Tech Control: In the hands of a few? (2021)

Wikinomics and its discontents: Technology and the loss of democracy (3)

Wikinomics and its discontents

As the title connotes, the article was about flaws found in the logic described in the book, “Wikinomics and its discontents: A critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos”. Basically, the paper was a critique from “Skeptics” of the internet, who opposed the concept of “convergence culture” proposed by “Celebrants” of the internet.

The authors of Wikinomics and its discontents: A critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos argued two things: One, the notion of “collective intelligence” that implied that consumers were all active users of the internet to collaborate with others. Two, that content is the least essential thing in the minds of platform owners, who are merely interested in connections (connectivity) made by individuals for data mining.

Collaboration versus connectivity

These were intelligent arguments because it is true that not all who use the internet do so to come up with group solutions to the world’s problems. Believe it or not, most people use the internet for personal reasons not really to join with others in generating a cause on the internet. They log in, do what they need to do, which could include responding to messages and finding out what is going on and then, they log out.

But, as I mentioned in previous posts, there are always two sides to the story. So, there remains a few who recognize the opportunities created by the internet and choose to collaborate with others of similar interests to find solutions. However, because these authors are critics of the internet, they analyzed from their standpoint, which is not balanced.

The other issue the authors of Wikinomics and its discontents: A critical analysis of Web 2.0 business manifestos raised was that of “connectivity” and data mining, which has been overemphasized on this blog and so, I will not dwell on it. I would, nevertheless, advice that instead of being critical or overly celebratory about the internet or technology, one should be more interested in understanding its implications and making the best use of it. Technology has its pluses and minuses, which is why media literacy is vital. Everyone needs to understand the impact of technology and use it to the best of one’s abilities.

Second thoughts?

Having unveiled that the internet or technology is owned and controlled by a few players, I am unsure whether any single user or consumer can genuinely manage it the way he or she wants. But, you never know, it could be possible. Let’s find out what other authors have in store for us in the coming weeks. Then, we’ll know!

By Ngozi Adighibe

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