First of all thanks to Mimi Ito and Steve Anderson, the conference organizers, for putting such an event together!
“From youtube to wetube” ‘ that’s how Henry Jenkins summarizes it in his excellent review of the event. I myself cannot say very much about the screenings because I only saw a few fragments. But what I can say is that it is a totally different experience to watch these “snippets” on a huge screen with many others than following them at home, alone on a computer screen! Their importance and awareness is skyrocketing …
It is already a week ago since the event closed, but I am still warm with its afterglow. Why? First of all it was a small but very diverse crowd and the discussion was very profound. The whole event was dedicated to the topic not to some VIPs. Everybody joined the discussion and shared his/hers point of views. That made it very vivid. I had and still have the feeling something very important and fundamental is going on. John Seely Brown called it the “re-positioning” of the amateur going along with an incredible empowerment of individuals.
The fact that people go out and produce text, audio and video and share it/spread it on the internet is much more than a gesture of providing things. It is an invitation for conversation. And people are accepting this invitation by commenting, rating, remixing and circulating the data. They are building communities/groups based on what it is important for them. And that might differ from what institutions, companies or governments might think is important! The world is becoming more and more complex.
I am not sure where we are heading to, but I am pretty sure that the changes are deep and profound – for our private, business, social and political lives. I also believe that WE for the very first time have an impact on where we are heading to! And the best about it: These changes have the capability and capacity for building a better world! This may sound a bit pathetic but I know we’ve never had a better chance to do so.