May 8, 2009

There's a lot of things you can do with the Internet

Thanks to Michael Geist for the information that tomorrow's Ivor Tossell column in the Globe and Mail will be his last. I've really enjoyed Tossell's column over the years, even (especially) when I've disagreed. He's given good coverage of the online world and I'll miss that. I understand that sometimes a column just runs its course and maybe the Globe wasn't getting what it hoped for any more, but I'll certainly miss it. Hopefully, the Globe will replace the column with something new and equally exciting.

I'll quote most the same bits from the final column as Geist because they are representative of Tossell at his best:

There's a lot of things you can do with the Internet. You can sit around all day, strip-mining the Net for free movies. You can disappear into virtual worlds. You can log onto your favourite website and leave a comment that will cause readers to wonder whether the planet wouldn't have been better off left to the dolphins.

You can buy a webcam and do something profoundly embarrassing that will render you unemployable for years. You can spend your days filling up Facebook with a hollow performance of yourself. You can create a Web service that seems destined to change everything, only to discover - several billion dollars later - that it really changed nothing, because people are people, and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Or you can make something. On the sunniest days, I look at the Web and I see a world of people making things. Maybe they're cat videos; maybe they're full-blown recreations of science-fiction series from the late sixties. Either way, the creative process never happens in a vacuum. It's an endless back and forth of ideas and materials, and some of them will always cross the lines of ownership and copyright.

1 comment:

LargelyPolitical said...

Good post, here's a couple posts that link digital content to the library, also discusses the importance of curating in a digital age. The librarians need to somehow get control of the important content otherwise its the wild west! Here are the links:
Curating content
Information and Content topics