Dec 28, 2007

Jeff Jarvis loves/hates cliques

Social networking. Citizen journalism. Web 2.0. BuzzMachine is abuzz with buzz words.

A common theme in Jarvis' many posts is the power of the Internet to undo social orders he does not like and to give rise to new ones. Generally, he promotes an ostensibly democratic approach (that of the linked social network), but seems to gloss over the exclusionary, vindictive and lowest-common-denominator principles that often result from clique behavior.

What's cool in the future is what's successful (on the Internet) he tells us here: ...the lesson I prefer to take away is that the successful media brands of the future will be the ones that are owned and loved and promoted by their users (formerly known as their audience).

He's even excited about the future of air travel in the age of connectedness.

Jarvis has finally found a clique that embraces him and that he can embrace - indeed, that seems a major goal of Internet users these days. But he forgets about human nature and, sometimes, about being human.

He is right to think that the social order of today will be reorganized. But he has a tendency to believe the tools themselves will create a better society. I'm doubtful. Unless we commit ourselves to some higher principles, the new society will look a lot like the old one, only with the social pressures we suffered in high school finding new life in online.

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