The Current Democracy of Pop Culture
Fascinating NY Times article on pop culture's dependency on user involvement. It's not just about voting for a singer on American Idol, though. It's about voting to continue the fascinating, potentially soap-operatic storyline of your favorite character/singer on American Idol:
“Voting is actually incredibly easy and therefore not that meaningful,” said Michael Hirschorn, executive vice president for original programming and production at VH-1, which plans a voting-based show of its own, “Acceptable.tv,” this spring. “I don’t think there’s a desperate hunger in the public to grab the reins of artist development.” He added: “But I do think there’s a desire for a deeper emotional connection to artists.” [emphasis mine.]
I'd go even farther than that -- there's a desire for deeper emotional connections, period. I think that's a major part of what drives the success of sites like MySpace, YouTube, and Flickr -- people are trying to connect with other people. The internet is a much warmer place than it was even 2 years ago. What are libraries doing to participate in that trend? How are we using these tools to help our users fulfill their desire for deeper connections with the world around them?