If the Web is really dead, what have we lost?

“In some ways, the demise of the Web feels like a loss of our wide open spaces, like the end of the Wild West and Westward Expansion in U.S. history….

“This specialization and the accompanying fragmentation are not new – it’s part of what happened with television when we moved from having a few shared broadcasting networks to the hundreds that are available through cable television….

“What we lost was a shared dialogue space – a media town square, so to speak. Instead of having 3-4 main places that everyone watched and heard, we now have hundreds, with few … rising to the level of a shared national focus. The positive side of this change was the increased diversity in what was available. …

“As a social worker I know that diversity doesn’t have to divide–it can make us stronger. But for that to happen people need to communicate, understand, respect and learn from our differences. The decline of wide open spaces can decrease the likelihood that we will encounter difference …

“So as the wide open spaces of the Internet decline, I wonder where our open communities will be”

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