Networks are not always revolutionary

An article in the Guardian from Cory Doctorow, pointing out the (possibly) obvious fact that networks are a necessary but far from sufficient cause of social change. Facebook, Twitter, et al do not cause revolutions like those seen recently in the middle east, but they certainly help to spread the word around.

A good antidote to over-enthusiastic posts that suggest social networks will change the world – e.g. this or this. People change the world, not social networks. Social networks make it easier for more people to connect, communicate and share in a more egalitarian way than ever before, but other forces and other (hierarchical and centralised) media still matter.

Address of the bookmark:

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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