Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Two part article from 1998 (Part One, Part Two), reposted in 2006, on the failure of mass media. I wish I had seen this while preparing my third Huffington Post article over the weekend (posting is still pending) on the failure of institutions, because the same points could be made, and especially the points about how mass media - and institutions - should be replaced. "In order to better understand the mass media's inherent lack of democracy, it is useful to imagine a communication system that allows and fosters participation by everyone... David Andrews did this with his concept of "information routing groups" or IRGs... In a network of IRGs, everyone can be a writer and publisher at the same time. But there are no guaranteed mass audiences. If a contribution is really important or exciting to those who receive it, they are more likely to post it to other groups. In this way, a piece of writing could end up being read by thousands or even millions of people. But note that this requires numerous individual decisions about circulating it to further groups."


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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Nov 30, 2023 3:11 p.m.

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