit too busy….I do not think GoogleReader in the long run can substitute reading the paper version of New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and the Atlantic Monthly (and of course Dwell and Vogue) on a regular basis. After a day in front of the computer it is great to dive into the universe of these old fashion media.
Thanks to Garrett and the rest of the class. It has been an adventure. Hope to see some of you this summer!