“Facebook Is The New Suburbia” by Hugh MacLeod (aka GapingVoid)
From May 2009 — I wrote about the need to take back the social space on the web, because the massive companies operating there/here want to own it, and by extension, own our interactions. It elicited nearly no interest at the time, but I think this is a case of being too far ahead of the curve. It might be time for a New Spatialism movement. We need to (re)occupy the web:
New Spatialism: Reclaiming Social Space In Web Media via stoweboyd.com
Using an analogy from city planning and architecture, we need a rethinking of the basics: something like the New Urbanism movement, that tried to reclaim shared urban space in a way that matches human needs, and moved away from gigantic and dehumanizing cityscapes of the mid and late twentieth century, where garbage trucks seemed more at home than a teenage girl walking a dog.
So, we need a New Spatialism movement, to rethink web media and reclaim the social space that is supposed to be central to so-called social media. Some web media may just remain what it is, like an industrial district at the edge of town. But at least some parts of web media should be reconceptualized, and reconstructed to get back to human scale. Just as New Urbanism is about organizing streets, sidewalks, and plazas to support the growth of social capital, New Spatialism would help us channel interactions on line to increase sociality, and thereby increase the growth of social capital.
New Spatialism is based on the idea that our primary motivations for being online are extra-market drivers: we are not online for money, principally. We have created the web to happen to ourselves: to shape a new culture and build a better, more resilient world. And we need better media tools than we have at present, to make that a reality.
In another piece:
We are confronted with a period of social media sprawl, where large media corporations are buying up all the intersections and off ramp properties out at the periphery of town where the highway goes by.
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Web anthropologist, futurist, author. My focus is the future, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating future. more.
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