Thursday, October 2, 2008

Forbes Peter Huber Agrees with PRBackTalk: The Web Lets People Disconnect

In Aug., I posted an article that argued that social networks don't actually bring people closer together. (Check out: Do Social Networks & Video-sharing Sites Bring People Closer Together?.)

In the Sept. 29th issue of Forbes, Peter Huber, a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute and coauthor of The Bottomless Well, wrote an interesting article that validates my article: "Cronkite vs. the Web."

In the article, Huber wrote, "The Web's real power lies as much in its ability to separate, divide and take apart markets and people...The Web doesn't bridge divisions; it multiplies and sharpens them. It doesn't build consensus or national coalitions; it grows factions. Truth be told, the Web doesn't network people at all--it lets them network themselves, which is quite different. The Web is the place where people can roll their own, and given that freedom, people tend to coalesce in relatively small, insular groups...The real genius of the Web, in short, is that it lets people disconnect. That's why it has obliterated the old media. During the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." Nobody would ever say that about anything posted on a or a CronkiteTube. There are too many celebrity sites, scattered all over the digital landscape, and they're all saying different things."

Very interesting.

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