Friday, 14 March 2008
Revenge of the experts
It seems appropriate to start this new blog with a post about an interesting article by Tony Dokoupil in Newsweek on 6 March 2008, because it made me think back to one of my earlier articles "Information Literacy in the age of amateurs". How have things changed? Dokoupil thinks the individual as king on the internet is being replaced by edited information vetted by professionals. He cites the social elitism in Wikipedia which has been found by researchers in Palo Alto, Calif., where 1% of the users make over 50% of edits. He mentions BigThink.com and Mahalo and suggests the tide is turning toward more expert edited information. For a thoughtful view from another librarian see Eric Jennings' blog. Understandably he mentions Andrew Keen's views and this leads to a recognition of the importance of Information Literacy. I would agree that much of Keen's book supports librarians in their IL mission. However, just as I would not go along with all his criticisms of the "amateur", I think that Dokoupil's case is not yet proven. Suspect that much more along this amateur versus expert will be voiced over coming months.